notes: rules for radicals

from rules for radicals: a practical primer for realistic radicals, by saul d alinsky, vintage books 1989 (copyright 1971)

“it is the universal tale of revolution and reaction.  it is the constant struggle between the positive and its converse negative, which includes the reversal of roles so that the positive of today is the negative of tomorrow and vice versa.

“this view of nature recognizes that reality is dual.  the principles of quantum mechanics in physics apply even more dramatically to the mechanics of mass movements.  this is true not only in ‘complementarity’ but in the repudiation of the hitherto universal concept of causality, whereby matter and physics were understood in terms of cause and effect, where for every effect there had to be a cause and one always produced the other.  in quantum mechanics, causality was largely replaced by probability.” p17

“this grasp of the duality of all phenomena is vital in our understanding of politics.  it frees one from the myth that one approach is positive and another negative.  there is no such thing in life.  one man’s positive is another man’s negative.  the description of any procedure as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ is the mark of a political illiterate.

“once the nature of revolution is understood from the dualistic outlook we lose our mono-view of a revolution and see it coupled with its inevitable counterrevolution.  once we accept and learn to anticipate the inevitable counterrevolution, we may then alter the historical pattern of revolution and counterrevolution from the traditional slow advance of two steps forward and one step backward to minimizing the latter.  each element with its positive and converse sides is fused to other related elements in an endless series of everything, so that the converse of revolution on one side is counterrevolution and on the other side, reformation, and so on in an endless chain of connected converses.” p17-8

“i present here a series of rules pertaining to the ethics of means and ends: first, that one’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s personal interest in the  issue.  when we are not directly concerned our morality overflows…

“the second rule…is that the judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.  if you actively opposed the nazi occupation and joined the underground resistance, then you adopted the means of assassination, terror, property destruction, the bombing of tunnels and trains, kidnapping, and the willingness to sacrifice innocent hostages to the end of defeating the nazis.  those who opposed the nazi conquerors regarded the resistance as a secret army of selfless, patriotic idealists, courageous beyond expectation and willing to sacrifice their lives to their moral convictions.  to the occupation authorities, however, these people were lawless terrorists, murderers, saboteurs, assassins, who believed that the end justified the means, and were utterly unethical according to the mystical rules of war.” p27

“the eighth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that the morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.  the same means employed with victory seemingly assured may be defined as immoral, whereas if it has been used in desperate circumstances to avert defeat, the question of morality would never arise.  in short, ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning.” p34

“gandhi’s opposition not only made the effective use of passive resistance possible but practically invited it.  his enemy was a british administration characterized by an old, aristocratic, liberal tradition, one which granted a good deal of freedom to its colonials and which always had operated on a pattern of using, absorbing, seducing, or destroying, thru flattery or corruption, the revolutionary leaders who arose from the colonial ranks.  this was the kind of opposition that would have tolerated and ultimately capitulated before the tactic of passive resistance.

“gandhi’s passive resistance would haver have had a chance against a totalitarian state such as that of the nazis.” p41

“[orwell] ‘he believed in ‘arousing the world,’ which is only possible if the world gets a chance to hear what you are doing.  it is difficult to see how gandhi’s methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again.  without a free press and the right of assembly it is impossible, not merely to appeal to outside opinions, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary.” p41-2

“in essence, mankind divides itself into three groups; the have-nots, the have-a-little, want-mores, and the haves.  the purpose of the haves is to keep what they have.  therefore, the haves want to maintain the status quo and the have-nots to change it.  the haves develop their own morality to justify their means of repression and all other means employed to maintain the status quo.  the haves usually establish laws and judges devoted to maintaining the status quo; since any effective means of changing the status quo are usually illegal and/or unethical in the eyes of the establishment, have-nots, from the beginning of time, have been compelled to appeal to ‘a law higher than man-made law.’  then when the have-nots achieve success and become the haves, they are in the position of trying to keep what they have and their morality shifts with their change of location in the power pattern.

