Rules for Radicals (Or how to turn the US into a socialist country)
By saul Alinsky( obama’s idol- as quoted from his book.)
In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote an entertaining classic on grassroots organizing titled Rules for Radicals. Those who prefer cooperative tactics describe the book as out-of-date. Nevertheless, it provides some of the best advice on confrontational tactics. Alinsky begins this way: What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away. His “rules” derive from many successful campaigns where he helped poor people fighting power and privilege For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting what is wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a bad situation, they stop thinking about it. According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a bad situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.” Through a process combining hope and resentment, the organizer tries to create a “mass army” that brings in as many recruits as possible from local organizations, churches, services groups, labor unions, corner gangs, and individuals. Alinsky provides a collection of rules to guide the process. But he emphasizes these rules must be translated into real-life tactics that are fluid and responsive to the situation at hand.
Rule1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage
Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.
Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative
Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame. According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.
The 48 Laws of Power -by Saul’s mentor Robert Greene
The 48 Laws of Power is a 1998 book by Robert Greene. The book shares thematic elements with Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and has been compared to Sun-Tzu’s classic treatise The Art of War.
Law 1 Never Outshine the Master
Law 2 Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Law 3 Conceal your Intentions
Law 4 Always Say Less than Necessary
Law 5 So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Law 6 Court Attention at all Cost
Law 7 Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Law 8 Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
Law 9 Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Law 10 Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
Law 11 Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
Law 12 Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
Law 13 When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
Law 14 Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Law 15 Crush your Enemy Totally
Law 16 Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Law 17 Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Law 18 Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
Law 19 Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
Law 20 Do Not Commit to Anyone
Law 21 Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
Law 22 Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
Law 23 Concentrate Your Forces
Law 24 Play the Perfect Courtier
Law 25 Re-Create Yourself
Law 26 Keep Your Hands Clean
Law 27 Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
Law 28 Enter Action with Boldness
Law 29 Plan All the Way to the End
Law 30 Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Law 31 Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
Law 32 Play to People’s Fantasies
Law 33 Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Law 34 Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
Law 35 Master the Art of Timing
Law 36 Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
Law 37 Create Compelling Spectacles
Law 38 Think as you like but Behave like others
Law 39 Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Law 40 Despise the Free Lunch
Law 41 Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
Law 42 Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Law 43 Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Law 44 Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
Law 45 Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
Law 46 Never appear too Perfect
Law 47 Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
Law 48 Assume Formlessness