Skip to comments.1972 Playboy Saul Alinsky interview (Know Your Enemy!!)
Posted on 04/09/2010 4:10:02 AM PDT by canuck_conservativeEdited on 04/09/2010 6:40:30 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
ALINSKY: .... I moved over to the table next to the cashier, exchanged a few words with her and then finished my coffee and got up to pay. "Gee, I'm sorry," I said, "I seem to have lost my check." She'd seen that all I had was a cup of coffee, so she just said, "That's OK, that'll be a nickel." So I paid and left with my original nickel check still in my pocket and walked a few blocks to the next cafeteria in the same chain and ordered a big meal for a buck forty-five -- and, believe me, in those days, for a buck forty-five I could have practically bought the [expletive deleted by mod] joint. I ate in a corner far away from the cashier, then switched checks and paid my nickel bill from the other place and left. So my eating troubles were taken care of.
But then I began to see other kids around the campus in the same fix, so I put up a big sign on the bulletin board and invited anybody who was hungry to a meeting. Some of them thought it was all a gag, but I stood on the lectern and explained my system in detail, with the help of a big map of Chicago with all the local branches of the cafeteria marked on it. Social ecology! I split my recruits up into squads according to territory; one team would work the South Side for lunch, another the North Side for dinner, and so on. We got the system down to a science, and for six months all of us were eating free. Then the bastards brought in those serial machines at the door where you pull out a ticket that's only good for that particular cafeteria. That was a low blow. We were the first victims of automation....
Anyway, I found out that criminology was just as removed from actual crime and criminals as sociology was from society, so I decided to make my doctoral dissertation a study of the Al Capone mob -- an inside study.
PLAYBOY: What did Capone have to say about that?
ALINSKY: Well, my reception was pretty chilly at first -- I went over to the old Lexington Hotel, which was the gang's headquarters, and I hung around the lobby and the restaurant. I'd spot one of the mobsters whose picture I'd seen in the papers and go up to him and say, "I'm Saul Alinsky, I'm studying criminology, do you mind if I hang around with you?" And he'd look me over and say, "Get lost, punk." This happened again and again, and I began to feel I'd never get anywhere. Then one night I was sitting in the restaurant and at the next table was Big Ed Stash, a professional assassin who was the Capone mob's top executioner. He was drinking with a bunch of his pals and he was saying, "Hey, you guys, did I ever tell you about the time I picked up that redhead in Detroit?" and he was cut off by a chorus of moans. "My God," one guy said, "do we have to hear that one again?" I saw Big Ed's face fall; mobsters are very sensitive, you know, very thin-skinned. And I reached over and plucked his sleeve. "Mr. Stash," I said, "I'd love to hear that story." His face lit up. "You would, kid?" He slapped me on the shoulder. "Here, pull up a chair. Now, this broad, see . . ." And that's how it started.
Big Ed had an attentive audience and we became buddies. He introduced me to Frank Nitti, known as the Enforcer, Capone's number-two man, and actually in de facto control of the mob because of Al's income-tax rap. Nitti took me under his wing. I called him the Professor and I became his student. Nitti's boys took me everywhere, showed me all the mob's operations, from gin mills and whorehouses and bookie joints to the legitimate businesses they were beginning to take over. Within a few months, I got to know the workings of the Capone mob inside out....
PLAYBOY: Didn't you have any compunction about consorting with -- if not actually assisting -- murderers?
ALINSKY: None at all, since there was nothing I could do to stop them from murdering, practically all of which was done inside the family. I was a nonparticipating observer in their professional activities, although I joined their social life of food, drink and women: Boy, I sure participated in that side of things -- it was heaven. And let me tell you something, I learned a hell of a lot about the uses and abuses of power from the mob, lessons that stood me in good stead later on, when I was organizing.....
We took a photograph, opening his eyes first, then rushed back to the studio to develop it. We carefully retouched it to eliminate all the bullet holes, and then had it hand-tinted. The next morning, I went back to the wake and presented the photograph to Mrs. Massina. "Dumas gave this to me just last week," I said, "and I'd like you to have it." She cried and thanked me, and pretty soon word of the incident spread throughout the gang. "That Alinsky, he's an all-right motherfucker," the kids would say, and from that moment on they began to trust me and I was able to work with them, all because of the photograph. It was an improvised tactic and it worked.
PLAYBOY: It was also pretty cynical and manipulative.
ALINSKY: It was a simple example of good organizing. And what's wrong with it? ....
PLAYBOY: How does a self-styled outside agitator like yourself get accepted in the community he plans to organize?
ALINSKY: The first and most important thing you can do to win this acceptance is to bait the power structure into publicly attacking you. In Back of the Yards, when I was first establishing my credentials, I deliberately maneuvered to provoke criticism. I made outrageous statements to the press, I attacked every civic and business leader I could think of, and I goaded the establishment to strike back .....
Hey, if the guy's an organizational genius, then conservatives should be able to employ the same tactics to our advantage. If it works for the left, why not for us? It's time we beat those clowns at their own game.
What a low life piece of crap the liberals selected as a hero. No wonder liberals are pantie waist punks.
Just an ordinary, low down, two bit swindler crook. And he got a campus group to buy in to it. Back then.
>> ALINSKY: The first and most important thing you can do to win this acceptance is to bait the power structure into publicly attacking you. In Back of the Yards, when I was first establishing my credentials, I deliberately maneuvered to provoke criticism. I made outrageous statements to the press, I attacked every civic and business leader I could think of, and I goaded the establishment to strike back ..... <<
Now you know why the continuous stream of “slip-ups” of Obama’s people referring to him as a Kenyan.
Also sounds like they may have inadvertently aided Palin’s rise to power.
If you play by the Devil's rule book, don't be surprised when you become just like the Devil.
We can employ some of their tactics (isolation, ridicule, aggressiveness).
But the difference is that Leftism is based on lies.
When you are trying to take control based on lies, that requires a strategy that ridicules and demonizes Truth and elevates the Lie.
That won’t work for us. Because Conservatism is based on an objective set of moral principles, on historical evidence, on fact, and, above all, on Truth.
So, like good soldiers, we’ll use whatever we can to our advantage. But some of the tricks this scumbag Alinsky employed simply won’t work.
Good reply. See my post following yours.
True! when the unwritten zeroth rule seems to be “Numb your conscience.”
Typical thief and liar.
the devil you say.
This is very interesting. Alinsky was a punk who made it into a philosophy. And speaking of “Know your enemy,!” Playboy magazine has always been a vehicle for everything radical.
Did he? How many of them walked away from him and went on to lead honest lives? He isn't bragging about that.
No telling how many people marked him down as a lowlife, but don't expect him to tell you about that.
True, he might be exaggerating (though perhaps this was what motivated the cafeteria chain to switch check systems). Today, you pay as you exit the line with your tray of food and there’s very little room for cheating.
Sound familiar? Sound like anyone we know ...... named Hugh Hefner?
Maybe the Playboy interview was pure affinity at work.
He's also lying to some degree in the retelling.
For example, if he told that story exactly as he told it to Playboy, to Ed Stash and his associates, about how he sucked up and got them to talk to him, do you think they might have had a little different take on it?
Different enough to win Alinsky a new position with the Mob .... head down in a barrel of wet cement, maybe?
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