The Atrocity of Saul Alinsky's Utilitarian Approach to Communcation Essay

The Atrocity of Saul Alinsky's Utilitarian Approach to Communcation Essay

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The Atrocity of Saul Alinsky's Utilitarian Approach to Communcation


Jeremy Bentham, one of the founders of Utilitarianism, believed his philosophy could provide for the “greatest happiness of the greatest number of people”. However benign it may sound, at the heart of Utilitarianism is a cold, teleological process which reduces happiness to a mere commodity. It is even worse that Saul Alinsky would extend this philosophy to a point where the truth becomes relative, justice becomes a tool of those powerful enough to wield it, and any means are justified to reach one’s desired ends.

Utilitarianism’s focus on outcomes inevitably leads to a lack of concern with the means used to accomplish a given outcome. This allows for a process in which the rules of conduct are vague, open to interpretation, and less important than one’s objective. This lack of absolute standards clearly violates several key standards of Martin Buber’s Dialogic values, which I believe are essential to ethical communication. These standards stress the importance of the authenticity and honesty of one’s me...

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