Frances Fox Piven Calls for Mass Protests, Disruptions

Co-Author of Original Cloward-Piven Strategy Calls For Mass Protests, Disruptions

Ace
Ace of Spades HQ
12/30/2010

Frances Fox Piven doesn’t seem to advance a sneaky new strategy here as she did so long ago. Mostly it’s just calling for typical leftist roil. But Ron Radosh went behind the firewall at The Nation to read her new aggrievements, and here’s what she’d like to see:

What is needed, she suggests, are “mass protests” that might influence Obama and press “him hard from his base.” To do that, however, she notes that they have to get past the many obstructions to mobilize the unemployed. This is especially the case that the unions today “do little for their unemployed,” who don’t pay dues and “are likely to be malcontents.”

Piven argues that their task is harder than it was in the past, because the unemployed are diverse, are not in one area of the country and have no common institutional setting. It is hard to bring people together, even in welfare and unemployment centers, she complains, since often administrators try to avoid long lines and crowded waiting areas, where organizers could proselytize and inflame the dissatisfied applicants.

But most important, she writes, “they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant (Radosh’s emphasis) …Losing a job is bruising; even when many other people are out of work, most people are still working. So, a kind of psychological transformation has to take place; the 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.”

They also need targets, which she sees as “the most difficult of the strategy problems.” Since she knows well that “local and state governments are strapped for funds,” the poor and the unemployed must demand “federal action.” It is, in other words, another “fiscal crisis of the state” that, as in the past, can be used to advance the radical goal. There first have to be local protests that have to “accumulate and spread,” then “become more disruptive” (Radosh’s emphasis) in order to pressure our national political leaders. What does Piven mean when she calls for disruption? She is clear and up front about her intent:

An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees. (Radosh’s emphasis)…

It’s going to be a rocky two years. They won’t quit fighting until they know, really know in their bones, they’ve been beaten, and they’re pretty oblivious as a general matter, so it’s going to take a serious pounding to get through.

Read the whole thing at Ace of Spades HQ

From the comments section at ASHQ:

1 Yeah, you know [how] CRAAAAZY that Glenn Beck guy is?
Umm, what if he’s right about all that other stuff, too?

Posted by: blaster at December 30, 2010 08:06 PM (MrMxG)

7 An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece

So in other words, she is calling for leftists to run around murdering people at banks?

Posted by: 18-1 at December 30, 2010 08:14 PM (bgcml)

10 holy shit, I can’t believe you didn’t see the connection staring you in the face.

They’re already doing it! They’re already staging ‘disruptions’ and protesting for more socialism.

Hello, McFly?

NY Sanitation workers…snow storm…wildcat strike…leaving millions of people up shit’s creek…

Posted by: al Soothsayer at December 30, 2010 08:15 PM (/AACO)

13 If the Republicans were smart, which they’re not, they’d use that NY wildcat strike that killed a baby to explain how in the near future when doctors & nurses are govt-union employees can ‘disrupt’ your health care service when they want a raise. [Emphasis CAJ]

Posted by: al Soothsayer at December 30, 2010 08:17 PM (5iMvt)

Read the rest of the comments at Ace of Spades HQ.

While you’re there, read Hawaii $1.5M-O in which President Alfred E. Newman asks, “What? Me worry?”

Update: Instapundit: RON RADOSH: The Second Time is Farce: Frances Fox Piven Calls for a new Cloward-Piven Strategy for Today. Actually, it was pretty much a farce the first time, as the original Cloward-Piven strategy wasn’t exactly a brilliant success. As for calls for “mass protests” and “unruly mobs” in favor of more socialism, modeled on the Greek riots, I can’t think of anything better for the Republicans. It’s like this is some sort of clever scheme using a doddering, easily manipulated provocateur, but who could . . . Karl Rove, you magnificent bastard!

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