New York Times: Leave Frances Fox Piven Alone!

Poor Frances Fox Piven. As one of the  authors of the Cloward Piven strategy, she has had to endure no small amount of grief from Glenn Beck and his drooling minions, and the NYT’s Steve Benen *Brian Stelter wants it to stop.

After all, Glenn Beck was only a toddler when Piven engaged in these despicable acts:

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, 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.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue an African American man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

Stelter, writing in the Media and Advertising section of the NYTs writes:

On his daily radio and television shows, Glenn Beck has elevated once-obscure conservative thinkers onto best-seller lists. Recently, he has elevated a 78-year-old liberal academic to celebrity of a different sort, in a way that some say is endangering her life.

Frances Fox Piven, a City University of New York professor, has been a primary character in Mr. Beck’s warnings about a progressive take-down of America. Ms. Piven, Mr. Beck says, is responsible for a plan to “intentionally collapse our economic system.”

Her name has become a kind of shorthand for “enemy” on Mr. Beck’s Fox News Channel program, which is watched by more than 2 million people, and on one of his Web sites, The Blaze. This week, Mr. Beck suggested on television that she was an enemy of the Constitution.

Never mind that Ms. Piven’s radical plan to help poor people was published 45 years ago, when Mr. Beck was a toddler. Anonymous visitors to his Web site have called for her death, and some, she said, have contacted her directly via e-mail.
In response, a liberal nonprofit group, the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote to the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, on Thursday to ask him to put a stop to Mr. Beck’s “false accusations” about Ms. Piven.

“Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent response,” the group wrote.

Reading  the NYTs piece, you get the impression that 45 years later, Piven is a mellowed out  grandmotherly type who may have a vague recollection of some wacky  scheme to “intentionally collapse our economic system” (LOL!), but goodness gracious me! Those were the crazy sixties!  How long does she has to suffer for one silly idea!

What?! This very same woman is still talking about revolution, you say?!  And as of this year,1/2011 in The Nation Magazine?

In a chilling and almost unbelievable editorial again in The Nation (”Mobilizing the Jobless,” January 10/17, 2011 edition), she calls on the jobless to rise up in a violent show of solidarity and force. As before, those calls are dripping with language of class struggle. Language she and her late husband Richard Cloward made popular in the 60s.

“So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?” she writes. “After all, the injustice is apparent. Working people are losing their homes and their pensions while robber-baron CEOs report renewed profits and windfall bonuses. Shouldn’t the unemployed be on the march? Why aren’t they demanding enhanced safety net protections and big initiatives to generate jobs?” [Emphasis added]

Those are the questions that frame what can best be called a roadmap for revolution. And it’s not long before those questions give way to directions. The first instruction: get angry.


An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees. [Emphasis added]

Stelter continues with this bit of disingenuous claptrap – Frances Fox Piven? Never even heard of her:

If you’ve never heard of Frances Fox Piven, don’t feel bad. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t either. Apparently she wrote some radical stuff about poor people and political activism in 1966, and the voices in Beck’s head tell him this is important and relevant in 2011, never mind the fact that the vast majority of liberals haven’t read her work and have no idea who she is.

This video from a few months ago, has over 34,000 views; Stelter apparently not one of them:

‘It is ok to use violence as long as it is a BIG part of your strategy’

Why does this woman no-one’s ever heard of keep saying such inflammatory things?

OH! Here she is in 1993 at the signing ceremony for the horrendous “Motor Voter” law which she helped craft with her hubby during the eighties:

Cloward and Piven were the ones who crafted Motor Voter legislation in the early 1980s and pushed for its enactment until 1993, when President Clinton signed it into law.

Cloward and Piven considered Motor Voter to be their crowning, lifetime achievement.

The Motor Voter Law has, of course, greatly facilitated voter fraud over the years.

