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Pirate utopia: Wikis


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Pirate utopias were described by controversial anarchist writer Peter Lamborn Wilson in his 1995 book Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes, and in his earlier TAZ - The Temporary Autonomous Zone: Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (published under the pseudonym Hakim Bey), 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. In Wilson's view, these pirate enclaves typified proto-anarchist societies in that they operated beyond laws and governments and, in their stead, embraced unrestricted freedom.


On the Barbary Coast

Located on the Barbary Coast (Salé, Algiers and Tunis), those pirate bases were havens for Muslim Corsairs from the 16th to the 18th 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 writes that these men and women were not only apostates and traitors, as they were considered in their homelands, but 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". Like some other pirate states, it even used to pass treaties from time to time with some European countries, agreeing not to attack their fleets. Wilson/Bey's idea of Temporary Autonomous Zones developed from his historical review of pirate utopias.

List of examples

See also


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

External links



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