The PJ Tatler

Alinsky and Wisconsin

We pass along these quotes without much comment. Just follow the links.

According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a bad situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.”

Through a process combining hope and resentment, the organizer tries to create a “mass army” that brings in as many recruits as possible from local organizations, churches, services groups, labor unions, corner gangs, and individuals.

Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

These tactics do have a shelf life.

Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.