Monday, October 13, 2008

"Eternal War Must Never End" - Barack Obama And The Alinsky Method: Leftist NewAge Beliefs

"(Barack) Obama worked in the organizing tradition of Saul Alinsky, who made Chicago the birthplace of modern community organizing...."
-- David Moberg, on "Obama's Community Roots", in The Nation Magazine.

"THERE IS ONLY THE FIGHT --- An analysis of the Alinsky Model."
-- Hillary Clinton, in her BA Honors Thesis, Wellesley College, 1969, from Front Page Magazine.

“Is this manipulation?” asked Alinsky. “Certainly.”

“The organizer,” Alinsky wrote, “is in a true sense reaching for the highest level for which man can reach -- to create, to be a ‘great creator,’ to play God.”

Alinsky laid out a set of basic principles to guide the actions and decisions of radical organizers and the People’s Organizations they established. The organizer, he said, “must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act.” The organizer’s function, he added, was “to agitate to the point of conflict” and “to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’” “The word ‘enemy,’” said Alinsky, “is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people”; i.e., to convince members of the community that he is so eager to advocate on their behalf, that he has willingly opened himself up to condemnation and derision.

But it is not enough for the organizer to be in solidarity with the people. He must also, said Alinsky, cultivate unity against a clearly identifiable enemy; he must specifically name this foe, and “singl[e] out” precisely who is to blame for the “particular evil” that is the source of the people’s angst. In other words, there must be a face associated with the people’s discontent. That face, Alinsky taught, “must be a personification, not something general and abstract like a corporation or City Hall.” Rather, it should be an individual such as a CEO, a mayor, or a president.

Alinsky summarized it this way: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it…. [T]here is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.” He held that the organizer’s task was to cultivate in people’s hearts a negative, visceral emotional response to the face of the enemy. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.”

Alinsky also advised organizers to focus their attention on a small number of selected, strategic targets. Spreading an organization’s passions too thinly was a recipe for certain failure, he warned.

Alinsky advised the radical activist to avoid the temptation to concede that his opponent was not “100 per cent devil,” or that he possessed certain admirable qualities such as being “a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband.” Such qualifying remarks, Alinsky said, “dilut[e] the impact of the attack” and amount to sheer “political idiocy.”

Alinsky stressed the need for organizers to convince their followers that the chasm between the enemy and the members of the People’s Organization was vast and unbridgeable. “Before men can act,” he said, “an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels, and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.” Alinsky advised this course of action even though he well understood that the organizer “knows that when the time comes for negotiations it is really only a 10 percent difference.” But in Alinsky’s brand of social warfare, the ends (in this case, the transfer of power) justify virtually whatever means are required (in this case, lying).

Winning was all that mattered in Alinsky’s strategic calculus: “The morality of a means depends on whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.” “The man of action … thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action,” Alinsky added. “He asks only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.” For Alinsky, all morality was relative: “The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent on the political position of those sitting in judgment.”

Given that the enemy was to be portrayed as the very personification of evil, against whom any and all methods were fair game, Alinsky taught that an effective organizer should never give the appearance of being fully satisfied as a result of having resolved any particular conflict via compromise. Any compromise with the “devil” is, after all, by definition morally tainted and thus inadequate. Consequently, while the organizer may acknowledge that he is pleased by the compromise as a small step in the right direction, he must make it absolutely clear that there is still a long way to go, and that many grievances still remain unaddressed. The ultimate goal, said Alinsky, is not to arrive at compromise or peaceful coexistence, but rather to “crush the opposition,” bit by bit. “A People’s Organization is dedicated to eternal war,” said Alinsky. “… A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.… When you have war, it means that neither side can agree on anything…. In our war against the social menaces of mankind there can be no compromise. It is life or death.”

Alinsky warned the organizer to be ever on guard against the possibility that the enemy might unexpectedly offer him “a constructive alternative” aimed at resolving the conflict. Said Alinsky, “You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying, ‘You’re right -- we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.’” Such capitulation by the enemy would have the effect of diffusing the righteous indignation of the People’s Organization, whose very identity is inextricably woven into the fight for long-denied justice; i.e., whose struggle and identity are synonymous. If the perceived oppressor surrenders or extends a hand of friendship in an effort to end the conflict, the crusade of the People’s Organization is jeopardized. This cannot be permitted. Eternal war, by definition, must never end.
-- John Perazzo, on how the American people are being lied to and manipulated in the name of evil, for Front Page Magazine.

"Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord."

Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul."

"Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bullshit and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself."

Not this time."
-- Mark Morford, power mad whack-job columnist (and obvious NewAge pod person), in the SFGate.

Lucifer is a name frequently given to Satan in Christian belief. This usage stems from a particular interpretation, as a reference to a fallen angel, of a passage in the Bible (Isaiah 14:3-20) that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven. The same Latin word is used of the morning star in 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere with no relation to Satan. But Satan is called Lucifer in many writings later than the Bible, notably in Milton's Paradise Lost.

In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances; cf. Romanian Luceafăr). The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible used this word twice to refer to the Morning Star: once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word "Φωσφόρος" (Phosphoros), which has exactly the same literal meaning of "Light-Bringer" that "Lucifer" has in Latin; and once in Isaiah 14:12 to translate "הילל" (Hêlēl), which also means "Morning Star". In the latter passage the title of "Morning Star" is given to the tyrannous Babylonian king, who the prophet says is destined to fall. This passage was later applied to the prince of the demons, and so the name "Lucifer" came to be used for Satan, and was popularized in works such as Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost, but for English speakers the greatest influence has been its use in the King James Version for what more modern English versions translate as "Morning Star" or "Day Star".
Wikipedia

The best-selling American new age guru Deepak Chopra is fond of the word "quantum": reading his work, one begins to suspect that he has it set up as a shortcut in Microsoft Word, so that he doesn't have to type it out in full every time he wants to refer to "quantum health", "quantum healing" or "the quantum mind".

This kind of thing makes physicists want to sob uncontrollably, so they've learned to ignore him. But not long ago, Chopra used the word in a new context that bears closer inspection: if Barack Obama enters the White House as president next January, he declared, "it will represent a quantum leap in American consciousness".

Chopra, it turns out, is far from alone. A curious side-story in this year's election campaign is that the new age movement in the US has embraced Obama even more fervently than most of his supporters. New agers are traditionally liberal, so it's no surprise that they're backing the Democratic candidate. But the question that's been gathering steam among them in recent weeks goes much further than that, and brings - shall we say - a whole other dimension to the race: could Obama be a "lightworker"?

Many spiritually advanced people I know ... identify Obama as a lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who [can] actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford in a piece headlined "Is Obama an Enlightened Being?" On the higher astral planes of the blogosphere, the notion met with enthusiasm. "He may play a major role," one blogger wrote, "in bringing us to [what] the Hopi Indians call the Great Shift." The endorsement of Oprah Winfrey, increasingly involved in new age spirituality, underscored the point.

The cultish side of Obama-worship has been noted before: the online magazine Slate has been running an Obama Messiah Watch, as has a blog, obamamessiah.blogspot.com. Star Wars creator George Lucas said - perhaps facetiously - that he thought it "reasonably obvious" that Obama was a Jedi knight. But the Obama-as-lightworker notion is more than a matter of tone. We're talking about the dawning of the age of aquarius.

New agers are often unfairly maligned: look at life through a slightly different lens, and you instantly get associated with a tiny handful of crystals-cure-cancer maniacs. But if they want their preferred candidate to win, they might consider keeping quiet for now. Already, the right, in the form of unhinged pundit Michelle Malkin, has started exploiting the story to mock the Democrats. And Obama has quite enough to do to fight the threat of pigeonholing - as "the black candidate", "the elite candidate" - without becoming the kooky candidate too.
-- Oliver Burkeman, displaying how today's normal person - rather than showing the concern "kooky" people deserve - will breezily dismiss deadly serious NewAgers (even as a group) after they voice a determination to, somehow, attain power over non-believers lives, while writing in The Guardian.

"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer."
-- Saul "The Red" Alinksy, the community organizing godfather of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in his book "Rules For Radicals", according to the World Net Daily.

“A light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack.”
-- Barack Obama