The Temporary Autonomous Zone; Ontological Anarchy; Poetic Terrorism
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The Temporary Autonomous Zone; Ontological Anarchy; Poetic Terrorism

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,310 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan...more
Paperback, large print, 148 pages
Published January 11th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1991)
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David Beavers
Jan 30, 2008 David Beavers rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: bloodthirsty pirates
First off, it would be criminal of me not to mention that you don't need to buy this book unless you're really into having books around as physical objects (and Autonomedia, the publisher, is a very worthy recipient of your 10 bucks).

But this text is freely available, at the author's request, online (just google it), and in the spirit of the book itself, you can "pirate" the text (not to mention the rest of Peter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey's insane works) from a world that asks you to pay for...more
Sep 12, 2010 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anarchists, Discordians, Poets
Recommended to Michael by: Peter Lamborn Wilson
I approach this book differently from most readers, because I've known the author since my youthful days as an anarchist punk rocker, because I read parts of it before it was published in this form, and because my own Path (or "Trip") has both paralleled and diverged from his in so many interesting ways. I still see this book as a vital introduction to antinomian thought that also transcends most of the shortcomings of other similar projects. I fall in love with the prose every time. I also see...more

When I first read this, I would have rated it higher. Since then, I've learned a lot more about anarchism and how out of touch Hakim Bey is with social movements. Still, it has some romantic prose that can be very appealing. If I had to describe Bey's writing methodology; it's sort of like someone who name drops at a party--instead Bey drops esoteric concepts to make himself seem both well read (which he seems to be) and wise (which is very debatable). He...more
Jan 20, 2008 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: humans
Quite possibly my most favorite book, and one everyone should read! I re-read it periodically. It's insanity, but mainly about thinking outside the box, about intellectual freedom, about living creatively. I read it during my "travel the country by train and/or bike, live in caves, camp out with rock-climbing hippies, make chain mail and sell it" phase. But I still find it applicable.
As all the reviews show, pretty polarizing - I'm happy I can walk the middle line on this and got what I could out of the book. Some good stuff here, and the dubious stuff can be covered mostly under the "romantic" approach of the philosophy and writing (really, it makes all the complaints about Bey not being part of some accepted philosophical system or history of Anarchism pretty redundant, and those that claim such things seem to have missed the point entirely - people don't storm barricades...more
Awful. I put this book here cause it is the kind of individualistic anarchist crap that has the potential to suck in otherwise bright young kids. Punks out there that are supporting Ron Paul have probably read this garbage. The worst part: hipsters read this and actually believe it has some merit. But I guess that goes without saying.

There is no love of humanity in this book, just a love of self-centered 'hipness'. Yuck!
Ganglion Bard-barbarian
Hakim Bey is a pedophile, monarchist, anti-abortionist, pro-porn, anti-feminist, orientalist who prefers Fiume to anarchist Ukraine and Catalonia. Thinks anarchists should just become bohemian decadents who don't care about fighting the state. Claims to be an expert on Sufism despite his abject lack of scholastic credentials. Totally worthless. Recommended for New Age fruitcakes.
By turns fascinating and hilariously pretentious, this tract of high-level postmodern romanticism mixes linguistic gymnastics with hippie-child idealism and the strongest desire to be truly revolutionary. It boasts starry writing and starry-eyed naivete, sometimes reminding me of the iconoclasts of ages past and sometimes of the mentally unstable, self-proclaimed "messiah"/hobo who once gave me a link to his wordpress blog.
Reading this book reminds me of how toothless revolution can be when it...more
Jan 05, 2008 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
"kidnap someone, and make them happy" embodies the general stance taken by this cultural anthropologist luddite. refreshing ideas of play as alternative modes of existence to our hyper-capitalist climate. i thoroughly enjoyed the post-revolutionary approach which reminds me of a time where i had lost my copy of t.a.z. and attempted to locate it at liberation books, downtown los angeles. after looking between the marx and mao to no avail, i asked the clerk if they had any hakim bey. the clerk ask...more
Here is an excerpt from the book for people to judge for themselves, 90% of the book was this cut-up quasi-mystic-native-american-sorcery-voodoo mess, could someone please tell me what any of this has to do with anarchism? It reads like a el cheapo Burroughs imitation, and being a Burroughs fan I would normally see this as a great thing, if not for the fact that this was supposed to be a book about the history of the TAZ movement, and it reads like crappy hippie poetry.

