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The Cooke Family Grows….

For those keeping track, Jalene and I are expecting our fifth child in February of 2016, just in time for the Superbowl!

I had completely underestimated Obama’s links to the radical Communist element of the Saul Alinsky community. Every person should read this article that Andrew Breitbart was working on when he suddenly and unexpected died of a heart attack witihin an hour of going to a bar for drinks: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/04/obama-alinsky-love-song

A Mondern Day Parable

Suppose I had three sons – Joe, Rich and Sam. Rich was a middle manager almost scraping six figures. Joe was a worker only making 30 grand a year but he still had a roof over his head, two TVs, a car and a leather jacket. In fact, every year Joe would get a five grand kickback that Sam would take directly from Rich’s bank account and deposit in Joe’s. Anyway, both Joe and Rich were net savers on the whole, but Sam was different. Sam was making fifty thousand dollars a year but borrowing an additional twenty five thousand per year on top of this.  And all the while he was carrying an additional two hundred and ninety thousand dollars in credit card debt along with two point three million dollars in unfunded liability. Now, lets say Sam wanted to give himself some more money. He wanted to take the money from Rich and Joe, but he didn’t want them to know about it. And so instead of drawing the money directly from their bank accounts, Sam – after giving a speech in September – simply devalued the money Joe and Rich already had in their possession by five percent, giving himself nine thousand dollars.  Joe and Rich didn’t think Sam was taking their money because when they looked in their bank accounts they saw the same amount of cash. But their money was worth less and they weren’t able to buy as many goods and services with it. In fact, Sam had already done this several times before over the course of the past couple years, devaluing all of the money in the system by a total of thirty percent, to pocket almost sixty thousand dollars. Now the question is: Is this fair?

Chuck Swindoll’s devotional for today, 12-2-10, on Crosswalk.com, http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/day_by_day

I have found great help from two truths God gave me at a time in my life when I was bombarded with a series of unexpected and unfair blows (from my perspective). In my darkest hours these principles still become my anchor of stability, my only means of survival.

Because they work for me, I pass them on to you. Memorize them. Write them on a card and carry it at all times.

  • Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved. We may not know why, but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives.
  • Everything I endure is designed to prepare me for serving others more effectively. Everything. Since my Heavenly Father is committed to shaping me into the image of His Son, He knows the ultimate value of this painful experience. It is being used to empty our hands of our own resources, our own sufficiency, and turn us back to Him—the faithful Provider. And God knows what will get through to us.

Things may not be logical or fair,
but when God is directing the events of our lives, they are right.

This is a continuation of quotes from Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, along with my commentary. 

This is part 6 of 6 parts.  Also see:

On with the quotes:

Organization for action will now and in the decade ahead center upon America’s white middle class.  That is where the power is.  When more than three-fourths of our people from both the point of view of economics and of their self-identification are middle class, it is obvious that their action or inaction will determine the direction of change.  (Page 184)

Alinsky wants to get the middle class in America to agree to plunder the rich.

Activists and radicals, on and off our college campuses- people who are committed to change- must make a complete turnabout.  With rare exceptions, our activists and radicals are products of and rebels against our middle-class society.  All rebels must attack the power states in their society.  Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and way of life in the middle class.  They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized, and corrupt.  They are right; but we must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change, and the power and the people are in the big middle-class majority.   (Page 185)

He will know that a “square” is no longer to be dismissed as such- instead, his own approach must be “square” enough to get the action started….He will view with strategic sensitivity the nature of middle-class behavior with its hangups over rudeness or aggressive, insulting, profane actions.  All this and more must be grasped and used to radicalize parts of the middle class.  (Page 185)

The rough category “middle class” can be broken down into three groups:  lower middle class, with incomes from $6,000 to $11,000; middle middle class, $12,000 to $20,000; and upper middle class, $20,000 to $35,000.  There are marked cultural differences between the lower middle class and the rest of the middle class.  (Page 186)

Alinsky is arbitrarily dividing up the middle class so that he can pit people against each other.

