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541 of 603 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explains a Lot of Things ...
The purpose for my reading this book was self-educational and an effort to be open-minded about the broad political spectrum that exists today. I found Alinsky's book to be enlightening, thought-provoking, interesting and very relevant. In fact, I strongly feel that "Rules for Radicals" provides a great deal of insight to the current state of political discourse in...
Published on May 22, 2010 by DACHokie

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115 of 142 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Radical's Book
This book is a methodical collection of thoughts, actions, and principles from the master 1930s-70s radical, Saul Alinsky, for maximizing opportunities to influence masses of people into rejecting and fighting the status quo. If you share Alinsky's basic and fundamental beliefs, this book is a great 'how-to' for becoming a radical and political activist. If you are...
Published on September 18, 2009 by Matthew Dodd


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541 of 603 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explains a Lot of Things ..., May 22, 2010
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This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
The purpose for my reading this book was self-educational and an effort to be open-minded about the broad political spectrum that exists today. I found Alinsky's book to be enlightening, thought-provoking, interesting and very relevant. In fact, I strongly feel that "Rules for Radicals" provides a great deal of insight to the current state of political discourse in United States. However, after reading the book, I found myself wondering if Alinsky ever imagined his "radicals" achieving success to the point in which they themselves ultimately become victims of their own methods.

"Rules for Radicals" is essentially a guidebook that encourages individuals to gather, organize and develop a battle-plan to spread a socialist agenda; there is even a list of tactics to be used. Alinsky has conveniently simplified the complex socio-economic landscape of the United States into three groups: The Haves (upper-class), The Have Some, Want More (middle-class) and Have-nots (poor). It is explained that the Haves are the minority that possesses all the wealth/power which is used to ruthlessly exploit the lower classes to enforce their status-quo and maintain their wealth/ power. The Have-Some and Have-nots are basically characterized as being numerically strong, but also mindless and weak ... forced to a life dictated by the Haves. Alinsky then introduces the "community organizer" ... the do-gooder ... the pot-stirrer ... the "social-conscience" ... the one who will fight for those who "can't" or "won't" fight for themselves ... the one who will "take it to" the Haves. Ironically, I found that Alinsky's book provided more explanation of what our current President did prior to being in public office than any media source has ever tried to convey.

Alinsky then informs the reader what is needed to become an effective organizer in terms of education and necessary communication skills. But, in my opinion, the most revealing portion of his book is the chapter on tactics, where Alinsky details 13 rules to be implemented by the organizer(s) to take down the Haves. That chapter alone provided so much insight as to how the current leadership in this country came to power. The 5th, 8th and 13th rules ("Ridicule is man's most potent weapon", "Keep the pressure on" and "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it" respectively) could easily explain the demise of President George W. Bush.

The remainder of the book provides assistance on how to get started, as well as citing a few successful examples of a competent organizer implementing the suggested tactics.

What Alinsky fails to explain though, is what happens when the organizers become the new Haves ... like today. Yes, the targets presented by the new Haves are still the traditional Haves (the wealthy corporations and their hierarchy), but the organizers also possess wealth and power ... meanwhile, the Have-Some and Have-Nots still wallow in the same state, despite all the political rhetoric and promise. So, I am asking myself if Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" is simply instructions for one group of Haves to use against another group of Haves. Yet another way to exploit the masses by duping them into thinking someone is actually fighting on their behalf?

What I found quite amazing after reading "Rules for Radicals" is that I feel that I had stumbled upon THE liberal playbook. It is quite easy to look back at the lead-up to the elections of 2006 and 2008 and see Alinsky's handiwork. But, I find myself wondering if the "radicals" now in charge have unwittingly positioned themselves to be victims of their own game ... I guess that answer may come in 2010 and/or 2012.
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83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Study in Contradictions, July 16, 2009
By 
Ron Braithwaite "Hummingbird God" (El Indio, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
'Rules for Radicals' is nothing less than Alinsky's 'Mein Kampf'. He even cites the advantages of imprisonment for book writing which Hitler would have certainly agreed with. I have awarded this book 4 stars because it gives important insights into the philosophical underpinnings of Barack H. Obama, not because it is a great book and certainly not because I agree with it in most important areas.

