Here is a letter I wrote to Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal on June 5, 2008, responding to a column of his by attempting to give him a lifelong Chicagoan’s perspective on Saul Alinsky and where then-Senator Obama, Alinsky’s devoted acolyte, was likely to be taking the country as its President.
Dear Mr. Henninger,
If you want to understand Obama’s “identity” and the Obama phenomenon, start with the writings of Saul Alinsky. “Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system . . . A revolutionary organizer must shake up the prevailing patterns of their lives – agitate, create disenchantment and discontent with the current values, to produce, if not a passion for change, at least a passive, affirmative, non-challenging climate . . . A reformation means that masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values . . . They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.” (Italics added.) Rules For Radicals, Saul D. Alinsky, 1971, at pages xix et seq of the Prologue.
Mr. Alinsky, apparently was Mr. Obama’s tutor and role model while Obama was honing his craft as a community organizer, via the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). While Alinsky was a strong believer in working within the system (“it is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system . . . ,” at page xix of the Prologue), Mr. Alinsky was generally known to be a dedicated Marxist (even though he professed disappointment with the ultimate course of the major Communist regimes, such as that of the Soviet Union). For him, the Chicago school of community organization was a means for enabling the “have-nots” to overthrow the “haves” by presenting themselves as regular people and lovers of democracy and America, all the while working to destroy them.
If one does not understand the works of Saul Alinsky and the meaning of a career in community organization in Chicago, one does not understand what Mr. Obama is really about. While he appears to be the Golden Boy, he is, in reality, the Manchurian Candidate, and he is following the Alinsky script almost to the letter. Think about Alinsky the next time you hear Obama’s seemingly innocuous call for “change.”
[Posted @ mecmoss.com 10 Feb 2012]