Monday, May 28, 2012

Rules for Radicals - the Paul Campaign, Pt.1

Alinsky's Rules
  1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
  2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
  3. Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
  4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
  5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
  6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long is a drag.
  8. Keep the pressure on.
  9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counter side.
  12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize and polarize it.

    The Paul campaigns have demonstrated rule one consistently. His whole career has been major bogey to the neo-cons even before they existed. Fortunes have been spent trying to dislodge him from congress, trying everything including star-power (if memory serves it was the wife of Frank Sinatra Jr., haha, losers all.) It only served to bring him even more attention and support. First, they did not ignore him or ridicule him (contra the popular saying), but went straight to Orange alert. They were afraid when his "power" was infinitesimal - It became what they thought he had, and they couldn't really ratchet up from their initial shock-and-awe, which had always worked before. His power came from his enemies. For comparison, note how Marilyn Manson based his whole career on free advertising from the Christians.
    Never go outside the experience of your people. I'm not sure what Alinsky was getting at here, other than that even a relatively unsophisticated audience senses bullshit when they are talked down to, or up to. Don't try to bedazzle or impress your supporters. Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. This has been simple for Paul, because the enemy lives in it's own dialectic bubble; almost everything that has been excluded for so long, is outside of their experience. They know only pragmatism and are generally incapable of considering anything else, lest they be thought of as "nut", "naive", "idealistic", etc. It bothers them though, because they must use ideals to justify their pragmatism to the public. They can't quite square the circle; they know there might be an unguarded ventilation duct in their invincible battlestar.

    Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. It can't be done, of course, since the rules are written to give them advantage. What can be done, and the Paul campaigns have done brilliantly, is to show the postmodern traits of the elite - complete disregard for facts, constant appeals to emotion, selective justice, no punishment for failure or fraud, outright lies, coverups, entrapment, (among many others), and done almost completely in the open. Never mind what we don't see. Obviously, this has been going on through history, but how long has it been this blatant? The sheer mass would have been to large to cover at some point, they may have had to quit trying, marginal returns and whatnot, but Ron Paul has been drawing attention to the gaps, for just about the same time as the neo-cons have been saying yeahsowhatayagonnadoaboutit. Not coincidentally.

    Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.  Here I disagree, at least with respect to the Paul campaign. There was never a need to ridicule anyone whose open behavior is Clinton/Bush level ridiculous; it is merely necessary to point out a few of many, many clusterfucks and leave the ridicule to lesser men like yrs tru'ly. They(the ridiculous asshats) have damned themselves with their own words and deeds to a sort of purgatory of ridicule where their names are only mentioned by the impolite or quietly amongst the dupes: Clinton, Rich, Bush, Cheney. Rice, Wolfowitz, Kagan, McCain, Lieberman, Graham... stop me anytime. Meanwhile, there above the shitstorm, stands Ron Paul, like a stone wall. Ridicule may have been a more potent weapon when more people had consciences. Today, not so much. The low point may be booing a guy for bringing up the golden rule outside of church. Self-ridicule; the most sincere. I might say ridicule is a potent weapon when used sparingly. Nobody likes a snotty wise guy, believe me; I know some guys like that.
    A good tactic is one your people enjoy.  Ron Paul all the way. I enjoyed seeing him win elections despite landslide opposition. Everyone loved the '08 campaign; blimps, unheard of internet support and grassroots workers coming from everywhere, 6 million dollar moneybombs, winning every poll opened, the original tea-party. All new, fresh and exciting. Fear and loathing from the gravytrainers. The look on Romney's and Hannity's faces after the debates when the straw poll votes were announced - Mitt was astounded, Sean pissed. Priceless. The entire Republican primary has been about stopping Ron Paul, and without him, would have been less interesting than major-league baseball. I'll bet I'll even enjoy the end-game and convention, even though I know they're going to throw the christian to the lions.

    I read somewhere that there exist a certain breed of political activist that simply enjoy crushing bastards, that donate out of chumped, self-defensive spite and malice and long to see some clowns take a faceplant, and there's more every day. Country will grow.

    Next installment: A tactic that drags on too long is a drag.

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