On 12 June 1972, Saul Alinsky – American Marxist activist, author of “Rules for Radicals” and inspiration to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – died of a heart attack, aged 63.
To the Left, Alinsky is a hero and founder of “modern community organising” tactics now widely used by the US Democrats, ANTIFA, 'Black Lives Matter', GetUp! and other left-wing activist movements around the globe.
To most others, he was a nihilistic Marxist grievance-harvesting anarchist whose agitation - mainly of disadvantaged communities - left them angrier, more chaotic and dysfunctional. He was a self-confessed atheist who acknowledged Satan as the 'first radical' in Rules for Radicals.
Alinsky also believed that “the end justified any means”, applying perpetual pressure, personalising attacks and targeting the vulnerability of more principled opponents that can be easily hung by their own principles (without needing to follow any yourself – the essence of his Radical 'Rule' 4 of 13).
Mark this anniversary of the death of Saul Alinsky by:
• reading a good summary of Rules for Radicals like this one
• spending some extra time with 'minorities' to cross cultural boundaries and build appreciation for the many benefits that Western civilisation, education, liberty, democracy and medicine (to name a few) have brought them - to push back against the victim and grievance mentalities cultivated by the likes of Alinsky
• joining Australian Conservatives to push back against the many leftist groups inspired by Alinsky, and/or
• sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends and those vigilant against Marxism.
Alinsky was born in Chicago before WWI to Russian-Jewish parents, who divorced when he was 13. After graduating from Hollywood High School, California, he returned to his city of birth to do a doctorate in archaeology at the University of Chicago, but completed it in the midst of the Great Depression. Over the years, he had three wives and two children (both from his first wife).
During his studies, he enrolled in a course on social pathology and several activist professors of sociology took him under their wing. When he hit the streets of Chicago, with degree but no job, he was equipped with activist and “community organising” skills and started working with union activists on the ground there and card-carrying communists. He attributed much of America’s criminal activity to poverty – largely absolving perpetrators of agency and blame.
After stirring up grievance in disadvantaged communities in Chicago, Alinsky set about spreading his message and tactics across the nation, with himself and his not-for-profit “Industrial Areas Foundation” funded by a rich benefactor. This foundation spawned most of the left-wing community activists groups in America over the 1940s and 1950s – quite a template for things to come.