Letter: Modern-day attackers prove how effective Alinsky was


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Originally Posted Online: March 06, 2014, 12:00 am
Last Updated: March 06, 2014, 12:11 am
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Saul Alinsky died in 1972; Barack Obama was 10 years old and living in Hawaii. A recent letter writer would have us believe that they were "good friends."

The so-called "eight levels of control to create a social state" do not appear in Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Mr. Alinsky was neither socialist nor communist. He was a community organizer who organized Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood in the1940s. He believed immigrants and other minorities had the right to self-determination. His tactics relied on direct confrontation and non-violence.

Playboy interviewed him in 1972. When asked if he belonged to the communist party, Alinsky said, "I've never joined any organization -- not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. ... The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide. ... My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they'll generally reach the right decisions."

Alinsky's tactics were unusual, humorous, and provocative. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky describes the role of the organizer "to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a dangerous enemy." It seems he is still effective for being dead over 40 years.

Michael Freda,
Moline














 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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