Peter Lamborn Wilson
|School||Post-left anarchy, individualist anarchism|
|Main interests||refusal of work, post-industrial society, mysticism, utopianism|
|Notable ideas||Immediatism, Temporary Autonomous Zones, ontological anarchy|
Peter Lamborn Wilson (born 1945) (pseudonym Hakim Bey), is an American anarchist political and cultural writer, essayist, and poet, known for first proposing the concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ), based, in part, on a historical review of pirate utopias.
Life and work
Bey's early work is described in the translator's biography of one of his earliest works:
After studying at Columbia University, he did extensive traveling in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. He studied Tantra in West Bengal and visited many Sufi shrines and masters. In 1971 he undertook research on the Ni'matullāhī funded by the Marsden Foundation of New York.
This research was the basis of Bey's book Kings of Love. The biography continues:
During 1974 and 1975 he was a consultant in London and Tehran for the World of Islam Festival. In 1974 he became director of English language publications at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran under Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and he studied, worked with, and published books by Nasr, Toshihiko Izutsu, Henry Corbin and others. He was editor of Sophia Perennis, the Journal of the IIAP.
Bey left Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In the 1980s, his ideas evolved from a kind of Guénonist neo-traditionalism to a synthesis of anarchism and Situationist ideas with heterodox Sufism and Neopaganism, describing his ideas as "anarchist ontology" or "immediatism". In the past he has worked with the not-for-profit publishing project Autonomedia, in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to his writings on anarchism and Temporary Autonomous Zones, Bey has written essays on such diverse topics as Tong traditions, the utopian Charles Fourier, the fascist 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. He has also written about pederasty for NAMBLA Bulletin.
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 Many of these poems, including the 'Sandburg' series, are collected in the as-yet unpublished DogStar volume.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.
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."
In an interview with David Levi Strauss and Christopher Bamford in The Brooklyn Rail, Bey has said on the formation of 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.||”|
In the compilation of essays called "Immediatism" Hakim Bey explains his particular conception of anarchism and anarchy which he calls "ontological anarchy". He defines it in the following way:
|“||Ontological Anarchy proposes that we wake up, and create our own day - even in the shadow of the State, that pustulant giant who sleeps, and whose dreams of Order metastatize as spasms of spectacular violence...The only force Significant enough to facilitate our act of creation seems to be desire, or as Charles Fourier called it, "Passion." Just as Chaos and Eros (along with Earth and Old Night) are Hesiod's first deities, so too no human endeavor occurs outside their cosmogeneous circle of attraction. The logic of Passion leads to the conclusion that all "states" are impossible, all "orders" illusory, except those of desire. No being, only becoming - hence the only viable government is that of love, or "attraction." Civilization merely hides from itself - behind a thin static scrim of rationality - the truth that only desire creates values...Nomadism and the Uprising, provide us with possible models for an "everyday life" of Ontological Anarchy...The penetration of everyday life by the marvelous - the creation of "situations" - belongs to the "material bodily principle", and to the imagination, and to the living fabric of the present. Immediatism by Hakim Bey. AK Press. 1994. pg. 2||”|
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":
Hakim Bey has written articles on three different types of what he calls "autonomous zones". As far as his concept of the 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...And everybody in the ‘80s was giving a good deal of thought to the whole idea of what intentional community could mean and how it could improve your life to be in one, or if it even could at all. That was the question. I think it unquestionably does. People have great fun for at least a year or a year and a half, and then when the problems start, that’s usually when it breaks up. After thinking about that for a while, it occurred to me that, well, it’s not such a great tragedy that these things don’t last...Those people had an incredibly deep experience that changed their lives. They had fun while they were there. They had a more intense existence, with everything geared up to a higher charge." The concept of TAZ was presented in a long elaboration in the book TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism.
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. Bey did not respond publicly. Bob Black wrote a rejoinder to Bookchin in Anarchy after Leftism.
He has received criticism for writing for the NAMBLA Bulletin, a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States that works to abolish age of consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors. For this he has also received criticism from other anarchists.
- Bey, Hakim (1991). "An esoteric interpretation of the I.W.W. preamble". The International Review: 2–3.
- Fakhruddin 'Iraqi: Divine Flashes, page viii. Paulist Press, 1983.
- Wilson, Peter Lambourn. Contemplation of the Unbearded - The Rubaiyyat of Awhadoddin Kermani. Paidika, Vol.3, No.4, 1995.
- Michael Muhammad Knight (2012). William S. Burroughs Vs. the Qur'an. Soft Skull Press. pp. 76–79. ISBN 978-1593764159.
- OCLC 16810252
- An Anarchist in the Hudson Valley Brooklyn Rail, July 2004
- Levi Strauss, David (January 2008). "Green Hermeticism: David Levi Strauss in conversation with Peter Lamborn Wilson and Christopher Bamford". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Immediatism by Hakim Bey. AK Press. 1994.
