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9 Nov

THE SEA-ROVERS AND CORSAIRS of the 18th century created an “information network” that spanned the globe: primitive and devoted primarily to grim business, the net nevertheless functioned admirably. Scattered throughout the net were islands, remote hideouts where ships could be watered and provisioned, booty traded for luxuries and necessities. Some of these islands supported “intentional communities,” whole mini-societies living consciously outside the law and determined to keep it up, even if only for a short but merry life.” Hakim Bey, The Temporary Autonomous Zone

Does the information enclaves and free spaces, like the information network of XVII century pirates can exist today? The spaces in both in physical or electronic spheres, that possess a true freedom? Hakim Bey said that they already exist. But this is also a moment worth of thinking about the definition of freedom itself. Can a man be truly free in the age, where satellites see 100% of the land? How does the fact of constant observation inflict the definition of freedom? But what if a person B watches a persons A behaviour, but person A is using different language and behaviour codes, so that person B can see, but doesn’t understand? In cyberspace a true freedom can be achieved already – you just need to unplug from the internet, and this fact doesn’t have to mean that you wont be connected. You can have your own internal network, which already happens – artists and people of free mind create alternative networks, free from the seeing eye of the State, the Government.

In Hakim Bey’s work besides the idea of freedom emerges an idea of development. Bey says that a revolution is an enemy of changes. A true solution is an uprising. There is 1 crucial difference – temporariness. The effects of revolution becomes stable, and make the history, while an uprising is temporal, its effects doesn’t remain for a long time. This joins with the logical acknowledgment that life develop only through changes. If there is no change, no action, there is no development, even no life. Life is defined in an action. In this contecst revolution is death. For revolution is a two-edged sword, because revolution is used for changes, that then become permanent. So refreshing is only the first act of revolution, which is nothing else than an uprising. It is next killed by second act, the stabilization, when a revolution becomes a history,a new order. For Bey an uprising is a jump off the spiral of history, while a revolution takes part of creating it.

The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it.” Hakim Bey, The Temporary Autonomous Zone

A nice example of the incarnation of the concept of Temporary Autonomous zones is a movement of pirate radio stations, which by the way also inherit from TAZ the romantic pirates motive.