Hakim Bey and the Occupy Wall Street movement

In the past few days there was a big increase in traffic to Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy, especially to the T. A. Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism and Part 1 – T. A. Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism pages. Presumably, this is due to these pages being referenced by people talking about the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together movements around the country.

For example, some tweets I’ve seen with links have suggested the Occupy Wall Street movement is a “peaceful temporary autonomous zone (TAZ), pirate utopia, encampment of guerrilla ontologists” [via]. I’ve also seen suggestions that the Hakim Bey material is a “key” [via] to Occupy Wall Street, or that that in Bey’s work can be found the “ideological roots of the Wall Street Occupationists” [via].

While I always encourage people to check out material on the Hermetic Library site, and I think it’s great that people are talking about the materials; there’s certainly a couple other things that come to mind for me, which I wanted to mention. Certainly a never ending list of recommendations could be made, but I’ll limit myself to a small handful.

I’d like to suggest that people check out the work of John Brinckerhoff Jackson, especially because of his work around discovering the “vernacular landscape”. When I was reading his work I also posited the existence of an “imaginal landscape”, so you may be inclined to check out one of my personal papers, Sigils of Imagination.

For me, I find myself also thinking about Rebecca Solnit’s Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West, and want to suggest that to you. The struggle over who and what ideology controls landscape is not a new one to the United States, and this work is for me an interesting and powerful exploration of that.

I’d also highly recommend checking out a variety of other resistance movements, both in the US and Europe. One could look at the history of strikes in the US, the history of the Diggers and Levellers in the UK, or at the history of peasant revolts generally in Europe.

But, I also wanted to recommend to you another online repository of texts which I think may be of interest to those checking out the works of Hakim Bey as possibly influences on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ken Knabb’s Bureau of Public Secrets is a pretty extensive collection of Situationist International materials, both in France and elsewhere. You can also may find Ken Knabb’s published works interesting, such as Situationist International Anthology and Public Secrets: Collected Skirmishes of Ken Knabb.

Of course, you may also be interested in the Marxists Internet Archive, which is a venerable online repository of materials of possible interest.

Update 2011nov15 @ 4:36pm:

I note now that according to a tweet by @OWSLibrary and confirmed by the history page of their blog the first book entered into their catalog was, in fact, Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism.