RULES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES PDF
Editorial Reviews. Review. Publishers Weekly-. "Bond and Exley, senior advisors on the Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything - Kindle edition by Becky Bond, Zack Exley. Download it once and read it on. Lessons from the groundbreaking grassroots campaign that helped launch a new political revolution. Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the. Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything is a book by Becky Bond and Zack Exley tells the story of a breakthrough experiment.
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And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become because as every. A brazen challenge to the political establishment's 'rules' for campaign strategy, this excerpt from Bond and Exley's book introduces the. Becky Bond and Zack Exley talked about their book Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything, in which they look.
The Question of Violence The question of violence pertains to legitimate means of revolutionary transformation. While some thinkers of revolution approve of violence as an essential vehicle for bringing about radical change and assert its creative capacities, others advocate its unreserved exclusion from the realm of progressive politics and make recourse to right and law instead.
Again, numerous intermediate positions between the extremes of permissive and prohibitive attitudes toward violence can be found in which theorists try to identify specific conditions under which the use of violence is legitimate for example, if violence contributes to a measurable increase in freedom or to determine specific forms of violence that are justifiable for example, violence against property.
In addition, this section focuses on prevalent strategies for justifying revolutionary violence with recourse to, among others, utilitarian and politico-theological arguments. Anarchist theorist and activist Mikhail Bakunin, in his thoughts on radical socio-political transformation, stresses the creative power of humans in general and the creative potential of violence in particular. In his view, such violence is justified both as an act of self-defense and as a means of a progressive politics that transcends a deeply unjust status quo in which autonomy is made impossible by the existence and the authority of the state.
Thus, for Bakunin, violence is not merely an extreme alternative in case non-violent for example, legal vehicles of transformation fail. Instead, it is an inherent factor of revolution. In his comments on revolution, provoked by the experience of the Iranian Revolution, Michel Foucault agrees with this assessment insofar as he considers manifestations of violence an important motor of transformative politics compare Foucault, .
This fighting position, for Foucault, is to be seen as an inevitable element of radical change. Despite his constative judgment that violent conflict essentially enables revolutionary dynamics, he does not present an elaborate justification of revolutionary violence. Contrary to Bakunin and Foucault, Kant understands violence as neither a necessary nor a justifiable element of revolution.
Not only do his remarks reveal a pronounced reservation resulting from empirical observations of the cruelties committed in the course of the revolution in France cf. Kant, . What is more, his rejection of the idea that violence could be considered a legitimate means of progress is a matter of principle. His position becomes particularly manifest in his reflections on the trial against Louis XVI as presented in the Doctrine of Right compare Kant, .
From the standpoint of his practical philosophy, there can be no doubt that the execution of the previous monarch is not acceptable. For Kant, this form of legally regulated and sanctioned regicide differs from historically well-known simple regicide, that is, the killing of a king on impulse or motivated by political power strategies: For in the trial, the established political principle of the inviolable nature of sovereign power is undermined and ultimately replaced by the principle of violence.
Since the prosecution, in trying and finally executing the former king of France, does not appeal to a singular, exceptional situation but, instead, lends general juridical character to it, violent revolutionary insurrection against the sovereign is turned into a principle or Grundsatz of politics. More importantly, it passes off the violent protest against sovereign governments as generally permissible and problematically normalizes it.
Condorcet is one of the thinkers who neither understands violence as an integral part of revolution and gives carte blanche to its use nor completely rules out that it can serve as a justifiable means in processes of radical transformation. The binary logic of the Jacobins according to which any monarch has to either rule or die and their corresponding attempt to apply the laws of war in the trial against the king are thus curbed. The position suggested by Condorcet allows for an at least tentative maintenance of the rule of law and of the validity of principles of justice.
Like any other laws and measures, revolutionary laws and measures as developed in the course of the trial are subject to the rules of justice compare Condorcet, According to Condorcet, the exceptional, unprecedented situation of the revolutionary trial has to be modeled on the ideal of due process of law if it is to remain distinguishable from mere revolutionary terror.
Thus, revolutionary violence as it manifests itself in the eventual execution of the former king is not categorically rejected. However, it can only be considered as justified if it is legally channeled and, as a result, compatible with certain demands of justice. Insisting on the significance of revolutionary justice however imperfect in its practical realization in the exercise of legally qualified violent acts, Condorcet avoids the common opposition of either violence or law as the decisive tools of transformation.
