Saul Alinsky

Reveille for Republicans

|

Over at The Washington Independent, Dave Weigel discovers that conservatives have been reading Saul Alinsky. Not the caricature of the man that's trotted out on right-wing blogs when someone wants to declare the Democrats are doing something "straight out of Alinsky." They're reading Alinsky's actual books, and they're learning from them:

Alinsky has found a thriving and surprising fan club in the modern conservative movement. [Michael Patrick] Leahy is one of many "Tea Party" activists who have latched onto "Rules for Radicals" as a blueprint for a counter-revolution, a campaign of robust challenges to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress that is playing out nearly every day of the August recess in noisy town hall meetings. "Alinsky-cons" have taken the union organizer's "13 rules for power tactics" and "11 rules to test whether power tactics are ethical" and found a strategy that, they believe, is chipping away at the momentum for national health care reform. When they flummox representatives with chants, or laugh out loud at their attempts to explain their votes, many "Tea Party" activists say they're cribbing from Alinsky.

The most obvious beneficiary of the surge of interest in Alinsky has been Random House, which publishes the book through its Vintage imprint. According to Nielsen BookScan, "Rules for Radicals" has sold 15,000 copies since the start of this year—it only sold 35,000 copies from 2000 through 2008. Since the start of August, it has sold 1,000 copies. At Amazon.com, "Rules" is safely nestled in the Top 75 on the retailer's bestseller list, and it's No. 1 in the "radical thought," "civics," and "sociology/history" categories. Most tellingly, the people who snatch up copies of Alinsky's book at Amazon don't go on to buy more liberal texts. Instead, according to the online bookseller, they purchase Michelle Malkin's "Culture of Corruption," Glenn Beck's "Common Sense," and Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny."

The right's interest in Alinsky began when conservatives started worrying that he was an influence on the president. Read enough Alinsky, and you might start wishing he had more of an influence on the president. Saul Alinsky distrusted government planners, and while he was by no means opposed to redistribution in itself he was an acute critic of the welfare state as it functioned in practice. He regularly denounced "welfare colonialism" and in one speech described LBJ's poverty program as "a huge political pork barrel and a feeding trough for the welfare industry, surrounded by sanctimonious, hypocritical, phony, moralistic crap." He argued that effective political action had to be driven by the people directly affected, not by professionals (including professional activists) acting on their behalf. A left that paid him more than lip service would be decentralist and anti-bureaucratic. Sounds like an improvement to me.

NEXT: The (Un?)Dying Art Form of the Zombie Movie

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “A left that paid him more than lip service would be decentralist and anti-bureaucratic. Sounds like an improvement to me.”

    Couldn’t you say the same thing about the Right? Isn’t really the dividing line coming down to elites versus the masses more than anything else? When Alinsky talks about “welfare colonialism” isn’t he talking about well intentioned do gooders telling everyone they consider to be their inferiors how to live?

  2. Couldn’t you say the same thing about the Right?

    Yeah, except they don’t pay Alinsky lip service. The equivalent statement for their side of the aisle might begin: “A right that paid Milton Friedman more than lip service…”

  3. Glenn Beck’s “Common Sense”?

    Uhm , sorry isn’t that “Thomas Paine’s Common sense that Beck is merciless riding on teh coat tail’s of in order to hide the fact he is as much a blathering fascist as the rest of the Republicrats…”

    I guess that wouldn’t fit on the cover…

  4. “Yeah, except they don’t pay Alinsky lip service. The equivalent statement for their side of the aisle might begin: “A right that paid Milton Friedman more than lip service…”

    Judging from you post, I am starting to think perhaps they should. At some point during the 1960s I think the “left” went from the kind of every man movement to being completely elitist. It went from Woody Guthrie refusing to copyright his songs and sleeping on the floor to keep from getting soft to George Soros and investment bankers living on Fifth Avenue and wearing Che shirts. The “progressive movement” as it now calls itself is no longer for average people. In fact, it actively despises large swaths of the country or at best has the Thomas Frank “those bozos just don’t know what is good for them” attitude.

    The upside of the whole thing for the Left is that they have managed to turn themselves into a brand for the upscale and the cool. Being a progressive has become like buying the latest Ipod; a great way to look down your nose at everyone not in the club. That was a lot of Obama’s appeal, especially among young people.

