I had the distinct pleasure in taking part in Community Organizer training this past weekend put on by the Moses Organization, an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation. As some of you may know, the Gamaliel Foundation is where President-Elect Barack Obama first got started as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago. In fact, Mike Kruglik, the man who first hired our new president, presented a good deal of the training.
While learned a great deal at this training, the biggest lesson that I took away is that we, as progressives in this country and particularly as community organzers, need to quit being afraid of wanting, seeking, and demanding POWER and that we need to do this ruthlessly and to further our own self-interest.
Sound harsh? It’s not.
The Gamaliel Ladder is basically composed of Values & Faith as the core ideals from which all of our actions are based. These are the things we’re willing to stand up to defend.
In order to achieve our goals, we must grasp the reins of POWER, the second rung of the Gamaliel Ladder. Yes, POWER. Without power, we have nothing because we will be able to accomplish nothing. We are told that “power corrupts” and many of us have been hurt by the wanton use of power. But this is because the power was wielded by people with different core values than us.
We must use power ruthlessly to achieve our goals, to further our own SELF-INTEREST, the third rung on the Gamaliel Ladder. And we must use the self-interests of others to get them to work on our behalf. Note that I use the phrase “self-interest” and not “selfishness”. Self-interest is the advancement of oneself IN CONCERT with others. Selfishness is the advancement of oneself at the EXPENSE of others.
The concepts of power, self-interest and ruthlessness have been cast in such a way as to make those who have no power shy away from trying to obtain power. But the time has come for us to shed our ambivalence to obtain power and to change the world in ways the further the Progressive Liberal agenda. We can do this with no reservation and we can do this ruthlessly because our actions are based on values that most of the country agrees with:
Safety and Security for our citizens
Prosperity for everyone
Solidarity with the oppressed
Children and families
Equal Opportunity for all
We need to stop being afraid to seek power in our own self-interest because, if we don’t, we will accomplish nothing of substance.
These concepts taught by the Gamaliel Foundation, first put forth by Saul Alinsky, are at the core of Barack Obama’s success and victory in November. And they will be the key to us moving his agenda forward at the grassroots level to save our country and wrest it back from those who have led us so far down the wrong path.
More on Mike Kruglik of the Gamaliel Foundation and his relationship with Barack Obama can be found HERE.
I’m just sayin’…