What tied it all together was the discussion of what's known as the "Piven-Cloward Strategy," named for Columbia University professors Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who outlined it in a 1966 article in The Nation. Cloward and Piven were instrumental in founding the National Welfare Rights Organization, which sought to implement their ideas for bankrupting "The System" (i.e., capitalism) by purposefully overwhelming the urban social welfare infrastructure.
In discussing it in his inimitably manic way, Beck made all this sound just a wee bit tinfoil-hat, but it was all real, and has been described in several very reputable books. You can read about Cloward and Piven's ideas and the influence of NWRO in Fred Siegel's fine book on liberal urban policy, The Future Once Happened Here. The militant approach to social programs was also famously described in Tom Wolfe's famous essay, Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers. And if you want some good case-studies of the disastrous results of all this, I would urge you to check out Chapter 8 ("Scene of the Crime") in Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party.
Here's the thing: The '60s theorists of the New Left were such radical freaks, whenever any conservative tries to describe their actual agenda, it tends to make the conservative sound kooky. Youre natural reaction is, "Aw, there could never have been any such wild scheme to bankrupt America in order to lay the groundwork for a socialist revolution."
Except there was such a scheme. It's all true. And the foot-soldiers of that socialist revolution were people like Bill Ayers and the founders of ACORN.
The problem is that so many conservatives have a fearful flinch reaction about sounding like a "kook" in describing this '60s New Left ideology, so you rarely hear it described in a calm, factual way. Kudos to Beck for having the erudite Matthew Vadum help him document all this. Vadum described the ACORN connection last October:
ACORN's overall strategy has a name. It's called the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" of manufactured crisis (named after two anti-capitalist sociologists) and it calls for packing the welfare rolls to encourage dependency on the government and to overload it with financial demands in order to hasten the collapse of American capitalism.There is no need to be alarmist about the Left. Ronald Reagan, you will recall, actually faced off against Communist Party union activists in Hollywood in the 1940s, and never once sounded kooky when he called them what they were. The Left has been defeated before; we just need calm courage and we will defeat them again.
ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who created ACORN in 1970, was previously an organizer for the now-defunct National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) that was founded in 1967 by the two sociologists.