Another reason why radicals believe that their goals justify criminal means, and also why they can be relied on to lie and steal and, in the right context, either commit actual murder or justify murders when committed by their political friends, is because in their own minds they are engaged in a war for “social justice” and other noble ends, and are opposed by an enemy who is an implacable oppressor, in fact, the embodiment of evil. In war, when one’s own survival is at stake, any means can seem both attractive and necessary. Radicals think of themselves as soldiers in a war to save mankind — and to save the planet. If that is your responsibility and aim, quibbling over the means to accomplish those objectives can easily come to seem immoral itself.
Rules for Radicals is about tactics in a war where the enemy is the “Haves” who are defending the status quo and all its manifold evils. It is a war that pits noble, planet-saving radicals against the entire social, moral and legal order. The radical goal is saving mankind, and the arguments of his critics are naturally that his means are unpatriotic, subversive, deceptive, violent, illegal and immoral.
Consequently, to brace his radical disciples against their opposition and supply them with self-justifying rationales, Alinsky devotes an entire chapter to the problem of “Means and Ends” — of how a radical can justify breaking the moral order in order to achieve radical ends (pp. 24 et seq). In his handling, there are 11 rules for radicals to explain how radical ends justify radical means. The chapter is explicitly an effort to answer those liberals who refuse to join the radical cause saying “I agree with your ends but not your means.”
-- Means and Ends Two, from Alinsky, Beck, Satan, and Me
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