Friday, March 11, 2005

On Hakim Bey ands Ontological Anarchism

preface: this is in response to a discussion in which one side was denouncing Bey's work based partly on his reputation as a hypocrite, and the other was dogmatically asserting that these allegations were false based soley on Bey's "work". as you can see it was difficult not to interject...

there is a difference between the two sides of this discussion which are overlapping yet completely unrelated. the difference is not unlike the difference between the Iranian Mullahs and those who oppose the Islamic Revolution's institutions. this diference lies in practical, empirical, and political application of ideas that are mythical in nature. one side is defending the idea, and one side is denouncing the application of the idea.

Hakim, for instance, uses the phraseology "Ontological Anarchism", which is accurate. ontology is metaphysical, it is philisophical, and pertains to the nature of "being", which, by definition is a subjective concept. as a subjective concept it is necessarily abstract and inconsistent when applied to issues of an objective nature. unfortunately, because we are truly (biologically) autonomous creatures, sharing nothing between ourselves aside from communicated signals (unless of course you are a conjoined twin) all we have is our subjective perspective. we can obtain a general layout of objectivity by stringently assessing the subjective perceptions of others(which, it should be noted is the primary function of science) and weighing them against our own. this, it has been argued, is a facade, because at its core, it is only interpretive and thus, lacks the ability to truly capture and demonstrate an objective perception.

we see examples of this in every facet of life. some call it predjudice, some call it ignorance, but in reality, is is simply a lack of TOTAL information, non? why do some people hate others? they often have reasons, some good, some bad, some logical, some purely emotional, but in the end, they are subjective reasons. there are no objective acts, there are no objective actions.

this is where we begin to have these conflicting discussions concerning Bey. on the one hand he is revered as someone who is forwarding a cause dear to many people, and indeed at the highest degree of importance for many others. and i would agree that he has/will do much in relation to opening people's minds to the concept of human autonomy. but think about that statement for a moment. human autonomy...

autonomy does not consider the outside. autonomy is a dedication to complete subjectivity. moreover autonomy cannot judge. it cannot judge because it fails, or moreover strives, to erradicate the objective in order to focus on the subjective wholly. by focusing on the subjective wholly, one must ignore, completely, all else but self. one must ignore, rather than assess, the objective realm. by doing so one becomes truly "autonomous". THIS my friends is truly Ontological Anarchism. poetic terrorism, seminars, books, communes, fuck-festivals, music concerts, online chat groups(especially online chat groups, jesus, that's ORGANIZATION!), email wank sessions, communique` pamphlets, radio transmission, these are not autonomy.

this is why i mention the Islamic Revolution. spritually, and ontologically this movement was clear and set a perfect(unquestionable) path for the autonomous individual to walk, however in its application to ALL people in ALL circumstances at ALL times (to the death if need be) destroyed what Islam was innately focused on...the subjective experience of an autonomous creature. by taking their subjective vision and applying it universally to objective reality the Mullahs betrayed the heart and soul of their beliefs and turned Islam into barbarism and totalitariansim. anarchist "movements" disintegrate into socialist and/or fascist movements, not because there is no validity in human autonomy, but because a "movement" is innately anti-autonomous, and in order to impose a subjective credo,or thought process on objective reality one must oppress autonomy. it is impossible to escape until all humans are identical in every facet and experiece the exact same subjective reality. "group-autonomy" is a philisophical, logical, and semantic oxymoron.

when people scream CHARLATAN! FAKE! INFIDEL! concerning Bey, they are sometimes working from a position of jealousy, ignorance, and often opposition to that which he espouses. but take a moment to consider that one would also come to the same conclusion about Bey as they became more aware of his push to create a "movement", his "revolution of the imagination". these, as well as his insistence on "educating" people. indeed, his focus on "corporations" on "governments" on "liars" on "chaos" are smokescreens for banners. these banners muct be waved to create a symbiotic relationship between your subjective reality and his subjective reality(communication). these banners, even between two people constitute an agreement on objective matters and as such seek to nullify and castrate the subjective perception. by nullifying the subjective you make "autonomy" ingenuous and meaningless.

these are not autonomous practices. they never have been, and they cannot be.

i do not write this as an indictment of Bey. do i believe that what those people assert in their indictments of Bey are pure truth? no. do i care? no...not by a long-shot. does it alter my perception of Bey's work? no. does it offer a new opinion for me to assess? why yes, it does. what's wrong with that? there are only two reasons i would oppose another opinion. one reason would be that i have achieved autonomy(and thus it is of no concern), and another is dogmatism.

on a personal opinion note: re-evaluate your emotional impulse. shrieking like Newt Gingrich at a flag-burning protest because someone says something "negative" about Bey is indicative of ideological fundamentalism and in no way reflects someone striving to reach human autonomy.

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