Health passport is nothing but apartheid in a lab coat

I recently decided to remain silent in the face of health policies in Brazil, mainly because many of the issues discussed were beyond my analytical competences, and, as frightening as it may sound to some contemporary ears, we are not obliged to have a opinion about everything, especially about what we do not know. But authoritarian politics, in particular, sounded my analytical alarm ‒ and authoritarian politics are part of my area of ​​research. What am I talking about? From the already famous and acclaimed “health pass” and the increasing compulsory exclusions of the unvaccinated from public life.

Well then, let me start the critique by justifying some personal points of this essay: I have the intellectual curse of being hooked on the modern age and its politics, and that’s why some political issues and practices naturally sound absurd to me, especially when I look at them against the backdrop of twentieth-century history. If you have some ethical-philosophical principle linked to the human wreckage left by the unimaginable horrors that took place in the last century, then you cannot find the existence of a “sanitary passport” or any segregation of the unvaccinated at all conceivable. Yes, I already start from that assumption.

It is so bizarre to defend such an idea in the 21st century that it is almost stupid. Excluding people from civil society, making it impossible for them to enter a country, event, and other public gatherings, because such people chose not to be vaccinated, this is not at all reasonable – I’m sorry. And allow me to shield myself from the flaws that may arise from now on, I did get vaccinated, yes sir, I have Pfizer in my veins, literally. I’m not an anti-vaccination, I’m anti-authoritarian.

For those who are a little lost so far, let me be clearer. The 20th century was the century of political experimentation; ideologies from both political spectrums have tested numerous social engineering and sanitation tactics, and three of them have been particularly inhumane on a previously ill-conceived level: apartheid against blacks, remarkably horrendous mainly ‒ in South Africa and the US (in the latter last , most often called the “racial segregation law”); Nazi anti-Semitism (mainly German), and eugenics (of countless nations and ideological creeds).

All three of these political experiments spawned, in the last century, one of the greatest – perhaps the greatest – genocide human history. The horrors rose to such a level of inhumanity that, at certain times, it was difficult to see clearly and distinctly what was actually being perpetuated; from the extreme right to the extreme left, these ideas were, with greater or lesser intensity, practiced under sanitary, political and racial arguments. The common philosophical points of these three political hecatombs are the severe dehumanization of a human group; the supposedly “justifiable” lynching of a mob in exchange for the social, economic and human security of a glorious and blessed majority; the supposedly justifiable social separation of the “good”, “clean” and “pure”, from the abominable rest.

Both apartheid, anti-Semitism and eugenics start from the segregationist mentality, in other words: whether it is necessary to separate a certain social group so that another is safe and develops in peace; and between segregation and extermination, history has shown that there is a very short path. American blacks, until the beginning of the decade 1951, were seen as “dirty”; toilets, swimming pools and designated places on public transport for the “colored” were more than “normal” for many. Numerous pseudoscientific studies and philosophical articles provided the highly elaborated reasons and arguments to support the segregation. The same happened with apartheid, the South African civil society of Broederbond – self-dominated “solvers of social problems” – theorized and substantiated the reasons for apartheid, while the National Party endeavored to pass racist laws under arguments based on these “solvers”.

Dictators do not return liberties, just as hell does not reverse souls

Anti-Semitism, in turn, found a thousand other academics willing to give reason to the segregation of Jews, in addition to elaborating cheap philosophies to support the absurdities presented by nascent Nazism. New and intricate political-ideological organizations that sought to justify the hatred of Jews emerged under intellectual banners. This was the case of the Völkisch Movement, which relied on anthropological and biological distortions in order to justify the German superiority over the Jewish people.

Eugenics was another “uncontested” “scientific” and evolutionary idea that he found heaps of justifications elaborated for his base ends; what could be more “theoretically scientific” than Darwin’s propositions? Now, eugenics would just be the process of accelerating the natural selection of species, but instead of “natural”, now the engine would be “scientific” ‒ and, why not, political?!

