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Must read: Saul Alinsky's 25,000 word interview with Playboy Magazine in 1972
http://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII ^ | unknown | Playboy Interview

Posted on 10/20/2009 7:09:34 PM PDT by smokingfrog

Empowering People, Not Elites Interview with Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky is, along with Thomas Paine, Henry George, and Dorothy Day, one of the great American leaders of the nonsocialist left.

Response to our earlier article dealing with Alinsky has been so great that we worked to obtain this extensive interview with him, conducted by Playboy magazine in 1972. It is, by far, the most detailed conversation with Alinsky that we know of. The interview will be appearing in weekly installments here at The Progress Report.

Part One For the past 35 years, the American establishment has come under relentless attack from a bespectacled, conservatively dressed community organizer who looks like an accountant and talks like a stevedore. According to The New York Times, Saul Alinsky "is hated and feared in high places from coast to coast" for being "a major. force in the revolution of powerless people -- indeed, he is emerging as a movement unto himself." And a Time magazine essay concluded that "it is not too much to argue that American democracy is being altered by Alinsky's ideas."

In the course of nearly four decades of organizing the poor for radical social action, Alinsky has made many enemies, but he has also won the respect, however grudging, of a disparate array of public figures: French philosopher Jacques Maritain has called him "one of the few really great men of this century," and even William Buckley, Jr., a bitter ideological foe, has admitted that "Alinsky is twice formidable, and very close to being an organizational genius." He was preceded by his reputation on a recent tour of Asia, where he was hailed by political and student leaders from Tokyo to Singapore as the one American with concrete revolutionary lessons for the impoverished Third World.

Not bad for a slum kid from the South Side of Chicago, where he was born on January 30, 1909. After working his way through the University of Chicago, Alinsky attended graduate school for two years, then dropped out to work as an Illinois state criminologist. In the mid-Thirties, as a side line, he began to work as an organizer with the then-radical C.I.O., in which he soon became a close friend and aide to John L. Lewis. Then, in 1939, he phased himself out of active participation in the labor movement and into the role of community organizer, starting in his own back yard -- the Chicago slums. His efforts to turn scattered, voiceless discontent into a united protest aroused the admiration of Illinois governor Adlai E. Stevenson, who said Alinsky's aims "most faithfully reflect our ideals of brotherhood, tolerance, charity and the dignity of the individual." In 1940, Alinsky elicited a generous grant from liberal millionaire Marshall Field III, who provided funds to establish the Industrial Areas Foundation, which has remained Alinsky's primary base of operation. Throughout the next decade, with Field's financial backing, Alinsky repeated his initial success in a score of slum communities across the nation, from Kansas City and Detroit to the barrios of Southern California.

--- snip ---


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Reference; Society
KEYWORDS: alinsky; sourcetitlenoturl
Further down the article...

Does this sound familiar

PLAYBOY: The assumption behind the Administration's Silent Majority thesis is that most of the middle class is inherently conservative. How can even the most skillful organizational tactics unite them in support of your radical goals?

ALINSKY: Conservative? That's a crock of crap. Right now they're nowhere. But they can and will go either of two ways in the coming years -- to a native American fascism or toward radical social change. Right now they're frozen, festering in apathy, leading what Thoreau called "lives of quiet desperation:" They're oppressed by taxation and inflation, poisoned by pollution, terrorized by urban crime, frightened by the new youth culture, baffled by the computerized world around them. They've worked all their lives to get their own little house in the suburbs, their color TV, their two cars, and now the good life seems to have turned to ashes in their mouths. Their personal lives are generally unfulfilling, their jobs unsatisfying, they've succumbed to tranquilizers and pep pills, they drown their anxieties in alcohol, they feel trapped in longterm endurance marriages or escape into guilt-ridden divorces. They're losing their kids and they're losing their dreams. They're alienated, depersonalized, without any feeling of participation in the political process, and they feel rejected and hopeless. Their utopia of status and security has become a tacky-tacky suburb, their split-levels have sprouted prison bars and their disillusionment is becoming terminal.

They're the first to live in a total mass-media-oriented world, and every night when they turn on the TV and the news comes on, they see the almost unbelievable hypocrisy and deceit and even outright idiocy of our national leaders and the corruption and disintegration of all our institutions, from the police and courts to the White House itself. Their society appears to be crumbling and they see themselves as no more than small failures within the larger failure. All their old values seem to have deserted them, leaving them rudderless in a sea of social chaos. Believe me, this is good organizational material.

