Showing posts with label Community organizing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community organizing. Show all posts

Monday, August 30, 2010

Whither Alinksy

Usually around once or twice a week, I'll get an email or comment that ties the teachings of Saul Alinsky to Barack Obama. Certainly, Alinsky was an influence on President Obama in terms of his philosophy on community organizing. The intimation, though, was that it was much more than that. By tying Obama to the "known radical" Alinsky this proves how "radical" our current president is in his viewpoints.

So, imagine my surprise when I read this article on the Tea Party in the New York Times and saw this line.

New employees receive a required-reading list that includes “Rules for Radicals,” by Saul Alinsky, the father of modern community organizing,

Huh. That's interesting. The entire article is very illuminating regarding this "grass roots" movement.

Even more interesting is that Alinksy, in one of his final interviews before his death in 1972, worried that the middle class (Nixon and Agnew's "Silent Majority) would be driven to the right "making them ripe for the plucking by some guy on horseback promising a return to the vanished verities of yesterday" whose stated motive would be "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."

Eight years later his prophecy proved all too true. And if you listen to the Koch Foundation sponsored FreedomWorks, they are saying the same thing.

So are Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.