Saul Alinksy’s book Rules for Radicals is a foundational work for leftist activists. It’s a manual for the radical left to manipulate society and achieve their goals in causing radical societal changes. The book tells the story of how Saul Alinsky trains “Community Organizers.” These are the agents of change for the left. They are insurgent rabble who rally groups of people to upset the status quo. The Community Organizer isn’t really a phenomenon on the right. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the right always loses. But on the left, the community organizer is a legitimate job title. Two famous community organizers you’ve probably heard of are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So it’s definitely a career path on the left that can get you high in their chain of power.
The goal of this post is to provide an outline of this infamous book. The right needs to understand the left so that it can anticipate its moves and strategize accordingly. The fact that most on the right have not read this book while most on the left have, shows the incompetence of the right. This is a practical book that cares not for high-minded theories and “ought’s.” A lesson the right could learn.
To get a flavor of Saul Alinsky he acknowledges Lucifer at the beginning of his book. Alinksy calls him the “first radical.” I personally think Alinksy does this as a bit of a troll and for humor. AS soon as he does this acknowledgment he’s scared away most on the Christian right and many sensible people. I do not think that Saul Alinsky was any sort of worshipping Satanist, but it is clear that Alinksy favors and aims to produce chaos. A radical to Alinsky is someone who disrupts the truth. The tradition and the culture. He injects chaos into order with the goal of disrupting the order. The book acknowledges lucifer claiming that he, “rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he won his own kingdom.” That kingdom is hell. And Alinksy’s tactics will undoubtedly bring us Hell on Earth.
Alinsky portrays the book as a rallying cry for the underprivileged. He quotes the Spanish Civil war motto that “It is better to die standing than to live on your knees.” But the truth is once you get past the pep rally it’s a handbook for relativism to disrupt the order of the world.
Alinsky dedicates a chapter to the concept of Means and Ends. The goal of this chapter is to dissuade anyone from saying, “The ends don’t justify the means.” To Alinsky, the Ends always justify the means, if you win. If history is written by the victors then the victors can justify the actions however they please. It’s a rationalization that allows Alinsky and his adherents to not worry about truth and to not feel guilty. So long as they win they will be justified. There is no appeal to right or wrong because right or wrong do not exist to Alinsky. There is only power and perception. And if you have the power you control the perception.
There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds he becomes a founding father … Ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning.Rules for Radicals pg 34
After discussing means and ends Alinksy goes on to discuss communication methods. He believes in straight talk and avoiding the use of water down the language. Watered language cannot provide the same guttural reaction that straight unfiltered truth can. You always want to speak in a way that will get a reaction. People are driven by emotions first and then afterward find ways to justify it using reason. If you can cause an emotional reaction, you can get people to believe what you want them to.
Anther way to cause an emotional reaction is to speak to people from experience.
You must create an experience for him … that when you go outside anyone’s experience not only do you not communicate, you cause confusion.Rules for Radicals pg 85
The goal is to tell stories that are personal and that will move people on an emotional level this is why you should always try to communicate based on experience. One particularly dark point Alinksy makes is on the nature of the people who will be sacrificed. He makes the claim that it is better to deal with a specific person than with a general mass. That a single person dying is a martyr, while a thousand deaths is just a statistic.
The job of the organizer is to introduce chaos to the establishment.
The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a “dangerous enemy”Rules for Radicals pg 100
Saul Alinsky would have made a great earned media strategist. This is the whole point of earned media most of the time. Check out my review of the book Trust Me I’m Lying to learn more about that. The community organizer gets his power from the response he garners from the establishment. The community organizer has little power until the establishment gives him the power by labeling him dangerous. In this way, the radical uses his enemy against himself. Once he gains this power he can use the tactics outlined by Alinsky to coerce the establishment into bending the knee to the radical.
- “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
- “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
- “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
- “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
- “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”
- “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
- “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
- “Keep the pressure on.”
- “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. “
- “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
- “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.”
- “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
- “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. “
The main tactics that we on the right see used against us are tactics 4 and 13. How often do you hear the charge of hypocrisy? Frequently. The left loves to say things like, “I can’t believe the party that’s pro-life would ______.” Be for the death penalty, be against immigration, be against free healthcare, be against college loan forgiveness. You name it the left can fit whatever cause they want into that phrase. They love to call the right hypocrites. Why? because we are hypocrites. We’re human. To be human is to be fallen, and to be fallen is to be a hypocrite. For once I’d like the right to say, ” I can’t believe the party that is pro-choice won’t let me choose to have a gun.”
The fourth rule is common. So common that even the right has caught on and uses it. There’s a reason people despise Nancy Pelosi.
Alinsky finishes the book by showing what the way forward is. And it is to disrupt the middle class. Alinsky aimed to use the middle class to cause a new revolution. We’re seeing the fruits of those efforts today.
The “Silent Majority,” now, are hurt, bitter, suspicious, feeling rejected and at bay … These emotions can go either to the far right of totalitarianism or forward to Act II of the American Revolution.
It does feel like we’re headed for another revolution. And Alinsky’s tactics have been used to get us there. The problem is revolutions often come with bloodshed and mass death. Alinsky is truly a fan of Lucifer, he’s increasing the size of his Hellish kingdom every day.