Posts Tagged ‘Carol Browner’

Obama’s Cloward-Piven Redistributionism Shaping The Future Collapse

August 28, 2009

There is a bizarre conspiracy afoot that most Americans are simply unwilling to comprehend, much less believe.

Obama and ‘Redistributive Change’
Forget the recession and the “uninsured.” Obama has bigger fish to fry.

By Victor Davis Hanson

The first seven months of the Obama administration seemingly make no sense. Why squander public approval by running up astronomical deficits in a time of pre-existing staggering national debt?

Why polarize opponents after promising bipartisan transcendence?

Why create vast new programs when the efficacy of big government is already seen as dubious?

But that is exactly the wrong way to look at these first seven months of Obamist policy-making.

Take increased federal spending and the growing government absorption of GDP.  Given the resiliency of the U.S. economy, it would have been easy to ride out the recession.  In that case we would still have had to deal with a burgeoning and unsustainable annual federal deficit that would have approached $1 trillion.

Instead, Obama may nearly double that amount of annual indebtedness with more federal stimuli and bailouts, newly envisioned cap-and-trade legislation, and a variety of fresh entitlements. Was that fiscally irresponsible? Yes, of course.

But I think the key was not so much the spending excess or new entitlements. The point instead was the consequence of the resulting deficits, which will require radically new taxation for generations. If on April 15 the federal and state governments, local entities, the Social Security system, and the new health-care programs can claim 70 percent of the income of the top 5 percent of taxpayers, then that is considered a public good — every bit as valuable as funding new programs, and one worth risking insolvency.

Individual compensation is now seen as arbitrary and, by extension, inherently unfair. A high income is now rationalized as having less to do with market-driven needs, acquired skills, a higher level of education, innate intelligence, inheritance, hard work, or accepting risk. Rather income is seen more as luck-driven, cruelly capricious, unfair — even immoral, in that some are rewarded arbitrarily on the basis of race, class, and gender advantages, others for their overweening greed and ambition, and still more for their quasi-criminality.

“Patriotic” federal healers must then step in to “spread the wealth.” Through redistributive tax rates, they can “treat” the illness that the private sector has caused. After all, there is no intrinsic reason why an auto fabricator makes $60 in hourly wages and benefits, while a young investment banker finagles $500.

Or, in the president’s own language, the government must equalize the circumstances of the “waitress” with those of the “lucky.” It is thus a fitting and proper role of the new federal government to rectify imbalances of compensation — at least for those outside the anointed Guardian class. In a 2001 interview Obama in fact outlined the desirable political circumstances that would lead government to enforce equality of results when he elaborated on what he called an “actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Still, why would intelligent politicians try to ram through, in mere weeks, a thousand pages of health-care gibberish — its details outsourced to far-left elements in the Congress (and their staffers) — that few in the cabinet had ever read or even knew much about?

Once again, I don’t think health care per se was ever really the issue. When pressed, no one in the administration seemed to know whether illegal aliens were covered. Few cared why young people do not divert some of their entertainment expenditures to a modest investment in private catastrophic coverage.

Warnings that Canadians already have their health care rationed, wait in long lines, and are denied timely and critical procedures also did not seem to matter. And no attention was paid to statistics suggesting that, if we exclude homicides and auto accidents, Americans live as long on average as anyone in the industrial world, and have better chances of surviving longer with heart disease and cancer. That the average American did not wish to radically alter his existing plan, and that he understood that the uninsured really did have access to health care, albeit in a wasteful manner at the emergency room, was likewise of no concern.

The issue again was larger, and involved a vast reinterpretation of how America receives health care.  Whether more or fewer Americans would get better or worse access and cheaper or more expensive care, or whether the government can or cannot afford such new entitlements, oddly seemed largely secondary to the crux of the debate.

Instead, the notion that the state will assume control, in Canada-like fashion, and level the health-care playing field was the real concern. “They” (the few) will now have the same care as “we” (the many). Whether the result is worse or better for everyone involved is extraneous, since sameness is the overarching principle.

We can discern this same mandated egalitarianism beneath many of the administration’s recent policy initiatives. Obama is not a pragmatist, as he insisted, nor even a liberal, as charged.

Rather, he is a statist. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves. By “better” I do not mean in a fashion that, measured by disinterested criteria, makes us necessarily wealthier, happier, more productive, or freer.

Instead, “better” means “fairer,” or more “equal.” We may “make” different amounts of money, but we will end up with more or less similar net incomes. We may know friendly doctors, be aware of the latest procedures, and have the capital to buy blue-chip health insurance, but no matter. Now we will all alike queue up with our government-issued insurance cards to wait our turn at the ubiquitous corner clinic.

None of this equality-of-results thinking is new.

