Finally, They Got Around To SaulPosted: 16 October 2008
Saul Alinsky that is…..who is he, you will ask? If you listen to McCain and the conservatives he was a Marxist writer that set down some rules for a Marxist take over of society. Well that is a pipedream and an outright lie. Yes he was a writer, but he was also the father of modern community organizing. And we know what the McCain group thinks of community organizers, right? By labeling Alinsky a Marxist makes all Organizers look like Marxists. The Republican demonizing machine at its best.
With all the talk about this person or that I was afraid that McPalin would miss Alinsky. I am so glad to see that I was mistaken. In the last couple of days his name has made an appearance even on Monday Morning in an interview on MSNBC, Jon Voight, a McCain supporter made reference to Alinsky as a Marxist.
Alinsky is considered the father of community organizing, that is to get communities to act in organized self-interests. He was a critic of mainstream liberalism, but that does not make one a Marxist. In his book, the Rules For Radicals, Alinsky wrote:
“There’s another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don’t encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let’s not let it happen by default.”
The very first sentence is non-Marxist, for a Marxist would not work within the system, but rather by a working class revolution. Ayers may have been a “terrorist” back in the 60′s, but Saul Alinsky was no Marxist and should not be held in disdain because he showed the way for community organizing. Many, many organizers are from the Alinsky school, such as, Caesar Chavez, even the great Hillary Clinton was an admirer and we all know by now that Obama was also from the school.
To call Alinsky a Marxist is just the typical conservative ploy to lessen the individual of whom they talk. Once again the McCain camp is using tactics from the past. After all, it is the 21st century and time for the US to look to the future. It seems that Repubs are afraid of the future, they prefer to fall back on the tired policies of the past.
Saul Alinsky had a profound influence of the fight for social justice in the US. He should be remembered for that and not some made crap used to influence voters and win elections. Alinsky may have been a radical, but that does not make him a Marxist.