Chicago's Problem is the Plan

December 20, 2023

An analysis of Chicago’s politicians' reluctance to solve the migrant crisis

In the spring of 1966, The Nation published a 6,200-word essay entitled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty”. Few understand the impact this 57-year-old writing has had on their lives. Some may recognize it by its more commonly referred to name: The "Cloward–Piven strategy".

Born in Canada, Frances Fox Piven was educated at the University of Chicago and worked as a professor at Boston University before moving to City University of New York. An avowed socialist, nearly all of her writings advocate for the redistribution of wealth. Fox Piven was married to a fellow socialist named Richard Cloward.

Also a college professor, Cloward shared his wife’s political leanings. One of Cloward's key academic works argues that street gangs were not the result of individual choices, but the natural consequences of poverty. Together Cloward and Piven were the driving force behind increasing voter registration through other social services. For example: They spearheaded the legislation commonly known as the Motor Voter Act. Both were present in 1993 when President Bill Clinton signed the legislation into law.

If we just take a moment to consider how the list of registered voters has become corrupted with duplicates, illegal aliens, and dead people, that occurred in no small part because of the Motor Voter Act. Add to that mail-in voting and you have the perfect recipe for election fraud.

However, as important as the Motor Voter Act turned out to be, the duo’s crowning achievement is the Cloward-Piven strategy. The goals of which, they plainly state as:

"The ultimate objective of this strategy – to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income – will be questioned by some. Because the ideal of individual social and economic mobility has deep roots, even activists seem reluctant to call for national programs to eliminate its poverty by the outright redistribution of income."

In other words, socialism.

Cloward and Piven were not the first to call for guaranteed annual income as a solution to poverty. In that regard, their essay is completely unremarkable. What was noteworthy about the Cloward-Piven strategy was the how. Predictably, their suggested how was to manufacture a crisis.

What the authors suggested was “a massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” This in turn would quickly overwhelm state and local governments thus forcing the federal government to step in. Once welfare was fully administered from Washington, the citizenry would be less aware of the program’s costs and therefore less likely to demand oversight.

Once the welfare bureaucracy was removed from local authority, activists could then force a political change leading to societal collapse through orchestrated crises. The Cloward-Piven strategy sought to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government's bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, amassing massive unpayable national debt, and other methods such as unfettered immigration, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse by overwhelming the system.

Does that sound strangely familiar?

Today we are seeing the Cloward-Piven strategy playing itself out at all levels of government. We have millions of people streaming across our southern border demanding entitlements and CPS high schools with more staff than students. Our local, state, and federal bureaucracies have each drunkenly spent their way into unmanageable debts. Further, no one is talking about “solutions”. Instead, our politicians yammer on about “accommodations.”

None of this is accidental; these crises are manufactured. As a brilliant man once said: “The problem is the plan.” The media won’t help; they’re in on it. It’s part of the strategy.

Cloward and Piven wrote: “As the crisis develops, it will be important to use the mass media to inform the broader liberal community about the inefficiencies and injustices of welfare.” This is why subscribers are often greeted with a blizzard of headlines reading:

  • “As police stations are cleared, some migrant families are separated, volunteers and migrants say” – Chicago Tribune, December 15, 2023.
  • “Waiting in fear: A migrant mother struggles to find health care in Chicago” – Chicago Tribune, December 10, 2023.
  • “Migrants arriving in Chicago face uncertainty as communication with border cities deteriorates” – WGN News, December 16, 2023.

The inefficiencies and injustices of the system must be exposed.

When a young illegal migrant boy dies in a shelter every outlet leads with the story. The message is always that the system is broken, and government must do something to correct it. This is the “accommodation.” The inference is crystal clear: These people are here; they require services; there’s nothing we can do about it, we just have to take care of them. Never spoken about is how the crisis occurred in the first place.

"State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day,” Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.

The graduates from Northwestern’s Medill eagerly comply. Every story, one way or another, supports the crisis. In the beginning, before there is a crisis, there is no story. Any problem that is not a crisis is ignored or outright denied. (Problems need time to develop into crises). Nonetheless, once a crisis has been identified, the media coverage is nonstop.

Further, there will be no denying that the crisis exists. Whether it’s migration, COVID, or the climate, we see the endless repetition of phrases like “the facts are in,” “the science is settled,” or “experts all agree.” Any disagreement will be labeled as racist, misogynist, xenophobic, or anti-science. The crisis must be protected at all costs.

As Rahm Emanuel said: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Mayor Brandan Johnson and the City Council have no intention of letting the migrant crisis go to waste. This is why they recently voted down putting a referendum on the ballot regarding Chicago’s sanctuary city status. While it is true that Johnson and his comrades believe the public — the citizenry — cannot be trusted to make these policy decisions, they also recognize that there is no path forward in fixing the problem.

Keep in mind, the goal of the Cloward-Piven strategy is to break the system. This is why no one is talking about sending illegal migrants home, securing the border, or any other solutions which would remove the migrants from Chicago. Any actual solutions do not expand government power and authority.

Instead, our politicians will only suggest solutions that involve a government accommodation. Food, housing, and healthcare must be provided. Government control must be expanded. Taxes must be raised. Additional debt must be accrued. This is the "strategy".

These statements are not hyperbolic. When people tell you who they are, you should believe them. Cloward and Piven were very clear regarding their expectations. They believed that if socialism could not be achieved through breaking the system, then perhaps the grateful masses would otherwise force it into existence. Here’s the final line from the duo’s essay:

"No strategy, however confident its advocates may be, is foolproof. But if unforeseen contingencies thwart this plan to bring about new federal legislation in the field of poverty, it should also be noted that there would be gains even in defeat. … If organizers can deliver millions of dollars in cash benefits to the ghetto masses, it seems reasonable to expect that the masses will deliver their loyalties to their benefactors. At least, they have always done so in the past."

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