When radical leaders over the last 2,500 years have sought to enforce equality of results, their prescriptions were usually predictable: redistribution of property; cancellation of debts; incentives to bring out the vote and increase political participation among the poor; stigmatizing of the wealthy, whether through the extreme measure of ostracism or the more mundane forced liturgies; use of the court system to even the playing field by targeting the more prominent citizens; radical growth in government and government employment; the use of state employees as defenders of the egalitarian faith; bread-and-circus entitlements; inflation of the currency and greater national debt to lessen the power of accumulated capital; and radical sloganeering about reactionary enemies of the new state.

The modern versions of much of the above already seem to be guiding the Obama administration — evident each time we hear of another proposal to make it easier to renounce personal debt; federal action to curtail property or water rights; efforts to make voter registration and vote casting easier; radically higher taxes on the top 5 percent; takeover of private business; expansion of the federal government and an increase in government employees; or massive inflationary borrowing. The current class-warfare “them/us” rhetoric was predictable.

Usually such ideologies do not take hold in America, given its tradition of liberty, frontier self-reliance, and emphasis on personal freedom rather than mandated fraternity and egalitarianism. At times, however, the stars line up, when a national catastrophe, like war or depression, coincides with the appearance of an unusually gifted, highly polished, and eloquent populist. But the anointed one must be savvy enough to run first as a centrist in order later to govern as a statist.

Given the September 2008 financial meltdown, the unhappiness over the war, the ongoing recession, and Barack Obama’s postracial claims and singular hope-and-change rhetoric, we found ourselves in just such a situation. For one of the rare times in American history, statism could take hold, and the country could be pushed far to the left.

That goal is the touchstone that explains the seemingly inexplicable — and explains also why, when Obama is losing independents, conservative Democrats, and moderate Republicans, his anxious base nevertheless keeps pushing him to become even more partisan, more left-wing, angrier, and more in a hurry to rush things through. They understand the unpopularity of the agenda and the brief shelf life of the president’s charm. One term may be enough to establish lasting institutional change.

Obama and his supporters at times are quite candid about such a radical spread-the-wealth agenda, voiced best by Rahm Emanuel — “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid” — or more casually by Obama himself — “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

So we move at breakneck speed in order not to miss this rare opportunity when the radical leadership of the Congress and the White House for a brief moment clinch the reins of power. By the time a shell-shocked public wakes up and realizes that the prescribed chemotherapy is far worse than the existing illness, it should be too late to revive the old-style American patient.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The term, “Cloward-Piven strategy” resounds in Hanson’s article without having ever once been used:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

An American Thinker article provides flesh to the concept:

The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Newsmax rounds out the picture:

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation’s wealth.

In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of “crisis” they were trying to create:

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.

No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:

  1. The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
  2. The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
  3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.

Nobody wants to believe that a large and influential group of our leaders would want to create a catastrophe as a means of having an opportunity to impose their will upon an ensuing “super-government” that would necessarily have to arise from the ashes.  The concept strikes many as madness.

Only it’s happened too many times in just this century to label as “madness.”  It is, in fact, the goal of virtually every revolutionary movement.  You have to tear down the old in order to create the new.

Consider the fact that the leftist organizers of the 1960s – like Barack Obama’s friend and mentor William Ayers, who was instrumental in Obama’s early career and his run in politics – are very much still around and still profoundly shaping the leftist agenda.  Take Ayers’ Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Jones, whose Apollo Alliance wrote a big chunk of Obama’s stimulus package.  Take Tom Hayden (who endorsed Obama), leader of the leftist group Students for a Democratic Society.  He proclaimed in a landmark 1962 speech that the youth must wrest control of society from their elders, and that to that end universities had to be transformed into incubators of revolutionary “social action.”  And his calls to use any means necessary to achieve that “social action” – certainly including violence and force – colored and in fact defined the entire 60s leftist radicalism.  Hayden was one of the writers of the “Berkeley Liberation Program.”  Some highlights: “destroy the university, unless it serves the people”; “all oppressed people in jail are political prisoners and must be set free”; “create a soulful socialism”; “students must destroy the senile dictatorship of adult teachers.”  And his “community outreach” fomented horrific race riots.

These people are still dictating the agenda of the left today.  They were trying to fundamentally transform society then, and they are trying to fundamentally transform society today.  Only their tactics have changed; the goal remains the same.

You don’t think Barack Obama – who was in turn mentored by communist Frank Marshall Davis, by radical organizer Saul Alinsky, by terrorist William Ayers – (the link is to a CNN story demonstrating that Obama’s relationship to Ayers was MUCH deeper than Obama claimed) – doesn’t value these people and share their values?  Then, to put it very bluntly, you are a fool.  The words of our current president:

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.  The foreign students.  The Chicanos.  The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.  We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.  At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.  When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints.  We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure.  We were alienated.”

