Monday, January 26, 2015

Football, Marx, Smith, Cloward & Piven, Alinsky, Greece, and Obama

It’s Superbowl week, Greece just elected a Communist government, and Barack Obama has indicated he has no intention of changing his strategy, even after his historic mid-term rebuke.  It’s a perfect time for me to bravely attempt to tie these disparate things up in a neat little bow.  What’s more, I will do it with fully inflated analogies and rhetoric.

Suppose there were two football teams, the Marxists and the Smithians.  Each team has adopted an opposite management approach.  The Marxists have policies wherein every player, coach, and employee is paid the same, every player is given the same amount of game time, and positions are decided by a committee of people who've never played football.  The Smithians have policies wherein every player, coach, and employee negotiates their own salary, and game time and positions are determined by ability, circumstances, and a football coach’s judgment. 

Now suppose you were a committed Marxist who inherited the Smithian team.  How would you convert them to your preferred system? 

Karl Marx addressed this dilemma back in 1848 and prescribed violent revolution.  Of course, his world was vastly different from ours (and I don’t think he was thinking about football!).  Modern Marxists have searched for a less kinetic approach.  This has split the Marxists into two groups, one that still favors violent revolution and direct confrontation, and another that favors democratic revolution and indirect confrontation. 

Among the thinkers who preferred the latter approach were two people at Columbia University, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.  Their theory was that if Smithian economies were overburdened by progressive Marxist redistribution, they would eventually collapse in on themselves and Marxists would become the democratic majority.  The spark for the strategy was a tactic from Saul Alinsky, “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.”  In other words, load up on debt, dependency, and obligations, and then blame the Smithian system when it reaches a crisis.  This would achieve the same result Marx had prescribed, only politically and without violence.

This is exactly what has happened in Greece.  The Greek system collapsed in on itself because they had created a progressively redistributive system that resulted in a majority of the electorate being dependent on government.  This resulted in a massive debt burden that eventually became a crisis when the debt got downgraded to junk.  As a Euro member, Greece could not unilaterally print money to pay off its debt, a strategy countries have used throughout history.  Backed into a corner, the Greeks chose Communism, just as Cloward and Piven predicted. 

So, what’s this got to do with Barack Obama? 

What would a committed Marxist in the Cloward and Piven mold do if he obtained power in the US?  Would he work tirelessly for government rules to subsidize mortgages for those who cannot afford homes in the hope that it might collapse the system?  Would he maybe run up more debt in eight years than all previous presidents combined?  Would he reduce workforce participation and greatly increase government dependency?  Would he work tirelessly for progressive redistribution of wealth?  Would he avoid any direct Marxist or Socialist language and instead fall back on vague terms such as “hope” “change” and “fundamental transformation”?  Would he possibly nationalize healthcare, student loans, community colleges, daycare, etc. in an attempt to consolidate votes, and eventually collapse the system?  Would he try to flood the voter rolls with dependents and illegals? 

If you have followed Barack Obama and his past, you would know by now that he attended Columbia University and was introduced to the Cloward and Piven strategy there.  You might also know of his affinity for Saul Alinsky and his roots as an Alinsky Community Organizer.  You might also know that Frances Fox Piven was all but present at the signing of Obamacare.  You might also know that she is among those behind Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.   What you probably don’t know is that she, and the then living Richard Cloward, were present at the signing of Bill Clinton’s 1993 “Motor Voter” bill.

That's them right behind Clinton.  Do the math.   

Incidentally, which football team would you bet on long term, the Marxists or the Smithians?

(UPDATE:  An earlier version of this post placed Frances Fox Piven at the signing of Obamacare.  That was likely incorrect.)  

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