|Conservative Bugbear - Leftist Saul Alinsky|
How we fight is every bit as important as why we fight or even whether we win or not. - TK
The great political debate of our times between the left and the right is fraught with lies, deception, hysteria and well-meaning fraud on both sides. What is disturbing about this is the assumption by the leadership and the movers and shakers on both sides that people are basically stupid and need to be herded about in their opinions like so many fat sheep. Both sides do it
For instance, there is an old email running around that claims that Saul Alinsky wrote the following "8 levels of control" that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist/communist state. The email goes on to say that the first is the most important.
1) Healthcare "Control healthcare and you control the people”
2) Poverty “Increase the Poverty level as high as possible." Poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt “Increase the national debt to an unsustainable level." That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control “Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government." That way you are able to create a police state - total local control.
5) Welfare “Take control of every aspect of their lives" (Food, Livestock, Housing, and Income)
6) Education “Take control of what people read and listen to take control of what children learn in school.”
7) Religion “Remove faith in God from the Government and school.”
8) Class Warfare “Divide the people into the wealthy against the poor. Racially divide." This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the wealthy with full support of the voting poor.
The email ends with this intentionally spooky statement:
The bases are all covered! We are ripe for the New world Order (World Communism)
It does sound familiar. It should. These "8 levels of control" are little more than a rehash of a hoax article back in the 40s called Communist Rules for Revolution. This isn't even original stuff and predates Alinsky. Alinsky had more than one set of "rules" outlined in his writing, but none were so nakedly radical as this hoax lays out. These 8 rules are nothing more than a crude attempt by ideologues on the right to link President Obama's policies to Alinsky. They probably think they are doing a service for their cause.
They are not! One can make a clear connection between the president and the tactics of the radical left. This can be done if we compare Alinsky's actual "rules" to Obama policy, but it requires more thought to figure it out. The original author of this apparently thought we all needed help to understand how Alinsky's advice to radicals is being worked out by the current administration. There is a fatal assumption that we are too stupid to get it. I find that offensive.
Here's what Alinsky actually said. It's a primer for people seeking to capture and retain political power.
Alinsky's Rules for Power Tactics:
- Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
- Never go outside the experience of your people.
- Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
- Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
- Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
- A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
- A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
- Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
- The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
- If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
- Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Alinsky was surprisingly sensitive to criticism that he wasn't ethical despite his nakedly amoral approach to politics. So he included a set of rules for the ethics of power tactics. These "ethics" are so bankrupt, it's little wonder his ethics were frequently called into question.
Alinsky's Rules to Test Whether Power Tactics are Ethical:
- One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue.
- The judgement of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.
- In war the end justifies almost any means.
- Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
- Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.
- The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
- Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
- The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
- Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical.
- You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments.
- Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."
If you want to confront Alinsky's tactics and defeat them, you need to do so with truth. When we make up things to discredit the opposition, we sink to their level and it's little wonder our side is not doing well in the great debate of our time. We cast ourselves as being on the side of morality and yet, we've grown so desperately afraid because of their perceived power (Rule 1 - Power Tactics) that we have violated our own rules of moral conduct (Rule 4), which is just what the opposition wants and needs for us to do to discredit us.
Please can we stop this? We cannot fight the enemy using his own tactics. Deception works in war, but not so much in politics where we intend to avoid killing our opponents. The Communist and Nazi states could do this with impunity because when their political war was done, they had no moral compunction about eliminating those opponents who remained. That's why the communist/socialist death toll was so horrific in the 20th century. They were just cleaning house after the victory - mopping up the battlefield so to speak.
If we are not to be like that, we must start now by being scrupulously moral as to what tactics we employ in the struggle. I cite an example here of fraud by the right. I can cite as many, if not orders of magnitude more, examples of duplicity and outright lying by our friends on the left, who are generally not as bound by the strict moral code that most conservatives espouse, that is, if Alinsky's "ethics" are any indication of the state of morality on the left.
I do not intend this as a blanket damning of anyone right or left. There are individuals who possess a powerful sense of morality and ethics on both side, who find lying, fraud and calumny reprehensible and disavow any "ally" who uses such tactics.
It is the moral left and the moral right that have the power to save this country for all of us. In order to do so, we need to turn a hose on the hothead who have lost control of themselves and will say anything, forward anything or believe anything evil of their neighbor. We are, at least those of us on the Christian right and left, are under strict orders to love our neighbors as ourselves. It's time those of us under such orders stepped up and led our own revolution - one in which love is that with which we charge cannons, rather than the naked hatred that bombards our media, our email boxes and our Facebook pages.
Just one man's opinion.
Tom King © 2014