tv Debate on Saul Alinsky CSPAN August 6, 2017 11:15pm-12:00am EDT
[applause] think very much. today my work cut out for me, it is a very awkward topic for me to be topic debating because were debating the legacy in right now is the son of a linsky, also ahead of the foundation. here is michael on the stage. as well as a -- of the family. it's a little bit awkward, i will try to get over that one. at the first glance it seem to debate to people who are intimately familiar. what could i possibly know about that i would say his own son wouldn't know. i think if we look at the
godfather itself very powerful people can have one public life in a completely different private life. the don for example was himself a family man. very straightlaced very devoted to his children so my point of it be in the sun is give you a certain privileged position you can see the man as he relates to you. it's quite possible that a linsky was a lovely family man, devoted father, at the same time in public like being a gangster and a crook. now, on a linsky it relies on three links and a chain. and to see the case you have to break one or more those links.
the first link in the chain is to say that common experience tells us the democratic party today is completely different than the democratic party of 50 years ago. in other words, the democratic party today's not of let's say harry truman. raven jimmy carter and obama or hillary up from her lesser degree bernie sanders or elizabeth warren. it's a different kind of party and something or someone made it that way. now, that's the first link in the chain. the second link is simply to say, what are the distinguishing features of this new democratic party. they'll democratic party seem to
be a patriotic party generally committed to the same goals as most of us in this room what to do with american prosperity and how to share. or yes america should be strong in the world but is it better for america to be more or less interventionist. these were debates about means but agreeing on the end. the new democratic party is characterized by three new features, first, a systematic deployment of long listen us. for example, the immigration law say one thing but obama does another thing. the defensive american axes one thing but he does another. obama sees himself as above the law. the second feature is a willingness to use the power of the state against your opponents. in other words, we live at a time of even the post office
they'll have swat teams. so for the first time this new democratic party uses the power of the government, the irs, the epa to not only enforce its will, but to bludgeon its opponents into submission. you get on the wrong side and they think nothing of sending the tax audit people after you. this is the new democratic party. the third feature is enriching yourself by shaking down private corporations and the government. obama and hillary are global specialists. they figure out how to use leverage to public power to rent or sell public policy they figure out how to enrich themselves in the process. obama was a community organizer but you won't find him around poor people these days. bill and hillary came to washington, d.c. and despite
having government jobs their career they have a net worth of $300 million. -- lewinsky died in carmel by the sea. a community organizer who lives by the beach. you might say ties to the sound of the waves. no, this is the new democratic party. how did he get that way? the simple answer is, it got that we not entirely but largely through the influence of one man and the influence he exercised independently over obama and hillary. so another key link in my chain is hillary and obama were both at a formative way of life with a linsky. he died in 72 but obama kept going back to chicago to study under the linsky and some
suggesting he learned his scamming techniques from the linsky way. hillary, met linsky in high school. had a close relationship with them brought him to wesley college where she was a student and offered a job by a linsky. so both obama and hillary at a key time of life and by to might say the linsky goulet. now i want to talk a little bit about the to see if it is recognizably the force behind the america we live in now. most people think to figure out a linsky you have to go read the rules for radicals because there's the dedication to lucifer and one of the opening pages that tells you what you need to know. i think that book tells you relatively little bottle linsky. first of all, that it dedication
itself is highly problematic. linsky was an atheist. probably like a good many of you in this room. he didn't believe in god and he didn't believe in lucifer. what is a guy who doesn't live in goddard lucifer dedicate a book to a guy he doesn't believe in. clearly this is not about a linsky saying i want to be the devil, clearly something else is going on. remember a linsky himself embraces -- and one of the key pieces of advice is not to play a full hand up front. you can be safe in assuming the linsky book is not going to be the full and true window. you have to look someplace else. normally we would have no place to look, but happily toward the end of his life he gave a series of interviews. this was in 1971 and imploding
in the year he died, one was to playboy magazine and another one was to harpers magazine. in these interviews he basically said stuff that is never appeared in public corporate before and they give you a window into a linsky. the first thing he says is from a young age i tried to figure out how i could get stuff for free and he describes a great relish of scam that he developed at the university of chicago for eating and dining halls without pain. a normal guy would be like i pulled off the scam, i'm a clever guy, a linsky and we see kicking in, he said i "seminars around the university to instruct other students on how they could eat without paying for it. i think this was the birth of community organizing in the
united states. a linsky graduates from school and goes on to college instead is criminology. he then gets in with a series of games. an italian gang he talks about and then the al capone gang. and here he talks about his interactions with the gang and at one point the capone voice want to bring in an assassin from out of state to kill people and a linsky, far from objecting objects to the high price of bringing in and out of state assassin. he says why don't we hire one of the local guys, they will do it for less. linsky tells playboy come he says i admire the way in which the gang members could shake down people and extract money.