All these ideas that washed the soil of the 20th century with human blood and planted a damned crop of millions upon millions of murdered bodies must have been buried along with the authoritarian shames of that time. There was a mute consensus at the end of World War II, which then turned into a fundamental certainty after the fall of the USSR: we cannot return to the inhuman barbarism that we were able to engender. The liberal, liberal and conservative social philosophy of the late twentieth century was based on this common starting point.

In Origins of totalitarianism, book of 1932 by the famous Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, the author talks about the “irrigating mentality” of totalitarianism; an imaginative principle that appears like a philosophical worm and that, little by little, slowly scales the walls of our moral conscience and other barriers of common sense until it reaches a free ground to perpetrate new absurdities.

Arendt, when watching the process of conviction of Adolf Eichmann, reported in the book Eichmann in Jerusalem, shows the defendant’s passivity in the face of the horrible accusations imputed to him, since his help in the process from the holocaust to facilitating the smuggling of Jews from other parts of Europe to the Polish slaughterhouse. Most of the time, the accused was seen to be apathy towards the crimes he had committed. At other times, his answer was limited to an emptiness: “I was just following orders”. Such scenario led the philosopher to theorize her most famous concept “the banality of evil”. Evil would just be a banality before existence, something that escalated the ruptures of conscience, which found in the middle of moral ditches certain justifications that gave, here or there, a more or less convincing basis for political disgust, and period, that it would be more than enough to add millions of followers to engender segregation, slaughter and holocausts.

In summary, this is how politically bizarre ideas are born, and with the right people and occasions for the climb, it does not usually take long for such policies to devolve into the immolation of social groups considered “less dignified”.

The “sanitary passport” and its evident segregation are nothing more than this larva that is climbing the wall of social conscience, finding more or less elaborate arguments, while exploring the cracks in public morality. Such a passport is parasitic on a specific political moment, in which the authoritarian larva creates justifications for segregation, separates entire groups from society and – consciously or not – defiles them as impure, unworthy of freely enjoying entertainment, transport and public access. If we do not follow a “scientific” guide supposedly based on undisputed studies and opinions “of the pure”, then we will be excluded from planes, public transport, jobs, churches and shopping malls.

This is not a situation hypothetical of the columnist who writes here, Italy is fining those who work without having the COVID vaccine up to date, those who do not have an updated vaccination card, are simply not authorized to use public transport. In France, the unvaccinated are losing their jobs because they didn’t get vaccinated, all this with the support of new legislation and to the effusive applause of the progressive media. Pernambuco ‒ to exemplify the thing here in Brazil ‒ has already decreed that proof of the vaccination schedule against COVID-19, for access to public places in that state, is already mandatory; other states must follow, with greater or lesser rigor, the idea of ​​the health passport.

Keeping the proper proportions ‒ of course ‒, what really differs such acts of segregation from the yellow star on the chest of Jews Germans are just some details and political provisions. I’m not saying that such contemporary health policies will scale the wall until new holocausts and gulags come, but who is really willing to pay to see how far such health policymakers are willing to go? How many in 1932 would say that Hitler would do what he did? Who in 1917 would have thought that the Bolshevik revolution would culminate in Holodomor and the Great Terror?

Much of the traditional media are supporting the measures segregationists, much of the “enlightened population” is applauding authoritarian measures as profoundly humanizing. Speaking of authoritarianism, a biologist influencer has already asked the country’s political leaders, in the largest circulation newspaper in Brazil, to establish a necessary authoritarianism; but he was just a brave man who voiced what countless other progressives also advocate. The “necessary authoritarianism” has been the media and political mantra of world progressivism since the beginning of the pandemic; it’s become a cute thing to be a white-coated despot.

Finally, dear ones, we are trading our individual liberties for a false social security that did not prove effective even at the height of the pandemic. The real problem with exchanging freedoms for authoritarian security is that authoritarians are those who make laws and decrees, those who do not usually keep promises and who draw in their own hand what is right and wrong socially. It should be obvious, but I’ll remember here: dictators don’t give back liberties, just as hell doesn’t reverse souls.


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