    The way to counter that is to tap into the kind of populism that the Left used to do. Make being a progressive, instead of being cool and smart; be associated with being out of touch and elitist and worse still being associated with the establishment. In that sense, the Right would do well to read Alinsky.

  5. I think the Republicans are going to have to do more serious soul searching. They are rapidly starting to sound like a mob of angry racists: http://thestimulist.com/listen-up-lou-dobbs-socialist-and-the-n-word/

  6. Being a progressive has become like buying the latest Ipod; a great way to look down your nose at everyone not in the club.

    Everyone has an Ipod…they are cheap mass market goods….the “cool” assholes are the ones who still listen to music on vinyl.

  7. He argued that effective political action had to be driven by the people directly affected, not by professionals (including professional activists) acting on their behalf.

    He didn’t argue it. He said it. He didn’t mean it.

    It’s like he’d read his own books or something.

  8. “Everyone has an Ipod…they are cheap mass market goods….the “cool” assholes are the ones who still listen to music on vinyl.”

    Making it a point of never being cool has its drawbacks. Namely I am about 2 years behind what is cool. But now that you say it, you are right. Vinyl is what the cool kids are listening to these days. Vinyl, not just for old hippies and audio geeks anymore.

  9. They are rapidly starting to sound like a mob of angry racists:

    Just because you disagree with someone because they’re black doesn’t make you angry!

  10. “They are rapidly starting to sound like a mob of angry racists:

    Just because you disagree with someone because they’re black doesn’t make you angry!”

    When you can’t win an arguement, just scream “RACIST!!” and throw shit like an angry monkey. Which rule for radicals is that?

  11. Making it a point of never being cool has its drawbacks.

    Reminds me of a birthday party I went to last week. At one point the birthday woman, who was utterly drunk, went around the room to tell everyone they were “super cool” and why. When she got to me she just said I was “cool” and went on to the next person.

    That hurt even my stone cold libertarian heart.

  12. That is brutal Tulpa. That is a real “gee you don’t sweat much for a fat chick” moment.

    The older I get the people I look up to are less and less “cool” and the people who are considered “cool” seem more and more shallow and annoying.

  13. I’m not shallow.

  14. “I’m not shallow.”

    I can’t imagine ever thinking that you are.

  15. I’m barely annoying.

  16. Alinsky was in marketing. His works are about how to do what we today call guerrilla marketing.

    Telling, Alinsky always assumed that figuring out the right thing to do for everyone in every circumstance was easy and the only challenge lay in marketing the correction solution to everyone else using all means fair and foul.

    Alisnky and his acolytes like to portray themselves as political hired guns that will use their expertise to help out a local community with whatever the people of the community felt was important. Instead, they merely exploited the people to advance their own preconceived agenda.

    The right’s adoption of Alinsky follows a long pattern in which the left destroys some precedence or tradition for their own immediate benefit, e.g. judicial activism, only to have the right eventually adopt the tactic and fight back. In the end, we spiral gradually down as everyone abandons restraint in preference for whatever works short term. Historically, such a ethics and restraint free cynical political culture does not end well.

  17. From the article:

    Jonah Goldberg placed him firmly in the totalitarian tradition: “substitute the word ‘fascist’ for ‘radical’ in many of Alinsky’s statements and it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference.”

    That’s an awesome game that Jonah’s playing.
    I wanna play: If you substitute the words “death machine” for “automobile” in an article in Motor Trend, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. I got an even better one: Substitute “smug, disingenuous jerk” for “Jonah Goldberg” and it’s hard to tell the difference.

    Anywho, On the Media talked about the Alinsky-con thing recently, too.

  18. The older I get the people I look up to are less and less “cool” and the people who are considered “cool” seem more and more shallow and annoying.

    I don’t have this problem, but then again I thought R. Lee Ermey was the coolest dude on earth when I was 14.

  19. But Shanan, if the Left does it, it is for a good cause. It is only wrong and destructive when the Right does something.

    And yes you are exactly correct. It never ends well.

  20. That was out of line. Change that to “smug, disingenuous writer.” I’m sorry for stooping to name-calling. Apologies to Mr Goldberg.

