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Friday, March 02, 2012

The muderous menace of...SAUL ALINKSY!

A right-wing writer -- I forget which one -- mentioned that his last conversation with Andrew Breitbart concerned the menace posed by Saul Alinksy. That name mystified me for a few moments. Then I recalled that, back in 1970s, this Alinsky personage had written something called Rules For Radicals, a book which I cannot fairly recommend as I have not read it.

At least not all of it. Or even most of it. Today, however, I've glanced at few excerpts.

Why? Well, it turns out that modern conservatives are fixated on this Alinsky fellow, and I just had to see what all the fuss was about.

What a bizarre situation! I've been chatting with lefties since the Carter administration, yet I've never run across anyone who said: "You've gotta read Rules For Radicals! Saul Alinksy is a friggin' genius!" The guy simply hasn't been on my radar, and my radar takes in a rather large amount of territory.

Moreover, it seems that by the standards of the early 1970s, Alinski wasn't considered particularly radical -- in fact, I get the impression that the actual hard-core revolutionaries of that time considered the guy a squishy softie. George Romney, father to Mitt, seemed to admire Alinsky.

Yet if you wander into RightWingerLand, you'll soon see that the folks there believe that guys like me have spent the past forty years eating, drinking and breathing Alinksy. The right thinks that Alinkyism controls our every action and every utterance.

Cue blast of off-key brass: "Nobody expects Saul Alinsky! His chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear! His two chief weapons are surprise and fear and a fanatical devotion to Karl Marx! Three. His three chief weapons are..."

Oddly enough, if you type the name "Saul Alinsky" into Google, you'll see that only right-wing political sites make the front page. Very few people on the left care about Alinsky -- even though the reactionaries love to hallucinate otherwise.

Here's what Right Wing News has to say about the Alinsky threat:
Ironically, one of the hottest new books for conservatives is far left-winger Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which was written way back in 1971.

After reading the book, my personal opinion is that Alinsky was a brilliant yet cynical, habitually dishonest, utterly amoral human being with a deep understanding of large swathes of human nature. Was he a good guy? No, not at all. But, is there a lot conservatives can learn from his tactics? Absolutely. Some of it we can apply and some of it we can see how the Left has applied it against us.
Is there any evidence that the guy was habitually dishonest and utterly amoral? Maybe -- but if there is, our Right Wing News author neglects to humor us with examples. It seems that by "habitually dishonest," our Right Winger simply means "He held views contrary to mine."

The Right Winger does offer plenty of allegedly "damning" quotes from Sneaky Saul. Here's an example of the kind of Alinskyism which the right finds horrifying:
But the answer I gave the young radicals seemed to me the only realistic one: “Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing — but this only swings people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.”
Seems sensible enough. In essence, Alinsky is counseling young people to work within the system. Is there a problem here? Hell, when I advocate working within the Democratic party, many of my readers accuse me of being a conservative sellout.

Nothing in any of this Alinsky material strikes me as being one one-millionth as devious as the tactics advocated by Karl Rove or Lee Atwater or Newt Gingrich or Jack Abramoff. Nevertheless, the rightists now consider Alinsky the secret malefic force behind an almost-all-powerful socialist international. "Come comrades, come rally...around Saul Alinsky!"

More than that. Conservative writers routinely use Alinsky as their all-purpose excuse for engaging in filthy strategems. Gotta fight fire with fire, right?

The right even has an entire blog devoted to "defeating" the Alinsky menace. Sample headlines:
Main Stream Media Tries to Cover up Obama’s Ties to Radical Saul Alinsky
White House Spokesman Asked About Obama’s Ties to Saul Alinsky
Here's the Free Republic page on Alinsky. I've skimmed the beginning but could proceed no further. One can take only so much of the Free Republic.

Apparently, the "Alinksy as bogeyman" meme may have started with Newt Gingrich.

Here's a video which claims that Saul Alinky's book is Obama's "Bible":
If you have been telling the truth and sharing information regarding Obama's plan to turn America over to globalists/communists you have very likely been assailed by people using SAUL ALINSKY's techniques as outlined in RULES FOR RADICALS
Ah, yes -- such a communist, that Obama is. The president who bailed out Wall Street but refused to help evicted homeowners restructure their loans. The president who handed our economic future over the Summers and Geithner. He's a "communist."

Here's Glenn Beck on the Obama/Alinsky conspiracy.

Here's Beck and David Horowitz discussing how the right should adopt Alinskyite tactics. Alinsky has become their all-purpose excuse.

Beck again:
Beck...Saul Alinsky play book - Ridicule your opponents
See how it works? If you laugh at Beck (who may be the most laugh-worthy human being in existence today), you're simply proving that a Great Alinsky Conspiracy really does exist and you're part of it. The result is a perfect paranoia loop.

I could go on -- and on and on and on -- but the point is made. Saul Alinsky is the latest incarnation of Emmanuel Goldstein. "Alinsky" is the brand name of a fashionable new vibrator which conservatives use to stroke themselves to rage-gasm.

Maybe one of my readers will be kind enough to tell me more about this book. Rules for Radicals. Any good?
The GOP used the Alinski attack on Hillary Clinton in 2008. She wrote her thesis on his philosophy and methodology back in the day and from the chatter on the web was offered a job. Which she turned down.

I'm amazed [though I shouldn't be] that the Republicans, who came in screaming jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010, are now all about women's body parts, gay bashing and Alinski fear-mongering, painting the man's history with a big Red brush.

There's a reason that McCarthyism came out of the Republican party.

nice try Cannon but its obvious that like every other Islamo-socialist you've read your Rules for Radicals many times and your a liar if you say you haven't. Because the main tactic that Alinky talked about was using ridicule and I see lots of ridicule here and therefore that PROVES you are an Alinskyite. Honestly, sir, who do you think your kidding?
Funny that I just mentioned Bud Burrell of CFRN or Christian Financial Network below and his connection to your comment in regards to Sheriff Joe and Obama's birth certificate.Burrell is a far right lunatic SEC Mary Schapiro and
Chris Cox and DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Robert Meuller protected penny stock money launderer,(who claims,USXP AND CMKX Diamonds etc.,etc.,penny stocks were victims of 'naked short selling').Now he is spreading the very same beware of Saul Alinksy meme you have just documented.I wonder why ?
As with you I'm not very right wing but I'm certainly unaware of Saul Alinsky.It appears both Burrell and other right wingers are certainly more taken with him than we are.He's not related to Meyer Lansky,is he ? If so that would probably make him a heroe to Bud Burrell who actually was involved in CMKX Diamonds fraud 'business' with Robert Maheu shortly before his death.
Someone should investigate.Ha.

Bud Burrell: Link to New Jerome Corsi Book on Saul Alinsky. Alinksy ...
Feb 23, 2012 by Bud Burrell
I have sent this out again to get everyone to put this on their calendar. Best, Bud. From: Facebook Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:08 AM To: Bud Burrell Subject: Jerome ...
GOP, God's Own Party, what a joke. They are not adverse to stooping to what ever low means to justify their ends because we FDR Democrats are Satan's spawn. I swear that the metal in their pick up truck gun racks absorb brain wave energy making republican voters all stupid.
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