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The Cloward-Piven Strategy

Categories: Politics

By Robert W. Philbin / April 23, 2013

By Robert W. Philbin

Is Barack Obama Simply Incompetent...  Out Of His League When It Comes To Fulfilling His Duties As President Of The United States?  Or Is It Entirely Possible That Every Move Barack Obama Has Made Has Been Designed To Destroy The United States Of America...  A Country He Clearly Hates?

Barack Obama
We are living at a time when America seems to face one insurmountable crisis after another: the financial meltdown, health care woes, illegal immigration, an astronomical deficit, a record-breaking oil spill.

It seems like the America we knew and loved is on a one way trip to eventual ruin; and as we watch our future, that was once so bright, fade into the twilight of despair, our elected officials seem to be doing nothing to regain the ground we have lost.  Why? ...  Why is Barack Hussein Obama fiddling as Rome burns...  as this chaos continues to ensue?

Is Barack Obama simply incompetent...  out of his league when it comes to fulfilling his duties as President of the United States?  Or is it entirely possible that he's not fiddling...  is it possible that every move Barack Obama has made has been designed to destroy the United States...  a country he clearly hates?

The unfortunate answer is the latter.  The plain and simple truth is that Barack Obama is following a carefully laid out plan that was designed years ago and the ultimate goal of following this plan is the total destruction of the United States as we know it.

A plan you say?  Why would someone plan our economic demise?  Why would they deliberately sabotage our economy, our livelihoods and our position in the world?  The answer is not pretty: Radicals, who presently hold positions of power and authority in Congress and the White House, are seeking to destroy our capitalist system so that they can replace it with an insidious and oppressive brand of socialism.

And the plan the Left is following is called the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

The Cloward-Piven Strategy is a scheme concocted in the late 60's by two socialist faculty members at Columbia University.

Generally speaking, the Cloward-Piven Strategy calls for the deliberate flooding of government systems in order to cause the government to implode under the weight of its own bureaucracy!

"Impossible!" you say!  "That could never happen in America!  We would never let that happen!"

Unfortunately you would be wrong in that assumption.  The Cloward-Piven Strategy has already been implemented successfully in one of the greatest cities in the world (New York City) and brought the city to the verge of bankruptcy.  And the Cloward-Piven Strategy is being put to work right now, as you read these very words, on a national level.

The goal is to create a spiraling nightmare of a socialist economic landscape in America....  one that we may never be able to escape.  And what is even more shocking are the ties that the man who is presently sitting in the Oval Office (some say he usurped the office), Barack Hussein Obama, has to Cloward and Piven and their pupils over the years.

Dr. Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven
In The Beginning...
There Was Cloward and Piven:
Their Background, Ideology And Strategy:

Dr. Richard Cloward met his wife Francis Fox Piven (in later life, an honorary Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America) when they were working on a project called "Mobilization for Youth" an outreach program aimed at gang members on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Piven became Cloward's coauthor on a number of projects and the two collaborated for the rest of their careers.  Perched in the elitist halls of Columbia University's School of Social Work, Cloward (with Piven at his side) formulated a plan to empower the radical Left and impose a socialist economic reality by purposefully recruiting massive numbers of the poor unto our nation's Welfare rolls.

Cloward and Piven initially unveiled this strategy in an article called "Mobilizing The Poor: How it Could be Done." The article was picked up and published in the May 2, 1966 issue of THE NATION and given a less explosive, sanitized and deceptive title, "The Weight of The Poor: A Strategy To End Poverty."  The article suggests that the poor segments of society are kept destitute for the benefit of the rich.  The poor are thrown off the welfare rolls to provide cheap labor during boom times and placated in tough economic times with just enough sustenance to "douse the fires of rebellion.  "Cloward and Piven postulated that the only way to end poverty was to advance legislation (through militant activism designed to cause a political and economic crisis) that guaranteed an annual income for all Americans...  typical socialist income redistribution.

In the opening paragraph of the article, Cloward and Piven clearly state their premise:

"It is our purpose to advance a strategy which affords the basis for a convergence of civil rights organizations, militant anti-poverty groups and the poor.  If this strategy were implemented, a political crisis would result that could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty."

Of course, one does not have to be a rocket-scientist (or an economist) to understand that Cloward and Piven's premise was grossly flawed...  income redistribution does not reduce poverty.  Such policies only increase the power and scope of government, stifle economies and actually encourage poverty on a larger scale.

And how did Cloward and Piven suggest combating supposed social injustice?

Essentially, the present system would have to be brought to the verge of ruin so that radical change could be implemented.

