Tag: Anarchy

Review: Immediatism, by Hakim Bey

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Immediatism, by Hakim Bey
AK Press, 1873176422, anti-copyright 1994

A collection of relatively short essays all circling around a specific subject: immediatism, in both senses of the word; both as immediate, now and without mediation. It’s a way of life that appeals to me, and likely to any other sensualists who find the stale repitition of pre-formed media dull.

You’re likely able to enjoy this work with only one dictionary at your side, though of courseit does still give you a lot to think about, and even more to put into action. The style is easy and more readily accessible, the suggestions and manifestos are more likely to become realized in a smaller environment. It’s become another book on my recommended reading list.


Review: T.A.Z., by Hakim Bey

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T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, by Hakim Bey
Autonomedia, 0936756764, anti-copyright 1985, 1991

Have a couple of dictionaries standing by, or be sure to have a few dozen bookmarked online while reading this, for if you’re to appreciate Bey’s prose, you’re likely to need ’em. He writes in a strange way, obviously highly intelligent, but rambling, and if you’re not quite sure what he’s on about, it’s just going to seem worse.

There are a lot of ideas in here, based on things I’m not very familiar with, such as Sufism and dadism – some of which are at least partially explained, but this is one of those books you need to read, and then come back to later and see how it compares. Certainly on the first go struggling somewhat to get a feel for how his mind works on paper.

It’s a very inspiring work, which he may loathe to hear, but I intend to do something about it. I recommend reading it to anyone interested in expanding their interests and testing the limits of one’s mind. Agreeing with everything he presents isn’t necessary, but thinking about it is – doing even better. Highly recommended reading.


Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchy (but were afraid to ask)

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Anarchy, photo by luca savettiere

Anarchy, photo by luca savettiere

Introduction

There is probably more rubbish talked about anarchism than any other political idea. Actually, it has nothing to do with a belief in chaos, death and destruction. Anarchists do not normally carry bombs, nor do they ascribe any virtue to beating up old ladies.

It is no accident that the sinister image of the mad anarchist is so accepted. The State, the press and all the assorted authoritarian types, use every means at their disposal to present anarchy as an unthinkable state of carnage and chaos. We can expect little else from power-mongers who would have no power to monger if we had our way. They have to believe that authority and obedience are essential in order to justify their own crimes to themselves. The TV, press and films all preach obedience, and when anarchy is mentioned at all, it is presented as mindless destruction. Continue reading


Anarchy in Today’s World: A Little Note on Anarchism

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You justify anarchy. Self-mastery ? Discipline ? Control ? Principle ?….or is it simply the will to make these things a memory of times when ease took the place of fear ? None of it concerns me. Who I am is who you are. We are all the same and we just exist. But, self-definition causes us to search for what we believe which leads to the inevitable imposing of our ideals on others. My justification then is through lack of concern for the individual, and more concern for the whole.

Being comfortable is what makes us weak. I base my assumption on the simple concept learned from the beginning of our existence – which is easier to resist, pain ? or pleasure ?

Pain of course.

The breakdown of what is perceived as ” a relaxed state of general well-being.” Pain has many forms – emotional and physical. Anarchy then is pain in the sense that it is a breakdown. Its redeeming quality being that it is a filter – what is broken down is rebuilt – stronger with purpose.

Anarchy is a tool – a means to and end that proposes a directive of destruction against a target for a goal. We live in a society that proves everyday that survival is a dying art. Living day-to-day is letting your life slip away one minute at a time when you don’t realize that everything you ever learned is a story and every story has its place in history.

Question all things.

Vigilance is what counts when complacency destroys discipline. History applies to those who lived it. They are gone and we replace them with a new idea of what it means to be alive.

Are you alive? Be honest. Don’t think of it in terms what you did. Think of it in terms of how you found yourself. Self-definition can only be justified through what lessons are learned and what lessons are lost. Anarchy is what happens when someone asks for more, and nothing more is to be given. Chaos could be the answer when your mind is free. Free your mind before all questions are tackled. Lop-sided attacks to problems will never give you the knowledge needed to push to the lesson that must be learned. You break a pattern and you grow. The only growth is up. Negative growth never occurs.

Learning and conditioning teach much. But all must be gained through experience. If one drops to his knees for redemption, is he redeemed if it is asked? Never question, never give excuses and never lie. Live your life as though the day might be your last and show yourself the power you still have.


Subversion for Fun and Profit

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Hey, kids! Do you have very strongly held political beliefs? Are these beliefs operating from outside the political mainstream? I’ll bet you’d like to spread your political creed over a wider audience in an attempt to affect real change! Well, you’re in luck, because Uncle Roachy is going to teach you the finer points of political activism, or as the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities called it, shameless subversion. Gather round, kids, and I shall tell you a tale.

