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IPFS News Link • Books

13 Rules for Radicals to Gain Power

• By Bilal Hafeez

Yet many people have never heard of the American Saul Alinsky. He is thought to be the founder of modern community organizing and wrote one of the most influential works on setting up grassroots movements: the 1971 book Rules For Radicals. The basic philosophy was to give power to the have-nots. In his introduction, he wrote: 

'WHAT FOLLOWS IS for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.'

The book goes on to give lessons on how to take power away from the 'haves'. Naturally, it was heavily used by the countercultural movement in the 1970s but has increasingly been used in mainstream political campaigns. Perhaps the most enduring part of the book is Alinsky's 13 rules for radicals. Here they are with some of his additional notes: