Image 01 Image 03

Learning to love Alinsky’s asymmetrical political warfare

Learning to love Alinsky’s asymmetrical political warfare

As we move into 2013 and the legal insurrections, we should learn from history.

As Thomas Lifson at American Thinker points out, now that the major institutions have been surrendered, it’s time to emulate the left, Here comes the Alinskyite Right:

David Gregory and Piers Morgan have both met the Alinskyite Right, and progressives in positions of power should take note. Both men are the targets of digital petition drives aimed at holding them to their own standards, and ridiculing them, invoking Rules 4 and 5 from Rules for Radicals:

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 with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

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 force the enemy into concessions.

This may be one of the first signs of the direction the conservative movement will take in President Obama’s second term, and I take heart from the development. Conservatives have read and assimilated the lessons in Rules, and with left thoroughly in control of the institutions of media, education and culture, a lot of petards are going to get a lot of hoisting in the next four years. Social media distribution makes it possible for funny or dramatic events to flow around the usual media cofferdams.

At the time Alinsky wrote, there was still something of a conservative establishment among a few of the commanding heights of the economy, government, culture, and society. But since the 1960s, the left has grabbed control of education, the nonprofit sector, the arts and culture, and the Democratic Party. The Right feels, and actually is, powerless in most of these areas. Thus, conservatives are beginning to understands that we must emulate the (successful) tactics of the left, in leveraging our ability to influence the major institutions shaping our lives.

We saw it not only with Gregory and Morgan, but in the reaction to the publication of the home addresses and personal information of licensed, law-abiding gun owners by a NY newspaper.  Rather than just complain, someone published equally personal information about the editors and reporters at the newspaper.  I detest both tactics, but it’s a matter of holding them to their own rules via Alinsky.

Do not expect any help from the mainstream conservative media on this.  Many of them are circling the wagons around Gregory, refusing to recognize that such deference would not be accorded them by NBC much less MSNBC.

Is there any more vile network than MSNBC, which has turned into a stinking cauldron of race and class warfare?  Yet there is no group targeting MSNBC akin to Media Matters which targets Fox News and other conservative media.  I wish the Media Matters of the world and their tactics didn’t exist, but they do … and they are effective.  Fox News is on the defensive all the time, while MSNBC gets a pass.

2013 should be interesting, the marriage of Alinsky and the legal insurrection.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Fight fire with fire. We may not like it – but it is necessary, and it is right. It’s also the only hope for stabilizing the world, really. Things are out of control.

    Joan Of Argghh in reply to Rose. | December 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I agree, but the memo has to make it out to everyone. One well-aimed yet jab at the Left’s straw men and all the pedants on the Right start bashing their own teammates in an effort to be “above it all” or “technically accurate” or some such.

    The power of ridicule– which to be powerful must contain a hint of veracity– is greatly misundertood by good people. And that’s the problem. Good people can’t imagine Alinsky tactics.

    This is true on a host of issues. We need to be brave to speak out for what we believe. We need to be ready and prepared to fight for our beliefs.

    Our GOP elites need to grow a set:
    Separated at Birth: Barack and Harry and …?

    LukeHandCool in reply to Rose. | December 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm


    Fight fire with fire. That phrase was the first to pop into my mind.

    I abhor the tactic of posting another’s personal information online. But they brought it upon themselves. How could they be so obtuse not to know that they’d be paid back in kind?

    There is so much of the America I grew up with as a kid that was better than the America we have now. Not everything, but many, if not most things.

    It’s either be noble and go down with the ship … or fight fire with fire.

    Ridicule seems so … ridiculous.

    And I love it.

    It’s not the pen so much that is mightier than the sword … it’s the ridicule that can flow from it.

    I grew up with a father who was the absolute master of ridicule. He used it to negative ends. I hated the way he used it. I take after him a great deal in the ability to ridicule … but I’d like to use it to do good.

    As Bugs Bunny used to say, “Ain’t I a Stinker?”

    Let’s all be Stinkers. But good Stinkers. Stinkers for a noble cause.

      liesel409 in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      There’s a very good reason the obtuse editors did not expect reciprocation — experience and history.

