January 25, 2011

"History tells us" something that history doesn't tell us, say sociologists stumbling to protect Frances Fox Piven.

Here's the expression of "outrage" by the officers of the American Sociological Association:
Scholars of her caliber, intellectuals of her stature, and especially those who tackle social conflicts and contradictions, mass movements and political action, should stimulate equal levels of serious challenge and creative dialogue. Being called by Glenn Beck one of the “nine most dangerous people in the world,” and an “enemy of the Constitution” is not a credible challenge; it is plain demagoguery.
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.
Despite its lack of substance, Beck’s attacks have resulted in a flood of hate mail and internet postings attacking Professor Piven, including a series of death threats. While it is true that death threats are generally only a form of extremist rhetoric, they indicate an overheated emotional atmosphere that researchers on collective violence call “the hysteria zone.” It is a zone in which deranged individuals can be motivated to real violence against those targeted by demagoguery. 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.
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.
We call on Fox News to take steps to control the encouragement of violence that has run rampant in recent months. 
Fox News? And do you also call on The Nation, which published "Mobilizing the Jobless," by Frances Fox Piven, the article Glenn Beck brought to the attention of his large audience? Piven called for riots. She wrote:
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....
When did Glenn Beck call for violence?  Back to the sociologists' letter of outrage:
Serious and honest, undistorted disagreement and public debate on unemployment, economic crisis, the rights and tactics of welfare recipients, government intervention and the erosion of the American way of life should be supported. 
Undistorted? Okay, let's see you do it first. The "American way of life"? By that term, do you mean — in an undistorted sort of way — like Greece?
We in no way advocate restricting the freedom of speech of political commentators.... Where we all should draw the line is at name-calling and invective rising to the level of inciting others to violence.
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?

156 comments:

Robert Burnham said...

It's a fool's errand to try to convince lefties to be even-handed about anything. Their entire worldview is built around such asymmetries.

shoutingthomas said...

I don't watch Beck, because I'm working at the time his show airs.

Clearly, he is enormously effective.

That's the complaint.

Trooper York said...

Thats why teachers should be replaced by robots.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Outside of subjects like enginering and the hard sciences, academia has outlived its usefulness in the US. The liberal arts (no coincidence in that nomenclature , is there?)are run by a closed community of ideologues who detest dialogue. I am advising my kids not to go to college unless they wish to study something that is demonstrably useful to the world.

kathleen said...

Sociology is a joke.

Original Mike said...

"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."

Given how discredited this claim quickly became, it surprises me they'd use it. Are they talking only to the left? Only thing I can think of to explain it. But what's the point to that? Or, they seriously believe it, which doesn't spaek well of their analytical abilities.

Moose said...

Jeebus - this is getting even more ridiculous.

We'll have a return of the fair broadcasting laws soon with public cable programs at 3 am talking about "opposing viewpoints". Mainly conservative I'm sure.

AJ Lynch said...

What Kathleen said!

Scott M said...

Blue Earth is slowly collapsing like a flan in a cupboard. Did any of you really think they would go quietly?

shoutingthomas said...

Don't these fools know that they are only playing into Beck's hand?

Do they really think Fox is going to back down?

They've poured gasoline on a fire. Not incidentally, attracting attention to their own incompetent, absolutely useless profession.

SteveR said...

Seven people were killed watching a soccer game in Juarez yesterday. They obviously need more socialogists in Mexoco.

YoungHegelian said...

My personal favorite example of the press white-washing (so as to speak) a famous hard-lefty is when the press refers to Prof. Angela Davis as an "activist".

How one can win the Order of Lenin from the USSR and be the VP candidate for the Communist Workers Party without being a commie is beyond me, but such words never pass the lips of the press.


Sadly, covering for the far-left is SOP for a large segment of the middle left. There's nothing new here.

Maguro said...

Piven and her husband Cloward sort of wrote the playbook that rabble-rousing organizations like ACORN follow, so it's natural that the left doesn't want anyone outside their circle of trust to talk about her. Particularly since Obama was a community organizer in the 80s and clearly bought into what she was selling. Can't have the little people delving into the great Obama's past, can we?

Florida said...

Just in case, you know, anyone would like to visit the offices of the American Sociological Association, to ... you know ... protest their attack on your first amendment rights ... I provide this information as a public service.

"The ASA office is located in Suite 600 at 1430 K Street NW, a 12-story building with a glass façade situated on K Street between 14th and 15th Streets, NW.

RED Line: The ASA office is located equidistant between the Metro Center and Farragut North Metro stations. From the Farragut North station, exit onto K Street and walk approximately four blocks to the ASA office. From the Metro Center station, exit onto 13th Street, proceed north to K Street (approximately three blocks), and then west two block.

ORANGE and BLUE Lines: The closest Metro subway stop to ASA is McPherson Square, which is located one block from the office. Take the Franklin Park/14th Street exit (not the White House exit), which puts you at the corner of 14th and I Streets. As you exit the escalator, turn around, cross I Street, walk one block north to K Street, and turn left on K Street.

There are three public parking garages located within a block of the ASA office.


http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=1430+k+street+nw+washington+dc&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1430+K+St+NW,+Washington+D.C.,+District+of+Columbia,+20533&gl=us&sqi=2&z=16

rhhardin said...

Erving Goffman and Joseph Gussfield are the sociologists that can write.

It's safe to ignore the rest.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse, you are delicious when you work like this.

Florida said...

"... a 12-story building with a glass façade ..."

People who work in12-story buildings with a glass facade should probably think twice about who they're throwing their fucking stones at.

former law student said...

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.

