25 Nov 2009

Feeling Paranoid Today?

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Barack Obama and the democrats in Congress did not turn the economy around with their massive spending stimulus package. Unemployment rates are high. They have not fixed the credit markets with bailouts. A new wave of foreclosures is underway. Home real estate prices are still in decline, nearly a quarter of American home owners are underwater on their mortgages, and the commercial real estate market is headed for complete disaster. Small businesses are experiencing a credit squeeze, which some economic authorities argue is attributable to government soaking up available credit for federal deficits.

As the US economy sinks, the democrats controlling Washington are attempting to hand it an anvil in the form of a staggering new health care entitlement. If a deficit burden reaching to the sky is not enough, we know that Congress has every intention of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, and proposals for new forms of taxation, a V.A.T. and even a special wartime surtax, have been floated. Coming up as well are plans for even yet another massive federal tax scheme involving mandatory purchases of carbon credits (at least for business not favored by federal exemptions) and dollar transfers to international bodies and/or Third World countries.

Most of us assumed that leftwing democrats want to do all these economically unfortunate things because they are clueless, childish, and subscribe to a worldview whose economic theories have everything backward. They are reckless, irresponsible, and just plain dumb.

But, it turns out there is a more sinister theory out there.

According to James Simpson, writing at American Thinker, democrat bad economics is deliberate. There is a conspiracy, and they have a plan.

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.” …

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 Barney Frank said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”

I was smiling ironically, as I began assembling what I thought would make an amusing posting identifying a colorful and extremist line of accusation. But, as I reflect on the peculiarly self-destructive aspects of recent democrat political behavior, their strange willingness to defy the polls and ram through controversial measures in defiance of public opinion, I wonder if looking upon what they are doing as a form of the Cloward-Piven Strategy does not make sense.

It was the stock market crash that doomed Republican chances to defeat a relatively unknown, radical democrat last year. Chaos, fear, and uncertainty were precisely the reason that independent voters were willing to vote for Change, any kind of change, and took a flyer on Barack Hussein Obama. Chaos and economic bad news have been Barack Obama’s friends so far. Rahm Emanuel is famous for observing that he saw an empowering opportunity for the left in a serious crisis and was resolved not to waste that opportunity.

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That Barney Frank “the middle class will be too distracted to fight” quotation may be a warning sign, though. I’ve been unable to verify it as a real statement made by the Congressman from Massachusetts. It turns up in large volume as a search result, but always from this same body of text.

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Dom

The Cloward-Piven Strategy you introduce us to may not be as new as it seems. It rings some bells to me, and you may find something very close to in “The Marx-Engels Correspondence”, written at the end of 1913, first published November 28, 1920 in Pravda No. 268 ; signed: N. Lenin and published according to the manuscript.

I quote it :

“A continuing economic depression could be used by astute revolutionary as a useful weapon for a chronic pressure (….) in order to warm up the people (….) just as a cavalry attack has greater elan if the horses first trot five hundred paces before coming within charging distance of the enemy.”



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