Friday, September 05, 2008

John Judis thinks that Obama a) implicitly rejected the community organizer approach to problem-solving in the late Eighties as he left Chicago for law school and b) did so because he thought that Alinsky-style "self-interest against entrenched power" led directly to squalid, irrational, racist identity politics. I think it's a brilliant attempt to project Judis' own analysis of Alinsky's anti-politics onto the perfect ideological mirror which is Barrack Obama, but I can't say I'm convinced. All the actual quotes from Obama are oblique and abstract, which could easily be re-intrepreted by an unsympathetic auditor as an orthodox left-political argument in the traditional manner of old-school Fabian socialism, instead of the almost neo-conservative critique which Judis wants Obama to have embraced.

But the stuff about Alinskian community organizations like SON/SOC degenerating into blatant white-flight race-baiting is interesting and new information, at least to me.

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