What if we took Alinsky seriously?

A few questions that I haven’t seen answered, even by the right-wing blogosphere:

Who made the decision to not parallel prepare multiple solutions for stopping the oil leaking into the Gulf?

Who was the Coast Guard officer who decided to stop those 18 barges in Louisiana because he couldn’t get in touch with the owner?

Who stole Alabama’s booms?

Who stamped the denial on each foreign offer of cleanup aid?

Who mis-exercised their discretion and rigorously enforced the Jones Act?

For each incident, who stopped a bright, promising local initiative for cleanup?

Is there any doubt at all that if we took the whole Rules for Radicals thing seriously that we would know the names of the people who are making all these dumb decisions on the Gulf oil spill? But we don’t know them. The right wing should have personalized each one of these bad decisions and made it clear that if you get in the way of the people cleaning up, you are personally going to pay a price for it. That price is not being paid and the spill cleanup is being further hindered.

The blogosphere, and yes that includes me, bears some blame for that. We took a look at Alinsky but are showing now that we weren’t serious about it. We should start.

11 thoughts on “What if we took Alinsky seriously?”

  1. Amen.

    What would it take to do this?

    A website like a Wiki that allowed people to fill in the names and connections.

    Then have peope sign up by area to participate in protests.

    What else?

  2. Look people, I may live in Madison, but I grew up in Chicago and Greater Cook County.

    This Alinsky thing works the other way, and the Obama people are slow on the learning curve. Like when that Valerie Jarrett person made some remark about “Speaking truth to power.” Notice that she doesn’t get let out much? Speak truth to power? Is that telling it the way it is to The Man. You -are- The Man.

    There are a number of facets to the Chicago Experience, ranging from Alinsky radicalism to Obama community organizing to the Mayor Daley of times past as Mayor and Boss.

    Chicago was and still is governed by One-Party Politics and a Political Machine, long after many other big cities pretty much gave up on that kind of thing. But Chicago was always the “City that Works” where it might be corrupt to delicate progressive reformer sensibilities, but you always “voted the right way” and in return your garbage always got picked up, your potholes got patched, and your snow got plowed. That is until they got that Bilandic fellow in as Mayor and they had a major lake-effect snow storm . . .

    See http://www.weathernotebook.org/transcripts/1999/03/02.html. No evidence of malice. Just a disaster that overloaded the bureaucracy with respect to their same-old same-old way of dealing with anything, and a guy at the top without the gumption to take charge.

  3. Focus needs to be on the political appointees, not the career civil servants. If some GS-whatever made a bad decision, okay to call him on it, but emphasis should be on the higher-level person to whom he reports and who let it happen.

    When there was a fire on an aircraft carrier a while back, started by someone smoking in a paint locker, the captain got relieved, even though it wasn’t he that had been doing the smoking or directly supervising the smoker.

  4. Excellent point. Given the Agitator-In-Chief is all about Alinsky – we fail to take Alinksy seriously at our own peril.

    @Lexington Green’s idea for a wiki is pretty good.

    Of course, one lousy reporter in the criminally biased MSM could make an entire career out of just doing their job on this. Do you think there’s one out there?

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  5. The federal bureaucracy here took its cue from President Obama’s refusal to waive the Jones Act. That was an obvious signal to protect their precious rears through single-minded focus on following the letter of the law, no matter what the consequences that would bring to the public.

    This is the classic bureaucratic game of “Don’t blame me – I followed the rules!”

    Because the Obama administration is all about rules and procedure, not substance and results.

    And the federal bureaucrats are correct here. They will be blamed, and punished, for not following the rules.

  6. “And the federal bureaucrats are correct here. They will be blamed, and punished, for not following the rules.”

    Exactly correct which is why it needs to be done. It’s time to play “Name, Shame, and Blame That Bureaucrat.” These are the people who make it happen and these are exactly the people who need to be exposed.

    Regimes come and go but these are the ones responsible and they hang around forever.

  7. People who believe in Central Planning seek careers in government because that is where decisions are made. These people measure their importance to society and their “success” by how much influence they have. Allinsky is about gaining influence (not money). Influence is a zero-sum gain. Someone must lose influence for someone to gain influence.

    People who believe in free markets seek careers in the market place. They believe that success is determined by the bottom line, by how much a person earns. They believe that the most productive person in an organization is not always the one with the highest title and the most influence. The most productive person is the one who earns the most money.

    In the free market you do not win by destroying your opponent. You win by producing a better product at a lower price with few or no defects whenever and wherever it is needed. Allinsky does not address any of these issues so we ignore him as irrelevant. In the free market everyone who responds to the needs of the market place can grow rich. Commerce is not a zero sum gain. We make an ever expanding pie. Allinsky’s rules are not viable in the world of commerce.

    Government types become insanely jealous of wealthy marketers because marketers have all the rewards of that are due to massive influence but they have no influence. Marketers pervert the social system because they have rewards but come from the wrong social class, they attended the wrong schools, they have no rank in the navy or army, they have no title – they are usurpers. And so those with influence usually pass a law and take away the wealth of the marketers. This is justified by the political class’s unending War on Greed.

    Strangely, there have never been pogroms in the US. Perhaps the Progressives will set things right.

  8. I agree – we should name and shame all of those, no matter if they are career bureaucrats or political appointees. Everyone who said ‘no,’ all the way along. I am sorry – this has gone to far to be nice. Personal responsibility – the flave of the month. There are local officials stepping up and doing something proactive and positive – I’d be in favor of naming them, too – but I fear that this attention might be the kiss-o-death to them. But we should keep track of them nonetheless, for they will need our help and support, at some point.
    I am saddened beyond words that bloggers have to do this work. We have the mainstream media … for what, exactly?
    Let me know what you would like to keep in the public eye – alas, neither of my blogs is very much read, these days, but I will re-post whatever you want to go viral.

  9. Yes, take names. When bureacrats say something, it’s a person talking. Ask for their identification, and perhaps also of their supervisor.

    It might be worth some civic disobedience to violate “no entry” signs in order to take pictures, and publicize the reality more (but of course, I can’t … so also don’t blame any who don’t.)

    Name them.

  10. “We make an ever expanding pie.”

    This is the crux of the problem you face. That is impossible. Extinct species abound to testify to that truth.

    The economy cannot expand forever. That is where we are now and if that is not seriously addressed your presently preeminent nation will become just another country struggling to survive.

  11. Anonymous – I recommend you take your blinders off. Economies might someday hit physical limits some millennia from now. I’m not that worried about my lifetime or even during this millennium.

    There are large numbers of jobs that exist now that could not have existed a century ago. There are a large number of jobs that today we are too poor to afford and so they do not yet exist. The sand and grit that bureaucratic institutions have inserted into the US economy are slowing down the secular expansion (as opposed to temporary recession slowdowns) that turned the US from a wilderness to the world’s number one economy.

    We are threatened in many ways by people taking their eye off the ball of economic growth. You appear to be one of them. For shame.

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