Of all the sordid figures of the American “New Left,” few strike the interest of Catholics quite like Saul Alinsky. This is no doubt because of Alinsky’s rather curious Catholic connections in and around Chicago in the 1960s. Many of them disturbing, given how often he collaborated with senior Church officials. It says as much about those officials, perhaps, as it does about Alinsky—who, by his own admission, was on the side of the Devil.
At the start of his best-known work, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky offered this strange and troubling opening acknowledgment—one of three epigraphs on his introductory page:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology , and history … the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.