Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Rev Reads it For You: Rules for Radicals (Prologue)

As part of a recent push to get through my backlog of reading material (and also a lack of other topics that I'm interested in pontificating on), I'm introducing a new series. 

The Rev Reads It For You hits somewhere between Cliff Notes and fisking. I'll post excerpts of passages that jump out and comment on them. If the passages interest you, then go buy the book to learn more.

We're starting out with Saul Alinsky's famous and infamous Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. It's a book that needs no introduction as the de-facto handbook for community organizers and all other groups of professional protesters. It's a window into the mind of the modern grievance industry and an indispensable guide to their thoughts and methods.

Published in 1971, Rules is primarialy a critique of the idealistic protesters of the Baby Boomer leftists. Alinksy's view of them is summed up thusly:

"They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world."
In other words, they have a correct consciousness about the evils of Capitalist America, but are utterly naive about how to change the situation. The prologue is largely dedicated to stating Alinsky's case in the strongest popular terms.

Continue with us after the break.

"Remember we are talking about revolution, not revelation; you can miss the target by shooting too high as well as too low...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."
Fascinating stuff. The "white fascist racist"-screaming motherfuckers have moved from the bottom of society to the top, but the middle's disgust with them has waxed and waned. It's worth keeping in mind that the only people who truly care about these terms come from the Shrieking Class (although the middle retains concern for 'actual' racism).

"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."
Alinsky is much more subtle than the average leftoid, and it shows in his tactics. You don't get anywhere by alienating your audience. This ties back to Aristotle. You must convince your audience that you share the same idea of the good before you can convince them that your plans will deliver the good.

"On another level of communication, humor is essential, for through humor much is accepted that would have been rejected if presented seriously."
Yuuuuup. Meme magic is real. Part of the reason for the success of the Left is that up until very, very recently, the Left had all the best comedians.

"If the real radical finds that having long hair sets up psychological barriers to communication and organization, he cuts his hair. 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."
Also: if a real radical find that having short hair sets up psychological barriers to communication, he grows his hair out. Being able to communicate effectively trumps all other considerations of taste and dignity. 

There is of course a difference between removing barriers and becoming the enemy, but that's only a concern if you are not strong-willed enough to take over the group.

"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."
1). This is the logic behind Cultural Marxism, and it's a solid logic whether or not anyone formally subscribes to the Frankfurt School.

2). If you ever wonder why the government seems to keep fucking up, it's not because they are incompetent. The sabotage of our institutions makes the populace more open to discarding the old ways. This works for Capitalists, because Corporate Capitalism needs continual market expansion. It also works for Communists/the Left because they need to destroy tradition.

"Effective organization is thwarted by the desire for instant and dramatic change... It’s the kind of thing we see in play writing; the first act introduces the characters and the plot, in the second act the plot and characters are developed as the play strives to hold the audience’s attention. In the final act good and evil have their dramatic confrontation and resolution. The present generation wants to go right into the third act, skipping the first two, in which case there is no play, nothing but confrontation for confrontation’s sake— a flare-up and back to darkness. To build a powerful organization takes time. It is tedious, but that’s the way the game is played— if you want to play and not just yell, “Kill the umpire.”
This reminds me of the bad storytelling in didactic media. No true conflict, just impossibly good heroes, impossibly bad villains, and mindless confrontation.

"Silence when police are killed and screams of “murdering fascist pigs” when others are killed? Attacking and baiting the police? Public suicide? “Power comes out of the barrel of a gun!” is an absurd rallying cry when the other side has all the guns. Lenin 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!"
1). Ignoring police deaths and screaming when criminals are killed is not only mandatory for radicals in our times, it is mandatory for good citizens.

2). Which side has all the guns now? Not the Left or the Right, but the Deep State. For now, their enemies (everyone who is not the Deep State) also have guns, but half of them would like to give up the privilege.

"True, there is government harassment, but there still is that relative freedom to fight. I can attack my government, try to organize to change it. That’s more than I can do in Moscow, Peking, or Havana."
"Just a few of the violent episodes of bombings or a courtroom shootout that we have experienced here would have resulted in a sweeping purge and mass executions in Russia, China, or Cuba. Let’s keep some perspective."
This is why I can't fully hate Alinsky. Even as an almost-Commie, he has the good sense to realize most Communist governments are even more oppressive than America.

"It is most important for those of us who want revolutionary change to understand that revolution must be preceded by reformation. To assume that a political revolution can survive without the supporting base of a popular reformation is to ask for the impossible in politics."
Again, this is the logic behind Cultural Marxism.

"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. “The Revolution was effected before the war commenced,” John Adams wrote. “The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” A revolution without a prior reformation would collapse or become a totalitarian tyranny."
1). Disruption and unhappiness most benefits the revolutionaries. Why do you think misery has been the chief aesthetic for the hard Left?
2). Most revolutions, in fact, end as tyrannies. The only possible exceptions are revolutions against occupying foreigners, and even then the odds are pretty bad.

"...Then we are dealing with people who are merely hiding psychosis behind a political mask. The masses of people recoil with horror and say, “Our way is bad and we were willing to let it change, but certainly not for this murderous madness— no matter how bad things are now, they are better than that.”
Thus the logic of false flags and moles. If your opponents won't turn monstrous, it is necessary to seed them with monsters.

"Radicals should keep in mind Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to a reform delegation, “Okay, you’ve convinced me. Now go on out and bring pressure on me!”
Even sympathetic authorities need an excuse to push the right thing .

"For my own part, I should be inclined to think freedom less necessary in great things than in little ones, if it were possible to be secure of the one without possessing the other. Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day, and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their will. It is vain to summon a people, which has been rendered so dependent on the central power, to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice,"
Alinsky quotes a length passage from Alexis de Tocqueville above, Remember, the more your surrender your freedom in little things, the less capable you will be to resist in large things. This is why all tyrants eventually regulate clothing and vocabulary. If control is the goal, more is always better than less.

No comments:

Post a Comment