More from Saul Alinsky’s “Reveille for Radicals” and possibly an answer to why conservatives have not embraced “community organization.”
The dynamic character of a People’s Organization is such that its members recognize the functional relationships that exist between issues, and between their community and the general social structure. They know that their problems are not peculiar to themselves and that their communities do not comprise little isolated worlds. They realize that their local People’s Organization has two major objectives: first, to organize and do what can be done on the local scene, and second, to utilize the organization as a spring-board for the development of other People’s Organizations throughout the nation. They recognize that only through engaging in a national organizational program can they ever hope to break loose from their shackles and their misery. They know that the people elsewhere are the same kind of people, their problems are the same, their needs, their hopes, and their aspirations are the same. [Edit: Oh, are we really all the same, see Vanishing American here Saturday on that point]. A people’s program is therefore predicated upon the thesis that only through the combined strength of many organizations such as their own can they ever hope to cope effectively with those major destructive forces which pervade the entire social order and converge upon their communities and themselves to establish the blight that afflicts both the neighborhood and their lives.
So why can’t conservatives organize in the same way that radical leftists can? Because people who live in towns large and small across America, who are self-reliant, independent, possibly religious and content with their lives are not trying to break from their “shackles” and “misery” and thus don’t need a “people’s organization.” Incidentally, this section of “Reveille for Radicals” focused on the role of labor unions as a kind of hot bed for organizing.
Recently I was involved in a discussion about a proposed power line through our county. For those opposing it, it seemed the only way to force a change in the route was to get a citizens group going. But, as one wise person commented, the proposed route was changing almost daily which had the effect of making a new set of landowners the target on any given day. As soon as someone’s property was eliminated from the plan, those people were let off the hook and went back to their comfortable lives. So, in order to organize using the Alinsky model, one needs a never-ending supply of aggrieved people and conservatives are generally not aggrieved.
Then, as described above, one needs to link all the aggrieved and show that the ills are interconnected. I thought about this just this Thanksgiving weekend when my daughter came home from her first semester of college and remarked about how all the students seem to be in deep doldrums over the future of the earth. Mind you they are not worried about terrorism, it’s global warming and too much trash that has them depressed. At a stage of their lives when they should be happy-go-lucky they are joining the coalition of the aggrieved and linking with social justice groups—all looking for change. Of course, they don’t know that the “community organizers” driving the engine are headed toward socialism as the ‘change you can believe in.’ Heck, no sense using the politically correct word ‘socialism’, it is communism they would really like to see.
I could go on and on with thoughts on how to break the cycle of grievance, but I won’t. Maybe another day.
If you have been wondering why Islamic terrorism doesn’t terrorize people, like the college students, or why papers such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, see West Side Story in their coverage of missing Somali men (Somalis are poor and aggrieved), it’s because if people fully understood where the danger really came from, they would quickly drop their little organizations for their petty causes and join forces to preserve our democracy. But, that is not what the change agents want and they have spent 40 years indoctrinating students, workers, reporters, teachers and others with the notion that we are all little puddles of suffering humanity and that the enemy is capitalism.
Here is my prediction, if the Communists prevail and turn us into a conglomeration of dependent needy wimps as the Alinskyites wish, I believe the Islamists will then turn and eat them (all of us) alive.