Cloward-Piven Strategy 

Custom Search

  

  

Their activism relies on the tactic of overloading the system
 



help fight the media
  
 

 

 

 

A Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, 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.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation.  Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints.  Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven Strategy," as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion.  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.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare -- about 8 million, at the time -- probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits.  They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls."  Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system.  The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level."

Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy."  Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help.  Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all -- working and non-working people alike.  Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline.  They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.  This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements -- mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet.  The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown -- providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change.   That was the theory.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement.  In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO).  His tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven's article.  His followers invaded welfare offices across the United States -- often violently -- bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them.  By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, "There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests -- and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones.  "These methods proved effective.  "The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams," writes Sol Stern in the City Journal.  "From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times.  By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy."  As a direct result of its massive welfare spending, New York City was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975.  The entire state of New York nearly went down with it.  The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise.  Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York's welfare crisis horrified America, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in "the end of welfare as we know it" -- the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements.  Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of President Clinton.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven.  But New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990s.  As his drive for welfare reform gained momentum, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage.  "This wasn't an accident," Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech.  "It wasn't an atmospheric thing, it wasn't supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare."

Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article.  Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system.  When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new "voting rights movement," which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new "voting rights" movement was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982.  Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett.  Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations -- ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE -- set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993.  The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with "dead wood" -- invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people -- thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections.

The new "voting rights" coalition combines mass voter registration drives -- typically featuring high levels of fraud -- with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, unfounded charges of "racism" and "disenfranchisement," and "direct action" (street protests, violent or otherwise).  Just as they swamped America's welfare offices in the 1960s, Cloward-Piven devotees now seek to overwhelm the nation's understaffed and poorly policed electoral system.  Their tactics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute and his "Shadow Party," through whose support the Cloward-Piven strategy continues to provide a blueprint for some of the Left's most ambitious campaigns.

From: DiscoverTheNetworks.org
A Sense Of Crisis
Barack Obama returns to Washington next week (9/6/2009) in search of one thing that can revive his health-care overhaul: a sense of crisis.

Facing polls showing a drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition, Obama must recapture the sense of urgency that led to passage of the economic rescue package in February, analysts said.

"At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we’re not in a health-care crisis," said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington.  "You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus."

"You do need a crisis..."

If you don't happen to have a real one -- invent one.

Remember what Rahm Emanuel said last November -- "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Everything with these people is a crisis -- and it's no accident.

This bunch are all proponents of the Cloward-Piven Strategy of Manufactured Crisis.

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, 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.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation.  Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints.  Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven Strategy," as it came to be called.  Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion.  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.

Continue reading here . . .

Another coincidence:  Cloward and Piven were teaching their methodology at Columbia in 1981 through 1983 -- it would be interesting to see Obama's Columbia College records.

Unfortunately, the Obamamessiah doesn't believe we peons are entitled to that information.
The Crisis Creators
The American electorate has watched in amazement for a year as Obama has created unprecedented havoc and outrage throughout the nation.

And yet, the actual result of 2009's non-stop crises has been not just the dramatic transfer of wealth and power away from citizens and small businesses and into the hands of government, but also the beginnings of a profound transformation of America's economic and governmental system.

Is it possible that Obama is intentionally creating crises for the purpose of converting America into a full-fledged socialist state?  To many, such a conclusion sounds like an absurd conspiracy theory, but for those knowledgeable about the modern history of the radical left, creating crises is simply how things get done.

Indeed, in one of its most powerful issues ever, the January 2010 edition of Whistleblower magazine -- titled "The Crisis Creators" -- documents conclusively that the Obama administration's primary modus operandi of governance is the transformation of America through wreaking havoc.  Following the classic radical-left strategy of the manufactured crisis, Obama and Congress are creating crises in every area of life and policy.

They're wreaking havoc throughout America's capitalist, free-enterprise system by taking over major industries like banking, auto and healthcare.  And by multiplying the national debt so astronomically that the only mathematically possible way to pay it off is with the printing press, which translates directly into the "grand theft" of Americans' hard-earned wealth through major inflation.

But it not just the economy.  They're wreaking havoc also on America's national security, prosecuting U.S. soldiers for being too rough on terrorists, but rewarding confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with a civilian trial in New York City and affording him all the powerful legal rights of an American citizen.  And by badmouthing and apologizing for America overseas and bowing before Muslim kings, while scandalously snubbing leaders of America's few remaining allies like the U.K. and Israel.

They're creating crises in the nation's energy policy by stubbornly adhering to the controversial and now utterly discredited "global warming" theory and pursuing economically catastrophic legislation like "cap and trade."  They're creating havoc in education by putting radical homosexual activist Kevin Jennings, notorious for sexually corrupting children, in charge of the safety of the nation's public schools.

