Rules For Radicals chi ineu

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Copyright 1971 by Saul D Alinsky, All rights reserved under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books a division of Random House. Inc New York and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada. Limited Toronto Originally published in hardcover by Random House Inc in. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. Alinsky Saul David 1909 1972, Rules for radicals a practical primer for realistic radicals Saul D Alinsky. Vintage Books ed,Reprint Originally published New York Random. House 1971,ISBN 0 679 72113 4 7 95,1 Community organization United States. 2 Political participation United States,3 Radicalism United States I Title.
HN65 A675 1989 89 14823,303 48 4 dc20 CIP, On the Importance of Being Unprincipled by John Herman Randall Jr is. reprinted by permission of the publishers from The American Scholar Volume 7. Number 2 Spring 1938 Copyright 1938 by the United Chapters of Phi Beta. A Selection from Industrial Valley by Ruth McKenney is reprinted by permission. of Curtis Brown Ltd Copyright 1939 by Ruth McKenney. MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,D9876543210. Personal Acknowledgments, To Jason Epstein for his prodding patience and understanding and. for being a beautiful editor, To Cicely Nichols for the hours of painstaking editorial assistance. To Susan Rabiner for being the shock absorber between the. corporate structure of Random House and this writer. To Georgia Harper my heartfelt gratitude for the months of typing. and typing and for staying with me through the years of getting this. book together,Where there are no men be thou a man.
RABBI HILLEL, Let them call me rebel and welcome I feel no concern from it but I. should suffer the misery of devils were I to make a whore of my. THOMAS PAINE, Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment 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 he at least won his. own kingdom Lucifer,SAUL ALINSKY,Prologue xiii,The Purpose 3. Of Means and Ends 24,A Word About Words 48,The Education of an Organizer 63. Communication 81,In the Beginning 98,Tactics 125,The Genesis of Tactic Proxy 165.
The Way Ahead 184, THE REVOLUTIONARY FORCE today has two targets moral as. well as material Its young protagonists are one moment reminiscent. of the idealistic early Christians yet they also urge violence and cry. Burn the system down They have no illusions about the system. but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world It is to this. point that I have written this book These words are written in. desperation partly because it is what they do and will do that will. give meaning to what I and the radicals of my generation have done. with our lives, They are now the vanguard and they had to start almost from. scratch 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 My fellow radicals who were supposed to pass. on the torch of experience and insights to a new generation just were. not there As the young looked at the society around them it was all. in their words materialistic decadent bourgeois in its values. bankrupt and violent Is it any wonder that they rejected us in toto. Today s generation is desperately trying to make some sense out of. their lives and out of the world Most of them are products of the. middle class They have rejected their materialistic backgrounds the. goal of a well paid job suburban home automobile country club. membership first class travel status security and everything that. meant success to their parents They have had it They watched it. lead their parents to tranquilizers alcohol long term endurance. marriages or divorces high blood pressure ulcers frustration and. the disillusionment of the good life They have seen the almost. unbelievable idiocy of our political leadership in the past political. leaders ranging from the mayors to governors to the White House. were regarded with respect and almost reverence today they are. viewed with contempt This negativism now extends to all. institutions from the police and the courts to the system itself We. are living in a world of mass media which daily exposes society s. innate hypocrisy its contradictions and the apparent failure of almost. every facet of our social and political life The young have seen their. activist participatory democracy turn into its antithesis nihilistic. bombing and murder 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 The young are inundated with a barrage. of information and facts so overwhelming that the world has come to. seem an utter bedlam which has them spinning in a frenzy looking. for what man has always looked for from the beginning of time a. way of life that has some meaning or sense A way of life means a. certain degree of order where things have some relationship and can. be pieced together into a system that at least provides some clues to. what life is about Men have always yearned for and 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 clich getting it all. together despite the realization that all values and factors are. relative fluid and changing and that it will be possible to get it all. together only relatively The elements will shift and move together. just like the changing pattern in a turning kaleidoscope. In the past the world whether in its physical or intellectual terms. was much smaller simpler and more orderly It inspired credibility. Today everything is so complex as to be incomprehensible What. sense does it make for men to walk on the moon while other men are. waiting on welfare lines or in Vietnam killing and dying for a. corrupt dictatorship in the name of freedom These are the days. when man has his hands on the sublime while he is up to his hips in. the muck of madness The establishment in many ways is as suicidal. as some of the far left except that they are infinitely more destructive. than the far left can ever be The outcome of the hopelessness and. despair is morbidity There is a feeling of death hanging over the. Today s generation faces all this and says I don t want to spend my. life the way my family and their friends have I want to do. something to create to be me to do my own thing to live The. older generation doesn t understand and worse doesn t want to I don t. want to be just a piece of data to be fed into a computer or a statistic. in a public opinion poll just a voter carrying a credit card To the. young the world seems insane and falling