Monday, November 9, 2009

Community Organizer Saul Alinsky And His Eleven Rules For Radicals

The election of Barack Obama as President has focused renewed attention on Jewish community organizer Saul Alinsky, who died in 1972, but whose ideas and tactics live on. Many of those ideas and tactics were brought forth in order to get Obama elected. Alinsky's teachings are said to have influenced Barack Obama in his early career as a community organizer on the far South Side of Chicago; working for Gerald Kellman's Developing Communities Project, Obama learned and taught Alinsky's methods for community organizing. Thus it's time to shed renewed light upon them.

Alinsky was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1909 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents Baruch and Stella Bagelmeister. Although brought up as an Orthodox Jew, he turned aside from the practice of Judaism in his teenage years, becoming strictly a secular Jew and turning to revolutionary politics as a substitute. Thus he followed the traditions of secular Jews like Leon Trotsky who helped stage the Russian Revolution in 1917 and unleashed 75 years of Bolshevik terror upon the world. Alinsky himself never joined the Communist Party, however.

But what Alinsky became most famous for is his 1971 publication of a book entitled "Rules For Radicals". It represented Alinsky's attempt to impart his theory and methods of organizing to the current generation of young activists, largely drawing upon his own experiences. One of the better explanations of Alinsky's thinking and motives was published on the Western Front America website in August 2009. The primary goal of Alinsky and his acolytes is the radical redistribution of wealth and power. Alinsky wrote his Rules for Radicals in 1971 for the specific purpose of harnessing the unfocused chaotic discontent of the 1960’s youth rebellion into a long term tool for the destruction of the current American system from the inside out. His goal was to produce a generation of “Realistic Radicals” who would worm their way into our churches, our government, our schools, our businesses, our labor unions and our media. Indeed, the National Education Association (NEA) specifically recommends "Rules For Radicals" to its members. Now, almost 40 years later, the Obama Administration represents the successful culmination of the Alinsky process of social revolution.

Take for example the idea of “truth”. The conservative approaches truth as something that can be verified, tested and believed in and although they understand that “truth” may be flavored by a persons perspective they still believe that there is an independent truth that exist. In contrast, a “realistic radical” of the Alinsky school is completely unconcerned with the verification of fact. Alinsky states in respect to a community organizer, “he does not have a fixed truth-truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.” Their concern would be first to determine which opinion would be the most useful to their immediate and long term agenda.

If we are to have any hope of saving what is left of the American Republic from these neo-Marxist termites, we must understand their tactics and perhaps even implement them as needed as a counter-revolutionary campaign, although it may go against our nature. This brings us once again to Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals".

Alinsky provides a collection of rules to guide the process of undermining and transforming American society. But he emphasizes these rules must be translated into real-life tactics that are fluid and responsive to the situation at hand. The VBC website provides the list of rules:

-- Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

-- Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

-- Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

-- Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

-- Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

-- Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”

-- Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

-- Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”

-- Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

-- Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”

-- Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”

How have these tactics been used recently? Some prominent examples:

-- Anti-Mormon activists have sought access to financial records to identify and target for harassment those who contributed to the Yes On 8 campaign in California, in accordance with Rule 11.

-- Progressives regularly refer to opponents of gay marriage as "homophobes", opponents of affirmative action as "racists", and opponents of mass immigration as "xenophobes", in accordance with Rule 5.

-- Progressives regularly play the "Jesus Card" to intimidate those who oppose gay marriage or gay nondiscrimination ordinances, as well as those who dispute global warming dogma, in accordance with Rule 4.

-- Progressives used a multitude of tactics to help drive Sarah Palin from office in Alaska, to include publishing false reports about the Palin family, as well as weaponizing and corrupting legitimate political processes like the ethics complaint system, in accordance with Rule 8.

Progressives are DIFFERENT than mainstream liberals. Whereas mainstream liberals still retain a fundamental belief in our political system despite differences in ideology, progressives want to overturn and replace our system with an alien, totalitarian society. Thus while we can engage liberals, we cannot engage progressives. It is not possible to negotiate or to compromise with progressives in any way. We are foolish to even try.

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