ウイルス

わかったふりをした専門家たちが
私たちの生活に口を出し
新しい生活様式などという枠をはめ
お願いという名の命令を発表した

 マスクを着けろ
 冷房時には窓を開けろ
 毎朝体温を測れ
 健康チェックをしろ

命令に添えられた優等生の作文からは
なぜそうしなければならないのかは
伝わってこない

先人たちが勝ち取ってきた行動の自由は
感染症対策といって制限され
移動の自由は奪われて
近くに住む人にさえ会いに行けなくなった

病人を見舞ったり死者を弔ったりすることも
前のように自由にはできなくなり
老人施設にいる年老いた母にも
会いに行けない
施設という監獄のなかにいる人は
誰もがまるで囚人のようだ

これもすべて生存のため
いのちを守るために協力してください
言葉は優しいふりをするが
使われているレトリックは凶暴だ

人間であるための条件を奪われて
怯えのせいで我を忘れ
攻撃的になった人たちが
大事なものを捨てて群れを成す

いのちを守るためだけに
すべての自由を差し出して
私たちはいうことを聞く素晴らしい民だと
なぜか胸を張る

自由とか違いとか
善だと固く信じてきたものが突然悪になり
考えないとか みんなに従うとか
悪だと固く信じてきたものが突然善になる

見当違いばかりのなかで
みんなでいのちをながらえて
すべてを失った人たちのなか
ウイルスの声が聞こえてくる

地球が人のものだなんて
誤解したほうが悪いんだ
地球はみんなのためにある
石や木や水やウイルスを
忘れたほうが悪いんだ

ウイルスは笑わない
石は動かず
木は静か
水は今日も流れ続ける

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7 Responses to ウイルス

  1. shinichi says:

    (sk)

    第54作
    Virus

  2. shinichi says:

    「新しい生活様式」における熱中症予防行動のポイント

    厚生労働省

    https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000121431_coronanettyuu.html

     新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を防ぐために、「新しい生活様式」として、一人ひとりが感染防止の3つの基本である
    1.身体的距離の確保、2.マスクの着用、3.手洗いや、「3密(密集、密接、密閉)」を避ける等の対策を取り入れた生活様式を実践することが求められています。
     これから、夏を迎えるにあたり、皆様には、例年よりもいっそう熱中症にもご注意いただきたく、新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を防ぐための「新しい生活様式」における熱中症予防のポイントをまとめました。

    (1) マスクの着用について
     マスクは飛沫の拡散予防に有効で、「新しい生活様式」でも一人ひとりの方の基本的な感染対策として着用をお願いしています。ただし、マスクを着用していない場合と比べると、心拍数や呼吸数、血中二酸化炭素濃度、体感温度が上昇するなど、身体に負担がかかることがあります。
    したがって、高温や多湿といった環境下でのマスク着用は、熱中症のリスクが高くなるおそれがあるので、屋外で人と十分な距離(少なくとも2m以上)が確保できる場合には、マスクをはずすようにしましょう。
    マスクを着用する場合には、強い負荷の作業や運動は避け、のどが渇いていなくてもこまめに水分補給を心がけましょう。また、周囲の人との距離を十分にとれる場所で、マスクを一時的にはずして休憩することも必要です。
     外出時は暑い日や時間帯を避け、涼しい服装を心がけましょう。

    (2) エアコンの使用について
     熱中症予防のためにはエアコンの活用が有効です。ただし、一般的な家庭用エアコンは、空気を循環させるだけで換気を行っていません。新型コロナウイルス対策のためには、冷房時でも窓開放や換気扇によって換気を行う必要があります。換気により室内温度が高くなりがちなので、エアコンの温度設定を下げるなどの調整をしましょう。

    (3) 涼しい場所への移動について
     少しでも体調に異変を感じたら、速やかに涼しい場所に移動することが、熱中症予防に有効です。一方で、人数制限等により屋内の店舗等にすぐに入ることができない場合もあると思います。その際は、屋外でも日陰や風通しの良い場所に移動してください。

    (4) 日頃の健康管理について
     「新しい生活様式」では、毎朝など、定時の体温測定、健康チェックをお願いしています。これらは、熱中症予防にも有効です。平熱を知っておくことで、発熱に早く気づくこともできます。日ごろからご自身の身体を知り、健康管理を充実させてください。また、体調が悪いと感じた時は、無理せず自宅で静養するようにしましょう。

  3. shinichi says:

    An Italian Philosopher on the COVID-19 Restrictions

    by David Gordon

    https://mises.org/power-market/italian-philosopher-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.”​

  4. shinichi says:

    Una domanda

    Giorgio Agamben

    Quodlibet

    https://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-una-domanda

    La peste segnò per la città l’inizio della corruzione… Nessuno era più disposto a perseverare in quello che prima giudicava essere il bene, perché credeva che poteva forse morire prima di raggiungerlo.
    Tucidide, La guerra del Peloponneso, II, 53

