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Blogging Rules for Radicals: Chapter One

Alinsky describes the history of public housing -- which replaced rat-infested tenements with modern apartment buildings. Now, he says, they are “jungles of horror.” “A beautiful positive dream has grown into a negative nightmare.” (p. 17)

And of course, the have-nots who were provided with a decent place to live are the victims once again. With Alinsky, there are no questions of "why?", even though on page 11 he claimed it is the most important word -- like an inverted plow, “breaking up the hard soil of old beliefs and preparing for the new growth.”

Alinsky’s personal hard soil seems to be his inability to perceive the existence of individual souls and his lack of acknowledgment of the role of individual responsibility in shaping outcomes. In the examples he cites, there is just the mass of have-nots liberated in some small way and then becoming victims again. It is as though they were merely chess pieces in a larger political drama.

This of course is the opposite of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which affirms the importance of each individual in the eyes of the Creator. It is this affirmation which gives meaning to millions of lives which Alinsky, caught up in the trap of political elitist, judges to have no meaning. For someone interested in moving chess pieces around a political stage, it seems crucial to be hanging out high above us all to get the right perspective. Kind of like God.

Are you getting a sense of how difficult it might be for Obama and his cronies to understand that there are indeed other perspectives and other ways of seeing the world?

Alinsky ends this chapter with a discussion of “Class Distinctions: the Trinity” (while we’re on the theme of a parallel political religion).

We have the haves, the have-nots, and the have-a-little, want mores. It is the latter, the middle class, which stand in the way of revolution and which Alinsky describes with loathing:

Torn between upholding the status quo to protect what little they have, yet wanting change so they can have more, they become split personalities. They could be described as social, economic and political schizoids. Generally, they seek the safe way where they can profit by change and yet not risk losing what they have. They insist on a minimum of three aces before playing a hand in the poker of revolution. Thermopolitically they are tepid and rooted in inertia. Today in Western society and particularly in the United States, they comprise a majority of our population.

Does it seem peculiar: Alinsky’s lack of judgment on the have-nots -- who in the instance of public housing destroy what they are given -- and his contempt for the middle class who have risen of their own efforts and want to keep what they have?

This is indeed a defining perspective of the Obama administration, including Chicago/Alinsky bred politicos like Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emanuel, and the czarist empire they have created. These disciples see themselves as far above the fray, manipulating groups of people to achieve their own ends and with contempt for anyone who stands in their way.

The only thing that separates them for their mentor is that they seem not to have developed the self-discipline he recommends to avoid becoming what you claimed to want to replace. One hopes that their self-indulgence and hypocrisy may become a wake-up call to those yet to awaken to the conservative revolution following fast on the heels of this one.

The current revolution is flawed by the solipsism of those like Alinsky, who -- because of their denial of man’s spiritual nature -- have a craven image of our world and see us all as orbiting around their political view:

[I]t was wrong to assume that man would pursue morality on a level higher than day-to-day living demanded. ... The fact is that it is not man’s better nature but his self-interest that demands that he be his brother’s keeper, We now live in a world where no man can have a loaf of bread while his neighbor has none, If he does not share his bread, he dare not sleep, for his neighbor will kill him. To eat and sleep in safety man must do the right thing, if for seemingly the wrong reasons, and be in practice his brother’s keeper. [Remember Obama’s "brother’s keeper" message to the carefully sifted leftist religious leaders? -- BC]

I believe that man is about to learn that the most practical life is the moral life and that the moral life is the only road to survival. ... This is the kind of argument that man’s actual experience equips him to understand and accept, This is the low road to morality, There is no other. [Alinsky's emphasis] (p. 23)

How do you feel about that last statement?

As someone who lived without God for 39 years and whose worldview and actions changed 180 degrees when I decided to devote the rest of my life to serving Him and my fellow man, I have to disagree. Things change when you stop living in your intellect and seeing yourself as the center of a random, soulless universe. (I feel free to interject this thought in an essay on Alinsky, because his remarks on page 11 indicate that he may be the father of the philosophy that “the personal is the political” -- one of the most useful ideas to come out of the left.)

Alinsky claims to be an optimist (p. 21). I don’t see it. Optimism isn’t just based on the idea that you can take this horrible existence we are muddling through and build your dream culture -- that’s utopianism. Optimism is seeing the good here and now and working humbly to make the world a better place. As Mother Teresa said, “One can do no great things, only small things with great love."

The coming conservative revolution -- because according to the Hegelian/Alinsky model, there will be another revolution to counteract this very imperfect one -- will also be imperfect. But being rooted in Judeo-Christian values, it will be built not on cynical exploitation and enslavement of voting blocks, but on individual worth, freedom, and responsibility.

I for one am really looking forward to it.


Blogging Alinsky leaves me in need of something. a shower? A milkshake? A hug? An episode of I Love Lucy?

Will blog chapter two on Friday. I only covered a third of the scrawls in the margins of my book. I’m sure you noticed things I missed.

An alarming revelation from Michelle Malkin:

On the National Education Association's recommended reading list for teachers: Recommended Reading: Saul Alinsky, The American Organizer with -- you guessed it -- Rules for Radicals.

What did your kids learn in school today?