At the same time, I recognize that Alinsky had qualities that most Leftist ideologues simply don't have. He was genuinely intelligent and had a deep knowledge and appreciation for frail human nature. He recognized the strengths and weaknesses of his adherents and opponents and used them for his own advantage. Not so surprisingly he places his motivations in JudeoChristian morality but then turns around and rejects morality when manipulating means to achieve these admirable goals. Enter Barack Obama. Lies, trickery and subterfuge are justiable in promoting revolutionary goals.

Many of his words, tactics and motives were tactics...but...there was a decisive difference. Whereas Marx looked to an end game of perfect communistic bliss, Alinsky regarded this as unrealistic. He advocated a program of institutionalized revolution which would, of course, fit perfectly with his personality because he, personally, was the institutionalization of Left Revolution.

Why perpetual revolution? He never quite spells it out. As a matter of fact he glosses over it. It's fun. It's a living. If his feet were put to the fire, however, he would probably say that should we succeed in elevating a certain underprivileged class, they quickly become a privileged class and must, in their turn, be agitated and torn down to make room for those relatively less privileged than they are....and...ad infinitum. Stalin, of course, did something similar by killing the upper crust of Russian peasantry [the Kulaks] which, inevitably, caused those under them to fill their slots. Stalin then killed them off. The next group rose and were murdered...until Stalin was left with only pasive, hopeless people.

Alinsky's stated motives are to support the poor and oppressed in their struggle for a better life. At the same time, however, we are left with the niggling suspicion that Alinsky, himself, in all his acquired wisdom, manipulates the poor and oppressed for his own purposes. Alinsky might have agreed. He says that ego is an important motivator for a revolutionary as is self-interest. If it makes him [Alinsky] feel personally good to 'help' the poor and oppressed, then it satisfies his criterion of self-interest.

Alinsky is intelligent and philosophical with a broad wealth of knowledge but, at the same time, he may have been, at his heart, a violent person. An Alinsky quote: 'I have on occasion remarked that I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed [by the revolution he financed] on Sunday.' This, of course, although violent and reprehensible, is not a new thought. It is merely a restatement of Lenin's famous phrase: 'The capitalists will fashion the rope they hang themselves with.'

Alinsky also recommended fixing and personalizing your enemies, even if they weren't much 'enemies'. Should an enemy or adverse issue be 48% right and you think that you, or your issue, are 52% right. You must act as if the enemy were 100% wrong and you 100% right...moral relativism [which Alinsky thoroughly agreed with]. Therefore take a political figure that you are in some small disagreement with; paint her as a common harlot, unintelligent with sexual proclivities toward small children.

This is where Alinsky was coming from tactically and because it worked he wouldn't have seen it as 'wrong' or 'immoral' but a simple tactical expedient. Here you see one of the major influences that Alinsky has had on the Democrat Left, in general, and Barack Obama in particular.

As an aside, I may have met Alinsky personally. It was in Los Angeles in 1967 and I was about 22 years old at the time. A friend invited me to attend an antiwar meeting entitled, 'The Loyal Opposition.' Well I wasn't into the antiwar thing but I decided to humor my friend and went. It was a small meeting with maybe 25 people presided over by an older man [Alinsky?]. I, of course, expected an antiwar meeting with an emphasis on American principles. Man, was I wrong. It was a meeting promoting outright sedition.

After listening to the spokesman awhile preaching about the total disruption and fornication of American, I stood up and retaliated with arguments that set him right back on his heels. I asked him why he had lied by entitling his meeting the 'Loyal' opposition. It turned into a shouting match with plenty of profanity and strong language coming from him...perfectly in keeping with Alinsky. The meeting broke up in turmoil which I was entirely responsible for. Good.

Ron Braithwaite
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210 of 261 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Obama, March 12, 2009
By 
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
Having grown up in the sixties, remembering and participating in school sit-ins I was eager to reacquaint my self with a long lost name from the past. Saul D. Alinsky has been in the news again over the past year because of the campaign of Barak Obama the Chicago community organizer, turned politician.

