An Italian Philosopher on Covid-19 Restrictions.

In an article published in Italian on April 13 and translated here into English, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben raises some points that merit careful consideration. He says, “We then accepted without too many problems, solely in the name of a risk that it was not possible to specify, limiting, to an extent that had never happened before in the history of the country, [Italy] not even during the Second World War (the curfew during the war was limited to certain hours), our freedom of movement. We consequently accepted, solely in the name of a risk that it was not possible to specify, de facto suspending our relationships of friendship and love, because our proximity had become a possible source of contagion.” He anticipates an objection and responds to it: “I know that someone will hasten to respond that we are dealing with a condition that is limited in time, after which everything will return to how it was. It is truly strange that we could repeat this other than in bad faith, since the same authorities that proclaimed the emergency never stop reminding us that when the emergency has been overcome, we will have to continue to observe the same directives and that ‘social distancing,’ as it has been called with a significant euphemism, will be society’s new organizing principle.”

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3:13 pm on April 19, 2020

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