Friday, September 05, 2008

*** UPDATED: IBD LOOKS INTO OBAMA LEFTIST CONNECTIONS*** MUST READ: Obama, Community Organizing, and Saul Alinsky

One of the first mistakes the Obama campaign made after the Palin speech was to defend his "experience" as a "community organizer" as being equivalent to being a Mayor or Governor.

As we will see, this is true only to the extent that Mayors and Governors like to stir up anger, bitterness, and the tactics of intimidation--even leading to violence.

First of all, "Executive experience" and Organizing is comparing Apples to Raisins (although arguably organizing can be good training for a terrorist, and anarchist, or a rabble-rousing politician of the Munich Beer Hall genre...)--but second of all the campaign's very defense of this activity opens a huge can of worms that no one in Big Media wants to go anywhere near: the Marxist roots of such "organizing" and its inherent built-in need for an almost anarchic destruction of the status quo. Witness the efforts of other quite similar "community organizers" like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, their "bullying" of local officials through intimidation and threats, and their extortion of corporations.

Steve Gilbert of the great Sweetness and Light has written a very important 3-part series on Obama's Community Organizing which starts by defining "community organizing" as practiced by Obama and as taught (to him) by 60's radical Saul Alinsky in his Rules for Radicals--the "Bible" of anarchist organizations (like the Weather Underground!--is it then any great stretch that Obama befriended former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, who just happened to live "in the neighborhood" where Obama was agitating?).

In a moment I will quote from some of Gilbert's excellent research, and we we will see from Obama's own words the truth of the Alinsky connection.

But first this little intro from Kyle-Anne Shiver (written during Obama's campaign against fellow Alinsky-disciple Hillary):
Barack Obama seems to have effortlessly achieved voter adoration, fresher, younger, more at ease within his own skin than she will ever be. He would appear to be as much a natural as her own Bill. It may appear to a great many observers that Barrack Obama is just one incredibly audacious, even lucky, albeit frighteningly charismatic dude.

These personal qualities are not the sole reason he is where he is, and I suspect the wily Mrs. Clinton knows this full well. I suspect it must bother her that Obama also appears to have mastered the playbook used by her own political teacher, the legendary amoral guru of left wing activism, Saul Alinksy.

Hillary has met not only her match in Alinsky tactics, she has met the master of bloodless socialist revolution, in my opinion.

Barack Obama had just graduated from Columbia and was looking for a job. Some white leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago.

Obama answered a help-wanted ad for a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, very accustomed to a vagabond existence, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.

Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.

One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to Ryan LizzaThe New Republic, about Obama
(emphasis mine - DT):

"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.
Here are the words of Alinsky himself, quoted from Rules for Radicals, highlighted by and commented upon by Gilbert (red highlighting is mine). Read carefully--and consider as you read: THIS--when all the BS is stripped away--is what Obama is touting (and now defending) as his "experience" to be President of the United States:

First, Alinsky himself on "The Process of Power":

From the moment the organizer enters a community he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls the army. Until he has developed that mass power base, he confronts no major issues. He has nothing with which to confront anything. Until he has those means and power instruments, his “tactics” are very different from power tactics. Therefore, every move revolves around one central point: how many recruits will this bring into the organization, whether by means of local organizations, churches, service groups, labor unions, corner gangs, or as individuals. The only issue is, how will this increase the strength of the organization. If by losing in a certain action he can get more members than by winning, then victory lies in losing and he will lose.

Change comes from power, and power comes from organization. In order to act, people must get together.

Power is the reason for being of organizations. When people agree on certain religious ideas and want the power to propagate their faith, they organize and call it a church. When people agree on certain political ideas and want the power to put them into practice, they organize and call it a political party. The same reason holds across the board. Power and organization are one and the same…

The organizer simultaneously carries on many functions as he analyzes, attacks, and disrupts the prevailing power pattern…

Therefore, if your function is to attack apathy and get people to participate it is necessary to attack the prevailing patterns of organized living in the community. The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns that provide the opportunities and means for citizen participation. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.

This is why the organizer is immediately confronted with conflict. The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act

An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations. He must create a mechanism that can drain off the underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. Out of this mechanism, a new community organization arises

The job then is getting the people to move, to act, to participate; in short, to develop and harness the necessary power to effectively conflict with the prevailing patterns and change them. When those prominent in the status quo turn and label you an “agitator” they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function—to agitate to the point of conflict

Enter the labor organizer or the agitator. He begins his “trouble making” by stirring up these angers, frustrations, and resentments, and highlighting specific issues or grievances that heighten controversy

And so the labor organizer simultaneously breeds conflict and builds a power structure. The war between the trade union and management is resolved either through a strike or a negotiation. Either method involves the use of power; the economic power of the strike or the threat of it, which results in successful negotiations. No one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation.

