During the Obama administration the names of Saul Alinsky, Richard Cloward and Frances Piven often surface as forces that shape Obama and the Democratic Party. With the upcoming battle on the continuing resolution and debt ceiling it may be time to look more closely at all three. Though all three have been in the background since the sixties it is as their plans reach fruition they have been brought to the lime light.
Chicago native Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) is the father of modern community organizing. He is probably most famous for his organizing for dummies manual “Rules for Radicals”. After dropping out of an undergraduate program for Architects he began to teach his method of collecting power. For someone without any teaching credentials he collected an impressive list of students. From Cesar Chavez to Hillary Clinton to Wade Rathke. Alinsky formed the Congress of Industrial Organization or the CIO portion of the AFL-CIO. Wade went on to form ACORN and SEIU. Hillary declined a job offer to work in organizing to continue her education but was impressed enough to write her thesis at Wellesley about the man she admired so much. Obama too young for the seasoned group worked for Saul’s Developing Communities project and ACORN.
With the tools in place all that was needed was a game plan for changing the world. That was provided in 1966 by Richard Cloward (1926-2001) and Frances Piven (1932-). Richard a Columbia professor who was a proponent of the idea society is responsible for crime not criminals and his wife Frances now believed they discovered a way to end all poverty. They modestly named it the Cloward-Piven strategy. The goal was that everyone is entitled to a living wage regardless of skills or effort. The strategy was to burden the government with so many obligations it would collapse from its own weight. In the ensuing chaos the people would demand something be done, like maybe guaranteeing everyone a living wage.
The strategy had to overcome a few minor problems to be realized. Problems like the pesky middle class and the US Constitution. They also had to ensure those using Saul’s rules for power stayed in power long enough to implement the plan and be in power during the collapse.
The first problem of burdening the government with unsustainable debt is an ongoing process. Just keep telling the voters it’s for the children or the poor to keep the gravy train running. The problem of staying in power was highlighted during the Regan years when the middle class turned conservative and threatened the gains made so far. To ensure the likelihood of that never happening again the National Voter Registration Act or Motor Vote Bill was developed and finally signed into law in 1993 by Hillary’s spouse Bill.
At the signing Richard, Frances, Acorn’s Wade and Hillary proudly stood behind Bill to witness one more step in their plan. This bill not only allowed voter registration at Motor Vehicle offices and Welfare, Food stamp, and housing assistant offices it gave the federal government control over the requirements for registration. No longer was proof of citizenship required to register. As the law states the applicant must aver (allege or assert) they are eligible to vote under penalty of perjury. New applicants by mail don’t even have to provide a Social Security number or driver license number, a utility bill is proof of citizenship in a transformed America. (New York’s Voter registration form http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/forms/boe/voterreg/voterregenglish.pdf ) A copy of a utility bill is probably easier to forge than say, a birth certificate.
Before you dismiss an Alinskky, Cloward-Piven as farfetched ,explain the following. Why was Hillary denied the 2008 nomination ,because of Hillarycare failure and Bills drubbing in 1994 in spite of Motor Voter? During the chaos of the financial meltdown who was clamoring “we must do something” that meant taking over banks, GM and Chrysler. Why when the Federal Government must borrow to meet current obligations are we taking on healthcare for everyone and millions of poor immigrants? Why must we deal with continuing resolutions to fund the government when after five years the Democrats could just pass a budget, or are they afraid we will see what’s in it if it passes?
As this month’s crisis, the debt ceiling is analyzed and debated Frances Piven now honorary Chair person of the Democratic Socialists of America (a tax exempt 501c) must smile as she sees the American people asking for their own demise in the name of social justice a living wage and we must do something.