    Vorrei condividere con chi ne ha voglia una domanda su cui ormai da più di un mese non cesso di riflettere. Com’è potuto avvenire che un intero paese sia senza accorgersene eticamente e politicamente crollato di fronte a una malattia? Le parole che ho usato per formulare questa domanda sono state una per una attentamente valutate. La misura dell’abdicazione ai propri principi etici e politici è, infatti, molto semplice: si tratta di chiedersi qual è il limite oltre il quale non si è disposti a rinunciarvi. Credo che il lettore che si darà la pena di considerare i punti che seguono non potrà non convenire che – senza accorgersene o fingendo di non accorgersene – la soglia che separa l’umanità dalla barbarie è stata oltrepassata.
    1) Il primo punto, forse il più grave, concerne i corpi delle persone morte. Come abbiamo potuto accettare, soltanto in nome di un rischio che non era possibile precisare, che le persone che ci sono care e degli esseri umani in generale non soltanto morissero da soli, ma che – cosa che non era mai avvenuta prima nella storia, da Antigone a oggi – che i loro cadaveri fossero bruciati senza un funerale?
    2) Abbiamo poi accettato senza farci troppi problemi, soltanto in nome di un rischio che non era possibile precisare, di limitare in misura che non era mai avvenuta prima nella storia del paese, nemmeno durante le due guerre mondiali (il coprifuoco durante la guerra era limitato a certe ore) la nostra libertà di movimento. Abbiamo conseguentemente accettato, soltanto in nome di un rischio che non era possibile precisare, di sospendere di fatto i nostri rapporti di amicizia e di amore, perché il nostro prossimo era diventato una possibile fonte di contagio.
    3) Questo è potuto avvenire – e qui si tocca la radice del fenomeno – perché abbiamo scisso l’unità della nostra esperienza vitale, che è sempre inseparabilmente insieme corporea e spirituale, in una entità puramente biologica da una parte e in una vita affettiva e culturale dall’altra. Ivan Illich ha mostrato, e David Cayley l’ha qui ricordato di recente, le responsabilità della medicina moderna in questa scissione, che viene data per scontata e che è invece la più grande delle astrazioni. So bene che questa astrazione è stata realizzata dalla scienza moderna attraverso i dispositivi di rianimazione, che possono mantenere un corpo in uno stato di pura vita vegetativa.
    Ma se questa condizione si estende al di là dei confini spaziali e temporali che le sono propri, come si sta cercando oggi di fare, e diventa una sorta di principio di comportamento sociale, si cade in contraddizioni da cui non vi è via di uscita.
    So che qualcuno si affretterà a rispondere che si tratta di una condizione limitata del tempo, passata la quale tutto ritornerà come prima. È davvero singolare che lo si possa ripetere se non in mala fede, dal momento che le stesse autorità che hanno proclamato l’emergenza non cessano di ricordarci che quando l’emergenza sarà superata, si dovrà continuare a osservare le stesse direttive e che il “distanziamento sociale”, come lo si è chiamato con un significativo eufemismo, sarà il nuovo principio di organizzazione della società. E, in ogni caso, ciò che, in buona o mala fede, si è accettato di subire non potrà essere cancellato.
    Non posso, a questo punto, poiché ho accusato le responsabilità di ciascuno di noi, non menzionare le ancora più gravi responsabilità di coloro che avrebbero avuto il compito di vegliare sulla dignità dell’uomo. Innanzitutto la Chiesa, che, facendosi ancella della scienza, che è ormai diventata la vera religione del nostro tempo, ha radicalmente rinnegato i suoi principi più essenziali. La Chiesa, sotto un Papa che si chiama Francesco, ha dimenticato che Francesco abbracciava i lebbrosi. Ha dimenticato che una delle opere della misericordia è quella di visitare gli ammalati. Ha dimenticato che i martiri insegnano che si deve essere disposti a sacrificare la vita piuttosto che la fede e che rinunciare al proprio prossimo significa rinunciare alla fede. Un’altra categoria che è venuta meno ai propri compiti è quella dei giuristi. Siamo da tempo abituati all’uso sconsiderato dei decreti di urgenza attraverso i quali di fatto il potere esecutivo si sostituisce a quello legislativo, abolendo quel principio della separazione dei poteri che definisce la democrazia. Ma in questo caso ogni limite è stato superato, e si ha l’impressione che le parole del primo ministro e del capo della protezione civile abbiano, come si diceva per quelle del Führer, immediatamente valore di legge. E non si vede come, esaurito il limite di validità temporale dei decreti di urgenza, le limitazioni della libertà potranno essere, come si annuncia, mantenute. Con quali dispositivi giuridici? Con uno stato di eccezione permanente? È compito dei giuristi verificare che le regole della costituzione siano rispettate, ma i giuristi tacciono. Quare silete iuristae in munere vestro?
    So che ci sarà immancabilmente qualcuno che risponderà che il pur grave sacrificio è stato fatto in nome di principi morali. A costoro vorrei ricordare che Eichmann, apparentemente in buon fede, non si stancava di ripetere che aveva fatto quello che aveva fatto secondo coscienza, per obbedire a quelli che riteneva essere i precetti della morale kantiana. Una norma, che affermi che si deve rinunciare al bene per salvare il bene, è altrettanto falsa e contraddittoria di quella che, per proteggere la libertà, impone di rinunciare alla libertà.

    13 aprile 2020
    Giorgio Agamben

    **

    (Google Translate)

    A question

    Giorgio Agamben

    Quodlibet

    https://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-una-domanda

    The plague marked the beginning of corruption for the city … Nobody was more willing to persevere in what he previously considered to be the good, because he believed that he could perhaps die before reaching it.
    Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, II, 53

    I would like to share with those who want a question on which for over a month now I have not stopped thinking. How could an entire country have happened without realizing it ethically and politically collapsed in the face of an illness? The words I used to formulate this question were carefully evaluated one by one. The measure of abdication of one’s ethical and political principles is, in fact, very simple: it is a question of wondering what is the limit beyond which you are not willing to give it up. I believe that the reader who will take the trouble to consider the following points will have to agree that – without realizing it or pretending not to notice it – the threshold that separates humanity from barbarism has been crossed.
    1) The first point, perhaps the most serious, concerns the bodies of dead people. As we were able to accept, only in the name of a risk that could not be specified, that the people we care about and human beings in general not only died alone, but that – something that had never happened before in history, since Antigone to today – that their corpses were burned without a funeral?
    2) We then accepted without making too many problems, only in the name of a risk that could not be specified, to limit to an extent that had never happened before in the history of the country, not even during the two world wars (curfew during the war was limited to certain hours) our freedom of movement. We consequently accepted, only in the name of a risk that could not be specified, to actually suspend our relationships of friendship and love, because our neighbor had become a possible source of contagion.
    3) This could have happened – and here the root of the phenomenon is touched – because we have split the unity of our vital experience, which is always inseparably bodily and spiritual together, in a purely biological entity on the one hand and in an affective life and cultural on the other. Ivan Illich has shown, and David Cayley has recently mentioned it, the responsibilities of modern medicine in this split, which is taken for granted and which is instead the largest of abstractions. I know very well that this abstraction was made by modern science through resuscitation devices, which can keep a body in a state of pure vegetative life.
    But if this condition extends beyond the spatial and temporal boundaries that are proper to it, as we are trying to do today, and becomes a sort of principle of social behavior, we fall into contradictions from which there is no way out.
    I know that someone will hurry to answer that it is a limited condition of time, after which everything will return as before. It is truly singular that it can be repeated if not in bad faith, since the same authorities that proclaimed the emergency do not cease to remind us that when the emergency is overcome, we will have to continue to observe the same directives and that the ” social distancing ”, as it has been called with a significant euphemism, will be the new principle of organization of society. And in any case, that which, in good or bad faith, has been accepted to undergo cannot be canceled.
    At this point, since I have accused the responsibilities of each of us, I cannot fail to mention the even more serious responsibilities of those who would have had the task of watching over the dignity of man. First of all, the Church, which, becoming the handmaiden of science, which has now become the true religion of our time, has radically denied its most essential principles. The Church, under a Pope named Francis, has forgotten that Francis embraced lepers. He forgot that one of the works of mercy is to visit the sick. He forgot that martyrs teach that one must be willing to sacrifice life rather than faith and that giving up one’s neighbor means giving up faith. Another category that has failed in its duties is that of jurists. We have long been accustomed to the reckless use of emergency decrees through which the executive power actually replaces the legislative one, abolishing that principle of the separation of powers that defines democracy. But in this case every limit has been exceeded, and one has the impression that the words of the prime minister and the head of civil protection have, as was said for those of the Führer, immediately legal value. And it is not clear how, once the limit of temporal validity of the urgency decrees has been exhausted, the limitations of freedom will, as announced, be maintained. With which legal arrangements? With a state of permanent exception? It is the duty of the jurists to verify that the constitution rules are respected, but the jurists are silent. Quare silete iuristae in munere vestro?
    I know there will always be someone who will answer that the serious sacrifice has been made in the name of moral principles. To them I would like to remind you that Eichmann, apparently in good faith, never tired of repeating that he had done what he had done according to conscience, to obey what he believed to be the precepts of Kantian morality. A rule, which states that good must be renounced to save the good, is just as false and contradictory as that which, to protect freedom, requires us to renounce freedom.