  21. Making it a point of never being cool has its drawbacks. Namely I am about 2 years behind what is cool. But now that you say it, you are right. Vinyl is what the cool kids are listening to these days. Vinyl, not just for old hippies and audio geeks anymore.

    By not trying to not be cool you are dangerously falling in to the cool category.

  22. When you can’t win an arguement, just scream “RACIST!!” and throw shit like an angry monkey.

    facepalm

  23. “By not trying to not be cool you are dangerously falling in to the cool category.”

    It is a fine line. One of these days I am going to wake up one morning and find out I am cool.

  24. That is right Pilot. I said monkey. Wait let me say it for you.

    RACIST!!!!!!!

  25. angry monkey.

    I still miss joe.

  26. I still miss joe.

    Shut the fuck up, Warty.

  27. Sorry, but I can’t help myself with the coolness factor. I move and smile like a stereotypical mobster in an Asian gangster movie. I was like that long before I ever saw Hardboiled.

  28. I still miss joe.

    Fuck you!

  29. In the end, we spiral gradually down as everyone abandons restraint in preference for whatever works short term. Historically, such a ethics and restraint free cynical political culture does not end well.

    That’s called “instant gratification”. But in a world of 8 second sound bites, that’s all either side is capable of anymore.

  30. Who would you rather have, X, joe or Tony? Show your work.

  31. “Sorry, but I can’t help myself with the coolness factor. I move and smile like a stereotypical mobster in an Asian gangster movie. I was like that long before I ever saw Hardboiled.”

    That is cool. I think if I had that look I would change my name to Johnny someting. Something about that look combined with a name like Johnny Wong, or Johnny Chin that just reaks of B movie coolness.

  32. Show your work.

    I would, but Hit’n’Run can’t handle embedded video (of me sticking a shotgun in my mouth).

  33. WArty,

    Joe was on here the day after the election claiming it was 1932 again. He left within a month claiming we were all racists. Don’t think for a moment he wouldn’t be in here calling everyone and anyone who dared disagree with BO a racist. Tony for all of his faults doesn’t usually resort to the race card. But Joe did and would.

  34. I could have sworn that Tony was calling us racists, yesterday, John. Was it somebody else?

  35. OT — I noticed on Drudge this headline. I’ll read the actual later when I have the time, but get a load of this:

    UN CLIMATE WARNING: ‘WE HAVE 4 MONTHS TO SECURE FUTURE OF PLANET’…

    So, is this expert panel our regular comical troupe of liberals insist is infallible and that we all need to take ‘serially’ or else we are anti-science bigots?

    Hahahahahaha.

  36. Sugarfree! Clean up on Aisle 5!

  37. “I could have sworn that Tony was calling us racists, yesterday, John. Was it somebody else?”

    Was he? I don’t pay attention enough to be honest. But I don’t doubt you. Maybe you are right. But Joe wouldn’t come to replace Tony. He would come in addition to Tony.

  38. Alan,

    So in four months it will be too late to do anything and they can all shut the fuck up right?

  39. Joe and Tony would come together, John. Then they would cuddle.

  40. The upside of the whole thing for the Left is that they have managed to turn themselves into a brand for the upscale and the cool.

    Not new. Been that way since the 60s.
    When I was in high school in Canada, the kids would bitch about how they hated everything American – this was right after the fall of the Belin Wall. Naturally, they were getting fed anti-American bullshit by the Canadian government (like endlessly talking about how wonderful your health care was free, not like those nasty Americans), but the trendiness of leftiness probably added.

    Making it a point of never being cool has its drawbacks. Namely I am about 2 years behind what is cool. But now that you say it, you are right. Vinyl is what the cool kids are listening to these days. Vinyl, not just for old hippies and audio geeks anymore.

    Vinyl has been cool for about 20 years. I don’t sense a particular upswing lately.

    But I make a point of never being cool as well. It’s the only way to get ahead of the trend curve.

    The older I get the people I look up to are less and less “cool” and the people who are considered “cool” seem more and more shallow and annoying.

    Indeed. But I got to this point somewhere around the 12th Grade. One of the reasons for my implacable hatred of “progressives” is the fact that they are basically still a bunch of juvenile trendies whose attitude towards dissent is exactly the same as a high school girl when confronted with a nerd.

