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· It’s no secret that we’ve lost the will to guard our privacy.

By ZYGMUNT BAUMAN [The Hedgehog Review] – What is secret is, by definition, the part of knowledge the sharing of which with others is refused or prohibited and/or closely controlled. Secrecy, as it were, draws and marks the boundary of privacy—privacy being the realm that is meant to be one’s own domain, the territory of one’s undivided sovereignty inside which one has full and indivisible power to decide “what and who I am” and from which one may launch and re-launch the campaigns to have and keep one’s decisions recognized and respected. In a startling u-turn from the habits of our ancestors, we’ve somehow lost the guts, the stamina, and above all the will to persist in the defense of such rights, those irreplaceable building blocks of individual autonomy. In our days, it is not so much the possibility of betrayal or violation of privacy that frightens us, but its opposite: shutting down the exits. The area of privacy turns into a site of incarceration, the owner of private space being condemned and doomed to stew in his/her own juices, a condition marked by the absence of avid listeners eager to wring out and tear out our secrets from the ramparts of privacy, to cast them on public display, to make them everybody’s shared property and a property everybody wishes to share. We seem to experience no joy in having secrets, unless these are the kind of secrets likely to enhance our egos through attracting the attention of researchers and editors of television talk-shows, tabloid first pages, and the covers of glossy magazines.

Continued at The Hedgehog Review | More Chronicle & Notices.

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