Rules for the righteous

What do you get if you invert the playbook of the wicked?

Saul Alinsky is famous for his wicked work Rules for Radicals that acts as a playbook for those who seek power without scruples. It is an unrighteous guide to gaining control over others, and abusing people by flipping your moral compass. As a bit of fun, and to avoid having to do real labour that lurks in my to do list, let’s have a go at “inverting the inversion” to see what we get if we make his wrongful rules work for good.

1/ “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

Temporal and material power is limited in its nature, and its unrelenting pursuit always leads to death and decay. If you have a righteous outlook and your consciousness sees all as being connected as a single conscious and living entity, then it doesn’t matter what your enemy thinks. You will understand the difference between the “highest good” (a righteous concept) and “the greater good” (an excuse for collectivism) and act into the former come what may.

2/ “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

If your reputation is dependent on domain knowledge, rather than righteous endeavour, then you will always face a moment of humiliation when you have become unconsciously incompetent. Seeking to always be right, rather than righteous, is a prideful (and sinful) way of being. Your heart always knows what is right when you put yourself in the shoes of those your actions affect, and you don’t need to seek outside expertise to search for inward answers. You may perish for a lack of knowledge, but knowledge for its own sake can lead to dangerous conceit and a desire to control.

3/ “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

When your enemy is not a psychopath, just turn the other cheek to de-escalate. The use of shame has its place, and a loving appeal to conscience is far more potent than any attempt to dominate via outmanoeuvring through expertise. Yet we must also face those who would predate on us and our families: knowledge should only be wielded as a weapon in defence, not as a means of exploitation and forced submission to enslave others to your agenda. Generating disharmony, anxiety, and confusion is unrighteous and ultimately the cruelty will rebound on you — as you no longer understand or receive love.

4/ “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

A life lived according to adherence to legalisms is not a righteous life. The only rules are to love each other, to love truth and justice, and to love whatever has put us here in a place of beauty and abundance. There is no requirement to adhere to a rule if compliance has been weaponised in bad faith. It is a duty to contravene a rule if it is unjust or unfair. Rules have a place and purpose in the world, but they are not a substitute for morality and conscience. Beware being drawn into the framing that compliance with rules is synonymous with goodness.

5/ “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

If you depart from the broad path and take the narrow one, you will be besmirched, ostracised, and mocked. It comes with the territory. You have to abandon any quest for social validation or public adulation. Accept that the righteous path is a very lonely one, and the only reputation that matters is in your account to your creator (or the cosmos at large, if that framing doesn’t appeal). The more that the unrighteous hate upon you and slander you, the more confident you can be that you have done a good thing by turning away from their dark destiny.

6/ “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

The greatest wickednesses are done in the name of the benefit of the victim. A false morality is far more dangerous than an evil intent, for there is no limit to the cruelty that the self-righteous will indulge in. A righteous path is more likely to lead to persecution and suffering than delight in the moment. If you feel the urge to police the behaviour of others and make them conform to your ideals then you are likely lost, and need to relocate the path. Managing one’s own wayward thoughts, feelings, and intentions is quite enough to keep anyone busy.

7/ “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

Wisdom is anything that doesn’t kill you in the long run; the older the source, the more likely it is to be valid, since if it was lethal advice it would not have been passed on for so long. The righteous are obsessed with the eternal realm, and that which is always true — especially moral conduct. Shifting tactics have their place in the fight against evil, but a machiavellian outlook will never lead to a life of love, contentment, and peace. Every plot to defraud, injure, or kill eventually forms a habit that corrodes the core of the plotter, and their ability to nurture their own young and sustain civilisation.

8/ “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

The real goal is not to subdue your enemy, but rather to get them to repent their wrong ways and live in peace and harmony. Give them every possible opportunity to turn back. Only when every possible option for their righteousness is exhausted should you abandon offering an olive branch. Never go so far as to commit suicidal acts in attempting to make peace, but once an enemy crosses that final threshold, then they may (and must) be obliterated or exiled. If you find your own quest lacking in holiness, then abandon it at the earliest opportunity.

9/ “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

Terror is the weapon of the weak and woeful. As people become accustomed to atrocities the level of abomination has to constantly be increased, lest the effect of terror burn itself out. Those who deal in empty threats are cowardly, and deserve no mercy when put to the test in battle. The use of terror against civilians, especially when duplicitously done in a false name, invalidates all claims to legitimacy. Media is the amplifier for fear, and as accomplices to terror deserve punishment for complicity in all crimes done as a result of their emotional manipulation.

10/ “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

The Hegelian Dialectic (problem, reaction, solution) undermines free will and always engenders a state of conflict. Those who you train in methods of war and unrelenting force will eventually find themselves as your internal enemies as factional power struggles emerge. This forces concentration of all information and decision power (the pyramidal all-seeing eye) which in turn becomes brittle and liable to collapse. By adopting the stance of endless war you guarantee that you will not live in peace; eventually you become a victim of your own immorality.

11/ “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

Violence begets more violence. You may enjoy a localised and tactical win, but your power will lack moral foundation. The higher and heavier the structures you attempt the build, the more those crumbled foundations will undermine your endeavours. Ordinary gangsters understand this, and that is why they have a taboo on going after the children. If they do not cap their viciousness, it will rebound. If you insist on pushing the worst negatives, they will eventually result in your total annihilation.

12/ “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

If you seek peace and harmony, with a respect for free will and sovereignty, then you will never be so invested in any scheme that you are “caught out” with no fallback plan. The pursuit of peace means you do not have to spend you entire life force forming attacks or defending against them. The alternative is always to up your game in terms of the sacrifices you are willing to make in order to achieve peace. Winning for oneself or one’s tribe is not the teleology of life; it only has value to all of creation if it serves righteous ends.

13/ “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

The individual deserves dignity, the opportunity to confront any accuser, and a right to due process. Those “useful idiots” who deny these matters will eventually become targets: frozen, personalised, and polarised out of existence. Be careful what you wish for, as the worship of institutions at the expense of the individual leads to inevitable catastrophe. Only divine individuals have children, nurture families, and invest in the future. No AI-driven transhumanist biotech wet dream will ever change the fundamental dynamics of genetics and the generation of new life. The hurt you inflict costs you your soul.