We learned last summer that Glenn Beck could influence his weak-minded listeners to target those Beck criticizes, quite literally:


By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / October 16, 2010

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, who’s honed being provocative – even outrageous at times – to a fine and lucrative art, is the focus of criticism for inciting violence.

Specifically, his dozens of comments attacking the Tides Foundation are being linked to the attempt by a heavily-armed man to assassinate employees at the San Francisco-based foundation, which funds environmental, human rights, and other progressive projects. The attack in July was thwarted in a shoot-out with police in which two officers were wounded.


http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/
Society/2010/1016/
Did-Glenn-Beck-s-rhetoric-inspire-violence

That's the danger Piven faces.

Chip S. said...

Oddly enough, I can't seem to find the American Economic Association's denunciation of Naomi Klein's demagogic attack on Milton Friedman anywhere.

rdkraus said...

Beck = half a wack job. This is the other half. Piven is a Socialist who has always called for violent riots. That's her history. It's inconvenient for the "civility" idiots.

Over at Pandagon Amanda referred to Piven as an "elderly college professor." She left out that she also a socialist inciting and encouraging riots "like those in Greece."

Oops.

Original Mike said...

"Not incidentally, attracting attention to their own incompetent, absolutely useless profession."

That's their real goal, ain't it? Attracting attention to themselves.

craig said...

Either:

(1) her advocacy for rioting is intended to be taken seriously, in which case Beck is correct to point out the extent to which it incites violence; or else

(2) her advocacy for rioting is not to be taken seriously, therefore her "scholarship" is mere masturbatory performance for the amusement of sociology professors.

There is no third possibility.

rdkraus said...

fls

Piven would be proud.

This is exactly the behavior she encourages.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Keith Olbermann tells us violent rhetoric caused the Tucson shootings.

Keith Olbermann is history.

Therefore, history tells us violent rhetoric caused the Tucson shootings.

bagoh20 said...

The hypocrisy and blindness is so obvious, but what do you think would happen if you placed it right in front of them like this? A: Diversion, followed by more of the same, and never a single synapse would be altered. There is no cure, no therapy. Removal from power is the only thing to do, just like with anyone else who cannot be reasoned with. They are welcome to blather, but don't be running important parts of our lives.

Florida said...

Francis Fox Piven: "Protesters need targets, preferably local and accessible ones capable of making some kind of response to angry demands."

There's a pretty accessible one at 1430 K Street NW, a 12-story building with a glass façade situated on K Street between 14th and 15th Streets, NW.

You know, should protestors feel the need to make some angry coughglassfacadecough demands, like Francis Fox Piven and other Democrat Party community organizers encourage protestors to do.

Lincolntf said...

Like family, one can't always choose one's colleagues, but it appears as if Althouse works witrh at least one ignoramus/fraud.

"Erik Olin Wright
ASA President Elect
Professor of Sociology
University of Wisonsin-Madison"

Unless, of course, the President Elect of the ASA had nothing to do with this attempted disinformation campaign, in which case he can still sit with the cool kids during lunch.

Florida said...

"That's the danger Piven faces."

The danger Piven faces is that groups of people will descend on her and her friends at the glass facade and do to them precisely what they are urging others to do: riot.

I think she faces some significant danger that people will do precisely what she suggested that they do ... except do it to her.

That's the danger.

That instead of them rioting against us ... maybe we riot against her.

I think she fears that.

And you know what, I think that's a good thing. She should fear it.

Streets go both ways, bub.

We're ready to rumble if any lefties think that's a good idea.

Let's fucking quit yapping about it and rock the vote.

former law student said...

Here's Piven's clarion call for action:

A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge.

Fear the woman who exhorts the masses in phrases like that.

Paddy O said...

When did sociology ever become interested in the actual history or real people, or real effects?

Sociology, unlike history, is interested in generalizing society so as to come up with overarching patterns and supposedly predictive insights. It's specifically not interested in the messiness of specific contexts. The Giffords shooting is not interesting in its historical sense. The specifics of the situation interfere in the clarity of the general pattern that was confirmed in the anti-socializing effects of some types of rhetoric.

Sociology is about confirming already established patterns, not about actual people or situations. That's why it's trouble. It sounds like it's talking about people, but it's anything but related to actual, complex, human beings. It's like applying Newtonian physics to the study of particles.

"academia has outlived its usefulness in the US"

I totally disagree. This is like saying conservatism has outlived its usefulness in the US. A person can believe that only if they read the caricatures and all too common expressions in popular media. Or it's like saying Christianity has lost its usefulness because of such crazy distortions such as the Phelps family.

There are tremendous scholars doing very interesting work all over this country. But, they're not the ones getting the publicity.

There are also different conception of the liberal arts, and there are some extremely good schools who offer a great vision of the liberal arts, producing very well rounded men and women.

Of course, I think a very well rounded man or woman could be entirely well educated without ever taking a sociology course. Someone else has to argue for the worth of sociology. I don't get it.

Pogo said...

Fen had it a long time ago:
" The Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about."


This story is a boilerplate Alinsky tactic.
"If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."

Ann Althouse said...

"Over at Pandagon Amanda referred to Piven as an "elderly college professor.""

I love when people like Amanda trip over their own ideology. She's resorting to ageism. Does she also point out that Piven is a woman and therefore shouldn't be believed and taken seriously?

If you're so old you can't be taken seriously anymore, retire! If you stay in the game and send your stuff out into the world through a political journal like The Nation, step up and take responsibility for what you have said.

