Saul Alinsky fought for socialist ideals his whole life but who he actually is remains an enigma.
Although a dogmatic socialist he famously stated: “Not at any time [have I] joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much and philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated.” [All emphases in this piece are mine]
The same man who included an opening page dedication to Lucifer, who preached that the end justifies almost any means, the same guy who wrote: “In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt,” is the same guy who wrote:
“The democratic ideal springs from the ideas of liberty, equality, majority rule through free elections, protection of the rights of minorities and freedom to subscribe to multiple loyalties in matters of religion, economics, and politics rather than to a total loyalty to the state. The spirit of democracy is the idea of importance and worth in the individual and faith in the kind of world where the individual can achieve as much of his potential as possible…
These are the ideals of the Right not today’s Progressives who look to the state for Obamacare’s womb to tomb protection.
“We are not concerned here with people who profess the democratic faith but yearn for the dark security of dependency where they can be spared the burden of decisions. Reluctant to grow up, or incapable of doing so, they want to remain children and be cared for by others. Those who can should be encouraged to grow; for the others, the fault lies not in the system but in themselves…[they] are resigned to lives determined by others…There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of man’s faith in himself and in his power to direct his future.”
The Right believes in exactly that, freedom of the individual from control of the state while today’s Progressives do all in their power to increase the power of the state over the individual yet Alinsky is their champion, their champion of methodology.
“Believing in people…the preciousness of human life, and all those rights and values propounded by Judaeo-Christianity and the democratic political tradition. Democracy is not an end but the best means toward achieving these values.”
Ever the enigma Alinsky wrote the above while believing in abortion.
“Always remember that the guiding star is ‘the dignity of the individual.’…when we respect the dignity of the people, they cannot be denied the elementary right to participate fully in the solutions to their own problems. Self-respect arises only out of people who play an active role in solving their own crises and who are not helpless, passive puppet-like recipients of private or public services. To give people help, while denying them a significant part in the action, contributes nothing to the development of the individual. In the deepest sense it is not giving but taking-taking their dignity.”
That sounds like a plank in the Republican platform.
Interestingly Alinsky also believed that: “The radical organizer does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing…he is a political relativist.”
Given that America is in a fight to determine its future, whether that future be the socialism envisioned by the Obama administration or capitalism as envisioned by the Right perhaps it is time to apply Alinsky’s relativism. Perhaps it is time for the Right to employ Alinsky’s methods if only they could get over the end justifying the means.
In war it does.
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Playboy Interview”, Playboy Magazine, 1972, http://www.forestcouncil.org/tims_picks/view.php?id=1075,
Rules for Radicals, pp129,130
Ibid, pp xxiv-xxvi
Rules for Radicals, pp11,12