The despair is there; now it's up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change. We'll give them a way to participate in the democratic process, a way to exercise their rights as citizens and strike back at the establishment that oppresses them, instead of giving in to apathy. We'll start with specific issues -- taxes, jobs, consumer problems, pollution -- and from there move on to the larger issues: pollution in the Pentagon and the Congress and the board rooms of the megacorporations. Once you organize people, they'll keep advancing from issue to issue toward the ultimate objective: people power. We'll not only give them a cause, we'll make life goddamn exciting for them again -- life instead of existence. We'll turn them on.

PLAYBOY: You don't expect them to beware of radicals bearing gifts?

ALINSKY: Sure, they'll be suspicious, even hostile at first. That's been my experience with every community I've ever moved into. My critics are right when they call me an outside agitator. When a community, any kind of community, is hopeless and helpless, it requires somebody from outside to come in and stir things up. That's my job -- to unsettle them, to make them start asking questions, to teach them to stop talking and start acting, because the fat cats in charge never hear with their ears, only through their rears. I'm not saying it's going to be easy; thermopolitically, the middle classes are rooted in inertia, conditioned to look for the safe and easy way, afraid to rock the boat. But they're beginning to realize that boat is sinking and unless they start bailing fast, they're going to go under with it. The middle class today is really schizoid, torn between its indoctrination and its objective situation. The instinct of middle-class people is to support and celebrate the status quo, but the realities of their daily lives drill it home that the status quo has exploited and betrayed them.

PLAYBOY: In what way?

ALINSKY: In all the ways I've been talking about, from taxation to pollution. The middle class actually feels more defeated and lost today on a wide range of issues than the poor do. And this creates a situation that's supercharged with both opportunity and danger. There's a second revolution seething beneath the surface of middle-class America -- the revolution of a bewildered, frightened and as-yet-inarticulate group of desperate people groping for alternatives -- for hope. Their fears and their frustrations over their impotence can turn into political paranoia and demonize them, driving them to the right, making them ripe for the plucking by some guy on horseback promising a return to the vanished verities of yesterday. The right would give them scapegoats for their misery -- blacks, hippies, Communists -- and if it wins, this country will become the first totalitarian state with a national anthem celebrating "the land of the free and the home of the brave." But we're not going to abandon the field to them without a long, hard fight -- a fight I think we're going to win. Because we'll show the middle class their real enemies: the corporate power elite that runs and ruins the country -- the true beneficiaries of Nixon's so-called economic reforms. And when they swing their sights on that target, the sh-- will really hit the fan.

PLAYBOY: In the past, you've focused your efforts on specific communities where the problems -- and the solutions -- were clearly defined. But now you're taking on over 150,000,000 people. Aren't you at all fazed by the odds against you?

ALINSKY: Are you kidding? I've been doing this for 30 years now, and the odds haven't bothered me yet. In fact, I've always taken 100-to-one odds as even money. Sure, it's true that the middle class is more amorphous than some barrio in Southern California, and you're going to be organizing all across the country instead of in one city. But the rules are the same. You start with what you've got, you build up one community around the issues, and then you use the organization you've established as an example and a power base to reach other communities. Once you're successful in, say, Chicago -- one of the cities where we're organizing the middle class -- then you can go on to Cincinnati or Boston or Dubuque and say, "OK, you see what we did in Chicago, let's get movin' here." It's like an ink-blot effect, spreading out from local focal points of power across the whole country. Once we have our initial successes, the process will gather momentum and begin to snowball.

It won't be easy and, sure, it's a gamble -- what in life isn't? Einstein once said God doesn't throw dice, but he was wrong. God throws dice all the time, and sometimes I wonder if they're loaded. The art of the organizer is cuttin' in on the action. And believe me, this time we're really going to screw the bastards, hit 'em where it hurts. You know, I sort of look at this as the culmination of my career. I've been in this fight since the Depression; I've been machine-gunned, beaten up, jailed -- they've even given me honorary degrees -- and in a way it's all been preparation for this. I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back. I never gave up faith at the worst times in the past, and I'm sure as hell not going to start now. With some luck, maybe I've got ten more good productive years ahead of me. So I'm going to use them where they count the most.

--- snip ---

more at link

1 posted on 10/20/2009 7:09:38 PM PDT by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog

I have that issue at home....strange, I never knew Playboy had articles :-)


2 posted on 10/20/2009 7:12:09 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: smokingfrog
I've always taken 100-to-one odds as even money.

guess this is how an interview with satan might read.

3 posted on 10/20/2009 7:15:15 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Fearing for the republic 24/7.)
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To: Drango

Articles?????


4 posted on 10/20/2009 7:17:15 PM PDT by SolitaryMan
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To: smokingfrog

Funny...he started “agitating” to improve the slums of Chicago...70 years later, they’re still crap holes.


