Coming Community, part 2

(I first wrote about the coming community in January 2012.)

During the last couple of months I have had an interesting social experiment. In the beginning of June I established a Facebook page called Ihmekahvila – Café of Beat, a type of inclusive community group with the point of organizing events with a group of people. While the concept is yet to catch fire – currently posting event proposals feels awkward because there is no strong sense of community – I have had social experiences which I believe will build towards a practical understanding of the coming community:

[F]or Agamben, the coming community is a community that ‘do[es] not possess any identity to vindicate or any bond of belonging for which to seek recognition’.

I understand Agamben’s “whatever” like this: the members of the community can be whatever they are, and it doesn’t affect their belonging to the community. Allowing “whateverness” doesn’t mean indifference towards diversity, but gentle curiosity towards it.

Here are some practical characteristics of the coming community:

  • inclusive vs. exclusive –> no specific identity, fluctuates in different situations (e.g. the organizer, the spectator, the mediator)
  • leadership –> emergence of ideas and practices; importance of charisma and rhetoric
  • self-confidence of individuals: “my thoughts and ideas are important and I want to share them with others; I’m not deeply hurt by criticism”
  • partly technology-mediated: Facebook enables social possibilities without social imperatives (e.g. event invitations can be easily sent to people who don’t often take part in them)
  • rapid adaptation through feedback and dialogue: Facebook makes it easy to have feedback discussions with group members, for example about the behavior of some other members. In addition to the higher-level “coordinative publicity”, there are many “feedback publicities” in the community. Some able individuals work as mediators between them, transmitting the feedback messages to the community coordination. This allows quick adjustment of collective behavior.
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