“eight months after securing independence, the indian national congress outlawed passive resistance and made it a crime.” p43

“all great leaders, including churchill, gandhi, lincoln, and jefferson, always invoked ‘moral principles’ to cover naked self-interest in teh clothing of ‘freedom’ ‘equality of mankind,’ ‘a law higher than man-made law,’ and so on.  this even held under circumstances of national crises when it was universally assumed that the end justified any means.  all effective actions require the passport of morality.” p43-4

“[rousseau] ‘law is a very good thing for men with property and a very bad thing for men without property.'” p44

“conflict is another bad word in the general opinion.  this is a consequence of two influences in our society:  one influence is  organized religion, which has espoused a rhetoric of ‘turning the other cheek’ and has quoted the scriptures as the devil never would have dared because of their major previous function of supporting the establishment.  the second influence is probably the most subversive and insidious one, and it has permeated the american scene in the last generation:  that is madison avenue public relations, middle-class moral hygiene, which has made of conflict or controversy something negative and undesirable.  this has all been part of an advertising culture that emphasizes getting along with people and avoiding friction.” p61-2

“conflict is the essential core of a free and open society.  if one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” p62

“the education of an organizer requires frequent long conferences on organizational problems, analysis of power patterns, communication, conflict tactics, the education and development of community leaders, and the methods of introduction of new issues.” p64

“frequently personal domestic hangups were part of the conferences.  an organizer’s working schedule is so continuous that time is meaningless; meetings and caucuses drag endlessly into the early morning  hours; any schedule is marked by constant unexpected unscheduled meetings; work pursues an organizer into his or hr home, so that either he is on the phone or there are people dropping in.  the marriage record of organizers is with rare exception disastrous.  further, the tensions, the hours, the home situation, and the opportunities, do not argue for fidelity.  also, with rare exception, i have not known really competent organizers who were concerned about celibacy.” p64-5

“the organizer becomes a carrier of the contagion of curiosity, for a people asking ‘why’ are beginning to rebel.  the questioning of the hitherto accepted ways and values is the reformation stage that precedes and is so essential to the revolution.: p72

“curiosity asks, ‘is this true?’ ‘just because this has always been the way, is this the best or right way of life, the best or right religion, political or economic value, morality?’  to the questioner nothing is sacred.  he detests dogma, defies any finite definition of morality, rebels against any repression of a free, open search for ideas no matter where they may lead.  he is challenging, insulting, agitating, discrediting.  he stirs unrest.  as with all life, this is a paradox, for his irreverence is rooted in a deep reverence for the enigma of life, and an incessant search for its meaning.” p73

“the organizer knows that the real action is in the reaction of the opposition.” p74

“a sense of humor is incompatible with the complete acceptance of any dogma, any religious, political, or economic prescription  for salvation.  it synthesizes with curiosity, irreverence, and imagination.  the organizer has a personal identity of his own that cannot be lost by absorption or acceptance of any kind of group discipline or organization.” p75

“with very rare exceptions, the right things are done for the wrong reasons.  it is futile to demand that men do the right thing for the right reason – this is a fight with a windmill.  the organizer should know and accept that the right reason is only introduced as a moral rationalization after the right end has been achieved, altho it may have been achieved for the wrong reason – therefore he should search for and use the wrong reasons to achieve the right goals.  he should be able, with skill and calculation, to use irrationality in his attempts to progress toward a rational world.

“for a variety of reasons the organizer must develop multiple issues.  first, a wide-based membership can only be built on many issues.” p76

“the organizer in his way of life, with his curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, distrust of dogma, his self-organization, his understanding of the irrationality of much of human behavior, becomes a flexible personality, not a rigid structure that breaks when something unexpected happens.  having his own identity, he has no need for the security of an ideology or a panacea.  he knows that life is a quest for uncertainty; that the only certain fact of life is uncertainty; and he can live with hit.  he knows that all values are relative, in a world of political relativity.  because of these qualities he is unlikely to disintegrate into cynicism and disillusionment, for he does not depend on illusion.

