Sunday, March 02, 2014

Illiberty in Biohacking, Personal Data Rights, Neuro-diversity, and the Automation Economy

Illiberty is a new concept that describes the notion of a lack of liberty. In one way it is strange that a word for the opposite of liberty and freedom does not exist given how strongly these ideals feature in social, political, and cultural life. However, illiberty is quite subtle; it does not have the bluntness of the freedom-slavery opposition. Illiberty is the sense of a lack of liberty, particularly where there should be liberty. The justice-injustice pairing is similar to the liberty-illiberty relation.

As individuals, we continue to wake up to higher levels of consciousness in constituting ourselves as subjects, and now is the time to develop an awareness and response for new situations of illiberty.

Illiberty extends the familiar equity, social justice, privilege, and access struggles and covers a larger conceptual ground. Here are some new cases of illiberty, many of which we may be unaware: 
  • Labor Rights: Mind liberation from working in the corporation, working for others
  • Personal Data Rights: rights and responsibilities conferred upon personal data, especially big health science data streams: personal genome data, pacemaker data, biometric data, quantified self-tracking gadgetry data, neuro-data streams
  • Citizen Scientist Rights: Non-institutional conduct of scientific research, biorights, biohacking, the biocitizen, community labs
  • Neural Rights: Neurodiversity, ASD (autism spectrum disorder), introversion, mind emancipation 
  • Economic Rights: Basic income guarantee (JET Vol 24, Issue 1), automation economy, post-scarcity economy
  • Augmentation Rights: Rights and responsibilities of augmented persons
Illiberty Studies – Research Agenda 
  1. Develop the illiberty concept drawing on: Derrida (democracy to come – inherent illiberty in the conceptualization of liberty), Rancière (emancipation), de Soto (responsibility-taking maturation), Dussel (liberty recast as liberation), Foucault (self-imposed disciplinary power) and Deleuze (micro-fascisms in one’s own thinking). 
  2. Identify the conceptual shifts and argument structure in the historical development of equality philosophies (decolonialism, feminism, queer theory, transgender, marriage equality, neurodiversity, polyamory) 
Illiberty Working Group

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