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.
"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.
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