ENDARKENMENT MANIFESTO by Peter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey

From ARTHUR MAGAZINE No. 29 (May 2008): Peter Lamborn Wilson’s half-serious proposal for a political movement to uphold and propagate the ideals of Green Hermeticism. Wilson sometimes uses the pen name ‘Hakim Bey.’ He is the author of the Temporary Autonomous Zone concept and manifesto, which, for better or worse, was the original inspiration for the Burning Man festival..


At least half the year belongs to Endarkenment. Enlightenment is only a special case of Endarkenment—and it has nights of its own.


During the day democracy waxes, indiscriminately illuminating all and sundry. But shadowless noon belongs to Pan. And night imposes a “radical aristocracy” in which things shine solely by their own luminescence, or not at all.


Obfuscatory, reactionary and superstitious, Endarkenment offers jobs for trolls and sylphs, witches and warlocks. Perhaps only superstition can re-enchant Nature. People who fear and desire nymphs and fauns will think twice before polluting streams or clear-cutting forests.


Electricity banished shadows—but shadows are “shades,” souls, the souls of light itself. Even divine light, when it loses its organic and secret darkness, becomes a form of pollution. In prison cells electric lights are never doused; light becomes oppression and source of disease.


Superstitions may be untrue but based on deeper truth—that earth is a living being. Science may be true, i.e. effective, while based on a deeper untruth—that matter is dead.


The peasants attacking Dr. Frankenstein’s tower with their torches and scythes were the shock troops of Endarkenment, our luddite militia. The original historical Luddites smashed mechanical looms, ancestors of the computer.


“Neolithic conservatism” (Paul Goodman’s definition of anarchism) positions itself outside the ponderous inevitability of separation and sameness. Every caveman a Prince Kropotkin, every cavewoman Mrs. Nietzsche. Our Phalanstery would be lit by candles and our Passions avowed via messenger pigeons and hot-air balloons.


Imagine what science might be like to day if the State and Kapital had never emerged. Romantic Science proposes an empiricism devoid of disastrous splits between consciousness and Nature; thus it prolongates Neolithic alchemy as if separation and alienation had never occurred: science for life not money, health not war, pleasure not efficiency; Novalis’s “poeticization of science.”


Of course technology itself is haunted—a ghost for every machine. The myth of Progress stars its own cast of ghouls and efreets. Consciously or unconsciously (what difference would it make?) we all know we live in techno-dystopia, but we accept it with the deterministic fatalism of beaten serfs, as if it were virtual Natural Law.


Technology mimics and thus belittles the miracles of magic. Rationalism has its own Popes and droning litanies, but the spell they cast is one of disenchantment. Or rather: all magic has migrated into money, all power into a technology of titanic totality, a violence against life that stuns and disheartens.


Hence the universal fear/desire for the End of the World (or for some world anyway). For the poor Christian Moslem Jewish saps duped by fundamentalist nihilism the Last Day is both horrorshow and Rapture, just as for secular Yuppies global warming is a symbol of terror and meaninglessness and simultaneously a rapturous vision of post-Catastrophe Hobbit-like local-sustainable solar-powered gemutlichkeit. Thus the technopathocracy comes equipped with its own built-in escape-valve fantasy: the Ragnarok of technology itself and the sudden catastrophic restoration of meaning. In fact Capital can capitalize on its own huge unpopularity by commoditizing hope for its End. That’s what the smug shits call a win/win situation.


Winter Solstice (Chaos Day in Chinese folklore) is one of Endarkenment’s official holidays, along with Samhain or Halloween, Winter’s first day.


Endarkenment stands socially for the Cro-Magnon or “Atlantaean” complex—anarchist because prior to the State—for horticulture and gathering against agriculture and industry—for the right to hunt as against the usurpation of commons by lord or State. Electricity and internal combustion should be turned off along with all States and corporations and their cult of Mammon and Moloch.


Despite our ultimate aim we’re willing to step back bit by bit. We might be willing to accept steam power or hydraulics. The last agreeable year for us was 1941, the ideal is about 10,000 BC, but we’re not purists. Endarkenment is a form of impurism, of mixture and shadow.


