Peter Lamborn Wilson (born 1945), also known by the pen name Hakim Bey, is an American political writer, essayist, and poet, known for first proposing the concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ), based on a historical review of pirate utopias.

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[edit] Life and work

Wilson's early work is described in the translator's biography of one of his earliest works:

After studying at Columbia University, he did extensive traveling in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. He studied Tantra in West Bengal and visited many Sufi shrines and masters. In 1971 he undertook research on the Ni'matullahi funded by the Marsden Foundation of New York.[1]

This research was the basis of Wilson's book Kings of Love. The biography continues:

During 1974 and 1975 he was consultant in London and Tehran for the World of Islam Festival. In 1974 he became director of English language publications at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran under Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and he studied, worked with, and published books by Nasr, Toshihiko Izutsu, Henry Corbin and others. He was editor of Sophia Perennis, the Journal of the IIAP.

Wilson left Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In the 1980s, his ideas evolved from a kind of Guénonist neo-traditionalism to a synthesis of anarchism and Situationist ideas with heterodox Sufism and Neopaganism, describing his ideas as "anarchist ontology" or "immediatism". In the past he has worked with the not-for-profit publishing project Autonomedia, in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition to his writings on anarchism and Temporary Autonomous Zones, Wilson has written essays on such diverse topics as Tong traditions, the utopian Charles Fourier, the fascist Gabriele D'Annunzio, the connections between Sufism and ancient Celtic culture, sacred pederasty in the Sufi tradition[2], technology and Luddism, and Amanita muscaria use in ancient Ireland.

Wilson's poetic texts and poems have appeared in: P.A.N.; Panthology One, Two, and Three; Ganymede; Exquisite Corpse; and the various Acolyte Reader paperbacks. Many of these poems, including the 'Sandburg' series, are collected in the as-yet unpublished DogStar volume. Currently his works can be found regularly in publications like Fifth Estate and the NYC-based First of the Month.

He has also published at least one novel, The Chronicles of Qamar: Crowstone.[3]

Wilson, especially because of his TAZ work, has often been embraced by Rave culture. Ravers have identified the experience and occasion of raves as part of the tradition of "Temporary Autonomous Zones" that Wilson outlines, particularly the "free party" or Teknival scene. Wilson has been supportive of the rave connection, while remarking in an interview, "The ravers were among my biggest readers... I wish they would rethink all this techno stuff — they didn’t get that part of my writing."[4]

[edit] Criticism

Wilson is a controversial figure within the anarchist milieu. Many social anarchists denounce his ideas as "lifestyle anarchism", seeing his ideas as a kind of extreme individualist anarchism that is ultimately apolitical. In Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, Murray Bookchin criticised the perceived tendency toward mysticism, occultism, and irrationalism in Wilson's work.[5]

[edit] Books

[edit] References

  1. ^ Fakhruddin 'Iraqi: Divine Flashes, page viii. Paulist Press, 1983.
  2. ^ Wilson, Peter Lambourn. Contemplation of the Unbearded - The Rubaiyyat of Awhadoddin Kermani. Paidika, Vol.3, No.4, 1995.
  3. ^ OCLC 16810252
  4. ^ An Anarchist in the Hudson Valley Brooklyn Rail, July 2004
  5. ^ Bookchin, Murray. Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism (1995). AK Press: Stirling. ISBN 9781873176832.[page number needed]

[edit] External links

Philosophy portal

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