Frances Fox Piven discusses Beck, Jefferson, Adams

Frances Fox Piven: Glenn Beck Seeks ‘Foreign, Dark-Skinned, Intellectual’ Scapegoats
by Kyle Olson
February 8, 2010

Throughout much of 2009, Glenn Beck extensively covered the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” that was first brought into the public domain in a May 1966 article in The Nation magazine. In the article, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, two Columbia professors, developed a strategy by which the welfare system could be overwhelmed with demand, broken, and replaced with a “guaranteed annual income.”

Beck has successfully made the argument that the Cloward-Piven Strategy was a blueprint for success at overwhelming that system. Don’t think it worked? Ask the leaders of New York City. The strategy worked so well, the mass rush for welfare benefits bankrupted the city in the 1970s.

So as Beck has brought new light to this strategy, no one has asked Frances Fox Piven’s opinion. Until now.

Piven dismisses Beck’s opinion as “silly.” But she also went a step farther.

“So, it’s an old technique of right-wing ideologues – finding a scapegoat, somebody preferably who is not a farmer, right, an intellectual, and attributing things that go wrong in American society to somebody who’s foreign or dark skinned or an intellectual.”

Actually, that’s what’s silly. So anyone that’s “foreign or dark skinned or an intellectual” can’t be to blame? That’s convenient insulation but not very believable.

And today Olsen has this post at

Frances Fox Piven: Thomas Jefferson Would Be ‘Stunned’ at America Today (But Not For the Reason You Think)

Frances Fox Piven, honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, can arguably be considered the mother of ACORN. At least, her ideas and theories set ACORN, and its parent, the National Welfare Rights Organization, onto a path of creating and manipulating crisis situations to further their agenda of a more equal “distribution of wealth” in America. In other words, socialism.

It’s a path, I believe, that runs contrary to our country’s original intent. But Piven doesn’t think so. In her book, “Challenging Authority,” she quoted both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

What I found most bizarre was the apparent disconnect in Piven’s mind between individual rights and property rights, particularly the idea of acquiring as much wealth as one wishes without fear of government encroachment. It’s impossible to believe that Jefferson, Adams and the other founders – most of them very successful entrepreneurs – could have envisioned or approved of a massive national government that siphons property and economic rights from private citizens.

The article continues at

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