I’m not recommending that anybody read Giorgio Agamben because his writing is very academic and indigestible. So I’ll briefly retell in normal language.
Agamben is a very leftist philosopher, by the way.
Agamben says that declaring a state of exception is very convenient. It allows to deprive citizens of individual rights. States of exception tend to become the norm. Once you agree to the idea that a state of exception justifies suspension of rights, you are done. It’s not going away. One obvious example is 9/11. Has anybody bothered to give back the rights taken away under the pretext of a terrorist threat? Of course, not.
The state of emergency never ends. The exception becomes an everyday reality. Some of your rights get taken away. Then another emergency arises. More rights disappear.
It’s always some “unprecedented crisis” that is used as an excuse to deprive us of our rights for a supposedly short period of time (“two weeks to flatten the curve”) but then the emergency extends (just until we get enough ventilators, just until we set up contact tracing, just until we get the vaccine). New reasons come up to prolong the state of exception. Then the emergency becomes the new normal. The rights never come back. A new emergency arises to deprive you of more rights. And so on.
Agamben wrote this in 1995, by the way.