Update: As of Oct 5 2010, I am renewing the links to LiveAction.org because when I went through their website just now, I found that they have removed Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals from their list of Recommended Books. (You may have noticed that the link says prolifewebsites instead of recommendedbooks. It’s an error in the coding of their page; just look down the page a short distance and you’ll see the books section.) You can read below about how upset I was when I saw that book listed there a few months back. I was upset enough to contact them and carry on a brief correspondence with their director of media. Whether they thought better of it because of our conversation (at least in part) or for some other reason, I am happy to see that awful book removed. Thank you, Lord! God is Good! :)
As of Jan 22, 2010, I removed the links to the organization LiveAction.org on the links page after emails were exchanged between myself and LiveAction’s media consultant in which they insist on using and recommending Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and the methods he recommends. He pointed to a very brief one line disclaimer on the site and suggested that they might need to revise it. I cannot in good conscience continue to support this group until they repudiate Alinsky, his writings and his methods. I checked their site tonight and I notice that they have, indeed, revised and even expanded their disclaimer to Alinsky’s book recommendation, but they are far from repudiating it. This is so sad but I can’t let it slide, even if I like some of the work they are doing.
Alinsky asserts that the end justifies the means. And that is exactly the opposite of what the Church teaches. He mocks the Christian religion thoroughly in a vein reminiscent of Richard Dawkins. (Or is it the other way around?) But the mocking doesn’t bother me as much as his corrupt and perverted view of religion does. What he said about Gandhi was absurd. What he quoted from Dostoevsky was misleading in the extreme. He makes it obvious that what he is really interested in is power: getting power and holding onto it by any means possible. And that most people are, in his estimation, much too stupid to understand what he’s suggesting, or to decide for themselves that they would prefer to achieve their goals in some more ethical way. Alinsky is about “transformation”, voluntary or forced, that’s his revolution, that’s his “change we can believe in”. Or should I say, “change we can be deceived by”?
I want to support LiveAction. But I will not support any person or any group that supports the likes of Saul Alinsky. I will not support any group that uses Alinsky’s methods. I will not support any group that recommends his methods or his writings to anyone for anything other than to learn what not to do. But that’s not why LiveAction recommends Rules for Radicals. They recommend it because they find it useful. I find that alarming. I find that the fact that they don’t find it alarming more alarming. Even after our emails. Even after I pleaded with them to read the book again. Carefully. Warily. To no avail.
I’ll keep an eye on the LiveAction resources page and post updates about it from time to time here.