National Education Association, Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, Rules for Radicals
By Jim O'Neill Saturday, November 7, 2009
“The goal of socialism is communism.”
“A lie told often enough becomes truth”
—Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)
The NEA (National Education Association) is the largest professional organization, and labor union in the United States. It represents public school teachers, support personnel, college and university faculty and staff, and college students preparing to become teachers.
The NEA has over 3 million members. According to Wikipedia, “the NEA describes itself as a ‘professional employee organization,’ although it is often categorized as a labor union with strong leftist and liberal leanings…”
On their official web-site, the NEA is currently promoting the radical anti-establishment doctrines of Saul Alinsky. The NEA is actively, and openly, advocating the overthrow of capitalism, free enterprise, and conservative (read that , pro-American) values.
The NEA is recommending that teachers familiarize themselves with Saul Alinsky’s books “Reveille for Radicals,” and “Rules for Radicals.” They then can then pass the seditious information on to their students—our children.
The NEA web-site contains numerous quotes from the Alinsky books—whether to educate those who might not read the books, or to whet the appetite of potential readers, I can’t say.
Here is a sample quote of Alinsky’s from the NEA web-site:
“Society has good reason to fear the Radical. Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the Radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. ...Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives.”
Agitate + Aggravate + Educate + Organize
The NEA concludes: “Alinsky was hated and defamed by powerful enemies, proof that his tactics worked. His simple formula for success…‘Agitate + Aggravate + Educate + Organize”
Permit me to suggest that the conservative parents of America have a duty to put a stop to this type of insidious propaganda. It is poisoning the minds of our children.
This treasonous indoctrination must be stopped, and replaced with pro-American, pro free-enterprise, pro-capitalism, pro-TRUTH classroom studies. We must stop allowing our children to be indoctrinated, and return to educating them.
Approximately 80% of America’s teachers are “liberal.” This means that, for generations, conservative values have been downplayed, ridiculed, and dismissed. It’s killing our country.
Approximately 70%-80% of Americans hold conservative values, but our children are being educated to despise the very traditions that we hold dear.
There can be no doubt about this. There is no debate. It’s a fact.
It’s past time to get active, folks.
If you would like to get a more in-depth look at what Alinsky advocates, I’ve included below a shortened, edited version of an article I wrote for Canada Free Press, about half a year ago.
Rules for Radicals: A Blurred Vision (Revisited)
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
“The “guardrails” that have guided our culture towards moral and civil behavior have been removed, and the lines between right and wrong have become blurred.”
Senator Joseph Lieberman (From the foreword to Richard Land’s “The Divided States of America?”)
Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” first published in 1971, has been read and assimilated by a number of those who espouse a Far Left agenda. Our current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky while at Wellesley College. The following excerpt is from that paper.
“Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’ His are the words used in our schools and churches, by our parents and their friends, by our peers.”
Perhaps in your world, Madam Secretary—certainly not in mine.
The point here is that “Rules for Radicals” has had a far reaching impact, especially on “community organizers” from Chicago—Alinsky’s home turf. America’s current POTUS, for example, is no doubt familiar with Alinsky’s “blurred vision.” This is a term I’ve taken from the book, where Alinsky describes the organizer’s mental map as a “blurred vision of a better world.” Blurred indeed.
Running throughout “Rules for Radicals” is a whiny refusal to take personal responsibility for anything. It is always “their” fault.
Who “they” are, and what “their” faults are, changes from scenario to scenario, but one thing is constant—the “haves” are to blame for the state of the “have-not’s.”
It’s a perpetrator/victim, dualistic mythology, straight out of Marx and Lenin. This “professional victim” mind-set caters to the infantile narcissistic ego, at the expense of spiritual and emotional growth, integrity, and character building.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start at the book’s beginning.
Alinsky begins “Rules for Radicals” with a dedication to Lucifer “...the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.”
Right at the start of the book we get a foretaste of the vapid illogic that permeates “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky, an avowed atheist, inadvertently implies God’s existence.
After all, in the Luciferian mythos, who does Lucifer rebel against?
God, of course. A God that doesn’t exist according to Alinsky. So God doesn’t exist, but Lucifer, who opposes God does? You figure it out, I can’t.
This is as good a time as any, to point out that Alinsky’s book promotes what is sometimes called the “Luciferic inversion”—where good is bad, morality immoral, and ethics unethical—and one might add, where thinking is thoughtless. More about that in a bit.