In the lower middle class we encounter people who have struggled all their lives for what relatively little they have….They have been committed to the values of success, getting ahead, security, having their “own” home, auto, color TV, and friends.  Their lives have been 90 per cent unfulfilled dreams…they are a fearful people, who feel threatened from all sides….Victimized by TV commercials with their fraudulent claims for food and medical products, they watch the news between the commercial with Senate committee hearings showing that the purchase of these products is largely a waste of their hard earned money.  Repeated financial crises result from accidents that they thought they were insured against only to experience the fine-print evasions of one of our most shocking confidence rackets of today, the insurance racket….they look at the unemployed poor as parasitical dependents, recipients of a vast variety of massive public programs all paid for by them, “the public.”….In many cases the lower middle class were denied the opportunity of college by these very circumstances.  Their bitterness is compounded by their also paying taxes for these colleges, for increased public services, fire, police, public health, and welfare.  (Page 186)

Remember that even if you cannot win over the lower middle-class, at least parts of them must be persuaded to where there is at least communication, then to a series of partial agreements and a willingness to abstain from hard opposition as changes take place.  They have their role to play in the essential prelude to reformation, in their acceptance that the ways of the past with its promises for the future no longer work and we must move ahead- where we move may not be definite or certain, but move we must.  (Page 189)

The last half of that statement above sounds like it could have been taken verbatim from a Barack Obama speech.  This book – and the knowledge that Obama was a community organizer in the tradition of Saul Alinsky – explains the Obama administration’s slow response to issues and its seeming aimlessness for the first year he was in office.  The principles Obama seems operate on are:  1.  redistribute wealth;  2.  opportunistically take advantage of individual circumstances, and 3. try to redefine traditional words and values to have a secular progressive meaning.

The issues of 1972 would be those of 1776, “No Taxation Without Representation.”  To have real representation would involve public funds being available for campaign costs so that the members of the lower middle class can campaign for political office.  This can be an issue for mobilization among the lower middle class and substantial sectors of the middle middle class.  (Page 190)

Actually in 1776 there were restrictions on who could vote and run for office.  Part of the reasons for these restrictions was to avoid the tendency towards legalized plunder.  However, that didn’t mean that only the wealthy could be influential.  Samuel Adams himself (regardless of how Alinsky portrays him) was actually for the most part a citizen legislator, and he was quite poor. 

The rest of the middle class, with few exceptions, reside in suburbia, living in illusions of partial escape.  Being more literate, they are even more lost….They have seen values they held sacred sneered at and found themselves ridiculed as squares or relics of a dead world.  The frenetic scene around them is so bewildering as to induce them to either drop out into a private world, the nonexistent past, sick with its own form of social schizophrenia- or to face it and move into action….We are the age of pollution, progressively burying ourselves in our own waste.  We announce that our water is contaminated by our own excrement, insecticides, and detergents, and then do nothing….We prefer a strangling ring of dirty air to ring around the collar….Our persistent use of our present insecticides may well ensure that the insects shall inherit the world.  Of all the pollution around us, none compares to the political pollution of the Pentagon.  From a Vietnam war simultaneously suicidal and murderous to a policy of getting out by getting in deeper and wider…  (Page 190)

Alinsky’s entire message is based on fear and manipulation.  He has to, 1.  Create arbitrary divisions between people (you make $11,000, you’re lower middle class; you make $12,000, you’re middle middle class…) and then, 2.  Project hopelessness, meaninglessness, anger and discontent onto them, and finally, 3.  Pit them against one another in any way possible so that he can implement Marxist redistribution of wealth.

This is the Pentagon that has manufactured nearly 16,000 tons of nerve gas….since the Pentagon made it, it should keep it, and have it all stored in the basements of the Pentagon; or, since the President as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces believed that the sinking in the ocean of 67 tons of nerve gas was so safe, why didn’t he attest to his belief by having it dumped into the waters off San Clemente, California?  Either action would have given some hope for the nation’s future.  (Page 192)

Alinsky’s attacks on Vietnam and American military production frankly sound like Soviet propaganda. 

The middle classes are numb, bewildered, scared into silence.  They don’t know what, if anything, they can do.  This is the job for today’s radical- to fan the embers of hopelessness into a flame to fight.  (Page 194)

So you return to the suburban scene of your middle class with its variety of organizations from PTAs to League of Women Voters, consumer groups, churches, and clubs.  The job is to search out the leaders in these various activities, identify their major issues, find areas of common agreement, and excite their imagination with tactics that can introduce drama and adventure into the tedium of middle class life….Start them off easy, don’t scare them off.  The opposition’s reactions will provide the “education” or radicalization of the middle class.  (Page 194)