  41. As we move toward Copenhagen in December, we must “Seal a Deal” on climate change that secures our common future. I’m glad that the Chairman of the forum and many other speakers have used my campaign slogan “Seal the Deal” in Copenhagen. I won’t charge them loyalty. Please use this “Seal the Deal” as widely as possible, as much as you can. We must seal the deal in Copenhagen for the future of humanity.

    We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  42. I’m not shallow.

    No, I am. I make you look like the Atlantic, and don’t you forget it. I can’t help it if that just makes me cool.

  43. “Vinyl has been cool for about 20 years. I don’t sense a particular upswing lately.

    But I make a point of never being cool as well. It’s the only way to get ahead of the trend curve.”

    Vinyl has been cool among audio geeks who like the better sound over MP3s and CDS. Vinyl is now taking off among the more mainstream cool in the last year or two.

    “Indeed. But I got to this point somewhere around the 12th Grade. One of the reasons for my implacable hatred of “progressives” is the fact that they are basically still a bunch of juvenile trendies whose attitude towards dissent is exactly the same as a high school girl when confronted with a nerd.”

    Took me a little longer. About the end of college I looked around and every insufferable “smart set” smug prick I knew in high school was now a dedicated “progressive”.

  44. I think if I had that look I would change my name to Johnny someting. Something about that look combined with a name like Johnny Wong, or Johnny Chin that just reaks of B movie coolness.

    Takeshi Kovacs?

  45. I like that one to Episiarch.

  46. Took me a little longer. About the end of college I looked around and every insufferable “smart set” smug prick I knew in high school was now a dedicated “progressive”.

    Exactly, progressives are a bunch of insufferable moralizing pricks who display their political beliefs like a Gucci handbag, and have the intellectual content to match.

  47. Epi,

    The parallels between the elites who refuse to jaunt in Stars My Destination and the vinyl audiophiles are interesting. I’m just waiting to see a hipster kid lugging a Victrola onto the subway.

  48. Jaunting is for the poor, NutraSweet. Much like eating the garbage parts of the animal, as Dr. Zoidberg would say.

  49. Vinyl is cool with me because you can find some great music really cheap in the used LP and 45 bins.

  50. Jesse probably shops at American Apparel.

  51. Jesse Walker, hipster elitist. I always suspected. You probably listen to The Mars Volta too.

  52. Jesus Jesse downloads are only a buck a song. How cheap is vinyl or just how poor are you?

  53. Jesse probably shops at American Apparel.

    No way.

    Real hipsters shop at consignment shops.

  54. Jesus Jesse downloads are only a buck a song. How cheap is vinyl or just how poor are you?

    I believe for a couple bucks you can get a whole album on vinyl.

  55. “I believe for a couple bucks you can get a whole album on vinyl.”

    new or used? Vinyl is pretty touchy. A used LP can really suck. But new? Damn, I may have to invest in a turn table and surrender to being cool.

  56. Real hipsters shop at consignment shops.

    Real hipsters shop at boutiques that make clothes that look like you bought them at a consignment shop.

  57. “Real hipsters shop at boutiques that make clothes that look like you bought them at a consignment shop.”

    I used to live in a very hip area of Atlanta. There was a boutique down the street from my house. One spring they were selling “vintage” piggley wiggley T-shirts for $50. The actual piggley wiggley sold the same t-shirt for $10 bucks. I guess the boutique marketed to people who were just too cool to go to the Piggley Wiggley.

  58. I’m surprised Mr Walker bucks the Reason zeitgeist by paying for music at all instead of just stealing it.

  59. I can walk out of the record store (Val’s Halla, Tom, of course!) with a couple of Faces records, a Housemartins record, and a Mose Allison album for about $12. Top that, iTunes!

  60. “I’m surprised Mr Walker bucks the Reason zeitgeist by paying for music at all instead of just stealing it.”

    Jesse is a closet establishment guy.

  61. Highnubmer,

    But what is the condition of the vinyl? I am a real stickle for good vinyl. Nothing worse than a scratched record.

  62. I lied. That would be about $20.

  63. Jesus Jesse downloads are only a buck a song.

    It’s all free now John.

  64. I for one mis Weigel. The man sure could suck a mean dick.

  65. “Jesus Jesse downloads are only a buck a song.

    It’s all free now John.”

