Much has been written about Obama's career as a "community organizer," a benign term that was actually the brainchild of Marxist agitator Saul Alinsky, whose writings Obama studied and who founded an organization in Chicago for which Obama worked. Alinsky earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1930 and went to work in the state penitentiary. He came to believe that the "social milieu," not personal behavior, was responsible for the plight of the inmates -- and therefore, a changed society would eliminate aberrant behavior. In
1939, Alinsky created his Industrial Areas Foundation, a grassroots agitation organization that found its power in collectivizing working-class poor and idealistic radicals.Alinsky is well-known for his second book, Rules for Radicals, which begins with praise for Lucifer, a rebel who achieved his own kingdom. The book stressed that activists must be "people committed to change." (Sound familiar?) He taught his agitators to avoid the "useless self-indulgence" of despising their own middle-class roots, instead exploiting the contempt they feel: "If we are to build power for change, the power and the people are in the big middle class majority."