Why Cloward-Piven Will Eat Itself

Long considered a tool for fomenting socialist revolution in America, the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" was a sociopolitical theory developed by left-wing ivory tower-dwellers Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. I'm sure the foil hat-wearing adherents of this line of thinking will complain here about my oversimplification of the plan and general lack of nuance, but basically, it seeks to undermine the (American) government by overloading said government with dependents needing welfare.

Apparently, this will force the government into recognizing that there are a lot of dependents out there (artificially created, no doubt), which would inevitably lead to the United States' government establishing a guaranteed national income or some such poppycock. You see, folks? This is what happens when you let sociologists from the Ivy League be taken seriously.

Sadly, many in the Democratic Party have adopted this strategy as a way to build their base and solidify their political power, believing that Cloward and Piven knew what the hell they were talking about and that, by some miracle, crashing the national economy by using welfare and other government payout programs as a tool would bring about even larger government.

This seems a clear-cut case of throwing the logical conclusion to the four breezes so we can focus on our much-wanted outcome: a socialist fantasy-land for all the little boys and girls everywhere across the land.

Now, I may not be an Ivy League professor or even a lowly graduate, but it seems to me that bloating government and overloading already burdened bureaucracies would totally crash them. As in: they're over. Kaput. No existen más.

If the demands on the state are so great that they force a breakdown of the existing bureaucracies, basically bankrupting the government, how in blazes is it then possible to further increase the size of government to provide everyone the same pay every year? It isn't.

First, adding people to the welfare rolls depletes the numbers of gainfully employed citizens, reducing revenues and increasing government costs. Second, with these new people now dependent on government, they are less likely to seek gainful employment (since getting money for free is fun and all). This will establish a larger permanent welfare class. Third, there will soon arise a situation where those who remain gainfully employed cannot work hard enough or long enough to generate the revenues needed to provide for the ever-increasing number of takers.

This cycle continues until all meaningful revenues dry up and the system essentially chokes on its own largesse and dies. Then, Cloward and Piven would have us believe, a new, bigger government/bureaucracy/candy store of others' labors will arise to make sure everything is fair for everyone forever. This leaves unresolved the question: Now that the government is broke and the productive sector is broke and/or gone, who's going to finance this?

No one. We have just entered a state of sociopolitical and economic upheaval. It will not, however, render a large, omni-providential state that will be able to assure everyone's equitable financial well-being in perpetuity. In fact, it won't even get off the ground.

What will likely happen instead is a brief state of chaos wherein the dependent drones of the government trudge zombie-like to collect their "benefits" and "entitlements." Then, seeing that those goodies can no longer be had, they probably turn like a spider monkey on their masters, who promised them these things would keep on coming. Then, desperate, some of these folks might move out into the suburbs and rural areas to pillage and plunder for those things they "need." After a few nasty encounters with the well-armed populace, this activity will shortly be curtailed, and some semblance of order will be restored in some areas.

This is what some might call a WTSHTF scenario (I'm not good with acronyms, but I think it means something bad), or an anarchy state whereby small regions will band together for common defense. Whether it be a rudimentary (albeit modern) version of feudalism or ancient Greek-style polis or small geographic regions that unite for survival -- it matters not. Small government will be achieved. And that would be the antithesis of what Cloward and Piven want.

In short, overloading the state will destroy the state, not make it bigger and better. Of course, once I get my degree from Yale, I may think differently. I'll keep you posted.

Hoss Varad is an American political observer, philosopher, satirist, and all-around politically incorrect kind of guy. More of his drivel can be found at junkpanic.com.
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