Monday, May 12, 2014

The Origins of Hakim Bey's Anarchism

A new article by Joseph Christian Greer, "Occult Origins: Hakim Bey’s Ontological Post-Anarchism" (Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies 2013, no. 2, pp. 166-87), examines the early development of the anarchist (or post-anarchist) thought of Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson), who, as an earlier post noted, has origins in Traditionalism and perhaps even in the Maryamiyya.

Greer sees Hakim's mature Ontological Anarchism as deriving from a  mix of individualist anarchism, Daoist non-dualism, and esotericism, principally Chaos Magick with a touch of  Nietzsche. Not much Traditionalism here, then, save perhaps the title “The End of the World” used in Kaos for what later became more famous as communiqué #4 in T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy,  Poetic Terrorism, and no Islam beyond the legend of and Hassan-i Sabbah.

But even though the link between Hakim's anarchism and Traditionalism is not Greer's subject, the article is still of interest. Greer makes the point that for Hakim and others, the experience of gnosis can reveal the "interplay of the forces that structure reality," and that this "undermines the legitimacy of all hegemons and abrogates all laws." A hint, then, of how Traditionalism and anarchism may in part be compatible.

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