The sociologists ought to be clear about where they stand with respect to mass protests that include violence. Do they want them or not? They are not clear, so are they not confusing the impressionable and inciting riots, or is the accusation against Beck complete bullshit? Pick one.

rdkraus said...

fls

You're not usually an ignorant moron. Don't start now.

The woman specifically advocates riots in the streets "like in Greece" and she's been doing so for DECADES.

This is HER GAME.

traditionalguy said...

Double Speak is welcomed by these learned Maoists among us. Analytical thinking is therefore their enemy. Economic violence is their real game. A covenant like the US Constitution only strengthens free people under attack from the Double Speakers. Hugo Chavez can explain it in practice to any idealists still out there. But we just LOVE Obama's smile and promises that he will take us into economic Nirvanna in exchange for a few harmless Dictatorial Powers to kill and destroy at will granted to his Panels of Smiling Czars.

Richard Dolan said...

"As X, we express outrage about Y" is such a pathetic beginning to any rant, and signals to anyone paying attention that what comes next will be all about the outrage-feelers, how virtuous they are and how terrible anyone who disagrees with them must be.

If they were going to do this right, they would provide a description of events that would make the reader feel outrage -- feel something, anyway, other than incredulity at the atrocious prose on display.

For people who are so wrapped up in the Rightness-of-Me, they have no clue how their self-regard is likely to strike others.

Ann does a service by deconstructing this stuff (if she didn't no one would be reminded of the good sense they showed by avoiding sociology in college). But there is a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel feel to it too.

The Crack Emcee said...

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.

Whoa, back up, faulty logic:

If "slavering" "demagogues" did it because they thought it would "prove politically useful" then it wasn't a "mistake".

Up your game, Ann.

bagoh20 said...

To think that people pay many thousands to have such people "educate" them. Then the job search, which includes searching for a boss who was likewise educated. Such entrepreneurs are rare, so look for a government job where merit, fact and open-mindedness will never be necessary. You could even be President someday!

Florida said...

"'Do they want them or not?"

Yes, they do, so long as the violence is not directed at them. So long as they are leading the violence and not having it brought to their offices at 1430 K Street NW in Washington, D.C.

But if the violence is going to be directed at their glass facades then, then OMFG! now we need civility!!!1111!!!!!Eleventy!!.

They want violence ... as long as it's THEIR violence.

As long as they are the ones bringing the thugs to the town hall meetings.

As long as they are the ones telling US what we must buy and who we can watch and what they can say.

That's all they want.

Come on, Ann ... is that too much to ask?

Mark O said...

This is more of the assault on free speech sponsoned by the Obama administration. Based on these anecdotal connections and Ms. Piven's own paranoia, a group that claims to promote and protect Constitutional rights, The Center for Constitutional Rights, has come to her aid and has requested that Beck's speech be curtailed and restrained. Here is their supplication, and I quote so you will not believe I am making it up:
“We are vigorous defenders of the First Amendment,” the center said in its letter to Fox. “However, there comes a point when constant intentional repetition of provocative, incendiary, emotional misinformation and falsehoods about a person can put that person in actual physical danger of a violent response.” Mr. Beck is at that point, they said.

Just to be clear, everything decried by the "vigorous defenders of the First Amendment" is Constitutionally protected speech. You need to know, however, that what Beck says is offensive to them. They are funded by George Soros. Beyond that, however, the claim of "misinformation and falsehoods" is in error. Beck merely quotes her and accurately.

virgil xenophon said...

Robert Burnham started off the thread by stating all anyone needs to know about the nature of these things. Such contretemps will continue as long as leftists are alive--which, unfortunately, means forever. Combating them is a truly unrelenting sisyphean task. They cannot be defeated by mere facts, logic and rational argument, but only by total removal from ANY SORT of power to affect sane people's lives.

Paddy O said...

If you're so old you can't be taken seriously anymore, retire!

The resounding call from adjunct professors all over the country. How many departments are cluttered with one time very productive scholars merely subsisting off their tenure and the proposals they made decades ago?

The European system seems better, which at least in Germany mandates retirement at 65 for professors. They get a 5 year extension if they're still doing productive work.

pduggie said...

"they indicate an overheated emotional atmosphere that researchers on collective violence call “the hysteria zone.”"

[citation needed]

shoutingthomas said...

The Nation is a dopey old Stalinist rag.

I think that the real argument here, by The Nation and the Dopey Sociologists is:

We're just a bunch of dopey old fools BSing. Why are you taking us seriously?

This seems to be fls' argument as well.

And, Althouse, back to my persistent question. If nutjob feminist commies and academics had had to face this kind of scrutiny back in the day, what would have been the outcome for feminism?

Sixty Grit said...

Florida makes a good point, and this ol' country boy, for one, spends plenty of time at the range. Lefties are afraid of guns, citizens are willing to protect themselves.

WV: costm - it will, dearly.

bagoh20 said...

"they indicate an overheated emotional atmosphere that researchers on collective violence call “the hysteria zone.”

But they got rid of Olbermann.

Isn't the "hysteria zone" just under the navel?

bagoh20 said...

"If nutjob feminist commies and academics had had to face this kind of scrutiny back in the day, what would have been the outcome for feminism?"

A: Modern women who did not need to resort to violence by government agency or courts. In other words women truly equal to their brothers.

former law student said...

The woman specifically advocates riots in the streets "like in Greece"

I see no evidence Piven wants riots in American streets. People here sure have a hard time distinguishing the descriptive from the prescriptive. Piven wonders: Why don't jobless Americans protest? Greeks did. Piven then lists the reasons.