"As guests of the Old Man...more
I want to say that this book is brilliant. Indeed, that was my impression upon reading it. Bey/Wilson is a unique talent - his writing is poetry: all of it hits you in the heart. I still want to say that this is an excellent book, definitely essential for anyone who wants to start up a cultural space and for anyone who likes dreaming and is inspired by the tenuous relationship between dreams, creativity and reality.

I also want to maintain that this is certainly one of the best books I've ever r...more
Laura, when I lent you this book I hoped that you would read it. When you returned it the other day with the Kafka book I lent you at the same time, I wondered if you had ever cracked this book open and seen the passages that I underlined in red pen.

"If rulers refuse to consider poems as crimes, then someone must commit crimes that serve the function of poetry, or texts that possess the resonance of terrorism. At any cost re-connect poetry to the body. Not crimes against bodies, but against Ide...more
Michael Palkowski
This book seems to capture the beat aesthetic at the time which was a combination of delirious romanticism, abstract obstructionism and small medial transgressions of daily life. It's often heralded as being a book of optimism when concerning sabotage with its poetic defiance of power, thwarting the capitalist commodification process, but this is wrong. The book is actually very cynical in it's analysis, taking on situationist forms of cultural jamming, small unfocused acts of destruction and cl...more
Temporary Autonomous Zones—

—or TAZ as they are affectionately called—are forged rather than entered. The surveillance ruins, serving as a reminder of the war, crumble under the center of TAZ. Some ruins are composed out of metabolized programs. The other problem with rules is the instantaneous feature of a strict hierarchy, as anyone familiar with the latest studies has been informed.

In TAZ there are sometimes options to get to a point. Activity scallops, repeating important and non-important f...more
Justin Martin
Apr 05, 2008 Justin Martin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: non-anarchist, policemen, scientists, brave men, moors
Recommended to Justin by: Charlie Bergengren
This book exists largely in a field where fiction is irrelevant, where myths are as important as history, and where transgression is encouraged as a mystical practice. The first chapters are a stunning sweep of proposals for individual mystical transgression; amor-fou, poetic terrorism, and boys masturbating unlock chaos and set everyone free. They're hardly succinct, never appropriate, and breathtaking syncretisms of mystical practices. They're poetic.
The later chapters (the book consists of a...more
This book is fantastic. Bey opens a new path for me, opening up possibilities of awareness by making it clear how the left and the right are the conjoined twins of the current ideological reality. Ontological Anarchism is such a fabulous concept vehicle. Bey is a weird contradiction. I prejudice him to be in black smoking clove cigarettes, as one of those artsy lit-crit type philosophers by his use of language, but it must not be, because the wearing of that kind of masks he blows apart.

Some fav...more
Trevor Bryant
Jan 13, 2013 Trevor Bryant rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anarchist historians, amateur psychologists, dogmatic skeptics, post-Left apologists
Hakim Bey is an influential underground thinker, often thrown into such categories as post-Left or (by his own wording) ontological anarchism. This short book is likely his most well-known offering and consists of brief, poetic pieces which act as directed meditations on topics ranging from the role of spirituality in political experience to "poetic terrorism", pleasure in anti-authoritarian situations, and beyond. These artful presentations lay the framework for his discussion of the T.A.Z. as...more
College. Chelsea Clinton was arriving on campus to begin her studies; a mass of press, gawkers, & slow walkers feigning no interest milled about. Passing through the crowd, a wild-eyed young man--clearly not a fellow student--approached me with the confident, hearty embrace of a long lost travelling companion. Seemed to have something to do with my vinyl pants. No time to ponder, his insistent stream of consciousness riff on magick, the derive, the NOW whisked me away. The apparent joy in hi...more
I don't really know how to review this one, and I really wish I didn't have to give it a star rating so I'm just gonna give it a three because there are some five-star moments to this and some one-star (if you're gonna think about it like that).

