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RADICAL CHIC: THE GERITOL YEARS. The New York Times attempts to rehabilitate Frances Fox Piven, she of the infamous Cloward-Piven strategy for bankrupting government institutions to speed up the socialist revolution.

VARIOUS COLLEGES ARE TEACHING “OCCUPY” COURSES: In today’s Wall Street Journal, I offer a syllabus.

My conclusion: “It is likely, of course, that the Occupy courses offered will partake of none of the above, and will instead be tedious, dated mashups of Fanon, Marcuse and Frances Fox Piven. But if students are offered no better than that, it will be the fault of their instructors, not of the subject matter.”

GEORGE SOROS channeling Frances Fox Piven?

MATT WELCH TO BARACK OBAMA: Hey, what about that “net spending cut” you promised back in 2008?

Plus this:

Candidate Obama campaigned every day—and rightly so—against the “fiscal irresponsibility” of the Bush era. “When George Bush came into office, our debt—national debt was around $5 trillion. It’s now over $10 trillion. We’ve almost doubled it,” he complained in his second debate with Republican nominee John McCain. “We have had over the last eight years the biggest increases in deficit spending and national debt in our history.”

As president, Obama tacked on another $5 trillion in debt in record time. In every measure of basic budgetary incompetence, the last three years have dwarfed the previous eight, despite the candidate convincing a majority of voters of his superior credentials as a fiscal steward. United States debt zoomed through the 100-percent-of-GDP threshold around Halloween, and as the Baby Boomers get ready to scoop up their old-age entitlements, there isn’t even a proposed end to the budget leakage in sight.

And it’s not just the size of government, it’s the scope. Obama has given historical leeway to regulators on health care and financial reform, and (like presidents before him) is increasing his influence on executive branch enforcement at a time when his sway over the congressional branch continues to wane. All of which begs a question: If we just finished three years of a cautious and centrist Obama, what in the name of government vigor will the next 12-60 months look like?

By the end, we may see profligate politicians hanging from lampposts. But there’ll be a lot of bad stuff, too. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Robert Crouse emails:

I know the below post was intended to be funny, but it came across (to me) as a little over the line:

“By the end, we may see profligate politicians hanging from lampposts….,”

Well, in an era when the President himself openly threatens bankers with pitchfork-wielding mobs, and jokes about auditing those who disrespect him, it’s hard to know where the line is. Or if there even is a line. Maybe Frances Fox Piven knows.

But all joking aside, if the current profligacy continues, and America winds up in a Greece-style (or worse) collapse, politicians may not wind up hanging from lampposts (we don’t really do that here), but they will at the very least likely face the kind of investigations, prosecutions, and social opprobrium normally reserved for child molesters and Bernie Madoff types. I don’t think they fully appreciate that. If they did, they’d be acting differently.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: 1980 VIDEO: Thomas Sowell Debates Frances Fox Piven.

I DOUBT FRANCES FOX PIVEN WILL CALL FOR AMERICANS TO EMULATE THIS GREEK PROTEST: ‘I won’t pay’ movement spreads across Greece: In light of austerity measures, citizens ignore tolls, transit ticket costs, even bills for healthcare. “Many see the ‘I Won’t Pay’ movement as something much simpler: the people’s refusal to pay for the mistakes of a series of governments accused of squandering the nation’s future through corruption and cronyism.”

I mean, if citizens quit paying taxes because the government is dominated by cronyism and corruption, the whole lefty feedlot would be gone.

MATTHEW VADUM ON FRANCES FOX PIVEN: Socialist advocate for mob violence complains she is target.

Related thoughts from David Mastio. And here’s what those Greek riots Piven wanted to see emulated in America were like:

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Just a reminder, since Piven’s defenders keep trying to make it sound as if she were calling for Gandhi-like nonviolent resistance, when she was quite explicitly calling for violence.

Plus, “The real armed tyranny is the one Piven seeks to impose.”

FRANCES FOX PIVEN: “She wouldn’t even harm a fly.” “In the course of this brouhaha, it becomes apparent that leftist academics don’t want to be and should not be taken seriously, that the cultural elite can dish out violent rhetoric but cannot take being called on it, that the NYT has blundered into another loser of an argument, and that people who want to waste their tuition money should major in sociology, which has obviously become the redoubt of clueless, revolutionary manqués. . . . Piven denied to the NYT that she advocated violence in the article. It’s hard to see how that defense stands up, unless she is saying that she didn’t know what happened in Greece when she urged the American unemployed to take action ‘like the strikes and riots’ there.”