The thesis of Piven's article:

As 2011 begins, nearly 15 million people are officially unemployed in the United States and another 11.5 million have either settled for part-time work or simply given up the search for a job.

And joblessness now hits people harder because it follows in the wake of decades of stagnating worker earnings, high consumer indebtedness, eviscerated retirement funds and rollbacks of the social safety net.

So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?

bagoh20 said...

"So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?"

So angry rhetoric is fine? I agree.

former law student said...

"As X, we express outrage about Y" is such a pathetic beginning to any rant,

The success of the Tea Party surprised me all to hell, too. A movement built purely on outrage.

Brian said...

Can't you see her game? She's taking her own advice, but being older (and, perhaps, a physical coward) she's doing her violence against sense and debate. She should not be permitted to hold the floor. You're doing a great job of stopping her.

Mick said...

Right, so it's only "honest" debate if you agree. Typical.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Bravo Professor Althouse! The 'sociologists' are hoist with their own dialectical petard. Delicious.

Maguro said...

The real issue that all this bullshit is intended to deflect is that Barack Obama spent most of the 80s attempting to implement Piven's revolutionary ideas in Chicago.

Otherwise no one would give a shit about Glenn Beck ranting about Piven on his TV show.

bagoh20 said...

"The success of the Tea Party surprised me all to hell, too. A movement built purely on outrage."

As a Tea Partier myself, again, we agree.

Paddy O said...

"unruly mobs"

This is in contrast to, I suppose, a ruly (meaning law abiding) gathering.

FLS, what are the indicators that a group of people have become a mob, and even further that this mob has become unruly?

Lincolntf said...

Poor FLS, floudering so early in the day.
"Outrage" (remember that seething hatred of Bush cultivated over the years) is what got Obama elected. Whereas the Tea Party has nothing to do with rage, unless you consider "Balance the Budget!" to be the war cry of madmen rather than a sound fiscal policy.
But go ahead, do the "they're all the same, but you're really worse!" song-and-dance that you emotional and incoherent types always fall back on.

Ah Pooh said...

As a sociology graduate with an advanced degree I feel free to say - "Bullshit baffles brains".

Ann Althouse said...

"If "slavering" "demagogues" did it because they thought it would "prove politically useful" then it wasn't a "mistake"."

Well, it was a mistake, because it backfired when the facts came out and lent zero support to the theory they demagogued. If they could have gotten away with it, they would have, and the sleazier ones could have boasted that it wasn't a mistake. But they DID NOT get away with it, because the internet called them on their bullshit.

bagoh20 said...

Outrage is a perfectly appropriate emotion at times. What matters is what you do with it. Holding Tea Party events and then voting in new people is the stellar example how to use outrage. Now go forth and use YOUR outrage like an adult.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

A movement built purely on outrage.

lol. Those tea party riots were really something, weren't they?

Lazarus Long said...

Where's Joe McCarthy when you need him?

Pogo said...

The only outrage is that the left's demand for revolution, dating to the 1930s, revived in the 1960s, and nearly complete (though bloodless) in 2008, has been exposed.

The mask is removed, uncovering an ugly truth, and they're bitching about it.

Lazarus Long said...

" A movement built purely on outrage."

So was Communism.

And Nazism.

You kinow, your sort of people.

Lincolntf said...

I've been to three Tea Party events in NC, including the big first one. Outrage might be what got people paying attention, but there was zero of it visible at any of the events. When Piven encourages the kind of outrage that results in riots, which she does, she's expressing the opposite of the Tea Party ethos.
In any case, riots won't work. The Tea Party just kicked the crap out of two political parties that have existed for centuries. That's called getting real results. Let the shitbirds with the giant puppet heads do the window- breaking. We'll fix the country instead.

Bob From Ohio said...

Sociology and Criminology were my two easiest classes as an undergrad. Even easier than my one quarter of junior-high level math.

Sociology and Criminology were my two most worthless classes as an undergrad too.

Sociology is where people too dumb to be future lawyers end up.

G Joubert said...

"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."

Is the 8+ years of the over-the-top hatefest about Bu$HitlerMcChimpyHaliburton --beginning even before Bush took office when in August, 2000 CBS allowed the words "Snipers Wanted" to be superimposed over an image of Bush delivering his acceptance speech at the Republican
convention-- and continuing unrelentingly thereafter up to this day, included in the discussion? I'm guessing not.

Well, it was a mistake, because it backfired when the facts came out and lent zero support to the theory they demagogued.

Yeah, but I'm thinking they think it worked and they think it's still working.

roesch-voltaire said...

When I read "develop a proud and angry identity" in the article, I thought it was a plan for the Tea Party and think that it should be discussed at that level. It seems at one point in our history, long ago, calling for strikes by labour against oppressive management was not uncommon, and I do not see how Piven goes much beyond that.
At least she is not calling for shooting liberals in the head as Beck did, somewhat indirectly.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

"Who expected the angry street mobs in Athens or the protests by British students? Who indeed predicted the strike movement that began in the United States in 1934, or the civil rights demonstrations that spread across the South in the early 1960s? We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom—and then join it."

That sounds fairly prescriptive to me.

Florida said...

"A movement built purely on outrage."

I'm reminded of the picture of the Washington Mall after the Tea Party protest: Clean as a whistle. Not one piece of trash left on the ground.

For an unruly mob built purely on outrage, the Tea Partiers sure do tidy up good.

Judge for yourself ... here's how the National Mall looked after Democrats just totally fucking trashed it during Barack Obama's Inauguration:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Compare-Garbage-After-Tea-Party-vs-Obama-Inauguration#

And here's how spiffy it looked after the Tea Party rally:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Compare-Garbage-After-Tea-Party-vs-Obama-Inauguration

Who is the unruly mob again?