This book, "Rules for Radicals" is must reading for anyone who desires insight into what is ahead for this country. There are several sections of the book, which after you read them, you think isn't that just what happened, or oh that's why he did this. The book is a collection of ideas, situations and anecdotes spun into an easygoing yarn of the life of a community organizer. An organizer helps the have-nots get what the haves have, and then he goes and helps the have-not's get what the haves have and then ... well you get the idea.

A must read for the curious and politically inclined.
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115 of 142 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Radical's Book, September 18, 2009
By 
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
This book is a methodical collection of thoughts, actions, and principles from the master 1930s-70s radical, Saul Alinsky, for maximizing opportunities to influence masses of people into rejecting and fighting the status quo. If you share Alinsky's basic and fundamental beliefs, this book is a great 'how-to' for becoming a radical and political activist. If you are opposed to Alinsky's political activism, born out of his negative outlook of and perspectives on our American way of life, this book can help you understand the methods and the 'madness' of those people and forces that disrupt and try to tear down our traditional societal norms.

This book was not an easy read for I disagreed strongly with what he said about my country that I love and his general outlook on life. Alinsky used the following terms interchangeably: "activist," "radical," "organizer," "agitator,"
"revolutionary," and "man of action." Another 'word group' used frequently was the many forms and variations of "organize" and "organizer" - some 356 times in 196 pages. I found his approach to change and reform crafty, cunning, deceitful, insidious, and disingenuous. His methods are masterfully designed to take advantage of our imperfect systems, and human weaknesses and tendencies. Another disturbing aspect of the book was the predominance of militaristic language when discussing the 'how' and 'why' of his logic: war, battle, attack, tactics, enemy, and strategy.

Alinsky was smart and well-read, but I believe he chose to put his intellect and energies to use for detrimental purposes. He offered many observations and perspectives that differed from my own beliefs and experiences, which was not necessarily a problem, but coming after his "acknowledgment to... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer," I found his logic and morals seriously flawed.

Rating this book was a new challenge for me. I vehemently disagreed with so much of the content that giving it a lot of stars was out of the question. Objectively, it was well-written and structured to support the author's perspectives, so in that sense it was not a bad book. In the end, however, taken together, I believe Alinsky's beliefs and methods are negative, destructive, and counter-productive, and I could not rate this book as high as books that contribute more positively to the advancement of our American way of life.
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116 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best insights into the world view of our current administration, July 31, 2009
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
This book will reveal uncanny similarities in ideology and precise buzz words and phrases such as "Hope and Change" and "Yes We Can" between the author and our current president. Knowing that President Obama was an admirer and student of the original Community Organizer, Saul Alinski, I found this book a must read to arrive at an understanding of their methods and motive. They are clear: Tear down the entire system by any means necessary.

While I regret seeing book royalty money going to nefarious people and causes, I made the sacrifice in exchange of factual information and confirmation.
You doubt? Read it...and weep.
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719 of 917 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you are is what you were, May 24, 2009
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
It's well known that Obama's early years were seriously affected by his association with Bill Ayres and the teachings of Saul Alinsky which seem to be codified and laid out in "Rules for Radicals."

As an elderly citizen who is very interested in politics and extremely concerned about our country's direction I'm reading Rules for Radicals.
Watching Obama's run for election, his rhetoric and every one of his moves it is frightening to see how much Alinsky's words are like a playbook for every thing Obama has done and said.

I wish more Americans would read it if they could and understand it if they could but our present day under-educated government population couldn't handle it!

Very sincerely,
Charles M. Dean
Woodstock, Ga.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You do not get moral results from immoral means, March 13, 2014
The reviews of the book here also fit the printed version. I bought the printed version back when the price printed on the cover was $1.95, now it’s a bit more.

There are many war stories in the book, and that’s what turned me off. If all you want to do is to get political power and you don’t care how you do it, these tactics can bear fruit. But watch out, in winning the battle, in the long run you can lose the war.

