A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 14, 2010
Salami Tactics

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Salami tactics
Salami tactics, also known as the salami-slice strategy, is a divide and conquer process of threats and alliances used to overcome opposition. With it, an aggressor can influence and eventually dominate a landscape, typically political, piece by piece. In this fashion, the “salami” is taken in slices, until one realizes (too late) that it’s gone in its entirety. In some cases it includes the creation of several factions within the opposing political party and then dismantling that party from the inside, without causing the “sliced” sides to protest. According to the Dictionary of Modern Thought by Alan Bullock and Oliver Stallybrass, the term was coined in the late 1940s by the Stalinist Mátyás Rákosi to describe the actions of the Hungarian Communist Party (szalámitaktika). Rakosi claimed he came to power by getting his opposition to slice off its right wing, then its centrists, until only those collaborating with the Communists remained in power.

This strategy was also used in the majority of Eastern European countries in the second half of the 1940s.

Similar tactics had been used previously by many different political parties and groups wishing to consolidate their power in various countries. For example, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party achieved absolute power in Germany within the early months of 1933 by squeezing out his conservative partners, after those conservative partners helped in the outlawing of Communists and Social Democrats and granting emergency powers to him.

The term “salami tactics” is also used in business and means that someone presents problems or solutions in pieces, and so it is hard to get the big picture.

The term “Salami Tactics” was used in the British Political Satire Yes Prime Minister in Series 1 Episode 1 “The Grand Design”. In this television show, the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientific Advisor opines that the Soviets won’t suddenly invade Western Europe, but will annex areas slice by slice and thus Prime Minister Jim Hacker realizes he will never push the nuclear button to stop the Soviets.[2]

Examples of salami tactics can also be found in the consumer marketplace, for example the planned obsolescence of automobile makers, in which newer vehicle models are introduced every year. In consumer electronics hardware and software, frequent small changes are often made to lure customers into purchasing intermediate products. Another well-known exponent of salami tactics in product pricing is perhaps the Irish airline Ryanair, which has become infamous for its headlined cheap fares to which arrays of additional costs are added slice by slice: fees are charged for baggage check-in, issuance of boarding cards, payment by credit card, priority boarding, web check-in, etc.

Wikipedia: Mátyás Rákosi
Mátyás Rákosi (March 9, 1892 – February 5, 1971) was a Hungarian communist politician. He was born as Mátyás Rosenfeld, in present-day Serbia. He was the ruler de facto of the communist Hungary between 1945 and 1956[4] — first in his capacity as General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party (1945–1948) and later as General Secretary of the Hungarian Working People’s Party (1948–1956).[5] His rule was characterised as a Stalinist type dictatorship.
Leader of Hungary
When the communist government was installed in Hungary, Rákosi was appointed General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party (MKP). He was a member of the High National Council from September 27, to December 7, 1945. Rákosi was acting Prime Minister from February 1, to February 4, 1946 and on May 31, 1947. In 1948, the Communists forced the Social Democrats to merge with them to form the Hungarian Working People’s Party (MDP).

Rákosi described himself as “Stalin’s best Hungarian disciple” and “Stalin’s best pupil.” He also invented the term “salami tactics”, which related to his tactic of eliminating his non-Communist rivals by “cutting them off like slices of salami.” At the height of his rule, he developed a strong cult of personality around himself.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
salami tactics, the piecemeal attack on or elimination of (esp. political) opposition (see quot. 1952).
[1947 Time (Latin Amer. ed.) 9 June 25/1 In Budapest, the citizens considered that the Smallholders’ Party had been wrecked. ‘Rakosi has eaten the last of the salami’, was the word.]
1952 Times 19 May 7/3 Mr. Rákosi describes one stage in it as ‘salami tactics’, by which slices of the Small-holders’ Party were cut away and its strength worn down, even while the Small-holders’ leader was Prime Minister and Mr. Rákosi his deputy.
1964 Spectator 29 May 731/2 Castro’s skilful use of ‘salami tactics’ was helped by their prevailing reluctance to be considered ‘witch-hunters’.
1978 Times 28 Apr. 17/7 If these salami tactics are continued it will not be long before they [sc. Kew Gardens] are closed on every public holiday.

Google Books
Asia and the Democratic Revolution
By Richard Lawrence-Grace Deverall
Tokyo. Printed by International Literature Print. Co.
Pg. 103:
Matyas Rakosi, Secretary-General of the Hungarian Communist Party, delivered a lecture in which he discussed the “salami tactics” of the minority Communist Party that took over Hungary. The first slice in the “salami tactic” was to use propaganda and secret techniques in the fractionation of the Smallholders Party, the largest party in Hungary.

Google Books
Blueprint for a Red Generation:
The philosophy, methods, and practices of communist education as imposed on captive Hungary

By William Juhász
New York, NY: Mid-European Studies Center
Pg. 84:
Using what Matyas Rakosi himself cynically called “salami tactics; demanding a little more each day, like cutting up a salami, thin slice alter thin slice,” the communists gradually gained complete control of the government.

3 April 1952, Christian Science Monitor, “Communist Explains Hungary’s Fall.” pg. 14:
Mr Rakosi, secretary-general ofthe Communist Party in Hungary, tells in the article published in Social Survey how the salami tactics little more each day like a…

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