populist, small-d democrats.
This point of view characterized the leadership of the organization for
the period covered in this tale. For religious participants … their
understanding of the Bible’s mandate for social and economic justice.
… Alinsky considered powerlessness of large numbers of people, on the
one hand, and concentration of power in the hands of a small corporate
elite, on the other, the root evil and Achilles’ heel of American
were taken into account because of the responsive chord they struck with
older Anglo homeowners in the community. … They were against welfare,
public housing, special minority programs in the schools, and especially
affirmative action hiring. Federal programs like urban renewal and public
housing were, to them, forms of socialism. (166)
Traditional pluralists, who thought the American political and economic system worked fairly well for those who were organized to negotiate within it, but failed for those who were unorganized. In this view, the task of community organizing was to bring the marginalized and excluded to the decision-making tables, where they would become another bloc whose interests would be counted.
the Anglo liberals and centrists were generally antagonistic to the
language of power, mass organization, self-interest, and conflict. …
They thought problems were solved by reasonable people discussing them.
organized Anglo left. Generally
Marxist, this group was disproportionately influential because its members
were deeply committed and spend a lot of time on their commitment.
view, pro-Latino but not separatist or anti-white, was widely present
among activists, some radical, some liberal They shared the idea that it
was ethnicity or nationality that should be the central theme and provide
its guiding principles. … The slogan ‘Community Control’ appeared to
untied centrist, liberal, and radical nationalists. But each gave it
different meanings. (170)
A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER'S TALE by Mike Miller, Berkeley:Heyday Books, 2009. CSCO believes this is the best book on organizing. Miller has been with CSCO for many years.