This is another in my sporadic series on the work of Saul Alinsky admired both by our president-elect and Hillary Clinton. Today’s quote is from “Rules for Radicals” and is from the section entitled “The Ideology of Change” and I believe helps explain why it seems that Obama is a blank slate and why he has everyone on the left and right confused about his recent decisions.
Alinsky begins this section by discussing the ideology of Marxism and Christian ideology, both guided by “basic truths.” But, the community organizer is different:
An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma. To begin with, he does not have a fixed truth—truth to him is relative and changing, everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist. He accepts the late Justice Learned Hand’s statement that “the mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner uncertainty as to whether or not he is right.” The consequence is that he is ever on the hunt for the causes of man’s plight and the general propositions that help to make some sense out of man’s irrational world. He must constantly examine life, including his own, to get some idea of what it is all about, and he must challenge and test his own findings. Irreverence, essential to questioning, is a requisite. Curiosity becomes compulsive. His most frequent word is “why?”
I’m struck here by Alinsky’s definition of an organizer, someone completely lacking in core beliefs—one could describe such a person as childlike, immature in one’s thinking. Aren’t children the ones who constantly ask, why?
Maybe that is what Obama the “change agent” is all about—-someone always changing—-so it makes it easy for people to invest all their hopes and dreams in him. He can never tell them ‘no,’ or ‘yes’ for that matter, because without a core, he can’t judge them.
Contrast Obama to Sarah Palin for example. We know where Palin stands, she has core beliefs. I betcha everything Sarah says she believes and she believes what she says. And with a set of core beliefs comes judgement, and that appears to be what radicals like Alinsky hate the most—judgement about what is right or wrong, good or evil. With no judgement there is never any punishment and the fantasies of a child are realized.
See our category community destabilization for more ramblings on Alinsky.