Hakim Bey: Articles on Hakim Bey from Ceasefire Magazine

By Andy McLaverty-Robinson

Revolt Library Anarchism Hakim Bey

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Andy McLaverty-Robinson is a political theorist and activist based in the UK. He is the coauthor (with Athina Karatzogianni) of Power, Resistance and Conflict in the Contemporary World: Social Movements, Networks and Hierarchies (Routledge, 2009). He has recently published a series of books on Homi Bhabha. His 'In Theory' column appears every other Friday. (From: CeaseFireMagazine.co.uk.)

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An Introduction Hakim Bey is a quasi-fictional anarchist theorist best know for his concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ). He has also formulated a type of post-left anarchist theory known as immediatism. Bey is widely regarded as a pseudonym for the writer and comparative religion specialist Peter Lamborn Wilson. The works of Bey and Wilson can be found and read for free at a number of websites. Stemming from anarchism, New Age spirituality and the 60s counterculture, Bey’s work provides one of the most astute recent theories of alienation and capitalism to be found anywhere today. However his work is also extremely controversial, for reasons that will be discussed in detail in the last parts of the series. Who is Hakim Bey? On one level, the relationship between Bey and Wilson is clear: they are the same person. But on another level, it is unclear. Bey may simply be a pseudonym, or an alter ego. For example, Simon Sellars a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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“Chaos never died”: Hakim Bey’s Ontology “Chaos never died”. This is one of the best-known slogans from Hakim Bey’s seminal work, TAZ. In the second of a sixteen-part series, Andrew Robinson reconstructs the ontology of Bey’s “ontological anarchism”. He examines what it means to take chaos as ontologically primary, and how a sense of meaning or order can emerge from chaos. Chaos Never Died Bey’s ontology is based on the primacy of chaos. The concept of chaos should not be seen as a synonym for disorder, or an attention-grabbing rephrasing of anarchism. Chaos is not simply the absence of laws or the state. It is an ontological condition characterized by constant flux and flow, the absence of normative or other criteria of order, and a state of being akin to intoxication. Chaos, Bey tells us, is ‘continuous creation’. He also repeatedly states that &lsqu... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: Chaos, altered consciousness, and peak experiences Ontological anarchist Hakim Bey argues that chaos is ontologically primary. Meaning can only be produced subjectively, through self-valorization. In this third essay of the series, I explore the role of peak experience and altered consciousness in ontological anarchism. I examines how immediacy can provide a basis for resistance to alienation, explore Bey’s ethical theories, and look at whether social life is still possible if outer order is rejected. The orientation to chaos leads to a political theory of altered consciousness. In order to be felt as really meaningful and existing, something needs to interact with the body and with imagination. It needs to exist in the ‘imaginal’ realm – the realm of images, unconscious archetypes, and imagination. Bey seeks an intensification of everyday life – a situation in which marvelous, ecstatic, intense, passionate forc... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: Alienation and The State Hakim Bey’s TAZ is a well-known manifesto of anti-capitalism, providing a model for alternative living. Yet Bey’s work has been criticized for neglecting the critique of capitalism. In the fourth and fifth parts of the series, I aim to show that Bey has an astute, unusual analysis of the structure of the dominant system. This fourth part explores the view of the dominant system as a ‘Spectacle’, the theory of alienation, and the history and contemporary forms of the state. Bey’s work is thoroughly anti-capitalist. Critics sometimes miss this fact because of Bey’s unusual terminology. He rarely talks about ‘capitalism’. Nevertheless, his theory is clearly directed at a more-or-less unitary adversary, identifiable as capitalism or modern society. Bey seeks to challenge the whole system, rather than be distracted by any particular issue. He does not see power as l... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: Capitalism, the State, and the Spectacle In the previous essay, I examined Hakim Bey’s theories of alienation and the state. Completing the examination of Bey’s analysis of the dominant system, this fifth of sixteen columns examines Bey’s theory of capitalism. It shows how Bey situates capitalism as a trance-like manipulation of desire, and as a process of alienation from the body culminating in a flight to the ether. It also examines Bey’s critique of ‘cop culture’ and his comments on American global hegemony, and provides an analysis of Bey’s view of the dominant system. Capital and Capitalism Bey also analyzes capital as a machine for the production of scarcity and the destruction of intensity. Capitalism seeks, not to satisfy desire, but to exacerbate longing through utopian traces. This idea – which Bey attributes to Benjamin – plays on the idea that commodities... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: The Temporary Autonomous Zone Counterculture guru Hakim Bey is best-known for his concept of TAZ – the Temporary Autonomous Zone. Previous columns have reconstructed Bey’s immanent ontology and his critiques of capitalism and the state. In this sixth of sixteen parts, Bey’s seminal idea – the TAZ – is finally examined. I also explore other types of autonomous zones found in Bey’s work, and his later theories of small-scale group formation. The Temporary Autonomous Zone Bey’s best-known concept is the Temporary Autonomous Zone, usually abbreviated TAZ. This concept originates in his works of the 1980s, and especially the 1991 compilation of the same name. When the pieces appearing in the book were first written, the figure of Bey was not yet associated with Wilson. Many pieces appeared as typewritten, sigil-covered leaflets on colored paper, before being reprinted in a be... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: The Pessimism of Autonomy Hakim Bey’s theoretical creativity did not end with the publication of TAZ, and he has continued to produce new contributions for those seeking autonomy in a changing strategic field. In this essay, the seventh in a series of sixteen columns on Bey’s work, I examine his contributions from the 1996 book Millennium onwards. Millennium: a changed strategic field The strategic concerns underpinning TAZ recede in Bey’s more recent work. In Millennium, written in 1996, Bey reverses his earlier critique of revolutionary politics. With communism no longer an issue, he refers to a need for ‘revolutionary presence’, pitted against the alienation and separation of capitalism. However, he insists that this presence should also value difference. For instance, he celebrates the Zapatistas for wishing to remain Mayans without making everyone Mayans. They assert the right... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hakim Bey: Strategies of Resistance Hakim Bey’s general strategic perspectives, such as the TAZ, are complemented by a range of tactical proposals for political action. In this essay, I will explore the strategic underpinnings for Bey’s political proposals, and will examine his focus on resisting recuperation, his emphasis on “empirical freedoms” as means to liberation, and his theory of immediatism. Bey’s strategic approach There is a transformative strategy at work in Bey’s theories, which stems logically from his ontology and his view of the dominant system. He favors a range of tactics which produce altered consciousness and peak experiences. In his theory, peak experiences provide a means to transform values. They are also a challenge to the Spectacle, which is unable to provide them. This strategy is based on Bey’s ontology of chaos. His approach is driven by the ‘... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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January 27, 2021; 5:46:55 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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