"Cloward-Piven Strategy" & Obama

A friend showed me the article "Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis" posted on American Thinker.

I found out that this is actually part two of a three part series. The author, Jim Simpson has put forth quite an effort to make his case.

Take a moment and ask yourself (as the author puts it): "Why does virtually every liberal scheme result in ever-increasing public spending while conditions seem to get continually worse?"

Mr. Simpson answers, "I submit to you that it is not a mistake, the failure is deliberate!"

But why?

I am giving away the "punchline" in Part I, but here it is anyway:
There is a method to the madness, and the method even has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It was first elucidated in the 1960s by a pair of radical leftist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven:

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis… …the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. [emphasis mine]

It's a totally perverse concept, but apparently it became quite popular when it was published in The Nation magazine in 1966 under the title A Strategy to End Poverty, selling "an unprecedented 30,000 reprints." I have tried to find a copy of the article on the internet but haven't been able to yet. The article1 is available for purchase at The Nation magazine website, or you can simply view it online.

DISCOVERTHENETWORKS.ORG provides the following summary:
...Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one. [emphasis mine]
Sabotage the very entitlement programs you have put in place to "help" the poor so that they will rise up against the rest of society in riot & rebellion?!

Talk about audacity!! This "strategy" is utterly outrageous in it's total contempt not only for the American way of life but for the entire citizenry of the nation as well! Creating a false sense of hope for the poorest among us with programs designed to fail in order to goad them into insurrection?! All to achieve the socialist dreams of a select oligarchy?! I can only say that this concept is utterly despicable and entirely treasonous in it's very nature. Where do these elitist so-called intellectuals come up with this stuff? Unbelievable...

Read the Cloward-Piven Series articles linked below...

Is Mr. Simpson correct in his assertions? Can President Obama really be involved in the process of implementing such a radical agenda or is this conspiracy theory run amok?

One thing is certain, whether or not Simpson's allegations regarding Obama are correct, the nation is certainly facing a number of simultaneous (real or perceived) "crisis" situations.

Whether occurring by design or unhappy chance, the potential for the abuse of political power in responding to these situations remains ever present. These crises present opportunities to advance political agendas that might otherwise never have seen the light of day2.

The manner in which these issues have been met thus far has (and will) cost trillions of dollars. These moves have concentrated unprecedented powers over the private sector into the hands of the Federal government. The astronomical costs incurred by these responses will almost certainly strain our governmental resources beyond the breaking point. Cloward/Piven may get what they wanted after all...

A very short list of current (real or perceived) challenges and corresponding systemic strain:
  • Deficit Spending / National Debt
    • Massive Increases in Budget Deficits & the National Debt in very short order
  • Funding Crisis
    • Monetizing Debt (printing money) to pay for new programs & bailouts which will ultimately lead to hyperinflation
    • Lack of confidence in the dollar as the currency standard globally
    • Increased wariness of foreign countries to continue financing US debt
  • Lending Industry Crisis
    • Bailout Spending
    • Socializing banking industry
  • Auto Industry Crisis
    • Bailout Spending
    • Socializing Auto Industry
  • Health Care Crisis
    • Universal Coverage Spending
    • Socializing Health Care Industry
  • Global Warming / Climate Change Crisis
    • "Cap & Trade" and/or CO2 Tax
  • Immigration Crisis
    • Various possible (positive or negative) ramifications ahead
  • Foreign Policy Crisis
    • Increased Geopolitical Instability
    • Increased danger to America & allies
    • Loss of credibility that we will respond to national security threats encourages rogue nations to proceed with their nuclear ambitions without fear of reprisal, etc.
The Complete Cloward-Piven Series

The Cloward-Piven Strategy, Part I: Manufactured Crisis

The Cloward-Piven Strategy, Part II: Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

The Cloward-Piven Strategy, Part III: Conspiracy of the Lemmings

1 The Nation, May 2,1966, A Strategy to End Poverty
The article focuses on a strategy which affords the basis for a convergence of civil rights organizations, militant anti-poverty groups and the poor. If this strategy were implemented, a political crisis would result that could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty. The distribution of public assistance has been a local and state responsibility, and that accounts in large part for the abysmal character of welfare practices. Despite the growing involvement of federal agencies in supervisory and reimbursement arrangements, state and local community forces are still decisive.

2 "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."—Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, November 2008

Updated 28-Oct-2010: Article reprint link is broken, but it can be viewed on-line (which is much better!). See: The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty

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