May 13, 2009

How To Defeat Alinsky Rules - Part I

What are Alinsky's Rules for Radicals? Why are they important? How can they be countered?

Liberals, radicals and progressives use these rules against conservatives and mainstream America on a daily basis, without people being aware of how they are being manipulated by it. The left has a co-ordinated approach to political activism. By simply conforming to these rules, intentionally for many, subconsciously by others, liberals and socialists are working from a game plan that is effective simply because of its relentlessness. A ceaseless unresting effort that works by wearing down resistance and winning the little battles of attrition.
Meanwhile, many conservatives remain purists. They wouldn't hold their nose and vote for McCain and look where it got them - Obamaland. Because of their purity, they allowed the country to slip further away from their ideal. Many won't get dirty in the fight with liberalism believing it is beneath them. Or they feel that if you have to get nasty to win, you've foregone your principles and lost anyway. Again it's a matter of purity. Politics and purity are anathema to each other. You don't need to get dirty but you need to be willing to vote for the guy who is willing to fight hard, and mix it up with the opposition. And if he's not your guy, he's not perfect on every issue, or he's made some personal attacks on his opponent, but he's the more conservative candidate in the election - vote for him. [That's not a 'get out of jail free card' for RINOs. You have more conservative options in a primary - fight for them then.]

Liberals are constantly trying to move the center further left. Conservatives are not doing the opposite with the same singularity of purpose. Consequently, without a game changing Reagan or Contract with America, the battle favors the barrage. In other words, those in the middle and the inattentive, will head left because the constant dripping water torture of liberal diatribe. The constant pushing of morality in a particular direction requires a constant counter force to oppose it. But there isn't one.

What then, can be done to inoculate America against this virus? After all, if ever there were a pandemic, this would be it - the L1A1 virus (Liberal-1-Alinsky-1). Anti-Alinsky Rules are needed for ordinary Americans to prevent further infection and spread of the contagion.

Rule 1 Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

Nonsensible's Counter - Contest every claim. Always require proof. When a claim is made, demand proof immediately. Use proof to refute claims. Be ready to refute them immediately, but always, always demand proof. And never be intimidated by dubious claims.

Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

Nonsensible's Counter - In true ju-jitsu style, the aim here is to turn Alinsky's rules against themselves. When organized leftist activities are about to occur - ridicule them. When they are occurring, find ways to pressure them into stopping. Continue to ridicule them. Isolate and marginalize them. Additionally, disrupting their communication is key. While illegal activity is not acceptable, any other means of confusing or muting the message must be used. In other words, use Alinsky's Rule 3 and Rule 5 to counter his Rule 2.
A great example;

Updated video example - old one was removed.

Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

Nonsensible's Counter - This seems to be be self-evident to counter. Do not go outside of your expertise. If you are challenged in a non-directional way, point out that the question is not relevant. Ask why they think it's relevant or has anything to do with the debate at hand. Point out why it's not relevant and then get back on topic/track. Do not attempt to defend the area. This is a classic tactic of those losing or attempting to knock an opponent off balance. Stick to the topic of the debate. If the opposition is successfully painting you as avoiding the question, then tell them there are others expert in that area that they can debate, but that it is not relevant to the discussion at hand.

Rule 4: Make opponents 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.”

Nonsensible's Counter - This also applies to the left. There are numerous incongruities in the positions of the left. Because they often have no morality equivalent of the Bible to 'throw at them', just go with their inconsistent positions. For example if they argue that being pro life means you should be anti-2nd Amendment because guns kill people, remember the reverse is true. Being pro-choice means they should respect your right to bear arms.

Anyone who's an environmentalist is breathing out carbon dioxide, and using some manner of product that is not environmentally friendly. Anyone anti-capitalist who is making more than minimum wage is making more than someone else. Unless they give up the extra income for others, they are profiting 'at the expense of others' and are therefore hypocrites.

A great example;

Oops! Did he just say that? Yep. And later he apologized. Liberals are driven by emotion and that can get them to say some really stupid.

Another excellent example - the left can be held to the same standard they set for their targets;

Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

The left LIVES by this rule.

Nonsensible's Counter - Combating ridicule with ridicule quickly denigrates the debate into nothing more than calling. Unless you are Dennis Miller, don't try it. The most effective counter is to point out that ridicule is the refuge of the desperate and uninformed. Follow it up with 3 more fact-based points that tie directly to your point. Finish with the point that if someone wants to engage in ridicule instead of discussion then they aren't in the right place. Whatever you do, remember the following: DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. That's what they are aiming for - it takes you off your game. Remember it's a tactic, and frequently one of desperation or displaying a lack of a cogent argument. It's often a signpost to drive your point home hard and fast with facts as quickly as possible.

Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy.

Nonsensible's Counter - This is a pretty straightforward rule and if someone is doing something they enjoy, it's tough to make them not enjoy it. You could do that but it makes Republicans become the party of "No'. The GOP is supposed to be the party of 'know'. The best counter for it is to make sure that 'your people' are enjoying their tactics as well. The best way to do that is to combine tactics with fun.

Tea Parties on July 4th? Good idea. With BBQs and a free rock concert? Better.

Continued in PART 2.


  1. I like your blog. Please take a look at mine, I also have some pieces on Alinsky.

    Michelle Rodenborn

  2. I don't remember reading
    Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals. Not sure it was a thesis or a book.

    If I understand correctly and I'm certain I do hearing of and seeing the levels of mental instability in the USA and the world these past twenty years. One thing I know for sure. Maybe Saul Alinsky should have named his report anything goes for radicals. I can't fathom radicals abiding by any rules. The rule abiding is always someone else's responsibility as radicals indicate through their actions. It appears to me that anything goes within the radical philosphy. Those are the end justifies the end. Just an observation.

    1. The 'rules' he posed were just a guideline for how progressives/leftists/socialists to agitate effectively. To be honest, it seems like they are following his guidance.

      That said I get your point about the modern left seeming to be lawless and anti-rules. But I also don't see that as anything new. Although I was too young in 1968, the radical left did try to disrupt the Democratic National Convention and it seems like it was pretty chaotic then too.


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