Tag Archives: Alinsky

100 FUND RAISERS BUT NOT A SINGLE MEETING WITH HIS JOBS COUNCIL

In the last six months the President has traveled to over 100 fund raisers but not once has he convened an official meeting of his jobs council.  That’s Barack Obama.

Two possibilities for reasons immediately come to mind.  First, raising money is such an all out priority that spending an hour or two improving the jobs picture is a sacrifice he doesn’t want to make; or second, he knows what the Council will advise him to do and he knows he won’t do it.  Both are likely to be correct.

Obama’s animosity toward the business world is very clear.  There is the statement in Dreams from My Father where he said his one and only job in a business firm was “like working behind enemy lines”.  Then there is his promise to put the coal industry out of business and his assurances to ACORN organizers and labor unions that in healthcare ”single payer is the goal”  That of course means there would be no more insurance companies.  And as we watch Air Force One jet from fund raiser to fund raiser at our expense, let us not forget how he railed against the captains of industry who came to his beck and call on smaller jets paid for, not by us but by their own stockholders.  Obama is not about follow the recommendations of advisors who tell him the way to create jobs is to create a favorable climate for private industry.

His record of job recovery coming out of a recession is the worst since the days of FDR in the 1930s.  The only accomplishments he has going for him with independent voters are 1) the Navy Seals got Bin Laden on his watch and 2) the passage of Obamacare.  The first had little to do with Obama’s planning and the second is unpopular and it’s a job killer.  He can’t run on his record so he has chosen a combination of the Alinsky model of demolishing your opponent and the ACORN tactic of gaming the election process as his strategy for winning re-election.  These are unsavory tactics but, unfortunately, the community organizer in Barack Obama excels at both.

OBAMA IS RIGHT ABOUT THAT!

At a campaign stop in Cincinnati Obama paused in the lobby of the Music Hall to say a few words to the waiting crowd. He told them “This is going to be an even more important election than 2008 because we’re going to be talking about two fundamentally different visions for the country.” He could not be more correct.

However, he doesn’t spell out exactly what his vision is. In 2008 the mantra was Hope and Change. Hope for what? Change to from what to what? Barack Obama was speaking to two audiences with the same words. One audience heard more openness in government, better education, tax reform, more accomplishment and less politicking in Washington. These were people who believe in America, wanted to improve it and voted for him.

The very same slogan of Hope and Change spoke to the other audience as a promise for total transformation of America as we know it. This message is the one heard by people like Michelle who can find nothing in America’s past or present to proud of, but who see only a country that enriched itself on slavery and continues to be an oppressor to this day. The free market system that Marx called capitalism is the problem; socialism is the answer; total transformation from one to the other is the promise of hope and change.

The latter is Obama’s true message but only a small group knew it in 2008. People like Saul Alinsky’s son, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and the denizens of community organizing were aware of the goal. Four years later Barack Obama still remains an enigma to many. He defines his vision for America simply as “Forward”. Forward to where? Forward to what? He doesn’t say. Progressives know. Do you?

You should, because you will be voting for one of two fundamentally different visions for the country.

RULES for RADICALS by SAUL ALINSKY – IN THE BEGINNING

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”.

Commentary
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”.

RULES for RADICALS by SAUL ALINSKY – THE EDUCATION OF AN ORGANIZER

Continuing with the chapter by chapter series on Rules for Radicals, today we add our Comments about the chapter called The Education of an Organizer.

Synopsis of the chapter entitled The Education of an Organizer
“The building of many mass power organizations to merge into a national popular power source cannot come without may organizers”.  Training organizers is a daunting task.  Candidates come from every corner, from students to priests to union leaders and minority groups.  Many trainees start but few go on to great accomplishment.  The failure rate is high.”

“Certain qualities mark a candidate as more likely for success.  A good candidate is curious; of every issue, he asks why?  A good candidate is irreverent.  “He is challenging, insulting, agitating. discrediting.  He stirs unrest”.  He has imagination, a good sense of humor and “a bit blurred vision of a better world”.

Alinsky explains that the best organizer is “a well integrated political schizoid.  The organizer must become schizoid, politically, in order not to slip into becoming a true believer.  Before men can act an issue must be polarized.  Men will act when they are convinced that their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.  He knows that there can be no action until the issues are polarized to this degree”.

Commentary (Revised)
When Alinsky wrote “The building of many mass power organizations to merge into a national popular power source” there can be little doubt that ACORN was in the professor’s mind.   However he never addressed the need for a grand leader, a Commander in Chief to preside over the Lieutenants and Generals who were the focus of his teachings.  Barack Obama will be ideally positioned to fill that role after his term in office.  Don’t be surprised if that’s the route he takes.  Martin Luther King is dead, Jessie Jackson has run his course and Al Sharpton is… Al Sharpton.  The door is open.

