I love listening to Earl Nightingale’s recordings!They are timeless in the salient points he committed to tape about life and his words very clearly outlive him (Mr. Nightingale passed away on 25 March 1989).
The photo that opens this post came from a Facebook post I read this morning and the comments about it made me cringe and then think of the following Nightingale quote:
Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.-Earl Nightingale
Just like Earl Nightingale (I cite his wise quotes throughout this piece), Saul Alinsky’s words outlive him as well and speak to fundamental truths about how we human beings think (or more accurately, DO NOT THINK).
The newspaper clipping about Alinsky posted above, fails to speak on how human beings are fundamentally social creatures and Alinsky’s “rules for radicals” are only radical to those who fail to think for themselves outside of their comfortable ideological paradigm.
Alinsky’s influence on modern politicians like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and how Alinsky’s “blueprint” for creating a “social state” is playing out in the United States today, is mere framing because as Earl Nightingale also once opined, “the more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment”.
Let me break down how each point made in the piece above is not something being imposed upon us, but rather something that many people make the choice (consciously or unconsciously) to accept…
–Healthcare: As I frequently write about on this blog, healthcare is not under the complete control of the government, nor should it be. Many people in this country want government to control it completely instead of taking responsibility for their own health. In any free society, healthcare is not so much a right as it is a responsibility, but then rights come with responsibilities. Handing the reins of the healthcare system fully to government won’t change the unhealthy habits nor the fiscal irresponsibility of many individuals in this country that make healthcare “unaffordable” to them. Ironically, these individuals are the ones doing most of the complaining about healthcare costs.
–Poverty: Being born into poverty is not a choice. However, staying in poverty certainly is, especially in this country. To quote Nightingale yet again, “we will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn; our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service”.
Let that quote sink in if you think government or even private charity will solve poverty or if you think there is some nefarious plot to keep or put people into poverty.
–Debt: I won’t delve too far into this one except to say that public debt at the state level, private debt at any level, and the national debt are three totally different things. Debt does not drive taxation, per se. Taxation is driven mostly by how government wishes to shape the behavior of its citizens. I wrote about the fiscal ignorance in our society before:
–Welfare: Like poverty eventually becomes a choice rather than a consequence of fate over time, welfare was never meant to be something people should depend upon. There will always be pockets of society that will never move beyond the magnanimity of the rest of society. We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within (to quote Earl Nightingale, again…).
–Education: Education is not the responsibility of the state. As the current coronavirus measures have highlighted, educating our children is not as easy as it seems. However, it is hard precisely because far too many parents have abdicated their responsibility to educate their children. What children learn in school is supposed to supplement what they learn at home from their parents, not the other way around. On an individual level, if you graduated high school with a diploma or graduated college with a degree, but didn’t walk away with an education, then it is YOUR fault. Institutions of learning and institutions of higher learning are NOT what conservatives like to call “liberal indoctrination centers”. Critical thinking begins at home. With the individual.
–Religion: There is an old saying…
You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion-Unknown
I add to the quote above by saying that the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people, not by decree from government or corporate entities.
–Class Warfare: It is not as if we need to divide ourselves along socioeconomic lines. We humans already do that extremely well as a species. That politicians and the social and economic elites exploit these divisions is not something Saul Alinsky personally conceptualized or even originally pointed out. His rules for radicals, as I have already mentioned, is merely a blueprint. It is a blueprint for those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder to leverage in order to be more effective rabble rousers. Alinsky’s philosophy and many people’s interpretation of it is a more recent spin on political ideology, just like Islamism in the Muslim world or progressivism or modern conservatism in the Western world. There is a collective tendency for people try to find someone or something to blame for their lot in life rather looking at themselves to find the cause and relying on themselves to change their circumstances. After all:
Problems are challenges to creative minds. Without problems, there would be little reason to think at all.-Earl Nightingale
To close this post, the notion of “useful idiots” only applies to you if you join in the idiocy. Another useful Nightingale quote:
We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.Earl Nightingale
If you find yourself regurgitating a political ideology in response to the issues of the day, then you might not be thinking. Lack of critical thought is what is really happening in America today. Alinsky just wrote books about it.
-The Rational Ram