On the most literal level, this work is a compilation of tracts on ontological anarchism that were originally published in the mid-1980s. There's a strong debt to Dadaism and the Beats (especially the latter, though that could just as easily be through th...more
Part of the thought cloud that contains the Church of the Subgenius, the Discordians, Fight Club, Flash mobs, Burning Man (prior to the corporate take-over), and Illuminati. This is the seamy underbelly of Western culture and what happened to the hippies that didn't sell out. In many ways the whole thing is a bizarre parody of/homage to the catch-phrase spouting dialectic of the Cold War idealists, in that jargon and obscure claims of repression replace any sort of intelligent discourse; except...more
"No, listen, what happened was this: they lied to you, sold you ideas of good & evil, gave you distrust of your body & shame for your prophethood of chaos, invented words of disgust for your molecular love, mesmerized you with inattention, bored you with civilization & all its usurious emotions.
There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a poli...more
A. Razor
I carried this book with me in my backpack from 87-92 as I hopped trains and lived in squats from L.A. to S.F. to NYC to Portland to Seattle to Minnihopelis to Chi-town to Wash,DC and it was a never ending source of distraction and inspiration in those years. It was one of the books I was glad to have been shipped into my cell while I was locked up from 92-94. I still have a copy around here that I pick up from time to time and the clarity, to the pointedness of it all has always made me feel li...more
Funny to see how polarized the reviews are for this book. Looks to me like some folks are taking the whole thing a bit too seriously, as I personally felt that the undercurrent of levity and playfulness running throughout the book was an essential aspect. To be frank, this book was tremendously inspiring. Bey's language is an absolute riot and a joy to devour: ecstatic, poetic, cackling prose reminiscent of certain writings of Nietzsche. And so many ideas worthy of consideration here, even if on...more
Brian Lucas
One of my favorite books--highly funny and entertaining. His examples of how a Temporary Autonomous Zone might be created are prima materia for any culture jammer, Discordian, graffiti-ist, artist or poet. Ontological anarchy is a bit convoluted, but I see what he's trying to do.... This isn't boring old useless anarchist syndicalism, but an anarchism that includes humor, the transcendent (ohhh no!) and reclamation of what is sacred.

Funny that Bey gets accused of being a lifestyle anarchist (wha...more
Aug 02, 2008 Acid rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone who want to know about tongs, anarchy, sufism, drugs
this book turned me onto tongs, secret societies, anarchic art, what is important to the individual who thinks, acts, speaks for themselves... What is a T.A.Z....well here are some examples...burning man, rainbow gatherings, hemp fests, any activity that is a collective of people who are unlawful or marginalized by society that lasts for a temporary amount of time and then dissolves as an apparition back into the social fabric...all of hakim bey's books are anyone can use any...more
Inspiration for a generation of troublemakers and idealists. Both celebrated in the punk underground (where the original book has become a seminal text) and denounced in academic anarchist circles, the book has proved itself as both influential and relevant to multiple generations of dreamers, agitators, and activists. Hakim Bey's first book, originally published in 1985, refers in its title to "a mobile or transcient location free of economic and social interference by the State," and through a...more
This is pretty relevant to understanding the Occupy Wall Street movement and to seeing how it could be furthered in the future. This book is also pretty primary for understanding and facilitating future "uprisings." I really enjoyed reading this. Kudos to Hakim Bey for writing something years ago that is now extremely relevant.

HOWEVER, the writer is apparently into "love" with young boys. He does have some poetry that combines his anarchism with pedophilia. I don't know exactly how I feel about...more
Jun 30, 2007 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those who think out of the box, and aren't comfortable with contentment
Shelves: non-fictionread
A snippet:

"WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection...more
The Murderist
The Good: Despite the surrealist style of his prose, Bey has constructed his arguments carefully and presents them in a clear, powerful way. The encouragement of self expression as a means of political protest is a fantastic.

The Bad: There are definitely lines of argument that run into the pie-in-the-sky, wish fulfillment brand of political protest. Many (though not all) of Bey's suggested forms of radical self expression are criminal.

The Ugly: Homosexuality is fine, but referring to oneself as...more
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Peter Lamborn Wilson also writes under the pseudonym Hakim Bey.
More about Peter Lamborn Wilson...
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“Provided we can escape from the museums we carry around inside us, provided we can stop selling ourselves tickets to the galleries in our own skulls, we can begin to contemplate an art which re-creates the goal of the sorcerer: changing the structure of reality by the manipulation of living symbols ... Art tells gorgeous lies that come true.” 44 likes
“Poetic Terrorism
WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ...
Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc.
Go naked for a sign.
Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty.
Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement...
The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails.
PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now.
An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE.
Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you.
Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.”
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