This is the function of a community organizer. Anything otherwise is wishful non-thinking. To attempt to operate on a good-will rather than on a power basis would be to attempt something that the world has not yet experienced.

In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems

Even where the perception is that there ARE none... Does this should like a "healer and uniter" to you?? Keep in mind this is who is now in court filing a federal lawsuit against a reporter who dared try to get access to Obama's public records while serving on Ayers' Annenberg Foundation. That is one way to "compel"...

Next, from Part III of Gilbert's superb research, we have Obama's own words, from one of his memoirs, plus some additional commentary from Gilbert:

In theory, community organizing provides a way to merge various strategies for neighborhood empowerment. Organizing begins with the premise that (1) the problems facing inner-city communities do not result from a lack of effective solutions, but from a lack of power to implement these solutions; (2) that the only way for communities to build long-term power is by organizing people and money around a common vision; and (3) that a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership — and not one or two charismatic leaders — can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.

This means bringing together churches, block clubs, parent groups and any other institutions in a given community to pay dues, hire organizers, conduct research, develop leadership, hold rallies and education cam­paigns, and begin drawing up plans on a whole range of issues — jobs, education, crime, etc. Once such a vehicle is formed, it holds the power to make politicians, agencies and corporations more responsive to commu­nity needs. Equally important, it enables people to break their crippling isolation from each other, to reshape their mutual values and expectations and rediscover the possibilities of acting collaboratively — the prerequi­sites of any successful self-help initiative.

By using this approach, the Developing Communities Project and other organizations in Chicago’s inner city have achieved some impressive results. Schools have been made more accountable-Job training programs have been established; housing has been renovated and built; city services have been provided; parks have been refurbished; and crime and drug problems have been curtailed. Additionally, plain folk have been able to access the levers of power, and a sophisticated pool of local civic leadership has been developed.

But organizing the black community faces enormous problems as well. One problem is the not entirely undeserved skepticism organizers face in many communities. To a large degree, Chicago was the birthplace of community organizing, and the urban landscape is littered with the skeletons of previous efforts. Many of the best-intentioned members of the community have bitter memories of such failures and are reluctant to muster up renewed faith in the process.

A related problem involves the aforementioned exodus from the inner city of financial resources, institutions, role models and jobs. Even in areas that have not been completely devastated, most households now stay afloat with two incomes. Traditionally, community organizing has drawn support from women, who due to tradition and social discrimination had the time and the inclination to participate in what remains an essentially voluntary activity. Today the majority of women in the black community work full time, many are the sole parent, and all have to split themselves between work, raising children, running a household and maintaining some semblance of a personal life — all of which makes voluntary activities lower on the priority list. Additionally, the slow exodus of the black middle class into the suburbs means that people shop in one neighborhood, work in another, send their child to a school across town and go to church someplace other than the place where they live. Such geographical dispersion creates real problems in building a sense of investment and common purpose in any particular neighborhood.

Finally community organizations and organizers are hampered by their own dogmas about the style and substance of organizing. Most still practice what Professor John McKnight of Northwestern University calls a “consumer advocacy” approach, with a focus on wrestling services and resources from the ouside powers that be. Few are thinking of harnessing the internal productive capacities, both in terms of money and people, that already exist in communities.

Our thinking about media and public relations is equally stunted when compared to the high-powered direct mail and video approaches success­fully used by conservative organizations like the Moral Majority. Most importantly, low salaries, the lack of quality training and ill-defined possibilities for advancement discourage the most talented young blacks from viewing organizing as a legitimate career option. As long as our best and brightest youth see more opportunity in climbing the corporate ladder-than in building the communities from which they came, organizing will remain decidedly handicapped.


An INCREDIBLE admission in Obama's own words.

