William Powell ... the name ring a bell? No? Well, maybe you have to be a certain age.
     Oh wait -- I see a couple of you furtively heading for the exits. I know who you are, so don't bother.
     Powell was the author -- at age 19 no less -- of the (in)famous Anarchist Cookbook, a sort of three-part treatise on black ops, bomb-making and agitprop.
     Banned in some countries, the Cookbook is readily available online (I'd suggest using a proxy browser if you want to look it up, but not Tor, which was created by the US Navy). It's heavy on rhetoric and has all kinds of recipes for, well, anarchic behaviour, including bomb-making.
     I am not recommending it for reading, mind you. Not for a minute. For one thing, it was reportedly used by Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, a Columbine killer; and Jared Loughner, who murdered six during his attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords.
     Powell repudiated the book later, and asked for publication to cease (it didn't -- he never held the copyright).
     He became a teacher of special needs children, among other things, and renounced his angry-young-man actions, most notably, perhaps, in an interview with The Guardian.
     Why he's news is that -- unknown by most of the world -- he died last year at age 66 of a heart attack while on vacation in Nova Scotia. That didn't become widely known until a documentary called American Anarchist was released recently.
     Why am I interested? Well, I too am of an age, and remain revolted by the violence the book was inciting back then -- and apparently still is.
     But I used to have my own copy of it (not that I ever used -- or ever would use -- anything in it, of course).
     And in the best spirit of the times, a la Abbie Hoffman, someone stole it.

Additional obit material here

(From The Guardian)

Views: 253

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on April 14, 2017 at 3:35pm

I actually have a dog-eared copy of The Anarchist Cookbook on my bookshelf.  I sure that comes a s surprise to all.  LOL

Comment by moki ikom on April 15, 2017 at 12:38am

I prefer not to ruin a perfectly good word by necessarily conflating it with violence:

Anarchy is the condition of a society, entity, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy.[1] The term originally meant leaderlessness, but in 1840, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his treatise What Is Property? to refer to a new political philosophyanarchism, which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations. In practical terms, anarchy can refer to the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government. It could also mean a nation or anywhere on earth that is inhabited, that has no system of government or central rule.

The word anarchy comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία (anarchia), which combines  (a), "not, without" and ἀρχή (arkhi), "ruler, leader, authority." Thus, the term refers to a person or society "without rulers" or "without leaders."[2]

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant treated anarchy in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View as consisting of "Law and Freedom without Force". Thus, for Kant, anarchy falls short of being a true civil state because the law is only an "empty recommendation" if force is not included to make this law efficacious ("legitimation" from "lex timere" = "fearing the law"). For there to be such a state, force must be included while law and freedom are maintained, a state which Kant calls republic.[3][4]

Kant identified four kinds of government:

  1. Law and freedom without force (anarchy).
  2. Law and force without freedom (despotism).
  3. Force without freedom and law (barbarism).
  4. Force with freedom and law (republic).


Comment by Ron Powell on April 15, 2017 at 4:05am

Anarchy isn't violent by definition while the reaction or response to anarchy always is. 

Anarchy is not the absence of structure or organization (government or law),  it is the absence of rulers (leaders) whose sole purpose or reason for being is control of the social order through either consent or coercion or a combination thereof.

Pure fantasy in any socia,l politcal, or economic context other than primative. 

Comment by Boanerges on April 15, 2017 at 5:59am

Forgot all about the actor, Terry, so thanks for ... saaaaay, weren't you one of those headed for the exit?

Nope, Amy, doesn't surprise me for one minute. Interesting reading, isn't it?

Philosophical discussions aside, Moki, anarchic behaviour (as advised in the Cookbook) is a method to achieve regime change, and that seldom happens peaceably.

So, Ron, the murder of President McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, an avowed anarchist, wasn't violent? Or the Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand by Princip at Sarajevo?

Comment by JMac1949 Today on April 15, 2017 at 6:17am

I second Terry MCK's sentiment.

Comment by koshersalaami on April 15, 2017 at 6:32am

Boanerges, Ron said the reaction or response to anarchy is always violent; anarchy isn't violent in theory. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 15, 2017 at 6:38am

In an odd way, the world does need minds like his.

Comment by older/exasperated on April 15, 2017 at 8:34am

Ozark Hillbilly Dictionary   anarchist: Billy Bob who lives in the old trailer in the woods 15 SW from Potosi

CIA training manuals are better anyway I read it back when it came out but I was military so much of it I knew already. Time to go see ya Bo, my best to TPR.................o/e

Comment by Boanerges on April 15, 2017 at 1:10pm

Me too, JMac.

Agreed, Kosh, but theory has a bad way of being over-ridden in real life. Like by the putting into practice the recipes in the Cookbook.

Could you expand on that viewpoint, Jon? I think it's interesting.

Yeah, O/E, but you had ready access to all that government-made hardware. Us civilian folk had to make do. Just sayin'....

Comment by Rodney Roe on April 15, 2017 at 8:49pm

Maybe no one has a more powerful need for things to stay the same than "archists".  They don't peacefully give up their power.

I have friends who are Libertarian Anarchists.  They understand that that is an ideal state that can only be yearned for, but never attained.  Personally, it sounds awful, but they think it would just be perfection to have to pay tolls on every road you drove on, none of which would be property of the state, but some road building magnate.

I wandered.  Interesting to know about William Powell.  Thanks.


You need to be a member of Our Salon to add comments!

Join Our Salon



Posted by John Manchester on May 21, 2019 at 10:33am 0 Comments

The Pace Quickens

Posted by Robert B. James on May 21, 2019 at 6:11am 1 Comment


Posted by koshersalaami on May 20, 2019 at 5:53pm 16 Comments

The Wall

Posted by Steel Breeze on May 20, 2019 at 11:43am 3 Comments

A Little Spanish Night Music

Posted by Rodney Roe on May 20, 2019 at 9:49am 7 Comments

Now Now

Posted by Robert B. James on May 20, 2019 at 7:51am 4 Comments

The Final Frontier

Posted by Robert B. James on May 19, 2019 at 7:34am 2 Comments

© 2019   Created by lorianne.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service