    April 13, 2020
    Giorgio Agamben

  5. shinichi says:

    Giorgio Agamben and the Bio-Politics of COVID-19

    by Simon Elmer

    Counter Propaganda

    https://architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/04/25/giorgio-agamben-and-the-bio-politics-of-covid-19/

    Better take off your medical mask, put it on your head and call it a thinking cap, because today I want to talk about the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben.

    Why? You ask. Two reasons. The first is because, since the coronavirus crisis began, Agamben, who lives in Italy, has been writing commentaries and reflections that have been published by Quodlibet, and — amid the almost universal parroting of government propaganda by our so-called intellectuals — they are rare in openly questioning the official narrative on the coronavirus. He’s a philosopher, and not an easy one, so understanding what he writes may be difficult at first; but keep at it, because it’s some of the best responses I’ve read since this crisis event was initiated, and accords with my own views about what is being done and how.

    The second reason is to look at how Agamben’s writings about the coronavirus panic have been met, which has been with howls of indignation, violent denunciations and contemptuous attempts to pathologise and dismiss the 78-year-old philosopher as an out of touch old man who should be censored for endangering the lives of others. In other words, the response has been the same that has greeted anyone, including myself, who has dared to question and challenge the government and media line about the coronavirus.

    We’ll get back to that later, but before I quote at length one of Agamben’s texts, simply called ‘A Question’ — and in that alone it has raised the ire of the unquestioning — I want to say a little about why we should be reading and listening to him at this time.

    Giorgio Agamben is one of the foremost exponents of the theory of ‘bio-politics’. This is a term most closely associated today with the work of the French philosopher and historian of ideas, Michel Foucault, who died in 1984. In a series of studies, including Madness and Civilisation: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (1961), Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception (1961), The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (1966), Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975) and The History of Sexuality (1976-84), Foucault showed how various discourses — of knowledge, of madness, of education, of discipline, of punishment, of policing, of medicine, of sexuality, of subjectivity, of death — situate the body in relation to power; or, more accurately, how power is manifested by and through this situating of the body within discourse. This marked a radical addition to the Marxist identification of power with the imposition of economic, political and legal structures by the State, and a refinement of how the sphere of ideology works. Crucial in this constitution of human subjectivity within the relations of power is the State’s control over the biology of its population. Foucault called this ‘a new technology of power’.

    This, so to speak, is where the work of Giorgio Agamben picks up. In a series of 10 books published over more than 20 years, including Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995), Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive (1998), State of Exception (2003) and Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm (2015), Agamben has shown how, by reducing human subjectivity to ‘bare life’, the institutions and technologies disposed of by the State have been able to subject us to a bio-politics that has become the paradigm for contemporary government. The key form of this bio-politics, and the one through which Agamben is viewing the coronavirus crisis, is the State of Exception by which the State suspends, removes or otherwise ignores our human rights and civil liberties, and with them the division between judicial, legislative and executive powers on which liberal democracy has been based, however imperfectly. In a State of Exception, the government assumes executive power without legislative oversight or approval, our civil liberties are suspended indefinitely, and our human rights are removed, all on the justification of protecting our biological existence or ‘bare life’.

    Whether we are being protected from a terrorist attack, a political extremist or a mysterious virus, for reasons of safety, security or health, the State of Exception has been used, and continues to be used, to build a form of totalitarianism that, under new and renewed crisis events, has become the norm. The so-called ‘War on Terror’ that followed the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001 ushered in what the US calls the ‘Security State’ in which we have all lived for the past two decades. In France, the State of Emergency declared in November 2015 in response to terrorist attacks in Paris didn’t expire, after five extensions, until November 2017, two years later, when it was replaced by a raft of repressive measures embedded into ordinary law. And as we are seeing now in the response of the UK Government to the so-called threat of COVID-19, this surveillance state, which is transnational and therefore transcends the nation state of our parliamentary politics, is built on the total surveillance and control of the population through the use of tracking, location and monitoring devices in our phones and other communication technologies, and implemented with new police powers to enforce so-called health and safety regulations that have had neither parliamentary scrutiny nor legislative approval.

    While Parliament is suspended indefinitely and we sit at home like frightened rabbits, both this surveillance and the regulations for its police enforcement are being rushed through by the UK Government in collaboration with tech companies like BT, EE and O2, using data collected through automatic number-plate recognition cameras by the Department for Transport, and developing apps with Google and Apple to trace anyone infected with SARs-CoV-2 and share that information with other tracking devices. All this has been done with the blessing of the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s supposed privacy watchdog, on the grounds that sharing our private data will protect us against ‘serious threats to public health’. Once again, our citizenship and the rights deriving from it have been reduced to the biological existence of our bare life. This is the bio-politics of what has quickly been dubbed and accepted as our ‘new normal’.

    All this, of course, is in contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the ‘Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence’. In the Guide to the enforcement of this right by the European Court of Human Rights dated August 2019, it states:

    ¶180. ‘The court has found that the collection and storage of a person’s health-related data for a very long period, together with the disclosure and use of such data for purposes unrelated to the original reasons for their collection, constituted a disproportionate interference with the right to respect for private life.

    ¶184. ‘The mere existence of legislation which allows a system for the secret monitoring of communications entails a threat of surveillance for all those to whom the legislation may be applied. While domestic legislatures and national authorities enjoy a certain margin of appreciation in which to assess that system of surveillance is required, the Contracting States do not enjoy unlimited discretion to subject persons within their jurisdiction to secret surveillance.

    ¶185. ‘Collection, through a GPS device attached to a person’s car, and storage of data concerning that person’s whereabouts and movements in the public sphere was also found to constitute an interference with private life.’

    Certain human rights lawyers have expressed their concern that the Emergency Powers handed to the police by both the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 interfere not only with our right to private and family life under Article 8, but also with our right to liberty, as protected by Article 5 of the Convention; and that restrictions on gatherings potentially pose a threat to our rights to freedom of expression (Article 10) and our rights of assembly and association (Article 11). This is why the various European governments theoretically subject to these conventions have declared a State of Emergency — either officially, as in Italy and Spain, or de facto, as in France, Germany and the UK — suspending our human rights for as long as the executive decides a State of Emergency caused by the coronavirus pertains.

