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Hakim Bey

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Peter Lamborn Wilson (b. New York, 1945) is an American, political writer, essayist, and poet, perhaps best known for first proposing the concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ), based on a historical review of pirate utopias, some people claim he is a pædophile (see the criticism section). He sometimes writes under the name Hakim Bey. The pseudonym may or may not have been a name-of-convenience or collective pseudonym used by other radical writers since the 1970s and is a combination of the Arabic word for 'wise man' and a last name common in the Moorish Science Temple. Bey, originally a Turkic word for "chieftain," traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled bey, beg or beigh. They are all the same word with the simple meaning of "leader." Also in Turkish, Hakim means judge and Bey is a generic word for a gentleman (mister) generally used after a name.

Life & work[edit]

Wilson spent two years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and seven years in Iran (where he was affiliated with the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy), leaving during the Iranian Revolution. In the 1980s, his ideas evolved from a kind of Guénonist neo-tradionalism 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, 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; NAMBLA Bulletin; 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 Many of these poems, including the 'Sandburg' series, are collected in the as-yet unpublished DogStar volume.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 (a sword and sorcery boy-love tale) (Coltsfoot Press, 1983).

Wilson, especially through 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."[1]


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. Many atheist and materialist anarchists dislike the tendency toward mysticism, occultism, and irrationalism in his work.[2] Many anarchists also dislike his attempts to hide his paedophile ideology within anarchist discourse [2].


See also[edit]


  1. An Anarchist in the Hudson Valley Brooklyn Rail, July 2004
  2. [1]

External links[edit]

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