I read years ago a history about one town’s efforts to integrate where there was so much bitterness over the tactics used, that when finally one of the top prizes to be integrated, the public swimming pool, was to be opened, there was no public swimming pool. The battle was won, the order sent out to integrate the public pool, but the war lost because the pool was no more. This history is not recounted in the book.

On another level, these tactics can backfire. If you are one of those like me who has no political power and no desire to get it, where the main conflict is the battle of ideas, the most powerful weapons mentioned in the book and the ones most central in the war stories recounted in the book — ridicule and personalization — will cause you to lose the war. Those are the tactics to make personal enemies who will hinder efforts to get ideas accepted. Those tactics listed in the book are tactics of hate, dishonesty and depersonalization, but the acceptance of ideas demands that people be treated with honor and respect as persons, even when arguing against them, and the ideas presented honestly and truthfully.

The problem with ridicule is that central to ridicule is dishonesty, in short, lies. When a person is lied about in such a way as to make fun of him, there’s a special fury that results that he will do anything in his power to thwart the acceptance of your ideas.

The problem with personalization of the conflict is that the target is often put in a position where he is unable to come around and support your ideas. In other words, creating an enemy out of someone who could be an ally, or at least a neutral bystander.

The tactics listed in the book are tactics designed to get political power. But ideas are not politics. When ideas are imposed through political power, they often engender a backlash from below because “a person convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still” to use an old English proverb. When people are victimized by politically imposed ideas, that only makes martyrs that spread opposition to those ideas.

For those on the receiving end of such tactics, when the battle is one of ideas and not political power, they now count the use of such tactics as signs that they have won. Ridicule with its hate and dishonesty, shows that the one who uses ridicule has no sound counter ideas to the ones presented. Personalizing the argument as listed on page 130 of my copy of the book, and illustrated in the war stories following, is recognized for what it is, namely what is called a “red-herring logical fallacy” and its use only encourages people on the receiving end of such abuse, because again it’s a sign that the battle of ideas has been won and those who use such tactics have no good counter ideas.

Even in the acquisition of political power, many of the tactics work only if the enemy has a book of rules, the fourth tactic mentioned. Gandhi was successful only because his enemy was England, which had a book of rules. Had he gone against a Stalin who had no book of rules, the chances of him surviving long enough to do anything would have been about nil.

To give a personal experience of being on the receiving end of such abuse as listed in this book, there’s a reviewer going by the name “alberino” who has been attacking me as being a member of the Tea Party (I’ve had zero personal contact with this group, but have had personal contact with Occupy Wall Street), has lied about them being racist (contrary to news reports, used as a red herring logical fallacy to turn people’s attention away from the historic close connections between the Democrat Party and the KKK), he has repeatedly lied about me personally, but I’m encouraged by such tactics, because they show that “alberino” is morally and intellectually bankrupt, having no viable ideas to counter the ideas that I present.

In closing, I give the book only one star because of its narrow focus, namely the acquisition of political power, that it actually gives advice that hurts and is counter-indicated in other fields, such as the propagation of ideas. Secondly the tactics mentioned work only within societies that have books of rules that limit their reactions means that there are only few places in the world where they have a chance of working. I give the book only one star because in the end, the tactics used and illustrated in the book are immoral by their use of lies and personal attacks. I give the book one star because while the ideas presented in the book may work to get political power in the short run, in the long run they can lead to a reaction that hurts one’s cause more than it helps it.
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110 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Blueprint, March 9, 2009
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
I found this book very enlightening. I am not a politician but I wanted to know why people were comparing Obama to Alinsky! I beleive that this book is the blueprint and map that Obama used to get where he is now and God help us on where he is leading us!
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532 of 696 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Spoiled Brat Revolution, January 26, 2009
This review is from: Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Paperback)
That's right, Mr. Alinsky has perfected the art of stomping your feet until you get your way. At least that appears to be his method. It explains a lot of the 'spoiled brat' revolutions we see today. I am not saying that there are not any causes without substance. Just a lot that seem to follow the same recipe. You know, the victim mentality that surrounds us continuously and the idea that the rest of us are somehow complicit in someone else's woes.

