Triadic Commentary - Aesthetics is vastly more than an artistic quality

Among the revolutionary aspects of Triadic Philosophy
the most important may be the elevation of aesthetics 
to its rightful place in the triad 
which is the root of how we think and therefore 
of how we live and move and have our being. 

In Triadic Philosophy the root triad is
Reality Ethics Aesthetics
Aesthetics is the plane of activation
Of iteration
Of emergence from the struggle betwen 
Etthics and Reality
In Triadic Philosophy 
anything can be any one of the three
in a triad
Triadic Philosophy
always sees whatever is first
as reality
It always sees the Second as the challenge to this first
Aesthetics the Third takes the result of this linkage
and translates it into a hypothetical action
a stab at doing something
an experiment
Its criteria are that truth and beauty be found
in the action
When these are lacking life is diminished
The cosmos is set back
We lose some of what we have gained

If this seems fanciful bear with me
Every word of Triadic Philosophy
has a place and a justification which 
validates it as an aspect of being
as ontological 
 as Reality
If today aesthetics is seen merely as artistic quality
that is a reduction that will not stand.
Philosophy has not done much better
relegating aesthetics to vastly less than 
Keats' equation of beauty and truth.
Triadic Philosophy follows Keats

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What Has Actually Become of Saul Allinsky?

When I wrote a 1965 article on Saul Alinsky for Christianity and Crisis magazine - later anthologized in the book Witness to A Generation -  Alinsky had seven years to live.  By 1972 when he died at age 63, he was the dean of community organizers in the United States. He had largely overcome the objections of his critics. save for the most obdurate on the hard right. 

Researching prior to the Obama run in 2008, I found two others had taken in-depth looks at Alinsky - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Alinsky was clearly a major stop on the learning tour these two took before they decided that electoral politics is the best way to actually get things done in America.

And that's the story in a nutshell almost fifty years from the time I entered Alinsky's modest Michigan Avenue  office  and began an investigation of several months duration. The verdict then, which has not been contradicted, is that Saul Alinsky was a crack organizer whose basic values were tolerance, democracy and helpfulness. He  applied these values to get things done in a country where the ultimate prize was  and remains the control of governance itself. 

That Alinsky championed a confrontational, in-your-face militancy is   true, but the provocative things he did were like  the Yippies, not their violent cousins. Alinsky was good at scaring media and ginning up controversy. These were weapons of the powerless and marginalized. Saul gained very least a voice at the table for such folk.

Alinsky also left a legacy that was explicit, the Industrial Areas Foundation which continues his work and extends his influence. Community organization was responsible for the ground game of the Obama operation and the various permutations of the Tea Party insofar as they have involve grass roots efforts. Even the now-hapless Karl Rove achieved some successes by assiduous grass roots organizing.

That's all we are talking about. Grass roots organizing with a patina of Yippie sensibility. If one looks back today, one would have to conclude that Alinsky helped to fashion in the American mind a role for the community organizer, a role that transcends political party or religious persuasion. Today and in the future, there will be no democratic politics or social movement that does not make an implicit bow to Saul.

That said, both President Obama and Secretary Clinton realized the clear and daunting limitations of community organizing. Both entered electoral politics precisely to get things done that cannot be achieved just by gaining some power at the grass roots.  I went back and looked at one of the organizations Alinsky lofted into the stratosphere in the 1960s - the Woodlawn Organization (TWO) in Barack Obama's neighborhood in Chicago. At the time, Alinsky could stimulate apoplexy in the adjacent University of Chicago community with a few well-chosen sound bites. Today the conflict has morphed into what can only be called an arrangement in which both sides of the dispute have had successes. Suffice to say that without TWO things would have been worse over time. 

      I would hazard the guess that in the future Alinsky's methods and aims will be integral to American politics and determine both winners and losers, just as they did in November, 2012. The key to community organizing remains constant. Doing it and doing it well.
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