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January 10, 2011
Overheated Rhetoric? Try Frances Fox Piven
Posted by Dave Blount at January 10, 2011 2:42 PM
There's no shortage of the "overheated rhetoric" liberals are blaming for Jared Loughner's psychosis, but contrary to the propaganda spewed by the New York Times, MSNBC, et al., the worst of it comes from their own camp — including from someone who had a major influence on Comrade Obama's economic policy:
She's considered by many as the grandmother of using the American welfare state to implement revolution. Make people dependent on the government, overload the government rolls, and once government services become unsustainable, the people will rise up, overthrow the oppressive capitalist system, and finally create income equality. Collapse the system and create a new one. That's the simplified version of Frances Fox Piven's philosophy originally put forth in the pages of The Nation in the 60s.
Now, as the new year ball drops, Piven is at it again, ringing in 2011 with renewed calls for revolution.
In a chilling and almost unbelievable editorial again in The Nation ("Mobilizing the Jobless," January 10/17, 2011 edition), she calls on the jobless to rise up in a violent show of solidarity and force. As before, those calls are dripping with language of class struggle. Language she and her late husband Richard Cloward made popular in the 60s.
"So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?" she writes. "After all, the injustice is apparent. Working people are losing their homes and their pensions while robber-baron CEOs report renewed profits and windfall bonuses. Shouldn't the unemployed be on the march? Why aren't they demanding enhanced safety net protections and big initiatives to generate jobs?"
Those are the questions that frame what can best be called a roadmap for revolution. And it's not long before those questions give way to directions. The first instruction: get angry.
"[B]efore people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity," she writes. "They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant."
And along with anger must come a denunciation of personal responsibility. Instead, workers must realize that others have put them in their current, uneasy situation: "[T]he out-of-work have to stop blaming themselves for their hard times and turn their anger on the bosses, the bureaucrats or the politicians who are in fact responsible."
Only then, once their rage has been properly stoked, can the angry take action. And when they do, she says, the "protesters need targets."
Too bad no one ever let go with this kind of ranting onstage at a Tea Party. The liberal establishment media could just run video of it over and over again, without going to the trouble of coming up with lies and baseless innuendos.
On a tip from Lentenlands.