Hakim Bey explains the concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone in a series of chapters that discuss ideas from power structures, conditions for TAZ, revolutions, and even music. Hakim Bey refrains from explicitly defining the TAZ in order to refrain from constructing any political dogma and instead makes a “circle around the subject” (Bey 93).
I honestly had no idea of what a TAZ was or what it would be prior to doing this reading. From defining the word autonomous, I would obviously know that the concept would relate to the idea of self-governance, but that would be very surface level. What allows this reading to provide me with initial insight is when Bey starts asking a series of questions. Hakim Bey starts off by questioning whether or not people living in our present world will ever experience autonomy for themselves and suggests that logic and emotion “condemn such a supposition” (Bey 92).
Another thing Hakim Bey questions in the first chapter is whether or not we’ll have to wait until the entire world is freed from political control before someone can claim to know freedom, and I personally find this contemplation to be completely abstract and in some ways unrealistic. Based on my personal experiences and own education about mankind’s history in our world, I don’t personally see how a “free enclave” could be existent or possible, however I do believe that one’s viewpoint of this concept depends on their own personal definition of “freedom” and how they perceive the existence of a system. I believe autonomy could only truly work in a society where everything is completely homogenous and there is an absence of classifications or statuses to divide people.
Hakim Bey explains in his last chapter that in order for the TAZ to emerge there must be psychological liberation from societal ideas of freedom, the counter-Net must expand, and that power along with will to power must “disappear” (Bey 118). I believe none of this can be achieved by anyone without realizing that there are ideas and systems already put in place that influence our current decisions, and for one to even consider autonomy as an option, they must first break down the pros and cons of each system along with contemplating whether or not the pros and cons of each make autonomy something worth achieving. Like all forms of power that exist in our world, autonomy is a social construct and is likely to have its own system attached to it in some way.