Skip to comments.The Cloward - Piven Strategy - eyewitness account of its unveiling at Socialist Scholars Conference
Posted on 06/26/2010 10:19:21 PM PDT by Nachum
Many commentators on the U.S. left have tried to minimize the significance and importance of the Cloward-Piven Strategy, made famous by writer James Simpson and TV personality Glenn Beck.
According to Simpson and Beck, Columbia University sociologists, husband and wife team Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, devised a strategy in the early 1960s, to crash the U.S. economy and bring on socialist revolution by deliberately overloading state welfare rolls to the point of bankruptcy.
Many on the left regard this hypotheses as gross exaggeration at best, deliberate misrepresentation at worst.
[caption id="attachment_732" align="aligncenter" width="404" caption="Richard A. Cloward"][/caption]
Cloward and Piven outlined their strategy at the Second Annual Socialist Scholars Conference , held September 9-11, 1966 at the Hotel Commodore, New York, in a panel entitled;
"Poverty and Powerlessness Organizing the Poor: Can it Be Done?"
Below is an eye witness report on this historic panel written written by conservative journalist Alice Widener - a highly regarded authority on the U.S. left of the day. The report appeared in Widener's USA Magazine, September 16, 1966 page 28 and 29.
Read it and judge for yourself Cloward and Piven's intentions. Emphasis added.
Dr. Cloward's paper for the Socialist Scholars opened with a call for a systematic strategy of "irregular and disruptive tactics" among the poor, urging them to overburden city and state governments with their "demand,," as a means of forcing these governments to turn to the federal government for more and more funds.
Prof. Cloward said, "We need, to devote more attention to disrupting corporate power." He described the poor as mere "supplicants" in the welfare state, and said they have most to gain "from a major upheaval in our society." He said our welfare system is "lawless" and violates human and civil rights. He called for welfare recipients' forcing city welfare departments to impose the labor union "check-off system" for welfare clients, by withholding 50 cents to a dollar for each client as dues to a fund for unionization of welfare clients to impose their demands for special benefits.
Prof. Cloward explained that each welfare client in New York City is entitled under existing law to special benefits for clothing, blankets, etc. He said that in 1965 city special benefits welfare payments amounted to "about $40 per client" and he called for each welfare client to demand $100 to $1,000 in such benefits.
He said there are now 550,00 welfare clients in the city, but that by 1967 there probably will be 60,000. The poor, said Dr. Cloward, could become a stake and powerful organization "in small portions of power" within the context "of a broader point."
Dr. Cloward said he had consulted with legal experts and "we estimate that $200 million in special grants" could be obtained in New York City alone: Dr. Cloward said that 'in Cleveland, on June 20, 1966, 30 to 35 welfare recipients were joined by others in a demonstration that included the Hough area.
In early August, he said, he himself had taken part in "a national conference to organize the welfare recipients movement,: Dr. Cloward said he personally had taken part in Wednesday night meetings with welfare clients "week after week, month after month," and that as a result, "Next Monday there will be a demonstration of welfare recipients at City Hall"
Dr. Cloward read his paper to the Socialist Scholars Conference in the East Ballroom of the Hotel Commodore on Saturday afternoon, September 10. On Monday night, September 12, CBS and NBC TV newscasts showed the demonstration of screaming welfare recipients that took place right on Cloward schedule. They shouted demands for more "special benefits," though the present city general welfare budget (including hospital services, etc.) is almost a billion dollars annually, the Mayor says the city is "broke," and New Yorkers were hit this year with a city income tax in addition to state and federal taxes to pay for it all.
Prof. Cloward was right about the success of his Wednesday night meetings. Evidently his strategy of "disruptive tactics" will require costly police reinforcements at city welfare departments throughout our nation.
The prospects delighted Prof. William Ryan, formerly of Harvard now of Yale, who described himself to the audience as "a radical without portfolio." He said, "I have been enchanted with the Cloward strategy of blowing a fuse in the welfare agencies, housing developments, and among unmarried mothers. I wonder what would happen if there was a really systematic overload."
