Thursday, 18 September 2008

Saul Alinsky and Clinton-Obama

The "godfather" of American Left-Wing radicalism is author and Chicago activist Saul Alinsky, whose book Rules for Radicals, has become the handbook, the bible of Leftist activism. Of particular note is the dedication:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins - or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer
- Saul Alinksy

Alinsky, who died in 1972, continues to be an influence in American politics today. For example the Wikipedia entry on Alinsky states the following under the heading "Alinsky's Influence":

Alinsky was the subject of Hillary Rodham's senior honors thesis at Wellesley College, "There Is Only The Fight...": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model. Rodham commented on Alinsky's "charm," but noted that "one of the primary problems of the Alinsky model is that the removal of Alinsky dramatically alters its composition." Later, in her 2003 biography, Living History Clinton notes that although she agreed with some of his ideas, "particularly the value of empowering people to help themselves" they had a fundamental disagreement: "He believed you could change the system only from the outside. I didn't." Once Hillary Rodham Clinton became First Lady of the United States, the White House asked Wellesley College to restrict access to the thesis for fear of being associated too closely with Alinsky's ideas.

Thirteen years after Alinsky died, some of his former students hired Barack Obama to a $13,000 a year job as a community organizer in South Chicago. In a few years he became very proficient in the Alinsky Method of community organizing and became an instructor and teacher of the Alinsky Method to other community organizers.