Indeed, insofar as blogs and other ‘user-generated’ sites assume the model of democracy or community, the question of exclusion (of what/who is included and what/who is not), becomes depoliticised. That is, less a question of differences than numerical calculations. Thus, the purportedly open character of blogs and social networks takes its cue from money as the universal equivalent, assuming the same structure of concrete indifference (and exclusion). It is no coincidence that one ‘how to blog successfully’ site recommends regarding blogs as pieces of ‘real estate’ – the model of landed property is insistent. Even if such property is digital, it is made intimate, as the technics of self – and through the conduit of a ‘labour theory of right.’ In this way, relation, and non-relation, are no longer questions, an experiment in politics, but a market to be expanded.
The specificity of the political, then, is difference – but it is also the cut of difference that can, perhaps, cut both ways. But it will have to be politics conceived otherwise. Neither the difference of competition which puts difference to work. Nor the difference of a dialectics which works out differences. Nor, for that matter the difference as the work of self (as in Schmitt’s existential theology of friend and enemy, toiling on the vocabularies and borders of identity and self-determination). On the contrary, it will have to be difference and relation posed as a question, each time. To be sure, the argument which follows cannot be that people should not be paid, or have an income. But this is not an ontological predicament. Aestheticisations of poverty are no less theological or odious than is Protestantism’s work ethic. Rather, conflicts on the net, as elsewhere, need not continue to have recourse to a labour theory of rights to be political struggles. What is at stake here is by no means confined to the internet...
And the second
(via Quick Study).