Not all citizens have strictly obeyed the confinement orders, despite censorship and social punishment. It occurs because other forces move in people other than just obedience and fear.
There are many voices that, in these days of pandemic and confinement, draw a panorama in which, in the face of individual freedom, socio political control is gaining justified by the common good of the health of the population. From there, a projection is made towards the future in which, supposedly, these external and internal regulations would continue to prevail.
However, a wheel of questions opens regarding what will come next. Can we predict our behavior from the exceptional moment that we live?
It is true that since the proclaimed “state of alarm” by the coronavirus we have integrated a whole series of rules restricting freedom of movement, both towards ourselves and towards others, previously unthinkable. But what will happen after the de-refinement? What other forces will move us?
PEOPLE IN SOCIETY
The writer and activist Paul B. Preciado carried out an analysis of the control situation these days, under the gaze of what has been called biopolitics. In other words, how the institutions of power use our bodies to exercise policies of social control in them.
The concept comes from the philosopher Michel Foucault who divides this domain into a macro-power, that of the structures of the State, and a micro-power, such as the family or schools, which would be replicas and chains of transmission of that central watchman.
We observe the way in which, depending on the political leader who takes one or other measures on this crisis, strong defenders or opponents of those decisions emerge. We can even say that, as the infections have progressed, the identification with the most severe provisions has permeated the vast majority of people.
We are not just a body. Nor exclusively members of a community or country. We are a combinatorial body-mind that, since Descartes, has been claimed as a separate and disjoint duality, which also lives in society.
What runs through history is precisely how we articulate these aspects of our existence.
A FIGHT WITH OUR MOST VISCERAL SELVES
The human mind cannot be understood as something impersonal, programmable or separable, but is in continuous relationship with our feelings, exercising a fundamental role in our lives.
We cannot leave out the desire for contact with the organic, with the visceral, with what makes us passionate or saddened and its physical expression, with caresses and hugs. And we are also witnessing this.
Not all citizens have strictly obeyed the confinement orders, despite censorship and social punishment. This can give us an idea that other forces move in people that are not only those of obedience.
Therefore, in the lack of refinement it seems quite probable that, although the fear of contagion will continue for a long time, we can also foresee that it may lose weight and in some people the desire to meet and share, live and direct, all the mortgaged emotions in each one’s home.
WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER
Breaking the individualism from which, we come, as well as the physical distancing that has been growing in recent decades with technologies, may be one of the ways to resolve this social symptom of leaving out bodies and their affections.
Desire is the essence of the human, and that will have to find its way after a critical situation like the current one.
This does not mean that, at the individual level, tensions cannot be produced by the struggle between absolute control of contagion and feeling free.
Reactive psychological systems such as phobias will surely appear, paranoias may also become more acute, or obsessives will need more rituals to feel that nothing escapes them, or sadness will invade our existence. But there will also be those who will raise their voices against restrictions or discrimination that threaten personal freedom. We must not forget that a symptom, from the psychoanalytic point of view, has a progressive aspect. It means that it is a resource of the human being against the feeling or reality of being deprived of his desire. It is the safeguard of the subjects against being used as mere objects, and this, even if it is based on a common reason or cause.
TOWARDS A MORE HUMANE WORLD
We must draw lessons from this extreme experience. One of them is too articulate knowing how to take care of ourselves with taking care of those around us, and no longer because of a temporary imposition, but because we have managed to place in their right place, those we estimate, who are a part of ourselves.
Let’s review how much time we dedicated to ours. That, in reality, everything we consumed was an act of freedom or alienation. In whose hands we have left the care of our elderly. What are the values that must prevail in our society?
Let’s check if we are battling for a more human world, or we are letting ourselves be carried away by an amorphous and automaton mass that lives only on orders and appearances.
Freedom is not something absolute but will always be linked to a certain ethical position vis-à-vis oneself and our desires, also vis-à-vis others, and with the institutions that we endow ourselves with as a society. There is much to learn and do.