    As evidence of this, the Memorandum to the Joint Committee on the Coronavirus Bill, dated 20 March, addressed its infringement of our rights under the following articles and protocols of the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporated the European Convention articles into British Law: Article 2. Right to life; Article 3. Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment; Article 5. Right to liberty and security; Article 6. Right to a fair trial; Article 8. Right to respect for private and family life; Article 9. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; Article 10. Freedom of expression; Article 11. Freedom of assembly and association; Article 14. Prohibition of discrimination; plus the following protocols: Protocol 1. Right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions; Protocol 2. Right to education; Protocol 3. Right to free elections. The general consideration of the unnamed lawyers writing this Memorandum was that the proposed police powers are, in their opinion, necessary in order to protect public health, and that any interference they have with our human rights is therefore ‘justified, proportionate and lawful’. They duly concluded that the Coronavirus Bill is ‘compatible’ with the Human Rights Act 1998. Section 89 of the Coronavirus Bill specified that these police powers will be in existence for at least 2 years, with the option, under Section 90, to extend them another 6 months, and, under Section 92, to make ‘consequential modifications’ to them. One chambers briefing observed that:

    ‘Although technically approval is still required within 28 days, as Parliament is now in recess this will not happen prior to the first review which is due by 16 April 2020. This effectively means there will be there will be no parliamentary scrutiny of Regulations which on their face impose extraordinary and draconian restrictions on freedom of movement backed by increased powers of arrest and prosecution. If this is a sign of things to come it does not bode well.’

    In State of Exception (2005), which everybody trying to understand this moment should be reading, Giorgio Agamben has pointed out that, under the Chancellorship and then Leadership of Adolf Hitler, the constitution of the Weimar Republic was never abolished, but merely suspended by the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State issued in February 1933 — which under Article 48 of the constitution suspended a raft of human rights, including the right of public assembly and of free association, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press — and the subsequent Enabling Act 1933 that legally handed Hitler dictatorial powers. From a juridico-political point of view, therefore, the 12 years of the Nazi dictatorship were administered under a State of Exception. The same State of Exception has been applied by three successive US governments to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, where so-called ‘enemy combatants’ are detained indefinitely outside of both international law, the Geneva convention and even US criminal law without charge or trial, in a state of bare life that means even those who try to kill themselves through hunger strikes are force-fed. In this we can see repeated the practices of the Thatcher government against IRA prisoners denied political status, and the anticipation of the extrajudicial imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange by the current UK Government. But we can also see the medical practice of keeping dying patients suspended in a state of vegetative life in which they have been deprived even of the right to die; and, most recently, the enforced, painful and ultimately futile ventilation of elderly and sick patients who would otherwise be administered palliative care simply because they have tested positive for SARs-CoV-2.

    This is the context in which, on 13 April, Giorgio Agamben published the following text:

    A QUESTION

    ‘The plague marked the beginning of corruption for the city. No one was willing to persevere any longer in what he had previously considered to be good, because he believed that he would perhaps die before achieving it.’

    — Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

    I would like to share with whoever would like to hear it a question on which, for over a month now, I have not stopped reflecting. How could it happen that an entire country, without realising it, has collapsed politically and ethically in the face of an illness? The words I have used to formulate this question have been carefully weighed one by one. The measure of abdication of our own ethical and political principles is, in fact, very simple: it is a question of asking ourselves what is the limit beyond which we are not willing to renounce them. I believe that the reader who takes the trouble to consider the following points cannot fail to agree that — without realising it, or by pretending not to notice it — the threshold that separates humanity from barbarism has been crossed.

    1) The first point, perhaps the most serious, concerns the bodies of the dead. How could we have accepted, solely in the name of a risk that could not be specified, that individuals dear to us and human beings in general should not only die alone, but — something that had never happened before in history, from Antigone to today — that their corpses should be burned without a funeral?

    2) We then accepted, without too many problems, solely in the name of a risk that could not be specified, limiting, to an extent that had never happened before in the history of the country, not even during the Second World War (when the curfew was limited to certain hours), our freedom of movement. We consequently accepted, solely in the name of a risk that could not be specified, de facto suspension of our relationships of friendship and love, because proximity to our neighbour had become a possible source of contagion.

    3) This was only possible — and here we touch on the root of the phenomenon — because we have split the unity of our lived experience, which is always inseparably bodily and spiritual, into a purely biological entity on the one hand, and an affective and cultural life on the other. Ivan Illich has demonstrated, and David Cayley has recalled it here recently, the responsibility of modern medicine in this split, which is taken for granted but is in reality the greatest of abstractions. I know very well that this abstraction was created by modern science through resuscitation devices, which can keep a body in a state of pure vegetative life. But if this situation is extended beyond the spatial and temporal confines that are proper to it, as we are trying to do today, and becomes a sort of principle of social behaviour, we fall into contradictions from which there is no way out

    I know that someone will rush to respond that we are dealing with a situation that is limited in time, after which everything will return to how it was. It is truly strange that we could repeat such a statement other than in bad faith, since the same authorities that proclaimed the emergency do not cease 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 the new organising principle of society. And, in every case, what we have accepted submitting to, whether in good faith or in bad, cannot be reversed.

    At this point, since I have declared the responsibility of each of us, I cannot fail to mention the even more serious responsibilities of those who would have had the duty of keeping watch over human dignity. First of all, the Church, which in making itself the handmaiden of science, which has now become the true religion of our time, has radically repudiated its most essential principles. The Church, under a Pope who calls himself Francis, has forgotten that Francis embraced lepers. It has forgotten that one of the works of mercy is to visit the sick. It has forgotten that the martyrs teach that we must be prepared to sacrifice our life rather than our faith, and that renouncing our neighbour means renouncing our faith.

    Another category or persons that has failed in their duties is that of lawyers. For some time now we have been accustomed to the reckless use of emergency decrees through which executive power is effectively substituted for that of the legislature, abolishing that principle of the separation of powers that defines democracy. But in this case, every limit has been exceeded, and one gets the impression that the words of the Prime Minister and the head of civil defence, as was once said of those of the Führer, have the immediate force of law. And it is not clear how, once the temporal validity of the emergency decrees have been exhausted, the limitations on our freedoms could, as is asserted, be maintained. With what legal arrangements? With a permanent State of Exception? It is the duty of lawyers to ensure that the rules of the constitution are observed; but the lawyers are silent.

    I know that there will inevitably be someone who will answer that the sacrifice, which is serious, has been made in the name of moral principles. To them I would like to recall that Adolf Eichmann, apparently in good faith, never tired of repeating that he had done what he had done according to his conscience, to obey what he believed to be the precepts of Kantian morality. A rule which states that good must be renounced in order to save the good is just as false and contradictory as that which, in order to protect freedom, orders us to renounce freedom.

    * * *

    In the rest of this article I want to look at how this and other commentaries by Giorgio Agamben have been greeted, for it tells us a lot about how the bio-politics of the state works in practice.

