The Philosopher and the Provocateur

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tbieter
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The Philosopher and the Provocateur

Post by tbieter »

I have started reading this book about the profound friendship between Jacques Maritain, the French Catholic philosopher, and Saul Alinsky, the radical Jewish community organizer. http://www.amazon.com/Philosopher-Provo ... rd+doering#

I've read most of Maritain's books and for some years I attended the annual meetings of the American Maritain Association.

Regarding Alinsky, as a conservative, I've had a dim view of "community organizers", "activists", and other such social agitators. Both President Obama and his probable successor, Hillary Clinton, have been significantly influenced by Alinsky's thought.

Troubling to the conservative is this text from the book's introduction (p. XV):

Alinsky"s primary tactic was to stir up nonviolent conflict, "to rub raw the resentment of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities... to the point of overt expression".5 to set cities and neighborhoods on edge, to incite municipal jitters; and the soul of this tactic was a healthy, vocal and aggresive irreverence."

First, the agitator cannot be certain that he will not also stir up violent conflict. One must always be mindful of the law of unintended consequences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_consequences

For example, consider the deaths resulting from Rev. Al Sharpton's "nonviolent" agitation in the Freddie's Fashion Mart incident:


Freddie's Fashion Mart
In 1995 a black Pentecostal Church, the United House of Prayer, which owned a retail property on 125th Street, asked Fred Harari, a Jewish tenant who operated Freddie's Fashion Mart, to evict his longtime subtenant, a black-owned record store called The Record Shack. Sharpton led a protest in Harlem against the planned eviction of The Record Shack.[37][38][39] Sharpton told the protesters, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."[40]

On December 8, 1995 Roland J. Smith Jr., one of the protesters, entered Harari's store with a gun and flammable liquid, shot several customers and set the store on fire. The gunman fatally shot himself, and seven store employees died of smoke inhalation.[41][42] Fire Department officials discovered that the store's sprinkler had been shut down, in violation of the local fire code.[43] Sharpton claimed that the perpetrator was an open critic of himself and his nonviolent tactics. Sharpton later expressed regret for making the racial remark, "white interloper," and denied responsibility for inflaming or provoking the violence.[15][44]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Sharpto ... ights_Riot

Under the rule of law, the appropriate, nonviolent method of opposing an eviction of a tenant is the filing an objection in a court proceeding.

5. Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1972) 116-117
http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Radicals-Sa ... ul+alinsky


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Maritain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky
http://www.jacquesmaritain.org/
Impenitent
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Re: The Philosopher and the Provocateur

Post by Impenitent »

Alinsky knew that envy is a wonderful tool...

they took it from us, let's take it back...

and people wonder how Hitler gained and kept power...

history never repeats...

-Imp
tbieter
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:45 pm
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Re: The Philosopher and the Provocateur

Post by tbieter »

I finished reading this book. I don't recommend it. In the correspondence, I expected that Maritain and Alinsky would write about ideas, events, or Alinsky's organizing activities. There was none of that. The correspondence was basically about when they were next going to see each other again.

This is the first book about an actual exchange of correspondence that I've read. Boring. I won't read another.
tbieter
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Re: The Philosopher and the Provocateur

Post by tbieter »

Religious people are often naive. Maritain was religious, a devout Catholic convert. His relationship with Alinsky and his approval of Alinsky"s book Rules for Radicals is simply shocking to me.

"There is a marked difference between the radicals of the Sixties and the radical movement Obama is part of. In the Sixties, as radicals we said what we thought and blurted out what we wanted. We wanted a revolution, and we wanted it now. It was actually very decent of us to warn others as to what we intended. But because we blurted out our goal, we didn’t get very far. Americans were onto us. Those who remained on the left when the Sixties were over, learned from their experience. They learned to lie. The strategy of the lie is progressives’ new gospel. It is what the progressive bible — Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals — is all about. Alinsky is the acknowledged political mentor to Obama and Hillary, to the service and teacher unions, and to the progressive rank and file. Alinsky understood the mistake Sixties’ radicals had made. His message to this generation is easily summed up: Don’t telegraph your goals; infiltrate their institutions and subvert them; moral principles are disposable fictions; the end justifies the means; and never forget that your political goal is always power."

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/david-horo ... -156452005
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Bill Wiltrack
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Re: The Philosopher and the Provocateur

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tbieter
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Re: The Philosopher and the Provocateur

Post by tbieter »

This is the result of the influence of our two famous community organizers, Alinsky and Obama.
"Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents," wrote Koch. "They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society -- and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers."
http://www.twincities.com/Opinion/Colum ... -the-Kochs

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/jack-k ... and-deeds/
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