New From Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson: Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto (Updated)

New From Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson: Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto (Updated)

August 9, 2012 2:35 pm 3 comments

New(ish) material from Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey), published in the Spring 2012 issue of Fifth Estate:

Reversion to 1911 would constitute a perfect first step for a 21st century neo-Luddite movement. Living in 1911 means using technology and culture only up to that point and no further, or as little as possible.

For example, you can have a player-piano and phonograph, but no radio or TV; an ice-box, but not a refrigerator; an ocean liner, but not an aeroplane, electric fans, but no air conditioner.

You dress 1911. You can have a telephone. You can even have a car, ideally an electric. Someday, someone will make replicas of the 1911 “Grandma Duck” Detroit Electric, one of the most beautiful cars ever designed.

1911 was a great year for Modernism, Expressionism, Symbolism, Rosicrucianism, anarcho- syndicalism and Individualism, vegetarian lebensreform, and Nietzschean cosmic consciousness, but it was also the last great Edwardian year, the twilight of British Empire and last decadent gilded moments of Manchu, Austro-Hungarian, German, Russian, French and Ottoman monarchy; last “old days” before the hideous 20th century really got going.

The next step backward would be to join the Amish and other Old Order Anabaptists in 1907 — no telephones, no electricity at all, and no internal combustion. With this move, the battle would virtually be won. The next generation would be able to make the transition to no metal — the neo-neolithic. Arcadian pastoralism.

After that a dizzying sliding spiral back into — illiteracy. Oral/aural culture. Classless tribal anarchy. Democratic shamanism. The Gift. This would be the ultimate Luddite goal. But the first step will be back to 1911.

Full Story: Autonomedia: Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Back to 1911″

And people told me quitting most Google services was extreme ;)

(via the newly rejuvenated Aurthur Magazine Twitter account)

Update: It turns out this is an excerpt from a longer manifesto first published by OVO in November 2011:

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Music

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: On (Type) Writing

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Energy

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Photography

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Telephone

3 Comments

  • I assume that Hakim Bey also envisions a return to 1911 population numbers and resource availability.

    • From “Energy”:

      “Everyone simply can’t go ‘back to 1911′ – there wouldn’t be enough energy there to support our wasteful habits. The last viable population density must’ve occurred, in fact, around 1911. After that – the crowd. The utopian reversionism I’m proposing, I guess, is only possible for a self-chosen elite.”

  • anonemouse

    Of course, that’s a vast misunderstanding of the original Luddite cause: they weren’t anti technology, they were anti technology-that-was-stealing-their-jobs; they were labour agitators sabotaging equipment automating away their work. Luddism has been described as ‘collective bargaining by riot.’
    (The theory that the earliest of these technologies was invented out of sheer sexual frustration just puts the icing on the cake.)

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