Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Rev Reads it For You: Ethics of the Haves and Wants (Rules for Radicals)

In Chapter One, Alinksy defines his "Trinity" of social classes, as they relate to revolutionary change:

Haves - The wealthy few who actively resist change because change would threaten what they have.

Have-a-Little, Want Mores - The middle class who wants enough change to get more while preventing change that would cause them to lose what they already have.

Have Nots - The mass of the poor who want everyone else off their backs so they can Get.

Interestingly, Alinsky correctly recognizes that the impetuous for revolution rarely comes from the Have Nots who are "a mass of cold ashes of resignation and fatalism," They are the fuel that catches on fire when a spark emerges from the Middle Class.

And indeed, historically, this is the general case. The poors are generally too poor and broken down to successfully resist, whereas the "friction" in the Middle Class, torn between Have and Want More, provides the spark.

This schema runs throughout the chapter, but Alinsky starts us by a quick primer in moral relativism. We'll look at that after the break.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Rev Reads it For You: Rules for Radicals (Prologue)

As part of a recent push to get through my backlog of reading material (and also a lack of other topics that I'm interested in pontificating on), I'm introducing a new series. 

The Rev Reads It For You hits somewhere between Cliff Notes and fisking. I'll post excerpts of passages that jump out and comment on them. If the passages interest you, then go buy the book to learn more.

We're starting out with Saul Alinsky's famous and infamous Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. It's a book that needs no introduction as the de-facto handbook for community organizers and all other groups of professional protesters. It's a window into the mind of the modern grievance industry and an indispensable guide to their thoughts and methods.

Published in 1971, Rules is primarialy a critique of the idealistic protesters of the Baby Boomer leftists. Alinksy's view of them is summed up thusly:

"They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world."
In other words, they have a correct consciousness about the evils of Capitalist America, but are utterly naive about how to change the situation. The prologue is largely dedicated to stating Alinsky's case in the strongest popular terms.

Continue with us after the break.