Continuing with the chapter by chapter series on Rules for Radicals, today we add Comments about the chapter called In the Beginning
Synopsis of the chapter entitled In the Beginning
The talent to organize a community seldom comes from within the community itself. When a new organizer arrives on the scene he is greeted with suspicion. Therefore, the first order of business is to establish his credentials, to gain acceptance and trust. People in the community will ask “Who’s the cat?” “What’s he asking all those questions for?” “Is he really the cops or the FBI?” ” What’s his bag?” “What’s in it for him?” Who’s he working for?”, etc.
To gain the peoples trust a new organizer must show a intense anger over some issue. Expressing love for the community accomplishes nothing. It is only a sign of meekness. Anger, on the other hand, unites the organizer with the people in a common cause. It builds faith, faith in the ability and power of the organizer to bring change.
The organizer “is to maneuver and bait the establishment so they will attack him as a dangerous enemy. The word enemy is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people, …but is not enough to endow him with the special qualities that induce fear and thus give him his own power against the establishment. This need is met by the establishment’s use of the brand dangerous”. That is to say, the organizer’s credentials are not fully established in the community until he has managed to get himself branded by the establishment as both an enemy and a dangerous one.
“The organizer’s job is to inseminate an invitation for himself, to agitate, introduce ideas, get people pregnant with hope and a desire for change and to identify you as the person most qualified for this purpose.” “Power is the reason for being of an organization. Power and organization are one and the same. When those in the status quo turn and label you an agitator, they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function – to agitate to the point of conflict”.
The largest training center for Socialist activists in the United States is a community organizer training institute in Chicago called The Midwest Academy. Once their training is complete, organizers go to wherever they are most needed which is seldom back to their own community. They come as strangers to a new neighborhood, hence the need to be pro-active in establishing acceptance.
The Alinsky method for doing that is to stir the pot and get people really mad about something. Then present yourself as the best hope for improvement and change. Hugo Chavez came to power by firing up his people against the United States, going as far as to say the U.S. was planning to invade and conquer Venezuela. At a global warming conference in the Netherlands the Socialist dictator said the U.S. has sent intelligence agents, war ships and spy planes to the Dutch islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire in preparation for a possible military invasion. We laugh but in Venezuela the story works.
Obama started out as a community organizer he chose to use asbestos removal as an issue at the Altgeld Gardens complex in the Chicago area. On a larger scale the favorite targets of Socialism have long been the rich, the oil companies and the banks.
The professor makes it abundantly clear that the development of anger and rage within a community to the point where the masses are ready to be led into conflict is not a by-product; it is the function of a community organizer. This was Obama’s world. Now that he is President he is governing the only way he knows. According to the Alinsky model, harmony is counter-productive. You need a crisis. When you have one you should never let it go to waste. If you don’t have a crisis, then make or allow one to develop.
It would be a serious omission to leave this chapter without mentioning Alinsky’s admonition not to love your neighbor, but if you must, keep it under wraps because it’s a sign of weakness. There is no statement that better expresses the difference between the leaders and the led on the left. It gives understanding to Stalin’s phrase “useful idiots”.
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RULES for RADICALS – the chapter “IN THE BEGINNING”