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Is the Cloward-Piven’s Marxist strategy in practice today?

Written By | Jul 9, 2021
cloward, priven, socialism

Union Dairy Ice Cream shop

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Cloward–Piven Strategy is a political-economic strategy dating back to 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.  Cloward and Piven were professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work.  The strategy was outlined in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine The Nation.  Their article was titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty“.

In that paper they say the intent of their strategy:

“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 poverty by the outright redistribution of income.”

Cloward and Piven seemed delighted that mass unrest in the United States between 1964 and 1969 led to a massive expansion of welfare rolls.  But they were disappointed it did not lead to the guaranteed-income program that they had hoped for. What many argue is this strategy is less about looking out for the poor but rather it is a scheme for toppling America and replacing our Constitutional Republic with socialism and/or communism.

They have outlined the four steps this strategy facilitates as…




  • Overload and Break the Welfare System – “4.7 Trillion in COVID Relief Money”

  • Have Chaos Ensue – people no longer want to work but wait for free handouts

  • Take Control in the Chaos – masks, vaccines, vaccine passports, vaccine work requirements

  • Enact Socialism/Communism by Force – coming to your home to check your vaccination status

As Milton Friedman once said, “There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.”


Karl Marx: The one dead, white, racist male still popular with progressives


Even some liberal Democrats exposed Cloward and Piven. 

Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews said Cloward and Piven

“Proposed to create a crisis in the current welfare system – by exploiting the gap between welfare law and practice – that would ultimately bring about its collapse and replace it with a system of guaranteed annual income.  They hoped to accomplish this end by informing the poor of their rights to welfare assistance, encouraging them to apply for benefits and, in effect, overloading an already overburdened bureaucracy.”

The Government sets out to “fix” a problem with a new temporary program hoodwinking the public that the program will end in better days ahead.  However, the program never goes away.  It grows a life of its own through bureaucracy, a government program managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials.

Others who read between the lines of Cloward and Piven went further and came up with 8 steps to change the United States of America to socialism and/or communism using this plan…

  1. Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people. (Obamacare)

  2. Poverty – control the poor by increasing the poverty level as high as possible.  ($15 minimum wage)

  3. Debt – increase the debt to an unsustainable level to increase taxes to produce more poverty

  4.  Gun Control – grab guns for individual self-defense and create a Governmental police state.

  1.  Welfare – creates dependency (food, housing, healthcare, utilities, income) to control lives.

  2.  Education – take control of what children learn in school. (Critical Race Theory and 1619 Project)

  3.  Religion – remove the belief in God from all institutions of society.

  4.  Class Warfare – divide people by race, religion, income level, to tax the rich more to give to the poor.

    Today, it would seem another step makes sense:

  5. Heritage – destroy historic artifacts (statues) and encourage disrespect for our flag and anthem.


America is falling into a trap of Marxist ideology and Communism


A historic moment happened when President Donald J. Trump promised, “America will never be a socialist country.  We were born free and we will stay free,” during the 2019 State of the Union Address. History was made as Americans began to rise up and cheer, “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.”   While the never Trumpers sat, glaring at President Trump.

Socialist Democrats are playing with fire. 

Millions of Americans stand at the ready to keep President Trump’s promise or decree or whatever else you want to call it.

Some people think this plan is just a plan of economics to make those betting against America in the markets rich if America fails.  They think Cloward and Piven is not about politics.  In fact, they are wrong:

“Conservative Republicans are always ready to declaim the evils of public welfare, and they would probably be the first to raise a hue and cry.  But deeper and politically more telling conflicts would take place within the Democratic coalition… Whites – both working class ethnic groups and many in the middle class – would be aroused against the ghetto poor, while liberal groups, which until recently have been comforted by the notion that the poor are few…  would probably support the movement.  Group conflict, spelling political crisis for the local party apparatus, would thus become acute as welfare rolls mounted and the strains on local budgets became more severe.”

Capitalism works.  Socialism does not work.  Capitalism creates dignity in work.  Socialism takes dignity away from an individual. 

There is no incentive or inspiration to do your best or rise above others by your own means under socialism. The bottom line is that smart people see socialism and communism as nothing more than a pyramid scheme.  Think about it.  The only people doing well are those who manipulated their way to the very top. A classic description of the pyramid scheme.

cloward, priven, socialism

The unsustainable exponential progression of a classic pyramid scheme, assuming that every member is required to recruit 6 new people. The 2.2 billion people in the 12th layer would be required to recruit 13.1 billion more people for the 13th layer, to sustain the scheme, but this is larger than the population of the world – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

A recent news story out of the Midwest on the very historic 107-year-old Union Dairy of Freeport, Illinois, highlights the problem of too much government in people’s life. 

The story of the Union Dairy is replicating throughout America.



Freeport’s Union Dairy ice cream shop says ‘government handouts’ responsible for staff shortage

Abusing America’s welfare system is less about social justice and more about implementing socialism!

Every person in America who is an advocate for socialism or communism should be given one-way tickets to vacation in countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, and North Korea, to see how well their dream governments are working there.

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Read more from Mark Schwendau

About the author:

Mark Schwendau is a Christian conservative patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development) who prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.”

Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting. His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech

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Mark Schwendau

Mark Schwendau is a Christian conservative patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development) who prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.” Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting. His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech