Rules for Radicals in the Twenty-first Century

When he returned from overseas in 2006 and came to Youngstown, he tried to do what he had done in other places, following the Saul Alinsky model of community organizing: round up the troops in your group, march down to city hall or the local developer’s office, and shake the tree to get resources for the neighborhood. That approach came out of an earlier era, the middle of the twentieth century, when power was more consolidated and centralized in the cities. After a year of trying, Noden realized that the model was irrelevant in Youngstown. There were no resources to be shaken loose. The tax base had collapsed. The mayor had very little power. Industry was a ghost of its former self. The centers of power were elsewhere—in some ways, they were spread around the globe.

—George Packer, The Unwinding, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), 231.

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