Keywords: Lethal Challenge, Dialectics of Enlightenment, Inequality, Populism, Epistemological Prudence
Three aspects – two critical and the latter constructive – of a possible involvement of political philosophy in the reflection upon the Covid-19 pandemics are discussed in this article. First it is argued that the pandemics does not fulfil the standards for being defined as a «global or lethal challenge» in the narrow meaning given to this notion in the author’s books. Neither is it comparable with war. Second, it is not particularly meaningful to take the pandemics as a further instance of «dialectics of enlightenment» in the sense of what Horkheimer and Adorno describe as the domination over nature reverting into humanity being dominated by nature. Third, it is tentatively argued that the main political consequence of Covid-19 could be a new surge in inequality inside the social systems affected. This would again generate an environment favourable to populist movements and leaders, which have in the last years already inflicted blows upon liberal democracies. Prudence rather that overhastened predictions is however advised in front of a phenomenon still poorly known both in a biological and socioeconomic perspective.