 The revolution must manifest itself in the corporate sector by the corporation’ realistic appraisal of conditions in the nation….every American individual or corporation is public as well as private; public in that we are Americans and concerned about our national welfare.  We have a double commitment and corporations had better recognize this for the sake of their own survival….If the same predatory drives for profits can be partially transmuted for progress, then we will have opened a whole new ball game.  I suggest here that this new policy will give its executives a reason for what they are doing- a chance for a meaningful life.  (Page 195)

Alinsky’s arrogance here is astounding.  I’m reminded of what Frederic Bastiat wrote about one of the main instigators of the French Revolution:  “At what a tremendous height above the rest of mankind does Robespierre here place himself! And note the arrogance with which he speaks. He is not content to pray for a great reawakening of the human spirit. Nor does he expect such a result from a well-ordered government. No, he himself will remake mankind, and by means of terror.”

Any timetable would be speculation but the writing of middle-class organization had better be on the walls by 1972.  The human cry of the second revolution is one for a meaning, a purpose for life- a cause to live for and if need be die for.  Tom Paine’s words, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” are more relevant to Part II of the American Revolution than to the beginning.  This is literally the revolution of the soul….We have forgotten where we came from, we don’t know where we are, and we fear where we may be going.  Afraid, we turn from the glorious adventure of the pursuit of happiness to a pursuit of an illusionary security in an ordered, stratified, striped society….When Americans can no longer see the stars, the times are tragic.  We must believe that it is the darkness before the dawn of a beautiful new world; we will see it when we believe it.  (Page 196)

So concludes Saul Alinksy’s book Rules for Radicals.  Here, in the very last section of the book, Alinksy tries again to draw a correlation between the American Revolution and the French Revolution, even though the two were profoundly different.  The French Revolution was about wealth redistribution, social planning and guillotines.  The American Revolution was about God being the source of law and freedom, and about cutting ties with the King because he was breaking covenant and acting in tyranny.  What Alinksy is calling for is actually the French Revolution II, not the American Revolution II.

Alinsky believed that there is no real meaning to life aside from manipulating an endless series of revolutions with indefinite goals.  Indefinite goals lead to anxiety, and Alinsky takes his own anxiety and hopelessness and projects them onto everything he sees.  Then he tries to use that anxiety and hopelessness to agitate for revolution.  In terms the book this is somewhat disingenuous, because he tells the reader outright that his game plan is to manipulate a response from his followers, and then he immediately sets about trying to manipulate a response with the book itself.

My hope in providing these excerpts is to give people insights into how the far Left progressives view America, and how they operate to bring about their kind of change.  If reading this has given you better insight into what America is facing from secular progressives and the current liberal leadership in our country, please forward a link to Part 1 to your friends and family and ask them to read this series of posts.

This is a continuation of quotes from Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, along with my commentary. 

This is part 5 of 6 parts.  Also see:

On with the quotes:

The basic tactic in warfare against the Haves is a mass political jujitsu….since the Haves publicly pose as the custodians of responsibility, morality, law, and justice (which are frequently strangers to each other), they can be constantly pushed to live up to their own book of morality and regulations.  No organization, including organized religion, can live up to the letter of its own book.  You can club them to death with their “book” of rules and regulations.  This is what the great revolutionary, Paul of Tarsus, knew when he wrote to the Conrinthians:  “Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth.”  (Page 152)

Alinsky leaves out the final words of the verse, 2 Corinthians 3:6, as well as the context of the passage – Israel having the Mosaic Law but not seeing Jesus of Nazereth in it.  Paul actually affirms the Mosaic Law later on in the same chapter (verses 15 ,16).  So Alinksy is taking the verse entirely out of context and implying a meaning which isn’t there. 

In Chicago the Haves slipped badly when both a judge and a district attorney muttered that the book of regulations banned attempts to induce the absence of public school students, and growled ominously about an injunction against all civil rights leaders taking part in the development of the boycott….Now was the time to start an intensive campaign of ridicule, insults, and taunting defiance, daring the district attorney and the judge either to live up to their regulations and issue the injunctions or stand publically exposed as fearful frauds who were afraid to put the law where their mouths were….the last thing the establishment wants is to indict and imprison every single civil rights leader….At this point, now that the civil rights leaders had the powerful weapon of the book of the laws of the Haves, they would have to stand fast publicly- once again taunting, insulting, demanding that the judge and the district attorney “obey the law,”…  (Page 153)

It is ironic that Alinksy is talking about fighting for a justifiable cause – desegregation of public schools in the 60’s – but advocating tactics of ridicule, insults, defiance, etc.  Yes, school segregation was ended, as it should have been, but it wasn’t ended because of subversive behavior on the part of civil rights leadership.  Also note that Alinsky uses the phrase, “the book of laws of the Haves”.  The implication is that Alinsky had no respect for the law, and saw it only as a tool of the Haves for perpetuating power.

