Latest posts by Nancy Thorner (see all)
- Part 2: Al Gore’s movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ Debated on its 10th Anniversary at Heartland - September 12, 2016
- Part 1: Al Gore’s movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ Debated on its 10th Anniversary at Heartland - September 9, 2016
- Heartland Institute Hosts Tribute to Illinois Conservative Patriot Elizabeth A. Clarke - September 2, 2016
[This article was co-authored by Elizabeth Clarke]
An an Education Reporter article published July 2007, William A. Borst wrote:
The public schools have become the new Marxist laboratories for social engineering. The average public schools is mired in a sociological swamp of pornographic sex education, declining test score, violence and speech codes. . . They have created what David Kupelian calls [in his book, “The Marketing of Evil”] an “Alice in Wonderland environment.” where small boys are dosed with Ritalin to contain their natural restlessness while others are suspended for playing Cowboys and Indians. . . One of the greatest casualties of progressive education has been literacy. The progressives abandoned traditional phonics, the sounding out of words, which necessitates the memorization of each individual word.
Phyllis Schlafly in her Eagle Forum article of November 15, 2006, Public Schools Define American Culture, relates the significance of Sidney Simon’s 1972 book “Values Clarification.” Simon’s book sold nearly a million copies and was widely used to teach students to “clarify” their values, such as casting off their parents’ values and making their own choices based on situation ethics. This was followed by the public schools welcoming Kinsey-trained sexperts that espoused diversity to sex-in-marriage.
Few will dispute that public schools guide the morals, attitude, knowledge and decision-making of most American children. The countless billions spent every year, which are forcibly taken from us in taxes, are spent by the public school establishment under what amount to a thin veneer of accountability to school board members elected in government-run elections.
Those who attended public schools prior to the 1960’s did quite well. Teachers accepted their role in defining the culture of the children under their supervision. Some of you might remember using a McGuffey-Reader-style curriculum through which children learned not only the basics but also values such as honesty and patriotism, while immigrant children assimilated into the American culture by learning our language and culture.
How then did schools become, as described by William Borst, “new Marxist laboratories for social engineering?” The origin can be traced back to Karl Marx and his theories developed in association with philosopher Friedrich Engels, which include:
- All historical change was caused by a series of class struggles between the bourgeoisie “haves” and the proletariat “have nots.”
- Capitalism was the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.” Like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system:socialism.
John Dewey’s role at Columbia University
Marx’s philosophy was embraced by Humanist John Dewey. Dewey, born in Vermont (1859 – 1952), was a confirmed socialist. He is viewed today as the “Father of Progressive Education.” Dewey put into practice what he saw happening in Russia during the 1920’s when a professor of philosophy at Columbia University while working at the Columbia Teachers College on the side. Dewey was mesmerized by the Soviet ideal of a world without capitalists, traditional families, or religion.
John Dewey taught at Columbia for 25 years from 1904 to 1930. But it was while John Dewey was a teacher and researcher at the Columbia Teachers College that his influence in American education was unparalleled. W.F. Ward (George Novack) relates in his article, “John Dewey’s Theories of Education”:
Dewey’s theories blended attention to the child as an individual with rights and claims of his own with a recognition of the gulf between an outdated and class-distorted educational setup inherited from the past and the urgent requirements of the new era.
By the early 1950’s Columbia was producing a third of the nation’s largest school system’s principals and superintendents. As such Dewey’s education philosophy set in motion a progressive education movement (learning by living) which spawned many experimental educational programs.
It was not until the 1960’s, however, when the turning point for education occurred, resulting from Dewey’s past influence and his Columbia Teachers College acolytes who argued against objective truth, authoritative notions of good and evil, and religion and tradition. During the same 1960’s era Columbia likewise earned its reputation as a hotbed of academic progressive radicalism, which exists to the present day by means of a network of Open Society Foundation (OSF) funding. Founded in 1993, known as the Open Society Institute until 2011, the OSF is a grant making operation of George Soros, well-known as a supporter of progressive–liberal political causes.
Cloward/Piven as 1960 acolytes of Dewey at Columbia
Richard A Cloward, born in 1926 as the son of a radical Baptist minister, is defined as a sociologist and social activist who was an architect of the welfare rights movement. Cloward earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees at the Columbia University School of Social Work before joining the Columbia faculty in 1954. He served as a faculty member at the Columbia University from 1954 until his death in 2001 at age 74. While at Columbia, Cloward won numerous awards for his teaching and academic work
Frances Fox Piven was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1932. A daughter of Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Piven was married to Richard Coward. Having outlived her husband who died in 2001, Piven, at 82, remains a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (Communist Party), as was her late husband, and serves as one of the eight honorary chairs of that organization.