And how does one go about collapsing the system?

Taking a page from the book of radical left wing community organizer Saul Alinisky, Cloward and Piven suggested putting the welfare system to work, against itself.

According to Cloward and Piven the teeming majority of Americans who technically qualified for welfare programs did not, in fact, register to receive the aid.  Cloward and Piven claimed, at that time, that approximately [eight] million people were receiving some form of welfare, and they believed that as many as 20 million, in total, could be mobilized and placed on the public dole.

Cloward and Piven theorized that by mobilizing even a small percentage of the remaining 12 million to demand their entitlements, the welfare system would be swamped with more cases than it was designed to handle, obligated to dispense more money than it was able to give out and that the ensuing result of this chaos would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces ...  for major economic reform at the national level."

"Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals.  "When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every JudeoChristian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short.  The system's failure to 'live up' to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist 'rule book' with a socialist one."

That's the Cloward-Piven Strategy in a nutshell.  Sabotage the system by overwhelming it...  discredit the system once it is destroyed...  and institute more of the policies that you used to destroy the system in the first place.  Are you beginning to see the parallels between the Cloward-Piven Strategy and Barack Obama's domestic policies?

If not, keep reading.

George Wiley
And Cloward and Piven Begat Wiley...And Wiley Begat Rathke...  And Rathke Begat ACORN...  And ACORN Begat Obama:

Many people have never heard of George Wiley.  If the name is unfamiliar to you, it's a name that you should come to know.  Wiley was a militant radical who founded the Syracuse chapter of CORE (The Congress for Racial Equality) and quickly ascended in the ranks and became the second-in-command of the national organization.

Eventually becoming disenchanted with the traditional–nonviolent approach CORE advocated, Wiley organized another group, PRAC (the Poverty Rights Action Center), in 1965.  PRAC ascribed to the confrontation tactics of Black Nationalism and, seeing a rising star in their midst, Cloward and Piven recruited Wiley to head their effort to implement the Cloward-Piven Strategy and flood the welfare rolls of targeted city governments across the nation.

Wiley was tailor-made for the job.  He was a charismatic organizer who could rally people to the cause and he had a proven record of being able to get the job done.  In June 1966 Wiley led a nationwide protest which targeted the welfare offices of cities across the country.  The success and attention garnered by the success of this event inspired Wiley to found the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) in 1967. writes:

"Wiley's National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) held its founding convention in Washington DC, August 25-27, 1967.  Closely following Cloward and Piven's recommendations, Wiley and his followers invaded welfare offices -- often violently -- bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law 'entitled' them.  Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times reported in 1970: 'There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests -- and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones.'"

Using increasingly violent tactics...  mass demonstrations...  vandalism...  and threats of physical intimidation, the NWRO incited a human stampede that played an invaluable role in helping to bring down a city with one of the world's most vibrant economies...New York City. again:

"'The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams,' writes Sol Stern in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal.  'From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times.'" goes on to say:

"Wiley and his welfare radicals terrorized social workers all over the United States, but their greatest success came in New York City.  Newly elected in 1966, arch-liberal Mayor John Lindsay knuckled under to every demand from Wiley's NWRO.  New York's welfare rolls had already been growing by 12 percent per year before Lindsay took office.  The growth rate jumped to 50 percent annually in 1966.  'By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy,' writes Sol Stern in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal."

The results were earth-shattering.  Some have already forgotten...  and some never knew...  that New York City was literally on the verge of bankruptcy in 1975.  The Cloward-Piven Strategy had WORKED!  New York City was, quite literally, BROKE.  It had collapsed under the weight of its own social welfare system and the city was a breath away from filing for bankruptcy protection.

The New York Times, quoting Howard J.  Rubenstein, the publicist and former media adviser to former New York mayor Abe Mayor Beame, wrote:

"Mr. Rubenstein said, 'The public had no inkling of the depth of the problem.' 'Few knew,' he said, that the city's outside counsel, M. Ira Millstein of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, had filed for bankruptcy for the city on Oct.  17, 1975, and that police cars were standing by to serve the papers on the city's chief creditors, the banks.'"

Some might even argue that the crisis in New York almost succeeded in bringing down the nation.  New York asked the federal government for a bailout.  New York, after all, was too big to fail.

Fortunately, President Gerald Ford said no and, left with no alternatives, the people of New York made tough decisions and eventually dug out of the hole.

Disaster was averted but the episode clearly illustrates the genius of the Coward-Piven Strategy.  Vast numbers of people, who receive newly garnered government aid, can be leveraged into becoming voters and activists who have an obvious incentive to keep their government benefactors in office and push for even more incentives...  SHOCK-TROOPS FOR THE THUGOCRACY.