When a member of the audience went to the floor microphone during the question period to ask whether Dr. Cloward's strategy is a substitute for "Socialist organization of the proletariat, the industrial factory workers " Dr. Frances Piven of Columbia replied from the dais: "I really only want to make one point-the disruption of the system. Welfare rolls will begin to go up; welfare payments will begin to go up-the impact will be very, very sharp. The mounting welfare budget will increase taxes, force cities to turn to the federal government. We have to help people to make claims; for this they will organize and act."
The 1966 Socialist Scholars conference was organized by many of the leading radicals of the day including former and current Communist Party supporters Louis Menashe, James Becker, Philip Foner, Eugene Genovese, Paul Sweezy and James Weinstein - later a founder of the Marxist based Democratic Socialists of America, in which today Frances Fox Piven serves as an honorary chair.
One time Soviet Spy and Communist Party member Victor Perlo also addressed the conference, as did the Party's chief theoretician Herbert Aptheker.
No doubt all were impressed by Cloward and Piven's cunning plan.
I'm a natural skeptic, and depend on facts and reality, not fantasy. I take all kinds of conspiracy theories as mental junk food.
I look around at what's happening, the lunatic spending, the partying while our coastline is destroyed, the attempt to shut down energy production, and constant shovelling of money at the unproductive, the specter of new taxes on those who are already paying...
I can't disagree with what's so obvious. A lot of people seem to not want to imagine such a thing being done by our president, so they just don't think about it.
“Many on the left regard this hypotheses as gross exaggeration at best...”
What are they supposed to do, congratulate us on discovering their plans?
Sounds like the precursors of ACORN!
I don’t know why the idea that communists would go to great lengths to fell the US would be at all viewed as a “fantasy” or a “conspiracy theory.”
Especially when they will tell you, if you bother to ask them.
They have been screaming this at us for decades.
The only fantasy is the one that most Americans are living daily. They believe America is all-powerful, infallible and evergreen. They will laugh at you if dare try to explain that the hard left has infiltrated every level of our government as part of a bigger plan to destroy the American way of life.
The notion that communism is not a threat is the real fantasy, perhaps a fatal one.
Not sure what your point is, because I'm saying it's NOT a fantasy.
The so called “poor” criminals are going after gold “hoarders” too, as per Mother Jones. They want trial lawyers after Beck’s goldline company.
Posters there are calling to kill conservatives and people with gold.
I’m not trying to debate you. I’m agreeing with you, really.
Notice that every major work of socialism does not define what poverty is. Simply what the poor are not.
2- Every major work from Marx to Lenin, to Gramsci to Alinsky occu7pies itself not with solving the problem of raising the standard of living of the population. No, it is concerned with only one thing. How to attain power by the “socialist elites” and how to use the “poor” to advance “their” agenda. Since the days of Marx, the obsession of the left has been power and using class differences and class envy to attain it.
Yes, they were/is/are
ACORN grew out of George Wiley's National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), whose members in the late 1960s and early 1970s invaded welfare offices across the U.S. -- often violently -- bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them. In the late Sixties, ACORN co-founder Wade Rathke was an NWRO organizer and a protegé of Wiley. Rathke also organized a draft-resistance campaign for the militant group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the same period.Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
In 1970 Rathke -- along with the aforementioned Wiley (who was best known for his effective use of the so-called "Cloward-Piven strategy") and Gary Delgado (a lead organizer for Wiley's NWRO) -- formed a new entity called Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). The group's name was later changed to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, but the acronym ACORN remained. ...
The perversion of charitable endeavors into a tool of power and manipulation by the radical left is simply dispicable.
This hypocrisy of the left is unbounded. Claiming to be freeing the dependent class from the grips of the corporate power, they have institutionalized welfare across generations. The left has exploited the entitlement psychology to the extent that the “poor” ironically vote en-masse for platforms that assure their dependcency upon fed-gov. This is called progressive.
Such self destructive policies advocated by socialists more and more make me wonder if there is an organic reason for their behavior.
Toxoplasmosis is a protozoa that infects many mammals. In mice and rats, it gets into their brain and causes a very specific neurological change: it makes them self destructive. In particular, it makes them attracted to the smell of cat urine—which they would normally strongly avoid. But the protozoa intends that the mouse or rat be killed and eaten by a cat, so that it, the protozoa, can infect the cat.