    Agamben is the author of over 40 book-length works. He’s one of the most interesting and — until he questioned the extraordinary measures enacted by governments in response to the coronavirus — one of the most respected of continental philosophers. We might think, given that he has been read for the past quarter of a century precisely because his writings have addressed and analysed exactly the situation in which we find ourselves now, that we would listen to what he has to say. But we would, of course, be wrong. What has actually happened has been the exact opposite.

    Agamben’s first commentary, titled ‘The Invention of an epidemic’, was published by Quodlibet on 26 February. I won’t quote the whole thing here, but he concluded by writing:

    ‘The disproportionate reaction to something not too different from the normal influenzas that affect us every year is quite blatant. It is almost as if, with terrorism exhausted as a cause for exceptional measures, the invention of an epidemic offered the ideal pretext for scaling them up beyond any limitation.

    ‘The other, no less disturbing, factor is the state of fear that in recent years has evidently spread among individual consciences and that translates into an authentic need for situations of collective panic for which the epidemic provides, once again, the ideal pretext. Therefore, in a perverse vicious circle, the limitations of freedom imposed by governments are accepted in the name of a desire for safety that was created by the same governments that are now intervening to satisfy it.’

    This brought forth paroxysms of online rage and contempt, only some of which I shall briefly list here, placing the key terms in their attacks in bold.

    • On 2 March, the journal of psychoanalysis, Antinomie, published an article by Sergio Benvenuto, an Italian psychoanalyst, in which he described Agamben’s commentaries as ‘paranoiac interpretations of history.’
    • On 13 March, the Hannah Arendt Centre for Politics and Humanities published an article by Roger Berkowitz, a Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights, titled ‘When Philosophers are Blinded by Theory’, in which he accuses Agamben of ‘blindness to reality that can come from a too-strong love for one’s own theoretical fantasies.’
    • On 23 March, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Anastasia Berg, a postdoctoral Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy, titled ‘Giorgio Agamben’s Coronavirus Cluelessness’, in which she claimed ‘the Italian philosopher’s interventions are symptomatic of theory’s collapse into paranoia.’
    • On 26 March, Critical Legal Thinking published an article titled ‘Must Society be Defended from Agamben?’ by Tim Christaens, a PhD student in Philosophy writing his dissertation on Agamben, in which he writes of Agamben’s texts: ‘If the reader thinks that makes Agamben sound like coronavirus denialists such as Bolsonaro or Trump, then I must confess they are right.’
    • On 29 March, Verso published an article titled States of Emergency, Metaphors of Virus, and COVID-19’ by Joseph Owen, another PhD student, who dismissed Agamben as an ‘elderly and misguided sage’ whose ‘theoretical dispositions have clouded his judgement’.
    • In its March/April edition, the New Left Review published an article by Marco d’Eramo, an Italian journalist, titled ‘The Philosopher’s Epidemic’, in which he accused Agamben of ‘coronavirus denialism’, and argued that the likelihood of security services benefiting from the the pandemic ‘does not justify a leap to paranoid conspiricism’.

    Despite the extraordinary arrogance of these judgements, they are not the ravings of Twitter trolls. All the authors are highly educated people writing in authoritative forums. And yet, as can be seen, in all their attempts to dismiss Agamben the authors resort to the same convergence of medicine and politics they are denying ­is applicable to a bio-political understanding of the current crisis, and whose medical separation of the patient’s body from the patient’s person Foucault analysed in The Birth of the Clinic. Through this bio-political discourse, Agamben is repeatedly diagnosed as paranoid, a theoretical fantasist, his judgement clouded by age, his thoughts reduced to symptoms of his paranoid theorising, himself in denial brought on by the lockdown, a fermentor of conspiracy theories. Indeed, the full panoply of medical and psychiatric discourse is employed to justify — if not yet the sectioning and incarceration of one of the most influential philosophers of the past quarter of a century — then certainly his dismissal outside the realms of rational discourse. That this is being done irrationality — without the authors needing to argue why Agamben’s arguments, in their opinion, are flawed — is characteristic of all such ad hominem attacks, which have come to characterise the forums of Twitter, Facebook, the BBC and the UK Parliament, if not yet the discursive practices of philosophical thought.

    However, there is another aspect of these attempts to pathologise Agamben that I want to draw attention to, and which have a far wider application in spreading the orthodoxy on coronavirus than this attempt to silence an Italian philosopher most of you will not have heard of.

    Perhaps the most disappointing of these, because it is written by an old friend and comrade of Agamben, is by the French philosopher, Jean-Luc Nancy, for whose writings on community I have great respect. I cite his response here to show how, even in the most subtle of minds, there has taken hold what Roland Barthes called the ‘doxa’ of ideology. By this he meant that which, because it has been so widely accepted as given, has become invisible to interrogation. On 27 February, in response to Agamben’s text, Nancy, taking exception with Agamben’s description of coronavirus as ‘not too different from the normal influenzas’, wrote — again in the psychoanalytical journal Antinomie:

    ‘“Normal” flu always kills several people, while coronavirus, against which there is no vaccine, is evidently capable of causing far higher levels of mortality. The difference (according to sources of the same type as those Agamben uses) is about 1 to 30: it does not seem insignificant to me.’

    This assumption of ‘evidence’ is what has become most pervasive in the debates, if one can call them that, more accurately the pronouncements — official and unofficial, on mainstream media as on social media — by governments and journalists alike. This assumption is that some contemptuous few of us, such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, assumed that the coronavirus was just another flu, and even recommended herd immunity as the proper response, but that now we know better. Now, is the assumption, we have the evidence. Now we have ‘the science’, as Bill Gates said this week when announcing his plans to immunise the world. Now we have the justification to declare a State of Exception that the UK government is considering maintaining for the two years they initially extended, to everyone’s initial surprise, to the powers handed to the police by the Coronavirus Act 2020. We were wrong, but now we understand — and accept — why parliamentary scrutiny must be suspended, why legislative approval is not necessary for our politics, why Health Protection Regulations in contravention of our human rights must be enacted by police officers, community support officers, local authorities, and anyone else the Secretary of State authorises to do so.

    To take just one example that must stand in for many of how consensus for these dictatorial powers has been assumed, in one of the most widely-read, copied, shared and commented-upon of these assumptions, the Sunday Times last week published an article titled ‘Coronavirus: 38 Days when Britain sleepwalked into disaster.’ Significantly, the article is an attack on Boris Johnson, with the implication being that anyone who disagrees with its assumptions is therefore ‘on the side’ of the much reviled British Prime Minister. But in making its claim, which I have already quoted before, that COVID-19 is ‘one of the worst infections of the most deadly virus to have hit the world in more than a century’, the authors site a study published on 24 January in the medical journal, The Lancet, which they claim suggested the potential lethality of coronavirus ‘was comparable to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed up to 50 million people.’ In fact, the Lancet study did nothing of the kind, and the authors of the Sunday Times article fail to site the huge amount of subsequent evidence correcting these wild speculations, as if we know nothing more about the virus than we did 3 months ago; but it’s too late. This emotive, fear-mongering, factually inaccurate, deliberately deceptive and hugely irresponsible article has now become the default official history of the coronavirus in the UK, spread through the viral network of social media into everyone’s laptop.

