Thursday, January 31, 2019

UPDATED: Saul Alinsky, The Arrest Of Roger Stone, And The Uses Of Power

Reader Jim W. has drawn my attention to a NYT article about the "perp walk":

Parading the accused and the condemned before the citizenry is an age-old tactic used by those holding power. The most famous example goes back some 2,000 years, when a Jewish preacher from Nazareth was forced to trudge painfully to Calvary. William Wallace, the Scottish independence leader, experienced it being dragged through London before his execution in 1305. French monarchists, during the revolution, endured it as well in the tumbrels carrying them to the guillotine.
That sort of public shaming has not disappeared, even if conducted in 21st-century America with less brutality. The modern version is known as a perp walk. As in days of old, a criminal suspect is displayed in front of a fevered crowd — composed now not of the howling masses but of camera and microphone holders pushing and shouting in sweaty pursuit of the best possible lens angle.

The article notes that in 1999 a federal judge in NY ruled that the perp walk was unconstitutional unless it had some "legitimate law enforcement objective or justification":

Judge Schwartz said the walk was intended to humiliate ... and had ''no legitimate law enforcement objective or justification.'' ...
The perp walk, though, seems almost certain to survive Judge Schwartz. 

The author was right, of course. Intimidation and humiliation by the Leftist establishment will always be with us. In place of the "perp walk", behold: the SWAT raid in the hours of darkness!

But something in that article rang a bell. A "tactic used by those holding power"? That may depend to some extent on who holds power, but we know for a certainty that the left is about nothing if not about power and the use of power. The foremost prophet of the modern Left has told us so: Essay: Radical Saul Alinsky: Prophet of Power to the People. Power to the people? We can take that with a grain of salt. 

No doubt Alinsky, a keen student of Macchiavelli, understood Macchiavelli's doctrine of the "effectual truth". Who knows, perhaps Alinsky knew his Leo Strauss and turned it to good use for manipulating the masses, "the people" he claims to be working for:

Strauss suggests that the masses simply cannot handle the truth and are in need of a class of political elites who, while themselves pursuing the truth, support the noble lies necessary for any society to function.

"Political elites" could be viewed in strict Leninist terms as the "vanguard party," or "progressives" as they now openly style themselves in 21st century America.

Alinsky may even have admired Winston Churchill's dictum:

In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

In any event, I think it's only realistic--a word Alinsky always appreciated--to recognize that Alinsky's thinking has penetrated the Leftist and Deep State consciousness, and certainly the Democrat party in its Clintonian form. After all, Hillary Clinton not only wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky--'There Is Only the Fight ...': An Analysis of the Alinsky Model--she also corresponded with Alinsky through the 1970s.

Roger Kimball wrote an excellent article in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign: Want to understand Hillary Clinton? Read Saul Alinsky. Do yourself a favor and read the entire article. In it Kimball writes about Alinsky, Clinton and--inevitably, because these are Leftists we're talking about--Power:

There was a sense in which he, like Clinton, sought to work within the system. "We will start with the system because there is no other place to start except political lunacy." But his goal, as he said again and again, was revolution. "My aim here is how to organize for power: how to get it and to use it" for the sake of revolution. 
Rules for Radicals is a curious book. It is impressively literate, with apposite quotations from Lincoln, Shakespeare, Tom Paine, Tocqueville and others salted throughout the text. I particularly admired a quotation from Tocqueville that begins, "It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life." That, of course, is precisely what the intrusive regulatory state excels at. 
But it would be a mistake to see Alinsky as an enemy of the regulatory state or as apostle of individual freedom. His pragmatism was cold, ruthless and thoroughgoing. He might employ the soothing rhetoric of individual freedom, but his unwavering goal was the acquisition and deployment of power. 
It is in this Luciferian context, the worship of power, that his influence on Clinton is most patent.  [Comment: Rules for Radicals is dedicated by Alinsky to "the first radical known to man ... Lucifer."]
One of the most eye-opening chapters of Rules for Radicals is given over to a meditation on means and ends. Does the end justify the means? That depends, Alinsky says. He then provides a chilling anatomy of that calculus that winds up justifying the use of any means provided that the desired end can be obtained. 
He admiringly cites Lenin's observation that the Bolsheviks "stood for getting power through the ballot, but would reconsider after they got the guns."

It is in this context that the entire Russia Hoax should be viewed. We must recognize the Leninist and Alinskyite tactics behind the entire construct that is being implemented by Team Mueller, populated as it is with Clintonistas. That's the big picture, but even smaller elements fit within this framework. As Lenin's commissar for justice wrote, "We must execute not only the guilty. Execution of the innocent will impress the masses even more". So the arrest of Roger Stone was several things. First and foremost, however, it was an exercise of brute power for the "masses" to see. An act of intimidation. Or as Alinsky himself puts it:

"Always remember the first rule of power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have."
[If you have control of an organization] "you can parade it visibly before the enemy and openly show your power."
UPDATE: I just saw that Judge Napolitano has drawn attention to a further exercise of brute power in the Stone case:

Judge Napolitano: They wont give him a transcript of his alleged lies because the testimony before Congress was classified. This is really Kafkaesque that he should have to defend against something. The government has papers that contains his lies and he is not allowed to see that paper. The lawyers can see it in a secure facility. They can’t get a copy of it. No way will a federal judge allow this to be a basis for the prosecution because your friend the constitution says you’re entitled to be confronted with the evidence against you… You can’t make this up.

Judge Nap is confident that "No way will a federal judge allow this to be a basis for the prosecution because your friend the constitution says you’re entitled to be confronted with the evidence against you". I wish I could be that confident. We've already seen a federal judge in NY in the Russian bot case make a ruling that isn't all that far off this. Yes, it's true that Judge Dabney Friedrich (no, that's not drawn from Kakfa) happens to be the wife of a very close Mueller protege, but that's just how the Deep State rolls.

In any event, this isn't really about whether the Constitution will ultimately be vindicated. It's about POWER. The power of Deep State operatives to manufacture crimes and jerk you around with dubious legal tactics to bankrupt you and drive you into the ground. Why? As Steve Sailer likes to quote Voltaire: Pour encourager les autres! I.e., as an example to others. If you don't feel inclined to submit to a similar ordeal, you'll keep your mouth shut.

Will our courts act against these abuses, this incipient totalitarian regime of the Left? I wish I could be optimistic.


  1. How do we fight these evil people? They are ruining our country, and they have the money, mobs and media to keep doing it. I think a good place to start is to get a fifth reliably conservative vote on the Supreme Court (Roberts is definitely not reliable.) From there, various "test cases" can be initiated on such issues as the First Amendment's establishment clause (so as to stop the Islamist indoctrination of young students in the public schools). We can't cede the future to the anti-America crowd..that is, to the Democratic Party. Amazing...John and Robert Kennedy would not recognize this party. Since the 1960's, the country has lurched left, resulting in a GOP espousing formerly liberal positions (on some issues) and an illiberal Democratic Party that could care less about our laws or the Constitution. As a Jewish-American, I am particularly disappointed by the many Dem Jews in the Congress who go along with an increasingly anti-Semitic political party.

  2. Join the club, Steve. Imagine how dumbfounded I, as a Catholic, am re what's going on both in the Church as well as among politicians who claim to be Catholic. How the American people as a group came to the idea that it would be a good idea to hand the House over to such a vicious group of people is more than I can understand.