Is THIS Who You Want Controlling Your Children?
The National Education Association has a “Recommended Reading” list for its members. You can tell a lot about someone by what he reads. Take, for instance this interesting tome. Here’s a nice quote:
Saul Alinsky wrote the book on American radicalism – two books, in fact: a 1945 best-seller, “Reveille for Radicals” and “Rules for Radicals” in 1971. The “Reveille” title page quotes Thomas Paine… “Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul.”
Alinsky spends a lot of time critiquing the idea that “The end does not justify the means.” What end? What means? He feels that there are circumstances where one can and should use means that in other circumstances would be unethical. I am not sure I agree, but Alinsky certainly speaks with the voice of experience.
Yes, a big proponent of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is the idea that the ends DOES, sometimes, justify the means. This is found in numerous examples of his work. It is even found, to a small extent, in his foundational “rules”. For example:
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
The only thing I don’t understand about all this is why they stop at recommending this for their members. Remember, these are teachers – each and every one has at least one classroom full of fertile minds eager to learn the intricacies of assault and experience the joy of streaking the offices of public officials (there’s nothing quite like having a naked child run screaming out of your office to generate questions about your character). Remember, the “end justifies the means,” so of COURSE some stranger’s child entrusted into your care is acceptable grist for the mill of change.
(Hat tip to Spunky)