“finally, the organizer is constantly creating the new out of the old.  he knows that all new ideas arise from conflict; that every time man has had a new idea it has been a challenge to the sacred ideas of teh past and the present and inevitably a conflict has raged.  curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, a free and open mind, an acceptance of the relativity of values and of the uncertainty of life, all inevitably fuse into the kind of person whose greatest joy is creation.  he conceives of creation as the very essence of the meaning of life.  in his constant striving for the new, he finds that he cannot endure what is repetitive and unchanging.  for him hell would be doing the same thing over and over again.” p79-80

“the leader goes on to build power to fulfill his desires, to hold and wield the power for purposes both social and personal.  he wants power himself.  the organizer finds his goal in creation of power for others to use.” p80

“another maxim in effective communication is th at people have to make their own decisions.  it isn’t just that moses couldn’t tell god what god should do; no organizer can tell a community, either, what to do.  much of the time, tho, the organizer will have a pretty good idea of what the community should be doing, and he will want to suggest, maneuver, and persuade the community toward that action.  he will not ever seem to tell the community what to do; instead, he will use loaded questions.” p91

“while the organizer proceeds on teh basis of questions, the community leaders always regard his judgment above their own.  they believe that he knows his job, he knows the right tactics, that’s why he is their organizer.  the organizer knows that even if they feel that way consciously, if he starts issuing orders and ‘explaining,’ it would begin to build up a subconscious resentment, a feeling that the organizer is putting them down, is not respecting their dignity as individuals.  the organizer knows that it is a human characteristic that someone who asks for help and gets it reacts not only with gratitude but with a subconscious hostility toward the one who helped him.  if is a sort of psychic ‘original sin’ because he feels that the one who helped him is always aware that if it hadn’t been for his help, he would still be a defeated nothing. all this involves a skillful and sensitive role-playing on the part of the organizer.  in the beginning the organizer is the general, he knows where, what and how, but he never wears his four stars, never is addressed as nor acts as a general – he is an organizer.” p93

“love and faith are not common companions.  more commonly power and fear consort with faith.  the have-nots have a limited faith in the worth of their own judgments.  they still look to the judgments of the haves.  they respect the strength of the upper class and they believe that the haves are more intelligent, more competent, and endowed with ‘something special.’ distance has a way of enhancing power, so that respect becomes tinged with reverence.  the haves are the authorities and thus the beneficiaries of the various myths and legends that always develop around power.  the have-nots will believe them where they would be hesitant and uncertain about their own judgments.  power is not to be crossed; one must respect and obey.  power means strength, whereas love is a human frailty the people mistrust.  it is a sad fact of life that power and fear are the fountainheads of faith.

“the job of teh organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’  the world ‘enemy’ is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people, to identify him with the have-0nots, but it is not enough to endow him with the special qualities that induce fear and thus give him the means to establish his own power against teh establishment.  here again we find that it is power and fear that are essential to the development of faith.  this need is met by the establishment’s use of the brand ‘dangerous,’ for in that one word the establishment reveals its fear of the organizer, its fear that he represents a threat to its omnipotence.  now the organizer has his ‘birth certificate’ and can begin.” p99-100

“in the early days the organizer moves out in front in any situation of risk where the power of the establishment can get someone’s job, call in an overdue payment, or any other form of retaliation, partly because these dangers would cause many local people to back off from conflict.  here the organizer serves a a protective shield:  if anything goes wrong it is all his fault, he has the responsibility.  if they are successful all credit goes to the local people.” p107

“it is primarily a subconscious feeling that the organizer is looking down on them, wondering why they did not have the intelligence, so to speak, and the insights, to realize that through organization and the securing of power they could have resolved many of the problems they’ve lived with for these many years – why did they have to wait for him?  with this going on in their minds they throw up a whole series of arguments against various organizational procedures, but they are not real arguments, simply attempts to justify the fact that they have not moved or organized in the past.” p109

“rationalizations must be recognized as such so that the organizer does not get trapped in communication problems or in treating them as the real situations.” p109

“from the moment the organizer enters a community he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls teh army.  until he has developed that mass power base, he confronts no major issues.  he has nothing with which to confront anything.  until he has those means and power instruments, his ‘tactics’ are very different form power tactics.  therefore, every move revolves around one central point:  how many recruits will this bring into the organization, whether by means of local organizations, churches, service groups, labor unions, corner gangs, or as individuals.  the only issue is, how will this increase the strength of the organization.  if by losing in a certain action he can get more members that by winning, then victory lies in losing and he will lose.

