CHANDLER: The Cloward-Piven strategy

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OP-ED:

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.

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