the only downside is every now and then they got shot. so it got me thinking how i could pull off a similar scan and then he realized that crime similar to politics. and so he realized, and i'm not divulging his private thoughts, he says a lot of the things that i applied to community organizing i learned from the mafia. that's not a direct quote but a paraphrase. essentially he took the mafia shakedown tactics which is up against the wall and brought them into politics. and here we have the beginnings of obama and hillary. i want to give a simple example of how works.
since were talking about it, obama care. for many people think obama care is obama colluding with the american people against the insurance companies. that's a public face of it. let's pretend i'm on the side of the people fighting for the little guy against the big bad insurance companies. in reality something different is going on. obama is meeting behind closed doors with the insurance companies and basically using threats and incentives to bring them over to support obama care. the threats are obvious, will be taking over the health care system and it will look bad for you if you oppose it. the incentive, he says were going to be forcing millions of americans, including millions of americans who don't want insurance, going to make them bite.
and that's hundreds of millions of dollars of prophet for you. you have a carrot, you have an economic incentive for backing my program so here's my point, smoke and mirrors. obama is in bed with the insurance companies establishing government control of the economy while pretending to be on the side of the little guy. this was a linsky specialty. it was to indulge in the rhetoric of social justice while in fact been about what he talks about in his book and ultimately for him it's about power. in this country today there's a great fight over whether or not the entrepreneur, the creator of wealth and the people who actually work and make stuff, should they have the power or should announce a group of
self-anointed group of bureaucrats and experts who declare themselves to be progressive on the side of history, on the side of the future, they get to come in and take things over and deploy wealth ultimately for their own gain. this is the democratic party we have now. frankly, if you don't like trunk, this is how we got trump. the reason we got trump is the democratic party became a ruthless party, the republican party is a party of -- gentlemen. they were being thrown up against the wall and finally people said we need to have a little bit of a big box and someone who can throw you across room on our side for a change.
remember how defensive poor mitt romney was about as well. trump has more wealth but nobody criticizes him because the more you criticize him about it the more he boasts about having more than you thought. so are now in a linsky environment. i admire him from distance. he is a very scheming, clever man. i think it's an accident of history because he had no way of knowing at the time that his two protéges, barack obama and hillary clinton, both of whom to seem to have nothing going at the time would actually become and reach the summit of power, but they did mess up at the method into operation.
and it's a big legacy. although a destructive one. thank you. [applause] >> ralph, it's interesting because there's a little inspiration in trump as well as hillary but talk about why you think that's not the case and also maybe some dogmatic things. >> i wore my black cat just in case there is any do business about how far right-wing i am. my biggest problem but in ashes he so far to my left and when i turned his direction i see pink. he uses left-wing victimizing tactics, and shame on you. soul died in carmel by the sea
where he was taking care of his ex-wife from whom he had a friendly divorce. he had a heart attack while caring for her. but this is typical dinesh confabulation of linsky's legacy. barack obama was 11 years old when he died, they never met. i interviewed a friend of mine, arnie graff who took over the foundations and who mentored barack obama for about two days or week at a seminar. his mostly interested in how arnie was raising a racially mixed family because he came from one. ultimately, he turned away definitively from the linsky message of community organizing, to get power to the people
against the government and telling arnie, i want to go into the system, i want to become a powerful political figure, judge or lawyer. hillary clinton met a linsky two or three times, wrote her honors thesis about him, turn down an opportunity to work with him because she said, i think he is magnificent but you can't take this to scale. i don't want to put pressure from the community on the government to carry out our well, i want to become a powerful central planner. she explicitly, in her thesis which is brilliant and i strongly recommend you go to the web and read it, turned away from lewinsky. neither of them were lewinsky's
accolades. they both turned away. so dinesh trying to hey the corruption of the modern left in the democratic party on him is factually wrong. you have one thing absolutely right. and i hope everybody was paying attention. so lewinsky was all about power, taking power people think they know him because they saw the wiseguy by the way, lucifer, according to john kevin count was not satan. in jewish theology and by the way, dinesh, you are wrong. so lewinsky was not an atheist, he was an agnostic energy to his dying day. you say these things, they're not factually based and you
confuse people. the left, so lewinsky was one of us. he was a classical liberal in the british sense of john locke, adam smith and the left has appropriated his identity and his work which i will summarize with one paragraph from rules for radicals. but don't be fooled by the exerts of rules. don't be fooled by people who may or may not have read it and are circulating garbage. it's not dedicated to lucifer. it was dedicated to his beloved wife. this was an epigram. in an epigram which they'll talk about sandwiched in from rabbi and thomas paine.
he never said the ends justify the means, read the chapter. he asked, what ends justify what means. and what did so lewinsky really live for? he lived in open life, dinesh, there is no cover story, is a summation of the way he lived which you can actually read about in, let them call me rebel by sandy horwitz which lays it out chapter and verse. here's a man with no secrets. this is what he stands for, this is what i stand for, and this is what i pray you will use your power to do. we learn when we respect the dignity of the people, that they cannot be denied the elementary
right to participate in the solutions to their own problems. self-respect arises only to people who plan active role in solving their crises and who are not helpless, passive, puppet like recipients a private or public services. to get people help while denying them a significant part of the actions contributes nothing to the development of the individual in the deepest sense it is not given, but taking. taking their dignity. denial of the opportunity to participate as a denial of human dignity. i yield the rest of my time toward chairman david a linsky.