“change comes from power, and power comes from organization.  it order to act, people must get together.” p113

“if your function is to attack apathy and get people to participate it is necessary to attack the prevailing patters of organized living in the community.  the first step in community organization is community disorganization.  the disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization.  present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns that provide the opportunities and means for citizen participation.  all change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.” p116

“and so the labor organizer simultaneously breeds conflict and builds a power structure.  the war between the trade union and management is resolved either thru a strike or a negotiation.  either method involves the use of power; the economic power of the strike or the threat of it, which results in successful negotiations.  no one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation.” p118-9

“in the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems….he simple fact is that in any community, regardless of how poor, people may have serious problems – but they do not have issues, they have a bad scene.  an issue is something you can do something about, but as long as you feel powerless and unable to do anything about it, all you have is a bad scene.” p119

“thru action, persuasion, and communication the organizer makes it clear that organization will give them the power, the ability, the strength, the force to be able to do something about these particular problems.  it is then that a bad scene begins to break up into specific issues, because now the people can do something about it.  what the organizer does is convert the plight into a problem.” p120

“always remember 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.  a mass movement expresses itself with mass tactics.  against the finesse and sophistication of the status quo, the have-nots have always had to club their way.]

“the second rule is: never go outside the experience of your people…the result is confusion, fear, and retreat.  it also means a collapse of communication…

“the third rule is: wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.  here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

“the fourth rule is:  make the enemy live up to their own book of rules…

” the fourth rule carries within it 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 is: a good tactic is one that your people enjoy…

“the seventh rule: a tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag…

“the eighth rule:  keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”the ninth rule: the threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

“the tenth rule: the major premise for tactics is the 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 that are essential for the success of the campaign.  it should be remembered not only that the action is in the reaction but that action is itself the consequence of reaction and of reaction to the reaction, ad infinitum.  the pressure produces the reaction, and constant pressure sustains action.

“the eleventh rule is: if you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break thru into its counterside; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.  we have already seen the conversion of the negative in to the positive, in mahatma gandhi’s development of the tactic of passive resistance…

“the twelpth rule: the price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  you cannot reisk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreeent with your demand and daying ‘you’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue.  now you tell us.;

“the thirteenth rule: 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.  in these times of urbanization, complex metropolitan governments, the complexities of major interlocked corporations, and the interlocking of political life between cities and counties and metropolitan authorities, the problem that threatens to loom more and more is that of identifying the enemy.  obviously there is no  point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.” p127-30

“it should be borne in mind that the target is always trying to shift responsibility to get out of being the target….the forces for change must keep t his in mind and pin that target down securely.  if an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible.” p132

“one of the criteria in picking your target is the target’s vulnerability – where do you have the power to start?  furthermore, any target can always say, ‘why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’  when you ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these arguments and, for the moment, all the others to blame.

“then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all of the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon.  they become visible by their support of the target.

“the other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract such as a community’s segregated practices or a major corporation or city hall.  it is not possible to develop the necessary hostility against, say, city hall, which after all is a concrete, physical, inanimate structure, or against a corporation, which has no soul or identity, or a public school administration, which again is an inanimate system.” p133

“with this focus comes a polarization.  as we have indicated before, all issues must be polarized if action is to follow.  the classic statement on polarization comes from christ:  ‘he that is not with me is against me’ (luke 11.23). he allowed no middle ground to the money-changers in the temple.  one acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” p134-5

“the real action is in the enemy’s reaction. the enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.  tactics, like organization, like life, require that you move with the action.” p136

“with the universal principle that the right things are always done for the wrong reasons and the tactical rule that negatives become positives, we can understand the following examples.” p144

“you can’t do much bluffing in this game; if you’re ever caught bluffing, forget about ever using threats in the future.” p146

“the threat was delivered to the authorities thru a legitimate and ‘trustworthy’ channel.  every organization must have two or three stool pigeons who are trusted by the establishment.  these stool pigeons are invaluable as ‘trustworthy’ lines of communication to the establishment.  with all plans ready to go, we began formation of a series of committees: a transportation committee to get the buses, a mobilization committee to work with the ministers to get their people to their buses, and other committees with other specific functions.  two of the key committees deliberately included one of these stoolies each, so that there would be one to back up the other.  we knew the plan would be quickly reported back.” p147-8