Enough of that. There are two chapters that comprise the meat of this book: 'In the Beginning' and 'Tactics'. The chapter on 'Communications' is somewhat worthy as well. The rest is just a semantic argument that justifies the authors excesses. We ponder important questions like 'Does the end justify the means'? Could you believe: of course it does if your the one involved in the means! There is even a chapter on disseminating the meaning of certain words like 'power', 'compromise', and 'conflict'. He even quotes Nietzsche and his 'Tartuffery of words'. Talk about semantics!

But all is not lost. The book is actually quite informative and fun to read. You might even fancy yourself standing up to authority and saying 'No Mr. Mayor, We're not going to take it anymore'. And rules! Yes there are rules! Like my favorite: 'making the enemy live up to their own rules'. That one never gets tiring and is the source of endless amusement for those of us 'in the know'. In fact his list of rules is one of the most useful parts of the book. And knowing them can help those having to deal with people like Mr. Alinsky.

The bottom line is that the authors methods can be very useful although there is no guarantee that someone using them will do so for the common good. At one point as I read the book I saw myself rating it a 1 star and then at another, a 5 star. I settled on a compromise at 3 stars. Mr. Alinsky would be proud. Welcome to the revolution!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A review of Alinsky using his own words, July 27, 2014
By 
Ted C. (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Alinsky is a primary influence on President Obama from before Obama's first job working as a community organizer in the Saul Alinsky network. Secretary Clinton was personally offered a job by Alinsky when she was in college writing a year long thesis titled, "An Analysis of the Alinsky Model".

Select quotes, Vintage Books Edition, October 1989.

"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that at least he won his own kingdom -Lucifer." (page ix)

"Few of us survived the Joe McCarthy holocaust of the early 1950s and of those there were even fewer whose understanding and insights had developed beyond the dialectical materialism of orthodox Marxism." (Page xiii)

"Remember that we are talking about revolution, not revelation; you can miss the target by shooting too high as well as too low. First, there are no rules for revolution any more than there are rules for love or rules for happiness." (Page xviii)

"The political panaceas of the past, such as the revolutions in Russia and China, have become the same old stuff under a different name. The search for freedom does not seem to have any road or destination." (Page xiv)

"Men have always yearned for a sought direction by setting up religions, inventing political philosophies, creating scientific systems like Newton's, or formulating ideologies of various kinds. This is what is behind the common cliche, 'getting it all together' -despite the realization that all values and factors are relative, fluid, and changing." (Page xv)

"Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system." (Page xix)

"'Power comes out of the barrel of a gun!' is an absurd rallying cry when the other side has all the guns. Lennin was a pragmatist; when he returned to what was then Petrograd from exile, he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot but would reconsider after they got the guns!" (Page xx)

"Men don't like to step abruptly out of the security of familiar experience; they need a bridge to cross from their own experience to a new way. A revolutionary organizer must shake up the prevailing patterns of their lives- agitate, create disenchantment and discontent with the current values, to produce, if not a passion for change, at least a passive, affirmative, non-challenging climate." (Page xxi)

"...gassing and violence by the Chicago Police and National Guard during the 1968 Democratic Convention....But the answer I gave the young radicals seemed to me the only realistic one: `Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing-but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.'" (Page xxiii)

"As for Vietnam, I would like to see our nation be the first in the history of man to publicly say, `We were wrong! What we did was horrible...' Such an admission would shake up the foreign policy concepts of all nations and open the door to a new international order." (Page xxiv)

"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. In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people." (Page 3)

"Dogma is the enemy of human freedom. Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary movement. The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain and injustice." (Page 4)

"We have permitted a suicidal situation to unfold wherein revolution and communism have become one. These pages are committed to splitting that political atom, separating the exclusive identification of communism with revolution." (Page 9)

"Political realists see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest." (Page 12)

"We live in a world where `good' is a value dependent on whether we want it. In the world as it is, the solution of each problem inevitably creates a new one. In the world as it is there are no permanent happy or sad endings. Such endings belong to the world of fantasy, the world as we would like it to be, the world of children's fairy tails where, `they lived happily ever after.' In the world as it is, the stream of events surges endlessly onward with death as the only terminus." (Page 14)

