Pirate utopia

Pirate utopia

Pirate utopias were described by essayist Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey) in his 1995 book "Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes", and in his earlier essay "Temporary Autonomous Zone" (TAZ), as secret islands once used for supply purposes by pirates that were early forms of autonomous "mini societies" existing beyond the realm and reach of governments. These pirate enclaves typify proto-anarchist societies in that they operated beyond laws and governments and, in their stead, embraced freedom. The city of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia is a present day pirate haven.

On the Barbary Coast

Located on the Barbary Coast (Salé, Algiers, Tunis...), those pirate utopias were haven for Muslim Corsairs from the 16th to the 19th century. The pirates, dubbed "Barbary Pirates", ravaged European shipping operations and enslaved many thousands of captives. However, thousands of Europeans also converted to Islam, forming the "Renegados" and joining the pirate holy war. Wilson shows that these men and women were not only apostates and traitors, as they were considered in their homelands: their voluntary betrayal of Christendom can also be thought of as a praxis of social resistance. Wilson focuses on the Pirate Republic of Salé, in 17th century Morocco, which can be considered a type of micronation with its own seaport argot known as "Franco", since like other pirate states, it used to pass treaties from time to time with some European countries, agreeing not to attack their fleets. Wilson's idea of Temporary Autonomous Zones developed from his historical review of pirate utopias.

List of examples

* Libertatia
* Barataria Bay
* Campeche
* Borneo
* Jolo
* Tortola
* Tortuga
* Port Royal
* Porto Farina
* Kowloon Walled City

See also

* Piracy
* Barbary Pirates
* Temporary Autonomous Zone
* Libertatia
* Hakim Bey (aka Peter Lamborn Wilson)
* Peter Ludlow (author of "Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias", 2001)
* Cities of the Red Night, a novel about pirate utopias including Libertatia by William S. Burroughs, 1981.
* Anarchism
* Data haven
* Micronation


* Peter Lamborn Wilson, "Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes" ISBN 1-57027-158-5 (Autonomedia, 1996)
* Peter Ludlow, "Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias" ISBN 0-262-12238-3 (2001)
* Hakim Bey, "TAZ - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism" ISBN 1-57027-151-8 (Autonomedia, 2003)

External links

* [http://www.hermetic.com/bey/taz3.html#labelPirateUtopias Pirate Utopias] - From "Temporary Autonomous Zone"
* [http://www.eco-action.org/dod/no8/pirate.html Pirate Utopias (Do or Die) - Piracy and Anarchism]

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