Rules For Radicals

Has anyone read "Rules for Radicals", by Saul Alinsky. This was a popular book in the 1970's. I read it many years ago and thought it had some interesting insights. Anyone else have any reaction to or comments about it? The book is very compatible with our goals as Communists/lefties in general and easy to understand for people even without any political experience.

Other urls found in this thread:

I got slightly bored halfway through. It's not bad, per se; it's just that it's a relatively basic book about tactics and I'm not terribly interested.

it's bad.

How so?

Understandable,the most important part of the book is the 13 rules he provides, IMO every serious activist should know those

it's liberal bullshit.

Comrade Obama read this book as a young man and successfully applied its principles to push through Obamacare. Every socialist should read this book.

I think some valid critiques about this book are pretty easy to find elsewhere, but here are some I wish to articulate: First, these rules are not exactly a revelation, and I think most groups can imagine these quite spontaneously. The Situationists even articulated something similar to the first rule just as an offhand comment in their Anthology, which is that the point of a scandal is to go as far as possible with it; any sign of hesitation gleans weakness.
Thus, we start out with an air of the "expert" who wants to drift into local communities and pit fights. And Alinsky seems to be fine with this. He sees nonviolent conflict as not a tool, but a principle. In the first place, Marxists and most anarchists are not nonviolent because we accept violence as a historical necessity and nonviolence is a liberal principle. In the second place, to be concerned about organizing the community means more than starting shit; it means building relations, social programmes, utilities, getting people involved with each other. This means that conflict is also a tool and not a principle.
This book may contain rules for radicals, depending on how you define "radical", but it doesn't contain very much for revolutionaries.

There are people on Holla Forums who've read this bullshit?

Yes but since we're in a position of lesser monetary power and political connections, so we may well have to fight like this. Admittedly there are definite aspects of Alinsky's book that are getting a little outdated.

Every radlib on my campus who tries to sign me up to vote has read this book. Why would I waste my time reading something that attracts shitheads like that.

You should at least read the section entitled tactics, it certainly worked well for Alinsky

Why? It's a waste of time and energy. Since we're at a low point, we should be building power again, not jerking off like Alinsky wants us to.

Oh yeah, I guess we're all enjoying the fruits of his genius now, right?

Alinsky failed at basically everything though. Why should I care about his ideas?

No, you are missing the point entirely. The end result of organizing in view of an enemy instead of organizing to build connections is utter failure. Alinsky was criticized while he was alive for going into small communities founded on cooperation and trying to force an antagonistic spirit into them when they had no real enemies. They essentially started up in-fighting because Alinsky's narrow view didn't account for different opinions within communities. It's the double insult of assuming you know better than the people do and because of this, you want to ruin their harmony. If you don't care about getting the people to care about each other, you are no better than a liberal.

Indeed, why should you - if I recall, the last thread about this pretty immediately determined that Saul and friends were new left-lite social liberals. By "determined" I mean, it was self-evident then - I don't honestly understand the amount of earnest replies here, this is a joke.

Damn no wonder Hillary liked him so much.

The 1970s was when the North American left died so that's not necessarily a good thing.

I'd suggest you look into Obama's campaign, and take some time to read the book.

Not sure if you are trying to shill for Alinsky or argue against him here.

What are you talking about? You understand the book is nonpartisan right?

This is coming from someone who has actually read the book:

It's alright. It's not the devious secular Protocols that the right makes it out to be, nor is it a blueprint for failure or reformist wheel-spinning. Like what said, these are basic tactics that activists should be familiar with. My only beef with it is that a lot of the tactics are dated: porky has, over the decades, learned to deal with things such as sit-ins. The current media environment also makes a lot of these tactics less effective.

Be familiar with the book and Alinsky's organizing efforts, but don't base an entire movement's praxis off of it.

If it's good enough for Hillary it's good enough for me.

No that’s the 80’s.

The Problem With Saul Alinsky

Alinsky was a terrible person and low key psychotic in my humble opinion (

what is this from?

we also shouldn't look to fucking Jacobin

My point exactly

It's a good way to get a job at the CIA