Voice From a Very Dark Place – Saul Alinsky Debates Young Canadian Radicals

Cross posted from KeyWiki Blog

More from Saul Alinsky. This documentary short captures a lively confrontation between the American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky, and members of the Company of Young Canadians . Among other topics, the parties argue and disagree about the means and costs of securing “social change”.

The company of Young Canadians was a Canadian version of the U.S. Peace Corps, which existed from 1966 to 1977.

After serious rioting in Montreal in October 1969 Oct 11, city officials pointed the finger at the Company of Young Canadians. In a scathing address, the administration accused the group of sheltering Quebec separatist extremists, masterminding violent demonstrations and plotting to make bombs.

The accusations leveled against the CYC were made by Lucien Saulnier, the chairman of Montreal’s Executive Committee, and were supported by Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau and the chief of police.

Saulnier appealed to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to withhold the group’s multi-million dollar budget and establish a Royal Commission to investigate his claims. Though the leftist Trudeau, failed to launch a federal inquiry, the allegations and others that followed lead to the eventual de-funding and termination of the agency.

Surprising that Saul Alinsky, a man who inspired both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, should be associated with such radicals, no?


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5 thoughts on “Voice From a Very Dark Place – Saul Alinsky Debates Young Canadian Radicals

  1. At 22:56 minutes into the interview, one of the Indian men asks Saul Alinsky a question in ref to "values" within a population. Listen very carefully. The answer Saul provides is analogous to what "We the American Constitutionalists" are facing today between the "Socialist / Communist and Obama Brown Shirts" working hard to tear down our values and strip away our way of life, and the decision many still need to make as to where they stand and just how hard they are willing to work to save their valued way of life……….

  2. Alinsky did not join political organizations. When asked during an interview whether he ever considered becoming a Communist party member, he replied "Not at any time. I've never joined any organization—not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide."

  3. In Rules for Radicals (his final work, published in 1971 one year before his death), in the first chapter, opening paragraph of the book Alinsky writes, "What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."

  4. Studying an individual from a purely physiological/psychological point of view, Saul Alinsky is a very interesting study. Time magazine once wrote many, many years ago that "American democracy is being altered by Alinsky's ideas," and conservative author William F. Buckley said he was "very close to being an organizational genius."

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