In order to get to the essence of the subtle venom that infests “Rules for Radicals,” I would like to bring attention to one of the more poisonous heroes in the Alinsky pantheon—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527).
Machiavelli’s book “The Prince” has the distinction of being perhaps the most evil book ever written. Stalin, who was responsible for the deaths of many millions of his country’s men and women, kept a copy of “The Prince” on his nightstand—just the thing for bedtime reading.
Alinsky knew his Machiavelli so well (so he thought), that he felt qualified to point out Machiavelli’s weak spots—where Machiavelli dropped the ball, so to speak.
“Machiavelli’s blindness to the necessity for moral clothing to all acts and motives,,,was his major weakness,” Alinsky says.
Au contraire Saul, Machiavelli had it covered. In “The Prince” Machiavelli writes that actually having morals and ethics was to be avoided like the plague, but the appearance of having such values (moral clothing) should be assiduously cultivated.
“[It is] not necessary for a prince to have [mercy, faith, compassion, honesty, and spirituality], but it is necessary to appear to have them. ...Having them…is harmful…appearing to have them is useful.”
Compare that to Alinsky’s tenth rule of Ethics of Means and Ends, “You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.”
In other words, appearance is everything. The lies must be cloaked in glamour, verbal legerdemain; smoke and mirrors. Sound like any politicians you know?
Alinsky quotes Machiavelli in support of his (Alinsky’s) position regarding selfishness, (after quoting that renowned advocate of egotism, Jesus Christ).
“Machiavelli with whom the idea of self-interest seems to have gained its greatest notoriety, at least among those who are unaware of the tradition, said, ‘This is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, fake, cowardly, [and] covetous…”
Charming. Alinsky’s point here is that Machiavelli is notorious only among us clueless sheep who don’t comprehend the great value of the “tradition” of self-centered megalomania. Tradition? How about an infantile narcissistic pathology.
(An aside here. Freud called this sort of self-centered grandiosity the King Baby. A human infant, unable to fend for itself, comes to expect that all its needs will be taken care of – food, milk, diaper change, etc. This is all well and good so far as it goes, but when the infant grows into a child, and then an adult , and still expects the world to cater to his or her every need, then we have a problem – the King or Queen Baby. Such people invariably have a God complex—more about that in a moment. For now, back to Alinsky).
Regarding egotism Alinsky says, “Ego, as we understand and use it here, cannot be even vaguely confused with, nor is it remotely related to egotism.” (Methinks he doth protest to much).
In the very next paragraph he writes, ” The organizer is in a true sense reaching for the highest level for which man can reach—to be a great creator, to play God.” So sayeth Saul “Not Vaguely Remotely Egotistical” Alinsky.
I’m speechless before such transparent duplicity. I’m not sure whether to drop my jaw in awe before Alinsky’s outrageous chutzpah, or shake my head in pity at his delusional blindness.
Machiavelli promotes another vile dictum—the end justifies the means. Combine an ego “playing God,” with an “end justifies the means” mentality, and you have the recipe for disaster.
Karl Marx combined these two attitudes; as did Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot—to name a few. (Did I hear someone say “Don’t forget Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung il, and…all the others?”).
Combined, these individuals have been responsible for the deaths of around 100 million people. This unholy pathological mentality is known as “malignant messianic narcissism.” Sounds like something you definitely don’t want to step in. Alinsky not only steps in it, he wallows in it, and urges his “organizers” to follow suit.
Does the end justify the means to Alinsky? You bet. This is from his book, where he quotes Bertrand Russell, “...obviously nothing has any value as a means unless that to which it is a means has value on its own account. It follows that intrinsic value is logically prior to value as means.” Actually, Bertrand, it doesn’t follow at all.
When you cut through Russell’s pretentious verbiage, what he’s saying is that the end is of more importance than the means—the goal is more important than the means you use to get there. This is akin to saying that it doesn’t matter how you get from New York to San Francisco—flying or crawling—getting to the destination is what is of paramount importance.
After about a week of crawling, you might change your mind about that.
Contrary to what many might believe, (especially in circumstances involving moral values), the means used to get to an end, are of vital importance to one’s emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
Alinsky’s stance regarding the ends being more important than the means is rather odd, because earlier in his book Alinsky states that the organizer’s raison d’être—a secular utopia—is a non-attainable end.
“If we think of the struggle as a climb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. [Like Sisyphis we are] pushing a boulder up an endless mountain.”
