Monday, September 21, 2009

The Alinsky Factor, Part Two of Four

Getting back to the Alinsky rules, as they apply to SEIU and NUHW...

RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

SEIU: At every possibility, SEIU has been raising the specter of the Marshall Hearings, and proclaiming out loud their Great Big Lie. As a result, NUHW folks are forced to explain the Great Big Lie, and when you're explaining, you're losing. Grade: B

NUHW: SEIU has been violating contracts right and left, and has willingly provided a target-rich environment for publication and ridicule like very few have seen. Unfortunately, the Reds have left it to others to explore what SEIU's malfeasance really means to the rank and file. An utterly prostrate and corrupt NLRB has not helped in this regard, but you still gotta make the case yourself. Grade: D

RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

SEIU: After a while, the Great Big Lie becomes One Big Drag (see rule #7). Quite frankly, SEIU are a mirthless bunch, utterly devoid of anything approaching a sense of humor. This is what happens when you promote dullards as your replacement steward council. Grade: D

NUHW: This has been one of the Red Tide's best weapons, and a bunch of us have been using it with gusto. The best part about it is that SEIU keeps giving us our material free of charge. Unfortunately, outside of the "labor community", much of this energy and ability goes unseen and unheard in the wake of boilerplated SEIU press releases. Grade: B

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

SEIU: Stories are rife here and elsewhere about how SEIU has to pay people to get on board the Barney Bus to show up and provide themselves with some measure of "strength." That SEIU had to pay scads of scabs to go into Fresno (when SEIU's LTC stronghold in Los Angeles is less than an hour and half away by car) goes to indicate just what a loss leader the SEIU brand is becoming. When you have to pay someone to spread your message, it can be generally said that your message needs a bit of retooling. Grade: D

NUHW: Say what you want about the Red Tide, but those that go out believe in what they are doing. Otherwise, they would not be there, because they are there on their own free time and of their own free choice. It is to be hoped that some of that enthusiasm will be rewarded with actual positive results in the future. Grade: A

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