Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rules for Reactionaries

There's been a lot of electrons molested in the conservative and patriot press lately about Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. President Obama has cited the man and his work as one of his inspirations both in his career and on his campaign trail. Conservatives are predictably up in arms about it, as if it were somehow out of bonds to talk about successful strategies for community organization, but accusing liberals collectively of treason is fine.

What amuses me is the swath of tea-baggers, pseudo-libertarians, and Johnny (Tremaine)-come-lately patriots up in arms about it. Where have you guys been? You like to proclaim yourselves the heirs of grass-roots political activism, but you'll completely ignore a reasonable work on the subject. Seriously, do you guys not realize how much like Marxists, Wobblies, and Progressives (the early 20th century kind) the lot of you already sound like to me? Why throw out a book that speaks to the very tactics you claim to be promoting?

Really, is there that much of a difference between Saul Alinsky and Judith McGeary? That much of a difference between Ian Freeman and Jerry Rubin? Is there a meaningful distinction between Ron Paul's Revolution for Liberty, and the campaigns of Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey? Stop reading self-righteous, self-absorbed tracts on libertarian economics and maybe look into the works of the people who have preceded you. Ever wonder, in the midst of all of your self-righteous, unthinking condemnation of communism, why Marxist-Leninism was the single most successful revolutionary ideology of the 20th century, with a message that spread from industrialized Germany to developing Russia to the agrarian economies of East Asia and South America? Stop burning books and try reading them.


Googlebombing for a cause:

No comments: