Chris Hables Gray has published a Cyborg Bill of Rights. I see that it was last updated in 1997, so it might be played out by now, but I'm sorry; I have to weigh in on this. It's one of the most right-wing (in the libertarian sense) things I've ever read! The word "individual" appears in it 16 times; the individual is privileged above all other things. This flies in the face of Haraway's strong critique of Western individualism--her use of the cyborg as metaphor for the fact that nothing is really individual anymore. We're all amalgams, and the fact that I'm part machine and part human, thanks to my prosthetic hammer, anvil, and stirrup, contact lenses, etc. can be analogized to community. Western individualism, Haraway argues, has interfered with unity among people, community. It seems to me that this Bill of Rights, which invokes the individual so frequently and earnestly, shouldn't invoke the cyborg at all. Consider this quotation:
Freedom of Consciousness. The consciousness of the citizen shall be protected by the First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendments. Unreasonable search and seizure in this, the most sacred and private part of an individual citizen, shall be absolutely prohibited. Individuals shall retain all rights to modify their consciousness through psychopharmological, medical, genetic, spiritual and other practices in so far as they do not threaten the fundamental rights of other individuals and citizens and if they do so at their own risk and expense.
What are the implications of this for community? If I want to take 100 hits of acid, that's my individual prerogative, right? MY self, my modified consciousness. That would surely kill me and affect my community, but so what?
Link courtesy of Dr. B.