More Obama quotes from Gilbert:
Nowhere is the promise of organizing more apparent than in the traditional black churches. Possessing tremendous financial resources, membership and — most importantly — values and biblical traditions that call for empowerment and liberation, the black church is clearly a slumbering giant in the political and economic landscape of cities like Chicago. A fierce independence among black pastors and a preference for more traditional approaches to social involvement (supporting candidates for office, providing shelters for the homeless) have prevented the black church from bringing its full weight to bear on the political, social and economic arenas of the city.
Over the past few years, however, more and more young and forward-thinking pastors have begun to look at community organizations such as the Developing Communities Project in the far south side and GREAT in the Grand Boulevard area as a powerful tool for living the social gospel, one which can educate and empower entire congregations and not just serve as a platform for a few prophetic leaders. Should a mere 50 prominent black churches, out of the thousands that exist in cities like Chicago, decide to collaborate with a trained organizing staff, enormous positive changes could be wrought in the education, housing, employment and spirit of inner-city black communities, changes that would send powerful ripples throughout the city.[....]

This whole chapter is almost word for word from Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, which could be almost summed up this way:

In theory, community organizing provides a way to merge various strategies for neighborhood empowerment. Organizing begins with the premise that (1) the problems facing inner-city communities do not result from a lack of effective solutions, but from a lack of power to implement these solutions; (2) that the only way for communities to build long-term power is by organizing people and money around a common vision; and (3) that a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership — and not one or two charismatic leaders — can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.

For instance, compare:

In fact, the answer to the original question — why organize? — resides in these people. In helping a group of housewives sit across the negotiating table with the mayor of America’s third largest city and hold their own, or a retired steelworker stand before a TV camera and give voice to the dreams he has for his grandchild’s future, one discovers the most significant and satisfying contribution organizing can make.

To Alinsky:

People hunger for drama and adventure, for a breath of life in a dreary, drab existence…

But it’s more than that. It is a desperate search for personal identity—to let other people know that at least you are alive…

When the organizer approaches him part of what begins to be communicated is that through the organization and its power he will get his birth certificate for life, that he will become known, that things will change from the drabness of a life where all that changes is the calendar. This same man, in a demonstration at City Hall, might find himself confronting the mayor and saying, “Mr. Mayor, we have had it up to here and we are not going to take it any more.” Television cameramen put their microphones in front of him and ask, “What is your name, sir?” “John Smith.” Nobody ever asked him what his name was before. And then, “What do you think about this, Mr. Smith?” Nobody ever asked him what he thought about anything before. Suddenly he’s alive! This is part of the adventure, part of what is so important to people in getting involved in organizational activities and what the organizer has to communicate to him. Not that every member will be giving his name on television—that’s a bonus—but for once, because he is working together with a group, what he works for will mean something…

There is no doubt that Mr. Obama is an acolyte of Saul Alinsky. Even if we still aren’t sure exactly what an organizer is or does.

Though Mr. Alinsky’s book tells us that it means little more than being a street “agitator.”

This is the "experience" the Obama campaign is now telling us is "equivalent" to Governor Palin, Mayor Palin, and Councilwoman Palin's "executive experience".

Which of course does not even address that "experience" when stacked up against John McCain's life.

This is a bona-fide MARXIST, a con-artist, a smooth-talking agitator, whose world view in reality shows very little difference from that of the street thugs in Minneapolis who were trying to kill Republicans this week.

Why on God's green earth would any self-respecting American in their right mind want this man to be President?

UPDATE: Via Michelle Malkin some great news from the great Investors Business Daily. I am subscribing today (I ought to... I use Michael Ramirez' cartoons enough!):
Investor’s Business Daily investigates Barack and Michelle Obama’s cozy relationship with the radical “Public Allies.”

Read it.

The piece dovetails well with my “community organizer” column today and the recent piece I did on Obama’s government proposal for subsidizing “social entrepreneurship” and the Democrat Party’s hidden Soros slush fund — as well as all the terrific work Stanley Kurtz has done on Annenberg/Ayers.

The more you get to know about the far left-wing friends of Barack Obama, the tighter you need to hold onto your wallet.

1 comment:

Natasha V said...

My simple question: How can conservatives espouse less government and then dismiss community organizing?

If the government is not taking care of the people, clearly we need to take care of ourselves. What community organizing means is less inequity from the top down, more empowerment and positive lives for a HUGE part of the population.

And when I say HUGE, lets not fool ourselves. Those with the money, those about to get bailed out, are not very many of us. If you have money and you are protecting it out of fear like a greedy little bully kid at lunch recess, God help you.

If you really think you are one of the Haves, and feel righteous about it, maybe you need to take a look inside your nervous, fearful little soul and consider living in a country where we are not hated by the rest of the world for our selfish, immature tactics. It would be a nice change.