So the “end” in Alinsky’s blurred vision is nonexistent—but the end justifies the means? You figure it out, I can’t.
All glibness aside, the whole “end justifies the means” attitude can, and has, lead to horrendous consequences.
Lenin and Stalin justified their brutal regimes by claiming that all the horror they inflicted upon their “comrades” was done in order to bring into existence a worker’s Utopia. If you were suspected of being a hindrance to the realization of this utopian pipe-dream, then you were shot, or sent off to the gulags. No joke.
Alinsky would excuse such behavior, because “...in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent with both one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience…doesn’t care enough for people to be corrupted for them.”
According to Alinsky, people like Hitler and Pol Pot must have been extremely caring people indeed. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, thinking about how caring they were.
What else can we add to this poisonous Machiavellian mix? Let’s throw in some relativism—why not?. Alinsky writes, “All definitions of words, like everything else, are relative.”
“Like everything else”—got it?
Which doesn’t stop Alinsky from quoting dictionaries when he wants to define words in “Rules for Radicals.” You figure it out, I…never mind.
Alinsky quotes Lewis Carroll in his book, and I’ll swap quotes with him.. Here’s my quote by Carroll, “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.”
Carroll was ridiculing such nonsense; Alinsky takes such nonsense as gospel.
When Alinsky says “like everything else,” he means everything. He writes, “[The organizer] knows that all values are relative, in a world of political relativity.”
It is such an attitude that enables Alinsky to write, “[Knowing] the universal principal that the right things are always done for the wrong reasons…the organizer…should search for and use the wrong reasons to achieve the right goals. He should be able to use irrationality…to progress toward a rational world.”
That doesn’t even look good on paper—let alone as a blueprint for a cultural utopia. Let me see if I have this right. An organizer uses the wrong reasons, and irrational thinking, in order to achieve a rational, but nonexistent goal? Oy vey.
Remember when I mentioned “thinking is thoughtless?” Well, although Alinsky was intelligent and widely read, he was no friend to logic and reason. In fact, as might be obvious by now, they were barely on speaking terms.
You won’t find me ever accusing the Far Left of being rational. Clever, duplicitous, and often intelligent? Yes. Rational? No.
He writes in “Rules for Radicals,” “...a revolutionary or a man of action does not have the sedentary frame of mind that is part of the personality of the research scholar. He finds it very difficult to sit quietly and think…. He will do anything to avoid it.”
Alinsky is speaking of himself. Lest we miss the point, he underlines it by writing “...the fact is that I did not want to come to grips with thinking. I welcomed…excuses to escape the ordeal of thinking.”
Ordeal indeed, if “Rules for Radicals” is anything to go by.
The logical fallacies that keep cropping up in “Rules for Radicals” are so numerous that one comes to expect them at every turn, and begins to feel something is amiss if a page or two goes by without some sort of bogus premise.
Alinsky’s view of the “man of action,” or uber mensch (Alinsky admiringly quotes Nietzsche), as being superior to the person who thinks things through before acting, is infantile at best—and despite Alinsky’s portrayal, being reasonable and logical does not automatically condemn one to wearing milk-bottle glasses, tweed jackets, and parsing ancient Greek.
But let me return to relativism. This is a topic that is of paramount importance. It’s a subject that is convoluted, complex, and has a long historical background, so it would not be possible for me to refute relativism within this article, and I will not attempt to do so. But permit me another (lengthy) aside.
(If you care about your children, your country, civilization, or the planet; then you will educate yourself regarding this subject, and do your best to put an end to its noxious influence. Make no mistake, any technologically advanced civilization without moral absolutes is doomed to extinction.
Essentially, academics who promote relativism, have worked backwards from an amoral, narcissistic pathology which was rationalized, justified, and then clothed in pseudo-intellectual jargon (moral clothing). This pseudo-sensible tripe has been, and is being, passed along to students in our grade schools, colleges and universities.
It is not by mistake that the radical William Ayers ended up in teaching. He, and many of his ilk took up residence in the halls of academia after the 1960s—the better to spread their propaganda. Much of the nonsense that passes for knowledge in our schools today is unconscionable mental, emotional, and spiritual toxic waste.
For some decades now students have not been educated, so much as indoctrinated. You can see the results most visibly in the precipitous decline of journalistic ethical standards, but the impact goes much farther than that.