Good middle managers are the key to success in any business.  That’s just as true for building a political power base as it is for building a chain of shoe stores.  It is particularly difficult however, to find good candidates within a political movement that is populated by members more interested in achievement by taking that in achievement by producing.

Union leaders are unreliable because they can get better pay for leading unions.  Among priests, only the disgruntled are likely to apply.  And students grow up.  So it’s no mystery why the failure rate is high.

The author says the best candidate is a “schizoid” with “blurred vision”.  Level headed clear thinkers need not apply.

Why “schizoid’ and why is a “blurred vision” helpful?  Ethics Rule 11 says in part, the organizer’s mission must be phrased in terms like “Equality, Fraternity or the Common Welfare”.  Thus we see the goal of taking property from those who earned it and redistributing it to those who have no right to it expressed as Equal Justice.  We see the goal of expanding central power over another 16% of the economy and increasing the Party’s constituency of dedicated voters phrased as providing healthcare to 30 million hard working Americans presumed to be denied any medical treatment otherwise.

The organizer must preach these causes with a deep fervor that only a true believer can muster.  But he must not become a true believer because the causes are not the goal, they are just vehicles.   Power is the goal.

When Alinsky says blurred vision, I take him to mean vague vision.  When the 2012 Republican primary campaigns were in full swing each contender and his or her followers were comprised of true believers with their own clear vision and the result hurt the Party’s chances to win the general election. It’s an age old dilemma; do you stand unwavering on your principles, possibly in vain, or do you yield to compromise for the greater probability of gaining half of what you seek?  Alinsky taught continual new demand followed by compromise, gaining a little each time until you reach the final goal.

As an aside, you may have noticed the synopsis of this chapter is almost entirely in quotes, which means the text is reproduced exactly as it was written in the book.  You may have noticed the grammatical errors many of which occur throughout the book.  We noticed them but for the sake of simplicity didn’t point them out with the customary sic notation.


RULES for RADICALS by SAUL ALINSKY – OF MEANS AND ENDS

Continuing with the chapter by chapter series on Rules for Radicals, today we add our Comments about the chapter called Of Means and Ends.

Synopsis of the chapter entitled Of Means and Ends
The author begins a discussion of political action ethics by saying “The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe’s statement that “conscience is the virtue of observers and not agents of action; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter”.  Alinsky puts this in his own words as “He who sacrifices the mass good for his own personal conscience… doesn’t care enough for people to be corrupted for them.

The community organizer is given eleven rules for guidance with respect to ethics.

(1) The first rule is “One’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with ones personal interest in the issue.”  That is to say, the more you care about the issue the less you should care about the methods you use to fight for it.

(2) “judgment of the ethics of means and ends is dependant on the political position of those making the judgment.”

(3) “in war the end justifies almost any means.”

(4) “judgment must be mad in the context of the times…” “ethical standards must be elastic to stretch in the times.”

(5) “concern with ethics increases with the number of means available…”

(6) “the less important the end…the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluation of means

(7) “success or failure is a mighty determinate of ethics.”

(8) the “morality of means depends on whether the means is being deployed at the time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.”

(9) “any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as unethical.”

(10) “do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments.”

(11) Whatever your mission “goals must be phrased in terms like Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Of the Common Welfare or Pursuit of Happiness or Bread and Peace”.

The perennial question of whether ends justify means is a discussion for those who stand on the sides as observers accomplishing nothing themselves.  Ethical considerations should not be allowed to interfere with success.

Commentary
It is glaringly obvious that Saul Alinsky teaches that the ends justify the means.  The theme throughout the chapter is that ethics are an impediment to accomplishment and thereby, in the final sense, not ethical at all.  Implied in this line of reasoning is the notion that achievement of the goal, which for Alinsky is revolution, will be a great benefit to the society and that there is no uncertainty about it.

The professor cites Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to support his rationalization.  Goethe was a highly esteemed German writer, poet and philosopher whose life spanned the 18th and 19th centuries.  A writer, poet and philosopher, his genius was in culture.  Politically Goethe was pragmatic.  He argued against a unified Germany, favoring instead the retention of the existing system of principalitarian dictatorships.  His famous premise that virtue lies in the intended result, not in the method employed to achieve the result is often quoted by radicals to justify their actions.  Howard Zinn, the noted Harvard historian was another proponent of this line of thought.  If lying about the facts of history would lead to a better world than telling the truth, then according to Zinn the historian is honor bound to lie about the facts.  Vice is turned into virtue and virtue into vice.

Alinsky’s 11 rules of ethics can be boiled down to 3 basic tenets.  An organizer’s ethics must be flexible, the more important the goal the less the organizer should be concerned about ethics and third, if a tactic was successful it was ethical.

Dictionary.com defines ethics as “rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.”  It is sad to say that Alinsky’s rules define the Left and much of the Democratic Party as  it is today.

RULES for RADICALS by SAUL ALINSKY – PURPOSE

Continuing with the chapter by chapter series on Rules for Radicals, today we add our Comments about the chapter called Purpose.  It’s the first chapter in the book immediately following the Prologue.

