Alinsky’s Rules for Legit Non-Violent Rebels


Saul Alinsky, political activist in downtown Chicago for legitimate social causes, in the late 1960’s, formulated a number of guidelines to be successful for non-violent rebels in grass roots social movements. See

Here are the 4 most potent ones:

1. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. The opposition must be singled out as the target and “frozen.” (now called ‘framed’, JvT)

2. Ridicule is mankind’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. It also infuriates the opposition, who then reacts to your advantage.

3. Never go outside the experience of your people.When an action is outside the 
experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
4. Whenever possible go outside of the experience (=imagination, JvT)  of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat. (Audace!  Act much faster than they can respond, JvT)

 Source: prof. Rao, Hayagreeva, “Market Rebels: how activists make or break radical innovations” 2009 Princeton University Press

Note 1. I understand that both Barak Obama and Mrs. Clinton as students studied Alinsky’s work. And later applied the rebel tactics to gain support.

Note 2. Violence is stupid and will only backfire on you and your cause. It works suicidal. Use your brains. Both Police and Media WANT you to be violent, so they can fight you and you get the wrong kind of media attention: wounded or even killed. To disobey is more powerful.

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

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