Can a counter-Alinsky culture emerge?
by Nelson Price
August 24, 2014 12:00 AM | 2232 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 1971, a relatively small 172-page book was published with the intriguing title, “Rules for Radicals: a Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals.” The author, Saul Alinsky, was born in Chicago and being street smart was formerly educated in the public schools and its university. My current interest in it is because it reads like current headlines.

Alinsky postulates that if government controls health care, it controls the people. Few people ever considered that and even fewer thought it possible. To help accomplish this, poverty would have to be increased, for it had been thought poor people are easier to control, as long as they are provided something. In achieving a broader base of poverty, welfare would become increasingly popular. This would enable income, housing and food to be regulated. At the time, America was thought to be too prosperous for that scenario to develop.

Control of children was an expedient for fuller future control. To achieve, this it would be necessary to control the systems of education. The strategy was to infiltrate academia first on the college level and then high schools. Control the education youth receive by a national standard.

Alinsky was cognizant religious people might resist such radical changes. Therefore, the tack he proposed was to down play religion and ridicule God. To succeed, it would be essential to get religion out of the “marketplace,” that is, the public arena. Fostering discord within the religious community would further marginalize religious influence in society. With this done, a slow but certain moral decline would result and with it a decline in devotion to God and country.

Class warfare was an expedient for Alinsky’s radicalism to prevail. Race and wealth were the essential components needed to achieve the movement’s objectives. Also needed would be a tax system that imposed excessive taxes on some in order that everyone should have the same level of poverty. Increased government spending would speed the discontent between segments of society.

Knowing some might try to forcefully defend themselves against government intrusion, it was concluded gun control was a must. Knowing the long held belief in the right to own guns, it would be expedient to exploit every misuse of guns and blame them for crimes rather than the criminals who perpetuate them and a culture that created them.

What a fantasy world Alinsky proposed. No way, dreamer.

See now why I said the book was almost like reading today’s national headlines.

Can now a counter-Alinsky culture emerge? It remains to be seen if government and civil life has enough knowledge and willpower to reverse these trends and avoid the inevitable ruin of a formerly great society. The battle would have to be fought on several such fronts as education, religious life, health care, welfare, class warfare, taxation, misunderstanding of what gun control is all about.

Incidentally, Alinsky’s dedication page states “to the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so well that at least he won his own kingdom .... Lucifer.”

Three times in the history of our great nation government, moral and cultural conditions have taken the country to the brink of an abyss of self-destruction. Each time, an awakening has reversed the trend. Like it or not, historically each time the awakening has begun in the religious faith community.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.
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