Some people just keep popping up either in person or as an influencer, Saul Alinsky is one of those. If you aren't familiar with Alinsky, you should be - you're being ruled now and possibly in the future by his followers.
If you need to catch up, I highly recommend one of my influencers, David Horowitz.
Below are six ideas, six “rules,” that the Godfather of community organizing packs between the covers of Rules, ideas that Obama’s imbibed hook, line, and sinker.Rules, is of course Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. If you don't want to buy the book but just want the meat of it and how Obama uses it, Horowitz has a free primer in PDF you can download here.
(1). Politics is all about power relations, but to advance one’s power, one must couch one’s positions in the language of morality.
Community organizers are “political realists” who “see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest” (12).
(2). There is only three kinds of people in the world: rich and powerful oppressors, the poor and disenfranchised oppressed, and the middle-class whose apathy perpetuates the status quo.
“The world as it is” is a rather simple world. From this perspective, the world consists of but three kinds of people: “the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores.” The Haves, possessing, as they do, all of “the power, money, food, security, and luxury,” resist the “change” necessary to relieve the Have-Nots of the “poverty, rotten housing, disease, ignorance, political impotence, and despair” from which they suffer (18).
The Have-a-Little, Want Mores comprise what we call “the middle class.” While Alinsky believes that this group “is the genesis of creativity,” (19) he also claims that it supplies the world with its “Do-Nothings.” The Do-Nothings are those who “profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change [.]” Alinsky remarks that in spite of their reputable appearances, the Do-Nothings are actually “invidious” (20).
This being so, they are as resistant to change as are the Haves.
(3). Change is brought about through relentless agitation and “trouble making” of a kind that radically disrupts society as it is.
Since both the middle and upper classes have none of the organizer’s passion for radical change, he must do his best to “stir up dissatisfaction and discontent [.]” He must “agitate to the point of conflict.” The organizer “dramatizes…injustices” and engages in “‘trouble making’ by stirring up” just those “angers, frustrations, and resentments” (117) that will eventuate in the “disorganization of the old and organization of the new” (116 emphasis original). He is determined to give rise to as much “confusion” and “fear” as possible (127).
(4). There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents. The latter must be depicted as being evil.
If his compulsion to “agitate” makes it sound as if the organizer is disinclined to converse with those with whom he disagrees, that is because, well, he is. Alinsky is blunt on this point: “You don’t communicate with anyone purely on the rational facts or ethics of an issue” (89). It is true that “moral rationalization is indispensable,” (43) that the organizer must “clothe” one’s goals and strategies with “moral arguments” (36). But there can be no conversation with one’s opponents, for to converse with them is to humanize them.
The organizer’s objective is to demonize those who stand in the way of his designs for change.
The reason for this is simple: “Men will act when they are convinced that their cause is 100 per cent on the side of the angels and that the opposition [is] 100 per cent on the side of the devil.” The organizer “knows that there can be no action until issues are polarized to this degree” (78).
Elaborating on this theme, Alinsky asserts that in “charging that so-and-so is a racist bastard and then diluting” this “with qualifying remarks such as ‘He is a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband,’” one convicts oneself of “political idiocy” (134). The winning strategy is to “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” (130 emphases original).
(5). The organizer can never focus on just a single issue. He must move inexhaustibly from one issue to the next.
The organizer “must develop multiple issues,” (76) for “multiple issues mean constant action and life” (78). Alinsky explains: “A single issue is a fatal strait jacket that…drastically limits” the organizer’s “appeal,” but “multiple issues…draw in…many potential members essential to the building of a broad, mass-based organization” (120). The only “way to keep the action going” is by “constantly cutting new issues as the action continues, so that by the time the enthusiasm and the emotions for one issue have started to de-escalate, a new issue” has emerged “with a consequent revival” (161).
(6). Taunt one’s opponents to the point that they label you a “dangerous enemy” of “the establishment.”
Finally, in order “to put the organizer on the side of the people, to identify him with the Have-Nots,” it is imperative that he “maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy’” (100).
Enough of the President's influencer, Alinsky is back in the news via something that is actually embarrassing to read. I don't think anyone should be held too much to account for youthful over-enthusiasm under age 25 - but still - it can be useful in understanding where someone's reference point is.
Behold Hilary's a55-smacking love letters to crusty 'ole Saul. You can read the actual letters from Miss Rodham at the previous link, but Alana Goodman over at TheFreeBeacon has a nice summary of the stuff from the poor working class girl from Wellesley & Yale;
A 23-year-old Hillary Clinton was living in Berkeley, California, in the summer of 1971. She was interning at the left-wing law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, known for its radical politics and a client roster that included Black Panthers and other militants.All the above is worth reading, but here is why I can't help but laugh - not a happy laugh, but a darkish laugh.
On July 8, 1971, Clinton reached out to Alinsky, then 62, in a letter sent via airmail, paid for with stamps featuring Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and marked “Personal.”
“Dear Saul,” she began. “When is that new book [Rules for Radicals] coming out—or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?”
“I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people,” she added, a reference to Alinsky’s 1946 book on his theories of community organizing.
Clinton devoted just one paragraph in her memoir Living History to Alinsky, writing that she rejected a job offer from him in 1969 in favor of going to law school. She wrote that she wanted to follow a more conventional path.
However, in the 1971 letter, Clinton assured Alinsky that she had “survived law school, slightly bruised, with my belief in and zest for organizing intact.”
“The more I’ve seen of places like Yale Law School and the people who haunt them, the more convinced I am that we have the serious business and joy of much work ahead—if the commitment to a free and open society is ever going to mean more than eloquence and frustration,” wrote Clinton.
Like we saw most recently in Scotland, those who lead modern leftist movements couch so much of what they do in the soft light of struggle for the "working people." They don't care about the working people - the working people are just the cannon fodder in their assault on the gates power and privileged for themselves.
Highly cynical as they are patronizing, they don't want to pull down power, they simply want to transfer power for their use. There is never enough power, of course, but they will continue the fight to accrue power, influence and - yes - wealth for themselves.
Just look at the spectrum of how the left operates - from the desolation of Detroit to the wealth of Hillary, Obama, and Reid.
Ruled by oligarchs like Pelosi - the story goes on. The 21st Century has the oligarchs and the proletariat vs. the bourgeoisie and the Kulaks. I've had fun with this very interesting zip code based demographic view that shows the education and income dynamic at work. The DC area is interesting, but play around your hometown as well. It outlines the above conflict rather well when viewed in the proper context.
Alinskyism is all around you folks. You don't have to like him, but you do have to nod your head to his success.
Oh, a 48-hr liberty over any weekend to the first person to find the Easter Egg in the poster below.