      It’s great to have a front row seat for the new conservative ways. ☺

“…someone published equally personal information about the editors and reporters at the newspaper. I detest both tactics…”

As do I, but the key difference is that the left can be trusted to use that information to harass, intimidate, threaten, and expose innocents to risk, while the right will not.

    stevewhitemd in reply to windbag. | December 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Actually, they did. Some of Mr. Fountain’s commenters posted notes that discussed how they tried to telephone some of the reporters and couldn’t get through because the lines were busy.

    No, this is the sort of thing where you can trust both sides to live up to (down to) the same standard of behavior, sorry to say.

    I do think the Journal News had it coming: the ENTIRE POINT of the article posting the names and addresses of the gun owners was harassment — not the harassment of heavy breathing on phone calls, but the peer pressure that a supposedly disapproving community can muster when your name is in print. That is what the editor and publisher wanted.

    But it’s more than that. The editor, a card-carrying member of the DMM, understood that the article would contribute to the overall atmosphere of prejudice, scorn and ridicule against conservatives and conservative principles. That was the point as well. It’s the drip-drip-drip of the media putting those people and principles into the public eye in a negative way. It’s been done over and over the past fifty years, just to wear us down. The goal is to make us shut up and acquiesce.

    That was the point: embarrass gun owners so that they shut up about Newtown so that in turn the preferred narrative, guns are e-e-e-e-e-evil, could carry the day.

    This is one way the Left advances their agenda. As a famous man says, we have to push back twice as hard.

    But no heavy breathing on the phones.

    Phillep Harding in reply to windbag. | December 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    What? Don’t you realize that conservatives have such meta-human / godlike powers that a mere disapproving look equals a three hour riot by screaming leftidiots?

With regard to Mr. Chris Fountain and his blog calling out the White Plains Journal News, what’s especially interesting is that Mr. Fountain (by his admission, and by my review of his older blog entries) isn’t especially confrontational or political. He’s a lawyer in the real-estate market and most of his blog entries are about the housing market in Greenwich, Connecticut.

I wonder if we’re going to see this more in the future: not just that conservatives will starting cherry-picking Alinsky’s rules to go after the progressives, but that people who formerly stayed on the sidelines will now be fed up enough to join the fight.

We could use the help.

    liesel409 in reply to stevewhitemd. | December 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    On my way to Mr. Fountain’s blog after finishing the comments here. Thanks for the link. I hope he gets a lot of traffic and encouragement!

“The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means….” p.29

Being the counter-culture has its advantages…

I agree totally. Every conservative today would benefit from reading “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky was of the left, but the tactics he describes have to do with differences in power, they’re not limited to one particular partisan application.

Ohhhhh, Gawd, I’m LOVING this, Professor J..!

First REAL Smile I’ve worn since the night of November 6th.

By the by, y’all, I got another smile when I grazed at Drudge this a.m. and saw that nearly none of the D.C. Hotels are sold out for The Infantile Majesty’s 2nd Immaculation Day, January 20th.

Time wounds all heels,’Yo.

    NeoConScum in reply to NeoConScum. | December 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Update on January 20, 2nd Immaculation:

    Drudge says that His Infantile Majesty is now sending our millions of invites to supporters URGING attendance at the Crowning..errr…Devining….errrr…Declaration of Greatness…errrr…MOST Depressing Day since November 6, 2012.

re: “Do not expect any help from the mainstream conservative media on this. Many of them are circling the wagons around Gregory…”

Are there really any true conservatives left in America? From what I have observed, liberalism is like a virus. The entire population can test positive for the infection while only 20%-30% show visible symptoms of the illness. I would say that socialism is the visible symptom of this viral infection, with tyranny the end result.

The progression of this illness? Wilson–>FDR–>LBJ–>Obama: The free sex and rebellion of the 1960s equals the plague of STDs of today. There are no conservative media available, except in the blogosphere – the UN and the Federal Government are trying to shut those down. Habitual verifiable veracity is the enemy of liberalism and their culture of death; example: Robert Spencer.

