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The Cloward-Piven Strategy and The Mad Tea Party | The Nation

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The Cloward-Piven Strategy and The Mad Tea Party

In 1966 Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven wrote the Nation article: "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty." Forty-four years later, the Cloward-Piven strategy has come full circle. On Grit TV with Laura Flanders, Nation Senior Editor Richard Kim discusses the strategy, which, according to Glenn Beck and the Tea Party, is rooted in the conspiracy to destroy the economy and possibly the world.

"Glenn Beck has done 28 different programs on it," Kim says. "There are hundreds of thousands of Google hits on it, and what it suggests is that, basically, the Left has cynically manipulated the system for the past forty-four years to crash the global economy, commit massive voter fraud, elect Barack Obama so we can nationalize the banks, take over the government and install a communist, totalitarian regime."

Kim, author of the recent Nation cover piece "The Mad Tea Party", argues that the strategy has become the meta-narrative for the Tea Party. According to them, in the 1966 article, the Cloward-Piven strategy seeks to flood the system with government bureaucracy, thus creating an economic collapse. They have relied on a web of associations to bring the conspiracy more legitimacy--however illegitimate their claims against the Left may be. Now, the Right is working hard to corral the craziness and harness the conspiracy to their cause.

--Clarissa Leon

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