    I admit with much shame that I do not know the free download sites these days. I couldn’t steal a song of the internet if my life depended on it. I am not proud of it.

  66. Stealing WTF? It is just a bunch of people letting you copy their stuff.

  67. John,
    Quality would be serviceable. No scratches.

  68. too cool or too wealthy to visit the Pig? And unless something has changed the spelling is Piggly Wiggly…if it’s the grocery chain being spoken of.

    Now if it’s a vintage IGA t-shirt, that’s a different story..

  69. Vinyl is heavy.Not as bad as books though.

  70. Tupla: Artists don’t get royalties whether I buy a record used or download an MP3 for free. And that’s the important thing. Screwing the artists.

    (Seriously: I get music on vinyl, CD, MP3 — whatever format is available. Unfortunately, there’s lots of good stuff out there that hasn’t been reissued on compact disc, let alone sold on iTunes. As a fellow fan of old R&B and country music, John, you should appreciate that.)

  71. “Stealing WTF? It is just a bunch of people letting you copy their stuff.”

    You are correct. But it is just more fun to refer to it as stealing. It makes me feel better to think I am stealing from the music industry. Back when I was using Napster I liked to think that because of my efforts, some 20 year old suit at Capitol Records wouldn’t be able to pay his coke dealer.

  72. “too cool or too wealthy to visit the Pig? And unless something has changed the spelling is Piggly Wiggly…if it’s the grocery chain being spoken of.”

    Apparently so. Myself, I love the Pig. Between Publix and the Pig and HEB, the South has all the best grocery stores.

  73. ” used to live in a very hip area of Atlanta. There was a boutique down the street from my house.”

    What was the shop’s name? Just curious.

  74. I can’t remember GD. It was on Highland street in Virginia Highlands. Right by the Belly Coffee Shop but before the Atkins Park Restaurant.

  75. And did you ever shop at the Sage Hill Harris Teeter? I loved that store!

  76. Unfortunately, there’s lots of good stuff out there that hasn’t been reissued on compact disc, let alone sold on iTunes.

    Thankfully hipsters rip this shit and make it readily available.You can find tons of that with Google.

    John, plenty of free stuff here.The record companies won’t sue you.

    I bet you would like some of these songs.
    Just right click and save the zip files,then open them.

  77. Apparently so. Myself, I love the Pig. Between Publix and the Pig and HEB, the South has all the best grocery stores.

    I admit to a fondness for Wegman’s, though. Best thing to have come out of upstate New York. Well, second best after air conditioning.

  78. Highland Avenue
    not exactly “Hipsterville”

    Harris Teeter has been out of the ATL grocery market for more years than they were in it.

  79. On occasion new releases sell for less on vinyl than their download counterparts. A few pops and clicks I can accept a lot more than electronic clipping. Your ears may vary.

    I’m so used to Rhapsody at this point that I’ve nearly given up on purchasing general release music anyway. If I stream a record 6 times or so, I’ll look for a hardcopy because I like the artifact and will play it many more times.

  80. Well, second best after air conditioning

    Amazing that there isn’t a forty foot statue of the man who invented AC in every humid patch of land east of the mighty Mississip.

    There was a great vinyl shop by one of the local colleges where you could buy almost anything for three or four bucks. However, the proprietor could be a real bastard to you if you came in there with an open beer can or a cigarette dangling in your hands.

    Last I heard he quit the business after being robbed successive times (a real mean part of town, it looks like sin in cement).

    I had a good collection of records at one point. But being a sucker for a skinny piece of tail, I lost it all in the D-i-v-o-r-c-e.

  81. I admit with much shame that I do not know the free download sites these days.

    Sweet Jeebus John!!

    You don’t go to any site.

    You download a file sharing program like Limewire and that enables you to copy music from other people’s computers.

    You can start pirating like mad in about 5 minutes.

  82. Actually, that would be the split up. I didn’t contest the records later on. She moved so fast on those I didn’t know what hit me. I was left with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Superfly, Bull by the Horns, and an early record from the Dandy Warhols.

  83. alan,
    That’s heartbreaking.

  84. Highland Avenue
    not exactly “Hipsterville”

    Have you been there lately? Maybe its not the real hipsters of Little five Points, but close enough.