- Hans Ulrich Obrist. "In Conversation with Hakim Bey" at e-flux
- Hakim Bey. TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. Autonomedia. August 1991
- Bookchin, Murray. Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism (1995). AK Press: Stirling. ISBN 978-1-873176-83-2. (pp. 20-26)
- Holmes, Ronald M.; Stephen T. Holmes (2002). Current perspectives on sex crimes. SAGE. p. 165. ISBN 0-7619-2416-7.
- M DeYoung (March 1989). "The World According to NAMBLA: Accounting for Deviance". Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 16: 111–126.
- Grindon, Gavin. "Blackwell Reference Online". Blackwell Publishing Inc. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- The Winter Calligraphy of Ustad Selim, & Other Poems (1975) (Ipswich, England) ISBN 0-903880-05-9
- Science and Technology in Islam (1976) (with Leonard Harrow)
- Traditional Modes of Contemplation & Action (1977) (editor, with Yusuf Ibish)
- Nasir-I Khusraw: 40 Poems from the Divan (1977) (translator and editor, with Gholam Reza Aavani) ISBN 0-87773-730-4
- DIVAN (1978) (poems, London/Tehran)
- Kings of Love: The Poetry and History of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order of Iran (1978) (translator and editor, with Nasrollah Pourjavady; Tehran)
- Angels (1980, 1994) ISBN 0-500-11017-4 (abridged edition: ISBN 0-500-81044-3)
- Weaver of Tales: Persian Picture Rugs (1980) (with Karl Schlamminger)
- Loving Boys: Semiotext(e) Special (1980) (editor as Hakim Bey; Semiotext(e) (New York))
- Divine Flashes (1982) (by Fakhruddin 'Iraqi, translated and introduced with William C. Chittick; Paulist Press (Mahwah, New Jersey)) ISBN 0-8091-2372-X
- Crowstone: The Chronicles of Qamar (1983) (as Hakim [Bey])
- CHAOS: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism (1985) (as Hakim Bey; Grim Reaper Press (Weehawken, New Jersey))
- Semiotext(e) USA (1987) (co-editor, with Jim Fleming)
- Scandal: Essays in Islamic Heresy (1988) (Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 0-936756-15-2
- The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry (1988) (translator and editor, with Nasrollah Pourjavady) ISBN 0-933999-65-8
- Semiotext(e) SF (1989) (co-editor, with Rudy Rucker and Robert Anton Wilson)
- The Universe: A Mirror of Itself (1992?) (Xexoxial Editions (La Farge, Wisconsin))
- Aimless Wandering: Chuang Tzu's Chaos Linguistics (1993) (as Hakim Bey; Xexoxial Editions (La Farge, Wisconsin))
- Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam (1993) (City Lights Books (San Francisco)) ISBN 0-87286-275-5
- The Little Book of Angel Wisdom (1993, 1997) ISBN 1-85230-436-7 ISBN 1-86204-048-6
- O Tribe That Loves Boys: The Poetry of Abu Nuwas (1993) (translator and editor, as Hakim Bey) ISBN 90-800857-3-1
- Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs and European Renegadoes (1995, 2003) (Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 1-57027-158-5
- Millennium (1996) (as Hakim Bey; Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York) and Garden of Delight (Dublin, Ireland)) ISBN 1-57027-045-7
- "Shower of Stars" Dream & Book: The Initiatic Dream in Sufism and Taoism (1996) (Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 1-57027-036-8
- Escape from the Nineteenth Century and Other Essays (1998) (Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 1-57027-073-2
- Wild Children (1998) (co-editor, with Dave Mandl)
- Avant Gardening: Ecological Struggle in the City & the World (1999) (co-editor, with Bill Weinberg) ISBN 1-57027-092-9
- Ploughing the Clouds: The Search for Irish Soma (1999) ISBN 0-87286-326-3
- TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, Second Edition (2003) (as Hakim Bey; incorporates full text of CHAOS and Aimless Wanderings; Autonomedia (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 1-57027-151-8
- Orgies Of The Hemp Eaters (2004) (co-editor as Hakim Bey with Abel Zug) ISBN 1-57027-143-7
- rain queer (2005) (Farfalla Press (Brooklyn, New York)) ISBN 0-9766341-1-2
- Gothick Institutions (2005) ISBN 0-9770049-0-2
- Green Hermeticism: Alchemy and Ecology; (with Christopher Bamford and Kevin Townley, Lindisfarne (2007)) ISBN 1-58420-049-9
- Black Fez Manifesto (2008) ISBN 978-1-57027-187-8
- Ec(o)logues (Station Hill of Barrytown, 2011) ISBN 978-1-58177-115-2
- The Writings of Hakim Bey A collection of his articles is available here
- July 2004 interview from The Brooklyn Rail
- December 2007/January 2008 interview from The Brooklyn Rail
- January 2006 Affinity Project Interview Part One, On Islam
- "How many times do we have to educate these fucking fools?" — An interview by Alexandre Miltsov (spring 2005)
- Audio of 1993 talk featuring Hakim Bey
- Roots of Rebellion audio interview with Hakim Bey