And once the protozoa infects a cat, through its feces it often spreads to humans. So much so that about 11% of Americans are infected with it, likely having some protozoa in their brains.
As such, while it would be interesting to see if infected people are attracted to the smell of cat urine, more to the point, does this infection translate to a general mind set of self destruction? And not just destruction of the self, but destruction of society, and one’s nation? That is, it is not a perfect fit for the human brain, since there are few big cats to eat people, but perhaps the element of self destruction remains. That they want to die so that the protozoa can be spread.
If so, this would explain much of the bitter anti-Americanism of many of the left. People who crave the damage and even destruction of their home with a bizarre passion. Who hate their fellow citizen, and even crave death for most people.
It is noteworthy that people with such destructive intent are much better at tearing things down than building them up, so once they have destroyed what is good, their replacement fails in all regards.
But could the root cause be a protozoa that has damaged their brain?
It was the communist Saul Alinsky who created the concept of a “Community Organizer”.
The war on poverty has no exit strategy. They keep throwing more money at expanded programs to get more people sucked in to dependency.
The only way to stop this is to defund the federal government so it has no welfare money to pass out. And in the process, cut federal jobs that administer the welfare.
I have no problem with helping the truly needy. But poor people today have cars, cell phones, color tv and cable. Plus they eat very well. These are not poor people.
These people are mooches using class warfare as an excuse to break down society.
Poverty is a relative term. You cannot wage war on what cannot be defined except arbitrarily which means it’s meaningless anyway. America has the wealthiest poor in the world. Everything is relative. American poor have the highest standard of living among the poor in the world. All the term poverty is as a tool to evoke class envy as it has throughout history. To play one group against another. Poverty is also a parallel culture and mindset that shackles one group in their position relative to other groups. The problem is that the poor in this country have no clue how well they have it. Socialism is a farce because it has no definitions. It’s all about concepts to which there are no solutions. Poverty, justice, fairness. At what level do we ameliorate any of these things? Who defines these terms?
Is it time for another House Committee on Un-American Activities?
We’re in more danger from all these subversive organization than in the 50s!
Yes, and they are willing to die to make it happen. I hope we are willing to die to prevent it.
I'm reading Whittaker Chambers' "Witness." I recommend it to everyone. Besides being a LITERATE book, it's a frightening look at the dedication and suicidal intent of Communists.
"The Cloward - Piven Strategy - eyewitness account of its unveiling at Socialist Scholars Conference
the real barack obama ^ | 6/26/10 | Trevor Loudon "
Are they burning in hell yet?
Back in the mid 80’s I worked next to the welfare office. The secretary quit because she became so upset that the welfare checks coming across her desk were more than her own working salary. If that was 25 years ago, I can only imagine how much they’re raking in today.
Don’tcha just think brainwashing is a more realistic answer?
Simply create all new depts. of govt. instead of trying to imporve the old ones which would never happen.
don't fund the old dept.s and create all new ones with leadership that are not govt. career people.
Done correctly the federal budget could be balanced or have a surplus almost immediately.
Brainwashing has its limitations. Unless it is constantly reinforced, it tends to degenerate.
What stands out about liberalism-leftism are several very clinical behaviors. First of all, they tend to share very similar irrational ideas, something which is seen in other clinical mental illness, such as the tin foil hat wearers. Why do they all do it the same way? It implies a similar, organic reason.
Second, they can neither be persuaded of the irrationality of their ideas, nor can repeated demonstration of those ideas failing dissuade them. No sense of pattern recognition.
Third, a whole slew of their ideas seem to be self-destructive in nature. They despise safe and noble behavior and encourage high risk, dangerous and even murderous behavior. Their friends are treated as enemies, and their enemies as friends. They are deeply critical of important elements to their lives, like energy, self defense, and healthy social behavior.
In other words, like they are on a path to destruction, and want to take as many with them as they can. Just like a rat attracted to the smell of cat urine.
That should have been the GOP talking points during the campaign but noooo, McRat was too busy campaigning for the communist usurper.
