William Powell, who wrote the Anarchist’s Cookbook, died a few months ago

The history of resistance is populated by lone wolves, some who are admirable. Some who are truly transgressive.

William Powell was young and fired up and figured out how to terrorize the world. His obituary is well worth reading.

He also lived, after his transgression, something of an exemplary live, serving our society’s greater goals always.

I loved the Anarchist Cookbook when I was a teen, for the assumption of pure power anyone could have by building a bomb. It stroked my teenage dream of blowing things up to make things right.

But we all knew we were small potatoes compared to the international situation.  Or we thought we were.

Today we know that a small potato with a big bomb can change everything, and while Powell may have known that, his amazing book is changed by that knowledge from an object of romantic upheaval to a harbinger of terror.

It’s the same thing, but the context changes everything. And I write now of my love for the book without apology, but with a much greater understanding of the obligations and costs of, well, revolution, especially as practiced by someone better equipped to blow stuff up and kill than to actually change things.

Time to head to the basement to find my copy of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book.

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