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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Shrink to Win Works

Peggy Noonan, bless her heart, doesn't get it.

She argues that the Republican party needs to become a "big tent" if it is to successfully combat the Democrats. She argues that kicking people out is no way to become popular. She is wrong in every respect.

"Shrink to Win" is a marvelously effective strategy, used constantly throughout history. Lenin followed this course when he named his party "the Bolsheviks", which means "the majority", even though they were NEVER a majority prior to their takeover of power. He wrote "Better Smaller, But Better" - a screed with insisted that a small party was more effective than a large one.

Hitler and Stalin did the same, restricting party membership for the same reason Lenin did - to maintain ideological purity. Napoleon pointed out that firmness of purpose is to numbers of troops as three is to one.

Every successful leader recognizes that force of purpose makes more difference than force of numbers. A small group of people with a single purpose accomplishes more than a large group of people whose motivations are diffused and obscure.

Barack Obama understands this. He has surrounded himself with fellow travelers, people who think exactly as he do on every issue. That's how he has managed to ram through so much in such a short period of time. He tells everyone what they want to hear, but he does only what he wants to do. He makes sure those in positions of power think exactly as he does.

The masses don't matter - they can be manipulated to run in any direction.
They won't buck the system because they rate their families, their obligations to relatives and friends, higher than they do the harm that would accrue to them by bucking the system. "If I just keep my head down, I can keep my family/friends/myself safe, and we can ride this out."

That kind of attitude is exactly what dictators love.
A dictator doesn't give a damn about family, friends, anyone. All of these are thrown overboard in pursuit of what matters: power.

Normal people protect people. That's their priority: saving people from immediate harm. Unfortunately, operating for the short term protection from harm often opens everyone up to long-term harm.

Dictators, on the other hand, protect power from entangling ties with people.
If everyone around you believes that power's the thing, then you will get and hold power.

Oh, yes, Peggy, Shrink to Win works.
Just look up.

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