Saul Alinsky

From Quotes
The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.
Sir James Jeans
Jump to: navigation, search

Saul Alinsky, (January 30, 1909 - June 12, 1972) is generally considered the father of community organizing.


  • The Iron Rule is: never, ever do for anybody what he or she can do for themselves.
  • Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you're free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in.
  • Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.
    • Rules for Radicals
  • Asking a sociologist to solve a problem is like prescribing an enema for diarrhea.


  • Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.
  • In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.
  • Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
  • The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means.
  • The end is what you want and the means is how you get it.
  • If you have a vast organization, parade it before the enemy, openly show your power.
  • If your organization is small, do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more that it does.
  • If your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.
  • Liberals in their meetings utter bold works; they strut, grimace belligerently, and then issue a weasel-worded statement 'which has tremendous implications, if read between the lines.' They sit calmly, dispassionately, studying the issue; judging both sides; they sit and still sit.
  • Power goes to two poles: to those who've got money and those who've got people.
  • Society has good reason to fear the Radical. Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the Radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives.
  • The Radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks. He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about: