Saul Alinsky, Obama’s Political Guru

Alinsky

For the entire Saul Alinsky profile, click here.

Selected highlights from the Saul Alinsky profile:

Born to Russian-Jewish parents in Chicago in 1909, Saul Alinsky was a Communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States. He never joined the Communist Party but instead, as David Horowitz puts it, became an avatar of the post-modern left.

Though Alinsky is rightfully understood to have been a leftist, his legacy is more methodological than ideological. He identified a set of very specific rules that ordinary citizens could follow, and tactics that ordinary citizens could employ, as a means of gaining public power. His motto was, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.” …

After completing his graduate work in criminology, Alinsky went on to develop what are known today as the Alinsky concepts of mass organization for power. In the late 1930s he earned a reputation as a master organizer of the poor … In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution” — a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted — a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse — to be followed by the erection of an entirely new system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “changes” are needed.

As Alinsky put it:

“A reformation means that the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless. They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.” …

But Alinsky’s brand of revolution was not characterized by dramatic, sweeping, overnight transformations of social institutions. As Richard Poe puts it, “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” He advised organizers and their disciples to quietly, subtly gain influence within the decision-making ranks of these institutions, and to introduce changes from that platform. This was precisely the tactic of “infiltration” advocated by Lenin and Stalin….

For the entire Saul Alinsky profile, click here.