Continuing with the chapter by chapter series on Rules for Radicals, today we add Comments about the chapter called The Genesis of Tactic Proxy.
Synopsis of the chapter entitled The Genesis of Tactic Proxy
“America’s corporations are a spiritual slum, and their arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society.”
The title of this chapter is derived from the idea of using corporate shareholder proxies to achieve your own goals. Corporate stockholders have certain rights as to how the corporation conducts its affairs. These rights are exercised by voting and the voting document is called a proxy. The tactic involves persuading colleges, foundations and churches to vote their proxies in solidarity according to the organizer’s plan of attack.
Alinsky stumbled upon this idea when talking to three business administration college students who were opposed to the Vietnam war, but “recoiled from such actions as carrying the Viet Cong flag or burning their draft cards. However, they did believe in using proxies.”
The genesis of the proxy tactic is an example of why an organizer should hang loose. When a door opens unexpectedly, go through it. Be not concerned that it takes you off the path you had planned. Do not fall into the trap set by “our alleged educational system” that teaches “order, logic, rational thought, direction and purpose”. These ideas are invalid because they are too rigid. The organizer must be ready to go where the flow leads him.
The author’s statement at the top of this awkwardly named chapter only needs minor editing to be correct. “America’s corporations Democratic leaders are a spiritual slum, and their Obama’s arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society.”
Saul Alinsky must have been quite proud of himself when he stumbled on this idea. Here he was, using capitalist corporate procedures to promote a Marxist cause. He didn’t realize it was never destined to work. Not many corporate shareholders are going to join in solidarity with any radical causes, let alone socialist ones.