Here’s a reminder of what Piven’s “strikes and riots” in Greece involved:

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Just for the record. And here’s the conclusion:

In sum, this was another week in which the media and cultural elites acted stupidly and were called on it. Twice in a row now they’ve tried to paint their opposition as violent thugs only to be revealed themselves as snobbish poseurs, projecting their own thuggish urges onto others. It was another week in which those living off the productive labor of others deride those others, try to undermine them, and are in the process undermining the very society which makes it possible for such foolish poseurs to live in comfort.

Indeed.

BURN, AMERICA BURN: It’s not just Frances Fox Piven rooting for riots and violence in America. Here’s former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges on the Greek riots:

Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.

Plus this from Matt Welch:

Hedges’ recent apocalyptic tear (which has resonance for at least some libertarians, not to mention Pagans) includes urging on sabotage two months ago, and calling corporations “little Eichmanns” last week. And this is no fringe character here–Hedges continues to receive respectful hearings in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Vancouver Sun, et al, and just last week he was named a finalist for the L.A. Press Club’s Online Journalist of the Year. You will search in vain for any mention of Hedges by the scores of journalistic commenters who have been warning for more than a year now (inaccurately, in my opinion) about impending political violence, inciteful right-wing rhetoric, and borderline sedition.

These hacks don’t mind violence at all, so long as it’s perpetrated by the right people, against the right people. Meanwhile, Hedges in the past has been on the receiving end of some grassroots action I can approve. More on that here.

A TYRANNY OF THE HEAVILY ARMED?

America is no longer a democracy. It is now a tyranny of the heavily armed. That is Barbara Ehrenreich’s claim in today’s Los Angeles Times. Along with her colleague Frances Fox Piven, Ehrenreich is an Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. In today’s Op-Ed, Ehrenreich does her best to pretty up Piven’s call for rioting in America, while painting conservatives as gun-mad assassins.

I sense that the left is now running scared. The Nation erred in allowing Piven to call openly in its name for rioting in America. They’re likely even more worried now about damage to the Nation’s reputation than they are determined to silence conservatives. But at this point, they probably figure the best defense is an aggressive offense. Ehrenreich’s wild Op-Ed is the result. Here you will read what the Nation crowd really thinks of America.

Meh. It’s not like the “bitter clinger” line is anything new. The trouble is, these folks liked the idea of a dictatorship of the proletariat, so long as it wasn’t actually, you know, proletarian. ‘Cause those proles are just icky.

Meanwhile, since Ehrenreich seems to be trying to gloss over what Piven was calling for, let’s remember what those Greek riots she liked so much involved:

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Hooded protesters. Molotov cocktails. Three dead by fire, four hospitalized. This is Piven’s idea of a proper “people’s movement.” This is the kind of violence she was advocating. This is what she’d like to see happening in America, to Americans. And this is what her allies are trying to minimize, or distract attention from, by making false accusations aimed at innocent parties. Just for the record.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Just a quick thought on your Piven updates. The phrase “Hooded protesters. Molotov cocktails” made me initially think “that is doubly despicable, Priven & Ehrenreich are also Klan supporters”?

They don’t have a problem with the Klan’s choice of means, anyway. And reader George Wilson emails: “The ‘tyranny’ is the fear that a molotov cocktail might not be a match for Desert Eagle .50 or an AK-47.” Yes, there’s nothing more tyrannical than someone who refuses to be intimidated.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Scot Echols writes: “So let me see if I’ve got this right. Is Piven pissed off that the Tea Party protests weren’t violent?” I’m pretty sure that’s not it, but that’s an understandable mistake . . .

MORE: Dodd Harris sends this helpful illustration:

PROFESSOR ANN ALTHOUSE DELIVERS A SOUND THRASHING: “History tells us” something that history doesn’t tell us, say sociologists stumbling to protect Frances Fox Piven.

So vigorous debate about Piven’s ideas is really important, but it better be the right kind of debate by the right kind of people and most certainly not that terrible, terrible man Glenn Beck. She’s very lofty and serious, so, while she should be challenged, she must be challenged only by lofty and serious individuals, and of course, Glenn Beck is not one. . . .