In every area imaginable, as "The Crisis Creators" documents, Obama is busily engaged in undermining and destroying the nation's key institutions -- or as Obama himself euphemistically put it a few days before being elected president, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

"For the last year," says Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, "we've had it relentlessly hammered into our heads that America will self-destruct economically if we don't solve our cataclysmic healthcare crisis.  But in reality, there is no healthcare crisis.  We have the best medical services delivery system in world history.  What about the poor and uninsured?  In America, you can be an escaped-convict-illegal-alien-child-rapist, but if you get hurt and go to a public hospital, you will by law be taken care of, completely and totally, whether you can pay for it or not.  That's not a broken system; that's the most magnificent system in the world."

"Of course, the government could easily create a simple safety net to help the small percentage of Americans who don't have health insurance," added Kupelian.  "But they've never been interested in that.  They're interested only in creating the illusion of a systemic and fatal healthcare crisis as a means of forcing socialism down free Americans' throats.

"And that's just one example.  Manufacturing crises to force 'change' is how the radical left has operated for decades, and now that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are in power, fake crises and their terrible 'solutions' dominate life in America."
Obama's Agenda:  Overwhelm The System
Rahm Emanuel cynically said, "You never want a crisis to go to waste."  It is now becoming clear that the crisis he was referring to is Barack Obama's presidency.

Obama is no fool.  He is not incompetent.  To the contrary, he is brilliant.  He knows exactly what he's doing.  He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

Wayne Allen Root says Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of '83).  As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University.  They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands.  Add up the clues below.  Taken individually they're alarming.  Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival ... and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government.  Why not?  They have no responsibility to pay for it.
    

-- Universal health care.  The health care bill had very little to do with health care.  It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions).  Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt.  What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government.  Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

-- Cap and trade.  Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming.  It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama's biggest contributors.  Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants.  They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power.  The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama "spread the wealth around."

-- Make Puerto Rico a state.  Why?  Who's asking for a 51st state?  Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression?  Certainly not American taxpayers.  But this has been Obama's plan all along.  His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

-- Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants.  Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America.  But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government.  Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

-- Stimulus and bailouts.  Where did all that money go?  It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions -- including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country.  It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues.  It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions).  A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues).  All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America.  The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful.  The ends justify the means.

-- Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators.  Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama).  Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government.  Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

    
With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

Add it up and you've got the perfect Marxist scheme -- all devised by my Columbia University college classmate, Barack Obama.
Cloward and Piven -- In Their Own Words
NewZeal blogspot says that Obama's Columbia professors, 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?"

Read this eye witness report on this historic panel 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:
    

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 "demands" 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 55,000 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.
Frances Fox Piven Advocating Violence
Frances Fox Piven (of the Cloward-Piven Strategy) speaking at the University of Wisconsin in November, 2004, advocating the use of violence -- so long as it's "a big part of your strategy."
    

"It is ok to use violence as long as it is a BIG part of your strategy" (03:13)
    
A couple of excerpts from the video:
    

"I have considerable respect for non-violence, but I don't treat it as intevitably a necessary rule.  The reason I have respect for non-violence, is I think it helps to protect the protestors."

"Unless you have good reason for breaking the window, probably you shouldn't do that.  Unless it's you know, a big part of your strategy."

    
Related:  Frances Fox Piven Joins Board of Project Vote -- What Could Go Wrong?

Piven is going to have a direct influence over the policy and direction of Project Vote.

Perhaps Piven’s strategy of overwhelming the system will now be applied to registering people to vote.  As we saw in Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and many other states, Project Vote
created chaos for elections workers to sift through.  With Piven now guiding this ship, her success at overwhelming the City of New York welfare system will now be applied to voter registration.  What could possibly go wrong?
The Obama Team’s Strategy for Changing America
On the eve of the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama promised to "fundamentally transform" America.  Now, as we approach another national vote, it is clear that while other promises have fallen by the wayside, Obama has kept his word about trying to transform the country -- to disastrous effect.  Obama has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars.  His stimulus package may have failed to revive the economy but it succeeded in inflating the bureaucracy.  In passing a health care plan that will make the country poorer as well as sicker, he has presided over a massive expansion of government and increased its power to intrude into our lives.

This transformation -- and Obama has made it clear that this is just the beginning of what he has in store for the country -- may be catastrophic, but it is not accidental.  As his pre-election promise suggest -- and as David Horowitz and Liz Blaine document in their trenchant new pamphlet, Breaking the System -- what Obama has done to America and what he plans for the future if his power is not curbed, is the product of a calculated strategy by the radical Left to subvert America’s free-enterprise system and to turn the country’s citizens into wards of an always-growing state whose ultimate objective is to engineer American lives.  Specifically, Obama’s policies reflect the strategy developed by two leftist professors, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, in the mid-1960s to manufacture crises that will fracture our social and cultural institutions and pave the way for a socialist redistribution of wealth and control over every aspect of individual endeavor.

In Breaking the System, Horowitz and Blaine show how Obama and his leftist administration have used the Cloward-Piven strategy to achieve the maximum amount of "change" in the minimum amount of time and how in the process they have driven our country to the brink of disaster.

