I have the privilege of belonging to an email group that consists of some seriously thoughtful, vigorously informed and extraordinarily perceptive bloggers. No kidding. How in heck I was able to finagle my way into their company is a story someone one day ought to take up as a rags to riches kind of narrative. At times I wonder when it is they’ll find me out and kick me off distribution… but I digress.
Last few days I keep hearing the term “community organizer.” Yes, it’s been in the lexicon for the last couple of years, but I started “hearing” it only recently.
People now use the word as though they understand it. I believe it might be entertaining to quiz some high profile figure on his/her understanding of the term and watch the verbal dance that follows.
The term has always troubled me, as there is really no frame of reference for defining it, beyond the deliberately vague and fluffy explanations offered by the people who invented it.
There’s always been a sense of Humpty Dumpty (“when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less”) about the term.
Well, I may be slow, but eventually my addled mind catches up.
The term is a substitute. It stands in the stead of other, less publicly acceptable words, agitator, instigator, fomenter, and provocateur.
An acceptable translation of the term would be “agent provocateur.”
There’s another term that can be used, but I’ll address that below.
There’s a passage from Orwell’s 1984 that opens a door to understanding the scope of the term’s application:
“Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”
– George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 2
“. . . turned into ungovernable little savages . . .”
The root of social chaos.
The application is “directed chaos.”
What is chaos? It is random motion. It is unpredictability. If you’re directing it, it’s not truly random from where you stand. It’s only random to its target audience.
Oh, and the other term? Coined by a man whose insight I am only now beginning to appreciate, his term was merchant of chaos.”
So, if you want a better understanding of the relationship between our friends within and surrounding the administration and current world and national events, it helps if you recognize that [community
organizer] = [merchant of chaos].
And I apologize for my failure to spot this years ago.
The picture painted by some describing this President as a bumbling, incompetent fool is, I’m increasingly coming to believe, inaccurate and dare I say naive. Too often, I’ve fallen into this trap meself.
Garry gives us cause for pause when we begin to blame ineptitude for what this country is experiencing.