Millions of people, who are otherwise disinterested in the process, become utterly dependant on the government and thereby motivated to secure the continuance of their newly acquired "rights" ...  their "right to housing" ...  their "right to income" ...  their "right to health insurance" ...  (none of these "rights" is enumerated in the Constitution by the way) through political action...  sometimes violent political action...  is any of this starting to sound familiar?

Image of men in a stret who appear to be part of a protest, some who are holding a large Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) banner.
If you're starting to think that elements of the Coward-Piven Strategy sound very similar to the rhetoric of Barack Husseim Obama and the tactics employed by radical organizations like ACORN...  and SEIU you're already connecting the dots.  As a matter of fact, there is a direct connection between Cloward and Piven and ACORN and the SEIU.

Just as Cloward and Piven begat George Wiley...Wiley begat Wade Rathke...  the man founder of ACORN and SEIU.  In fact, Rathke was Wiley's protégé...specifically tasked to further implement the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

According to
" In 1970, one of George Wiley's protégés, Wade Rathke -- like Bill Ayers, a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) -- was sent to found the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now.  While NWRO had made a good start, it alone couldn't accomplish the Cloward-Piven goals.  Rathke's group broadened the offensive to include a wide array of low income 'rights.' Shortly thereafter they changed 'Arkansas' to 'Association of' and ACORN went nationwide."

As you are surely aware, ACORN went on to become one of the most powerful rackets on the radical left.  ACORN influenced policy on housing and illegal immigration, but it is their fraud ridden push for relaxed "voter registration" where they have incited perhaps the most damage to our democratic system.

According to

"It is perhaps the largest radical group in the U.S.  and has been cited for widespread criminal activity on many fronts."

And Cloward and Piven are directly connected to Rathke as well.  In 1982 Cloward and Piven founded Human SERVE (Service Employees Registration and Voter Education Fiund).  Along with ACORN they conceived and put into place programs that would serve as the precedent for the "Motor-Voter" laws...  just one vehicle that makes it possible for the radical left to engage in systemic voter fraud across the nation. again:
"The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with 'dead wood' -- invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or nonexistent people -- thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and 'voter disenfranchisement' claims that followed in subsequent elections."

Is There An Obama-Cloward-Piven-Columbia University Connection?

We do know that Cloward taught at Columbia University from 1954 until his death in 2001 and we know that Obama attended Columbia University from 1981 through 1983.  But we may never know the answer to the question posed above because that period in Obama's life remains shrouded in mystery and Obama has done just about everything in his power to keep it a secret.

Is a possible Obama-Cloward-Piven connection one of the reasons why Obama keeps this period of his life shrouded in secrecy?

According to the New York Sun:

"The Obama campaign has refused to release his college transcript, despite an academic career that led him to Harvard Law School and, later, to a lecturing position at the University of Chicago.  The shroud surrounding his experience at Columbia contrasts with that of other major party nominees since 2000, all whom have eventually released information about their college performance or seen it leaked to the public." The New York Times writes that Obama "suggests in his book that his years in New York were a pivotal period: He ran three miles a day, buckled down to work and 'stopped getting high,' which he says he had started doing in high school.  Yet he declined repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years."

A pivotal period...  and yet, the media has found only a handful of people who even remember knowing Barack Obama at Columbia...  he was a man of mystery even then.

Did Cloward and Obama's paths cross?  Was Obama one of the many young radicals that Cloward and Piven mentored over their long careers?  Is it not, at least, within the realm of possibility that Cloward and Piven may have exerted an indirect influence over the young Barack Obama?

Again, we can only speculate...  but we do know that Obama's ties to the spawn of Cloward and Piven are surprisingly deep-rooted and far reaching.  And, moreover, when you examine Obama's policies, vis-a-vis, the Cloward-Piven Strategy, the parallels are frightening.

It's painfully apparent that Obama and the spawn of Cloward and Piven are fellow travelers and Obama's ties to the radical left-wing movement are clear.  At the very least, he is truly "one of them."

We do know that Obama received training from the Industrial Areas Foundation, started by Saul Alinsky, and that that Obama himself taught workshops on the Alinsky method.  And we know that Obama's history with ACORN and SEIU (both founded by Wade Rathke, the protégé of the Cloward-Piven protégé George Wiley) is a veritable indictment in and of itself.

