***UPDATE at end of this post**
Posted with permission and assistance of Trevor Loudon of:
June 26, 2010
The Cloward – Piven Strategy – eyewitness account of its unveiling at Socialist Scholars Conference
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 Simpsonand 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.
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.
No doubt all were impressed by Cloward and Piven’s cunning plan.
By Alan Caruba
September 4, 2009
During the 1930s and 1940s, communism appealed to many Americans. Some had soured on capitalism because of the Great Depression. Others saw communism at work in the Soviet Union and, believing the propaganda, concluded it was a viable alternative to capitalism. It would take a speech by Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev to draw back the curtain and reveal the horrors of living under Stalin.
Then, as now, communists found a home in the American labor movement and among the liberal elites of the Democrat Party who saw in the New Deal the way to transform America into a socialist nation, as well as among America’s intellectuals on its college campuses. Not much has changed.
One of the founders of the “Weathermen” group that conducted a number of bombings in the 1960s is now a “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois–Chicago. Bill Ayers is also a longtime, close friend of Barack Obama.
The sad irony of McCarthy’s story is that the government was, indeed, filled with communist sympathizers, known as “fellow travelers,” and with Soviet-run spies. The story can be found in “The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors” by Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel. “Venona” was the U.S. code word given to secret Soviet spy communications.
Venona revealed the full extent of the spying that was occurring. Venona documented that Harry Hopkins, a close friend and advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a spy. Both the FDR and Truman administrations were chockablock with communists. The Venona program of interception and analysis ran from February 1943 to 1980.
The current attacks on the CIA, include a statement by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who said “They lie to us all the time.” The Obama Justice Department has re-opened an investigation into interrogation techniques of the CIA as a further effort to discredit the agency. If you don’t believe this is at the direction of President Obama, you’re being naïve.
In “The Venona Secrets,” the authors note that a classic Stalinist tactic was “demonizing an opponent and then using his vilified name in a broad-brush smear against anyone who challenged Communist views or activities.” This is why the term “McCarthyism” has entered our political vocabulary. This is also what is occurring right now as former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Governor Sarah Palin, get the treatment.
How can you spot a communist sympathizer in the U.S. Congress? You can visit the website of the “Progressive Caucus” where, as of February 2009, more than 80 members of the House, including two from the Senate, self-identify themselves as progressives. “Progressive” was the term communists used after the McCarthy era. It is still in use today.
Some of the progressive caucus members are Ed Markey and Henry Waxman, co-authors of the “Cap-and-Trade bill that would impose a huge tax on all energy use in America. You will find Charles Rangel, currently under ethics investigation for having hidden hundreds of thousands of dollars from authorities. Barney Frank, the “brains” behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s purchase of millions in worthless mortgage loans, is a member. He is the godfather of a meltdown on Wall Street that remains a threat to our capitalist economy.
A significant number of the caucus are Afro-Americans. They include Jesse Jackson, Jr., John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Donald Payne, and Bobby Rush to name just a few.
With the collapse of the former Soviet Union, many former communists became “environmentalists,” often playing major roles in the many organizations serving that cause.
Among President Obama’s ever-expanding circle of “czars” is Carol Browner, the former Clinton-era director of the Environmental Protection Agency (1993-2000) whose latest appointment also revealed that she served on the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which is part of Socialist International. Her association with the group has since been scrubbed from their website.
Most obvious and notorious is Van Jones who has never made a secret of his political preference for communism and who is Obama’s new “Green Jobs” czar. The links between the environmental movement and communist goals are numerous, nor should it surprise anyone that the “global warming” hoax was birthed in the bowels of the United Nations.
**Van Jones resigned after his connections to Communism/STORM, etc. were revealed.**
Today, thanks to the way history is taught in America’s government schools, the threat to freedom that communism posed then and still does pose, is barely a subject for discussion. When he was still an adolescent in Hawaii, President Obama came under the influence of Frank Marshall Davis, a widely known communist in the 1950s.
Obama is completely at home with communists, but is ironically being attacked by the nation’s far left for not fulfilling their dream of the complete transformation of the nation from capitalism to socialism fast enough.
The destruction of the nation’s economy is necessary to complete the transformation and it is only the outrage and protests of Americans that will save us from a fate that has been and remains the goal of the nation’s communist enemies.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Member List: IS YOUR REPRESENTATIVE OR SENATOR LISTED HERE?
Caucus Member List
Wednesday June 02, 2010
Hon. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07)
Hon. Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)
Hon. Diane Watson (CA-33)
Hon. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
Hon. Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Hon. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04)
Hon. Alan Grayson (FL-08)
Hon. Roland Burris (IL)
Hon. Bernie Sanders (VT)
Hon. Tom Udall (NM)
Hon. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
Hon. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
Hon. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Hon. Robert Brady (PA-01)
Hon. Corrine Brown (FL-03)
Hon. Michael Capuano (MA-08)
Hon. André Carson (IN-07)
Hon. Donna Christensen (VI-AL)
Hon. Judy Chu (CA-32)
Hon. Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
Hon. William “Lacy” Clay (MO-01)
Hon. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Hon. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Hon. John Conyers (MI-14)
Hon. Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Hon. Danny Davis (IL-07)
Hon. Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
Hon. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Hon. Sam Farr (CA-17)
Hon. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Hon. Bob Filner (CA-51)
Hon. Barney Frank (MA-04)
Hon. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)
Hon. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
Hon. John Hall (NY-19)
Hon. Phil Hare (IL-17)
Hon. Alcee Hastings (FL-23)
Hon. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
Hon. Michael Honda (CA-15)
Hon. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)
Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Hon. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Hon. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Hon. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)
Hon. Barbara Lee (CA-09)
Hon. John Lewis (GA-05)
Hon. David Loebsack (IA-02)
Hon. Ben R. Lujan (NM-3)
Hon. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
Hon. Ed Markey (MA-07)
Hon. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Hon. James McGovern (MA-03)
Hon. George Miller (CA-07)
Hon. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Hon. Jim Moran (VA-08)
Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-08)
Hon. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC-AL)
Hon. John Olver (MA-01)
Hon. Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Hon. Ed Pastor (AZ-04)
Hon. Donald Payne (NJ-10)
Hon. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Hon. Jared Polis (CO-02)
Hon. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
Hon. Laura Richardson (CA-37)
Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
Hon. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Hon. Linda Sánchez (CA-39)
Hon. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Hon. José Serrano (NY-16)
Hon. Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
Hon. Pete Stark (CA-13)
Hon. Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Hon. John Tierney (MA-06)
Hon. Nydia Velazquez (NY-12)
Hon. Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Hon. Mel Watt (NC-12)
Hon. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
Hon. Peter Welch (VT-AL)
Progressives = Socialists/Marxists/Communists.
They call themselves “Better Democrats”.
Progressives are …..Anti Republican, Blue Dog Conservative Democrats, Independents.
The Progressives were the ones that launched the attack on Blanche Lincoln (D) of Arkansas recently in a primary for Democratic Senator and lost. Unions spent 10 Million dollars in this attack against her.
November 2010 Elections are coming America…….Choose wisely.
***UPDATE: Congressional Progressive Caucus Members as of 2013**