I always read the dedication. Ninety nine point nine percent of the time its ‘to my wife’, or ‘family’ or… *picks another book off the shelf, ‘my daughter’. There we go, nailed the trifecta without even trying.
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
I have never read Paul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. And to be honest, I only found out that he dedicated his book to Satan quite recently. I feel like I’m coming quite late to this party since conservatives have been trying to bash Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with this particular stick since forever. Paul Alinksy was the subject of Hillary’s senior college thesis. And Barack Obama was certainly familiar enough with Alinksys work to critic its shortcomings (as he saw them) as he evolved as a politician. There may even have been some mentoring involved for both those peeps… but truth be told I lost interest half way through my google search. At least now I can appreciate where the Glenn Becks of the world were coming from… although it still doesn’t make me care.
Still to dedicate your book to the Dark Lord feels quite… hmm… brave, insofar as I often feel bravery and foolhardiness go hand in hand. Not from a religious point of view mind you… I just think it was unnecessarily antagonistic. Or funny. Maybe its funny. I don’t know. Maybe I am too world-weary to nail down my opinion on this… lest one day it is held against me by people who wish to do me harm.
Out of interest the Rules for Radicals are thusly (as laid out by Alinksy)…
- Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have
- Never go outside the expertise of your people
- Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy
- Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules
- Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage
- A good tactic is one your people enjoy
- A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag
- Keep the pressure on
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself
- The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition
- If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative
- Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it
… which feels very Art of War to me. And for some reason I think of von Clausewitz when he said… wait let not paraphrase from my sketchy memory.
‘War is a mere continuation of policy by other means’ – Carl von Clausewitz
To a lot of peeps out there politics is warfare and approach their livelihood with this much seriousness. Us versus them. There shouldn’t be cooperation… just annihilation of the other team. All’s fair in war after all…
… *exhales* which feels quite exhausting. Imagine being constantly in battle-mode… lying awake at night wondering what your enemies are up to. Wondering what chinks in their armor to aim for… what to say that will get your base foamy and frenetic enough to act out your machinations (through the ballot… but not always). All while shiv’ing your own foot-soldiers through backroom deals with lobbyists and special interest groups to keep your serfs poor, confused and disconnected, but yourself very much in the black.
And sure I appreciate that maybe not everyone is like that. But I think anyone who rises to the top in that particular industry is never anyone good and principled. At best they’re just good at pretending that they are.
In any event before I go off on a tangent. Remember kids radicals worship Satan. And conformists… eh… are the good guys? Wait… maybes leftwing equals the Devil and right wing is… the eh… the other wing on the same animal? This is all so confusing.
Maybe… and this might sound crazy, we should just not have any kingdoms or their associated rulers. Satanic or otherwise worldly. Wouldn’t that be grand? (or terrifying…)
Personally I’m okay with not being told what to do all the time. Although maybe this means I’ll go dump my garbage down on the beach in a bit. Difficult to say what I might do with all that freedom.
In any event, I hope you are well and playing nicely.
Godspeed and good luck out there.