Rules for Radicals v1.0

A friend sent the the first quote following the other day as a post topic, and I’ve added another from the same source:

“Undermine the enemy first, then his army will fall to you. Subvert him, attack his morale, strike at his economy, corrupt his leaders, sow internal discord. Destroy him.”

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

― Sun Tzu

For the Chinese, The Art of War remains current doctrine. But it is more than an ancient (~5th century BC) Chinese military treatise on strategy and tactics.

Consider it as Rules for Radicals v1.0. Saul Alinsky wasn’t such an original thinker. His major contribution (maybe V1.05?) was no more than an amoral gloss: Glorifying personal mendacity, celebrating corrupt nihilism, and justifying individual persecution by the mob.

War” does make for a much punchier title than “Business, Sports, Politics, Strategy, Tactics, and Life in General.” But, Sun Tzu’s advice is often general. With Alinsky’s help it applies to American Leftist academicians and authoritarian politicians as much as to the present day Chinese People’s Liberation Army; and to our SJW Community Organizers as much as to the Russian CyberKommand. Even though they all are enemies.

If you’ve been paying even slight attention, you easily can supply many recent examples of the Chinese Communist Party’s deceitful undermining of the United States. The list includes attempts at subversion, demoralization, economic disruption, corruption of high officials, and sowing of internal discord. That would be in line with Sun Tzu’s advice. I hope we’re doing it to them. But their Fifth Column is much better than ours.

That is, the Chinese have had a lot of help with their efforts. While we can draw parallels to Art of War, more damage results from domestic application of Rules for Radicals. As a few of Alinsky’s aphorisms will illustrate:

“The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”

“The organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems… The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.”

“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.”

“Human beings do not like to look squarely into the face of tragedy. Gloom is unpopular.”

“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism…”

“To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles.”

“Accuse the other side of that of which you are guilty.”

“They have the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns then it will be through the bullet.”

“Always remember the first rule of power tactics; power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

And my favorite – which you never hear – in these days of BLAMTIFA and ‘gender’ chaos:

“The fact that people are poor or discriminated against doesn’t necessarily endow them with any special qualities of justice, nobility, charity or compassion.”

Anything strike you about Alinsky’s advice and current events?

Mask mandates? Lockdowns? Riots, looting and arson unopposed by civic leaders? Pronoun wars? Cancel culture? Election fraud? Destruction of small business? Dollar gutting multi-trillion dollar pipe dreams? Self-debasement of our media? Objections to “Wuhan Virus” as racist?

Further reading:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

– Theodore Dalrymple

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

-George Orwell, 1984

We’ll let Sun Tzu have the final word:

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

11th

A moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that is when the guns went silent for the armistice that ended World War I. Today was Armistice Day until 1954, since the War to end all Wars didn’t.

It’s 11 years since this post first appeared. I’ve added the picture above, because the Cat’s Eye nebula reminds me of a poppy. It is a stellar tribute to our veterans…

___________________________________________________________________

It is Veteran’s Day. In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. Please observe a moment of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In Flanders Fields
Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John Kerry, belatedly, proven right

Qasem Soleimani, deceased commander of the Quds Force (Iran’s amalgam of the CIA and Navy Seals), a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – designated as a terrorist organization last year – has a long history of conducting war against the United States.

He helped plan the attack on our Benghazi diplomatic facilities. He armed dozens of militia groups enabling them to kill hundreds of Americans. He was responsible for the Dec. 27th attack near Kirkuk that killed an American contractor. He organized the recent attack on the American embassy (i.e., American soil) in Baghdad by Quds Force proxy Kata’ib Hezbollah; who raised their flags on its walls.

He had been sanctioned by the previous administration in 2011:
Flashback: Obama Sanctioned Soleimani for Attempted Terror Attack in Washington, DC

“Under Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Soleimani was to be removed from international sanctions after eight years, though then-Secretary of State John Kerry promised that sanctions against Soleimani would be in place “forever.””

Now, John Kerry is right. If not about the sanctions he was thinking about.

Soleimani was traveling when he died after a very short illness.

Our Maim Scream Media is describing Soleimani as a “revered figure” and a “war hero.” One Progressive wag suggested Soleimani’s demise was like the killing of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Captain America “all in one.”

This person was referring to the sentiments of Iranians, most of whom, au contraire, are glad the asshole is in pieces. Still, I can’t help but consider that promoting such concern over a terrorist is like the Confederate press favorably noting the North’s mourning of Lincoln’s assassination, the British press happily detailing celebrations of Washington’s victories, and the Red Skull posting excerpts of Captain America’s eulogy on his blog.

So, the parallel with the American press is accurate.

Rainbows everywhen

87983-poppyIf Ye Break Faith With Us…
-Mark Steyn on 11/11/2001

[T]hough we can scarce grasp what they symbolize, this year the poppies are hard to find. Three Canadian provinces had sold out by last Monday, and by the time you read this the rest of the Royal Canadian Legion’s entire stock of 14.8 million will likely be gone.

Canada today…
Former Conservative party candidate apologizes for viral rainbow poppy tweet

The apology was mistaken:

Rather than having been suspended for rejecting the poppy during choir practice as Bird’s initial tweet read, Natalie outlined that she had been suspended for “rejecting the idea” of the rainbow poppy…

It’s worse that Natalie was suspended for “rejecting the idea.” The idea is the problem.

I do know why Cyara Bird apologized: Unless you enthusiastically support the appropriation of Remembrance Day at SJW whim, and embrace compelled speech, YOU are a bigot.

The LGBT+ folks already have a plethora of their own days, weeks, and months – with parades and celebrations.

Every other occasion for reflection or pride does not require fealty to a group of aggrieved, narcissistic activists who occupy the space at the very edges of the Bell curve of human sexuality.

100 years since

A moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that is when the guns went silent for the armistice that ended World War I, one hundred years ago today.

This day is Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day. The silence should resound throughout the countries who observe it under those different names, as we recall the sacrifice of those who fought on our behalf.

How could we forget? Easily. We might neglect this history in our primary schools. We might create a university system dedicated to recasting those heroes who rose to meet challenges of personal and cultural annihilation as, at best, quaint throwbacks to an unenlightened age or, at worst, dupes of a “system of power, privilege, and oppression.”

We might wear Che T-shirts, ignorant of the man’s evil.  We might stage protests under flags displaying the Swastika, oblivious. We might call our neighbors Fascists if they utter an opinion with which we disagree, because we don’t really know what fascism is.

Instead, let us express our gratitude to those who defended us at Ypres, Belleau Wood, Dieppe, Iwo Jima, The Bulge, the Chosen Reservoir, Khe Sanh, and Fallujah.  Let us display a humble respect for those who gave their lives on behalf of the ideal of individual freedom.

Without our continuing consciousness of their effort, those who have died and those who die tomorrow protecting our liberty, are literally dust. If we do not honor these heroes, we are likely to lose our way of life by the worst possible means – the habit of thinking things had to be the way they are and not some other way.  We need to reflect on just how amazing it is that we’ve escaped Hobbes’ description of life as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” and how fragile the achievement is.

A moment of silence is a pittance to pay in gratitude to fallen warriors and to revive failing memories.

Update, 11:10. In the interests of remembering, the incomparable Mark Steyn:
The War That Made the World We Live In