As the pandemic became widely recognized, some policy-makers seeking to reopen the markets and recover productivity sought recourse to the idea of herd immunity, which presumes that those who are strong enough to endure the virus will develop immunity and they will come to constitute over time a strong population able to work. One can see how the herd immunity thesis works quite well with social Darwinism, the idea that societies tend to evolve in which the most fit survive and the least fit do not. Under conditions of pandemic, it is, of course, black and brown minorities who count as vulnerable or not destined to survive.
A conversation with the theorist about her new book, The Force of Nonviolence, and the need for global solidarity in the pandemic world
Francis Wade speaks with Judith Butler about her new book The Force of Nonviolence. They touch on the current response to the coronavirus and discussions about herd immunity.