The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule -Part 7 – The Eighth Tactic
Rule 8: “Keep the pressure on with different tactics, and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”~Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
All of the Alinsky tactics dovetail together, and until you fully appreciate that, you can’t unequivocally understand the Alinsky model, but if there is one central concept around which all the others orbit it is the overarching theme that the application of pressure is the only thing that will create change, and change is always the goal.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~Rahm Emmanuel
To the average sensibility, this quote from Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel seems oddly detached from our normal emotional reactions in times of tragedy. The word psychopath leaps to mind, but Rahm is no psychopath. He is just so fully immersed in the teachings of Alinsky that applying Alinsky principles is a reaction that requires no thought, and so any natural consideration of humanitarian concerns simply becomes irrelevant as it dissolves into “the greater good”. Of course, whose definition of “the greater good” we’re using would seem to be a pertinent consideration, and will be the subject of future posts.
As I explained previously in The Alinsky Reaction Chain, the principle purpose of all the tactics is to keep the pressure on your opponent. This requires a litheness and fluidity of approach that means even the tactics themselves are subject to change or abrogation if the end can be accomplished more quickly, or more easily by some other means. We will investigate in later posts just how important this issue of means and ends is in the Alinsky paradigm.
So the object is to keep the pressure on; be relentless; be ruthless if necessary, but win at any cost. No tragedy or misfortune is out of bounds if it can be employed to achieve your end goal. If you are utterly and completely convinced you are correct then surely you should leave no strategy untried to attain such noble goals. In this context, it is easy to understand the corruption, sell-outs, and backroom deals concomitant with the ramming through of Obamacare, as well as the seeming inconsistencies between noble goals and amoral means used to attain them.
Obama demonstrated his fidelity to Alinsky tactics over and over throughout the Presidential campaign of 2008, and continues to use them in the White House.
During the campaign Obama applied Alinsky tactics repeatedly; here are a few examples of his use of the eighth tactic:
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” ~Barack Obama
“I want you to argue with them, and get in their faces.” ~Barack Obama
The general intent of the eighth tactic is this: if you’re convinced you’re right, and the consequences of your opponent winning are too dire for you to consider, you are obligated to do whatever is necessary to ensure that your side wins. The messy, corrupt process of passing Obamacare stands as a stark reminder of what Alinsky tactics look like when used to Govern. This isn’t just politics as usual. This is politics without even a consideration of the possibility that the morality of means might be relevant in the process of bringing about change.