[Debate] (Fwd) Strategic toolkit: Naming the moment; Rules for radicals
lfcscally at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 1 14:02:00 BST 2012
Ah I get it the masses must have a perfect political consciousness before they take to the streets not to say a perfect plan must b great to live in ur abstract world of humann beings. Plse send me the address I wouldd like to live there
Sent from my HTC
----- Reply message -----
From: "Yoshie Furuhashi" <critical.montages at gmail.com>
To: "Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information and analyses of interest to the independent left in South and Southern Africa" <debate-list at fahamu.org>
Subject: [Debate] (Fwd) Strategic toolkit: Naming the moment; Rules for radicals
Date: Sun, Apr 1, 2012 13:06
ZABA, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Saleh, etc. weren't the point. Making them
the point only benefited the right opposition (which was stronger to
begin with than the left opposition even in countries where there's a
left opposition like Tunisia, Egypt, etc.).
On Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 7:56 AM, lfcscally at hotmail.com
<lfcscally at hotmail.com> wrote:
> No ur rite yoshie Egypt has been an unmitigated disaster ps the post was ye
> idea of April fools post wasn't it?
> Sent from my HTC
> ----- Reply message -----
> From: "Yoshie Furuhashi" <critical.montages at gmail.com>
> To: "Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information and analyses
> of interest to the independent left in South and Southern Africa"
> <debate-list at fahamu.org>
> Subject: [Debate] (Fwd) Strategic toolkit: Naming the moment; Rules for
> Date: Sun, Apr 1, 2012 10:07
> "Naming the Moment" seems more helpful than "Rules for Radicals."
> BTW, "Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than
> institutions" kind of sums up what a lot of activists did in the Arab
> Revolts. Didn't help them, did it?
> On Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 12:55 AM, Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:
>> (Have any debaters utilised two old-fashioned strategic tools that still
>> seem to me to have relevance today? 'Naming the Moment' and 'Rules for
>> Radicals' are books summarised below. Let me know if you want .pdfs of
>> long 1960s and 1990s riffs. Dated but compelling.)
>> Naming the Moment
>> The process of political analysis for action, or naming the moment moves
>> through four phases:
>> PHASE 1 -Identifying Ourselves And Our Interests
>> Who are 'we' and how do we see the world?
>> How has our view been shaped by our race, gender, class, age, sector,
>> religion, etc.?
>> How do we define Our constituency? Are we of, with, or for the people most
>> affected by the issue(s) we work on?
>> What do we believe about the current structure of power? about what it
>> be? about how we get there?
>> PHASE 2 -Naming The Issues/Struggles
>> What current issue/struggle is most critical to the interests of our
>> What are the opposing interests (contradictions) around the issue?
>> What are we fighting for in working on this issue -in the short-term and
>> the long-term?
>> What's the history of struggle on this issue? What have been the critical
>> moments of the past?
>> PHASE 3 -Assessing the Forces
>> Who's with us and against us on this issue (in economic, political, and
>> ideological terms)?
>> What are their short-term and long-term interests?
>> What are their expressed and their real interests?
>> What are the strengths and weaknesses of both sides?
>> What about the uncommitted?
>> What actors do we need more information about?
>> What's the overall balance of forces?
>> Who's winning and who's losing and why?
>> PHASE 4 -Planning For Action
>> How have the forces shifted from the past to the present? What future
>> can we anticipate?
>> What 'free space' do we have to move in?
>> How do we build on our strengths and our weaknesses?
>> Whom should we be forming alliances with?
>> In the short-term and in the long-term?
>> What actions could we take?
>> What are the constraints and possibilities of each?
>> Who will do what and when?
>> Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
>> RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you
>> have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people.
>> must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which
>> is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult
>> time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with
>> RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in
>> confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of
>> (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real"
>> issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge..)
>> RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look
>> ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all
>> time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by
>> irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
>> RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is
>> that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them
>> this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a
>> serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at
>> stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its
>> commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
>> RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's
>> irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to
>> the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want
>> create anger and fear.)
>> RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it
>> without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and
>> even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no
>> different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities,
>> but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
>> RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old
>> news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and
>> involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
>> RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to
>> the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit
>> from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides,
>> never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover
>> RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."
>> Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
>> (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case
>> scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The
>> upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy,
>> creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The
>> possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
>> RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and
>> become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to
>> side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this
>> tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions
>> the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the
>> of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
>> RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.."
>> Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution
>> the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of
>> the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is
>> hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So,
>> they have to have a compromise solution.)
>> RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut
>> off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after
>> people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This
>> cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule
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