You might want to read Alan Sokal’s paper “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” in order to get an idea of the pretentious trash that influences many elements of academia, and through them our children. It’s pretty amusing reading, when you realize that this pseudo-scientific gibberish was taken seriously, and printed in an esteemed university’s academic journal. Amusing, but also frightening.
Okay, back to “Rules for Radicals).
Alinskyin, who is no friend to thinking, advises his protégées to get arrested periodically, so as to force themselves to gather their thoughts. Good avuncular advice.
Alinsky writes that being thrown in jail is good because, 1) It gives you that extra caché that every “revolutionary about town” needs, and 2) you have no option but to think, so you may as well write a book.
We’re not talking about any serious jail time, Alinsky warns—just enough to give you a certain je ne sais quoi, and maybe write a bestseller. Why not? It worked for Hitler.
Speaking of Hitler—Adolf wrote “Mein Kampf,” while serving jail time (as per Alinsky’s instructions), after a failed putsch, or revolution. Given Alinsky’s description of what makes a good revolutionary—sorry, “organizer”—you would think he’d be praising Herr Hitler from the roof tops, as the ideal organizer template.
Hitler inflamed, agitated, organized, and was a rabble rouser par excellence—and to top it off, he overthrew the establishment! He’s a pitch perfect example of Alinsky’s man of action, the uber mensch! But nary a word about Adolf in “Rules for Radicals.” Go figure.
Moving on…but, before I move on, I should forewarn you that the next few paragraphs may be “lewd, rude, and crude” to some readers. If so, please accept my apologies in advance, and feel free to skip ahead a bit..
Now moving on, let’s talk about some of the s—t Alinsky tried to pull. I mean literally, as in his aborted (thank you Lord for small favors) plan to tie-up the restrooms at Chicago’s O’Hare airport in order to extort some concessions from the city.
Alinsky associated with Chicago’s criminal element, and it shows in his extortion-racket tactics. He envisioned the proposed O’Hare technique as “...the nation’s first ‘s—t in’.” Ha, ha.
He also writes about another plan that never materialized, that revolved around a bunch of his followers eating huge quantities of beans, and then attending a black-tie affair where they would commence a “fart in.” Ha, ha.
Alinsky says that the planned “fart in” didn’t happen because, “The threat of this tactic was leaked (there may be a Freudian slip here…so what?).” Ha, ha.
Alinsky’s rapier-like wit never fails to send a trickle down my leg—sorry, “thrill up my leg.” Ha, ha.
We’re not out of the excrement yet. In “Rules for Radicals” we read that “The one thing that all oppressed people want to do to their oppressors is s—t on them.” So sayeth Saul “Poo Poo” Alinsky. Thanks for the visual Saul.
One can’t help but wonder what type of unfortunate potty training young Alinsky suffered through in order to have such a scatological view of life. I think that Saul had some unresolved “issues” to deal with.
Be that as it may, we now come to the actual “rules” in “Rules for Radicals.” Here they are, all 13 of them, from the chapter “Tactics:”
1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Whenever possible go outside the experience of your enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a
constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
I’m not going to go into each of these rules, one by one. There is ample information on the internet for those who wish to delve into them. I do, however, wish to discuss a couple of them.
First, a few words concerning Rule #5—“ridicule.” The radical Left has taken this one to heart, and polished it to a fine sheen. Alinsky calls ridicule humorous, although it usually is not. It is most often a mean-spirited venom that masquerades as humor, and its pernicious effects permeate our culture.
Ridicule in its most common guise, is expressed in vitriolic ad hominem attacks. Ex-President Bush and Governor Palin are two of the best known recipients of such “humor.”
(A short aside: One of the few bright spots to emerge from the unprecedented and vociferous attacks against Governor Palin has been the “outing” of the women’s movement. Their blanket silence in the face of the attacks against Palin is extremely telling—you can hear the crickets chirp, and the grass growing).
That’s enough about Rule #5 and ridicule. The key rule in “Rules for Radicals” is Rule #13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
I say it’s key, because Alinsky spends a minimum amount of time explaining all of the other rules—sometimes giving no explanation at all, and at most a paragraph or two. But with Rule #13 he spends several pages describing it. Clearly he felt it was important, so I’ll take some time discussing it.
“Pick a target” is basically self-explanatory. By “freeze it” Alinsky means to, well, pick a target (see prior sentence). By “personalize it” Alinsky means to give a “face” to your enemy, and hopefully a derogatory nickname as well. That is, he wouldn’t attack the Republican party as such, he would attack George W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, and he would call them snide names and ridicule them. Say, that sounds familiar.
