• Co-creator of the so-called Cloward-Piven Strategy
  • Seeks to foment economic crises, which can then be exploited for purposes of transformational social change
  • Has been a guest speaker at numerous Socialist Scholars Conferences
  • Admirer of Karl Marx
  • Views violent rioting as an effective and desirable means of agitating for social change

See also:  Cloward-Piven Strategy   New Party   

Campaign for America’s Future

Born in Alberta, Canada in 1932, Frances Fox Piven earned a Ph.D. in social science from the University of Chicago in l962. Today she is a professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she has taught since 1982. She was formerly a professor at Columbia University.

Piven and her late husband, Columbia social-work professor Richard Cloward, are best known for having outlined, in 1966, the so-called Cloward-Piven Strategy – a tactic which seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading government bureaucracies with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

In 1966 Piven was a panel member at a Socialist Scholars Conference in New York. There, she and her husband presented a paper proposing that the poor should engage in “irregular and disruptive tactics” designed to overburden city and state governments with demands for welfare money – the ultimate objective being to force those governments to turn to the federal government for assistance. Such “disruption of the system,” said Piven, would result in a situation where:

“Welfare rolls will begin to go up; welfare payments will begin to go up – the impact will be very, very sharp. The mounting welfare budget will increase taxes, force cities to turn to the federal government. We have to help people to make claims; for this they will organize and act.”

Beginning in 1967, Piven served as an advisor to the newly formed National Welfare Rights Organization.

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