[applause] >> first of all let me also stop for a moment talk about the house of carmel. what has been made of this. that house was bought for my father, $35000, the house had what was known as a life close on a for those of you who are attorneys that means that the owner, the former owner has the right to live in that house as long as he or she show live or choose to. we bought that house with that idea and mine my mother, jean
died in that house of multiple sclerosis i'm sorry that i have to talk about this. there are a lot of things that were said today, don't of the time to go into all of them, but i want to talk about a few things. there are three basic myths about my father, let me also say, i am not here to tell you, i'm using stories about our times are on the dinner table or the times of their guests and friends, i'm here to talk about the philosophy and the theory of my father. there are three basic myths about my father the first is, the book is dedicated to
lucifer. ralph touched on this, the fact of the matter is, that page in the book if you look at it is called the frontage piece. there are three notations on that page. one by a rabbi who died in 110 bc, little while ago. the second, is by thomas paine and the third is by my father. he talks about lucifer, who was lucifer? historically is a metaphor for evil incarnation in hebrew it's
-- that exists in every person that comes to them to do wrong. this is from genesis six-five. the word same comes from the hebrew word meaning to oppose or obstruct. and he certainly intended to do the, to oppose or obstruct establishment. the reference to lucifer is not about doing evil, but rather, posing the accepted status quo at the expense of others the second myth is that his philosophy was biased toward the democratic party. this is also not true. while he uses the word democrat or democratic, a number of
times, he never says this is for democrats, this is for any organization, any people or group is a series of sign post on how to think about power politics. let's face it, we are all involved, one way or another and power politics. if we agree with each other, fine. if we don't, we are looking for ways to convince her to otherwise use that power for the good of ourselves and our community, for the good of our nation. his interest was solely in providing a way of thinking and organizing for all people, whether black or white, yellow
or brown, american, native american, or any other group, including libertarians. people, regardless of color or gender politics but no political power to gain from themselves a sufficiently meaningful measure of political influence that they could see a path forward and obtain for themselves that measure freedom, security, and independence that the house have always exercise and have taken for granted as a birthrate. the third myth is that he was a communist, marxist, socialist, capitalist hating, god hating anarchist who so mission in life was to destroy the republic.
nothing could be further from the truth. if anything, he was a community capitalist who believed it was only through self-interest that individuals and groups achieved anything. why work hard he would say when, in a communist system working hard achieves nothing and it's only the party leaders who make out. everyone else were just slaves. anyway, he would say i can never be a communist or socialist, don't have a sense of humor and that would be deadly. he is to say he would never join any organization, not even his own. but that's not exactly true. he was a jew. he said i by value my independence to highly of the
organization he did belong to and support was that of the jewish faith. he was a member of and supported her neighborhood temple all of his years. i grew up in that temple, he would never have set me to synagogue if he had been anything less when asked, he would say i'm jewish. that's what he would say. i'm jewish this not exactly the sentiment of a god hating marxists. there were a lot of things that were said today that i really don't have time to go into them. but to say simply that what he believed in the book rules to radicals, that assists old
speaking. i will tell you one thing, that sitting in our apartment, he would work long into the night struggling over each word and phrase, each sentence and paragraph to find the essence of what he believed in what he wanted to work for and what he dedicated his life for. he was a democrat, no question about that, he was a lifelong democrat. however, more than being a democrat, he believed in the republic and the ability of people to organize for themselves, regardless of their party, regardless of their community, regardless of their race, creed, or color.
to gain for themselves the individual and collective rights that our country provides. thank you. [applause] >> those were running low on time, were going to do a quick response but dinesh, just a few minutes responding to that in the closing statement. >> saul alinsky was a complex man. i think it's interesting that virtually none of what i said in my opening statement has been challenged by either, i guess
they want to quibble about whether he was an agnostic or atheist. quite frankly out conceit on that point. he was culturally a jew, he is not particularly religious, and maybe he was merely a -- i don't know agnostic, fair enough. that's not the heart of the matter though. the heart of the matter is, in situ that saul alinsky really have this impact on obama and hillary? we've seen a weird defense of his legacy. you can call disruptive because he didn't have a legacy at all. neither obama or hillary paid attention to him really, i think that's not true. it is true that obama and hillary developed a serious shift from him. if you will, they broke with him at the end, but on 1.1.1. essentially he was outside man.