5 posted on 10/20/2009 7:18:00 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9c/TeddyVWad.jpg)
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To: MuttTheHoople

Notice the tone of his comments? He illustrates perfectly here the progressive attitude toward average Americans. This could have been Bill Maher or any of thousands of other Progressives making these statements.


6 posted on 10/20/2009 7:21:30 PM PDT by wolf24
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To: Drango

Critical Article!! GEE! I always read it for the articles! Did it have anything or things else??


7 posted on 10/20/2009 7:22:10 PM PDT by True Republican Patriot (May GOD Continue to BLESS Our Great President George W. Bush!!)
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To: smokingfrog

bttt


8 posted on 10/20/2009 7:26:20 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts

His mother should have practiced her right to choose... this lecherous scum is worshiped by the communist and socialist dung infesting our culture.


9 posted on 10/20/2009 7:30:32 PM PDT by Mmogamer (<This space for lease>)
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To: smokingfrog
Allinski states he believes he will establish a totalitarian state in America, by attacking the corporations...and the sheeple still slumber.It occurred to me today that the Dem party was a coalition of social misfits...sexual deviants, drug supporters, porn creators, Acorn tax cheats, lawyers... and that once the number of redistributionist criminals surpasses the number of law-abiding tax paying citizens, watch out.
10 posted on 10/20/2009 7:33:26 PM PDT by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton)
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To: smokingfrog

I can now say I read a Playboy article


11 posted on 10/20/2009 7:34:44 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Mmogamer
His mother should have practiced her right to choose... this lecherous scum is worshiped by the communist and socialist dung infesting our culture.

I am no fan of Alinsky. However, were it not him there would have been another as demonstrated by the legions that gulp his witches brew.

This was printed in 1972, and apparently the Playboy lookers did not read the fine print. See Alinsky knew human nature and he set in motion a scientific methodology by which his adherents could follow to seduce with lies and deception willing captives. And while conservatives were working paying the taxes, Alinskymites were busy sowing seeds of misery whereby one day they would reap a harvest.

But there is no sustenance from their fruit it is unfit for human consumption. Time and history is not on their side but rebels do what they always do when bent on destroying that which they hate.

12 posted on 10/20/2009 8:00:30 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: smokingfrog
ALINSKY: Conservative? That's a crock of crap. Right now they're nowhere. But they can and will go either of two ways in the coming years -- to a native American fascism or toward radical social change. Right now they're frozen, festering in apathy, leading what Thoreau called "lives of quiet desperation:" They're oppressed by taxation and inflation, poisoned by pollution, terrorized by urban crime, frightened by the new youth culture, baffled by the computerized world around them. They've worked all their lives to get their own little house in the suburbs, their color TV, their two cars, and now the good life seems to have turned to ashes in their mouths. Their personal lives are generally unfulfilling, their jobs unsatisfying, they've succumbed to tranquilizers and pep pills, they drown their anxieties in alcohol, they feel trapped in longterm endurance marriages or escape into guilt-ridden divorces. They're losing their kids and they're losing their dreams. They're alienated, depersonalized, without any feeling of participation in the political process, and they feel rejected and hopeless. Their utopia of status and security has become a tacky-tacky suburb, their split-levels have sprouted prison bars and their disillusionment is becoming terminal.

They're the first to live in a total mass-media-oriented world, and every night when they turn on the TV and the news comes on, they see the almost unbelievable hypocrisy and deceit and even outright idiocy of our national leaders and the corruption and disintegration of all our institutions, from the police and courts to the White House itself. Their society appears to be crumbling and they see themselves as no more than small failures within the larger failure. All their old values seem to have deserted them, leaving them rudderless in a sea of social chaos. Believe me, this is good organizational material.

The despair is there; now it's up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change. We'll give them a way to participate in the democratic process, a way to exercise their rights as citizens and strike back at the establishment that oppresses them, instead of giving in to apathy. We'll start with specific issues -- taxes, jobs, consumer problems, pollution -- and from there move on to the larger issues: pollution in the Pentagon and the Congress and the board rooms of the megacorporations. Once you organize people, they'll keep advancing from issue to issue toward the ultimate objective: people power. We'll not only give them a cause, we'll make life goddamn exciting for them again -- life instead of existence. We'll turn them on.

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

...or in English:

GO PALIN!

Cheers!

13 posted on 10/20/2009 8:07:10 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Drango; All

This thread is useless without pictures from THAT issue.


