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VINE VOICEon October 31, 2012
Radical Rules...

David Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals" was a radical, and successful, community organizer who compiled these controversial organizational tactics in the 1970s. This primer is "The Prince" for the have-nots; it is firmly grounded in the politics of power with minimal ethical considerations. Several generations of community organizers from across the ideological spectrum have now utilized these tactics to help achieve their objectives. Alinsky explains that the first task of an outside organizer is overcoming suspicion and establishing credibility among the local population. After this first step has been accomplished, the organizer must then agitate the local population by stirring resentments and hostilities in order to overcome apathy and encourage participation. Recruitment is most successfully accomplished through established networks, like unions, gangs, churches, or other extant organizations. Lastly, Alinsky lists 13 "rules" for organizers that act more as general guidelines than hard and fast directives.
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on December 19, 2013
This is an extremely important book, small and quick to read. It is a guide to organizing, which has Saul Alinsky describes as the way for the "Have nots" to win over the "Haves". He is often described as a communist, which he was not, I myself ordered the book when I had to organize our HOA which is on the conservative side of things. Even there, a microcosm of Haves were using their established power to manipulate their brethren who as a result found themselves in the Have Nots camp. So the rules are valid in any type of circumstances where power needs to be changed.

One thing extra about this book. I was reading it while at the doctor's office waiting for a biopsy. Not exactly a place to sit back and relax. I was laughing so hard that people were looking at me as if I was at the wrong doctor. It is extremely "funny" as it depicts human behavior.
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on March 13, 2014
The first thing I did when starting this review is to look at the price printed on the front cover — $1.95, and Amazon is asking $15.98 for a list price of $25.00? Is that right? I also don’t remember the pages of my copy being so tan colored.

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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on October 30, 2013
He dedicated this book to Lucifer. That should give you some idea where this radical is coming from. He's a satanist and communist.
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on February 24, 2015
great!
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on August 29, 2013
This book changed my life back in the 70's. A powerful call to action, to thinking outside the box, and being part of the change I want to see.
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on January 17, 2015
Get a clue on how Hillary and Pres.Obama really think. Read it.
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on May 5, 2014
This book makes my brain hurt. Alinsky is evil and mastered how to metastasize evil to other dissatisfied souls. It's like reading Hilter's diary.
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on June 23, 2014
I read books by Libertarians, conservatives, Liberals, Moderates. I try to be well balanced and look at things with reason, critical thinking and fairness. This book has been a ok book. I do recommend it as a read but would not put very high on list.
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on April 27, 2015
Oh, UGH!!! I am not sure how many pages I tried to read before I felt like I was stuck in a puddle of sticky tar and sinking fast. I thought that I might get some insight into what all the "commies" are doing and what to expect from them as time goes on. But I guess that the spirit of whatever was in this man just continuously repelled me, and no matter how many times I tried I just COULD NOT get interested in this, or find that it had any ideas that even merited a moment's consideration of. Frankly, after several pages, I remember thinking that the man must have been on drugs when he wrote it. It seemed that "unavailable" to me (it was like babble...). I sort of like the lists these people (commies) give where they say things such as how they should attack and defame their enemies--they sort of go on and on about that and how to do it and so forth. But then, when I try to read more on it, once again, it just numbs my mind, for whatever reason. I guess I will have to be satisfied to read the lists of commie plans that other people reference in other books that make more sense, or on web sites where the lists are published and you can see how they have been carrying out their plans. This book is just not for me, not even for educational purposes, and it truly baffles me that anyone would find this man interesting or inspiring in any way. I will keep the book, just in case I ever want to look anything up, but I can't even use it just to see what the guy was like because it is just too weird for me.
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