Authoritarian Pandemic Policies: A Reckoning

John H.S. Aberg

With the Corona crisis another chapter was written in the biopolitical book of life. During the last two years, we have observed an unprecedented level of irrationality and political ill will in dealing with the pandemic. Vaccine mandates, vaccine apartheid, lockdowns, masking of schoolchildren, and ensuing restrictions on our freedom of assembly and movement are some of the manifold examples where states went wrong. 

Otherwise vocal scholars – aiming their intellectual ammunition against the global capitalist system, corporate political influence, and unjust social structures – were conspicuously silent, either defending what was unfolding or they were simply afraid, afraid to tell the truth, knowing the repercussions it would have.

I take a critical stance against the state of exception and many of the policies implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, but in particular I argue against the wide use of exclusionary social closure based on vaccination status. The use of vaccine mandates and the vaccine passport are emblematic of the authoritarian biopolitical security state that was, and still is, unfolding in the wake of the pandemic.

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