The dominoes of Cloward-Piven
By Frank Salvato
In 1966, two Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, collaborated on a theory to end poverty in the United States. This theory, today, is referred to as the "Cloward-Piven Strategy." People who are familiar with the likes of Saul Alinsky and William Ayers are familiar with the strategy, as are the full complement of the Progressive Movement. In a nutshell, the underlying principle of the Cloward-Piven Strategy is to so overload the entitlement system – to add so many to the entitlement rolls, that the country's economic system collapses, unleashing chaos and violence in the streets, thus affecting radical Leftist political change in government. Up until recently this theory has been just that, a theory, and a theory that anarchists and Progressives have salivated over for their want of execution. But today, we are seeing the fruits of the Cloward-Piven Strategy played out to success in Greece and several other financial destitute countries in Europe.
To briefly summarize the Cloward-Piven Strategy, I turn to Richard Poe who wrote an article of the same name, which is featured at DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
Mr. Poe observes that Mr. Cloward and Ms. Piven sought (and "seeks," in the case of Ms. Piven) to facilitate the fall of Capitalism by "overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse." Mr. Poe explained that Cloward and Piven saw the so-called "ruling class" as using entitlements to "weaken the poor"; to make the poor dependent on government, thus "dousing the fires of rebellion," following the "don't bite the hand that feeds you" theory.
In a 1970 New York Times interview, Cloward is quoted as saying that poor people can only advance when "the rest of society is afraid of them." He then theorized that activists should refrain from demanding that government provide more for the poverty stricken and, instead, should strive to pack as many people on the welfare (read: entitlement) rolls as possible, creating a demand that could not be met, facilitating the destruction of the welfare system and massive financial crisis. As a byproduct, rebellion would be ignited amongst the people; chaos would rule the streets and governments would be damaged beyond repair, many falling to history making it possible for new radicals to assume the roles of oligarchs, ushering in new systems of government and the dismantling of the Capitalist system in particular.
Both Cloward and Piven understood that it would take pushing the American citizenry to the point of anarchy, to the point of the populace affecting violent chaos in the streets, for there to emerge an opportunity to damage our Republican form of government and our Capitalist system to the point where people would accept radical political as well as economic change. Cloward and Piven, using the philosophy of Saul Alinsky (who, by-the-by, was their inspiration in fomenting their "strategy"), knew that they would have to achieve chaos, so as to introduce the Progressive political ideology – the ideology of Democratic Socialism – to the masses as a saving grace.
In an article titled, The United States of America Is Not a Democracy, in introduction to a spectacular presentation that puts into plain words our misinterpreted political spectrum of "Left v. Right," I explain how the Progressive Movement seeks to achieve chaos to smooth the progress of governmental transition:
Getting back to The Cloward-Piven Strategy, chaos and how the violent protests in Greece and Spain relate directly to us here in the United States...
It is easy to see how our expanding entitlements and our population's expanding dependency on government, combined with the purposeful engagement in reckless fiscal policy, plays directly into the demise of the country by accelerating the poison of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.
A recent PJ Tatler column at PJMedia.com offers this observation:
I will take this a step further.
As we watched the so-called Arab spring play out, we saw that international labor unions – international labor unions, the likes of the SEIU – had boots on the ground, honing their organizational skills, as violent chaos reigned supreme. In Greece, as in Spain, France, Italy and every other European locale wrestling with financial insolvency, labor unions – international labor unions – were on the frontlines of the protests, antagonizing the anarchists and fomenting discontent amongst the masses. In each locale the tactic was the same: Get the masses irate enough to demand, "Give me what I deserve," even if they don't deserve it; even if they haven't earned it. To those provoking the anger it makes no difference if there is nothing to give; that these governments are in such massive debt that there is a very real possibility that they will all fail, one domino after another.
(Note: I would suggest that the citizens of Wisconsin, Ohio and every other State combating the mathematically impossible demands of narcissistically enraged labor union tools realize this reality better than most as it is happening in these States as well...at least in the beginning stages.)
It cannot be denied that those in power today in Washington are incredibly reluctant to embrace the sweeping reforms needed to make our bloated entitlement system viable. In fact, as the actuaries at Social Security and Medicare sound the alarm about impending insolvency should drastic reform not be implemented, the tax and spend Progressives in Washington are adding to the entitlements rolls, even as a natural spike is about to occur with the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Today, as our unfunded liabilities stand at $118 trillion, the House Minority Leader has the unmitigated gall to say of the expanding unemployment rolls, "It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name."
Today, as the SEIU provides the anarchists of the Occupy Movement with office space at the SEIU affiliated Institute for Policy Studies office building at 16th and L Street NW, in Washington, DC, we need – we need – to ask ourselves:
These answers are essential and they need to be answered using a mentality sequestered from the inanity and self-effacing mandate of political correctness; an instituted dogma originated by the Progressive Movement.
If Greece, and the whole of the Eurozone, was the ideological Petri dish for whether Cloward-Piven would actually work, the results are in and they are not good. They are not good for freedom, liberty or Capitalism, the only "ism" that has every elevated people out of poverty. If the overthrow of governments achieved in the Arab Spring and the financial assassinations of governments achieved in the Eurozone are the affects of a successfully implemented Cloward-Piven Strategy at the hands of the Progressive Movement, the results are frighteningly disastrous for you and me.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast 'Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is the author of the series Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam, an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.comand Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.