c y b o r g m a n i f e s t o 2 . 0
:: s t r a t e g i e s
:: h o s p i t a l i t y
In her article "Hosting the Other: Cyberfeminist strategies for net-communities" Irina Aristarkhova draws partly upon Zielinski's argument to claim that one of the principles of net-communities, as of any community, is that of exlusion. She points to how the first net-communities did not reflect at all the utopian promise of an open-for-all, unregulated space, but instead were heavily policed; this relates to another often-forgotten etymological meaning of the word 'cyber-' as in the Greek 'kubernare' = 'to govern'. She calls upon the ideas of Jacques Derrida who argues that, exactly in the basic working of a community of excluding the other, it becomes an ethical and political responsibility to open up to this other who necessarily 'cannot be known'. Derrida calls this the principle of hospitality which is in fact, since dissociation and separation mark the relation to the other, a 'relationless relationship'.
I find this concept of hospitality, that urges for a repolitisation, a very useful one; however, I believe that the problem lies mere in the fact that the idea a community is 'coherent, unified, homogenous' is already a false idea. Instead, as we notice in the theories of electronic civil disobedience, it makes more sense to state that any community is always already internally diverse. When Derrida's notion of hospitality gets combined with the idea of the fragmented self and the potential for partial alliances, it would lead to the acknowledgement that relations can rely both on partial identification and unknowable difference, therefore being already endowed with the 'relationless relation'. This strategy would keep cyberspace the open structure it potentially is.
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