According to

"[Obama's work ] as a community activist for ACORN; as a leadership trainer for ACORN; as a lead organizer for ACORN's Project Vote; as an attorney representing ACORN's successful efforts to impose Motor Voter regulations in Illinois; as ACORN's representative in lobbying for the expansion of high risk housing loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the current crisis; as a recipient of their assistance in his political campaigns -- both with money and campaign workers; it is doubtful that he was unaware of ACORN's true goals.  It is doubtful he was unaware of the Cloward-Piven Strategy."

And we also know that Barack Obama essentially started his political career in the living room of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.  Ayers and Rathke, of course, go way back.  Both Rathke and Ayers were movers-andshakers in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Coincidence?  Unfortunately, there are simply too many dots to connect.

This much is clear.  With explicit training in goals of the socialist left, the election in his pocket, and a financial calamity playing out on day one, Obama was presented with the perfect opportunity to put the Cloward-Piven Strategy into motion.

Is Obama Executing The Cloward-Piven Strategy?

Upon the examination of the Obama administration's cultivation of crisis, it is becoming increasingly clear that the horrific results Obama continues to garner are unfortunately not just born of inexperience, or ignorance, or incompetence but are all part of a master plan.

Has Obama not flooded the government with an impossible list of demands that will overwhelm the bureaucracy and cause a systemic failure at every level of government from the local to state to national level?

Have Obama's associates and allies not inundated the electoral system with millions of new voters (fraudulently and otherwise), who will be beholden to the current political party to obtain, preserve and extend the government handouts they are receiving?

Has Obama not poisoned our financial system and private industry, setting them up for an inevitable failure that can only be remedied by government intervention, and consequential control?

Have Obama's cronies not, in fact, told us that "capitalism has failed" on a number of occasions, even though those failures can be directly attributed to their sabotage of our free market system?

Has Obama not printed ungodly amounts of money and blown the federal deficit through the roof?

Is it not true that even though real employment is around 16-17 percent, Obama and his allies in Congress - instead of giving tax relief to private businesses...  a strategy that is sure to put people back to work – simply continue to extend unemployment benefits?

And does any rational person still doubt that Obama seeks to create a socialist society upon which he can strengthen his political grip and maintain power though Putin-esque measures?

Can you think of one action Obama has taken on the domestic front that does not fit into the Cloward-Piven Strategy?

Can you think of one action Obama has taken that does not overwhelm the system to the point of systemic failure?

We can't either.

Let's take a look at the work that has already been accomplished to march our country towards this horrific and fateful destiny.


The supposed health care overhaul bill and the insistence by the Obama administration and leftist in Congress to cram it down the throats of protesting Americans, is perhaps Obama's purest incarnation of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

According to an editorial in The Las Vegas Review Journal:

"The health care bill had very little to do with health care.  It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions).  Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt.  What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government.  Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?"

From a purely institutional standpoint these 30+ million new individuals will inundate hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms.  And let us not forget that millions of other Americans will be forced off of their private plans.

The math is pretty simple.  Increasing medical services rendered without adding more doctors will cause mayhem, cripple the system and open the door to rationing care and socializing medicine in the name of order and fairness.

"The Health Care Bill did nothing to lower the costs of Healthcare itself and forces insurance companies to raise premiums in order to cover all the new people added to the rolls that have existing treatment needs but never paid into the pool.  By denying them the power to raise their prices, Obama is forcing them into Bankruptcy.  He will then Implement the Socialistic 'Public Option' to replace the Insurance Companies.  Nancy Pelosi did promise us that we 'will be begging for the Public Option.'"

Cloward and Piven would be proud.

Amnesty and Illegal Immigration for All...

Obama has shown his hand.  His opposition to Arizona's attempt to stem the flood of illegal aliens coming across the border has nothing to do with a fear that law enforcement officers might "profile" Grandpa when he takes the kiddies out for ice cream.

He could care less about Grandpa.  Rather, he opposes the Arizona law because he fears it will work.  And granting permanent residency to the millions of illegal aliens who are already in the United States and those who will come across if we allow the radical left to institute socalled "comprehensive immigration reform" is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to implementing the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

Illegal aliens are already a burden to the welfare system, the school system, hospitals and law enforcement in a number of states.  What better way is there to topple public services systems, drain government budgets and bring essential services to a screeching halt than by continuing to allow large, unknown and unrestrained numbers of people to enter the United States illegally?

Answer...  there isn't.

Unrestrained illegal immigration places an insurmountable burden on every segment of society and every level of government; and yet, radical leftists are attempting to grant illegal immigrants permanent residency and, in some cases, a path to citizenship.

Why?  Are extreme leftists promoting so-called "comprehensive immigration" policies out of compassion?

