Skip to main content

View Diary: Today's Read: Playboy interviews Saul Alinsky - 1972 (12 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Comparison of times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bread, Susipsych

    (Dammit... I just wrote a great post and as soon as I hit preview it disappeared. Completely. Grrrr. Never as good the second time, but I'll try to recreate...)

    What resonates most strongly with me is Alinsky's observations on the great depression.

    When friends and family bemoan the state of America today, fretting that these must surely be the last days of the Republic because we're so far down the road to fascism, and the corporations control the country, and journalism is sold out to the highest advertiser, and ratings determine all... I advise them to consider our history.

    America is a nation of ignorance, brutality, corruption, and total disregard for the fine principles expressed by the founding fathers (no sweethearts, either, if you bother to study the period from 1750-1820).

    Things could be worse, and they have been worse. The civil war? The robber barons and the collapse in the 1890's? The Great Depression? The slaughter of the native americans? Slavery?

    Even at the height of our international reputation, we still had wide-scale disenfranchisement of african americans, we had the McCarthy era.

    I don't see anything new in politics today that has not been in our national discourse since the beginning. Senator's longing for the good old days of Senatorial dignity are indulging in highly revisionist nostalgia. The good old days when latin american dictators funded their campaigns in order to keep American interests behind their despotism? The good old days when party machines ran whole cities without the slightest regard for the constitution or the law?

    I think Ralph Nader has lost the ability to make a difference in our public debate, but when he says these two parties are two arms of one beast, he's right, and it has always been the case.

    So, yeah, listen to Alinsky about the great depression, because that's where we could be in six months.

    However, what makes America so astonishingly wonderful is that occasionally, once every few generations, just often enough to totally transform, and restart the competing idealism and hope that eternally inspires this nation, some great leader comes along and totally upends the whole damn show.

    Thomas Jefferson advised us to hold ourselves a new revolution every 40 or 50 years, and more or less, we've done so. And we're due.

    And I'm hoping--a little desperately--that Obama is that man.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site