By “polarize it” Alinsky means to ignore any “common ground” you might have with the enemy, and paint him or her all black, and yourself all white. As he writes, “[The organizer must be] a well-integrated political schizoid. [He] must be able to split himself into two parts—one part…polarizes the issue to 100 to nothing, and helps to lead his forces into conflict, and the other part knows that when the time comes for negotiations that it really is only a 10 percent difference….”
“Polarizing” in Alinsky’s view is brain washing your followers into believing that they are 100 percent on the side of the angels, and the enemy is 100 percent aligned with evil. But, and here’s the truly diabolical part, the organizer himself doesn’t buy into any of it. He’s not concerned with political ideology – he’s above such things.
Alinsky continues, “[The organizer] has a strong ego, one we might call monumental…[though] clearly differentiated from egotism. ...Having his own identity, he has no need for the security blanket of an ideology….”
Listen up, kool-aid drinking o-bots. Alinsky’s “community organizer” uses his followers as dupes, “useful idiots,” to do his bidding, while remaining outside of such nonsense as ideological beliefs and causes. “He has no need for the security blanket of an ideology….”
So if we connect the dots in Alinsky’s portrait of the uber mensch, the ideal revolutionary/organizer, what do we see?
A nihilistic schizophrenic, with a monumental ego (who is NOT, however, vaguely, or remotely egotistical), who uses the wrong reasons, irrationality, and any means necessary to reach a nonexistent goal.
Yikes. People buy this garbage? You bet—and they passionately and vociferously promote this nonsensical insanity.
Some readers may have noticed that I’ve been using Alinsky’s techniques of ridicule and polarization throughout this article—just following the rules, you know. The truth be told, Alinsky has some good ideas, and intelligent observations sprinkled throughout his book.
It is this very mixture of the sensible with the illogical that makes his book so insidiously dangerous. There’s a name for such a mixture of truth and falsehood—propaganda. Hitler’s henchman Goebbels was a master at it, and so was Alinsky.
“Rules for Radicals” is a clever trap for the naïve, the idealistic, the gullible, and the unwary. And it’s a clarion call for the nihilistic, the arrogant, the greedy, the self-centered, the amoral, the chronically malcontented, and those with an anti-social mind-set.
Mankind’s long climb from the caves of pre-history to civilized governments has been a slow, painful process (and very much an ongoing process).
Alinsky’s cavalier dismissal of “the establishment” as evil; is puerile, inane, and socially irresponsible—to put it mildly. One need only look at the Machiavellian antics of ACORN to witness where the teachings espoused in “Rules for Radicals” lead.
It’s a sad fact that a number of people who thought ACORN was a legitimate avenue to better themselves and their neighborhoods, have systematically been barred from any true positions of power in the organization. I’d bet big money that the ones who are pulling the strings behind the scenes are “going by the book.”
In closing, I mentioned earlier that Alinsky quotes Jesus, and indeed he does—more than once, but there’s one quote in particular that I wish to address. I’ll include the sentence immediately before, and a few words that follow, in order to put it in context.
“The importance of self-interest has never been challenged; it has been accepted as an inevitable fact of life. In the words of Christ, ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Aristotle said in “Politics…,” and on Alinsky goes.
I mention this in order to show how spiritually clueless Alinsky was. He quotes a verse about love and self-sacrifice in order to support his “me first,” pro-selfish stance. How ignorant is that?
Atheists are ipso facto spiritually naïve, and Alinsky is no exception. In another part of his book he writes, “No organization, including organized religion, can live up to their own book of morality and regulations. This is what that great revolutionary, Paul of Tarsus, knew when he wrote…‘Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth’.” [Cor. 3:6]
Great, an atheist explaining scripture to me. Jesus wept.
Alinsky would have done well to have contemplated the verse immediately preceding the one he quotes: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God, (II Cor. 3:5).
At any rate, Paul’s words are about the importance of experiencing an inner spiritual transformation; as opposed to merely following outward formulas and customs by rote, while leaving the inner self unchanged.
It’s the same issue Jesus raised with the Pharisees. e.g. “Blind guides; who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel! ...For you cleanse the outside of the cup…but inside…they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.” Matt. 23:24,25).
I believe that Paul would agree that the most important thing that we can change and improve is ourselves, our inner selves, and that’s the absolute truth.