14 posted on 10/20/2009 8:07:25 PM PDT by TheRobb7 (CAP TAXES--TRADE CONGRESS. Now THAT is Cap and Trade!)
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To: potlatch; devolve; PhilDragoo; MeekOneGOP; bitt; Lady Jag

Alinsky ping. The place to go if you’ve ever wondered what community organizing is.


15 posted on 10/20/2009 8:19:02 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: TheRobb7

16 posted on 10/20/2009 8:23:55 PM PDT by smokingfrog (No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session. I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: smokingfrog

Sounds a lot like an educated Charles Manson.

Regardless, he was a loyal son of his father, the Devil.

Reading the scam he pulled on restaurants, and then taught to others, I couldn’t help but think about ACORN teaching the “pimp and ho” how to scam the system.


17 posted on 10/20/2009 8:40:08 PM PDT by LucyJo
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To: smokingfrog
PLAYBOY
"Entertainment For Men" -- The most collected men's magazine -- Exclusive MORE MAGAZINES detailed content description, below!


Issue Date: March, 1972 ; Vol. 19, No. 3
IN THIS ISSUE:
This description copyright MOREMAGAZINES. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
PICTORIALS:
Magnifique Dominique -- pictorial Essay -- Featuring DOMINIQUE SANDA.
The Shirt off Her Back -- pictorial.
"Savages" -- pictorial.
Sun-Struck -- Playboy's Playmate of the Month -- ELLEN MICHAELS.
The Vargas Girl -- pictorial Alberto Vargas -- "Try It. You'll like It."

ARTICLES/FEATURES/FICTION/INTERVIEW:
Playboy Interview: Saul Alinsky -- Candid Conversation.
The Terminal Man -- Fiction -- Michael Crichton.
Grateful Dead I Have Known -- article -- Ed Mc Clanahan.
Let There Be Light Whiskeys -- drink -- Thomas Mario.
Himself -- fiction Anthony Grey.
Aerospaced Out -- article -- U. S. Senator Alan Cranston.
Palette-able Sex -- humor -- Erich Sokol.
Funnyphones -- modern Living.
Playboy's Party Jokes -- humor.
Poise as a Tie Breaker -- article -- Bruce Jay Friedman.
Clint Eastwood: Pushover for Pullovers -- attire -- Robert L. Green.
Bill Lear and His Incredible Steam Machine -- Personality -- Steven V. Roberts.
The Chef's Story -- fiction -- Warner Law.
Stepping Lively -- attire -- Robert L. Green.
Snow's Angels -- parody -- Peter Boyle.
Encounter in Munich -- article -- John Clellon Holmes.
The Rise and Fall of a Member of the Faculty -- ribald Classic.
On the Scene -- personalities -- Picture and a 1/2 page on each:
Featuring Betty Dodson (The Art of Loving), A. Cecil Williams (People's Preacher) and Carly Simon (Doing it Her Way)("'Now I'm My Own.' but for Carly, That's the Way it Has to Be.").
Playboy Potpourri.
Playbill; Dear Playboy; Playboy after Hours; Books; Movies; Recordings; Theater; The Playboy Advisor; The Playboy Forum.


18 posted on 10/20/2009 8:46:00 PM PDT by smokingfrog (No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session. I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: MuttTheHoople
>>> Funny...he started “agitating” to improve the slums of Chicago...70 years later, they’re still crap holes. <<<

And he had the help in later years of Barack Obama, Bill Ayers and Mayor Daley.

19 posted on 10/20/2009 8:51:38 PM PDT by HardStarboard ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule - Mencken knew Obama)
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To: TheRobb7

“This thread is useless without pictures from THAT issue.”

Given the standards then vs now, those images would be safe for work.


20 posted on 10/20/2009 11:05:53 PM PDT by Gnomad
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To: smokingfrog
Snow's Angels -- parody -- Peter Boyle.

Young Frankenstein?

RIP, Frank Barone.

21 posted on 10/20/2009 11:23:06 PM PDT by Defiant (The absence of bias appears to be bias to those who are biased.)
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To: smokingfrog

Too bad this article was only in Playboy. Too few people, who got the magazine, seem to have “read the article”, or, if they did read it, their minds were too distracted to grasp the significance of someone like this being lionized and promoted.

Millions of others wouldn’t buy a Playboy for the articles OR the pictures, and most “journalists” who reported on what Alinsky had to say would do so selectively, and in a way that would legitimize and promote him as well.

There still are people today who don’t have a clue what’s going on around them, because the people who are trained to be journalists were trained at the feet of people with Alinsky’s agenda. They “love” this “blankety-blank” country, doncha know? Trouble is - just like Alinksy - they are “loving” it to death.


22 posted on 10/21/2009 8:30:38 AM PDT by LucyJo
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