Anti-colonialism itself became the underground ideology of American progressivism, so that black and native Indian and feminist and gay activists in the 1960s and 1970s saw themselves as fighting in some sense the same battle being waged by the anti-Vietnam movement and by the Vietnamese guerillas themselves. What unified them all was the conviction of America the Inexcusable.
The 1960s was motivated by repudiation of the old way and the quest for a new way. “Liberation” now came to mean liberation from old values—from the spirit of 1776. This took many shapes and forms—drugs, religious experimentation, sexual promiscuity, even bra-burning, as well as protesting, looting, and rioting.
Michel Foucault was dead, and the gay bathhouses were closed. So what did the activists do? Many of them did what Bill Ayers did—they became teachers. Far from abandoning their ideology, they carried it with them into the school and college classroom.
As Ayers points out, teaching is for him simply activism by another name.
By the end of 1968, the spirit of the 1960s was politically dead. The radicals didn’t know it, but the country had turned against them.
Alinsky realized that the task of the radical is to turn middle-class people against themselves, to make them instruments of their own destruction.
Most books are dedicated to loved ones—family and friends—or to influential mentors. Alinsky, interestingly enough, dedicates his book to the devil. This is not a joke: Rules for Radicals is actually dedicated to Lucifer. Alinsky calls him “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.”
he returned to the same theme in a Playboy interview he did in 1972. In it he said, “If there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.” When the interviewer asked why, Alinsky said, “Hell would be heaven for me. Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the have-nots over there. They’re my kind of people.”