Endarkenment envisages a medicine advanced as it might have been if money and the State had never appeared, medicine for earth, animals and humans, based on Nature, not on promethean technology. Endarkenment is not impressed by medicine that prolongs “life span” by adding several years in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and glued to daytime TV, all at the expense of every penny ever saved by the patient (lit. “sufferer”) plus huge debts for children and heirs. We’re not impressed by gene therapy and plastic surgery for obscene superrich post humans. We prefer an empirical extension of “medieval superstitions” of Old Wives and herbalists, a rectified Paracelsan peoples’ medicine as proposed by Ivan Illich in his book on demedicalization of society. (Illich as Catholic anarchist we consider an Endarkenment saint of some sort.) (Endarkenment is somewhat like “Tory anarchism,” a phrase I’ve seen used earliest in Max Beehbohm and most lately by John Mitchell.) (Other saints: William Blake, William Morris, A.K. Coomaraswamy, John Cowper Powys, Marie Laveau, King Farouk…)


Politically Endarkenment proposes anarcho-monarchism, in effect somewhat like Scandinavian monarcho-socialism but more radical, with highly symbolic but powerless monarchs and lots of good ritual, combined with Proudhonian anarcho-federalism and Mutualism. Georges Sorel (author of Reflections on Violence) had some anarcho-monarchist disciples in the Cercle Proudhon (1910-1914) with whom we feel a certain affinity. Endarkenment favors most separatisms and secessions; many small states are better than a few big ones. We’re especially interested in the break-up of the American Empire.


Endarkenment also feels some critical admiration for Col. Qadhaffi’s Green Book, and for the Bonnot Gang (Stirnerite Nietzschean bank robbers). In Islamdom it favors “medieval accretions” like sufism and Ismailism against all crypto-modernist hyperorthodoxy and politics of resentment. We also admire the martyred Iranian Shiite/Sufi socialist Ali Shariati, who was praised by Massignon and Foucault.


Culturally Endarkenment aims at extreme neo-Romanticism and will therefore be accused of fascism by its enemies on the Left. The answer to this is that (1) we’re anarchists and federalists adamantly opposed to all authoritarian centralisms whether Left or Right. (2) We favor all races, we love both difference and solidarity, not sameness and separation. (3) We reject the myth of Progress and technology—all cultural Futurism—all plans no matter their ideological origin—all uniformity—all conformity whether to organized religion or secular rationalism with its market democracy and endless war.


Endarkenists “believe in magic” and so must wage their guerrilla through magic rather than compete with the State’s monopoly of techno-violence. Giordano Bruno’s Image Magic is our secret weapon. Projective hieroglyphic hermeneutics. Action at a distance through manipulation of symbols carried out dramaturgically via acts of Poetic Terrorism, surrealist sabotage, Bakunin’s “creative destruction”—but also destructive creativity, invention of hermetico-critical objects, heiroglyphic projections of word/image “spells”—by which more is meant (always) than mere “political art”—rather a magical art with actual dire or beneficial results. Our enemies on the Right might call this political pornography and they’d be (as usual) right. Porn has a measurable physiopsychological effect. We’re looking for something like it, definitely, only bigger, and more like Artaud than Brecht—but not to be mistaken for “Absolute Art” or any other platonic purism—rather an empirical strategic “situationist” art, outside all mass media, truly underground, as befits Endarkenment, like a loosely structured “rhizomatic” Tong or freemasonic conspiracy.


The Dark has its own lights or “photisms” as Henry Corbin called them, literally as entoptic/hypnagogic phosphene-like phenomena, and figuratively (or imaginally) as Paracelsan Nature spirits, or in Blakean terms, inner lights. Enlightenment has its shadows, Endarkenment has its Illuminati; and there are no ideas but in persons (in theologic terms, angels). According to legend the Byzantines were busy discussing “the sex of angels” while the Ottomans were besieging the walls of Constantinople. Was this the height of Endarkenment? We share that obsession.

Jan. 1, 2008

Tonight – John Zorn improv night/benefit for The Stone

3/8 Saturday at The Stone in NYC
8 and 10 pm

John Zorn Improv Night—A Stone Benefit

John Zorn (sax) Elliott Sharp (guitar) Jim Pugliese (percussion) Lukas Ligeti (drums) Ha-Yang Kim (cello) Anthony Coleman (piano) Wu Fei (guzheng) Reuben Radding (bass) Ikue Mori (laptop) and special guests


“The Stone is a not-for-profit performance space dedicated to the EXPERIMENTAL and AVANT-GARDE.

“There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone. Only music. All ages are welcome.

“There are no advance ticket sales.

“All admissions are at the door prior to each performance.”

THE STONE is located at the corner of avenue C and 2nd street

Tonight in Highland Park

This weekend:
“Between People” – Opening this Saturday, Aug. 11th, 7-10pm
This Saturday, August 11th we’ll be hosting the opening of “Between People”, organized by Robby Herbst and featuring work from Marc Herbst (from individual conversations with Katie Bachler, David Burns and Evan Holloway), Robby Herbst (with the Agape Dance Choir), Adam Overton and Hana van der Kolk. An organizational note: “As go-betweens and conduits, the four artists of Between People investigate interpersonal dynamics and acts of relating. From post-modern dance to group-dynamic workshops, the drawings, scripts as well as public and private encounters of Marc Herbst, Robby Herbst, Adam Overton and Hana van der Kolk explore acting on the desire to reach out and touch some one.”

