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Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”

A great deal has been written about Saul Alinsky‘s book “Rules for Radicals.” Much of it tends to ignore the rules and focus on other things, like whether Alinsky was a communist. I think that knowing and understanding the rules is very helpful to those of us who participate in the fight for freedom.

I came by my knowledge of Brother Saul and the “Rules” over a lifetime of work fighting labor unions, particularly public sector labor unions. Alinsky’s teachings have a tremendous impact on the tactics of public sector unions, like the National Education Association. Over the years I have spoken about Alinsky and the “Rules” in many contexts from conventions of public officials to training sessions of professional educator group leaders. A couple small samples of my writing can be found in “A Few Things All Educators Should Know About the National Education Association, But the NEA Won’t Tell Them” or “Labor Unrest and Public Policy — Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

Interest in Alinsky and the “Rules” seems to come up about once every decade. In the most modern application it is the emergence of the Tea Party as a force to be contended with. There is no doubt that the Tea Party and its leaders have been “Alinsky’d” by radical liberals with the sympathetic assistance of the mainstream media.

In the last year I have made presentations to quite a few Tea Party meetings about Alinsky and the “Rules.” I suspect that because I have dealt with them for so long I am somewhat amazed at the reaction to these presentations. Many people have said to me afterwards  that once they knew the rules, in fact once they knew that there were rules, so much of what was going on made sense. Some of it is quite simple, like “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” other rules, like “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside” require some explanation.

Alinsky wrote the “Rules” just before he passed away in 1972. If one should doubt their modern relevance you need only consider that Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis at Wellesley was titled “There is only the fight: An analysis of the Alinsky model” and that Barack Obama received his training as a community organizer in Chicago at the Industrial Areas Foundation, which was founded by Alinsky and is still based on his teachings.

Since I believe that this knowledge is of value and I really enjoy making the presentations I welcome inquiries about possible opportunities. If you are interested, you may contact me at <ddenholm2@earthlink.net>

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