Irene said...

"History tells us."

This comes from a school of thought that paints Howard Zinn as an historian and concludes that Zinn deserves the same academic honor as Piven.

craig said...

FLS, you are a transparent liar.

"I see no evidence Piven wants riots in American streets. People here sure have a hard time distinguishing the descriptive from the prescriptive."

"Here's Piven's clarion call for action: A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge."

But you failed to quote her punchline only five sentences later, where she says:

We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom—and then join it.

Thus she advocates angry mobs. QED.

Florida said...

"I see no evidence Piven wants riots in American streets."

Why aren't angry people burning down Ms. Piven's fucking house? Her address is public information.

Mind you, I'm not advocating that anyone do such a thing.

I'm just researching why ... when she's clearly trying to destory America ... that people aren't getting in her fucking face and punching that fucking bitch back twice as hard and punishing her like an enemy.

I'm not advocating violence, mind you, I'm just observing a unique quandry about American politics that, as a sociologist, intrigues me and that I want to study.

EDH said...

Notice the violent rhetoric of the ASA.

Scholars of her caliber, intellectuals of her stature, and especially those who tackle social conflicts and contradictions, mass movements and political action, should stimulate equal levels of serious challenge and creative dialogue.

Now, in an Althouse Exclusive, we have received video from the actual ASA meeting expressing "outrage" over the treatment of Francis Fox Piven, attempting to clarify their remarks.

Original Mike said...

"For an unruly mob built purely on outrage, the Tea Partiers sure do tidy up good."

"Everybody remember to pick up after the riot."

The claim of violent Tea Partiers is laughable. Facts don't seem to matter, however.

Karnival said...

Pretzel Logic. It is impossible not to look on in wonderment as those on the left twist themselves into knots while trying....trying desperately, to be consistent in their thinking. But it just doesn't work. It can't.

When your philosophical base is planted firmly in the quicksand, it's hard not to sink as you thrash about, grasping for some stupid branch or some solid footing. It's got to be around here, somewhere....

shoutingthomas said...

I do watch O'Reilly when I can.

That's not more than a couple of nights a week, because I'm rehearsing and gigging on other nights.

When I say that these dopey academics are pouring gasoline on a fire, I mean something specific.

The only venue on which I see Beck is his occasional appearances on O'Reilly. Apparently, when one of Beck's issues gets enough play, it gets bumped up to O'Reilly.

So, the dopey academics are about to make an appearance on O'Reilly. Just a matter of time.

They think people are pissed off at them now. Just wait.

Sam said...

How useful to quote Holmes regarding a false cry of fire in a crowded theater. Trouble is, he wasn't saying that metaphorically. It's not a limitation on name calling or demonization of political opponents. It's a limitation on inciting literal stampedes.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

Well, it was a mistake, because it backfired,...

That doesn't make it a mistake - that makes it a failure:

They still intended to do it.

It's the same difference between manslaughter and murder. They were attempting murder.

richard mcenroe said...

Glenn Beck is calling for violent revolution in POW eye blink code during the 'meaningful pauses' he inserts between his talking points! It's true! If you get a 42-inch screen and put your nose right up against it you can SEE it!

bagoh20 said...

"At least she is not calling for shooting liberals in the head as Beck did, somewhat indirectly."

Which makes you a blatant lier, somewhat indirectly.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

At least she is not calling for shooting liberals in the head as Beck did, somewhat indirectly.

Nice try, dood/doodette…Beck was NOT calling for Dead Liberals, Beck was warning LIBERALS of the threat from their own allies, the LEFTISTS…but keep on spreading the Big Lie. Who knows mayhap it’ll move beyond your World Class Environmental Engineering Program.

Original Mike said...

"At least she is not calling for shooting liberals in the head as Beck did, somewhat indirectly."

And exactly how did he, indirectly, do that?

rasqual said...

I couldn't resist replying (in civil fashion, of course):

collinsr@sas.upenn.edu, wright@ssc.wisc.edu, englenn@berkeley.edu, executive.office@asanet.org

jdkchem said...

"That's the danger Piven faces."

No, stupid is a danger we all face. In her case it is self inflicted.

"Sociology is a joke."

I always thought of it as more of a punchline.

"Seven people were killed watching a soccer game in Juarez yesterday. They obviously need more socialogists in Mexoco."

It may not help them but it definitely won't hurt us.

edutcher said...

This broad has been plotting the overthrow of this country for 40 years.

All Beck does is repeat her words exhorting violence to a (relatively) mass audience, so he's inciting violence. I'm the first to say he's a jerk most of the time, but I don't see anybody else doing it.

And everybody at Fox (O'Really, especially) should be doing it.

Don said...

Home run here.

Floyd said...

The ASA press release ends with the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote ("The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic”) which has been the censor's excuse for over a century. Way to stand up for free speech, sociologists!

PatCA said...

Even those "right kind of people" don't take sociology seriously anymore.

vapid, turgid, self-referential claptrap

edutcher said...

bagoh20 said...

Althouse, you are delicious when you work like this.

I hear Meade owns a shotgun, so be careful next time you're over there.

Charlie said...

