Cloward and Piven is the Playbook of the Democrat Party. It is the second part of this two-pronged approach:
When you don’t have logic or reason on your side, use power.
If you don’t have enough power, flood the system to acquire more.
Cloward and Piven
Flooding the system was the Cloward and Piven strategy to bring down this country. Create real or phony problems that “require” government actions that begin the process of shifting freedoms from individuals to the State. (For a more layman’s insight, see here.)
Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, said that “no good crisis should ever go to waste.” That implied an opening for more government, a Cloward and Piven (CP) opportunity. (To visualize one asserted implementation of this, involving Acorn, see here.)
The strategy is not a Democrat monopoly. Republicans use it also, although do not brag about it or depend upon it almost exclusively.
The process is like rust eroding liberty, slowly and steadily. It replaces freedom with dependency and controls.
There are two problems with the strategy:
It must be slow and steady (boil the frog beginning with unheated water, slowly increasing the temperature [a wonderful metaphor but physically erroneous] so that the frog doesn’t notice until it is too late).
It must be stealth, that is citizen “frogs” must not realize what is happening.
The CP strategy was developed in and for a world very different from today. The Internet changed this world. Conventional media was all that needed to be controlled in the CP world. By controlling this source, government created its own “Pravda.”
Controlling the media was possible because it was owned by corporations. It consisted of known and immovable assets, which are easy targets for government. The message was simple: Obey or we will put you out of business!
Legal action against government is a “fool’s errand.” They own the courts and have unlimited funds to fight. If threatened, you will comply or they will bankrupt you! Tax issues and anti-trust cases are the bludgeoning weapons of choice. Fighting charges, regardless of how false, is akin to a minor suing his parents. That is why media, other companies and wealthy individuals generally settle government claims for enormous sums of money, but without the admission of guilt. There is no better job than that of blackmailer when you are also the sheriff or the Department of Justice!
Why are Things Different
Then came the internet! While it didn’t stop extortion of corporations, it exposed the media as “captured” propagandists. Bloggers began telling different “truths.” The first reaction was to shut them down. Unfortunately for government, this group is so diverse geographically and otherwise, that traditional threats of “putting you out of business” were meaningless. Asset confiscation threats are meaningless when there are no physical assets. To be a blogger only requires electricity and the internet (and perhaps some intellectual capital to enhance success).
The only way to shut these sources down is to control the Internet and its content. The first was impossible. The second was tried. Unfortunately for government, silencing free speech is frowned upon in free countries, especially those where Free Speech is the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
Definitions of speech that didn’t qualify for protection were tried (“hate speech,” “lies,” “dangerous rhetoric,” “racism,” “inciting danger,” etc.) in an effort to obviate the First Amendment. Threats of imprisonment were tried, but the First Amendment was too broad and too sacred for these efforts to succeed. Government then went after the platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). It was the same corrupt strategy employed against traditional media — You impose our “bans” (censorship) or we will put you out of business!
But, “muscling” these corporate platforms only caused new competitors to sprout. Most were smaller and not asset-heavy. Suppressed views and voices began to move to these venues where free speech was allowed.
Censorship works, but only where government can exert leverage via harm. It was easy to cow Facebook and Twitter. Ditto for established institutions like public schools, colleges and corporations. These entities had to decide whether they wanted the hassle and threats of being “un-woke.” Most submitted, presumably determining that losing some customers would be less costly than getting into a legal or other battle with Leviathan. Some probably thought this “new inclusiveness” would gain them additional customers.
The Wrong War
Generals are always prepared to fight the next war in the same manner they fought the last one. They are rarely prepared to fight the next one if it requires different strategies and tactics. So it appears to be here! Government believed prior tactics and strategies would suffice.
The prior war was against traditional media with fixed positions and assets. The Internet changed “warfare.” It created media guerrilla war! This new enemy moves quickly and has no assets to threaten or destroy. Take away a bloggers website address and he easily gets a new one.
Government wins against corporate internet players but loses against the “guerrillas.” Vietnam and Afghanistan showed US military weaknesses in non-conventional wars. Traditional bloggers or start-up sharing sites are guerrillas. Conventional war strategies do not win guerrilla battles!
Arguably the demented Joe Biden and his Obama staff are to thank for ultimately saving this country. Someone inside that Administration realized the “slow boil” strategy was not convincing the American public fast enough and had to be sped up. They put Cloward and Piven into overdrive! Time was likely not on their side, but escalating the war was a fatal mistake! Marty Bent summarized it nicely:
They tried to do too much too quickly and people have started to develop pattern recognition on the go that allows them to recognize when the unproductive class is attempting to manipulate their minds. This pattern recognition is accelerated and enhanced by our ability to communicate directly with each other in real time over the internet.
Instant communications were not possible when Cloward and Piven designed their strategy. Nor was there a means to present an opposing view. That all changed with the Internet. Now you see why governments around the world want to control the Internet. They can’t and they must not be allowed to change that!
For all its negatives, the Internet has at least one positive — it obsoleted traditional and controllable sources of information. The fragmentation of the internet makes it impossible to control (unless you wish to go full Communist Korea or China). This country is not ready for that step, at least not yet.
Thank God for the private sector, technology and the Internet. Together they voided the Cloward and Piven strategy, censorship and a complete government take-over of society.
So long as the Internet exists in its present form (warts and all), freedom cannot be extinguished. Big guns do not silence big truths! Only big censorship can do that and we must not allow that to happen!