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Rules for Radicals - Saul Alinsky (1971)
Terms in this set (13)
The first rule of power tactics
Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have (Power has always derived from two main sources, money and people. Lacking money, the Have-Nots must build power from their own flesh and blood).
The second rule
Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat. It also means a collapse of communication, as we have noted.
The third rule
Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
The fourth rule
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.
the fifth rule
Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
The sixth rule
A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic
The seventh rule
A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings. "Keep of pressure on."
Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of period for your purpose
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself
The major premise for tactics is 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 point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.
If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through its counter side; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative. We have already seen the conversion of the negative into the positive, in Mahatma Gandhi's development of the tactic of passive resistance
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying "You're right - we don't know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us."
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." By this I mean that in a complex, interrelated, urban society, it becomes increasingly difficult to single out who is to blame for any particular evil. There is a constant, and somewhat legitimate, passing of the buck.
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