Habermas on the legitimacy of lockdown (2022) Peter J. Verovšek. A defence for Habermas recent outbursts in which he supported restrictions of individual rights, to fight the pandemic. The article offers a useful analysis of their political thought concerning the current state(s) of exception and recaps the critique Habermas received. Their approach was said to summon a “biopolitical Leviathan”. Verovšek explains that in Habermas view “democracy requires that ‘all decisions of consequence will depend on the practical discourse of the participants” but this does not mean that individuals power should be unrestrained, rather that public institutions which are validated by democratic processes, will by their design guarantee that the voice of the people is heard. I think this portrays freedom of speech as an institutionally maintained platform for peoples assemblies. The freedom of speech, we see Convoy protests in Finland manifesting, get defined as advocating “anarchic, unfettered communicative freedom”. If I read it correctly Habermas believes that digital networks which enable opinion formation and mobilization (if need be), constitute the public sphere. This is why it is not necessary to “Convoy” to be heard (as people are already “heard” trough the networks they engage with).

[Habermas’s] social and political theory is rooted in the fact that human interactions can be interpreted from two different and incompatible viewpoints: the internal perspective of a participant in a ‘lifeworld’ and the external, ‘system’-based perspective of an observer. While the latter has certain advantages, most notably in governing efficient and materially productive market relations, Habermas worries about the ability of such functional, system-thinking to ‘colonize’ the lifeworlds of individuals by encroaching too far onto their daily lives and everyday interactions with others.

[…] prioritizing economic considerations (by privileging individual private rights) over the protection of life is precisely such a form of colonization. […] he noted that the ‘language of “value”, borrowed from the sphere of economics, encourages quantification. But a person’s autonomy cannot be treated in this way … there is no “choosing” one human life over another.

I think joining a political party (no matter the size) which grants its members a forum to debate and form collective statements is a Habermasian-move.