David Patton LA
5006 1/2 York Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
90042 USA

Telephone:(323) 478-1966
Fax:(323) 478-1166
Thur— Sat, 12-6pm, and by appointment

Children of the Sun: German and California Proto Hippies

It’s fig season in California. Those sweet tree warts are beginning to sag with the weight of their sugars. True bliss for urban and rural foragers alike. The season reminds me of these folks…

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Natural music and vine ripe watermelon with Gypsy Boots and his talented friends on a summer day in Hollywood,1948. Gypsy Boots and his pals would often travel over 500 miles just to pick and eat some fresh figs.

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Seven of California’s “Nature Boys” in Topanga Canyon, August 1948. They were the first generation of Americans to adopt the “naturemensch” philosophy and image, living in the mountains and sleeping in caves and trees, sometimes as many as fifteen of them at a time. All had visited and some were employed at “The Etropheon” where John Richter gave his inspiring lectures about raw foods and natural living.

This magnificently illustrated book chronicles the philosophy, lifestyle and dissemination of Lebensreform, (Life Reform – “neither communism nor capitalism, but land reform”). In reaction to industrialization, from Hermann Hesse and the artist Fidus wanderings through pre-WW1 Germany in edenic bliss to Bill Pester going natural in a Palm Springs canyon. Pester, a German born immigrant, was counted in the 1920 census as one of the 24 members of the Cahuilla tribe.

Bill Pester at his palm log cabin in Palm Canyon, 1917; note palm blossoom walking sticks leaning on left side of the door.

Man was intended to live in a state of nature. All mans troubles, sickness, anxieties and discontent come from a departure from nature. I would advise you to go back to nature, if you want to be cured; give up your extravagant habits, your high-priced hotel life, quit taking medicine and discharge your doctor. -Bill Pester

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Image by Fidus


Wandervogel means “migrant birds/free spirits.”

"Bread and Puppet continues, more than 40 years on, to live an ideal of art as collective enterprise, a free or low-cost alternative voice outside the profit system."

The New York Times- August 5, 2007

Spectacle for the Heart and Soul



FOR the first time in many summers the Bread and Puppet Theater will travel nine hours from northern Vermont for a New York City gig, at Lincoln Center on Wednesday evening. Then the troupe will turn around and ride back to its farm just below the Canadian border, where it will put on the same show. You can easily spot the group en route: 1963 school bus, painted sky blue, with a mountain landscape, an angel and a beaming sun on the side.

People who know of the troupe without really knowing its work tend to link it to political street theater of the 1960s, an accurate but incomplete association. Recently I’ve been thinking of the theater in a contemporary context. At a time when the art industry is awash in cash and privilege, and theater tickets routinely go for $100 or more, Bread and Puppet continues, more than 40 years on, to live an ideal of art as collective enterprise, a free or low-cost alternative voice outside the profit system.

I have another association with the troupe: Bread and Puppet gave me the single most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen in a theater. That was in 1982, in the sloping, wide-open field that is part of the theater’s farm in Glover, Vt. There the collective was presenting a two-day festival, Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, as it had done almost every summer since relocating from the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 1970s.

The circus, a bunch of political skits, concerts and vaudeville acts, took place in the afternoon, and it was fun. (The troupe’s Lincoln Center appearance will follow more or less this format, on a smaller scale.) Then at sunset came the pageant, a kind of morality play told in epic visual terms. During Vietnam the themes had been specific. Wrongs had a name and a solution: Stop the war. By the 1980s the issues had become many and complicated — threatened nature, global consumerism, nuclear dangers — and remedies far less sure. The 1982 pageant had an odd tone, brusque and apocalyptic. It opened with a bucolic scene: little cutout houses and trees carried onto the field, followed by puppets of dancing cows. Villagers in masks arrived, milked the cows, settled down to bed, woke up, had children who within minutes had children of their own. This was ordinary life set to haunting music: vigorous, low-church American folk hymns from the 19th-century collection “The Sacred Harp.”

Suddenly four dark puppet horses with devil riders wheeled in from afar, backed by a huge dragon. Almost without warning the devils waved black banners over the villagers, who fell to the ground, dead. The devils then piled the houses and horses together and set them alight. Good and evil alike were in flames. Moral chaos. End of story.

But not quite. As the fire burned, a half-dozen great white gulls or cranes — muslin kites carried on sticks by runners — soared up from the horizon and started flying in our direction. They came right to the flames and soared over them as if looking for signs of life. Then they circled back across the field, melting into darkness. It was fantastic. Only when they were out of sight did I see that night had fallen and stars were out. It felt like an impossible trick of stagecraft, a miracle. I had been simultaneously transported and pulled back to earth.

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