"The grasp of the duality of all phenomena is vital in our understanding of politics. It frees one from the myth that one approach is positive and another negative. There is no such thing in life. One man's positive is another man's negative." (Page 17)

"The setting for the drama of change has never varied. Mankind has been and is divided into three parts: the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores....They [the Have-Nots] hate the establishment of the Haves with its arrogant opulence, its police, its courts, and its churches. Justice, morality, law, and order, are mere words when used by the Haves, which justify and secure their status quo." (Pages 18,19)

"Yet in the conflicting interests and contradictions within the Have-a-Little, Want Mores is the genesis of creativity. Out of this class have come, with few exceptions, the great world leaders of change of the past centuries: Moses, Paul of Tarsus, Martin Luther, Robespierre, Georges Danton, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Nikolai Lenin, Mahatma Gandhi, Fidel Castro, Mao Tse-tung, and others." (Page 19)

"A major revolution to be won in the immediate future is the dissipation of man's illusion that his own welfare can be separate from that of all others....it was a disservice to the future to separate morality from man's daily desires and elevate it to a plane of altruism and self-sacrifice. The fact is that it is not man's `better nature' but his self-interest that demands that he be his brother's keeper. We now live in a world where no man can have a loaf of bread while his neighbor has none. If he does not share his bread, he dare not sleep, for his neighbor will kill him....I believe man is about to learn that the most practical life is the moral life and that the moral life is the only road to survival. He is beginning to learn that he will either share part of his material wealth or lose all of it....This is the low road to morality. There is no other." (Page 23)

"To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life." (Page 24)

"...in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one's individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual's personal salvation. He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of `personal salvation'; he doesn't care enough for people to be `corrupted' for them." (Page 25)

"The means and end moralists, constantly obsessed with the ethics of the means used by the Have-Nots against the Haves, should search themselves as to their real political position. In fact, they are passive - but real - allies of the Haves." (Page 25)

"I present here a series of rules pertaining to the ethics of means and ends: first, that one's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue. When we are not directly concerned our morality overflows....The second rule of ethics of means and ends is that the judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment....Those who opposed the Nazi conquerors regarded the Resistance as a secret army of selfless, patriotic idealists, courageous beyond expectation and willing to sacrifice their lives to their moral convictions. To the occupation authorities, however, these people were lawless terrorists, murderers, saboteurs, assassins....To us the Declaration of Independence is a glorious document and an affirmation of human rights. To the British, on the other hand, it was a statement notorious for its deceit by omission." (Pages 26, 27)

"The myth of altruism as a motivating factor in our behavior could arise and survive only in a society bundled in the sterile gauze of New England Puritanism and Protestant morality and tied together with the ribbons of Madison Avenue public relations. It is one of the classic American fairy tales." (Page 53)

"...the United States in World War II fervently allied with Russia against Germany, Japan, and Italy, and shortly after victory fervently allied with its former enemies - Germany, Japan, and Italy - against its former ally, the U.S.S.R. These drastic shifts of self-interest can be rationalized only under a huge, limitless umbrella of general "moral" principles such as liberty, justice, freedom, a law higher than man-made law, and so on. Morality, so-called, becomes the continuum as self-interest shifts....With one breath we point out that we are utterly opposed to communism, but that we love the Russian people (loving people is in keeping with the tenets of our civilization). What we hate is the atheism and the suppression of the individual that we attributed as characteristics substantiating the `immorality' of communism. On this we base our powerful opposition. We do not admit the actual fact: our own self-interest." (Page 55)

"It is interesting that the communists do not seem to concern themselves with these moral justifications for their naked acts of self-interest. In a way, this becomes embarrassing too; it makes us feel that they may be laughing at us, knowing well that we are motivated by self-interest too, but are determined to disguise it. We feel that they may be laughing at us as they struggle in the sea of world politics, stripped to their shorts, while we flop around, fully dressed in our white tie and tails." (Page 58)

