Hakim Bey

23 May 2022 10:48 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • Anarchist writer and mystic-anarchist-chaos-poet, recently (as of May 23rd, 2022) deceased. AKA Peter Lamborn Wilson, and also apparently a notorious pedophile. The reaction to his death has been very polarized, he was both intensely loved and despised in the counterculture. Here's a thorough airing of the charges and critiques: Leaving out the ugly part - Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson | libcom.org.
    • I've admired his work and been inspired by it, do I have to hate it now? That seems ... I don't know, dumb? Maybe his personal behavior cancels all of his work. It certainly isn't unrelated. I am confused and don't know how to react, but maybe that's OK. It is possible for someone to create worthwhile work while being a terrible person.
    • OTOH: aside from the personal behavior, his work has always advocated a kind of romantic and personal version of anarchism, a free-your-mind sort of approach that bypasses or ignores oppression without actually addressing it, and he's been critiqued for it by the more political and boring kinds of anarchists like Murray Bookchin in Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism. It's almost literally poetry vs the prosaic, and that there should be monstrosity lurking on the poetic side is almost to be expected.
    • His best-known concept was the Temporary Autonomous Zone, a sort of short-lived bubble of alternative reality where humans could live as they were supposed to, free of oppression. Burning Man is a TAZ, or was thought to be, it may have accumulated too much structure by now. A party is a TAZ, partly because (as Prince sang) they aren't meant to last.
    • Ontological Anarchy in a Nutshell
      • Since absolutely nothing can be predicated with any real certainty as to the "true nature of things", all projects (as Nietzsche says) can only be "founded on nothing. " And yet there must be a project — if only because we ourselves resist being categorized as "nothing." Out of nothing we will make something: the Uprising, the revolt against everything which proclaims: “The Nature of Things is such-&-such. "
      • In effect, chaos is life. All mess, all riot of color, all protoplasmic urgency, all movement—is chaos. From this point of view, Order appears as death, cessation, crystallization, alien science.
      • 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. And so the values of Civilization are based on the denial of desire.
    • Immediatism
      • "Freedom is a psycho-kinetic skill" - not an abstract noun. A process, not a "state" - a movement, not a form of governance. The Land of the Dead knows that perfect Order from which the organic and animate shrink in horror-which explains why the Civilization of Slippage is more than half in love with easeful death. From Babylon and Egypt to the 20th Century, the architecture of Power can never quite be distinguished from the tumuli of the necropolis.
    • Aimless Wandering
      • Does Taoism have a "metaphysics"?....Well, yes and no...Chuang Tzu not only has no metaphysics, he actually condemns and derides metaphysics. Supernaturalism and materialism both appear equally funny to him. His only cosmogonic principle is "chaos". Oddly enough the only philosophical tool he uses is logic - although it is the logic of dream. He makes no mention of divine principle, of the purpose of being, or personal immortality. He is beyond Good and Evil, sneers at ethics, and even makes fun of yoga.
      • "Sneering at ethics" might be part of the problem.
      • The universe comes into being spontaneously; as Kuo Hsiang points out, the search for a "lord" (or agens) of this creation is an exercize in infinite regress towards emptiness. The Tao is not "God", as some Christian translators still believe. The Tao just happens.