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Saul Alinsky (1909 – 1972)


American activist and writer.
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Saul Alinsky
The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.
Alinsky quotes
Always remember the first rule of power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have. The second rule is: Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, it results in confusion, fear, and retreat. [...] The third rule is: Whenever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
Alinsky
Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.




Alinsky Saul quotes
To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.
Alinsky Saul
The end is what you want and the means is how you get it.
Saul Alinsky quotes
In this world laws are written for the lofty aim of "the common good" and then acted out in life on the basis of the common greed. In this world irrationality clings to man like his shadow so that the right things get done for the wrong reasons—afterwards, we dredge up the right reasons for justification. It is a world not of angels but of angles, where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles; a world where we are always moral and our enemies always immoral; a world where "reconciliation" means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation.
Saul Alinsky
For an elementary illustration of tactics, take parts of your face as the point of reference; your eyes, your ears, and your nose. First the eyes; if you have organized a vast, mass-based people’s organization, you can parade it visibly before the enemy and openly show your power. Second the ears; if your organization is small in numbers, then do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a din and clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more than it does. Third, the nose; if your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.
Alinsky Saul quotes
The cry of the Have-Nots has never been "give us our hearts," but always "get off our backs"; they ask not for love but for breathing space.
Alinsky
Asking a sociologist to solve a problem is like prescribing an enema for diarrhea.
Alinsky Saul
The ninth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.
Saul Alinsky
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.




Saul Alinsky quotes
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
Saul Alinsky
The democratic ideal springs from the ideas of liberty, equality, majority rule through free elections, protection of the rights of minorities, and freedom to subscribe to multiple loyalties in matters of religion, economics, and politics rather than to a total loyalty to the state. The spirit of democracy is the idea of importance and worth in the individual, and faith in the kind of world where the individual can achieve as much of his potential as possible.
Alinsky quotes
Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear the most. 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.
Alinsky Saul
Men don't like to step abruptly out of the security of familiar experience; they need a bridge to cross from their own experience to a new way. 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.
Alinsky Saul quotes
The seventh rule of the ethics of means and ends is that generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics. The judgment of history leans heavily on the outcome of success or failure; it spells the difference between the traitor and the patriotic hero. There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds he becomes a founding father.
Saul Alinsky
Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
Saul Alinsky quotes
Change comes from power, and power comes from organization. In order to act, people must get together.
Saul Alinsky
No politician can sit on a hot issue if you make it hot enough.
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