Does lofty, serious, intellectual sociology involve looking at evidence and analyzing it rationally? Linking the Tucson massacre to hot political rhetoric was a rash mistake made by demagogues — you want to talk about demagogues?! — demagogues who were slavering over the prospect of a right-wing massacre that would prove politically useful. . .

So Piven should not have called for “something like” Greek-style riots, and it was good of Glenn Beck to point out that Piven crossed the line, right? I mean, we’re dedicating ourselves to serious, undistorted analysis here. That’s what you said you wanted, didn’t you?

Sociology does not enjoy an especially elevated reputation in the academy, and the American Sociological Association provides an object lesson in why that is. And these people can take anything except rational examination of their arguments.

UPDATE: And just to be sure that the focus stays where it belongs, lets remember what those Greek riots she was calling for were like:

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Just so we remember who’s actually advocating violence here. Shame on the American Sociological Association for trying, however ineptly, to obscure that point.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Prof. Jim Lindgren comments:

So let’s see if this makes sense:

1. Frances Fox Piven advocates left-wing violence by the unemployed against the government.

2. Glenn Beck criticizes her for this, calling such talk dangerous.

3. Then an unstable unemployed left-wing radical engages in violence against the government.

4. Glenn Beck then repeats his criticism of Piven.

5. Finally, the Am. Sociological Assn blames Glenn Beck for his criticism of Piven AND indirectly for the left-wing violence.

The logic of the Assn escapes me.

Indeed.

JAMES TARANTO: Frances Fox Piven: Advocate of Violence. Plus, “The New York Times’s dishonest campaign for ‘civility.’ . . . Why is a newspaper that has been posturing as the scourge of violent rhetoric now siding with a purveyor of such rhetoric, and blatantly slanting the news as it does so? Because her opponent is a prominent media figure from outside the old media establishment.”

STANLEY KURTZ: Frances Fox Piven’s Violent Agenda. “A leading light of the Democratic Socialists of America claims she is not a socialist and, after urging the unemployed to emulate the Greek rioters, claims she is not inciting violence. . . . Calls for the escalation and manipulation of violent rioting have long been central to Piven’s strategy.”

RON RADOSH: Glenn Beck, Frances Fox Piven, and how the New York Times Falsely Depicts the Controversy.

The Nation defends Fox Piven, maintaining that she only supports “voter registration drives, grassroots organization, and when necessary, street protest” and “recognizing the leverage that oppressed groups have- and working with them to use it,” which is “her special genius.” But the good professor has gone way beyond this. I had discussed Fox Piven’s article in my PJM blog pointing out her call for unemployed Americans, and those otherwise hurt by the recession, to ‘become more disruptive’” and emulate “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. (my emphasis.)”

Although Stelter’s NYT’s article purports to be even handed, Stelter puts the onus not on Fox Piven for calling for violence which she denies, but on Beck for pointing out her statements on his Fox program. And Beck has as far as I have seen not only consistently argued for non-violence in all protest, but has been a strong advocate of First Amendment freedoms, and has quoted Piven’s own words accurately, and without distortion.

To add evidence of Beck’s culpability, Stelter cites a demand made by a group called “The Center for Constitutional Rights” to stop Beck’s “false accusations” against her. While they respect the right of free speech, a letter they wrote to Fox head Roger Ailes says, “Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent reponse.”

The implication of such a statement is that the only way to prevent such vicious attacks by crazed rightists is to censor Beck, whom Fox News correctly noted that “Beck had quoted her accurately and had never threatened her.”

One must also note the identification of The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) as a “liberal nonprofit group,” which comes after Stelter identifies Fox Piven as “a liberal academic.” Fox Piven is an academic, but she is part of the radical far Left, and she is not a liberal. And anyone who knows anything about the CCR is laughing heartily.

Read the whole thing. When leftists call for violence, it’s “hatemongering” to quote them accurately. But actually lying about what people on the right say . . . that’s just journalism, apparently.

And just to keep the record straight, here’s a flashback on Piven’s call for violent riots.

And also, just so people are clear, here’s what those Greek riots she was calling for Americans to emulate looked like:

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Rampaging mobs and people burned to death. This is what Piven wanted to see in America. So who’s inciting violence here?

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!