    Today, with all the inaccuracies built into how most countries, and certainly those in Europe and the United States, are recording deaths ‘with’ COVID-19 — which includes anyone who died testing positive for SARs-CoV-2, or anyone whose death the doctor filling out the certificate thought COVID-19 might have been a possible or contributing cause, or simply anyone who displayed similar symptoms to COVID-19 but wasn’t tested — even with this systemic inaccuracy by which so-called COVID-19 deaths are being hugely exaggerated in number, as of today there have been 198,000 deaths officially attributed to the disease across the world since the first official deaths in China 4 months ago.

    To put this figure into context, so far this year 18.6 million people have died across the world; 2,598,000 of them from cancer; 1,581,000 from smoking; 532,000 from HIV/AIDS; 427,000 from traffic accidents; 339,000 from suicide; 310,000 from malaria; and 154,000 from seasonal flu; all in the last four months.

    In the UK, the official number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 under the above criteria by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England is 19,500. However, according to a much-quoted and retweeted article published this week in the Financial Times, which extrapolates future COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of overall excess deaths recorded by the Office for National Statistics, it may be as many as 41,000, more than twice as much. In this exaggeration it parallels the claim of 50,000 deaths for the seasonal influenza of 2016-17, also drawing on figures from the ONO, in an article published in November 2018 in the Daily Mail. In fact, only 18,000 deaths were associated with seasonal influenza in England in 2016-17, which is a similar proportion of fact to media report. As chance would have it, the same day as the Financial Times article, 22 April, Giorgio Agamben published his most recent text on the coronavirus, titled ‘New Reflections’, in which he calmly wrote:

    ‘Anyone with some knowledge of epistemology cannot fail to be surprised by the fact that the media for all these months have released figures without any scientific criterion, not only without relating them to the annual mortality for the same period, but without even specifying the cause of death. I am not a virologist or a doctor, but I limit myself to verbally citing reliable official sources. 21,000 deaths from COVID-19 seem and are certainly an impressive figure. But if you put them in relation with the annual statistical data, things, as is right, take on a different aspect. The president of the National Institute of Statistics, Dr. Gian Carlo Blangiardo, communicated the numbers of last year’s mortality a few weeks ago: 647,000 deaths (therefore 1,772 deaths per day). If we analyse the causes in detail, we see that the latest available data for 2017 record 230,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 180,000 deaths from cancer, at least 53,000 deaths from respiratory diseases. I quote the words of Dr. Blangiardo: “In March 2019 the deaths from respiratory diseases were 15,189 and the year before had been 16,220. Incidentally, it is noted that they are more than the corresponding number of deaths for COVID-19 (12,352) reported in March 2020.”’

    The official and universal assumption about the exceptional fatality rate of coronavirus has no empirical, factual or statistical basis. On the contrary, what has been assumed is precisely what is disproved by the facts. What is ‘evident’, to use Nancy’s word, is that the fatality rate of coronavirus is very much comparable to the seasonal influenza in Italy in 2016-17, when there were nearly 25,000 excess deaths attributable to influenza-related illnesses; in Germany in 2017-18, when there were over 25,000 excess deaths, in England in 2014-15, when there were over 28,300 excess deaths; or as recently as 2017-18, when there were 26,400 excess deaths. I’ve quoted these figures before, and will continue to quote them as evidence for my reasoned deduction — against the blind orthodoxy of assumption — that SARs-CoV-2 and the symptoms that maybe 1 in 10 of those infected with it will develop, and which according to recent estimates kills maybe 0.1 per cent of those infected and most likely less, is very much comparable to and equivalent to seasonal influenza, as the monitoring of excess deaths in Europe shows.

    Imagine a camp in which 770 people are lying on 770 separate bunks, stacked one on top of the other. This represents the 18 per cent of the population and 12.2 million people in the UK that are over 65. One of them, aged 82, and therefore more than 2 years over the average life expectancy for a man in the UK, has died. At the time of dying he tested positive for SARs-CoV-2, possibly contracted in the hospital in which he has been a patient for the past 16 days, half of them while sedated on a ventilator that took over his breathing, causing rapid weight loss and atrophy of his muscles. This is not only an image of the 15,850 people over 60 who have died from COVID-19 in England and Wales, but also the painful, unnecessary and cruel bio-politics of the crisis our response to those deaths has created, in which elderly and sick citizens have been deprived of the palliative care they should be receiving in their passage to death in order to justify the lockdown not only of the other 769 people in the camp, but also of the other 4,277 people under the age of 65 living in 6 other camps, all under the surveillance and control of our police and security forces aided and abetted by a growing body of citizen enforcers and informers.

    The widespread belief — and all but universal assertion in our mainstream and social media — that the threat of coronavirus justifies imposing a State of Exception on 2.9 billion people across the globe is a product, first, of World Health Organisation and UK Government guidelines on identifying and attributing deaths to COVID-19 that that would otherwise be listed as a respiratory disease such as bronchopneumonia or pneumonia; and, second, of the reporting and exaggeration of those already exaggerated numbers outside of any context by the press and media. In fact, not only have official deaths from COVID-19 been hugely exaggerated as a result of the Government guidelines on subsuming all other contributing causes into this category, but the statistics on deaths in any other year where the underlining cause was respiratory disease are hugely underestimated. In the UK, deaths in which the patient has an influenza virus for which, following standard procedure, they havent been tested are typically listed under a contributing and far more serious disease such as cancer or motor neurone disease, or simply as old age, even when the final illness was a respiratory infection. Even given the comparable mortality rates between COVID-19 and seasonal influenza, the changes to the taxonomy of this crisis has skewed the figures towards raising the threat of the former. This can only have been done to serve a bio-political agenda.

    History teaches us that dictatorships dont arrive all at once and fully formed. They creep up, step by step, each one removing a little more of our rights and freedoms, until regulations we would have risen up against in outrage just a few months ago are meekly accepted as justified, proportionate and lawful. This week, as anticipated, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 were amended to extend the lockdown prohibitions as follows:

    ‘The prohibition applies both to leaving the place where a person is living without reasonable excuse, and also to staying outside that place without reasonable excuse.’

    In the Explanatory Memorandum to this amendment to the martial law under which we now live, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, a 41 year-old former computer software salesman with a background in the housing market but with no knowledge either of constitutional law or of epidemiology, declared:

    ‘In my view the provisions of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.’

    Before we can talk about how to organise resistance to the State of Exception under which it now appears we will be living for the foreseeable future, we need to challenge the all but universal assumption that these dictatorial prohibitions and the surveillance state on which they are based — whether justifiably or not, whether proportionately or not, whether legally or not — have any basis in an increase in deaths caused by COVID-19 above or even equivalent to the usual rate of deaths from influenza.

