"Community, to me, is based on physical reality—not on communication devices."

Interview with Peter Lamborn Wilson AKA Hakim Bey in his home in May 2009.


It's not clear to me that the state ever needed to emerge. That's why I call it the coup d'├ętat. I believe it was a conspiracy that happened locally but once it had happened it was like a viral infection that was actually irresistible; and slowly, slowly, slowly it spread out from the epicenters until in the 20th century it reached The End and there are now no more wild places.

What was broken in 1989, in I think a major historical almost "end of the world" kind of way, was the idea that there is something natural about community. Now we have the idea that whatever it was it's not important and it can be replaced by technology anyway, so who cares? For the last 8 years in this country we've been suffering under an exaggerated caricature of these ideas so it's been really painful intellectually to see what's happening to the social fabric in America.

There was an ad that came out for the telephone back in the eighties..."Reach out and touch someone". I always got a good laugh out of that because that's exactly what you don't do with a telephone. You don't reach out and touch someone you reach out and...you long distance them so you don't have to touch them.

The captains in pirate boats, usually...their share was only a little bit larger than the share of the average crew man. For example if the average crew member was getting a single share the captain would often get no more than two sometimes one and a half shares. Whereas in the privateers ships, which were commissioned by governments, the captain would get forty shares to the crew man's single share. So this is the difference between piracy and privateering.

Cotton Mather . . . the Puritan minister in New England who was involved in burning witches, not a very nice guy, once complained bitterly that the Indians have stolen hundreds of our people but we've never been able to convert a single Indian to Christianity. The idea was that if you were on the bottom of the colonial totem pole, if you were a serf, what was so great about white society and European civilization that would keep you from running away and joining the Indians who knew where to find food; who had no kings over them telling them what to do; who had different ideas about sexuality and love; who were clearly at home in this new world? ...So the temptations to run away and "become an Indian"...is one of the earliest impulses of American Resistance.

For anywhere from 40,000 to a million years, depending on how you define humans, there were human societies that did not have authoritarian structures and they were almost invariably based on hunting and gathering or primitive agriculture.

The state doesn't emerge until the end of the Neolithic. It clearly is not horticulture, or primitive agriculture, that causes the state to appear because for ten thousand years we have societies based on domestication where the state does not emerge. The state emerges, as far as we can see, because a few more crucial factors come into play. Metallurgy being a very important one. In other words technology in the modern sense. Irrigation and therefore the idea of a permanent surplus...So these two things I see as the turning point which allowed what I call the first coup d'├ętat which was the emergence of the state. I'm sure it had been tried before because as Pierre Clastres says primitive societies are not made up of goody-goody people who all love each other all the time. They know the danger of hierarchy and they organize their society against it.

That's the idea of Society Against the State by Clastres which you should read if you haven't and also the book we published by him Archeology of Violence in which he explains about primitive war. These are very important books. Too few people have read them.

Domestication, to me, begins as this great erotic experience of nature, that we are not alone in nature, that the nature spirits love us and want to do right by us and want to collaborate with us so we will always have plenty of dope to smoke, or barley to make beer, or whatever it is, in the new world it's Tobacco.

...all the early cultivated plants were about pleasure.

Some evil magicians and some disappointed warriors got together and plotted how to enslave the rest of their own tribe. What could be more wicked and evil than that?

If you go back and look at the first dynasty in Egypt or the third dynasty of Ur what do you find? Human sacrifice and cannibalism. This is the basis of the state: Human Sacrifice. Not just enslaving the peasants, it's worse than that, eating the peasants.

In the New World, in the MississippianCahokian culture...What were they up to? They were a highly stratified society with kings and nobles on one hand and slaves on the other and they also had a faulty idea about agriculture. They were not getting enough protein...so what did they do? They started eating the slaves.

Clearly there were still... lots of things to eat in America in those days. You didn't have to do all this hard work as long as you avoided this kind of massive pyramidal-shaped hierarchical society where the upper ten percent was reduced to the horrible level of a religious justification for eating their neighbors.

I'm beginning to have some hopes that maybe the youth will pull out of this cyber daze that they're in and actually begin to resist again.