They will, when Americans truly kick them where it hurts.
” I look around at what’s happening, the lunatic spending, the partying while our coastline is destroyed, the attempt to shut down energy production, and constant shovelling of money at the unproductive, the specter of new taxes on those who are already paying...
I can’t disagree with what’s so obvious. A lot of people seem to not want to imagine such a thing being done by our president, so they just don’t think about it. “
Well, YOU aren’t fooled are you?
Every inch of this has been planned.
This article should be sent to ALL congress critters. IMO, They are clueless as to what they are dealing with....Time to enlighten them!
Seriously doubt if any of them have even heard of Clowan-Piven.
Years ago a group of students went to Chicago from our small rural school. The bus driver took a wrong turn and we ended up in the Southside ghetto.
The kids witnessed broken windows, rats running everywhere, a small child eating out of a garbage can...Poverty.
When we got home one of the boys wrote: "I thought we were poor, but I've never been hungry: We have a large garden, raise chickens and a hog. Plus, dad and I are good shots. Our home has a dirt floor covered by linoleum but the wood stove keeps us warm.
POVERTY IS RELATIVE>>>A COUNTRY BOY WILL SURVIVE!
OK Usually I ping. Not much more. This time though,
I BEG - PLEASE POST THIS TO FACEBOOK, PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
Good read...thank you...although there are certainly pockets of the poor in our country. On the whole you are correct saying our so called “poverty” in this country lives very well. How it is used and abused by politicians is demeaning to those who truly suffer.
I was reading “Witness” this time last year. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.
My favorite quote:
“Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves, except that it was the Communists who were likely to be most forthright and most dedicated in the common cause. For men who could not see that what they firmly believed was liberalism added up to socialism could scarcely be expected to see what added up to Communism. Any charge of Communism enraged them precisely because they could not grasp the differences between themselves and those against whom it was made.”
Was this quote part of the letter to his children? btw, took me days before I could read the entire letter.....it hit me hard.
I tell people if they don’t have time to read the book to PLEASE read the letter.
Sorry, redhead. Last post was to you. Don’t know how I posted to myself!
Yes, it was. I read the letter twice. It was profound.
"Witness" is hardly a strong enough word to describe what he wrote in this book. I may never finish reading it. Like Thomas a' Kempis' "Imitation of Christ," when I reach the last word on the last page, I just turn the book over and start it again. These are words that feed our souls and strengthen them for the battle ahead. Chambers made enormous sacrifices to come out of Communism. Thank God he left us this book.
And how many of his/her disciples are daily posting here (spamming) on F.R. aka FINOs???
Trevor is incredible.
Sounds a lot like muslim terrorists.
Oddly enough, fanatics have a very different mindset. They are often savagely extreme precisely because they doubt their own beliefs.
In the case of modern Muslims, they are caught up in the “civilization supremacy” complex.
This is that when civilization and barbarity co-exist, civilization usually wins by default, because even the uneducated can tell that it is better than barbarism. So the only recourse barbarians have is to utterly destroy civilization. They have to force their kind to remain barbarians, or “they will vote with their feet.”
In its beginnings, Islam was much superior to the primitive tribalism that surrounded it. This gave Muslims a lot of chutzpah, because they were confident that theirs was a better way. However, in the 11th and 12th Centuries, they had a philosophical shift to fundamentalism. That is, that all useful knowledge was contained within the Koran, and any other knowledge was corrupting. That killed their intellectual advance.
Yet even today, many Muslims are still convinced that what are now obviously barbaric practices are more civilized than those practiced in civilized lands. Treating women like farm animals, for example.
But the hypocrisy of this nonsense is obvious to even the dullest among them, which severely rattles their confidence. And doubting their faith, they embrace fanatical practices to defend it.
A good example just today, was of an effort to vandalize and destroy a UN summer camp for children in Gaza: “Islamic extremists have accused the main U.N. aid agency of corrupting Gaza’s youth with its summer program of games, sports and human rights lessons for some 250,000 children.”
Because such things are not in the Koran, they must be destroyed.
In any event, this is unlike socialists, whose behavior is far more like that of brain damaged people.