Monday, November 2, 2009

NEA Recommended Reading: Saul Alinsky, The American Organizer. WTF?!?

An inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community! And to every organizer!

Saul Alinski wrote the book on American radicalism - two books, in fact: a 1945 best-seller, "Reveille for Radicals" and "Rules for Radicals" in 1971. The "Reveille" title page quotes Thomas Paine... "Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul."

Saul Alinsky, who was a labor and civil-rights activist from the 1910's until he died in 1972, has written here a guidebook for those who are out to change things. He sets down what the goal is: a society where people are free to live, and also aren't starving in the streets. A society where there is legal and economic justice. Then he sets out to say how to get there.

Alinsky spends a lot of time critiquing the idea that "The end does not justify the means." What end? What means? He feels that there are circumstances where one can and should use means that in other circumstances would be unethical. I am not sure I agree, but Alinsky certainly speaks with the voice of experience.

Alinsky's goal seems to be to encourage positive social change by equipping activists with a realistic view of the world, a kind of preemptive disillusionment. If a person already knows what evil the world is capable of, then perhaps the surprise factor can be eliminated, making the person a more effective activist. Alinsky further seems to be encouraging the budding activist not to worry to much about getting his or her hands dirty. It's all a part of the job, he seems to say.

Keep voting democrat....this is what you get....

1 comment:

  1. Alinsky the sociopath's blueprint for communism should be mocked and ridiculed at every turn.

    Every American should know who Alinksy was, so when they turn on Obamalinsky they can marvel at the identicalness of the two.