Steve Benen claims Beck is making Piven out to be an “imaginary villain” from his “unhealthy imagination” in The Washington Monthly:

Glenn Beck doesn’t just rail against perceived enemies, whom he considers dangerous villains who must be stopped; he also chooses obscure enemies he considers worthy of his rage.

It’s one of the many oddities of Beck’s bizarre message. The condemnations of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are predictable, but Beck sees imaginary patterns and conspiracies involving figures most Americans neither know nor care about: Van Jones, Frances Fox Piven, George Soros, Saul Alinsky, the Tides Foundation, etc.

In Beck’s unhealthy imagination, each are nefarious players in a plot to destroy you and everything you hold dear. Sane people don’t see the danger, Beck says, but that only proves the point — the mentally healthy are probably in on it.

You know what he really means…?

It’s one of the many oddities problems we have with Beck’s bizarre honest message. The condemnations of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are predictable, hurting the cause, but Beck sees imaginary patterns and conspiracies involving figures most Americans neither are not supposed to know nor care about: Van Jones, Frances Fox Piven, George Soros, Saul Alinsky, the Tides Foundation, etc.

Yes…they want you to believe that Van Jones, Piven, Soros, Alinsky are products of Beck’s fevered imagination. Never mind that all of the above were on many of our radars  years before Glenn Beck ever started talking about them. Yes, Mr. Benen…believe it or not, Glenn Beck is not the first person to engage in this coo-coo crazy connecting-of-dots behavior. Former sixties radical, David Horowitz, for one, has first hand knowledge of how the left operates, sees those same “patterns”, and has discovered the networks. The cat is out of the bag.

There are more Americans than ever paying attention to how the left operates, and apparently they don’t very much like it.

So the strategy is to attack our perceived leaders – the Becks, the Palins, the Limbaughs – to delegitimize them in the minds of the ignorant – those dwindling numbers of  “normal” people who don’t pay much attention to politics and have never heard of Frances Fox Piven.

Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it etc, etc, etc…This week the target  is Glenn Beck!

But what am I talking about? I’m sure Benen has never heard of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, either..

See Also:

The Blaze for the most recent Piven mutterings: Globalization Destruction: Piven Gleefully ‘Hopes’ and Explains How Countries Like China Can Shut Down USA and Bring Revolutionary Transformation

RELATED: (sort of), because this is the sort of thing Beck has been warning about:

Jack Cashill, The American Thinker: Left wing climate of hate and assassination

Successful propaganda is composed of equal parts deception and suppression, and the apparatchiks in the mainstream media are much better at the latter.

They may have erred in pushing the Arizona assassination attempt beyond its ideological limits last week, but they succeeded brilliantly a few months earlier in suppressing news of a nearly lethal attempt by a genuine leftist.

In September 2010 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to speak at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City.
At some point, wearing black clothes and a bullet-proof vest, 22 year-old Casey Brezik bolted out of a classroom, knife in hand, and slashed the throat of a dean.  As he would later admit, he confused the dean with Nixon.

The story never left Kansas City.  It is not hard to understand why.  Knives lack the political sex appeal of guns, and even Keith Olbermann would have had a hard time turning Brezik into a Tea Partier.

Indeed, Brezik seems to have inhaled just about every noxious vapor in the left-wing miasma: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others.

In his “About Me” box on Facebook, Brezik listed as his favorite quotation one from progressive poster boy, Che Guevara. The quote begins “Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism” and gets more belligerent from there.

Hat tip: American Power: New York Times Whitewashes Marxist Revolutionary Frances Fox Piven


I originally misattributed the NYT’s piece to Steve Benen, the author of the Washington Monthly piece. Thanks to Thomas for pointing that out.

See Also:

Cold Fury:You dangerous WINGNUTTZZ!™ need to stop telling the truth about us!

John at Powerline: The Left’s Tucson Strategy: Stage Two

Patterico: Glenn Beck’s Warning More Prescient Than Previously Realized, But Let’s Shut Him Up Anyway

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!