A talking head on CNN just parroted the mindless DC line about how the US will defeat ISIS by building grassroots communities. Bzzt. #fail. Grassroots organizing can never be mandated from above. It can only come from – wait for it – the grassroots. You want to know how to do grassroots organizing? Read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. His rules have nothing to do with ideology and instead are focused on building community organizations to implement change. Plenty of organizers on the right have used his rules.
Most importantly, Alinsky and his organizers never imposed ideology or agendas. They went into an area, listened to people’s complaints, helped them form groups, then got out of the way and let them run it. “We never stay more than a couple of years and we never outstay our welcome.” Alinksky said.
Alinsky’s approach is the mirror opposite of what the US wants to do in Iraq and Syria because the US has already determined the agenda and wants to force it on the locals. This is further complicated by the US having no clear idea who is friend of foe. It is a plan doomed to fail.