top of page
  • Writer's pictureMags

Cloward, Piven, Alinsky and Their Useful Idiots

Cloward and Piven. A set of college professors bent on destroying and reshaping the American economic system. They pushed the idea of overwhelming the public welfare rolls, expand government hand-out programs, and eventually collapse the system inward on itself. Part of their goal was to bring about a guaranteed national income. Once that happens, people, all people will be dependent on the federal government. This is their goal. The fed wants you to be dependent on them, not because they have big hearts and want to help you. More so because they know once the people depend on them, they have achieved control over your life and the things you choose to fill your time with. Your pursuit of happiness will be something you’ll have to have approved or face consequences.

Get in line and shut up. Step out of line and the government will put it’s boot on your neck until you suffer enough to get back in line voluntarily.

The Cloward Piven Strategy includes mass enrollment of the poor onto welfare rolls. Their logic was that if everyone who was “entitled” to government benefits claimed them, the system would buckle. That would expose the magnitude of American poverty and the inadequacy of it’s safety net. This of course would create a political crisis, one in which new broad and lasting anti-poverty policy could be pushed and passed. Essentially making the United States of America a welfare state, and at the same time placing enormous amounts of power into those dirty bureaucrats’ hands. That is a very bad thing for freedom, and even worse for the individual American.

Cloward and Piven laid out the plan, Saul Alinsky helped to explain the methods to use to get there.

Saul Alinsky wrote a book titled “Rules for Radicals”. We have talked about this book in previous articles, the most telling portion is his actual list of rules. Once you have read them, it is easier to understand the methods that the left used and continues to use. We have had experience with that recently dealing with the “anti-protesters” that 1776RM has had to deal with.

“12 Rules for Radicals”

Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

Rule 2: Never go outside of the expertise of your people. It results in confusion, fear, and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.” (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. Therefore, they avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)

Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to his own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

Rule 5: “Ridicule is a man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude, and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

Rule 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different than any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results

Rule 7 : “A tactic that drags on to long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. To keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

Rule 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover, and re-strategize.)

Rule 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large -3- organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

Rule 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

Rule 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem). Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they must have a compromise solution.)

Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

We have all seen these tactics used, whether we knew it or not. To be honest, most of the time they are used, the person using them has no idea they are doing it. To be clear they are typically not educated in the methods or origins of these methods. They never heard of Saul Alinsky or Cloward and Piven. They have been taught a simplistic version of them and sent out to the streets to repeat the same line over and over. To only engage under certain circumstances, to use ridicule against their opposition and to try to polarize them. It isn’t about winning the debate; it is about discrediting the person or group you are debating.

The 1776 RM recently had our own little bout with these “rules of engagement” so to speak. When the 4 or 5 clearly uneducated and downright immature anti-protesters, (we refer to them as harassers and stalkers), showed up to our protest in D.C., they began checking these rules off the list. It seemed their favorites were rules 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and of course number 12.

My knowledge of these rules as well as many other tactics the left uses to gain traction help me to ignore them and when needed, expose them. It is not hard if we don’t get wrapped up in their game. Watching our people go out and essentially use the same tactics against them was slightly entertaining for a bit, but soon devolved into a bunch of people yelling at each other. Essentially playing a big game trying to trigger the other side. It looked bad and it served no purpose, other than to help people watching see us in the same light as the ridiculous anti-protesters.

You see this everywhere, these tactics anyway, and when you know them, it is easier to defeat them in the arena of ideas. So, we will be doing a series on the rules, methods, and goals of these heroes of the progressive movement so as to better understand and defeat them.

Please check back often! Mags

126 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Oct 02, 2022

Truth. I thought of them as mean, bullies, or uneducated of manners and how to be.... growing up. And never fit in with any clicks. I stayed close to elders, truth, and wisdom.


Michael Souther
Michael Souther
Oct 01, 2022

This really states what has been happening for years. The Cloward and Piven theory has been snaking into society bit by bit, ignored by many and encouraged by the Marxist Democrats , Saul Alinsky is a hero of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama . All of this has been hidden from site while Americans ignored every little increases in the power if the Marxist Democrats now the government the DOJ and FBI completely sold out

bottom of page