Editorial Reviews. Review. Publishers Weekly-. "Bond and Exley, senior advisors on the Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything - site 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.
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. 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. Another student of Alinsky's, Ernest Cortez, rose to prominence in the late s in San Antonio while organizing Hispanic neighborhoods.
His use of congregation-based organizing received much acclaim as a popular method of Alinsky's by utilizing "preexisting solidary neighborhood elements, especially church groups, so that the constituent units are organizations, not individuals.
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.
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.
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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.
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Within such spheres, alternatives to dominant forms of coexistence and interaction, of politics and economy can be practiced whereby the existing order is unmasked as contingent. It is primarily in terms of these central questions that they have attempted to conceptually grasp revolution. Despite their pronounced heterogeneity and their attempts to periodically redefine revolution, it is with respect to these key questions that the theories presented here share family resemblances to one another.
Defining whether political change can be considered revolutionary constitutes the conceptual issue at the core of these theories.
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In particular, they aim at circumscribing revolution in regard to related, yet distinct concepts such as revolt, rebellion, and reform whereby the questions of the new, of liberty, and of the legitimacy of violence serve as the most relevant criteria for demarcation. The first two criteria play a central role in the distinction between revolution on the one hand, revolt and rebellion on the other.
As a consequence of the underlying main goal of casting off an unjust, oppressive regime, both revolt and rebellion are based on limited notions of novelty and liberty. Thus, in comparison to revolutionary change, the specific kind of change they aspire to is more marginal in its scope.
For the differentiation of revolution and reform, the criteria of novelty and violence are central. Accordingly, when Kropotkin links revolution and revolt or when Kant explicitly associates revolution with reform, the relatedness between these concepts and not to mention the phenomena is reflected.
In light of these resemblances, attempts at a precise conceptual critique of revolution, which distinguishes it sharply from revolt, rebellion, or reform remain heuristic in character. Determining if and under what conditions revolutionary action and, especially, revolutionary violence are morally justified constitutes the normative issue at the core of theories of revolution.
Although revolution represents the most radical expression of dissent and protest, the determination of its legitimacy reveals points of contact with debates on less extreme forms of a politics of resistance and transformation such as, for example, civil disobedience compare Rawls, Despite the differences as to, inter alia, the scope of the envisaged transformation, their legitimacy essentially depends on the underlying cause and motivation.
Revolutionary action and, with it, at least temporary political disorder, can only be considered legitimate if it aims at overcoming continued violations of the basic rights of specific groups or entire nations by the regime in power that are both severe and systematic. While conflict between ruling powers and revolutionary movements typically takes place within the context of a state, broader issues independent of the policies of a specific state can also be invoked as a justified cause to engage in radically transformative politics.
The Occupy movement and its appeal to the inequalities brought about by the current global economic system is a case in point. Furthermore, the il legitimacy of revolutionary politics is determined by the heavily disputed question of the permissibility of revolutionary violence.
In relation to this question, the focus is not on the just cause, the right reason and intention of such a politics, but on the conduct in the course of its realization. The dispute pertains to different dimensions: It concerns the general issue whether violence can be considered a politically and, more importantly, morally justifiable means of revolution, in other words, whether, based on strategic or principled considerations, its use can be justified at all.
In addition, it concerns more specific issues such as its justifiable form for example, violence against property , scope for example, violence limited to early stages of the revolutionary process , and status for example, violence as a last resort once all peaceful alternatives have failed. Here, the discussion on revolution resembles theoretical debates on just war Arendt, ; Walzer, .
Besides the perspectives of cause in analogy to the terminology of just war theory: ius ad revolutionem and conduct ius in revolutione , there is a third critical perspective, in terms of which the legitimacy of revolutionary action and violence is determined.
This perspective focuses on the ius post revolutionem, that is, on the final stage of a revolution, and assesses its capacity to terminate the state of exception in order to transition into a new and stable political order.
Thereby, the stability of such a reconstitution is largely predicated on reconciliation with and inclusion of former adversaries. It is mainly thanks to the criteria of cause, conduct, and reconstitution that revolutionary violence becomes distinguishable from the violence used by criminals and, especially, terrorists. A further relevant issue with regard to just revolution theory pertains to the self-authorization of revolutionary movements, which raises the questions whom such movements speak for and whose interests they represent.
To conclude, this article provides a sample of the rich theoretical discourse surrounding the contested concept of revolution. While the positions developed within the three dominant schools of thought democratic, communist, and anarchist are strongly shaped by broader commitments to the underlying political philosophies and often indebted to other debates for example, on war , this discourse has distinctive features due to the specificity of its object of investigation and the controversial exchange of views between the different traditions.
Given both its width and unsettledness, there are significant conceptual and normative issues for philosophers to address. References and Further Reading Arendt, H. Badiou, A. Ingram, Durham: Duke University Press. Bakunin, M.
Shatz, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Benjamin, W. Schweppenhauser, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, — Berman, H. Butler, J. Camus, A. Bower, New York: Vintage Books. Condorcet, J. Dawoody, M. DeFronzo, J. Derrida, J. Rottenberg, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 46— Engels, F. Fadl, K. Fanon, F. Speaking their language. Big organizing rarely works around a single issue.
Our struggles are all connected. Big organizing also needs to have a clear and credible theory of change that explains why organizing matters. So how do we talk to everybody about our big ideas? Part of the answer is to leverage technology to talk to everyone and allow thousands to scale up into leadership roles.
What that looks like is a volunteer-driven campaign with consumer software—connected by custom coding—at the center; this structure makes it possible to scale the participation of people doing sophisticated work on central plans. Big organizing depends on technology as well, but it emphasizes a very different approach.
Big organizing uses technology platforms, particularly free consumer-oriented social collaboration tools—to get as many people as possible engaged in executing a campaign plan and to enable those people to talk to each other and to as many voters as possible regardless of where they live or how much time they have to spend doing it each week.
It demands a structure that scales. In big organizing, volunteers act as the staff of the campaign. With a structure where leadership roles at nearly every level are primarily filled by volunteers, a campaign can scale up with everyone doing more and more valuable work at every level. Big organizing demands a structure that scales. And this structure requires the ability to absorb and delegate work to volunteers at all management levels as the campaign grows.
In our corner of the Bernie campaign, we attempted to build a big organizing structure capable of accommodating limitless numbers of volunteers by combining technology with old-school peer-to-peer organizing. The result was a national volunteer apparatus capable of distributing the work to hundreds of thousands of volunteers, giving a large number of people leadership roles, holding people accountable, and making it efficient for people to engage in high-impact voter contact no matter where they lived.
These volunteers worked in teams. The teams were led by volunteers who had proved themselves to be effective and accountable through work. It was the primary responsibility of campaign staff to recruit, empower, and grow these volunteer teams until the campaign scaled to the size necessary to win the big changes we sought. Parts of big organizing. This may sound daunting to actually accomplish, given the big numbers of people necessary to make it work well enough to win.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.
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. However, there are limits to this system, as we explain in the next sections. Marcuse , in contrast, proposes a quasi-utilitarian justification of revolutionary violence. Another student of Alinsky's, Ernest Cortez, rose to prominence in the late s in San Antonio while organizing Hispanic neighborhoods.
Part of the answer is to leverage technology to talk to everyone and allow thousands to scale up into leadership roles.
Observers early on noted elitist and exclusionary trends, as dozens of first-family members and in-laws became spread across State House, ministries, the army and parastatals.
More information about Rules for Revolutionaries. Each offers new advantages and obstacles as the comrades draw closer to victory, and each is based on a different approach to revolution.