Of Means And Ends By Saul Alinsky Summary

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Of Means and Ends Assignment
In Saul Alinsky’s Of Means and Ends, he expounds upon a list of rules regarding the ethics of means and ends. He furthers his notions that are expressed in his writing through the interview entitled “I’d Organize Hell”. Throughout his writing and speaking appearances, there are several points that can be considered disturbing, appalling or disgraceful. One of these point comes from the latter section of the text. The quote reads, “There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds he becomes a founding father.” Personally, I found this quote to be both truthful and hilarious. Alinsky is referring to the seventh rule on ethics of means and ends in this section. He claims that that the morality ruling of history depends on the side you tell it from. I agree with this point as a critical thinker of American history. This statement from Alinsky is a jab at the foundations of American politics due to the
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Earlier in “Of Means and Ends”, Alinsky writes, “To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.”. This lends itself to the aforementioned stance, as Alinsky is not concerned with morality of the process, but rather the end goal. An example of this can be seen through the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and their actions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. ELF chose to take radical and destructive action in pursuit of a moral end. The organization wanted institutions to behave with morality towards animals and their rights. However, the means to this end were large scale arsons, that are considered terrorism by the
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