Further evidence: There are now over 8,000,000 receiving Social Security Disability payments, with over 40,000,000 people receiving food stamps. There is no large scale outrage about this, as if people have a right to an elevated living standard because they don’t work. There is no one who wants to pick apples for a living and follow the harvest, but in times past a person did what was needed to keep body/soul together. Now they can just sit home and let Uncle pay their way – and no large uproar comes from the citizenry.

    gottarideduc in reply to David Yotham. | December 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Much of that SSD and food stamp problem will come under challenge when other peoples’ money runs out. Can’t wait for that to happen. Will be hurting everybody, but nothing is free, especially real improvement.

I dunno.

Afaic our most pressing deficiency is insufficient competence, not insufficient nastiness.

In the right hands under the right circumstances, nastiness can be a game changer: consider Atwater’s 1988 campaign against Dukakis. Otoh, incompetently deployed nastiness can backfire; for example, it just possibly is not a good idea for a presidential candidate to attack 47% of the electorate; for another example, it just possibly is not a good idea for a presidential candidate to be harshly negative on his rivals for the nomination, and then handle the other party’s nominee with kid gloves.

Interesting you should post this today. Your fellow Fab Fifty award winner, MOTUS, has one on Alinsky also. It’s here:

The publishing of names and addresses of CCW holders got personal yesterday when I learned that a weekly rag in Des Moines posted the list for Polk County. That was last year and while the story remains up on their website the list seems to have been removed. I hope so. I’m in Iowa and this is getting too close for comfort.

The left didn’t “grab” education. The right abandoned it to them. You want the schools to change ? Quit your better paying jobs and start out teaching, or quit whining about “the left did this” you all sound like victims.

    gibbie in reply to johnr. | December 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    You are right! It’s our fault. But it’s better to get your kids out of government monopoly bureaucratic schools, and help others to do the same.

    Do you really want to condemn decent people to attempting to teach children in such “schools”?

Finally! some signs of fighting back. Let’s get organized. Each in his own area of influence. You are not alone. There are plenty of like-minded people. But be prepared to become a target. The leftists have no ethics, no fairness, no scruples. We will have to temporarily abandon some of ours. Sad, really, but I’d rather do that than live in slavery to this despicable “progressive” scum.

Further thoughts: When you join the struggle, be sneaky. Guerilla tactics work. Hide your cyber location. Take a look at tools such as or post from public WiFi. Then let them have the truth. Whenever your local paper or “news” station posts another one of those lefty propaganda stories, oppose them. Don’t bother too much arguing the issues. They won’t debate you in good faith. If they try to block you, Change ID and come back. It’s a sure sign you’re winning. Forward!

Hopefully someone in White Plains will demand that the local DA investigate the author of Journal article to see if he/she has any ties with organized crime. After all they have also identified all the people in the area who are unable to defend themselves (at least with a legal firearm). The Journal author should be assumed an accessory to any burglaries that occur to unarmed homeowners.

Gregory must be arrested. Not because his act of possessing a high-capacity magazine contributes to gun violence, but because it doesn’t. When (not ‘if’) a harmless gun owner is arrested and jailed for the same violation, the Left does not care. But if Gregory is arrested they will, because he is one of their own. He must be made an example of because the Left doesn’t care about anybody but their own. It’s not that Gregory is an evil person who deserves to go to jail; most of the people arrested under this law are equally undeserving. But by being arrested, Gregory can serve a higher purpose: He can make society a little better by suffering just a little inconvenience and ignominy in order to teach us all a lesson.

Just like the Left does to all law-abiding gun owners.

[…] makes it possible for funny or dramatic events to flow around the usual media cofferdams. Professor Jacobson adds: We saw it not only with Gregory and Morgan, but in the reaction to the publication of the […]

I soon learned of Alinsky’s Rules during the pre-convention 2008 days and immediately started applying them back on liberals ever since.

I sho’ have been PO’in’ a lot of liberals who’s heat of anger could peel bottom paint off a dry docked wooden schooner from 50 paces as a result.

The left has been at war with us for decades but its been a one sided war so far since only they seem to have the stomach for the fight.

