Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Rules from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

  • RULE 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy 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… [and] the collapse of communication.
  • RULE 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
  • RULE 4: Make the enemy 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 counter attack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
  • RULE 6: A good tactic is one that 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 too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues
  • RULE 8: Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose*.
  • RULE 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • RULE 10: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
  • RULE 11: If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside. This is based on the principle that every positive has its negative*.
  • RULE 12: 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 13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame. The real action is in the enemy’s reaction. The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.


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