5 Principles of Conflict, from Saul Alinsky

Conflict is a constant in this world; it has intellectual, physical, and indeed metaphysical dimensions. Authors who distill life experiences – and past archives of pragmatic principial knowledge – in the arena of conflict for the benefit of one audience may be extremely useful reading. Books are tools and potentially weapons, take for example Curzio Malaparte‘s old book on the Coup. Businesspeople, students, and intellectuals alike can find useful principles, for managing their own fields’ conflicts, in books more narrowly dedicated to Political, Memetic, or Armed Conflict

Aristotle once said ; the mark of an educated person is the ability to entertain an idea without agreeing with it. Doubtlessly there are some people out there who would regard that as devil’s speak. I don’t think we need bother with them, because while they are usually sincere, and quite nice, they also can be inveterate idiots.

Being able to read and consider books by people you disagree with, or hate, is a nifty and useful skill. It’s not just a cliche that you can learn something from everyone, if you doubt this then you haven’t looked far enough. “Educated” need not mean well schooled or credentialed. There are erudite high school drop-outs, tremendously self taught, well read, and self motivated. People with humble formal educational accomplishments who made themselves, by will and motivation, more educated than some University graduates. What is important is the mindset you bring to seeking knowledge, and whether you are or are not a life-long learner. Formal credentials, in our society, are vital to being our being taken seriously by others, and considered a credentialed and qualified commentator on things. However this is how others see you, not how you see yourself. Knowledge is power, and you can leverage it to your benefit.

So here are 5 principle quotes from leftist organizer Saul Alinsky, that can be useful to anyone in a sphere of conflict, irrespective of politics, and may even have some usefulness in the world of business, or love and romance, or family life. Only your imagination can limit how you understand principles. With these 5, here also are some practical examples from history you may not have seen referenced..

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Tibet, China, Free and History – Part 2

Religion and ideology have less to do with the historical dynamics, even if what looks like “Holy Wars” to the average modern reader seem involved. Understand this, all civilizations jockey for power, and influence, to the benefit of their citizens or subjects and dominant stakeholders. When the civilizations – as every single normal one pre-modernity did – had a religious identity, then we in the West assume religious prejudice and Holy War.

This is naive to the extreme, and I contend that none of this has much to do with religion in the way the West typically understands the term.

What we are looking at is typical power politics in the world’s most civilized regions, areas where Civilization was 6000 years old, even a millennium ago. Buddhist powers habitually allied themselves with Muslim ones, against Confucian. Confucian and Buddhist allied, against Muslim. Muslim and Buddhists allied, against other Buddhists – and at times other Muslims. Hindus and Muslims allied, against other Hindus. Hindus and Buddhists allied, against Confucian, etc., etc., imagine the permutations.

The typical modern Western understanding of ‘religion’ ‘religious identity’ and ‘religious warfare’ barely comprehends the nuances involved, and is pretty unique, singular, in world history. Because we assume others mean pretty much the same thing when they seem to use the same words we do (and they do not) this leads to all manners of confusion. When words are used, we understand them in ways conditioned by our cultural history – molded by the unique history of Christian Europe, whereas words can have quite different meanings in different contexts.

Asia had complex trans and multitribal, and indeed multicultural, Civilization -and with it literate urbanity and political complexity – about 4000 years before the West or the Americas.

This includes a political tradition of surprising complexity.

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So, did V. I. Lenin really say ‘Destroy the Family, You Destroy the Country’?

“The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it’s difficult to discern whether or not they are genuine.” – attributed to Abraham Lincoln, 1761.

Many very well meaning people, through a partial breakdown of critical thinking, find themselves peddling along themes quotes and ideas that they haven’t fully verified.

So what of this quote: “Destroy the Family, You Destroy the Country.” – attributed to V.I. Lenin

Did Lenin say it? Well, probably not. In fact, it’s exceedingly unlikely that he ever said anything in this wording, and a comprehensive search for the origins sustains this.

Ya know.. George Orwell wrote a very excellent essay, on Political Language and English; read it.

Please.

For the sake of argument, if there really does exist a Rothschild financed, crypto-Illuminati, Satanic Luciferian Conspiracy, against all that is good and holy, I’d wager that it’s most effective weapon would be peddling arrant tripe like the quote above; in the hope that the naive would jump on it, and pass it around the whole planet like a bad case of the Clap, only to be soundly refuted by anyone with a good copy of a quote dictionary, and a 7th grader’s Google Search skills.

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Tibet, China, Free and History – Part 1

First, let’s look at China and Tibet, next – if you manage to stay with me, why even bother thinking of such things.

I’m no fan of the Chinese Communist Party or their Government. But when it comes to the Peoples’ Republic of China and Tibet, I increasingly believe the world is unfair to them. Look at history, NOT just Chinese government propaganda about Tibet, but others’ historical sources – Mughal Indian, British and European, Arab, Turk, and even Tibetans own records, the region’s history is far more contentious than the simplified version we are given.

I don’t want to excuse clear and obvious Chinese repression of religious and ethnic minorities. It happens and is reprehensible. But even the Dali Lama admits the historical complexities here and wants to be an influence for peace between both sides, if we study his words carefully. When it comes to the invasion of Tibet, it’s a far more complex case than people make it out. There is something else at work, in our culture..

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7 Interesting Quotes, for 12 January 2012

“I have read somewhere or other, in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, I think, that history is philosophy teaching by examples.”Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

“..As they sit down at the table, Trapping the media’s narrow view
They prepare for their intervention, A military misadventure or two
People today ask fewer questions, Accepting the excuses on TV
As negotiations grab the attention, They repeat the lies
Until they sound like the truth, Mad world we’re living in a mad world..”
Corrosion of Conformity, Mad World, from their LP Animosity

“Whoever does not inform his children of his grandfathers, then has destroyed his child, marred his descendants, and injured his offspring the day he dies. Whoever does not make use of his ancestry, Then he has muddled his reason Whoever is not concerned with his descent, Then he has lost his mind. Whoever neglects his origin, Then his stupidity has become critical Whoever does not cause his ancestry to be abundant, Then his incompetence has become great., Whoever does not increase his place of descent, Then he has abolished his honor.”Junayd ibn Muhammad, Waziri of Sokoto, in Mali, narrated in Nayl al-Arab Fi Istifsaa’i al-Nasab

“If you don’t know history, it’s as if you were born yesterday. If you were born yesterday, then any leader can tell you anything.”Howard Zinn, 8 November 2008.

“A covetous woman deserves a swindling gallant” – An Anonymous English proverb

“Man is only valued by his two small things: his tongue
And his reasoning; his body is a mere created image.”
Muhammad ibn al-Ghaaz

On what reason is, ‘Amr ibn al-As once said:
“It is being right by assuming, and knowing what will be by considering what has been.”
to which Umar ibn al-Khattaab replied:
“He who does not benefit by his assumption will not benefit by his certainty.”