Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama's Community Organization of Power

One of the most imporant and fundamentally radical elements of Barack Obama's political journey is his experience as a Chicago community organizer.

The nature of community organization is inherently leftist and anti-establisment. Rooted in progressive social activism, community action is an Americanized version of the proletarian class struggle of the Marxist-Leninist ideological program. As such its essential project is the overthrow of institutions of hierarchical dominance and the decimation of the oppressive classes. It is totalizing in its project to defeat the reigning patterns of alleged hegemony of class and race. It seeks to give power to "the people."

The contemporary progressive left is well aware of Obama's practice of radical community organization. Progressives see in Obama one of their own. He'll take his politics of agitation, practiced on the Chicago South Side, to the national level.

The political appeal and current application of this leftist Trojan Horse is explained by John Maki, in his essay, "
Obama's "Community Organizer" Phase Was About Political Power, Not Soup Kitchens":
"Community organizer."

If you've heard the term, you likely learned about it through Barack Obama's memoir or one of his speeches where he talks about his time working in poor neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side in the 1980s. He refers to this time in his life a lot. Obama leans on it, hard, while stumping. But what does it mean?

"One of my fundamental beliefs from my days as a community organizer is that real change comes from the bottom up ... And there's no more powerful tool for grassroots organizing than the Internet."

-Barack Obama

What do community organizers actually do? How do they do it? And how has Obama's experience as a community organizer shaped his run for the presidency?

Well, as Maki indicates, community organizers practice a brutalizing politics of fear and power. Community progressives achieve their aims through a politics of implacable belligerency. It is the politics of abject thuggery. It is based in confrontation and scare-tactics. Those subjected to the community activist model will be offered a deal they can't refuse - there'll be hell to pay in going against the will of the people:

If you think these tactics resemble standard forms of political intimidation, you are right ... community organizing is old-fashioned, bare-knuckle politics for the little guy.

This is also what most coverage of Obama's days as a community organizer fails to appreciate. For whether you are an Alinksy-schooled community organizer or a Chicago politician, you are a student of power. If you have survived long enough to succeed in either position, like Obama has, you have learned not to worry so much about the power you have. What keeps you up at night is the power you do not have. In community organizing and politics, you know the only thing that can hurt you is what you cannot control.

Since Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, he has been accused of moving to the center and flip-flopping on positions he adopted during the primary. This criticism misses the point. In his recent moves, Obama, the community organizer, is simply trying to build new alliances as he neutralizes threats to his power. It is what any Chicago-trained community organizer worth his salt would do.
The fruits of Obama's community organization model can be seen in the latest revelations surrounding the presumptive nominee's ties to ACORN, the Chicago-based radical community action group. As Stanley Kurtz notes:

Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn), the largest radical group in America. If I told you Obama had close ties with or Code Pink, you’d know what I was talking about. Acorn is at least as radical as these better-known groups, arguably more so. Yet because Acorn works locally, in carefully selected urban areas, its national profile is lower. Acorn likes it that way. And so, I’d wager, does Barack Obama.
Obama has been tremendously successful in keeping his oppositional community ties out of the national spotlight. There's been some attention to Obama's South Side radicalism, but for the most part the soft, respectable images of Barack Obama as a Harvard-trained lawyer and family man, with some sprinklings of benign multiculturalism, have prevailed as the dominant narrative.

The truth is otherwise.

Obama's steeped in the oppositional model of critical race studies. His theology's one of black liberation, social revolution, and hatred. He has known ties to ex-revolutionary fugitives William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, activists today who still denounce the United States and stomp on the American flag; and Obama's family ties have deep and troubling foundations in doctrinaire Marxist-Leninist activism and ideology.

The foundations of Obama's community organization of power are found in his radical ideological, political, and religious history.

This is the political program Obama will take to Washington if he's elected this November.

See also, Rick Moran, "Obama's Ties to ACORN More Substantial Than First Believed."


MAX said...

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!!!

MAXX said...