“organized shopping, wholesale buying plus charging and returning everything on delivery, would add accounting costs to their attack on the retailer with the ominous threat of continued repetition.  this is far more effective than canceling a charge account.” p148

“i have n occasion remarked that i feel confident that i could persuade a millionaire on a friday to subsidize a revolution for saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on sunday even tho he was certain to be executed on monday.” p150

“the reaction of the status quo in jailing revolutionary leaders is in itself a tremendous contribution to the development of teh have-not movement as well as to the personal development of the revolutionary leaders.  this point should be carefully remembered as another example of how mass jujitsu tactics can be used to so maneuver the status quo that it turns its power against itself.

“jailing the revolutionary leaders and their followers performs three vital functions for the cause of the have-nots: (1) it is an act on the part of the status quo that in itself points up the conflict between the haves and the have-nots; (2) it strengthens immeasurably the position of the revolutionary leaders with their people by surrounding the jailed leadership with an aura of martyrdom; (3) it deepens the identification of the leadership with their people since the prevalent reaction among the have-nots is that their leadership cares so much for them, and is so sincerely committed to the issue, that it is willing to suffer imprisonment for teh cause.  repeatedly in situations where the relationship between the have-nots and their leaders has become strained the remedy has been the jailing of the leaders by the establishment.  immediately the ranks close and the leaders regain their mass support.” p155-6

“the trouble with a long jail sentence is that (a) a revolutionary is removed from action for such an extended period of time that he loses touch, and (b) if you are gone long enough everybody forgets about you.  life goes on, new issues arise, and new leaders appear; however, a periodic removal from circulation by being jailed is an essential element in the development of the revolutionary.  the one problem that the revolutionary cannot cope with by himself is that he must now and then have an opportunity to reflect and synthesize his thoughts.  to gain that privacy in which he can try to make sense out of what he is doing, why he is doing it, where he is going, what has been wrong with what he has done, what he should have done and above all to see the relationships of all the episodes and acts as they tie in to a general pattern, the most convenient and accessible solution is jail.  it is here that he begins to develop a philosophy.  it is here that he begins to shape long-term goals, intermediate goals, and a self-analysis of tactics as tied to his own personality.  it is here that he is emancipated from the slavery of action wherein he was compelled to think from act to act.  now he can look at the totality of his actions and the reactions of the enemy from a fairly detached position.

“every revolutionary leader of consequence has had to undergo these withdrawals from the arena of action  without such opportunities, he goes from one tactic and one action to another, but most of them are almost terminal tactics in themselves; he never has a chance to think thru an overall synthesis, and he burns himself out.  he becomes, in fact, nothing more than a temporary irritant.  the prophets of the old testament and the new found their opportunity for synthesis by voluntarily removing themselves to the wilderness.  it was after they emerged that they began propagandizing their philosophies.” p156-7

“jail provides just the opposite circumstances.  you have no phones and, except for an hour or so a day, no visitors.  your jailers are rough, unsociable, and generally so dull that you wouldn’t want to talk to them anyway.  you find yourself in a physical drabness and confinement, which you desperately try to escape.  since there is no physical escape you are driven to erase your surroundings imaginatively: you escape into thinking and writing.” p158

“human beings can sustain an interest in a particular subject only over a limited period of time.  the concentration, the emotional fervor, even the physical energy, a particular experience that is exciting,  challenging, and inviting, can last just so long – this is true of the gamut of human behavior, from sex to conflict.  after a period of time it becomes monotonous, repetitive, an emotional treadmill, and worse than anything else a bore.  from the moment the tactician engages in conflict, his enemy is time.” p159

“speaking of issues, let’s look at the issue of pollution.  here again, we can use the haves against the haves to get what we want.  when utilities or heavy industries talk about the ‘people,’ they mean the banks and other power sectors of their own world.  if their banks, say, start pressing them, then they listen and hurt.  the target, therefore, should be the banks that serve the steel, auto, and other industries, and the goal, significant lessening of pollution…

“if a thousand or more people all moved in, each with $5 or $10 to open up a savings account, the banks’s floor functions would be paralyzed.  again, as in the case of the shop-in, the police would be immobilized.  there is no illegal occupation.  the banks is in a difficult position.  it knows what is happening, but still it does not want to antagonize would-be depositors.  the bank’s pubic image would be destroyed if some thousand would-be depositors were arrested or forcibly ejected from the premises.