 The reaction of the status quo in jailing revolutionary leaders is in itself a tremendous contribution to the development of the Have-Not movement as well as to the personal development of the revolutionary leaders….Jailing the revolutionary leaders and their followers performs three vital functions for the cause of the Have-Nots: (1) it is an act on the part of the status quo that in itself points up the conflict between the Haves and the Have-Nots; (2) it strengthens immeasurably the position of the revolutionary leaders with their people by surrounding the jailed leadership with an aura of martyrdom; (3) it deepens the identification of the leadership with their people since the prevalent reaction among the Have-Nots is that their leadership cares so much for them, and is so sincerely committed to the issue, that it is willing to suffer imprisonment for the cause.  (Page 155)

At the same time, the revolutionary leaders should make certain that their publicized violations of the regulations are so selected that their jail terms are relatively brief, from one day to two months.  (Page 156)

Alinsky sees purposely getting jailed for short periods of time as a calculated way to manipulate his followers. 

Life goes on, new issues arise, and new leaders appear; however, a periodic removal from circulation by being jailed is an essential element in the development of the revolutionary….To gain that privacy in which he can try to make sense out of what he is doing, why he is doing it, where he is going, what has been wrong with what he has done…the most convenient and accessible solution is jail…. The prophets of the Old Testament and the New found their opportunity for synthesis by voluntarily removing themselves to the wilderness.  It was after they emerged that they began propagandizing their philosophies.  (Page 156)

Once, though- and in rare circumstances even now- sit-downs were really revolutionary.  A vivid illustration was the almost spontaneous sit-down strikes of the United Automobile Workers Union in their 1937 organizing drive at General Motors.  The seizure of private property caused an uproar in the nation.  With rare exception every labor leader ran for cover- this was too revolutionary for them….Lewis, gave them their rationale.  He thundered, “The right to a man’s job transcends the right of private property!  The C.I.O stands squarely behind these sit-downs!”….The lesson here is that a major job of the organizer is to instantly develop the rationale for actions which have taken place by accident or impulsive anger.  Lacking the rationale, the action becomes inexplicable to its participants and rapidly disintegrates into defeat.  Possessing a rationale gives action meaning and purpose.  (Page 163)

Alinsky is advocating making up rationales for actions where there is or was no rationale.

Accident, unpredictable reactions to your own actions, necessity, and improvisation dictate the direction and nature of tactics.  (Page 165)

The organizer should never feel lost because he has no plot, no timetable or definite points of reference.  A great pragmatist, Abraham Lincoln, told his secretary in the month the war began: “My policy is to have no policy.”  Three years later, in a letter to a Kentucky friend, he confessed plainly: “I have been controlled by events.”  The major problem in trying to communicate this idea is that it is outside the experience of practically everyone who has been exposed to our alleged education system.  The products of this system have been trained to emphasize order, logic, rational thought, direction and purpose.  (Page 165)

I have two thoughts on this point.  First, I wonder that Alinsky thought so little of order, logic, rational thought, direction and purpose.  My second thought is that now that our education system is run by many whose world view runs closer to Alinsky’s than to that of your average person fifty years ago, it’s no mystery that those graduating from our education system today know so little of order, logic, rational thought, direction and purpose.

The mythology of “history” is usually so pleasant for the ego of the subject that he accepts it in a “modest” silence, an affirmation of the validity of the mythology.  After a while he begins to believe it.  The further danger of mythology is that it carries the picture of “genius at work” with the false implication of purposeful logic and planned actions.  This makes it more difficult to free oneself from the structured approach.  For this if no other reason, mythology should be understood for what it is.  (Page 168)

Alinksy has to discredit or change history itself in order to advocate his positions.