But of course, Obama really wasn’t alienated, by his own statement.  He was a member of a community–a community of far-far-leftist radicals.

Also, of course “the more politically active black students” were the violent, racist, and criminal Black Panthers.

Obama was always about “change.”

You may not believe me now.  I understand that.  But hear this: it is my contention that things are going to get seriously bad in this country.  And that there are liberals, progressives, socialists (as Obama’s climate czar Carol Browner is), communists (as Obama’s ‘Green jobs czar’ Van Jones describes himself) – or whatever the hell these people want to call themselves – who are manipulating and riding the current times in order to take advantage of the future collapse.

Things didn’t have to get as bad as they’re going to get.  It certainly won’t be George Bush’s fault (all of Obama’s efforts to turn him into the current version of Emmanuel Goldstein to the contrary).  It is not George Bush’s fault that Barack Obama’s budget accumulated so far in 2009 exceeds all eight years of Bush’s combined deficits.  It’s not George Bush’s fault that we have seen historic and completely unsustainable levels of red ink under Barack Obama.  It’s not George Bush’s fault that Barack Obama is essentially truing to nationalize wide swaths of our economy, such as health care and energy.  It’s all on Obama.

Obama’s massive debt is creating serious worries about the future of the U.S. dollar.  We are forecasted to be paying a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the debt by 2019; and it will very likely be a lot more a lot sooner.

What’s going to happen then?

Well, let me tell you what the Cloward-Piven proponents believe will happen: they think the coming complete crash of our economic system will result in the complete takeover of the economy and the society by the state.  They think that as panicked and hungry people look around at the disaster big government created, they will have no choice but to turn to government for help.  They think that they will finally have the socialist utopia they always dreamed of but American independence and self-reliance would never allow.

If by some miracle in defiance of all the laws of economics Obama’s economic policy actually doesn’t kill our economy, Obama and Democrats will win big.  If, far more likely, Obama’s economic policy causes a crash of the entire system, liberals believe that Democrats will ultimately STILL win big.

You can call me crazy if you like.  But mark my words.

As you see things getting worse, and liberals using the complete and catastrophic failure of big government to justify even MORE and even BIGGER big government, what might seem crazy to you now will make a lot more sense.

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Let’s Make The Mainstream Media Propaganda OFFICIAL

April 16, 2009

Obama has appointed another far leftist radical to join the ranks of such as committed socialist Carol Browner (Global Warming czar) and committed globalist Harold Koh (State Department’s legal adviser).  Now it’s Rosa Brooks, the far-left columnist for the Los Angeles Times who has said:

“George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn’t be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment.”

This is a committed globalist – which by definition means she calls for a diminution of American power and the American Constitution – who has served on the incredibly radical George Soros organization.

I hope none of you leftists mind if Ann Coulter goes to work in the next Republican administration.  Maybe in some powerful capacity where she can just run hog wild all over you.

In her last column – published AFTER she became an official member of the Obama administration – Rosa Brooks offered her vision for state-owned media:

Influential Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks has hung up her journalistic hat and joined the Obama administration, but not before penning a public proposal calling for some radical ideas to help bail out the failing news industry.

Brooks, who has taken up a post as an adviser at the Pentagon, advocated upping “direct government support for public media” and creating licenses to govern news operations.

“Years of foolish policies have left us with a choice: We can bail out journalism, using tax dollars and granting licenses in ways that encourage robust and independent reporting and commentary, or we can watch, wringing our hands, as more and more top journalists are laid off,” she wrote in her parting column on April 9.

Brooks said this would help rescue the industry from a “death spiral” and left the government unaccountable to the journalists who must keep it honest. “[I] can’t imagine anything more dangerous than a society in which the news industry has more or less collapsed,” she wrote.

But critics say her proposal would spell an end to the independent media and make journalists reliant lapdogs.

“The day that the government gets involved in the news media you see the end of the democratic process, because an independent news media is absolutely essential to the success of a democracy,” said L. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group.

Bozell said licensing journalists would violate American traditions and was a form of “intellectual prostitution.”

“Since when did our Founding Fathers envision that … you could exercise your right to freedom of speech provided you had a license from the federal government? This is the kind of stuff you have revolutions about,” he told FOXNews.com.

Attempts to reach Brooks by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful. A columnist for four years at the Times, Brooks this week joined the office of the undersecretary of Defense for policy, the principal adviser to the Pentagon’s top brass. She retains her post as a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and during the Clinton administration served as a senior adviser to the State Department….

It is unclear whether the Obama administration is considering such assistance. A spokesman for Obama did not respond to questions about Brooks’ statements, which were published after her appointment to the Pentagon.

