Corona Crisis: Life versus Freedom?

Avantika Tewari


Agamben says, “What becomes of human relations in a country that grows accustomed to living in this way for who one knows how long? What is a society that cleaves to no value other than that of survival?” The following paper is an examination of the dominant responses to the Corona Crisis, including a brief critical appraisal of Naomi Klein’s “Disas- ter Capitalism.” The paper argues that Agamben’s biopolitical reading of COVID relies on a latent bourgeois-humanist worldview. The paper seeks to enumerate the ways in which Marxist postulates such as ‘class struggle’ and the ‘internal contradiction of capitalism’ can be a useful addition to the existing debates that try to address the concerns of an emergent sur- veillance society as social relations are inflected with, contestations and contradictions between liberty and security under a capitalist system. As we find ourselves in the middle of uncertain times, caught between infinite possibilities, this paper is an attempt at exploring the ways in which state of exception, biopolitics and class struggle can speak to each other to fill the theoretical gaps to study the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Agamben, capitalism, class, freedom, struggle, surveillance


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DOI: 10.17808/des.58.1777


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