“the element of ridicule is here again.  a continuous chain of action and reaction is formed.  following this, the people can return in a few days and close their accounts, and then return again later to open new accounts.  this is what i would call a middle-class guerrilla attack.  it could well cause  an irrational reaction on the part of the banks which could then be directed against their large customers, for example the polluting utilities or whatever were the obvious, stated targets of the middle-class organizations.  the target of a secondary attack such as this is always outraged; the bank, thus, is likely to react more emotionally since it as a body feels that it is innocent, being punished for another’s sins.

“at the same time, this kind of action can also be combined with social refreshments and gathering together with friends downtown, as well as with the general enjoyment of seeing the discomfiture and confusion on the part of the establishment.  the middle-class guerrillas would enjoy themselves as they increased the pressure on their enemies.

“once a specific tactic is used, it ceases to be outside the experience of the enemy.  before long he devises countermeasures that void the previous effective tactic.” p162-3

“it was then that the chief of all c.i.o. organizers, lewis, gave them their rationale.  he thundered, ‘the right to a man’s job transcends the right of private property!  the c.i.o. stands squarely behind these sit-downs!’

“the sit-down strikers at g.m. cheered.  now they knew why they had done what they did, and why they would stay to the end.  the lesson here is that a major job of the organizer is to instantly develop the rationale for actions which have taken place by accident or impulsive anger.  lacking the rationale, the action becomes inexplicable to its participants and rapidly disintegrates into defeat.  possessing a rationale gives action a meaning and purpose.” p164

“”tactics are not the product of careful cold reason, that they do not follow a table of organization or plan of attack.  accident, unpredictable reactions to your own actions, necessity, and improvisation dictate the direction and nature of tactics.  then, analytical logic is required to appraise where you are, what you can do next, the risks and hopes that you can look forward to.  it is this analysis that protects you from being a blind prisoner of the tactic and the accidents that accompany it.  but i cannot overemphasize that the tactic itself comes out of the free flow of action and reaction, and requires on the part of the organizer an easy acceptance of apparent disorganization.” p165

“the mythology of ‘history’ is usually so pleasant for the ego of the subject that he accepts it in a ‘modest’ silence, an affirmation of the validity of the mythology.  after a while he begins to believe it.

“the further danger of mythology is that it carries the picture of ‘genius at work’ with the false implication of purposeful logic and planned actions.  this makes it more difficult to free oneself from the structured approach.  for this if no other reason mythology should be understood for what it is.” p168

“other ideas began to occur.  this was a whole new ball game for me and my curiosity sent me scurrying and sniffing at the many opportunities in this great wall street wonderland.  i didn’t know where i was going, but that was part of the fascination.  i wasn’t the least worried.  i knew that accident or necessity or both would tell us, ‘hey, we go this way.’  since i didn’t seem disturbed or confused everyone believed i had a secret and totally organized machiavellian campaign.  no one suspected the truth. ” p175

“remember that even if you cannot win over the lower middle-class, at least parts of them must be persuaded to where there is at least communication, then to as series of partial agreements and a willingness to abstain from hard opposition as changes take place.  they have their role to lay in the essential prelude of reformation, in their acceptance that the ways of the past with its promises for the future no longer work and we must move ahead – where we move to may not be definite or certain, but move we must.

“people must be ‘reformed’ – so they cannot be deformed into dependency and driven thru desperation to dictatorship and the death of freedom.  the ‘silent majority,’ now, are hurt, bitter, suspicious, feeling rejected and at bay.  this sick condition in may ways is as explosive as the current race crisis.  their fears and frustrations at their helplessness are mounting to a point of a political paranoia which can demonize people to turn to the law of survival in the narrowest sense.  these emotions can go either to the far right of totalitarianism or forward to act ll of the american revolution.”  p189-90

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About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on June 1, 2012, in occupy, research. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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