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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009


In the Sixties, Cloward and Piven had practically invented the strategy of exploiting black rage to advance the cause of “social justice.” Their formula even bore their names: the Cloward-Piven strategy.On August 11, 1965, the black district of Watts in Los Angeles exploded in violence when police used batons to subdue a man suspected of drunk driving. Riots raged for six days, spilling over into other parts of the city, and leaving 34 dead. Democrats used the tragedy to promote an expansion of the welfare state, promising new government programs to address the problem of the inner city poor. Cloward and Piven turned the tragedy into a strategy for the left.

Barely three months after the fires of Watts had subsided, they began privately circulating copies of an article they had written called “Mobilizing the Poor: How it Could Be Done.”  In their view destruction could be a creative force, particularly if the destructive effort was focused on the vulnerable underbelly of the welfare state. While liberals sought to expand welfare services, Cloward and Piven proposed to overload the welfare system and destroy it.

When the strategy paper was published six months later as an article in The Nation, it electrified the Left. Activists were abuzz over the new strategy, which was variously dubbed the “crisis strategy,” the “flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities” strategy or just simply the “Cloward-Piven  strategy.” It would become the play book for Shadow Party radicals working for “regime change.”

The Shadow Party

For more on the Cloward-Piven strategy see Matthew Vadum’s post from October 28.

If you have a favorite Horowitz quote you want to highlight for others then please email it to DavidSwindle {@} Please include:

  1. “Horowitz Quote of the Day” in subject line.
  2. A link to where the quote is from. (No need to include this if it’s from a book.)
  3. Any remarks you’d like published explaining what value you take from it.
  4. Your preferred name and a link to your blog or homepage (if you have one.)
  1. Brad permalink
    October 30, 2009 5:39 am

    Only in a twisted head could this make any sense. Not that it would work, but that it was a worthy tool.

    People who will use this strategy will stop at nothing to have their way!

    • Marylou permalink
      October 30, 2009 8:21 pm

      I agree with you, Brad. Twisted.

      It shows what I observed first-hand when I was yes, an organizer. Some on the left, in my mind, are particularly brutal in their unconscionable approach to scuttling our very foundations. It’s more than glee as though they were on a plunder spree. It’s a dogged determination, machinelike, methodical….steadily moving forward UNTIL I hope and pray it is met and stopped by better ideas and means that are grounded in morality and hope as embraced by our founding fathers who attempted to give us a land where we can stay free by expressing our individual abilities and naturally thereby prosper and care for those around us.

  2. Jonathan permalink
    October 30, 2009 5:56 am

    Let me preface by stating that I am not trying to be glib in any way.
    Why not short the indexes. An economic collapse is inevitable. Since the people who are in charge are the ones following the Cloward-Piven model why not profit from it?

    • Samuel permalink
      October 30, 2009 8:29 am

      While you might be correct that an economic collapse is inevitable. The Cloward-Piven model leads to a French Revolution. The other alternative is to fall back to the Constitution and the framework that is already laid out for a responsible federal government. Because the left is banking on failed socialist models, their moment in history will be brief.


    • politicalmoxie permalink
      October 30, 2009 9:31 am

      @ jonathan

      Unfortunately, you think like a George Soros.

  3. GraFox permalink
    October 30, 2009 6:26 am

    Hey guys — would you consider de-italicizing David’s blog? It’s a fact in the graphics world that italics is harder to read, and thus is best used only for emphasis. Or is it just me? Thanks.

    • October 30, 2009 6:51 am

      It gets italicized like that because I’m putting it in a block quote since I’m quoting from one of his books. Does it look that bad? Anyone else have any thoughts? I’m always open to changing things to improve the blog.

      • Mark J. Koenig permalink
        October 30, 2009 9:06 am

        I don’t think it looks bad at all. While I’ll agree with GraFox that italics are GENERALLY harder to read, the particular font used for block quotes here is also bold, and thus – for me at least- isn’t difficult to read.

        I figured you were doing it this way to sort of highlight the fact that Horowitz is the “Godfather” of Newsreal, and place more emphasis on his writings.

      • politicalmoxie permalink
        October 30, 2009 9:29 am

        It’s true, it is considered harder to read. It doesn’t look BAD! However, I’m sure you want all to take the time to enjoy the article.

