Immediatism

Peter Lamborn Wilson
Born 1945 (age 68–69)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Post-anarchism, individualist anarchism[1]
Main interests refusal of work, post-industrial society, mysticism, utopianism
Notable ideas Temporary Autonomous Zones

Peter Lamborn Wilson (pseudonym Hakim Bey; born 1945) is an American post-anarchist author, primarily known for advocating the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones.

Writings

In addition to his writings on lifestyle anarchism and Temporary Autonomous Zones, Bey has written essays on other topics such as Tong traditions, the utopian Charles Fourier, the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, alleged connections between Sufism and ancient Celtic culture, technology and Luddism, Amanita muscaria use in ancient Ireland, and sacred pederasty in the Sufi tradition.[2] He has also written about pederasty for NAMBLA Bulletin.[3]

Bey's poetic texts and poems have appeared in: P.A.N.; Panthology One, Two, and Three; Ganymede; Exquisite Corpse; and the various Acolyte Reader paperbacks. Many of these poems, including the 'Sandburg' series, are collected in the as-yet unpublished DogStar volume. Currently his works can be found regularly in publications like Fifth Estate and the NYC-based First of the Month.

He has also published at least one novel, The Chronicles of Qamar: Crowstone.[4]

Bey, especially because of his TAZ work, has often been embraced by rave subculture, as ravers have identified the experience and occasions of raves as part of the tradition of "Temporary Autonomous Zones" that Bey outlines, particularly the "free party" or teknival scene. Bey has been supportive of the rave connection, while remarking in an interview, "The ravers were among my biggest readers... I wish they would rethink all this techno stuff — they didn’t get that part of my writing."[5]

More recently, he has commented on the Occupy Movement in an interview with David Levi Strauss of The Brooklyn Rail:

I was beginning to feel that there would never be another American uprising, that the energy was gone, and I have some reasons to think that might be true. I like to point out that the crime rate in America has been declining for a long time, and in my opinion it’s because Americans don’t even have enough gumption to commit crimes anymore: the creative aspect of crime has fallen into decay. As for the uprising that takes a principled stand against violence, hats off to them, I admire the idealism, but I don’t think it’s going to accomplish much.[6]

In another interview with David Levi Strauss and Christopher Bamford in The Brooklyn Rail, Bey has discussed his views on what he calls "Green Hermeticism":

We all agreed that there is not a sufficient spiritual focus for the environmental movement. And without a spiritual focus, a movement like this doesn’t generate the kind of emotional energy that it needs to battle against global capitalism—that for which there is no other reality, according to most people. It should be a rallying call of the spirit for the environmental movement, or for as many parts of that movement as could be open to it.[7]

Notable theories

Ontological anarchy

In the compilation of essays called "Immediatism"[8] Hakim Bey explains his particular conception of anarchism and anarchy which he calls "ontological anarchy". In the same compilation he deals with his view of the relationships of individuals with the exterior world as perceived by the senses and a theory of liberation which he calls "immediatism".

Temporary Autonomous Zones

Hakim Bey has written articles on three different types of what he calls "autonomous zones". Regarding his concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) he said in an interview that "the real genesis was my connection to the communal movement in America, my experiences in the 1960s in places like Timothy Leary’s commune in Millbrook...Usually only the religious ones last longer than a generation—and usually at the expense of becoming quite authoritarian, and probably dismal and boring as well. I’ve noticed that the exciting ones tend to disappear, and as I began to further study this phenomenon, I found that they tend to disappear in a year or a year and a half."[9] The concept of TAZ was presented in a long elaboration in the book TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism.[10]

Criticism and controversy

Lifestyle anarchism

In Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, Murray Bookchin included Bey's work in what he called "lifestyle anarchism", which he criticised for tendencies towards mysticism, occultism, and irrationalism.[11] Bey did not respond publicly. Bob Black wrote a rejoinder to Bookchin in Anarchy after Leftism.

Pedophile/pederasty advocacy and NAMBLA

He has received criticism for writing for the NAMBLA Bulletin,[3] a pedophile advocacy organization in the United States that works to abolish age of consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors.[12][13] For this he has also received criticism from other anarchists.[14]

See also

Philosophy portal

References

Bibliography

External links

Articles and interviews

  • The Writings of Hakim Bey A collection of his articles is available here
  • The Brooklyn Rail
  • Audio of 1993 talk featuring Hakim Bey
  • Roots of Rebellion audio interview with Hakim Bey

Criticism

  • Leaving out the ugly part - Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson from libcom.org

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