1. Getting Started

The first step, if you haven’t already done it, is to clarify your own political beliefs. Figure out your position on every issue imaginable. This sounds simple, but you might be astonished by how many people live their whole lives based around some extremely vague principal – “the rich are evil,” “I think fascists suck,” etc. Take that idea and expand on it. Sure you hate the rich – so how does that relate to gun control? Abortion? Drug policy? The absolute kiss of death, for any non-traditional political movement, is being accused of not having an actual, practical plan of governance (or lack thereof, in the case of our anarchist friends).

For the record, I don’t give a good golly damn what your political preference is – I’m going to try and keep this page as non-denominational as I can. I, for instance, am a young Libertarian, so I’ll be using Libertarianism in most of my examples to help illustrate concepts that can be applied to any political movement.

Once you’ve got an actual platform, it’s time to think about who you’re going to be trying to convince. For instance, in my endeavours, I’m generally trying to convince kids my age (17, in three days) to join up with us Libertarians. What do kids my age like? Well, for one, drugs. And for another, sex. And, more subtly, a desire to rise up against some unjust authority, fueled by adolescent anger and an ongoing clash with parents. So we play to that.

Now, I don’t think I can do much in the way of offering kids sex – I mean, unless the kid is a girl and she’s drunk, but that doesn’t have much to do with politics, does it? On the other hand, the Libertarian Party platform advocates the immediate end to drug prohibition, and the whole Libertarian mindset is moderately rebellious; more so than the mainstream, but not quite as much as Anarchism. The goal, then, should be to use those as your hooks to get them interested, then you can reel them in with the rest of your platform.

2. Going To It

Now let’s talk about actual transmission of your views. When choosing a medium, you should mainly consider a few important factors – ease of distribution, appeal to audience, etc. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Flyers are still the old standby. A night at Kinko’s, and you can have yourself an entire propaganda campaign set up by the time you leave. When you’re making flyers, be creative – don’t just make one that says “Politicians Suck” in plain black and white. Incorporate graphics, the more attention-getting the better. Also make sure you tell the person what to do – vote Libertarian, visit www.proletariat.com, shoot a cop, whatever. Remember, you’re not just yelling at people, you’re trying to convince them to embrace your political beliefs.
  • A little higher on the complexity scale would be the underground newsletter. Compile your statements of belief and explanations of your movement into a one or two page newsletter, make about a hundred copies, and then distribute them at school. Now, if you’re talking political beliefs that aren’t to the school’s liking – and if you’re reading this, they probably aren’t – then you’ll have to find a sneaky way of distributing the goods. Here’s an idea: does your school have any of those unused lockers that don’t have locks? Put your work in there, grab a copy, then walk up to a friend, and say “Hey, did you guys see these? Some guy put ’em in locker 1281.” Word of mouth will do the rest.
  • If you’re good at public speaking, that can also be turned to your advantage. Most public schools offer many, many avenues that allow you to get in front of a lot of people and bitch for ten minutes. Incorporate your beliefs into English projects. Join your school’s speech team. Whatever it takes. Essay contests are also a good route – if you write a really good one and win, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to read it in front of the whole school at an assembly. That’s a lot of prospective converts!

3. A Brief Example

For demonstration purposes, I’ll give you guys a little example of some first-rate activism. For this we’ll be using my own beliefs in Libertarianism, but you can adapt it to whatever you damn well please.

Now, I want something fairly simple, so let’s go with some flyers. The first thing I’ll need is a hook, something that appeals to my generation’s rebellious anger and distrust of authority. So, in that vein, I’ll emblazon the words HOW LONG ARE YOU GONNA BE THE GOVERNMENT’S BITCH? across the top of the flyer. Done and done.

Next we need a kickass graphic. Time to hit the web! The internet is an excellent resource for graphics. Don’t be afraid to mix-n-match, either. After some consideration, I decide that I’ll go with a humanized drawing of the Bill of Rights cowering scared on the floor, while George W. Bush raises a fist threateningly at it. For the George W. Bush part I’ll get a picture of him pounding his fist on the podium during a speech off the internet, than cut out the podium part. The Bill of Rights will be trickier, but in the end I can just have a friend who’s good at drawing do it for me. Then I’ll cut and paste the two into the appropriate positions.

For the “call to arms,” I’ll go with some suitably confrontational text:

For far too long, the federal government has abused our rights and stolen our hard-earned income. Are you gonna just sit there and take it? Are you gonna be a bitch your whole life? Or are you gonna RESIST?

VOTE LIBERTARIAN!

Perfect! That should do just fine. I’ll put that right under the graphic, and then it’s off to Kinko’s for printing.


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