Saturday, 30 July 2016

Saul Alinsky Hated Capitalism, But He Also Hated The Liberals

Saul Alinsky believed that reason has nothing to do with practical politics, principles are meaningless, and the only value worth achieving is the destruction of capitalism.

He hated the liberals because he thought that they were moderate leftists and they did not hate capitalism as much as he did. In his book, Reveille for Radicals, published in 1946, he gives a comprehensive account of the reasons behind his hatred of the liberals.

He refused to call himself a liberal, preferring the term “radical” for himself and his acolytes. He saw clear lines of distinction between his ideas and that of the liberals. In Reveille for Radicals he has devoted many pages to criticize the liberals for their soft politics. Here’re a few excerpts:
Liberals regard themselves as well informed and well balanced. They refer to Radicals as “cranks.” They forget, however, that the definition of a crank is an object which makes revolutions.
Liberals charge Radicals with passionate partisanship. To this accusation the Radical’s jaw tightens as he snaps, ‘Guilty! We are partisan for the people. Furthermore, we know that all people are partisan. The only non-partisan people are those who are dead. You too are partisan—if not for the people, then for whom?’”
Liberals have distorted egotistical concepts of their self-impor­tance in the general social scheme. They deliberate as ponderously and as timelessly as though their decisions would cause the world to shake and tremble. Theirs is truly a perfect case of the moun­tain laboring and bringing forth a mouse—a small, white, pink­ eyed mouse. The fact is that outside of their own intimate asso­ciates few know of or give a hang what these Liberal groups decide. They truly fit the old description that ‘A Liberal is one who puts his foot down firmly on thin air.’” 
Alinsky believed that the liberals like to indulge in sterile wishful thinking, which makes them incapable of acquiring or wielding absolute political power. He suggests that the liberals must submit to the will of the radicals. He is convinced that unless his radicals are able to dominate the liberals, the capitalist system cannot be overthrown.
A fundamental difference between Liberals and Radicals is to be found in the issue of power, liberals fear power or its application. They labor in confusion over the significance of power and fail to recognize that only through the achievement and constructive use of power can people better themselves.” 
Radicals precipitate the social crisis by action—by using power. Liberals may then timidly follow along or else, as in most cases, be swept forward along the course set by Radicals, but all because of forces unloosed by Radical action. They are forced to positive action only in spite of their desires.
Alinsky was of the view that his radicals are engaged in an all-out war against the capitalist society and it was obligatory for them to use every means to vanquish the enemy.
In our war against the social menaces of mankind there can be no compromise. It is life or death. Failing to understand this, many well-meaning Liberals look askance and with horror at the viciousness with which a People’s Organization will attack or counterattack in its battles. These Liberals cannot and never will be able to understand the feelings of the rank-and-file people fighting in their own People’s Organization any more than one who has never gone through combat action can fully grasp what combat means.” 
The nihilistic and violent ideas of Saul Alinsky make it clear that he advocated a harsh treatment for anyone who doesn’t join his political movement. If the Alinsky radicals manage to seize absolute power, they will have no moral qualms about using coercive and violent methods for fundamentally transforming the society. Great purges and mass terror will become the official government policy.

Why did the Jacobin leader Maximilien de Robespierre, the Soviet tyrant Josef Stalin, and the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot become mass murderers? All things considered, these tyrants were motivated by nihilistic ideas—they were immune to reason, they lacked principles, and they denied values. Saul Alinsky was motivated by the same ideas. Therefore his ideas have the potential for inspiring the rise of political forces that are as destructive as any mass murdering regime in history.


Related:

The Nihilism of Saul Alinsky: Rules for Radicals

The Infernal World of Saul Alinsky: Reveille for Radicals 

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