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Monday, December 10, 2012

Alinsky: An Introduction

Hillary Rodham (Clinton) thesis.

Relativism and Interest -- From Rules for Radicals:
  • An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma to begin with, 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 (pp. 10-11).
  • All great leaders, including Churchill, Gandhi, Lincoln and Jefferson, always invoked "moral principles" to cover naked self-interest in the clothing of "freedom," "equality of mankind," "a law higher than man-made law," and so on. This even held under circumstances of national crises when it was universally assumed that the end justified any means. All effective actions require the passport of morality (p. 43-44).
  • The Declaration of Independence, as a declaration of war, had to be what it was, a 100 percent statement of the justice of the cause of the colonists and a 100 percent denunciation of the role of the British government as evil and unjust. Our cause had to be all shining justice, allied with the angels; theirs had to be all evil, tied to the Devil; in no war has the enemy or the cause ever been gray. Therefore, from one point of view the omission was justified; from the other, it was deliberate deceit (p. 28).
  • In all the reasoning found in The Federalist Papers, no point is so central and agreed upon as "Rich and poor alike are prone to act upon impulse rather than pure reason and to narrow conceptions of self-interest . . ." To question the force of self-interest that pervades all areas of political life is to refuse to see man as he is, to see him only as we would like him to be (p. 54).  Where did this Federalist quotation come from?
Alinsky's ideal elements (pp. 72-80):
  • Curiosity
  • Irreverence. Curiosity and irreverence go together...
  • Imagination..
  • A sense of humor. 
  • A bit of a blurred vision of a better world.
  • An organized personality. 
  • A well-integrated political schizoid.
  • Ego.
  • A free and open mind, and political relativity.
  • Ability to create the new out of the old.