Saul Alinsky & Jane Addams – Similar Under the Surface

1 January 2018

One could argue though, that despite these superficial differences, Addams and Links shared a commonality that s not often talked about Jane Addams started the Hull House. She brought services to the people, instead of asking people to come to her. The Hull House provided kindergarten classes, clubs for older children, night school for adults, a library, a public kitchen, gym and a bathhouse in addition to offering training to young social workers. The Hull House also held cultural events and social services.

Essentially, Addams wanted to offer whatever the people needed to improve their quality of life. Addams was guided by three principles when developing the Hull House: “to teach by example, to practice operation, and to practice social democracy, that is, egalitarian, or democratic, social relations across class lines” (Knight, 2005). Addams was a pacifist at heart and was deeply involved in the peace movement. She became the national chairman of the Women’s Peace Party, President of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and later won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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This does not mean that Addams did not encounter confrontation. On many occasions, she was quick to point out the mistakes of others, yet she did so without animosity or personal attacks. She did her best o remain objective and noble in her cause.

This is a stark contrast to the methodologies of Saul Links. The opening paragraph of Alliances Rules for Radicals is the is: “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power.Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Knots on how to take it away” (Links, 1 971 This statement is very defining and a core component of Alliances methods. Links believed that in order to create change, you “must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression…

For unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act” (Links, 1 971 He believes that the people should do whatever it takes in order to create the desired change. One Of his tactics included threatening “fart ins” at the Rochester Philharmonic concert.This equated to members of his organization eating a lot of baked beans and attending the concert with the intention of stinking out the place in order to Sirius the establishment and gain negative attention (Von Hoffman, 2010). The idea behind this type of unusual protest is that Links wanted the city establishment to publicly attack him and label him as dangerous. Through this process, he will gain credibility and receive popular invitation within the communities that see the establishment as the problem. Links was very conflict oriented and used this conflict to further his aims and gain leverage.In 1 944, an opportunity arose for Links to bring the Infant Welfare Society’s (IIS) branch station to the Back of the Yards community.

The BANC was competing with the University of Chicago Settlement House to see who would house the infant station. In order to win the battle, Links told the IIS president that if they sided with the Chicago Settlement, that local Catholic priests in the neighborhood would publicly boycott the IIS from the pulpit. Despite his own personal pro birth-control beliefs, Links even alleged that the Chicago Settlement was anti-Catholic because they gave out birth control information.This falls back to Alliances “do anything to win” mentality and win he did. The BANC housed the infant station and the Chicago Settlement never regained its footing within the community. Links had again proved the effectiveness of his methods (Hamilton, 2010). Addams and Links appear to have very different organizing philosophies.

Links himself often commented how his methods were so different than those of the settlement houses. These comments however, should have been more directed at what the settlement houses had become and not at the originating principles of Jane Addams’ Hull House.Jane Addams herself would likely disapprove of the erection that the settlement houses had moved towards. Addams and Links both recognized the importance of listening and learning the needs of the community in order to gain perspective. “Addams recognized that when existing social institutions do not provide a reasonable means for citizen participation, those citizens will organize to resist…

Similarly, Links viewed his organizations as fully democratic [stating]: This kind of organization can be built only if people are working together for real, attainable objectives” (Hamilton, 2010).The connections between the philosophies of Addams ND Links are inextricably linked. “The resonance between the social philosophies of Addams and Links is not surprising if the Chicago School connection is taken into account. Addams and Hull House helped shape the sociology department of the University of Chicago, which in turn influenced Alliances approach to community organizing” (Hamilton, 2010). In closing, we can see that Addams and Links share many similarities in the helping philosophies. 80th firmly believed in empowering the people and giving the marginalia a voice.

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