5. A Short Guide to the Ethics and Etiquette of Online Activism

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”—W. Somerset Maugham

If you want to see a great exercise in applied moral philosophy, get your hands on a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Published in 1971 to help young community organizers do their jobs in a way that actually gets stuff done, rather than in a way that simply makes them feel better about themselves, Alinsky’s little book is one of the wisest I’ve ever read. You’ll probably love parts of it and hate parts of it, and that’s really kind of the point, but you’ll learn from it. And after you’ve read it once, you’ll probably reread it.

I don’t want to just paraphrase his second chapter, titled “Of Means and Ends,” which ...

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