Occupy Wall Street (Part 3 of 3): Top Down, Bottom Up and Inside Out

By | November 14, 2011

“It’s top-down – you handled that, you got the White House, the Senate and the House” says Van Jones at an America’s Future NOW Conference on June 9, 2010. He continues, “Top Down, Bottom Up, Inside Out” while describing revolution in America. While Van Jones discusses the top-down being the Obama administration, could the Occupiers be the bottom up? Is it time that Occupy Wall Street bring about the revolution needed to fundamentally transform America into an authoritarian state?

Throughout Occupy Wall Street, participants advising the occupiers seem to have a radical past. Are we about to witness riots and chaos of the 1960s? Could we be in the mist of witnessing the same scenarios from that time? The same characters that played a role in the chaotic movement then still have a presence in our universities today.

Recently, Frances Fox Piven explained to the Occupy Wall Street crowd that corporate greed put the debt on their shoulders. She went on to explain that public education, teachers and pensions are being used to pay for these debts. As she demands corporations pay higher taxes, she also advocates additional funding for the public sector.

On May 2nd, 1966, the Nation published Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven’s article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” that outlined this strategy. These Columbia professors introduced the Cloward-Piven strategy that proposed in forcing political change by orchestrating a crisis by overloading the capitalist system. They advocated recruiting “Leaders of social, religious, fraternal and political groups…” to overload the system instituting a federal income distribution program. The article goes on to state “if organizers can deliver millions of dollars in cash benefits to the ghetto masses, it seems reasonable to expect that the masses will deliver their loyalties to their benefactors.”

In the late 1960s, they would put this to the test in New York City. George Wiley organized groups to occupy welfare offices, violently demanding their “rights.” Welfare rolls increased from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid 70s. In New York City alone, welfare caseloads climbed from 12% a year in the early 60s, to 50% a year, a decade later (150,000 to over 1.5M). In 1975, New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy. Rudy Giuliani claimed Cloward and Piven as being responsible for “an effort at economic sabotage.”

Since Occupying Wall Street has entered their second month, the demonstrations have characteristics of the 1960s. As arrests, cleanliness and organization of Zuccotti Park seems innocent, it is having an effect on local businesses. As the protestors have decided to institute “no snitch” rules and to police themselves, this movement is not without controversy.

We could go on to include Bill Ayers discussion with Occupy Chicago whereas his past has been well documented. Bill Ayers is on record of saying that he should’ve done more in the past.

With our federal government on a $3.5 trillion spending spree, 44 million people on food stamps, 9 percent unemployment and 46 million in poverty along with the occupiers in around 1,500 cities across the nation, are we looking at the intentional collapse of a system? Are we seeing the ultimate goals to leave us God loving Americans discouraged, demoralized and exhausted to where we beg for the top to take care of the situation?

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