 The history of Chicago’s Back of the Yards Council reads, “Out from the gutters, the bars, the churches, the labor unions, yes, even the communist and socialist parties; the neighborhood businessmen’s associations, the American Legion and Chicago’s Catholic Bishop Bernard Sheil.  They all came together on July 14, 1939.  July 14, Bastille Day!  Their Bastille Day, the day they deliberately and symbolically selected to join together to storm the barricades of unemployment, rotten housing, disease, delinquency and demoralization.”  That’s the way it reads.  What really happened is that July 14 was selected because it was the one day the public park fieldhouse was clear…There wasn’t a thought of Bastille Day in any of our minds.  That day at a press conference before the convention came to order a reporter asked me, “Don’t you think it’s somewhat too revolutionary to deliberately select Bastille Day for your first convention?”  I tried to cover my surprise but I thought, “How wonderful!  What a windfall!”  I answered, “Not at all.  It is fitting that we do so and that’s why we did it.”  I quickly informed all the speakers about “Bastille Day” and it became the keynote of nearly every speech.  (Page 168)

In the quote above, Alinsky is bragging about his deception and dishonesty.

The difference between fact and history was brought home when I was a visiting professor at a certain Eastern university….I persuaded the president of this college to get me a copy of this examination and when I answered the questions the departmental head graded my paper, knowing only that I was an anonymous friend of the president.  Three of the questions were on the philosophy and motivations of Saul Alinsky.  I answered two of them incorrectly.  I did not know what my philosophy or motivations were; but they did!  (Page 169)

Alinsky’s example seems to be trying to question, discredit or marginalize learning and academia in general.  However this example, like many he gives, falls into the logic fallacy of  “argumentum ad logicam” (argument to logic), which is assuming that just because one argument given on behalf of a thing is false, therefore all arguments given on behalf of that thing are false.  The examples in the book often fall  into the logic fallacy of  “dicto simpliciter” or sweeping generalization as well.

In the second to the last chapter, “The Genesis of Tactic Proxy”, Alinsky develops the idea of getting regular people to assign stock proxies (designating a “proxy” means legally designating another individual to represent you as a stockholder) to radicals so those radicals can represent thousands of stockholder votes and play havoc with corporations.

Let’s see what happens when Flemington, New Jersey, with its one beat-up hotel and two motels, faces an invasion of 50,000 stockholders….But the real importance of these letters was that they showed a way for the middle class to organize….There will even be “fringe benefits.”  Trips to stockholder’s meetings will bring drama and adventure into otherwise colorless and sedentary suburban lives.  Proxy organizations will help bridge the generation gap, as parents and children join in the battle against the Pentagon and the corporations.  (Page 178)

One can envisage the scene where a general informs a corporate executive that a $50 million order will be coming to the corporation for the making of nerve gas, napalm, defoliants, or any other of the great products we export for the benefit of mankind…”Well, look, General, I appreciate your considering us for this contract but we’ve got a stockholders’ meeting coming up next month and the hell that would blow when these thousands of stockholders heard about it- well, General, I don’t want to think about it.”  (Page 179)

Another pot-shot at the U.S.  Alinsky accuses the U.S throughout the book of being dishonest about our own humanist, secular, power-hungry motivations.   But these are interpretations that he is projecting onto the U.S. because of his own world-view. 

 What will be required is a computerized operation that will quickly give (1) a breakdown of the holdings of any corporation, (2) a breakdown of holdings of other corporations that own shares in the target corporation, and (3) a breakdown of the individual stock proxies in the target corporation and in the corporations that have holdings in the target corporation….There will be a nationwide organization, set up either by myself or others, with national headquarters in Chicago or New York City, or both.  The New York office could handle all of the computerized operations; the Chicago office would serve as headquarters for a staff of organizers who would be constantly on the move through the various communities of America…  (Page 180)

Alinsky can’t seem to stop dreaming up outlandish ideas to use as threats to try to get an immediate advantage over someone he’s fighting.  That’s all the entire “Proxy” chapter apears to be – a proposal of  a wild scheme designed to put pressure on whatever target he was working on when this book came out.

Click here to continue on to Marxism, the heart of Community Organization: Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Part 6

This is a continuation of quotes from Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, along with my commentary. 

