The Cloward-Piven Strategy Remix: Criminal Justice

Written by Abraham Hamilton III

In recent years, there’s been a massive surge of crime in America’s major cities, including violent crimes and murder specifically. For example, there were 397 murders in Los Angeles in 2021. According to Los Angeles Magazine, that was an 11.8 percent increase from the 355 murders in the city in 2020 and a 53.9 percent increase from the 258 murders in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Three hundred ninety-seven murders was the highest total in the city since 395 people were murdered there in 2007. This has all transpired while “defund the police” movements across the country coincided with district attorneys, like the recently elected Manhattan, NY District Attorney, who refuse to prosecute certain crimes or to incarcerate criminals who’ve been found guilty of others.

Interestingly, this crime surge across America has largely transpired in cities where the chief law enforcement officers in the locales, the elected District Attorneys or State’s Attorneys, happen to be financially supported by the left-wing regressive billionaire, George Soros, and the bevy of organizations his money controls. George Soros is a committed globalist who views the United States of America as a primary impediment to seeing his Marxist vision for the world become a reality. So, he has specifically dedicated a portion of his annual profits to influence policy and politics in the U.S for a long time. His organization, “Open Society” is particularly devoted to the eradication of national sovereignty. The name kind of makes it an open secret (pun intended).

To understand what’s going on with these elected district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crimes and incarcerate criminals at the very moment that crime is raging in our country, we must re-visit two names: Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. These two were a husband and wife duo (Richard Cloward passed away in 2001, Francis Fox Piven is 89 years old today) of Columbia University professors and left-wing regressive activists. In 1966, the pair published  a monumental article in The Nation magazine titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” In it, they advocated for complete destruction of the current capitalist economic system in New York City in favor of a Marxist revision, including a government-provided guaranteed basic annual. To do so, Cloward and Piven pushed for intentionally increasing the number of people enrolled in the city’s welfare programs, far beyond what they knew the city could afford, in order to collapse the system and force the city to adopt their proposed reforms. Their idea became known as the “Cloward-Piven Strategy.”

Note, the goal was never for the people who enrolled in the welfare programs to actually receive any of the benefits they sought. Rather, “the weight of the poor” was merely a tool to force economic collapse. Once the system was destroyed, it would then be rebuilt according to the Marxist Cloward-Piven vision.

When George Soros, who has a long history of using his money to influence policy and politics, turned his attention to local district attorneys races he did so with the same purpose he’s always had in mind. To him, America, with our citizenry’s affinity for God, the Bible, free speech, free markets, and liberty in general, is the primary impediment to his Marxist-globalist panacea’s establishment. He seeks to employ the maxim taught by fellow Marxist Saul Alinsky: in times of crisis, people will willingly exchange freedom for safety. This is what Rahm Emmanuel meant when our nation faced the worst economic crash in recent history in 2008 when he said, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” In the face of crisis, they see opportunity…? Who thinks like that? Well, Saul Alinsky does, Rahm Emmanuel does, and so does George Soros.

On the surface, it seems counterintuitive that the chief law enforcement officers in cities across the country would all seem to engage in a synchronized commitment, like a choir singing in multi-part harmony, to refuse to actually do the job of enforcing the law. And, when criminals are arrested, refuse to put them in prison or keep them in jail. So you have law enforcement officers adopting policies that obviously increase crime…even violent crimes. It doesn’t make sense until you understand “The Cloward Piven Strategy.”

Encourage people to sign up for welfare benefits. But your goal is not for them to ever get those benefits. Your goal is to force the system to collapse and then rebuild it in your image. Run for office to be elected as the chief law enforcer in your city. But, the goal isn’t actually to enforce the law. Your goal is to force the existing system to collapse. Instead of waiting for a crisis to occur, create a law enforcement crisis. Just as Saul Alinsky taught; people will abandon freedom for safety. Then, rebuild the system in your… rather George’s image.

To be clear, I don’t believe all of these district and state attorneys understand the role they are playing in crisis manufacturing. But, Vladimir Lenin employed a phrase to describe Russians who were not active agents of the early 20th-century communist revolution there but their ideas and ideology just happened to line up with and aid the communist revolution. He reportedly called them “useful idiots.” Look at this list of district attorneys and state attorneys Soros has spent tens of millions of dollars to support in the last few years. Does anyone want to guess what their platforms were and are? Criminal justice “reform.” And that’s just his 2015-2019 roster.

What Soros realized is that district attorney and state attorney races are rarely high profile. You can get a bigger bang for your regressive buck in your effort to create crises to overhaul systems if you get the chief law enforcement officers across the country in your pocket. You can swing the entire criminal justice system in major American cities your way with far less money than say a U.S. Senate or presidential race.

What we are witnessing is the application of “The Cloward-Piven Strategy” in the criminal justice context. The goal is not what is being publicly stated (which is why some of the loudest “defund the police” voices hire private security). It is also why some members of Congress oppose building a wall on our southern border while living in gated communities and behind walls of their own.

Much of the crime surge in America is focused in areas of cities that these elected district and state attorneys live far removed from. That’s why they greenlight the increasing number of their own constituents who are victimized by crime all in the name of “criminal justice reform.” What do you think would happen when criminals were informed by chief law enforcement officers that they were no longer prosecuting certain crimes? Or when they do, the prosecuted won’t go to jail? Do you think the criminals will be more or less inclined to commit crimes? That is why the New York Post said “George Soros has blood on his hands for the rise in killings nationwide.” They failed to include, however, that Mr. Soros’ weapon of choice is elected district and state attorneys.

This article was originally published at