  85. UN CLIMATE WARNING: ‘WE HAVE 4 MONTHS TO SECURE FUTURE OF PLANET’…

    We’re off to outer space
    We’re leaving Mother Earth
    To save the human race
    Our Star Blazers

    Searching for a distant star
    Heading off to Iscandar
    Leaving all we love behind
    Who knows what danger we’ll find?

    We must be strong and brave
    Our home we’ve got to save
    If we don’t in just one year
    Mother Earth will disappear

    Fighting with the Gamilons
    We won’t stop until we’ve won
    Then we’ll return and when we arrive
    The Earth will survive
    With our Star Blazers

  86. I had a good collection of records at one point. But being a sucker for a skinny piece of tail, I lost it all in the D-i-v-o-r-c-e.

    Was she a real music buff, or did she take it just be a vicious bitch?

    A good friend of mine makes really nice furniture for a hobby, and likes to start with whole trees that he harvests, gets cut at a specialty sawmill, dries himself, etc. He had a barn full of all kinds of really nice hardwoods (including some hard-to-come-by white oak from my place) that his ex-wife sold off without telling him when they split up. He shows up with a trailer to start hauling off his lumber, and the barn is just . . . empty.

  87. There was a boutique down the street from my house. One spring they were selling “vintage” piggley wiggley T-shirts for $50. The actual piggley wiggley sold the same t-shirt for $10 bucks. I guess the boutique marketed to people who were just too cool to go to the Piggley Wiggley.

    No, see the really insufferable hipsters will only buy the piggley wiggley shirt if it is handmade from organic guatemalan hemp. But they’ll still be too cool to go to an actual piggley wiggley.

  88. So i guess the real question is…does “Rules for Radicals” as a how-to book actually work?

  89. An amazing attempt to coopt an interesting thinker and activist for your side, Weigel! Stick to Ron Paul. He’s more the libertarian speed.

  90. “elites versus the masses”

    John, that would be “Republicans/Democrats versus the peasants”. Both parties consider us too damned stoopid to handle getting out of bed, going to work, or performing basic life functions without Their Divine Intervention.

  91. “still listen to music on vinyl”

    Hey, I still do that. I scrimped and saved and bought a new turntable (about a hundred bucks; I’m not made of money, it took a while) that I can plug into my ‘puter and save said vinyl tunes to my hard drive.

    It’s the schmucks that pay five times that for turntables, that more fit your template.

    Sadly, there hasn’t been a Piggly Wiggly in my area since I was a child. Used to love that store. It had to be the pig mascot.

  92. I used to shop at a small record store in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho called The Long Ear. An old hippy couple owned it. Great selection of old and obscure music. The dude, his name escapes me, would chat you up for a few minutes about music and life and politics and then give suggestions of obscure and hard to find music. He was spot on with his picks and was getting lotsa new customers from his talent. Got nothing like it here. I love a good used book store too. Got one of those in Dothan. mmm

  93. Shithead | August 12, 2009, 6:59pm | #
    An amazing attempt to coopt an interesting thinker and activist for your side, Weigel! Stick to Ron Paul. He’s more the libertarian speed.

    Rothbard > Alinsky 24//7 to infinity. Suck on it, sweet cheeks.

    alan,
    That’s heartbreaking.

    Like Hicks once said, “It’s funny until someone gets hurt, and then it is just hilarious.”


    Was she a real music buff, or did she take it just be a vicious bitch?

    Nah, half of it was hers. I can only blame myself for letting my guard down.

  94. The left is only centralized in the fevered dreams of the right.

  95. Who caught this gem from the SPLC today?

    New and improved racists, MILITIA RACISTS!

    Radicals are only kool if they are liberal.

  96. alan – hey, you gotta play big to win big, yo. That should be part of the vows.

  97. Searching for a distant star
    Heading off to Iscandar

    joshua corning, you just made me tear up. Can this be our new national anthem?

  98. William

    Did somebody fart?

  99. hmmm,

    Don’t neo-nazis actually have a lot in common (aside from the racism) with progressives on economic policy?

  100. Don’t neo-nazis actually have a lot in common (aside from the racism) with progressives on economic policy?

    No clue I honestly haven’t bothered looking into them. I know you can find some racist shitballs in the gun community in general and maybe even some of the militia types. But to be honest the whackos (militia types) I know and know of are generally more anti government than racist and I’ve heard more than one cite the treatment of minority citizens as not a being a good thing.

