Byung-Chul Han: Survival Society

"The virus is a mirror. It shows what society we live in. We live in a survival society that is ultimately based on fear of death. Today survival is absolute, as if we were in a permanent state of war. All the forces of life are being used to prolong life. A society of survival loses all sense of the good life. Enjoyment is also sacrificed for health that is raised to an end in itself. The rigor of the no-smoking paradigm testifies to the hysteria of survival. The more life is one of survival, the more fear you have of death. The pandemic brings death, which we have carefully suppressed and outsourced, visible again. The constant presence of death in mass media makes people nervous. The hysteria of survival makes society so inhumane. Your neighbor is a potential virus carrier to stay away from. Older people have to die alone in their nursing homes because nobody is allowed to visit them because of the risk of infection. Is prolonging life by a few months better than dying alone? In our hysteria of survival, we completely forget what a good life is. For survival, we willingly sacrifice everything that makes life worth living: sociability, community and proximity. In view of the pandemic, the radical restriction of fundamental rights is unquestionably accepted. Religious services are prohibited even at Easter. Priests also practice social distancing and wear protective masks. They totally sacrifice faith to survival. Charity manifests itself as keeping a distance. Virology disempowers theology. Everyone is listening to the virologists who have absolute sovereignty of interpretation. The narrative of resurrection completely gives way to the ideology of health and survival. In the face of the virus, belief degenerates into a farce. And our Pope Francis? Saint Francis has hugged lepers ... The fear and panic of the virus is exaggerated. The average age of those who died of Covid19 in Germany is 80 or 81. The average life expectancy in Germany is 80.5. Our panicked reaction to the virus shows that something is wrong with our society." - Byung-Chul Han: Covid-19 has reduced us to a "society of survival"