A “documentary” about Saul Alinsky cheerfully twists the facts, saying Alinsky was inspired by the devil and Hillary Clinton and Obama were influenced by him. Bzzt. Not even close. Maybe someone should tell them that right wing videographer James O’Keefe cites Alinsky as a major influence? Does that make O’Keefe a follower of Beelzebub? Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals has nothing to do with ideology and is about organizing to gain power. But one would need to have actually read the book to know that.
The dedication to Rules for Radicals is apparently what got the documentary film makers in a snit. It reads:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
Only the terminally humor-impaired or manically partisan could view this tongue-in-cheek dedication as supporting Lucifer, but the “documentary” tries to anyway.
As for their assertion that Hillary and Obama were Alinsky disciples, if only… Obama was a community organizer in name only and while Hillary wrote a thesis about Alinsky, nothing in her political life indicates she is even slightly interested in organizing for change, except for how it can benefit her personally.
Also, Alinksy wasn’t socialist and had no use for them, saying “Quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara are as germane to our highly technological, computerized society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport”
From Front Page magazine on James O’Keeke:
Ironically, the book that primarily inspired O’Keefe’s work is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the Bible of the radical left. As other influences, he lists Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe, the last half of which is about hustlers fleecing the corrupt, hapless bureaucrats of San Francisco anti-poverty programs, and everything by British conservative G.K. Chesterton
Here are Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. As you can see, they are not ideological, Satanic, or communist. They can be used by anyone.
Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.
Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.
Actually, Alinsky DEDICATED the book simply “To Irene.” The “Lucifer” passage is an epigraph.