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Immediatism by Hakim Bey

This nOde last updated February 26th, 2002 and is permanently morphing...
(5 Muluc (Water) - 7 K'ayab (Turtle) - 109/260 -

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immediacy (î-mê´dê-e-sê) noun
plural immediacies
1. The condition or quality of being immediate.
2. Lack of an intervening or mediating agency; directness: the immediacy of live television coverage.
3. Something immediate, as in importance.

immediacy (noun)

continuity: immediacy, directness
instantaneity: instantaneity, instantaneousness, immediateness, immediacy
punctuality: immediacy, instantaneity
haste: immediacy, urgency, importance


immediate (î-mê´dê-ît) adjective
1.Occurring at once; instant: gave me an immediate response.
2.a. Of or near the present internal linktime: in the immediate future. b. Of or relating to the present time and place; current: "It is probable that, apart from the most immediate, pragmatic, technical revisions, the writer's effort to detach himself from his work is quixotic" (Joyce Carol Oates).
3.Close at hand; near: in the immediate vicinity.
4.Next in line or relation: is an immediate successor to the president of the company.
5.Directly apprehended or internal linkperceived: had immediate awareness of the scope of the crisis.
6.Acting or occurring without the interposition of another agency or object; direct.

[Middle English immediat, from Old French, from Late Latin immediâtus : Latin in-, not. See in-1 + mediâtus, past participle of mediâre, to be in the middle. See mediate.]
- imme´diateness noun

immediate (adjective)

continuous: direct, immediate, unmediated
instantaneous: instantaneous, simultaneous, immediate, instant, sudden, abrupt, snap
early: summary, sudden, immediate, instantaneous, unexpected
impending: instant, immediate, about to be, on the point of, instantaneous
speedy: immediate, instantaneous
hasty: allowing no time, brooking no delay, urgent, immediate, important

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It's important not to get caught, as this neutralizes any power we might have gained or sought to express, and even turns our own power against us. A good Immediatist action should be relatively impeccable, to coin an oxymoron. Getting expelled from High-school might spoil the effect. Immediatism wants to be a internal linkmartial art, not a road to martyrdom.

internal linkHakim Bey

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The goals of the Immediatist organization are:

A) Conviviality: the coming together in physical closeness of the group for the synergistic enhancement of its membership's pleasures.

B) Creation: the collaborative production, direct and unmediated, of necessary beauty, outside all structures of hypermediation, internal linkalienation, commodification.  We've long since grown weary of quibbling over terms, and if you don't know what we mean by "necessary beauty" you may as well stop reading here. "Art" is only a possible sub-category of this mystery and not necessarily the most vital.

C) Destruction: We'd go farther than Bakunin, and say that there is no creation without destruction. The very notion of bringing some new beauty into being implies that an old ugliness has been swept away or blown up. Beauty defines itself in part (but precisely) by destroying the ugliness which is not itself. In our version of the Sorelian myth of social violence, we suggest that no Immediatist act is completely authentic and effective without both creation and destruction: the whole Immediatist dialectic is implied in any immediatist "direct action", both the creation-in-destruction and the destruction-in-creation. Hence "poetic terrorism", for example; and hence the internal linkreal goal or telos of all our organizational forms is:

D) the construction of values. The Maslovian "peak experience" is value-formative on the individual level; the existential factuality of the Bee,internal linkTonginternal linkTAZ or uprising permits a "revaluation of values" to internal linkflow from its collective internal linkintensity. Another way of putting it: -- the transformation of everyday life.

1) The gathering. Could be anything from a party to a riot. Can be planned or unplanned but depends on spontaneity to "really happen". Examples: anarchist gathering, neo-pagan celebration, Rave, brief urban riot or spontaneous demo. Of course the best gatherings become TAZ's such as some of the Be-Ins of the 60's, the early Rainbow tribe gatherings, or the Stonewall Riot.

2) The horizontal potlach. A one-time meeting of a group of friends to exchange gifts. A planned orgy might fall into this category, the gift being sexual pleasure -- or a banquet, the gift being food.

3) The Bee. Like a quilting bee, the Immediatist Bee consists of a group of friends meeting regularly to collaborate on a specific project. The Bee might serve as an organizing committee for a gathering or potlach, or as a creative collaborative, an affinity group for direct action, etc. The Bee is like a Passional Series in Fourier's system, a group united by a shared passion which can only be realized by a group.

4) When the Bee acquires a more-or-less permanent membership and a purpose larger than just a single project -- an on-going project, let's say -- it can either become a "club" or Gesellschaft organized non-hierarchically for open activity, or else a "Tong" organized non-hierarchically but clandestinely for secret activity. The Tong is of more immediate interest to us now for tactical reasons, and also because the club operates in danger of "institutionalization" and hence (in Ivan Illich's phrase), "paradoxical counter-productivity". (That is, as the institution approaches rigidity and monopoly it begins to have the opposite effect from its original purpose. Societies founded for "freedom" become authoritarian, etc.) The traditional Tong is also subject to this trajectory, but the Immediatist Tong is built, so to speak, to auto-destruct when no longer capable of serving its purpose.

5) The TAZ can arise out of any or all of the above forms singly, in sequence, or in complex patterning. Altho I've said the TAZ can last as briefly as one night or as long as a couple of years, this is only a rough rule, and probably most examples fall in between. A TAZ is more than any of the first four forms, however, in that while it lasts it fills the horizon of internal linkattention of all its participants; it becomes (however briefly) a whole society.

6) Finally, in the uprising, the TAZ internal linkbreaks its own borders and flows (or wants to flow) out into the "whole world", the entire immediate time/space available. While the uprising lasts, and has not been terminated by defeat or by changing into "Revolution" (which aspires to permanence), the Insurrection keeps the consciousness of most of its adherents spontaneously tuned in to that elusive other mode of internal linkintensity, clarity, attention, individual and group realization, and (to be blunt) that happiness so characteristic of great social upheavals such as the Commune, or 1968. From the existential point of view (and here we invoke Stirner, internal linkNietzsche, and Camus), this happiness is actually the purpose of the uprising.

 - Hakim Bey - _The Occult Assault On Institutions_

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Fugazi - Argument on Dischord (2001) Hakim Bey - TAZ\ Bill Laswell
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