You are here:   Reputations >  Overrated > Saul Alinsky
Saul Alinsky
July/August 2010


When David Cameron announced in his Big Society speech last spring that he intended to create a "neighbourhood army" of 5,000 full-time, professional community organisers, most people probably imagined that he was talking about mobilising the kind of worthy folk who habitually volunteer for good deeds.

He spoke glowingly of training such organisers with the skills needed to identify local community leaders, help people start their own neighbourhood groups and assist communities to tackle their problems.

What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, to those with tuned-in antennae the word "army" was one clue that something was very wrong with it. For what Cameron almost certainly didn't realise was that the inspirational leader he credited with creating the concept of the community organiser, Saul Alinsky, was a man who did believe in the creation of an army — a revolutionary army, no less, to overthrow Western society. And the community organiser was its designated recruiting-sergeant. 

It's a fair bet that hardly anyone in Britain has heard of Alinsky, a radical Marxist Chicago activist who died in 1972. A master of infiltration, Alinsky wooed Chicago mobsters and Wall Street financiers alike. Successive Democratic politicians fell under his spell — including one Barack Obama, who worked as an Alinskyite community organiser before entering politics. 

Mesmerised by Obama's stunning political trajectory and hoping that some of the glitter of America's First Community Organiser would settle upon the Big Society idea, Cameron was only too keen to extol Alinsky as his own inspiration. 

Astonishing as this may seem, Britain's new Conservative Prime Minister thus effectively declared himself a follower of a left-wing radical who set out to undermine Western society through subterfuge. 

For Alinsky was a "transformational Marxist" in the mould of Antonio Gramsci. He promoted the strategy of a "long march through the institutions" by capturing the culture and turning it inside out as the most effective means of starting the revolution. 

His creed was set out in Rules for Radicals, which he dedicated to Lucifer, whom he called the "first radical". For Alinsky, "change" was his mantra. Sound familiar? It was the slogan repeated incessantly by both Cameron and Obama. But what Alinsky meant was a Marxist revolution achieved by slow, incremental, Machiavellian means. 

This had to be done through systematic deception, winning the trust of the naively idealistic middle-class by using the language of morality to conceal an agenda designed to destroy it. And the way to do this, he said, was through "people's organisations" set up by community organisers.

View Full Article
February 9th, 2011
2:02 AM
Great article. Clearly there is substance to the claim of the "community organizers." The radical left is famous for harsh attacks against opponents and senseless rants like the one posted by Howie. He must be one of the community organizers. Just the comment itself attacks the viewpoint and tries to make it sound ludicrous. These are the true enemies of democracy and freedom. The stealth radicals are amongst us. Just like the Howies of the world.

Occam's Tool
August 30th, 2010
1:08 AM
Dear Lucy: Yes, you can have an "overrated" article on someone whose effects on world history greatly outstrip those of Tony Blair. The fact that you are ignorant of this does not mean that he is not important, just as the fact that you are no doubt ignorant of the name of the chief quartermaster of the Union armies during the American Civil War make his work unimportant. Saul Alinsky was a pivotal political figure in modern US history. It is his contributions to the common good that are overrated, not his overall effect. He is a significantly more important figure on the world political stage than, say, any UK prime minister of the last 120 years, with the exception of Chamberlain, Churchill, and Thatcher.

Howie Feltsnatcher
July 22nd, 2010
11:07 PM
WOW! You really opened my eyes. I didn't realize my country, America, and the UK are being taken over by stealth communists. I SO scared! Can I even leave my house for fear that I may be ravaged by some Red disguised as a "community organizer"? I SOOOOOOOOOOOOO scared!

July 4th, 2010
2:07 AM
There is so much doublespeak with these Red Tories: "radical conservatives"? "National Center for Community Organizing"? "Big Society Day"?

June 29th, 2010
11:06 PM
Can you really have an "overrated" article on someone about whom you can write: "It's a fair bet that hardly anyone in Britain has heard of Alinsky". That's just cretinous.

norman clemo
June 29th, 2010
3:06 PM
Read David Horowitz's " Alinsky, Beck , Satan and Me " at : for a comprehensive expose of Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama's discipleship.

Post your comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.