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ACORN’s Patron Saint Saul Alinsky Loved Violence: ‘Subversion Inc.’ Book Preview (Part 2 of 4)

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Posted on May 10 2011 2:16 pm

From Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, by Matthew Vadum (WND Books):

For ACORN, anything goes, from rude protests to crude intimidation and violence. The bigger, the louder, the more obnoxious, the more destructive, the better. ACORN founder Wade Rathke summed up ACORN’s approach to doing business in a single sentence: “One can almost taste the adrenaline when people take a crowbar to a door and pop it open to begin squatting.” ACORN leadership doesn’t care if people get hurt or property is damaged: as long as the action advances the cause, it’s fair game.

“ACORN protests have turned violent, at times as soon as the rallies began,” writes Sol Stern of the Manhattan Institute. “Some protests disrupted Federal Reserve hearings and busted into closed city council meetings.” In Stern’s opinion ACORN embraces “undisguised authoritarian socialism” when it demands that large companies that desire to leave the community be coerced into getting “an exit visa from the community board signifying that the company has adequately compensated all its employees and the community at large for losses due to relocation.”

ACORN’s legacy of destruction and lawlessness traces directly back to the fiendishly brilliant Saul Alinsky. Born in 1909, the group’s spiritual sherpa into the abyss of planned anarchy was always fascinated by violence. His defenders present Alinsky as an advocate of civil disobedience who rejected violence as a political tool. This is rubbish. Alinsky adored violence.

By the time he died, Alinsky had created an astounding 44 community organizations that aspire to pulverize the American system. ACORN founder Rathke worked with Alinsky, who trained activists from the Massachusetts chapter of ACORN’s parent organization NWRO and other groups before he died in 1972. Alinsky “had done sessions with my staff at Massachusetts Welfare Rights in early 1970 and various other things,” Rathke blogged.

According to one of Alinsky’s senior organizers at the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), Nicholas von Hoffman, Alinsky played no direct role in the creation of ACORN. But von Hoffmann believes the master, had he lived to see it develop, would have approved of ACORN’s approach to agitation.

The group’s “cheekiness, truculence and imaginative tactical tropes have an Alinskyan touch,” according to von Hoffman, a journalist who wrote a particularly nasty biography of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s counsel Roy Cohn. Von Hoffman soft-pedals the damage that Alinsky-style organizing does to the body politic, claiming Alinsky was sounding “the trumpet blast for democracy.”

If democracy includes “conking” picket line crossers on the head—something he admits Alinsky favored— then he’s right. Alinsky shied away from praising violence in public because “[t]he subject was too touchy and to bring it up was to invite misquotation and distortion.”

But in private “he would say that violence has its uses.”

Follow me on Twitter and check out my new book Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers. Copyright © 2011 by Matthew Vadum. View the Subversion Inc. page at Facebook.

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