It is difficult to ascertain what the cause is and what the result is here – but in parallel to the withering of interest in the quality of the common good (and, most importantly, of society itself), the demise and dismantling of traditional “factories of solidarity” can be observed, that is, of institutions that encouraged attitudes of solidarity. The “deregulation of the labour market” and the resultant fluidity of workplace communities characterized by a decreasing – less and less protected by law – stability strongly disfavours forming tighter bonds with “colleagues”. The philosophy of management in its current form transfers the responsibility for financial results of a given company from the superiors to the subordinates, thus putting every employee in a situation of competing with everyone else. This philosophy demands that the utility of every employee is measured according to his or her personal contribution to the profitability of the company: he or she is forced to compete with the rest of the working team. In essence, forcing workers to fight for their chance to survive another round of dismissals, a move often disguised by such “politically correct” cryptonyms as “contracting out” or “outsourcing”. In a clearly zero-sum game, joining and closing ranks will be of little use and will not help much in surviving – on the contrary, it is becoming dangerously close to a suicidal urge.

more from Zygmunt Bauman at Eurozine here.