Hardly, the sad and unfortunate truth is that it's the Cloward-Piven Strategy at work.  They are simply seeking to overwhelm the system and, in the process, guarantee themselves a huge new pool of potential voters, activists and agitators.

Stimulus and Bailouts...

Throwing around astronomical amounts of money, that we don't have, to bail out the economy was hard to swallow even when we were told that there were "shovel ready" economy-boosting programs to sink the money into for immediate relief.  Now that we see how billions of dollars were misappropriated and placed into expensive projects that did not create significant numbers of jobs (in some cases they didn't even create an insignificant number of jobs) the purposeful failure of these bailouts unfortunately seems like a valid conclusion.

Check out some of these brilliant uses of so-called stimulus funds, courtesy of

  • An academic study comparing outcomes of the concurrent and separate use of malt liquor and marijuana ($389,357).
  • A $712,883 research grant to develop "machine-generated humor".  Project will design artificially intelligent "comedic performance agents", and will "deploy them both on and off-line for the enjoyment and illumination of everyday citizens".
  • $9.3 million to fund the design and development of a "coordinated colony of robotic bees!"

We could go on, but you get the idea.

And, to add insult to injury, as the money we thought was being used for job creation and shoring up the economy is being fretted away in wasteful and insulting ways, our state governments are crumbling.

Consider the following passage from

"The rampant unemployment due to Obama's economic policies is bankrupting the entire State/Federal unemployment benefit system and overwhelming it.  Directly inline with Cloward-Piven goals.  The majority of the 50 States are at or near bankruptcy and cannot afford to pay for their own infrastructure let alone all the unemployed in this 'Recession.'"

When we consider the Master Plan, we see that the real problem with the Obama Stimulus is NOT that it is failing...  the real problem with the Obama Stimulus is that it WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO FAIL and that the real (and unstated) purpose was to break the back of the system and make more people dependent on the government.

"Making an already weak economy even worse is the intent of the Cloward/Piven Strategy.  It is imperative that we view the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan's spending on items like food stamps, jobless benefits, and health concern through this end goal.  This strategy explains why the Democrat plan to 'stimulate' the economy involves massive deficit spending projects."


Of course, the real irony here is that the poor are really nothing more than useful pawns in this grand scheme.  The "social justice" they are promised will never materialize.

Case in point, remember how Congress rushed back into town in August to approve a $26 billion dollar bailout for teachers unions?  Remember how they paid for it? ...  You guessed it...  they cut food stamps.

After all, the poor are more expendable than the unions.  And besides, cutting food stamps also breaks the back of the system...  a twofer...  call it sauce for the goose.

The Gulf Oil Leak Too?

As Rahm Emanuel infamously said, "you never want a serious crisis go to waste".  Such sentiments are right in line with the Cloward-Piven Strategy and when viewed through the lens of the Cloward-Piven Strategy these words might well explain the footdragging that took place in the White House as the worst oil spill disaster in our nation's history was unfolding.  Actually, some might argue with credibility, now that the worst is behind us, that the initial foot-dragging may have turned what was a solvable problem into a disaster.

Still feeling the devastation from hurricane Katrina, the gulf coast could ill afford a leisurely response to another natural or economic disaster.

However, for reasons the media could not seem to explain the White House took a wait-and-see attitude that inflamed matters and made a bad situation even worse.

While millions of gallons of oil poured into the gulf every day, destroying the economy of the gulf (again!) Obama twiddled his thumbs (and played golf) for a month!  He tied the hands of state governments and private companies that were ready, willing and able to get to work on clean-up efforts immediately.  He refused to waive The Jones Act to appease Big Labor.  And when it was all said and down, he shoved a drilling moratorium down our throats.  It wasn't a just feel-good panacea.  It was yet another attempt to sink a flailing economy.

Incompetence?  Hardly...  taking advantage of this catastrophe was the only viable reason why any sane politician would have waited so long to act.

What's Next?

These examples are just a few of the crises being manufactured and exploited.  One needs only to turn on the news or open the paper to find more, perhaps worse, incarnations of this insidious plot.  And more manufactured crisis and disasters are sure to follow.

If we continue to stand by as the Administration continues to force us down this path, the Cloward-Piven Strategy, as already demonstrated, will make enough people solely dependent on the government and validate "progressive" calls for socialist reform.

Unable to compete with the government or exist without subsidy, businesses will fail, and free enterprise will become a relic of the past.  We must cry out against these actions and use our collective will to stop this injustice now.  If we do, we may save ourselves and our children the horror of watching America perish in front of our eyes.

"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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