the temporary autonomous zone



Bill Weinberg’s brief visit to the Kansai region has resulted in my cracking open a timeworn copy of Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. (The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism). Here’s a small excerpt:

Ontological Anarchy retains its affection for Luddism as a tactic if a given technology, no matter how admirable in potentia (in the future), is used to oppress me here & now, then I must either wield the weapon of sabotage or else seize the means of production (or perhaps more importantly the means of communication). There is no humanity without techne — but there is no techne worth more than my humanity.

We spurn knee-jerk anti-Tech anarchism — for ourselves at least (there are some who enjoy farming, or at least so one hears) — and we reject the concept of the Technological Fix as well. For us all forms of determinism appear equally vapid — we’re slaves of neither our genes nor our machines. What is ‘natural’ is what we imagine & create. ‘Nature has no Laws — only habits.’

Life for us belongs neither to the Past — that land of famous ghosts hoarding their tarnished grave-goods — nor to the Future, whose bulbbrained mutant citizens guard so jealously the secrets of immortality, faster-than-light flight, designer genes & the withering of the State.

Aut nunc aut nihil. Each moment contains an eternity to be penetrated — yet we lose ourselves in visions seen through corpses’ eyes, or in nostalgia for unborn perfections.

The attainments of my ancestors & descendents are nothing more to me than an instructive or amusing tale — I will never call them my betters, even to excuse my own smallness. I print for myself a license to steal from them whatever I need — psychic paleolithism or high-tech — or for that matter the gorgeous detritus of civilization itself, secrets of the Hidden Masters, pleasures of frivolous nobility & la vie boheme.


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