This is part 4 of 6 parts.  Also see:

On with the quotes:

People hunger for drama and adventure, for a breath of life in a dreary, drab existence….It is a desperate search for personal identity- to let other people know that at least you are alive.  Let’s take a common case in the ghetto.  A man is living in a slum tenement…When the organizer approaches him part of what begins to be communicated is that through the organization and its power he will get his birth certificate for life, that he will become known, that things will change from the drabness of a life where all that changes is the calendar.”  (Page 121)

Always remember that “the guiding star is ‘the dignity of the individual.'”  This is the purpose of the program.  Obviously any program that opposes people because of race, religion, creed, or economic status, is the antithesis of the fundamental dignity of the individual.  (Page 122)

According to Alinksy’s definition above, “the dignity of the individual” means that anything goes and any creed is fine, so long as the creed does not claim an exclusive knowledge of the truth or require people to live up to any kind of a standard.  This reminds me of people talking about religion or philosophy and using the “elephant” analogy.  Several blind men are led to an elephant and one is at the leg, another at the trunk, another at the tail, and so on.  And one man says, “the object is big and round and stumpy and get’s wider at the bottom”, and another says, “No, it’s long and flexible and moves around a lot”, and another says, “no, it’s short and stringy…”, etc.  The person telling the elephant analogy then says that any attempt to understand religious or philosophical truth is the same way.  No one sees the big picture, and so it’s prideful and vain to imagine that your view is the correct one.  At first that would seem like wisdom, but on closer inspection the logic breaks down.  First off, it is really impossible to know truth?  No, it’s very possible to know the truth.  Second, if someone uses the elephant analogy it is actually they who are being arrogant, for they are claiming that no one else is able to see the whole picture except for them.  They are claiming to be the only one with an exclusive knowledge of the truth.

 In the world of give and take, tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.  Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves.  (Page 126)

…the first rule of power tactics:  Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.  Power has always derived from two main sources, money and people.  Lacking money, the Have-Nots must build power from their own flesh and blood.  A mass movement expresses itself with mass tactics.  Against the finesse and sophistication of the status quo, the Have-Nots have always had to club their way.  (Page 127)

The third rule is:  Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.  Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”  (Page 127)

The fourth rule is:  Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.  You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian can live up to Christianity.  (Page 128)

The fourth rule carries with it the fifth rule:  Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.  It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule.  (Page 128)

If Alinsky’s rule is to ridicule his enemy, then it is very clear he considered the United States, the Founding Fathers, the U.S. Allies, Christianity, capitalism, the average citizen (i.e., the middle-class) and families to be his enemy.  His ridicule of these runs all through the book.  Note that all of these are institutions which Marxism and Communism consider an enemy and wish to eliminate or fundamentally redefine.

The seventh rule:  A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.  Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings.  (Page 128)

In a fight almost anything goes.  It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.  (Page 129)

The thirteenth rule:  Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  In conflict tactics there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities.  One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and “frozen.”  (Page 130)

One of the criteria in picking your target is the target’s vulnerability- where do you have the power to start?  Furthermore, any target can always say, “Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?”  When you “freeze the target,” you disregard these arguments and, for the moment, all others to blame.  (Page 133)

The classic statement on polarization comes from Christ:  “He that is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23).  He allowed no middle ground to the money-changers in the Temple.  One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.  A leader may struggle toward a decision and weigh the merits and demerits of a situation which is 52 per cent positive and 48 per cent negative, but once the decision is reached he must assume that his cause is 100 per cent positive and the opposition 100 per cent negative.  (Page 133)

In this section of the book, Alinsky is saying to arbitrarily pick a target, freeze it, and then paint the target as being 100% evil.

An excellent illustration of the importance of polarization here was cited by Ruth McKenney in Industrial Valley, her classical study on the beginning of organization of the rubber workers in Akron, Ohio:  “[John L.] Lewis faced the mountaineer workers of Akron calmly….The Lewis speech was a battle cry, a challenge…. ‘Partnership!’ he sneered.  ‘Well, labor and capital may be partners in theory, but they are enemies in fact.’….’Organize!’ Lewis shouted, and his voice echoed from the beams of the armory.  ‘Organize!’ he said, pounding the speaking pulpit until it jumped.  ‘Organize!  Go to Goodyear and tell them you want some of those stock dividends.  Say, So we’re supposed to be partners, are we?  Well, we’re no.  We’re enemies.‘”  (Page 134, Emphasis is Alinsky’s)

The next question was about my response to a bitter personal denunciation of me from W. Allen Wallis, the president of the University of Rochester and a present director of Eastman Kodak.  He has been the head of the Department of Business Administration, formerly, at the University of Chicago.  He was at the university when it was locked in bitter warfare with the black organization in Woodlawn.  “Wallis?” I replied.  “Which one are you talking about- Wallace of Alabama, or Wallis of Rochester – but I guess there isn’t any difference, so what was your question?”  This reply (1) introduced an element of ridicule and (2) it ended any further attacks from the president of the University of Rochester, who began to suspect that he was going to be shafted with razors, and that an encounter with me or with my associates was not going to be an academic dialogue.”  (Page 137)