      • October 30, 2009 10:42 am

        Since the blockquote appears to also have the attributes of being in that greyed box (which provides enough of a separation from the rest of blogs that aren’t blockquoted, consider de-italicizing it. I agree that it is difficult to read. Another blockquote perception trick is to put text above and below the block quote so that it’s indention and justification is emphasized against non-blockquote text. Lastly, since you are quoting from Mr. Horowitz’s book, you may consider interjecting your own text non-italicized intersparsed throughout – in an effort to break up the italics a bit. It almost reads as bad as something that is all capped…

      • Descans permalink
        October 30, 2009 5:20 pm

        I agree. The italics must stop.

        • Swemson permalink
          October 30, 2009 6:56 pm

          It doesn’t matter.

          The quotes are usually short…

          It’s the comments that take a long time to read…

          Leave it alone.

      • Marylou permalink
        October 30, 2009 8:15 pm

        Quote marks?

        Let me say, though, that I am not averse to the italics. You have to have some way to indicate it’s a quote from his writings to differentiate from any comments you might want to include.

  4. aubrey permalink
    October 30, 2009 6:42 am

    I am very thankful that David Horowitz is here to tell these stories that will never be heard in main stream news. I am amazed every day I read this column.

    • therealend permalink
      October 30, 2009 8:11 am

      The book called ‘Second Thoughts’ was very interesting. I think it was that one where Mr Horowitz discussed Sen Harkin’s (then Rep. Harkin) trip to El Savador in the 1980’s and the American Leftists in Cuba discussing socialist lobotomies vs capitalist ones. It may have the ‘Destructive Generation’ those passages were in. I forget sometimes.

    • politicalmoxie permalink
      October 30, 2009 9:24 am

      @ aubrey

      How lucky we are indeed…I look forward to these articles and view them as a continuation of my education.
      PLEASE…TO ALL, send these articles on to friends, post on twitter…(50,000,000 plus are registered on twitter). For the first in a long time many people are getting to know Mr. H again. His message is very important and no one knows this better than him.
      This site critiques the cable news shows, the bonus is Mr. H’s experiences. I wish I had known about NewsReal before the November,2009 election. I thought I knew why I did not vote for Obama…now I KNOW why. Thank you NewsReal and to Mr. H, I bow in gratitue.

  5. betty boop permalink
    October 30, 2009 7:45 am

    Yes, David is an important link to the previous 2-3 generations who embraced Communism and it’s lessons for disassembling a functioning government and culture. Ayn Rand was another, who’d seen the same game from the other side of the net. Sadly there are not enough real free intellects in that crowd who have had the integrity to see the wrongness of their cause. David is like a lonely voice in the wilderness, and I thank David Swindle for bringing these quotes to a wider audience. They say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, and unfortunately, nearly everyone today has not only forgotten, but never learned it in the first place.

    • October 30, 2009 6:19 pm

      You’re welcome, Betty.

  6. Robert Wargas permalink
    October 30, 2009 9:51 am

    On YouTube you can see an old debate from Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” (1980) series in which Francis Fox Piven has a somewhat heated confrontation with Thomas Sowell. It’s great watching a young Sowell destroy her.

    • Marylou permalink
      October 30, 2009 8:15 pm

      I saw that! it IS fun.

  7. jeff permalink
    October 30, 2009 11:32 am

    i don’t read this site often, but has there been analysis of David Axelrod? His mother worked for P.M. mag, as did I. F. Stone. I gather there was a pro-Soviet line at that mag…is that true?

  8. Curmudgeon permalink
    October 30, 2009 3:28 pm

    I have no problem reading the italics.

  9. October 30, 2009 4:05 pm

    Thanks for that David.

    I plan on putting this site in my favourites and coming back regularly. I really appreciate your style.

  10. Elaine B permalink
    October 31, 2009 12:18 pm

    Italics don’t bother me at all. I’m just happy to be able to read David’s writings.

  11. Joy permalink
    November 1, 2009 11:12 am

    Hear! Hear! everyone! Horowitz is a font of info from that revolutionary period in our own history – the 60s, in which he played a pivotal role as observer, commentator & advocate. And now he’s on OUR side – YEA!! I think his bio needs to be trotted out from time to time to remind newcomers to this site – especially those born AFTER the turbulent 60s. It truly validates him – and does, indeed, put him in the same general class of Ayn Rand and a few other very articulate voices for freedom who have either escaped the other side (Rand) or moved voluntarily from it (Horowitz). There are other voices out there in this league, but I’ve racked my brain and STILL can’t recall who at the moment. Maybe others reading this CAN fill in the blanks.


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