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  • Monday, October 30, 2006


    Reveille for Radicals

    In short, cool anger and conscious understanding based on experience have made my actions far more calculated, deliberate, directive, and effective. Now my actions are designed primarily to induce certain reactions based on an analysis of circumstances. I have learned not to confuse power patterns with the personalities of the individuals involved; in other words, to hate conditions, not individuals. Thus I have learned to become in many ways the master rather than the servant of my tactics, and to develop far more effective tactics -- economic, political, and social -- than the simple, hot, angry, personalized denunciation. One must learn to see one's opponent in the context of circumstances to which one must respond. Understanding these forces enables one to develop the strategy which my opponents describe as Alinsky-style mass ju-jitsu. The opposition is always stronger than you are and so his own strength must be used against him. I have repeatedly said that the status quo is your best ally if properly goaded and guided. I have also learned to avoid succumbing to a rationale which would permit me the escape of becoming a rhetorical radical and not a radical realist.
    Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, Introduction to the 1969 Vintage Edition (the book itself was written in 1946.)

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