SO, in the spirit of the at classic volume How to Read a Book, I decided to skim, yes, skim this portion of the book.
Yes, guilty...I couldn't take a couple hundred pages discussing socialist, anarchist, and communist political theory...shoot, I just turn on the news and I can see that.
Dr. Freedman does an excellent job of surveying the primary theoreticians of political thought, or as he calls it "strategy from the bottom up". The one section of the book I did find pretty interesting was the whole section on Saul Alinsky and his famous "Rules for Radicals." That's right, the political mentor our own 44th President was mentioned in this book. I have to say, honestly speaking that as a set of political principals these rules would make Machiavelli proud. No one to worry about morality or ethics, ol' Saul pretty much just lays it out there:
I mean seriously, they are outstanding strategic guidelines for the ruthless political destruction of your enemies and gaining and holding dictatorial power...no wonder modern liberals love them so much. I could probably develop a blog post on every single one of them and how modern liberals are running rings around conservatives using these principals because...well, quite frankly they have no morals and will do whatever it takes to win.
- “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."
- “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
- “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
- “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
- “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
- “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
- “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
- “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
- “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
- "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition."
- “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
- “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
- “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
But, my personal opinion aside, Dr. Freedman does an excellent job of chronicling the development of political theory from the 19th century to today...it just wasn't something that I felt I needed to plow through...just give me a good dose of Sun Tzu and ol' Niccolo and I am ready.
I hope the final section on business strategy is equally as well done as the previous sections....I am really looking forward to it....