    It’s for this reason that I continue to read these statistics, as others apparently are not, and try to show as clearly and patiently as I can why there is no basis for this assumption. Quite the opposite. What they show is that, despite the attempts to subject him to the bio-politics of power, Giorgio Agamben was not showing symptoms of paranoia, indulging in fantasies, exhibiting signs of dementia, in a state of denial,* or being a conspiracy theorist when he wrote, two months ago, that coronavirus is ‘not too different from the normal influenzas that affect us every year’. On the contrary, he was speaking what almost nobody is speaking any longer: the truth — not only about the virus but, more importantly, about how it is being employed by our governments, by our media and by their corporate backers in the service of the bio-politics of what, in his most recent reflection, Agamben describes as a new totalitarianism:

    ‘From many sides the hypothesis is now being formulated that in reality we are experiencing the end of a world, that of bourgeois democracies, founded on rights, parliaments and the division of powers, which is giving way to a new despotism; that, as regards the pervasiveness of controls and the cessation of all political activity, it will be worse than the totalitarianisms that we have known so far. American political scientists call it the Security State, which is a state in which “for security reasons” (in this case of “public health”), any limit can be imposed to individual freedoms. And the control that is exercised through video cameras and now, as has been proposed, through mobile phones, far exceeds any form of control exercised under totalitarian regimes such as fascism or Nazism.’

    Simon Elmer
    Architects for Social Housing

    * Not coincidentally, my subsequent article on the criteria for registering COVID-19 deaths, Manufacturing Consensus, drew forth the comment that: ‘The author of this cogently-asserted bollocks needs to Google denial.’

  6. shinichi says:

    新型コロナウィルスと哲学者たち
    Covid-19 and philosophers

    by 國分功一郎

    東京大学 東アジア藝文書院

    https://www.eaa.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ja/2020/04/30/2717/

    國分功一郎氏は、先のパネルで王氏も言及したアガンベンやナンシー、さらにバトラーやジジェクといった哲学者たちの新型コロナウィルスに関する反応を整理した上で、特にアガンベンに着目して論じた。とりわけ國分氏が重視したのが、アガンベンが3月17日に発表した二番目の論考(「補足説明」)である。そこでアガンベンは、死者(遺体)が何者にも弔いの声もかけられず、ただ抹消されていく現状をどう考えるのか、そして人間が苦労して勝ち取った自由の核心である「移動の自由」を、安全のために簡単に犠牲にしてしまってよいのかと、と訴えた。

    さらに、アガンベンの4月15日の最新の論考(「質問」)では、「殉教」という宗教者の在り方に触れながら、教会(Church)に対して、病者を見舞い、死者を弔うことを諦めている状況を「科学の小間使い」といった厳しい口調で問い質してもいる。加えて非常事態における権限という名目で、立法権力が行政権力に乗り越えられている現状にも批判の矛先を向けた。最後の点について、國分氏は、日本の場合、今回のコロナウィルス騒動以前から、行政権力による立法権力の乗り越えが半ば常態化してしまっており、現状はより深刻であるという見解を示した。

    以上のように、アガンベンの突き付けた問いは、一貫して「死者の権利」や「移動の自由」といった人間であるための条件を生存のために簡単に捨て去ってもよいのか、そうした生存だけに価値を置く社会に生きるということは一体どういうことなのか、というものであった。勿論、生存が何よりも大事であることは言うまでもない。しかし國分氏は、そこに対して立ち止まって考えるということを、いかに困難であっても簡単に諦めてはいけないと述べ、改めて哲学が果たすべき役割というものを浮き彫りにした。

  7. shinichi says:

    剥き出しの生から「優しい生」へ:生政治における優生に抵抗するために

    by evrluastngpx108

    https://note.com/evrluastingpx108/n/ndbf68705c141

    新型コロナウイルスにおける政治体制を「生政治」(biopolitics) と形容し、それに伴ってフーコーやアガンベンといった哲学者の名前が出てくる。「生政治」とは文字通り、生きる政治、生かされる政治であり、そこで生きて、生かされるのは権力ではなく、私たちのほうなのである。権力によって生きていれる、生かされるのだからいいのではないか、と思う人がいて当然だが、フーコーやアガンベンはそれこそがほんとうに危険な権力のありかただと考える。それはどういうことか。

    フーコーについては、まえ少し書いた(「生権力と恐怖についての端書」)ので(もちろんそれだけでは足りないのだが)、ここではイタリアの哲学者ジョルジョ・アガンベンについて、アガンベンの書いたものについて見てみることにしよう。なぜアガンベンが生政治、つまり権力に生かされる私たちのいる社会、が危険であると言うかというと、その社会で私たちが生かされているのは「剥き出しの生」(ゾーエー)だというからだ。生が剥き出しというと、野生の動物を思い浮かべるように、剥き出しの生を送る人たちはただ単に自分の生存のみを考えているような人たちだ。つまり、剥き出しの生の枠組みのなかでは、人間は生存だけのために生きている。

    新型コロナウイルスなどの感染症に対する疫学的な対応として、人間を人口として、その様々なラベル(健康状態、年齢、性別、人種、病歴など)によって振り分けされる。ニュースでは、前日比で何人の感染者が増減したという人口、人の数に基づいた報道がなされ、感染者は何県在住、何十代の何性、というプライバシー保護を無視した報道が日々なされている。プライバシーの侵害はもちろん倫理的に糾弾されるべきであるが、ここでは人を個人としてではなく、ある集団として、数学的な値として表明されていることを問題にしたい。このような人を人口として扱う社会においての唯一の目標は感染者の人口を、数字を減らす、なくす、という点にある。つまり、値をゼロにすればよい。数字のみで表象される人間は生存以外の価値がないことは確かだ。生存してほしいから隔離する、生存してほしいから外出禁止令を出すのであって、「人間らしい生活」(ここでは「剥き出しでない生」=生の形式、ビオスのこと)をしてほしいために隔離するのではない。生政治における権力にとって、人々が「人間らしい生活」をしようがしまいが関係ない。人口がないと権力じたいが成立しないので、彼らの生存しか問題ではない。

    生権力にとって人間は生存以外価値がないので、死んでしまった人々は気にする必要がない。アガンベンは2020年3月17日に書いた、新型コロナウイルスについての論考(Giorgio Agamben, “Chairimenti,” Quodlibet, http://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-chiarimenti)において、彼は新型コロナウイルスによる死者が葬儀されず、親族も死体を見ることもできないことに対して強い危機感を抱いている。「死者—私たちの死者—は葬儀を執りおこなわれる権利がないし、愛しい人の死骸がどうなるのかはっきりしない。私たちの隣人なるものは抹消された。… 生き延び以外の価値を持たない社会とはどのようなものか?」(ジョルジョ・アガンベン、「説明」、高桑和巳訳、『現代思想 2020年5月号 48:7』、2020年、p.20)。