On the one hand, this treatment of the representatives of the old system, in not suspending the law, sets an example for the new order and for the way in which it interprets law and justice. It thus contributes to the transformation of revolutionary violence into legitimate authority.
Intermediate positions between the extremes of approval and rejection of violence as an instrument of revolution are also developed by Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, and, more recently, by Slavoj Zizek.
At any rate, revolutionary movements, for Benjamin, represent a form of justice that incommensurably exceeds the existing legal order. Marcuse , in contrast, proposes a quasi-utilitarian justification of revolutionary violence. The suggested calculus amounts to a cost-benefit analysis of the probable number of victims on the one hand and the probable gains in human progress on the other in terms of, for example, tolerance or human rights.
For Marcuse, the historical events in England, America, and France prove the dialectical character of revolutionary violence, that is, the fact that violent conflict can contribute decisively to substantial economic and social, political and moral improvements. However, he insists that such violence is justifiable only if its use a is directly and recognizably tied to specific moral goals and b ceases at the earliest possible stage of the revolutionary process.
His reflections concentrate on the revolutionary capacities of passive forms of violence, which he presents as particularly justifiable.
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Debates within and around contemporary movements with fundamentally transformative social and political agendas attest to the continued significance of violence, of its permissibility and justifiability, as the central normative problem in the context of revolution.
Supporters of the Occupy movement deny the legitimacy of physical violence and, in particular, of physical violence directed against persons, as a means of revolutionary change.
The adherence to this kind of inactive, discursive violence was expressed performatively during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul. In Egypt, supporters of the Arab Spring movement took recourse to certain strands within the Islamic legal tradition when considering the question of violence.
It was not only in terms of human rights and democratic governance but also in terms of the Islamic law of rebellion and of war that the question of violence was discussed. Although the positions of the main legal schools of thought differ considerably in their assessment of the question, there is a pronounced tendency to attempt to avoid or, at least, limit violence in internal conflicts and to consider it justifiable only if all other means of bringing about change have been exhausted compare El Fadl, ; Al Dawoody, The Question of Freedom The question of freedom pertains to the primary objective of revolutionary transformation.
Here, the spectrum established by theorists of revolution spans between the poles of freedom as liberation from oppression that is, negative revolutionary freedom and of freedom as the foundation and realization of a new political order that is, positive revolutionary freedom. Post-colonial theorist Frantz Fanon , in his reflections on revolutionary change, primarily concentrates on the aspect of liberation.
A comparable focus on revolutionary freedom as freedom from oppression characterizes the thinking of critical theorist Herbert Marcuse. For him, breaking free from the existing order is the essential element of a revolution. Instead, processes of profound, sustainable transformation have to meet certain conditions if they are to be labeled as political.
Similarly, Thomas Jefferson , himself a central intellectual and political figure of the American Revolution, insists on the importance of positive aspects of revolutionary freedom. Karl Marx endeavors to relativize the opposition between either negative or positive freedom as definitive of revolutionary freedom. For him, revolution has to be conceived as a temporal process spanning over different stages. Marx argues that under the guise of this strictly individualist and merely formal kind of freedom, it is exclusively capital, not humans that can be considered as free.
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In his understanding, the indeterminacy or openness of this concept as regards content guarantees that the spontaneity constitutive of freedom is not prefigured and, thereby, inhibited or even suppressed: For Marx, it is evident that the precise results of authentically free human action and interaction cannot be predicted. Thus, the significance of his vision of a future free society, in which the difference between oppressors and oppressed is overcome, is underlined in his deliberate refusal to further specify its shape.
The Question of the Revolutionary Subject The question of the revolutionary subject pertains to the primary agent of radical transformation. From this it follows that the revolutions in the United States and France or the slave uprising in Haiti on which Hegel comments have to be interpreted as indicative of the current stage of development of the idea of freedom.
In both cases, human will and action is autonomous. Yet, according to Rousseau and Jefferson, revolutionary subjectivity is strongly affected and limited by what historical situations grant or deny respectively. Further questions arise once theorists have identified man as the subject to actively make revolution. Another debate in this context concerns the driving motivational forces behind revolutionary subjectivity.
Here, some theorists emphasize material, that is, social or economic factors, while others understand immaterial, that is, intellectual or spiritual factors, to be decisive. Finally, the positions diverge with respect to the attitudes that are considered particularly conducive to effective individual or collective revolutionary action. In her view, this mental commitment to non-anger is more decisive for revolutionary justice and for post-revolutionary reconciliation between former opponents than the practical commitment to non-violence.