@ Robert Burnham / top comment

I agree that it is a fool's errand to try to persuade dyed-in-the-wool lefties about anything. But meanwhile, here in Texas yesterday, another nine mere Democrat political office holders switched parties. Wonder why.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

"We learned last summer that Glenn Beck could influence his weak-minded listeners to target those Beck criticizes, quite literally:"

Well, now we know why you are a former law student, actual facts and research being too hard for you. Here's what Williams said to examiner.com:

"When asked directly if he knew about the Tides Foundation before Beck mentioned it, Williams replied, “Yes, I already had all that information that he used on one or two of his programs. I already knew all of that stuff. And to me it was more of a confirmation of what I already knew. “

When asked if it hadn’t been for Glenn Beck and Fox News, whether he still would have planned violence, Williams said that it was because Fox News didn’t do enough to pursue the political left that he became frustrated and felt like violence was the only answer."

San Francisco | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/sf-in-san-francisco/freeway-gunman-byron-williams-says-glenn-beck-did-not-incite-him-to-violence#ixzz1C4IXkmPQ

So, former law student, because Beck and company did not go hard enough they caused violence? What about Alex Jones whose comments on Tides are far more extreme then Beck?

Dolt.

Paddy O said...

The trouble with academics, I think, is they are often in a very narrow bubble where people are sophisticated, disciplined, and love nothing better than a well run committee meeting.

So, they use words about unruly mobs, and think of a gathering of sociologists getting 'out of hand'. That's probably why marxist aficionados so love talk of revolution and societal upheaval. I spent a lot of time reading Paulo Freire late last year and while I really appreciate a lot of what he says, he too falls into the trap of glorifying revolution.

Only, not only do academics think in terms of a 'civilized' mob, but they also are almost always shielded from the effects of societal upheaval. They are, generally, the very last to feel any reverberations from the ideas they propose.

Chris said...

Piven inhabits an academic backwater in which there was never an expectation that her ideas would be exposed to any but like-minded academics. Beck's real sin is turning over the rock and making her paleo-radicalism public.

Charlie said...

@ Floyd above a few comments

That Oliver Wendell Holmes quote always drives me crazy cuz he was a progressive and didn't think much obviously of property rights.

The reason you can't yell "fire" falsely in a crowded theatre is that the owner has property rights and the patrons have a right to be secure "in their persons." You can go out in the town square and yell "fire" all day, and the only blue you'll see is your face.

John Cunningham said...

No need to go to grad school in sociology, just learn the entire academic field in two propositions--
1. poverty exists.
2. AmeriKKKa sucks.

LarsPorsena said...

"..Sociology is about confirming already established patterns.."

Sociologist = an acute observer of the obvious.

Lance said...

Thats why teachers should be replaced by robots.

Who programs the robots? Bill Gates?

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't watch much Beck (or Hannity either for similar reasons). But he does have a pretty good way of doing this going. For the most part, he just plays dumb (which he does well) when he is doing this, and plays videos and recordings of people saying things, and asks that we make up our own mind (and, yes, they are cherry picked). He also had a thing going on about our founders that was decent.

He does serve his purpose, as shown here. Too long, those on the left have been immune from their own medicine.

The problem is that we are becoming ever more cynical as time goes on about our government, and he is helping there. Right now, I think that to be good, but not sure if there isn't some limit that shouldn't be crossed. We shall see.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

"Piven inhabits an academic backwater in which there was never an expectation that her ideas would be exposed to any but like-minded academics."

Not true. In 1966 Cloward and Piven published "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" in the Nation. The paper defined a "crisis strategy" that would force socialism on America. In the weeks that followed The Nation sold 30,000 copies of the articles in response to wide spread interest by left wing organizers.

Piven is the intellectual face of a movement that includes action arms such as SDS. While Piven will not say that violence is the first resort she will not eliminate it as a means of creating a crisis that can be exploited. (Which their 1977 book supports as they examined the change sin welfare after the 1968 riots.

Beck didn't pick some obscure little old lady to castigate for supporting the over throw of America.

LarsPorsena said...

Bob from Ohio:

"..Sociology and Criminology were my two most worthless classes as an undergrad too.(Anthropology and Communications need honorable mention here)

Sociology is where people too dumb to be future lawyers end up. LOL

Robin said...

"Sociology" has long been an academic homeless shelter for marxists.

Nothing about the drivel Ms. Althouse exposes here shows any change in that fact.

LarsPorsena said...

"..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.."

God, how I love the smell of rhetorical napalm in the morning!

There are puckered anal sphincters in sociology departments from coast-to-coast today.

Patrick said...

I've got news for American Sociological Association: the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!

(With thanks to Walter Sobchak.)

finfife said...

"Sociology and Criminology were my two most worthless classes as an undergrad"
A Sociology/Criminology course ("Crime, Human Nature, and Public Policy") was the one of the best classes I took as an undergrad. Of course, it helped that it was taught by James Q. Wilson.

Chris said...

Selling 30,000 copies of an article back in the 60's is hardly what I'd call mainstream exposure.

Lincolntf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DADvocate said...

Superb post.

The academics want immunity from their own actions. They want to stomp out other people's freedom of speech to protect themselves while they incite to violence.

These are cowards who want to verbally bully others and then hide behind lies, circular arguments and beg for protection. These are the professors who will humiliate a student in class and then report the student for misconduct if the student tells the professor to kiss his ass.

History tells us that speech inciting violence may be exactly what the founders want protected. It's not like they restrained themselves.

Quayle said...

"Scholars of her caliber, intellectuals of her stature..."

In other words, "Bow down you ignorant unwashed masses. I am the great and powerful Oz."

Fen said...

When it comes to Socialists who plan on enslaving me, I find it healthy to remember that even a Neo-Nazi in KKK robes shouldn't be shot down in the streets.

Such is the strength of our Republic.

But Piven and her ilk better pray those walls never come down.

jr565 said...