    哲学者の國分功一郎は、NHK BS1の番組(2020年5月23日放送「コロナ新時代への提言~変容する人間・社会・倫理~」)で、このアガンベンの発言を紹介しながら、この「死者の権利」(または死者の周りの生存者の権利)が保障されない社会において、死者が築き上げてきた過去は無視され、ぺらっとした現在のみが残る、と語る。そういう社会においては、過去から続くルールや価値観は無視される。そして、國分は、こうした死者の権利が無視された疫学的な生政治が蔓延しているこの社会に少しも違和感を持たない人々、それを可能にしている社会に、違和感を持っている。

    生権力は人口を生かすことによって成立し、死んだ人たちは人口から排除されると言ったものの、現在の新型コロナウイルスの対応にあたっている政治権力が人口を十分に生かしているかといえば、そうとはいえない。各地で特定の人々がとくにウイルスに対して脆弱である。それはホームレスの人や貧困層にいる人、有色人種や外国人居住者、移民や難民、妊婦、LGBTQの人、障害者など、「社会的弱者」とくくられる人たちである。生政治の話は置いておいて、いま、彼らが権力によって十分に生かされているとは言えないばかりか、権力の不手際によって死ぬかもしれない状況に追いやられている。これはもともとあった格差や差別が新型コロナウイルスによって顕在化された、と言うことはできる。が、もう一歩進むと、生政治が機能していない、とも言える。生政治が機能していることが良いことだとは言わないが、みなに生きる権利、社会的な基盤がないことはおかしい。では、みなに生きる権利が与えられている社会とみなが生かされている生政治の社会とはなにがちがうのか。みなが生かされているのであれば、それで良いのではないか。

    ここで社会学者の立岩真也の安楽死の議論を参考にしたい。なぜ安楽死か、というのは置いておくとして、彼の安楽死(積極的安楽死)に反対する主張の論理を見ていく。立岩は、安楽死する人、すると決めた人は、間違った社会の価値を教えこまれた、と言う。

    自分でなにかを決めること(自己決定)は、通常、他人に負担がかかるので、他人にとって都合が悪い(「都合の悪い自己決定」)。例えば、足が動かない人がどこかに行きたいという自己決定をした場合、その自己決定は必然的に他人を巻き込む。だれかがその人をどこかに動かす(例えば、車いすを押す、など)必要がある。他人に負担がかかるとはいえ、その人の自己決定は認められるべきだ。足が動く人が自分でどこかに行けるのに、足の動かない人は他人がいないとどこかに行けないから、行けない、というのはおかしい。まず、だれかがその人を手伝えば済むことで、社会全体がその人を手伝ってもいい。立岩のテーゼである「決定権は存在の一部である」はここからくる。「決定は存在の一部である。決定することが決定しないことよりも価値が高いのではない。このことと、自己決定が、その人の存在を尊重することの一部に、しかし重要な一部として位置づくこととはまったく矛盾しない」(立岩真也、『弱くある自由へ 増補新版』、青土社、2020年、p.27)。

    しかし、安楽死における自己決定は、他人にとって都合がいい。他人にとって、例えば体が動かない人が決めた安楽死は、その人を手伝わなくて済むようになるので、負担が減り、都合がいい。とくに家族にとっては、その人が生き続けていれば、負担になる(医療費がかさむ、という経済的な負担や身体的な負担)。よって、家族はその人が安楽死したければ認めたい、という優しさを口実に、自分たちの負担をもっとも減らすことのできる人たちである。つまり、自己決定された安楽死(積極的安楽死) は「都合のいい自己決定」である。

    このとき、人を安楽死に向かわせるのは、他人に負担をかけたくないという気持ちである。この気持ちは優しさではなく、間違った社会の価値である、と立岩は言う。その間違った価値とは、自分のことは自分でコントロールするのが善い、という私的所有の原理(「自分でつくったものは自分のものである」という価値)である(立岩真也、『私的所有論 第2版』、生活書院、2013年、p.69, 70)。安楽死すると決めた人たちの多くは、自分のことを自分で制御できないから、それが悪いと思って、安楽死を決める。最期だけは自分のことを自分で制御したいと、自分の死を自分でコントロールする。しかし、私的所有の価値は間違っている。自分でつくったものが自分のものであるという因果関係は恣意的なものであって、成り立たない。ここまでが、立岩の議論の簡単な説明だ。

    このような状況に置かれる人たちの多くは先ほどあげた「社会的弱者」という人たちである。例えば、障害者は社会に自分たちの自己決定を認めさせる運動(社会モデルに基づいたバリアフリーの整備など)を行う一方で、安楽死における自己決定には反対を示してきたし、今もしている。例えば、体が徐々に動かなくなるALS患者(松本茂 http://www.arsvi.com/w/ms08.htm、など)は安楽死を拒否し、人工呼吸器をつけて、長く生きようとする/した。これは「都合の良い自己決定」=優生への抵抗である。「できない」から、「異なる」から、存在しないべき、という価値への反抗。障害者だけでなく、ほかの社会的弱者も「できない」や「異なる」といった意味で同じである。

    そして、この優生は新型コロナウイルスの渦中でも起こっている。それは障害者などの「社会的弱者」への不十分な対応である。しかし、この不十分な対応は人口を生かせたい生権力のありかたと矛盾する。だれであれ、生存していれば、権力が成り立つ要素、数字となる生政治において、「社会的弱者」であれ、そうでないであれ、関係ないはずだ。しかし、生政治は「社会的弱者」を人口の一部に組み込まない。彼らはもともとその存在を否定されている。では、彼らはどうするか。彼らは、彼ら自身が人口の一部に組み込まれることを望まない。人口の一部に組み込まれれば、最初にその生をぞんざいに扱われるのはわかっているからだ。生政治の価値を拒否する。彼らは、生きることを希望するのである。

    立岩は、存在すること、生存することを肯定する。これは人口を生かそうとする生権力との親和性が高いようにみえる。しかし、立岩は「剥き出しでない生」、アガンベンのいう「生の形式」、ビオスのほうを肯定する。そして、その「生の形式」における存在の形は決定権を含む。基本的に、自己決定は認められるべきである。だから、移動の自由も認められるべきである。彼らは人口の一部ではないので、生政治のコントロール圏外である。だからこそ、足の動く人は生権力によって移動の自由を制限させられ、生権力の及ばない足の動かない人は好きなところに行ける。ある意味で、優生は失敗したのだ。ここで、生政治の弱点が露呈される。生政治における人口の管理、監視はすでに破綻している。だからこそ、私たちは「優秀な生のみを選りすぐり、あとは淘汰する」優生から、「優しい生」へと進まなければならない。人の自己決定を「優しさ」で手伝ったり、あるときは手伝わなかったりする。そして、その「優しさ」に必要な、社会的、経済的な基盤をおく。すれば、生政治における優生から身を引くことができる。

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