apart, On the other side is the older generation whose members are no less. confused If they are not as vocal or conscious it may be because. they can escape to a past when the world was simpler They can still. cling to the old values in the simple hope that everything will work. out somehow some way That the younger generation will. straighten out with the passing of time Unable to come to grips. with the world as it is they retreat in any confrontation with the. younger generation with that infuriating clich when you get older. you ll understand One wonders at their reaction if some youngster. were to reply When you get younger which will never be then you ll. understand so of course you ll never understand Those of the older. generation who claim a desire to understand say When I talk to my. kids or their friends I ll say to them Look I believe what you have. to tell me is important and I respect it You call me a square and say. that I m not with it or I don t know where it s at or I don t know. where the scene is and all of the rest of the words you use Well I m. going to agree with you So suppose you tell me What do you want. What do you mean when you say I want to do my thing What the. hell is your thing You say you want a better world Like what And. don t tell me a world of peace and love and all the rest of that stuff. because people are people as you will find out when you get older. I m sorry I didn t mean to say anything about when you get older I. really do respect what you have to say Now why don t you answer. me Do you know what you want Do you know what you re talking. about Why can t we get together,And that is what we call the generation gap. What the present generation wants is what all generations have. always wanted a meaning a sense of what the world and life are. a chance to strive for some sort of order, If the young were now writing our Declaration of Independence they.
would begin When in the course of inhuman events and their. bill of particulars would range from Vietnam to our black Chicano. and Puerto Rican ghettos to the migrant workers to Appalachia to. the hate ignorance disease and starvation in the world Such a bill. of particulars would emphasize the absurdity of human affairs and. the forlornness and emptiness the fearful loneliness that comes from. not knowing if there is any meaning to our lives, When they talk of values they re asking for a reason They are. searching for an answer at least for a time to man s greatest. question Why am I here, The young react to their chaotic world in different ways Some panic. and run rationalizing that the system is going to collapse anyway of. its own rot and corruption and so they re copping out going hippie or. yippie taking drugs trying communes anything to escape Others. went for pointless sure loser confrontations so that they could fortify. their rationalization and say Well we tried and did our part and. then they copped out too Others sick with guilt and not knowing. where to turn or what to do went berserk These were the. Weathermen and their like they took the grand cop out suicide To. these I have nothing to say or give but pity and in some cases. contempt for such as those who leave their dead comrades and take. off for Algeria or other points, What I have to say in this book is not the arrogance of unsolicited. advice It is the experience and counsel that so many young people. have questioned me about through all night sessions on hundreds of. campuses in America It is for those young radicals who are. committed to the fight committed to life, Remember 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 but there are rules for radicals who want to. change their world there are certain central concepts of action in. human politics that operate regardless of the scene or the time To. know these is basic to a pragmatic attack on the system These rules. make the difference between being a realistic radical and being a. rhetorical one who uses the tired old words and slogans calls the. police pig or white fascist racist or motherfucker and has so. stereotyped himself that others react by saying Oh he s one of. those and then promptly turn off, This failure of many of our younger activists to understand the art of.
communication has been disastrous Even the most elementary grasp. of the fundamental idea that one communicates within the experience. of his audience and gives full respect to the other s values. would have ruled out attacks on the American flag The responsible. organizer would have known that it is the establishment that has. betrayed the flag while the flag itself remains the glorious symbol. of America s hopes and aspirations and he would have conveyed this. message to his audience On another level of communication humor. is essential for through humor much is accepted that would have. been rejected if presented seriously This is a sad and lonely. generation It laughs too little and this too is tragic. For the real radical doing his thing is to do the social thing for and. with people In a world where everything is so interrelated that one. feels helpless to know where or how to grab hold and act defeat sets. in for years there have been people who ve found society too. overwhelming and have withdrawn concentrated on doing their. own thing Generally we have put them into mental hospitals and. diagnosed them as schizophrenics If the real radical finds that. having long hair sets up psychological barriers to communication and. organization he cuts his hair If I were organizing in an orthodox. Jewish community I would not walk in there eating a ham sandwich. unless I wanted to be rejected so I could have an excuse to cop out. My thing if I want to organize is solid communication with the. people in the community Lacking communication I am in reality. silent throughout history silence has been regarded as assent in. this case assent to the system, As an organizer I start from where the world is as it is not as I. would like it to be That we accept the world as it is does not in any. unbelievable idiocy of our political leadership in the past political leaders ranging from the mayors to governors to the White House were regarded with respect and almost reverence today they are viewed with contempt This negativism now extends to all institutions from the police and the courts to the system itself We are living in a world of mass media which daily exposes society s

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