Frances Fox Piven has been a leading strategist for the hard left with the goal of overwhelming the present system to force radical changes in society. Last December, she took her strategy to a new level to include violence. She called for a new mass movement and asked the question, “So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?... 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... 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.” Ms. Piven then went beyond peaceful protest and added, “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.”
For those who may not remember, we are talking about riots in which property was destroyed, and there was even death to innocent bystander. Piven strategy is now the strategy of the left. Over the past year, I have discussed what I called the Wisconsin strategy, used in Wisconsin which combined massive protest, attempts to shut down the government, and intimidation of businesses to join the cause or accept the consequences. The Occupy movement has adapted much of the Piven strategy this past year by occupying key areas of towns and did what they could to disrupt normal business as they blocked key thoroughfare just to show their power, occupy businesses, march to homes of selected individuals as part of acts of intimidation, and held a little riot in Oakland. When Occupy Wall Street marched to corporate leaders homes, they included those who funded Democratic causes, just like Jamie Dimon, with the message being don’t cross us or else.
Republican candidates have already been harassed by Occupy advocates and this will only continue as they will do what they can to prevent Republican candidates from enunciating their position. Occupy is just a taste of the future, for if Republicans do manage to win the Congress and the White House, the Wisconsin strategy goes nationwide as any attempt to enact needed reform will meet resistance including massive demonstration and possible violence. For Piven, she won’t be satisfied until the American Empire and neo liberal capitalism ends and her tactics are designed to force a transformation to a socialist state. Her tactics are to prevent reform from happening. For her, becoming Greece is the goal, not something to be avoided. Much of the Occupy movement included students looking for their loans being forgiven combined with leftist unions who looked to expand government and their own membership to seek a new social contract in which the government provides for their needs from cradle to grave, a brave new world.
The European welfare state is headed for collapse and the social contract of cradle to grave care can no longer function with debt exceeding nations’ budget and ability to pay. The United States is not that far behind the Europe as the Piven alliance of leftist union leaders, the disgruntled, and radical environmentalists are bankrupting America and the funds provided by crony capitalists like Jamie Dimon and GE Jeff Immelt funding the movement paying their ransom as a price to survive.
Piven called for protest to “accumulate and spread, then become more disruptive.” The Occupy movement followed her advice as they started peacefully occupying private and public property but eventually they started to disrupt local government and businesses. (One New York business close to the protest eventually went out of business, costing jobs of few of the 99% they claim to love.)
As winter approaches, the Occupy movement simply went underground, but throughout 2012 and beyond, the Occupy movement will follow the Piven strategy of disrupting their opponents and even some of their allies to keep them in line with the idea of transforming America. Occupy has become foot soldiers of the Democratic left along with more radical union members, but then what would you expect of a Party headed by a Community organizer?