comments on 3 Alinskys

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon Jan 13 20:42:01 CST 2003

[ed:  thanks to Mark for the comments on Peter Szynka's paper, 
[Three Alinskys?"  See below for how to get Peter's paper.  I 
welcome further discussion on the paper and/or the issues Mark 

From:   	"Mark R. Warren" <warrenma at>

Dear Peter,

I read your comm-org paper with great interest. It's a perceptive and 
refreshing piece. I liked it because I think you show how Alinsky combined, 
or connected, or interrelated, the moral, political and scientific worlds 
into action. I think so much of our contemporary problem is the 
disconnection between these fields of action. Politics is the world of 
naked self-interest and power only; social scientists abandon any moral 
standpoint - any critique of injustice, prising a dispasssionate, so-called 
objective science; and religion too often retreats into the private world. 
I'm not advocating that social scientists become moralists. But our work 
(I'm a sociologist) needs to be guided by a moral vision and should seek to 
impact politics and social policy, the world of practice. There are perhaps 
many ways to interconnect science, morality and politics. Alinsky, and your 
interpretation of his work, offers much to learn from, as we all seek our 
own authentic path.

Mark R. Warren
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University

[ed:  If you missed the December 31 announcement of Peter's 
paper, you can get it  at the COMM-ORG "Papers" page, in the 
2002 papers section: ]

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