Review: Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zones (T.A.Z.)

TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (Autonomedia New Autonomy Series)
Hakim Bey

Hakim Bey is, probably, patient zero of the lifestyle anarchist school of thought. We can trace back to this New York eccentric much that came later in the 1990s and 2000s, including Crimethinc anrcho-primitivism, think pieces on Burning Man and more. Much of the lifestyle anarchist mileu amounts to nothing more than sloganeering about personal rejection of capitalism. Bey is a bit better. When he wrote T.A.Z. he already had a long history on the fringe, writing about sufism, anarchism, mysticism and (shudder) pederasty. His ideas are clear (or at least clearer than many others) and his writing style is attractive. Too bad his ideas are so silly.

I’m all for parties, and the creation of temporary zones of fulfilment (which is what this book is calling for) but they aren’t going to feed the starving or clothe the poor.  Party zones aren’t going to change the world, all adults should know this.

Recommended for the enthusiast. (If you’re an enthusiast for this stuff, you might want to rethink your enthusiasms. I know I did.)

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