The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The degree to which the Overclass has become the ruling class is illustrated by l'affaire Piven. Frances Fox Piven, professor of sociology at the City University of New York, wrote an article for The Nation stating that

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


The riots in Greece, as James Donald has pointed out, are not spontaneous demonstrations by alienated poor people. They are theater, a conscious effort by the Greek Left to coerce their government. And while they don't show a lot of enthusiasm for battling the police (and vice versa), they do destroy property and kill people.

What consequences did Piven suffer for advocating political violence? Why none, of course. That battle has been lost long ago. Piven will continue to teach at her taxpayer-subsidized job. The Overclass has its privileges firmly in hand, and will not relinquish them.

Which is not to say that there are no consequences. Glenn Beck called attention to Piven on his show, and was pilloried first by the New York Times, then by the American Sociological Society. The ASA press release (that's a link to ASA's webpage) must be read to be believed. The ASA can't quote Beck advocating violence against Piven, so they are reduced to complaining that "Beck’s attacks have resulted in a flood of hate mail and internet postings attacking Professor Piven, including a series of death threats." Then they sneak in a little blood libel:

History tells us that such things as the attempted assassination of Representative Giffords that resulted in six deaths in Tucson, Arizona can be examples of how abundant, polarizing rhetoric by political leaders and commentators can spur mass murder.


History tells us that the person who shot Giffords was a left-winger. If he was spurred by anything other than his own lunacy, which is doubtful, it sure as hell wasn't Glenn Beck.

Finally the ASA elevates its sights from Glenn Beck to anyone anywhere who might dare criticize the Overclass:

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared, "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.” Thus, the right to free speech does not ever include rhetoric that encourages violence against one’s opponents, especially in the current atmosphere of heated political mobilization. We call on Fox News and other responsible media to set the appropriate standards of accurate and honest debate.


When "liberalism" meant something other than pillaging the public for cushy jobs, it stood for unrestricted free speech. I've heard the Holmes quote in the past -- from bluenoses or people who wish to censor political speech. That's your American overclass, circa 2011, tolerant of everything except criticism of itself.

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