The epigraph page
Yes, Hillary Rodham did write her senior thesis on Alinsky. Here it is.
How the Al Capone gang taught Alinsky about community organizing.
So what is community organizing?
Factions, Alinsky, and Madison: "But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society."
"Rules of Ethics" according to Alinsky:
- One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue. [Also see Madison: As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves.]
- The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment
- In war the ends justify almost any means
- Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
- Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.
- The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
- Generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
- Morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
- Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.
- You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments."All great leaders, including Churchill, Gandhi, Lincoln, and Jefferson, always invoked "moral principles" to cover naked self-interest in the clothing of `freedom,'`equality of mankind,' `a law higher than man-made law,' and so on. This even held under circumstances of national crises when it was universally assumed that the end justified any means. All effective actions require the passport of morality." [Compare and contrast, however, with the Declaration.]
- Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."
- A sense of humor
- A bit of a blurred vision of a better world
- An organized personality
- A well-integrated political schizoid
- A free and open mind, and political relativity
1. You are an Organizer.
2. Things are always great. Be positive.
3. Think with your head: be driven by your heart.
4. People will come to the campaign for Barack. They stay because of you.
5. Empower yourself and others will be empowered.
6. Respect your community and your coworkers.
7. NEVER lie.
8. The phone is your greatest tool and your best friend.
9. If it is not written down, it does not exist.
10. Campaigns are won when goals are met.
11. Have goals. Be accountable. Make others accountable.
12. “Some” is not a number, “soon” is not a time. Only hard numbers count.
13. Keep it simple.
14. Listen actively.
15. Time is the most valuable resource you have. Don’t waste it.
16. Have a back-up plan for every situation.
17. Look and act professional. You are Barack’s surrogate in your community.
18. When you’re not working, remember that the other side is.