PODCAST-Coined in 1990 by anarchist scholar Hakim Bey, the term temporary autonomous zone (T.A.Z.) seeks to preserve the creativity, energy and enthusiasm of autonomous uprisings without replicating the inevitable betrayal and violence that has been the reaction to most revolutions throughout history. The answer, according to Bey, lies in refusing to wait for a revolutionary moment, and instead create spaces of freedom in the immediate present whilst avoiding direct confrontation with the state. Burning Man and Slab City are examples of TAZs in America – and Dr. Perrodin hints that such “government-less” installations are likely to become more common in the future.
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Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. Burning Man is not a festival. Burning Man is a community. A temporary city. A global cultural movement that doesn’t book acts or provide entertainment. What happens here is up to you! There is no corporate sponsorship. You are entering a “decommodified” space that values who you are, not what you have. You are expected to collaborate, be inclusive, creative, connective and clean up after yourself. Participate actively as a citizen of Black Rock City (Temporary city) (NEVADA) approximately 100 north-northeast of Reno.
Slab City, or The Slabs, is a free campsite and alternative living community located near an active bombing range in the desert city of Niland, California. Previously an old WWII base, Marine barracks Camp Dunlap, the campsite earns its name for the concrete slabs that remained long after the military base had been bulldozed and abandoned. The permanent residents, also known as “slabbers,” most often end up in Slab City due to poverty (many are said to subsist off government checks), though some also stay for the feeling of freedom that comes with living in an uncontrolled, off-grid area in the middle of the desert. With no electricity, fresh water, or sewage treatment, residents are forced to rely on solar panels and their own waste system. The residents share one communal shower, a concrete cistern that is fed by a hot spring 100 yards away.
DAVID’S POSITION ON DECLARING TAZ’s DURING DISASTERS
Dr. Perrodin notes that pseudo-TAZ’s manifested when non-profit rescue organizations, such as Cajun Navy Relief, efficiently integrated into rapidly-scaling rescue forces following Hurricanes Irma & Harvey. Unfortunately, government emergency operations centers’ orders sidelined these same types of non-profits a year later from participating in the Hurricane Florence rescue. David argues that a national decree of “TAZ Immunity” should be issued during times of immense national distress.
CHINA’S SOCIAL CREDIT SCORES
Dr. Perrodin closes this show with a primer discussion about China’s individual social credit scores that will be assigned to every citizen in 2020. “Low” scores can result in people being denied plane tickets or even having Internet speeds slowed. What might this practice look like if introduced in America?
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