CHANDLER: The Cloward-Piven strategy

October 2008

CHANDLER: The Cloward-Piven strategy


There is plenty blame to go around for the financial crash. Yet, there is a distinct odor of the shadowy Cloward-Piven strategy as the taproot of abusive practices that triggered the crisis. The strategy’s goal is to bring about the fall of capitalism by overloading and undermining government bureaucracy.

Its supporting tactics include flooding government with impossible demands until it slowly cranks to a stop; overloading electoral systems with successive tidal waves of new voters, many of them bogus; shaking down banks, politicians in Congress, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for affirmative-action borrowing; and, now, pulling down the national financial system by demanding exotic, subprime mortgages for low-income Americans with little hope of repaying their loans. These toxic mortgages are an important source of the foul smell engulfing the entire financial bailout.

Developed in the mid-1960s by two Columbia University sociologists, Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, much of their strategy was drawn from Saul Alinsky, Chicago’s notorious revolutionary Marxist community organizer. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) succeeded the National Welfare Rights Organization in the execution of the Cloward-Piven grand tactics of using the poor as cannon fodder to tear down the capitalist system. It was low-income, mostly black and Hispanic people, who were used by ACORN guerrillas to take subprime toxic mortgages.

An Obama campaign dispatch on October 6 had the right perspective in observing that “the backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption that helped create the current crisis are looking more and more like any other major financial crisis of our time.” True enough.

The root causes for the 2008 financial panic were sown some 40 years ago when the Institute for Policy Studies, the notorious “Think Tank of the Left,” held socialist seminars geared toward undermining the American capitalist system. Beginning in 1964 and continuing to the present day, the Institute for Policy Studies has used seminars especially scoped to influence congressmen and their assistants to support the “progressive,” that is to say “socialist,” viewpoint. A 1969 “Housing and Property” seminar, hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, for example, treated Capitol Hill denizens to mind-stretching leftism. Bringing together speakers from big-city tenants councils, neighborhood legal services, FHA insurance, savings-and-loans entities, and the Shannon and Luchs Realty Company, the Institute for Policy Studies “plinked” the first domino that led to the current crisis.

At about the same time that the Institute for Policy Studies was holding the 1969 “Housing and Property” seminars, it was also conducting “Experimental Education” seminars in January-April 1969, for federal legislators and their aides that included Bill Ayers, an Obama confidant and Weatherman terrorist, as a guest speaker. According to the Senate Subcommittee on Investigation, 4,330 bombings occurred in the United States, about nine a day, from January 1969 to April 1970.

The socialist test case for using society’s poor and disadvantaged people as sacrificial “shock troops,” in accordance with the Cloward-Piven strategy, was demonstrated in 1975, when new prospective welfare recipients flooded New York City with payment demands, bankrupting the government. As a consequence, New York state also teetered on the edge of financial collapse when the federal government stepped in with a bailout rescue.

The 2008 financial crisis has all of the earmarks of a Cloward-Piven strategy assault against the capitalist system. Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center recently explained that “community organizers” (1) “intimidate banks into making high risk loans to customers with poor credit,” (2) “occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes,” and, through these thuggish tactics, (3) compel “financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.” “In other words,” Mr. Kurtz explained during a presentation at the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, “community organizers help to undermine America’s economy by pushing the banking system into a sink-hole of bad loans.”

A key element of the contemporary crisis certainly reflects many years of a “backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption” cited by the Obama camp. But much of the associated backwardness and deception were secretly peddled by the Institute for Policy Studies. Its war against the financial system used improvised non-ethical devices (INEDs) designed to destroy capitalism and support Mr. Obama. One of those roadside INEDs was the Cloward-Piven strategy.

Robert Chandler is a retired Air Force colonel and former strategist for the White House, the Departments of State, Defense, Energy and Justice, and the CIA.


Expand To make the Cloward and Piven Alinsky plan real simple to understand here it is in a nutshell; spend until there is no more money, cause disruption, loss of jobs and racial strife in the country, pack the courts with socialist/progregessives. There it is, sound familar?

Expand This is now common knowledge and accurate. However, the democrats keep up rampant wasteful SPENDING at enormously high dollar levels. How come the media doesn’t call out the socialist democrats on this.
How come the Republicans don’t shout out to the public this Cloward Piven destroy America process the radicals are following?
Are we all to be back seat passengers in a car being driven by the sadist obama over a cliff?



The Cloward-Piven strategy may have been developed 40 years ago, but the first phase was implemented by Bill Clinton and his use of the Justice Department, the CRA and discrimination lawsuits to force banks to bypass proven risk management principles and make known unrepayable loans while Barney Frank and Chris Dodd bundled them into government securities and sold them on the global market. With this as a proven strategy, Obama has taken over with a never let a crisis go to waste iterative tactic of maintaining a constant state of fear while he dismantles the Constitution through circumventing it with the use of the Justice Department, czars and Executive Orders. Complicit in this movement in managing the groupthink and keeping the public pacified with Obama’s tokenism, is the mainstream media of MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and the NY Times. Obama lives as lord of old, never seeing the peasants and not really caring while the media acts as his magician and the Congress as his sheriff’s collecting taxes from the proletariat. Very soon we will take our role in global governance the Bilderbergers has so diligently pursued.

I do honestly believe that this president and his administration are doing everything they possibly can to ruin this country. He has already spent an entire generation’s money and is now moving into spending our grandchildrens money. And for what? For every damn special interest pork barrel project the democrats couldn’t get passed until they controlled both houses of congress and the white house. This recent 26 billion dollar bill to “save” teachers jobs is just one small example. That’s what he told us about the 786 billion dollar stimulus bill and they still haven’t spent 426 billion of that “stimulus” money. Why the new 26 billion? I swear this guy is a one man sleeper cell rotting the country from within.


The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:

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.

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.

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.”

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited.

ACORN’s vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.

The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.

It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.

This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Charles Rangel* said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”

These people are our enemies. They don’t use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.

It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so — the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.

Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.

After that, all bets are off.

Businessman and columnist Jim Simpson is a former White House staff economist and budget analyst. You may read more of his articles on his blog, Truth and Consequences.


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