"They call it `C.O.' (which to us means Conscientious Objector) or `Community Org.' (which to us evokes a huge Freudian fantasy). Basically the difference between their goals and ours is that they organize to get rid of four-legged rats and stop there; we organize to get rid of four-legged rats so we can get on to removing two-legged rats." (Page 67)

"I have improvised teaching approaches. For example, knowing that one can only communicate and understand in terms of one's experience, we had to construct experience for our students....Happenings become experiences when they are digested, when they are reflected on, related to general patterns, and synthesized....Our job was to shovel those happenings back into the student's system so he could digest them into experience." (Page 68)

"Moses did not try to communicate with God in terms of mercy or justice when God was angry and wanted to destroy the Jews; he moved in on a top value and outmaneuvered God. It is only when the other party is concerned or feels threatened that he will listen....But Moses kept his cool, and he knew that the most important center of his attack would have to be on what he judged to be God's prime value. As Moses read it, it was that God wanted to be No. 1. All through the Old Testament one bumps into "there shall be no other Gods before me," "Thou shalt not worship false gods," "I am a jealous and vindictive God," "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain." And so it goes, on and on, including the first part of the Ten Commandments. Knowing this, Moses took off on his attack. He began arguing and telling God to cool it. (At this point, trying to figure our Moses' motivations, one would wonder whether it was because he was loyal to his own people, or felt sorry for them, or whether he just didn't want the job of breeding a whole new people, because after all he was pushing 120 and that's asking a lot.)" (Pages 89,90)

"...Samuel Adams, at the time when he was allegedly planning the Boston Massacre; he was quoted as saying that there ought to be no less than three or four killed so that we will have martyrs for the Revolution, but there must be no more than ten, because after you get beyond that number we no longer have martyrs but simply a sewage problem." (Page 96)

"Power means strength, whereas love is a human frailty the people mistrust....power and fear are the fountainheads of faith....The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him, as a "dangerous enemy". The word "enemy" is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people, to identify him with the Have-Nots, but it is not enough to endow him with the special qualities that induce fear and thus give him the means to establish his own power against the establishment. Here again we find that it is power and fear that are essential to the development of faith." (Page 100)

"...if your function is to attack apathy and get people to participate it is necessary to attack the prevailing patterns of organized living in the community. The first step in community organization is community disorganization....The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression." (Page 116)

"The fourth rule is: 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 can live up to Christianity....The fourth rule carries with it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. " (Page 128)

"In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt." (Page 129)

"The thirteenth rule: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'" (Page 130)

"O'Hare Airport became the target....You decide to wait until after landing to use the facilities in the terminal....the tactic becomes obvious- we tie up the lavatories. In the restrooms you drop a dime, enter, push the lock on the door- and you can stay there all day....the ladies' restrooms could be occupied completely; the only problem in the men's lavatories would be the stand-up urinals. This, too, could be taken care of, by having groups busy themselves around the airport and then move in on the stand-up urinals to line up four or five deep whenever a flight arrived....the nation's first 'shit-in'....One can see children yelling at their parents, 'Mommy, I've got to go,' and desperate mothers surrendering, 'All right- well, do it. Do it right here.' O'Hare would soon become a shambles. The whole scene would become unbelievable and the laughter and ridicule would be nationwide.' (Page 142)

"The internecine struggle among the Haves for their individual self-interest is as shortsighted as the internecine struggle among the Have-Nots. I have on occasion remarked that I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday." (Page 150)

"Activists and radicals, on and off our college campuses- people who are committed to change- must make a complete turnabout. With rare exceptions, our activists and radicals are products of and rebels against our middle-class society. All rebels must attack the power states in their society. Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and way of life in the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized, and corrupt. They are right; but we must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change, and the power and the people are in the big middle-class majority." (Page 185)

"So you return to the suburban scene of your middle class with its variety of organizations from PTAs to League of Women Voters, consumer groups, churches, and clubs. The job is to search out the leaders in these various activities, identify their major issues, find areas of common agreement, and excite their imagination with tactics that can introduce drama and adventure into the tedium of middle class life...." (Page 194)
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Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals
Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky (Paperback - October 23, 1989)
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