Liberals attitude:
"Who are you going to believe - me? Or your own lying eyes?"
They can literally write or say something and you can literally repeat what they say and they still think they have deniability.

Clioman said...

"A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge."

Loose? Maybe. Spontaneous? Not a chance in Hell.

former law student said...

"We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom—and then join it."

As a clarion call for action it is matched only by Garrison Keillor's fictional: "Shy Rights: Why Not Pretty Soon?"

Why do commenters here expect outrage to lead to violence, btw? Limbaugh has been outraged for over a quarter-century, but it has only led to drug abuse, not violence.

Joe said...

The Crypto Jew)

At Selling 30,000 copies of an article back in the 60's is hardly what I'd call mainstream exposure.

It’s not “Mainstream Exposure” as in the NYT, Time or Newsweek. It was evidence of strong academic/radical dissemination….Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class may not be on everyone’s coffee table, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t influential.

Scott M said...

As a clarion call for action it is matched only by Garrison Keillor's fictional: "Shy Rights: Why Not Pretty Soon?"

Only if you forget to consider the rest of her desire to see it look like Greece...which included serious injury, wide-spread property damage, and death. Yes, fls, certainly Keilloresque. I suggest to you he would disagree with you.

rrockbeast said...

Scholars of her caliber, intellectuals of her stature...

So, because she has a PHD and belongs to a lot of high-brow socialist clubs she should never be challenged?

Because Beck does not have a PHD and belong to a bunch of progressive, high-brow clubs he is not allowed to challenge her?

Beck’s attacks...

Using her own words to criticize her... is attacking her?

Criticizing someone for openly calling for violence is now calling for violence?

The left in this country is acting more and more bizarre each day.

hawkeyedjb said...

"vapid, turgid, self-referential claptrap"

Mmm, that's the best kind.

Waiter: Good morning, what can I bring you?

Me: I'll have claptrap, please. Which is best?

Waiter: I recommend the vapid and the self-referential.

Me: Sounds good, and can you add some turgid to that?

Waiter: Excellent choice!

jelink said...

If Piven's intellectual peers are the only ones entitled to criticize her, that seems to imply that students who are being taught her nonsense are forbidden to ask critical questions.

That's yer modern "academy" for you: VEEE VILL TEACH, YOU VILL SHUT UP AND LEARN!

G Joubert said...

One of my undergrad degrees is in sociology, and now one of the undergrad courses I teach is a sociology course. Sociology, per se, is a fascinating field from an academic point of view. Leastways it is to me. The main problem with sociology is professionally it is hugely populated with people who want to selectively interpret and otherwise spin objective data to advocate for their own political and "social justice" ends.

LarsPorsena said...

"....A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge...."

Loose? Spontaneous? Movement?

Sounds like diarrhea to me.

former law student said...

Only if you forget to consider the rest of her desire to see it look like Greece

Or like England.

But given all the obstacles she lists, an effective American protest movement of the unemployed "not gunna happen," in the words of Dana Carvey channeling GHWB.

Unemployed Americans are just not angry enough to protest.

Kirk Parker said...

"Sociology is a joke."

No it's not; or, rather, it shouldn't be, and needn't be. The fact that the field has been taken over by leftists doesn't mean that there isn't something serious at the core of it, that could be studied to great benefit, instead of the political posturing and so forth currently being engaged in.

This statement is like saying "cinematography is a joke" when you really mean "Hollywood is a joke".

Paul Z., that's awesome!

Alex said...

Why do commenters here expect outrage to lead to violence, btw? Limbaugh has been outraged for over a quarter-century, but it has only led to drug abuse, not violence.

Low blow FLS. His drug abuse had stemmed from his back injury and attempted pain management. It's very easy to get addicted to oxycontin, ocycondone, vicodin. Millions of Americans are, why single out Limbaugh for special opprobrium?

Pogo said...

Man, it must suck to be a radical these days. You can't have conversations in which you pine for revolution without every damn website linking to it.

The internet is like the whole world has become an FBI informant.

Fen said...

FormerLawStudent: Limbaugh has been outraged for over a quarter-century, but it has only led to drug abuse, not violence.

You're such a little libtard bitch.

Limbaugh got hooked on pain relief meds because of chronic back pain. He even underwent treatment for addiction to pain relief meds.

These kinds of cheap shots are exactly why we told you to shove your offering of "civility".

I hope you get the opportunity to be treated by Hospice. I would like to be there, to hear your "pain is at 11!" screams. Perhaps I can convince them that its only your "rage" speaking, that you don't want to risk addiction to pain relief.

And because that would make you a hypocrite.

AJ Lynch said...

BTW there were 30,000 or so students in DC yesterday paricipating in a Walk For Life. How many of the MSM outlets failed to report it? Yet they report a 100 people who show up for jokes like Code Pink or Cindu Sheehan.


wv= froksy [how babes over 60 look in a frock]

Doug said...

This is why I read Althouse daily if I can't read anything else. Althouse = genius.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

"Chris said...

Selling 30,000 copies of an article back in the 60's is hardly what I'd call mainstream exposure."

30,000 copies in the mid 60's was equivalent to a NYT best seller. _Today_ sales of 4,000 a week in non-fiction puts you at the top.

Maguro said...

Chris is being disingenuous. He knows how influential Piven has been in radical left circles. He'd be happy to tell you all about it if you were a fellow lefty.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

fls,

Unemployed Americans are just not angry enough to protest.

But the whole point of Piven's Nation piece is that it would be really, really great if they were. She's pessimistic about the prospect of protests/riots large enough to change national policy, but I don't see how you could read the piece and not conclude that she wants them.