Piven remains active as a Socialist agitator. During an interview early in 2000, Fox Piven praised socialism as a movement founded on “the values of equality and fraternity and democracy.” She further added: “That tradition has a future. It’s the only future that’s possible.” By Piven’s reckoning socialism would be instituted in the U.S. by means of an incremental rather than a revolutionary process (and its happening!).
In 2011 Fox Piven rang in the New Year with renewed calls for a revolution. In an editorial published in The Nation, “Mobilizing the Jobless,” Piven called on ‘”the jobless to rise up in a violent show of solidarity and force with language that was dripping of class struggle,” the same language she and her late husband Richard Cloward had made popular in the 60’s. In October of the same year, Piven gave a speech of protest at an Occupy Wall Street rally. Listen here.
The 1966 Cloward-Piven strategy
During the 60’s while husband and wife Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Pivenwere both political activists and professors of sociology at the Columbia University School of Social Work, they produced a political strategy for which they are most remembered. It called for the overloading of the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual incomeand thus an end to poverty”. The strategy, known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, was formulated in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine, The Nation, titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” The article helped to foster the emergence of a more militant welfare rights movement, including the occupation of welfare offices in many cities and other acts of civil disobedience.
Cloward and Piven believed that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, specifically the Democratic Party, to take federal action to help the poor (In 1966 Democrats controlled both the presidency and both houses of the United States Congress.).
Cloward and Piven were likewise the impetus for the Motor Voter law of 1993. In 1983 Piven and Cloward co-founded HUMAN SERVE, an organization that sought to register voters at social-service agencies and Departments of Motor Vehicles. This organization foreshadowed the so-called “motor voter” law of 1993, which would prove to be a breeding ground for election fraud. Bill Clinton invited Cloward and Preven to the White House at the bill signing ceremony.
Cloward-Piven strategy as applied today
Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, both lifelong members of the Democratic Socialists of America, drew many of the ideas outlined in their Cloward-Piven strategy from Saul Alinksy, who we know as Chicago’s notorious revolutionary community organizer.
It is not an overstatement to say that President Obama, instead of trying to lead America to recovery, prosperity, and strength, is doing just the opposite. His strategy, sometimes called the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis, is akin to the Cloward-Piven methodology which David Horowitz described as such
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.
Crowning achievements of the Cloward-Piven Strategy prior to the election of Obama, as noted by James Simpson in his American Thinker article, “Cloward-Piven Government,” was the creation of the radical reform organization ACORN which exploited our electoral system and the passing of the already mentioned Motor Voter law of 1993. Motor Voter opened up registration to a vast number of illegal immigrants who then reliably vote Democrat.
With the election of President Obama in 2008, the Cloward-Piven Strategy was ramped up on a scale never seen before. Since then this nation has been flooded with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, laws, and executive orders. It was Rahm Emmanuel who famously said as Obama’s Chief Advisor during Obama’s first term, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
Upon reflection, the ultimate goal of the health care legislation, of attempts to enact cap-and-trade, and of the massive stimulus package, was to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to government control. Through the deliberate enactment of a flood of legislation that seems never ending, many Americans are becoming so discouraged, demoralized and exhausted that they are have given up or have become too distracted to fight.
Might it be because of the brazen way in which Piven has been making her intentions known since 2000 with no fear of retaliation, that the current administration has been given a license to brazenly undermine the “Constitution” to initiate polices that are in opposition to the basic concepts of freedom and liberty? Despite the Obama administration’s violation of countless laws that do quality for action under the provisions of our Constitution, too many Americans remain oblivious to what is happening around them, while the mainstream media harbors the same socialist philosophy held by Leftists. The Left, feeling comfortable given the political climate, are not hesitant to express their views openly, freely, and unabashedly without fear.
Every citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of their spare time lobbying, organizing, writing and planning. This is not too much to ask to save our Republic and our democratic way of life. Destructive initiatives must be fought, as is now happening as countless Americans are rising up against the massive surge of illegal immigrants from Central American countries.
We are up against an evil force. It is critical that we root out evil in November by electing competent and principled leaders who are willing to defend our “Constitution.” If not what has been set in motion will be too entrenched to change, and this once proud and strong nation will cease to exist.
[Originally published in Illinois Review]