If blame could be assigned for America’s ongoing economic collapse, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven would deserve special recognition for their contribution to the nation’s ongoing decline.
The two Marxist university professors are “fundamentally responsible for the unsustainability and possible collapse of our economic system,” Glenn Beck said on his TV show yesterday.
Cloward and Piven are renowned in community organizing circles for devising the Cloward-Piven Strategy of orchestrated crisis, which they spelled out in “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty,” published in the Nation magazine in 1966.
“Cloward and Piven instructed activists that if a crisis did not exist, promote or manufacture one by exaggerating some unthreatening predicament,” Beck said. “Global warming anyone? And to an extent, health care?”
The strategy called for aggressively recruiting poor Americans onto the nation’s welfare rolls in an effort to overwhelm governments. The theory was that imposing such impossible burdens would force radical change upon society.
As Beck noted, the strategy worked to an extent in New York City whose burgeoning welfare rolls pushed the metropolis into insolvency in the mid 1970s. Adherents of the approach in various activist groups, including the forerunner of ACORN, the National Welfare Rights Organization, knew that roughly half the people eligible for welfare weren’t on it, so they needed to be informed of their welfare “rights” and demand aid from the government.
In 1998, then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani denounced Cloward and Piven by name, declaring that the city’s problems weren’t ” an accident; it wasn’t an atmospheric thing; it wasn’t supernatural. It was the result of policies, choices and a philosophy that was embraced in the 1960s and then enthusiastically endorsed in the City of New York.”
Now the strategy of bankrupting the government in order to usher in a new era of statism has been taken to dizzying new heights. Without lifting a finger to promote entitlement reform the Democratic-controlled Congress is moving forward behind closed doors with a massively unpopular socialist healthcare scheme.