Tuesday, April 06, 2021

“Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals”: Karlyn Borysenko reminds us of one of its most shocking ideas in describing the "investigation" of a non-woke professor

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I need to mention another older book on this blog, Saul D. Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals”, as analyzed here on infed by Mike Seal.    The book, 196 pages, was originally published in 1971 by Random House.

One of its most shocking quotes: “He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of ‘personal salvation’; he doesn’t care enough for people to ‘be corrupted’ for them.”   That is, “the end justifies the means”.  If I had to give in to this, I would prefer not to exist at all.

Another one “He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of ‘personal salvation’; he doesn’t care enough for people to ‘be corrupted’ for them.”/

Or, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it (Alinsky 1972: 130). This is perhaps Saul Alinsky’s most controversial rule and is the counter to the common idea that we should not make things personal.

The book comes up at the start of Karlyn Borysenko’s video on the trials of Elisa Parrett, a newly tenured professor of English at the Washington Institute of Technology, who was investigated for 8 months after objecting to segregated sessions teaching white fragility and critical theory at the workplace (although she visited the Trump rally Jan 6 but did not go into the Capitol).  Reason magazine describes the whole situation in an essay April 5 by Jesse Sengal. 

 Update: April 11  I want to supplement this review by referring people to Graeme Wood's Atlantic essay "The Next Decade Could Be Even Worse".  He talks about Peter Turchin (professor and sci-fi writerm "War and Peace and War" (2006), and the idea that we are producing too many elites who can't do their own manual labor. Too many people in the ruling class.  Too many equivalents of Saudi princes. A bit neo-Marxist. 

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