The Question of the Revolutionary Object The question of the revolutionary object pertains to the primary target of revolutionary change. Two predominant strands can be distinguished: While some theorists hold that revolutions should primarily aim at converting the attitudes, convictions, belief systems and world-views of individuals, others argue that the material, institutional frameworks within which humans act and interact constitute the main object or site of revolutionary change.
Once more, a variety of positions can be found in between these extremes. Such positions hold both dimensions not only to be necessary conditions of radical change but also to mutually affect each other.
Fanon is one of the thinkers who argue that revolution cannot be limited to a remaking of the external world, that is, to the establishment of a different political, economic, social, and cultural order.
Therefore, conquering freedom in its totality is tantamount to establishing an order that abolishes every political or religious institution that exercises authority. Such a society organizes itself according to the principles of decentralization, social diversity, and horizontal interconnectedness, which allow for harmony and happiness on both the subjective and inter-subjective level compare Kropotkin, . This line of thought, which emphasizes the primacy of institutional transformation, is also represented by Kant.
Insisting on the comprehensive character of revolution, Rousseau, when thinking about its adequate object or target, attempts to avoid comparable predeterminations. He argues that both the modus operandi of individual humans that is, their ways of thinking, feeling, and acting and of political institutions that is, their ways of being structured and of acting upon citizens has to be tackled for thorough transformation to occur. The Question of the Extension of Revolution This question pertains to a the temporality or, more narrowly, the duration and b the expansion of revolutionary transformation.
Theorists dissent considerably as to whether such transformation has to be conceived as momentary, procedural, or permanent; they also disagree whether revolutions are to be understood as local, national, international, or global instances of profound, lasting politico-social change.
For him, revolution thus constitutes a momentary event that makes a switch from a state of historical normalcy to a state of historical exception possible. As opposed to Benjamin, thinkers like Hegel or Antonio Gramsci understand revolution as a process that spans in time before it leads to substantial, intelligible change, that is, to new political, legal, and economic, cultural, linguistic, and aesthetic principles being implemented and effectively taking root.
Similarly, Marx and Engels put emphasis on the aspect of duration. According to his view, revolution cannot hope for a final stage of satisfaction and completion compare Balibar, Other thinkers discuss revolution primarily in terms of its spatial extension.
Destroy their ruggedness.
Get control of all means of publicity. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance. Always preach true democracy, but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit and produce fear of inflation with rising prices and general discontent. Foment unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders, and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward such disorders. By specious argument cause the breakdown of the old moral virtues, honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with a view to confiscating them and leaving the populace helpless.
Now, stop and think — how many of these rules are being carried out in this nation today?
Or is it just one big coincidence? Alinsky believed in allowing the community to determine its exact goal.
He would produce an enemy for them to conflict with, but the purpose of the conflict was ultimately left up to the community.
This idea has been criticized due to the conflicting opinions that can often be present within a group. By producing a common enemy, Alinsky is creating a goal for the community, the defeat of that enemy. To say that the community will create their own goal seems backwards considering Alinsky creates the goal of defeating the enemy.
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Thus, his belief can be seen as too ideological and contradictory because the organization may turn the goal of defeating the common enemy he produced into their main purpose. It has been influential for policymaking and organization for various communities and agency groups, and has influenced politicians and activists educated by Alinsky and the IAF , and other grassroots movements.
Direct impact[ edit ] After Alinsky died in California in , his influence helped spawn other organizations and policy changes. Rules for Radicals was a direct influence that helped to form the United Neighborhood Organization in the early s.
Students of Alinsky's such as Edward T.Everyone who wants to solve climate change--or any other big issue--should read this book and get started. The two loyalist officers had joined the NRA as young men and had risen through the ranks of intelligence. Direct impact[ edit ] After Alinsky died in California in , his influence helped spawn other organizations and policy changes.
What happens if the founding fathers of this struggle start to die off, and for most of the young population, this struggle is something of the past, with little relevance for today?
It therefore did not fundamentally change its functioning: the re-introduction of the multiparty system did not alter the substance of the NRM or its inclu- sive approach to government. The suggested calculus amounts to a cost-benefit analysis of the probable number of victims on the one hand and the probable gains in human progress on the other in terms of, for example, tolerance or human rights.
In order to supplement these increasing neopatrimonial tendencies, additional bases of stability need to be found, such as improved service delivery, economic growth, or institutionalised mechanisms of leadership succession.