The Virus as a Metaphor, 251-262

Attila Kovacs


Nowadays everyone makes predictions: what our post-COVID-19 society will look like, what will happen to the economy, how we should use our energy in this lock down, etc ... Through this essay I will make a call to philosophy or more precisely to three prominent figures of French philosophy, whose visions / predictions have already been fulfilled in our times and I try to present those teachings that can be deduced from these predictions in the current situation. I will analyse 1) the inverted metaphor (Camus, Plague): today we are no longer talking about the non-existent (plague) that “represents” the existing (Nazism), but rather the non-existence or exactly what is to come (totalitarianism) is represented by the existing (virus); 2) that the 1930’s are ahead of us (Granel) by the fact that in our age, totalitarian domination centered on authority is represented by technology, especially information and communication technology, and during this period these trends will amplify and will manifest now, without any embarrassment, because there is a reason: the virus; 3) about the era of ecstasy of communication (Baudrillard) which makes the private sphere to be projected by means of technology in the public sphere, making it possible, in terms of totalitarian domination, to be exposed and vulnerable to algorithms, in the face of artificial intelligence, the latter being concentrated in the hands of a few, and on the other hand, everything external becomes internal by the fact that we are constantly connected to the all-encompassing communication network, the outside reaching my bedroom, being metamorphosed into inside, this being the other side of totalitarian dominance, of manipulation, when everything flows unfiltered inside us, without any halo or firewall protecting us.


COVID-19, totalitarianism, Camus, Granel, Baudrillard, Bjung Chul-Han, Marcus Aurelius, technology, communication, alienation

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ISSN 2668-0009; ISSN-L 2668-0009