To read the pamphlet [.pdf], click here . . .
Radical Francis Fox Piven On Obama
Trevor Loudon says Frances Fox Piven, she of the Cloward-Piven Strategy of Manufactured Crisis, spoke alongside Tariq Ali at a booklaunch for his new book entitled "The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad".  Ali is a board member of Movement for a Democratic Society which has close ties with the newly revived Students for a Democratic Society.  The organization seeks to create a more egalitarian society in both the political and economic spheres.  The booklaunch was organized and hosted by the Brecht Forum.

A short excerpt from Piven's comments at the book launch is below.
    
       
A full video from the event is at the C-Span website, however copied below is a key excerpt of the transcript of Piven's comments at the event:
    

"Obama has done some good things as president.  Most of us don't notice those things because he has done them under the radar.  They don't get public attention.  He's used executive orders for example, to fund the enforcement of workplace safety inspections by the Labor Department, or to fund environmental protection enforcement.  His stimulus bill... you know, and the sort of cloud of emergency.  The stimulus bill was in fact redistributive.  It took, for example, the TANF program which was the program that sort of symbolized the elimination of welfare in the United States, and it gave 5 billion dollars to TANF on condition that the states spend money on TANF; let people get welfare, and of course it put money in food stamps and unemployment insurance as well.  He has made appointments.  Usually below the radar screen to the Federal bureaucracy, that the Bush Administration decimated.  I mean they're a bunch of hacks, in the Justice Department, in the voting rights division, wherever you looked, they put in their cronies.  And the Obama Administration, concerned as they are with merit education and so forth, they began to restaff Federal bureaucracy.  That's good, compared to what was." (31:45 - 33:50 minutes)

    
A little later on she comments,
    

"The Obama Administration has done some good things compared to the administrations that we've had for a very long time." (35:50 - 36:10 minutes)

    
Obama has an ally in the form of the radical, violence-advocating Frances Fox Piven.  She made it clear at the September 20 event that she believes Obama has done many good things, but that many of these things have been done "under the radar," and without skipping a beat, acknowledges that the stimulus bill was redistributive.

Most noteworthy however, is her ominous comment that Obama "has made appointments; usually below the radar screen to the Federal bureaucracy."  Piven takes heart at what she refers to as the Obama Administration's restaffing of Federal bureaucracy.  Perhaps Piven is referring to Socialist heroes elected to the Federal bureaucracy such as former STORM leader Van Jones, Netroots Nation-linked Cass Sunstein, and former Congressional Progressive Caucus member, Hilda Solis.

No wonder she's happy.
"Upheaval Of Historic Dimensions"

Joel B. Pollak says Frances Fox Piven, one of the co-authors of the Cloward-Piven strategy to overwhelm the state with millions of additional welfare claimants, has published an article in the Nation calling for the Occupy Wall Street movement to re-invigorate itself by recruiting the poor.
  


   

 

 

 In a telling admission that Occupy does not, in fact, represent the poor, Piven criticizes both liberals and unions for their repeated use of the term "middle class" in their political campaigns.  Instead, she said, Occupy must appeal to issues that poor Americans care about:
  

To fully realize an ethic of inclusion, the poorest and most benighted Americans should become part of our protest movement.  We need to increase their numbers at our demonstrations, and we need to undertake the protest actions that deal with their most urgent needs -- including the attacks on the social safety net that hit them hardest.
    

While remnants of the ACORN organization did, apparently, pay poor people to attend Occupy Wall Street, Piven envisions a strategy that has a clearer ideological component.  Instead of overwhelming the welfare system, as she once advocated, Piven now believes poor people should be mobilized to defend it -- ironically, perhaps, since the long hoped-for possibility of financial insolvency is no longer distant.
   

Piven believes that an Occupy movement that succeeds in recruiting "a proud and angry" poor could bring about the kind of radical change that the American left had long sought (and which, perhaps, it had hoped to achieve in the Obama presidency):
  

This could be one of those big turns in American political history, set in motion by indignant people who take to the streets or occupy the factories or the schools.  And it will take an upheaval of historic dimensions to force the reigning financial and business interests and the politicians who kowtow to them to move in new directions, to cede a measure of democratic regulation of finance and business, to give in to policies that empower workers and their unions, to go along with policies that limit the corruption of electoral politics by big money and its propaganda and, not least, to restore and expand the safety net.
    

For this to happen, the movement has to grow, and it has to include in its ranks the people who have been scorned and abused by corporate domination of our politics.  Not only would OWS gain strength from the participation of the poor; participation in a great movement dedicated to reducing extreme inequality would also transform the poor.  Our society would benefit from that transformation.  A proud and angry poor could help to remake America.
  

Were it put to a vote, Piven’s proposal for dramatic economic upheaval would probably lose by a margin of… say, 99 percent to 1.
  

Yet her views are influential within the radical American left–and familiar to its graduates in government, who are less a minority in the Obama administration than they have been in any other.

Comments . . .
***  
 

©  Copyright  Beckwith  2009
All right reserved