The purpose of Rules for Radicals is to encourage and guide revolutionaries in their quest to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. Where Machiavelli’s The Prince was written for the Haves on how to hold on to power, Alinsky’s Rules was for the Have-Nots on how to take it away. Mass organizations are to seize power and give it to the people. Only then, wrote Alinsky, can the people realize democracy, equality, justice, peace, education, useful employment, health, and “those circumstances” and values which give meaning to life. Yikes.
Since change is inevitable (Part II), don’t fight it; seize it and put it to good use. Fight for a better world and never stop, because if one gives up the dream, life becomes a perpetual nightmare – an endless succession of days fearing the loss of security. While I haven’t come across the term, “social justice” in Rules, Alinsky describes the struggle for a better world as a series of climbs up a mountain . . . without a top. Each ascent by the social justice climber isn’t to the top, but rather to a plateau. From the plateau, the peak is visible, except it is really just another plateau, and so on in endless repetition. This is the nature of social justice.
The endless quest for social justice is the means through which Progressives destroy society. For instance, beginning in the 1960s, states and state courts began to strike down laws prohibiting adultery. While such laws strike us as quaint and unrealistic today, they were with us from our colonial beginnings, and served as a reminder that mankind is above the beasts of the world. Just as laws against murder, theft, and perjury implement several of God’s Commandments, so too did anti-adultery statutes. Next to fall were laws limiting artificial birth control, and then abortion. Having removed these strictures against heterosexuals, social justice naturally demands fair treatment for homosexuals. Oh, and homosexuals not only have a bogus right to marry, magistrates who believe otherwise must conduct the marriage ceremony anyway. Justice Kennedy informed the world that those who disagree are haters. Such is social justice; one outrage builds upon another, but no one can reach the mountaintop. I shudder to think what could possibly be next after normalization of sexual self-identification.
Despite the damage done to family structure and to the nation, our Scotus regularly elevates social justice above Natural Law and our Constitution. The once noble Supreme Court of the United States, which was established to adjudicate controversies arising from the supreme law of the land, will soon decide if a baker may be punished by a state commission for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding.
Social justice diktats share an attribute with religion. As life without sin is for the Christian, perfect social justice is for the Alinsky disciple. Neither the sinless life nor perfect social justice are attainable on earth, yet devout Christians and Alinkyites do their utmost to achieve them. But they differ in their effects. Personal adherence to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God promotes the civil society, where the quest for social justice is responsible for much of our national misery.
As opposed to Christianity’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Alinsky’s Trinity is the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want-Mores.
The Haves are the Establishment. Their power base is the police, courts, and churches, backed up by empty meanings to the words justice, morality, law and order. Haves avoid change at all cost.
Have-Nots are the largest group and are caged by color, physical or political; they are barred from an opportunity to represent themselves in the politics of life. Haves fear these people, people who are chained together in common desolation and poverty. Politically, as Alinsky relates, the Have-Nots are typically no more than “a mass of cold ashes of resignation and fatalism.” However, within them are embers of hope-in-change that can be fanned and used to obtain power.
The Have-a-Little, Want Mores want more, but are concerned with keeping the little they have. The want the safe way that doesn’t exist, so they end up supporting the status quo. They insist on holding three aces before playing the poker game of revolution. Thermo-politically, they are tepid and rooted in inertia. Oh, many of them profess to social change, and ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, but then they abstain and discourage others to act. They function as blankets. They are invidious.
Shortly before his death in 1973, Alinsky realized that revolution was impossible without support from the bottom third of the Have-a-Little, Want Mores, the Lower Middle-Class (LMC). Ideally, in what he called Organizing for Action, (Sound familiar? See below.) a nation-wide coalition of blacks, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Appalachian poor whites would reach out and ally with the LMC.
Alinsky’s successors largely failed to establish the Have-Not/LMC alliance. Realizing the LMC would not join en masse in societal destruction, Progressives since 1986 sought instead to dilute, and since 2009, to destroy the LMC and Mid-Middle-Class. First, they opened our borders to dilute their electoral influence. To finish them off, they established Obamacare, which has little to do with health insurance for all, and much more to do with the transfer of wealth. Through Obamacare’s stratospheric premiums and deductibles, often more than the mortgage expense of many households, its purpose is to grind down a LMC and Mid-Middle-Class too proud for government handouts, yet not wealthy enough to survive the assault. Add a hook-up culture and enormous government-sponsored student loan debt, and the result is plain to see; we live in a rudderless demoralized society in decline, exemplified by insufficient native-born replacement births, and family formation.
Realizing the tall order he left for his successors, Alinsky was hopeful that at least enough of the LMC would not stand in the way of the coming Revolution. He wrote:
Alinsky realized the danger of the gamble he proposed. The people must be reformed but they must not be deformed and driven through desperation to dictatorship and the death of freedom. These emotions, he wrote, can go either to the far right of totalitarianism or forward to Act II of the American Revolution.
In 2008 and 2012, as Alinsky hoped, a sufficient portion of a diluted LMC either joined Progressives or stood idly by to elect and reelect a Chicago street organizer. By a close-call in a narrow 2016 electoral college victory, a nation purposely divided by Obama along race, gender, wealth, and educational fractures, rejected his Alinsky disciple, Hillary Clinton.
Egged on by college professors and democrat politicians, an enraged Left took to the streets in violent protest, sought to trip up the electoral college vote and the day-to-day workings of the upcoming government. Instead of admitting defeat, both Obama and Hillary stand in open opposition as members of “The Resistance” to President Trump’s call to Make America Great Again.
Through Organizing for Action, the same nefarious people from Hillary’s campaign and Obama’s administration continue their work to undermine our republic, largely through ever-more democracy. Where you and I watch Soros rent-a-mobs and punk college anarchists threaten conservative speakers, Progressives view wonderful democracy, the voice of the people, the soul of the American Revolution.
More democracy, the enlargement of the power of the many, is the central theme of Alinsky’s social justice. It began with the 17th Amendment. Next on their chopping block is the Electoral College. (See related post: The National Popular Vote – Vicious Democracy) This will mark the final days, the death knell of the American Republic, when the Presidency is transformed from a limited Article II chief executive into a national Dear Leader beholden to the majority that elected him. What could be fairer? We viewed the first hints of this mindset during the Obama presidency. “We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for” obliquely, yet unmistakably to Progressives, implied the unity of the nation in one man. When the man is the nation, then all the various apparatus of government, including Congress and the Judiciary, naturally exist to execute His will. Recall that every Obama agency, most notably the DOJ and NSA, were on call by Him to protect and serve the Hillary Clinton campaign.
While we find common cause with Alinsky as far as the problem with The Establishment, we differ on what to do about it. Where patriots rely on the bedrock truths of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, Alinsky recognizes nothing more than raw power. To him, every aspect of life and government is a raw power struggle. The only question is, “Who will have it? Why should the few?” His solution empowers the tyranny of the many over the existing tyranny of the few. In The Federalist #51, James Madison wrote, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Rather than concentrate power in a democratically elected President, our Framers carefully divided power to oblige the government to control itself. The people and member states shared the lawmaking power. This is the institutional formula for free government, one which was tossed aside by the 17th Amendment during the progressive wave of the early 20th century.
Just as the ends of free government, as set forth in our Declaration of Independence, are known, so are the means to restore them – beginning with an Article V COS. We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
Alinsky, S. (1971). Rules for Radicals – A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York: Random House.