I’ve had it with the weak kneed, lily livered, gutless “leaders” on our side. They make we want to puke.

We need to take the battle to the left – twice as hard & twice as fast.
We should be constantly launching initiatives and putting them on the defensive.

The people on the left do not like us. They don’t like America as founded and they are deadly serious about wiping us out. Look around you. They are winning. The aggressor always wins.

We need to be the aggressor. We must strike first, fight harder and faster and always stay on the attack.

Nobody asks “What tactics did you use?” – they just ask “Who won?”

“2013 should be interesting, the marriage of Alinsky and the legal insurrection.”
FANTASTIC!!!!….and about time.
If you think about its a natural evolution, we are the “counter-culture” now….the left is the “establishment” or what used to be referred to as “the man”.
I relish turning the “progressives” own tactics against them…..this is waaayyyyy past due.

Since published the map of legal gun owners for the purpose of harassment, intimidation and turning neighbor against neighbor, I have no problem publishing the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved in that story. Let’s see if they like it.

MSNBC isn’t really getting a pass.

I do agree that they should get called out on their lying. The more that happens, the less credibility and smaller market share they will have.

By jove. I think we’ve got it! We’ve finally got it!

Professor Jacobson invokes Ringo in our legal insurrection against the Alinsky Left.

LukeHandCool (who is determined to see the Left prostrate upon the Pete Best ash heap of history)

[…] » Learning to love Alinsky’s asymmetrical political warfare – Le·gal In&mid… […]

…wherein we learn that assigning the titles “fascist” and “pig” to a leftist will agitate them into a berserker rage, complete with mouth foam.

…especially once one demonstrates the historical trend whereby socialist revolutions transform into fascist oligarchies.

Thank goodness you conservatives have finally figured out how the left works.

I am a former lefty, the left are some of the most vile, racist hypocritical rats ever seen. The MSM in America and the DNC are ONE! the liberal establishment in this country is one, they are above the law, above the rules.

Stop with the “rising above it”, when a bully is bullying you, what, are you going to “rise above it”?!? You have to fight back. Use alinksky’s tactics against them!

[…] Jacobson concludes by noting the fecklessness of the establishment media… […]

BannedbytheGuardian | December 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

You have to choose your battles & not fight emotionally. As I noted a few days ago Russia is banning adoptions to America. This is their right.

The news has reached some conservatives so now Laura Ingraham & Malkin’s crew are now wailing away. Skinny Ingraham of the matching skinny booklets is threatening to go to Moscow & give Putin apiece of her mind.

Do not enter battles you cannot win. Do not set yourself up to look a fool.

That would be a good start.

It’s about time.

“Alinsky’s work is used primarily by anti-government and anti-corporate interests to transform society. The Alinsky model is a set of behaviors and principles that are intended to create an emotional commitment to victory no matter the cost. Most people currently see the strategies as unacceptable Communist and Socialist propaganda methods. Truth is, the Alinsky rules for radicals are apolitical and amoral. The rules are double edged and can cut both ways. So far, only the radical liberal leftist elements of society and politics have used the rules. It’s time Conservatives begin to read, understand, and use the same principles. There’s an old dictum: fight fire with fire. There is no defense for many of the Alinsky tactics other than the Alinsky tactics.

Do not fear Alinsky’s rules, learn them, use them. The rules work just as well for Conservative principles and goals as they do for the Liberal Socialist agenda of Barack Obama and the Democrats.

And it helps to know the enemy.”

I advocated using ‘Rules For Radicals’ way back in Sep 2008.

Socratease almost got it right. Gregory should be arrested and prosecuted because in defending him the left will undermine the very law they love. It would indeed be sweet if the law were overturned as a result of his prosecution.

Something the left has forgotten (and, I fear, so has the right) is that the Golden Rule is reflexive. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” means that if you treat someone like crap, you want to be treated like crap in return. Using their own tactics against them is simply living according to the Golden Rule — even if it seems dirty and wrong by the way we wish to be treated ourselves.

Scorched earth all the way.

[…] other Alinksy Rules might […]