Some in the government are already looking to assist the industry. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., proposed legislation in March that would allow newspapers to operate as tax-exempt nonprofits as long as they don’t endorse political candidates. The move was heralded as a positive step toward finding a fix but condemned by critics for potentially making newspapers beholden to the government.

Some scribes are already closely bound to Washington. As jobs are axed and papers felled across the country, many journalists have sought work elsewhere. A number have gone to work for the Obama administration, including Chicago Tribune correspondent Jill Zuckman; Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief, Jay Carney; former L.A. Times reporter Peter Gosselin; and Warren Bass, once the Washington Post’s deputy editor.

Brooks is not the first journalist to support a broadsheet bailout, but she is the first member of the administration to publicly declare her support for the move, which appears to be gaining momentum.

We need a Ministry of Propaganda to go along with everything else this administration is doing.

Contrast what Obama’s new pick for his administration is calling for in relation to another liberal demand.  The last third of one of my articles provides quote after quote from prominent Democrats calling for the re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine.  Most Americans recognize how fascist such a liberal attack on free speech would be, but Democrats will not be stopped: the outgoing FCC commissioner recently warned of a new “back-door” implementation of the Fairness Doctrine.  And let’s not forget the central fact: the Fairness Doctrine – by any liberal euphemism – is a blatant attempt to muzzle the only media outlet in which conservatives truly have a substantial voice.

While these verminous hypocrites want to legislate highly successful talk-radio out of existence simply because they don’t like the message of the most successful talk radio hosts, they want to fund failed liberal media because they need to subsidize the leftist message coming out of the liberal-dominated mainstream media.

Fox News is doing fine.  More than fine:

FOX RATINGS SURGE ON PROTEST COVERAGE
8-11 PM ET

FOXNEWS 3,390,000
MSNBC 1,210,000
CNN 1,070,000
CNN HEADLINE 909,000

FOXNEWS O'REILLY 3,980,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 3,239,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 2,947,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,740,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 2,401,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,185,000
COMEDY DAILY SHOW 1,777,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,499,000
COMEDY COLBERT 1,446,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,336,000
CNN KING 1,292,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,149,000
CNN COOPER 1,021,000

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t have any financial worries.  It’s the uberliberal New York Times, Boston Globe, San Fransisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that are all failing.  And fail these dishonest, corrupt, biased, propaganda rags should.

I’ve written about the fact that study after study has demonstrated that the media is dominated by liberalism.  I’ve written about this in numerous articles, but one paragraph from a previous article should suffice to demonstrate that fact:

The media has been so blatantly biased throughout its election coverage that it is completely accurate to say that we are now in a propaganda state.  There is no possible way that Republicans can win in this media climate: whether you look at the Media Research Center, or at the Project for Excellence in Journalism (or again at their brand new study), or at the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Advertising Project, there is widespread agreement with one longtime ABC journalist that the media is dangerously biased.  Pew Research discovered that Americans believe by a 70% to 9% margin that the media is biased in favor of Obama and against McCain.  The media now represents a fifth column of government – a propaganda wing – that attacks conservatives and celebrates and defends Democrats and their ideology.  Democracy is going extinct in the country that founded democracy, because no free society can survive such a climate of propaganda.

The bias, the ideology masquerading as news, the dishonesty and corruption of the media, is rampant.  And more and more Americans simply no longer trust them.

I would love to subscribe to my local newspaper.  I’d love to have the coupons and the local news coverage.  But the local paper is more likely to offend me than it is to inform me.  The moderate competitor from immediately outside the area stopped delivering to my neighborhood.  So now I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.  It isn’t delivered to my area either, and I like a hard-copy newspaper; so I have to wait at my mailbox for the darn thing and read it the day after the fact.  But it’s either that or no paper at all.

I don’t need a “vast rightwing conspiracy” newspaper; just don’t give me “General Betray Us.”  But that’s just too damn much to expect from way too many newspapers and periodicals these days.

There just aren’t enough people left who trust these bird-cage liners to make them profitable.

The tea parties are a great example of this.  Hundreds of thousands of people showed up to some 750 events across the nation.  As Channel 2 local news reported, There were thousands on hand for that event at noon. And that was in a small city.  And there was still another event scheduled for the evening that was expected to be even better attended.  And horns were honking so loud from passing motorists who couldn’t attend (but wished they could have) that you couldn’t hear yourself think.  Yet how does the mainstream media handle this major news event? They mock it and seek to undermine it even as they refuse to actually report it.  They are disenfranchising their readership to their own extinction.

But rather than begin to correct the far-left ideology-as-news and supply the market with fair and objective news sources, far-leftwingers such as Rosa Brooks – who is now part of the Obama administration – say that Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and the Soviet TASS were sound government-business relationships.

I keep calling these people fascists.  And they keep saying, “We’re not quite fascist yet; but we’re working toward it as hard as we can.”