"This, then, is the cause to which we here have bound ourselves. It is the cause of making democracy a dynamic force -- of making it work -- of breaking the strangle-holds of undemocratic practices - of smashing the apathy which has pervaded much of our society -- of doing all this so that democracy may grow in every way -- and grow it must if it is to live." Statement by Saul Alinsky to the IAF Board of Directors, May 8, 1942
Some years back Charles Koch parlayed a mid sized oil service and engineering firm founded by his father into a multi national conglomerate. In the process he became the sixth wealthiest individual in the world. Among other things his firm manufactures Dixie Cups, a product he didn't invent but had the acumen to acquire, and the chemical stew patented as "Stainmaster", a mix he didn't invent but also astutely acquired.
By virtue of his spectacular wealth Mr. Koch is now entitled to a Pharonic Pulpit to accompany the more run of the mill foundation establishing, lobbying and influence peddling that flows from possession of mega green. The Wall Street Journal has confirmed his standing. Mr. Koch is for liberty and he thinks you should be too.
About ten years ago, badgered by EPA and OSHA governmental nobodies to clean up his industrial act, Mr. Koch decided to up his political visibility and download hordes of cash on sympatico candidates. Now he's into politics big time, trading barbs with Senator Harry Reid who, unlike many politicos, doesn't think being unimaginatively rich always requires genuflection.
Mr. Koch is an admirer of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises - the Austrian School of Economics and all that. He says they helped him understand who he was as a person and a business man. Forget Freud. Embrace the Austrian economists and you'll be better for it.
Guess who's a burr under Mr. Koch's Pharonic saddle? None other than Saul David Alinsky. Here's how he goes at him while opining in the aforementioned Journal.
Says Koch: "Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers."
Schopenhauer, Alinsky and the despots. Pity the poor victim of infamous practices.
BTW, Mr. Koch, Saul Alinsky never advocated character assassination and he certainly wasn't a "collectivist".
Frank Pierson is a leading authority on the life and legacy of Saul Alinsky. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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