Synopsis of the chapter entitled Purpose
The first chapter is called Purpose.  It carries as a tagline this quote from the bible:

“The life of man upon earth is a warfare… Job 7:1”

There is a good reason to be optimistic although accomplishment of the goal is hopeless. If it’s hopeless, why do it?  It’s like a climber ascending a mountain whose summit is infinity and can never be reached. When asked why strive for the impossible, Mt. Everest climber Mallory said “Because it is there”.

This seems senseless until you read the very last line of the chapter –  “Happiness lies in the pursuit”. Fighting for the Revolution is the only thing that gives purpose to life.

In the second part of Purpose we learn that everyone falls into one of three groups, called the trinity of classes. The classes are defined as 1)the Haves, 2) the Have-Nots, and 3) the Have-Some-Want-Mores. As you might expect by now, all people in all the groups are miserable according to Saul Alinsky

The Haves
The Haves  “suffocate in their surplus” and cannot sleep because they “are living under the nightmare of possible threats to their possessions”.

The Have-Nots
The Have-Nots “are chained together by the common misery of poverty, rotten housing, disease, ignorance, political impotence and despair”.

The Have-Some-Want-Mores
The Have-Some-Want-Mores are psychologically disturbed “torn between [protecting] what they have, yet wanting change to get more”. They are “social and economic schizoids”. This group is Alinsky’s vision of the middle class

Commentary
Out of 15 versions of the Bible only one translates Job7:1 as Alinsky presents it and that is the Douay-Rheims Bible.  The more popular King James Bible translates the same verse as “Is there not an appointed time to man on earth?”  The New Living Version best typifies the other translations with “Is not all human life a struggle?”  In the D-R version from which Professor Alinsky draws his quote the warfare is metaphorical.  The unfortunate plague of sickness and other ill fated turns of events that life has thrust upon Job are expressed as a war of circumstances against the beleaguered man.  The warfare is not a purpose as Alinsky implies, it is an affliction.

The professor revels in the fight.  Like a platoon leader in a mercenary army, Alinsky is there for the fight and cares little for the cause. This is not a new phenomenon for activists of Left.  I recall a ”Free Mumia Jamal” demonstration where a reporter interviewed one of the protesters who had come with a group of students all the way from Berkeley, California to Philadelphia to participate.  The young woman had no idea what Mumia had done or why he was in jail.  She had not come to free Mumia, she had come to demonstrate.

Nor is successful transformation of government a heartfelt goal of the professor.  Success would end the fight and the fight is his purpose.

What is one to think of a man who divides all the world into a trinity of groups and asserts that all members of all three groups are miserable?  No allowance is made for any living person to be content.  Alinsky was a genius, make no mistake about that, but genius is not common sense.  Like a true idiot savant, his genius was very narrow.  It also was aided by a faulty moral compass as we shall see in the next chapter called Of Means and Ends.

The compulsion of the Left to divide people into classes is in evidence here.  Whereas the Right tends to see circumstances of people who are given equal opportunity, largely as a product of themselves, the Left does not believe equal opportunity exists.  No thought is given to the mobility of individuals from one economic class to the next.  The system is the problem and it’s the system that must be changed.  The radical’s solution is to bring up groups perceived as victims by bringing down other groups perceived to be oppressors.

I am inclined to say envy is in evidence also, but I am not so sure.  Certainly envy is a major factor with the professor’s followers but Alinsky himself seems content in his role.  If his acolytes won their kingdom, he would feel out of place in it.

WALL STREET, BEDLAM on the BRIDGE

Wall Street Days of Rage has mushroomed into Occupy Wall Street.  Today it’s not enough just to demonstrate, you must also give the event a name.  And don’t forget to bring the fun stuff.  After all, it’s more about the Coors than it is about the Cause.

One wonders how many of the Occupy Wall Street crowd took the day off from work to occupy the bridge. Work?  Did I just hear someone laugh?  How much would you bet on the chance that their unemployment rate is a hefty multiple of the rate for Tea Party demonstrators?  Work is about contribution; the motto here is distribution not contribution.  And what was the point of shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge?  One demonstrator said she thought they were welcomed by the police.

What brought the Wall Streeters out?  And why now?  Santelli’s Rant inspired the Tea Party.  It’s Obama’s Rant that inspired the Wall Street attack.  Santelli’s outburst was serendipitous, a one time event.  Obama’s rants, on the other hand, are well planned out and repeated again and again in prepared speeches.

Saul Alinsky’s prime rule for radicals is strategy number thirteen, “Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”.  The President chose a perennial favorite for a target, Wall Street.  He freezes it by staying on point, hammering away, hammering away.  He personalizes it with “fat cat” and “corporate jet” remarks and polarizes it with a constant stream of agitation from the presidential bully pulpit.  It’s one thing he does very well.

As an agitator, the man is a genius.  As a president, he is a disgrace.