"Liquid Modernity" is Bauman's term for the present condition of the world as contrasted with the "solid" modernity that preceded it. According to Bauman, the passage from "solid" to "liquid" modernity has created a new and unprecedented setting for individual life pursuits, confronting individuals with a series of challenges never before encountered. Social forms and institutions no longer have enough time to solidify and cannot serve as frames of reference for human actions and long-term life plans, so individuals have to find other ways to organise their lives. Individuals have to splice together an unending series of short-term projects and episodes that don't add up to the kind of sequence to which concepts like "career" and "progress" could be meaningfully applied. Such fragmented lives require individuals to be flexible and adaptable — to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics at short notice, to abandon commitments and loyalties without regret and to pursue opportunities according to their current availability. In liquid modernity the individual must act, plan actions and calculate the likely gains and losses of acting (or failing to act) under conditions of endemic uncertainty.
In 1972 he escaped and traveled to various countries, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and India. In 1975 his autobiography Wie alles anfing ("How it all began") was published (translated as Terror or Love? in 1979). In it he describes his personal evolution into a proponent of urban guerrilla warfare, and comments critically on armed struggle. This edition, from the Munich publishers Trikont, was seized by police after its appearance because of its supposed incitement to violence. A nationwide search was ordered immediately. In 1976, however, more than 300 left-wing writers and publishers from several European countries, some of them quite prominent, united to protest this censorship. They published an unchanged new edition, which could be sold without problems.