    I try to avoid the whackos, but they are attracted to me.

    I just hate the SPLC with a white hot raging passion. They are essential the very thing they claim to combat.

  101. I imagine this little report is their response to not getting credit from Janet Reno for just what they mentioned in their report. This way they get the credit if something happens regardless of what Janet 2.0 says or does.

    It’s all eerily similar.

  102. There are DSP plugins for most common media player applications to simulate the imperfections of vinyl. So, if you want to get your “pirate” on and still have soft, random noise each time you play a track without progressive loss in fidelity, that’s an option.

  103. Don’t neo-nazis actually have a lot in common (aside from the racism) with progressives on economic policy?

    If having universal healthcare makes a country nazi-like, then fuck we’re surrounded.

    Here’s Wikipedia’s list of neo-fascist core ideas:

    Nationalism
    Authoritarianism

    Third Position
    Single-party state
    Dictatorship
    Social Darwinism
    Social interventionism
    Indoctrination
    Propaganda
    Anti-intellectualism
    Eugenics
    Heroism
    Militarism

    Economic interventionism
    Religious extremism
    Christian Identity

    Antisemitism
    Antiziganism
    Anti-communism

    I’ve helpfully bolded traits more associated with the American right, italicized those more associated with the American left, and did both to traits it could be said they share equally, leaving the irrelevant traits in normal text.

    You’ll probably disagree with me that the left doesn’t engage in propaganda. In a sense, propaganda is everywhere, but I’m restricting my assessment to actual textbook agitation propaganda.

    Both believe in social interventionism. The left wants public health care. The right wants to outlaw abortions. Etc.

  104. Yep, straight out of Stalin’s notebook.

    Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  105. The Left engages in anti-communism? WTF?

    Given that judgement, I’ll forgo closer reading of the list, i.e. wasting any more of my time…

  106. Forbes,

    Everyone is anti-communist. Do you know any communists in this country?

  107. Interesting isn’t it that a body of thought that began from a book from British MP critical of the Parisian mobs of the French Revolution now looks to the same kind of radicals for “new” ideas and tactics.

    Talk about Radical Chic. Oh well, the mob rules….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tMcZtNLO6U

  108. Alinsky argued that organizing as he understood it was about changing relationships of power; was about building People’s organizations. One can not help but wonder if the folks “organizing” the disruption at the townhall meetings really want power to be redistributed? Or are they using a bastardized form of Alinsky techniques to preserve the power status quo? Further are they building People’s organizations; organizations of, by, and for the folks who are in them? Or are they using these folks to build national power for themselves?

  109. The Georgists at progress.org are big fans of Alinsky, they have a series of pages about him starting here. They call him a “champion of the nonsocialist left” (together with an eclectic bunch of thinkers including Dorothy Day, Thomas Paine and Henry George himself).

    I’ve long thought that Alinsky’s influence on Hillary was roughly the equivalent to Ayn Rand’s influence on Alan Greenspan — pointing out Alinsky (and Ayers’s influence on Obama) is a good way to try to show leftists and liberals, who often give attribute everything Greenspan did in the Fed to the nefarious influence of Rand, that sometimes people in the political system just sell out rather than being a secret mole for someone who influenced them long ago. (It’s interesting to consider who’d be the Milty of the left, but I don’t think Alinsky would be the one.)

    And Jonah Goldberg’s view of Alinsky in Liberal Fascism is somewhat more sympathetic than the article suggests, here’s a quote from the book where he finds elements of Alinsky’s thought “deeply admirable” (I particularly like the ending quote from this):

    “It’s worth noting, however, that Alinsky was no fan of the Great Society, calling it ‘a prize piece of political pornography’ because it was simultaneously too timid and too generous to the ‘welfare industry.’ Indeed, there was something deeply admirable about Alinsky’s contempt for both the statism of elite liberals and the radically chic New Leftists, who spent their days ‘spouting quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara, which are as germane to our highly technological, computerized, cybernetic, nuclear-powered, mass media society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport.'”

  110. hi,
    everybody, take your time and a little bit.gadgaeg

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.