that sense, my mafia analogy of controlling the street through intimidation is very apps. he use the outsider shakedown technique. obama and hillary went one better. they said we don't have to be outside threatening to bring the government to a halt and shut down a corporation, what if we run the corporation and the government. then we can use the weapons of the state which we otherwise wouldn't have against her enemies. so yes, you could say they out -- him and they use power and a way that olin ski never dreamed was possible. now, with regard to whether or not he was a leftist or rightist, let's put it this way, once you start talking about the haves and have-nots you treat the haves as if their success, their earnings, their created
well is all accidental, another words something that is merely power that ran from manner from heaven and there trying to protected. in the have-nots of social misfortune must organize and struggle to take from the house, were in a straight out marks it division of society between the house and have sought. the whole of the united states was invented as an alternative to this framework. the united states was based on the idea that if you limit the size of the government you avoid the oppression that was common and systematic and futile europe. and you allow something new which is wealth creation. people work hard, they come up with new ideas, patents and copyrights.
they create wealth. my have, or have not? when i came to america with $500 in my pocket i was i have not. over time, through effort in selling books, making movies, i guess i'm a member of the house. so my now under pressure? this is the kind of's shallow leftist way of dividing society. never asking the question, was this well the stolen or created in the first place. , to give olin ski credit, he was a very ingenious man. and he figured out creative ways of making his point which essentially put the republicans in a bad light. at one point he was approached by a group of leftists who wanted to protest the republican party and holding up posters
saying the republican party is the party of the ku klux klan. wolinsky is a smart guy. he would've known for sure that the ku klux klan was almost for the entirety of its history, and organized element, says for 30 years it was the mistake terrorist arm of the party. what advice does wolinsky give, he says don't have posters because that's the leftist -- come dressed as klansmen and when they begin to speak just jump up and down and cheer widely so that you're creating a media event that makes it sounds like the clan loves the republican. so here's an example of straight out deception, invalid and a big
lie if you want to use a term of my new book. he has this ability to realize you could use that effectively to extract confessions. even when his protesting against private companies who would find out there sponsoring a theater. he said let's paid guys to go into the theater and when the performance starts, all of us will begin to cough and fart. why? to disrupt, destroy and ruin. the company will be so embarrassed that we don't even have to do the protests. they'll pass up behind closed doors before the event takes place. so, in conclusion, if you see a tone of brutality, intimidation, smoke and mirrors, deceptive
propaganda, follow this is now we can see the nucleus of this, linsky didn't just do it, he was proud of it. thank you. [applause] >> dinesh, i do not completely dispel your premise premise, bee life is not long enough to dispel all your statements. and so wolinsky carried his sidearm because of death threats from the kkk. you continue distort the message of soul linsky, which doesn't bother me. you are a house cat, you sit on a pillow and you drink cream. and you consider allie kane's like soul and me, riffraff. i get it.
and you earned it. so had nothing against earnings. your making all of this stuff up. read the book and you'll agree, i don't have enough minutes for this. i have one minute to tell you that the number is 56. not for you. what translated the declaration of independence from just one more document and rules for radicals is cut from the exact same classical liberal cloth of the declaration of independence was 56 men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the propositions that the creator has been a certain unalienable rights and
it is the government's job to defend them. there must be hundreds of people in this room and thousands of freedom fast. there are people at freedom fast who have pledged their lives and their fortune on their sacred honor, we need more of you to stand up cannot criticize the government, but take power now. thank you. >> david, if you would like to make a two-minute closing statement. >> that's a challenge in two minutes. what were talking about here -- like i said before, were all involved one way or another and power politics. the question is, if you are
being oppressed for whatever reason, from whatever source, what are you means of fighting back and what is the end you wish. communities like in rochester for the south side of chicago, new york, canada, what did they have? they didn't have the power, they didn't have the political power, they didn't have the money, they didn't have the police or the wall witted they have? they had themselves. so, you use what you have with what you got. we all know this. in our businesses in our lives you use what you have coming you use what you have got. so what did he have? he had people.
so he could send a couple hundred people to the rochester symphony orchestra or he just sent a couple hundred people to the o'hare airport. he used people. was he working outside the system? yes. how can he work inside the system. they weren't in the system. the system was oppressing, and they had to find a way to fight back. means an end. you use what you have with what you've got. it's as simple as that. [applause] >> thank everyone for participating. i will end with this quote in its saul alinsky putting thomas
payne saint let them call me rebel and welcome, i feel no concern but i would suffer the misery of devils. >> thank you everyone for participating. [applause] >> c-span, were history of steely. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it's brought to today by your cable or satellite provider. >> now, book tvs monthly in depth program with author and attorney, chris and hall.