Alinsky, in the quote above, is making a reference to Alabama Governor George Wallace.  Wallace was a staunch racist who aided Police Cheif Eugene Connor in loosing police dogs and fire hoses on black protesters demonstrating for an end to segregation in Birmingham, Alabama at the height of the civil rights struggle in the 60’s.  Coverage of Wallace’s actions helped galvanize the nation against racism and segregation, as it should have.  Alinsky compares the president of the University of Rochester to Wallace because the two happen to have last names that are pronounced the same, and because Alinksy was trying to stir up racial tension in order to get Kodak to allow a labor union.

 The resources of the Have-Nots are (1) no money and (2) lots of people.  All right, let’s start from there.  People can show their power by voting.  What else?  Well, they have physical bodies.  How can they use them?  now a melange of ideas begins to appear.  Use the power of the law by making the establishment obey its own rules.  Go outside the experience of the enemy, stay inside the experience of your people.  Emphasize tactics that your people will enjoy.  The threat is usually more terrifying than the tactic itself.  Once all these rules and principles are festering in your imagination they grow into a synthesis.  I suggested we might buy one hundred seats for one of Rochester’s symphony concerts.  We would select a concert in which the music was relatively quiet.  The hundred blacks who would be given the tickets would first be treated to a three-hour pre-concert dinner in the community, in which they would be fed nothing but backed beans, and lots of them; then the people would go to the symphony hall- with obvious consequences.  Imagine the scene when the action began!  (Page 138)

The reaction of the blacks in the ghetto- their laughter when the tactic was proposed- made it clear that the tactic, at least in fantasy, was within their experience.  it connected with their hatred of Whitey.  The one thing that all oppressed people want to do to their oppressors is shit on them.  Here was an approximate way to do this.”  (Page 140)

“O’Hare Airport became the target….You decide to wait until after landing to use the facilities in the terminal….the tactic becomes obvious- we tie up the lavatories.  In the restrooms you drop a dime, enter, push the lock on the door- and you can stay there all day….the ladies’ restrooms could be occupied completely; the only problem in the men’s lavatories would be the stand-up urinals.  This, too, could be taken care of, by having groups busy themselves around the airport and then move in on the stand-up urinals to line up four or five deep whenever a flight arrived….the nation’s first “shit-in”….One can see children yelling at their parents, “Mommy, I’ve got to go,” and desperate mothers surrendering, “All right- well, do it.  Do it right here.”  O’Hare would soon become a shambles.  The whole scene would become unbelievable and the laughter and ridicule would be nationwide.”  (Page 142)

The two tactics above were never utilized but they give further insight into how Alinksy’s mind worked. 

 With the universal principle that the right things are always done for the wrong reasons and the tactical rule that negatives becomes positives, we can understand the following examples….’I was lecturing at a college run by a very conservative, almost fundamentalist Protestant denomination.  Afterward some of the students came to my motel to talk to me.  Their problem was that they couldn’t have any fun on campus.  They weren’t permitted to dance or smoke or have a can of beer…I said, “Fine.  Gum becomes the weapon.  You get two or three hundred students to get two packs of gum each, which is quite a wad.  Then you have them drop it on the campus walks.  This will cause absolute chaos.”‘  (Page 144)

According to Alinsky the above tactic worked; the campus gave in and loosened its standards.

The middle class, too, must learn the nature of the enemy and be able to practice what I have described as mass jujitsu, utilizing the power of the one part of the power structure against the other part.  (Page 148)

The Haves possess and in turn are possessed by power.  Obsessed with the fear of losing power, their every move is dictated by the idea of keeping it….This opens a new vista- not only do we have a whole class determined to keep its power and in constant conflict with the Have-Nots; at the same time, they are in conflict among themselves….Here is the vulnerable belly of the status quo.  (Page 149)

The internecine struggle among the Haves for their individual self-interest is as shortsighted as the internecine struggle among the Have-Nots.  I have on occasion remarked that I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday.  (Page 150)

Alinksy’s comment above is the same in principle as the quote by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union:  “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Click here to continue on to Marxism, the heart of Community Organization: Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Part 5