Scott M said...

but I don't see how you could read the piece and not conclude that she wants them.

She doesn't just want them. She wants to be in them and wants us to join her in them. I wonder what amount of property damage, in dollars per participate in said riots, would sate her.

Original Mike said...

"Yes, fls, certainly Keilloresque. I suggest to you he would disagree with you."

Sadly, he probably wouldn't. Garrison Keillor is an angry, angry man.

turtle said...

Beck's Method of Attack is replaying Piven's own words: oh the horror!

Piven is living proof: Old Communists can still formant unrest.

If Piven is unhappy with Beck airing her inflammatory comments, she could always refrain from making them in the first place.

Beck reminds us: sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Christy said...

I enjoyed Sociology when I took it for that easy grade when every other course that semester was high level physics and math.

Didn't Alan Sokal's hoax of Social Text tell us all we really needed to know about the Sociology?

Issob Morocco said...

Another stellar disassembling of the leftist academia belief system. They are never ones to let the facts get in the way of their beliefs. Hip, hip hooray for Prof. Althouse!

vza said...

"The sociologists ought to be clear about where they stand with respect to mass protests that include violence. Do they want them or not? They are not clear, so are they not confusing the impressionable and inciting riots, or is the accusation against Beck complete bullshit? Pick one."

Brava!

Scott M said...

Sadly, he probably wouldn't. Garrison Keillor is an angry, angry man.

That was my point. Shy nothin'.

Jim Lindgren said...

So let's see if this makes sense:

1. Fances 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.

Jim Lindgren
JD-PH.D. (sociology)

Trooper York said...

"Sociology is a joke."

Well it seems to be working out pretty good for Tom Cruise. And John Travolta. I mean the Germans hate it and all but they hate a lot of stuff so I woudln't go by what they think.

Nuke Riding Cowboy said...

I tried to come up with one sentence to capture each level of irony. I didn't quite succeed, but I think I came close.

For the sake of non-violence, you are defending a woman who is advocating violence and attacking a man who is criticizing her advocacy of violence for creating a climate of violence using as justification an absolutely false and despicable smear about the Tucson shootings which itself has led to an explosion in death threats against Sarah Palin and even a death threat against a Tea Party leader on national TV, all the while imploring the rest of us to keep our disagreements serious, honest, and undistorted.

I sent this to the authors in an email. More here: http://nukeridingcowboy.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/sociologists-justs-arent-that-bright/

Ofc. Krupke said...

Or like England.

Yes, like England.

Academics romanticizing "revolutionary" thuggery is nothing new. Them getting publicly called on it is. You can almost forgive the poor dears their disorientation.

WV: ordola. Please conduct all riots in an ordola fashion.

Revenant said...

So the argument is that even though Piven's words were public rather than private, and even though Beck was accurate in both his quotations of her and his interpretation of those quotations... Beck's still a big meanie because Piven's not important.

Did I get it right?

Follow-up question: if her writing isn't important, why's she got tenure?

Scott M said...

Follow-up question: if her writing isn't important, why's she got tenure?

Because she's a nurturing day-care provider?

I Callahan said...

Sociologist = an acute observer of the obvious who is incapable of drawing the correct conclusion from what is obvious.

FTFY

Wiz-ziW said...

So... as Beck makes a point about Piven, Academians ignore Beck's point, except to apply it to Beck... all without a hint of self awareness.

And to think most people in the real world consider the word "academic" to mean pointless....

Jim Lindgren said...

So the Am Sociological Assn defends the person advocating violence and attacks the person advocating NON-violence -- all in the name of nonviolence.

orbicularioculi said...

Sociologists have become propogandists for the left wing. They never were scientific in their approach but simply following whatever the Progressive Trend was at a time and place. Sociology is bullshit.

LASunsett said...

Can we say we are surprised at this cited article? We can say with much certainty that many of the social science researchers have allowed themselves to become enamored with skewed and biased data, to prove their weak and faulty claims.

They form a hypothesis and spend millions of dollars in grant money to prove they are right. The objective is to support their theories not to seek the truth.

A real researcher wants the truth and wants to see where the data leads him/her, they do not lead the data. And when the subjects at hand lead to political theory and discussion, it really pisses them off when people like Beck use other people's own words to make their arguments.

Good essay, Dr. Althouse.

DirtCrashr said...

Yes but what did the Anthropologists say?

Old Dad said...

Academics are differen't. They're protected by what amounts to a union called academic freedom.

Most are like you and me, but as with any standard distribution, the more you move away fom the mean, the more you expect exceptions. Hence, elite institutions and elites within the institutions tend to be outliers.

Oftentimes that's good. Sometimes the outliers are harmlss freaks. Sometimes they're pernicious protected assholes--read Piven.

Ignore the press flaks. She's not that dangerous--Beck is right in calling her out, but he's wrong in estimating her danger to the Republic. She's a silly little cloistered twit nursing her fifteen minutes, which in academia inexplicably extends to fifteen years.

She should be called out--and laughed at.

breeves30 said...

can't improve on that, Ann

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Where are the commies garbage mahal and ritmo when you really need them ?

Frances Fox Piven is an enabler of domestic terrorism and vandalism - very similar to Bill Ayers and Bernardine Ayers..

The Leftists can never hide their true ugly nature long enough, can they ?

Sociologists = people who would never be able to hold a job in the private world - what a joke !

Like father, like daughter

pst314 said...

"So the Am Sociological Assn defends the person advocating violence and attacks the person advocating NON-violence -- all in the name of nonviolence."

Well, yeah, of course. Because these academics have not strayed far from their Stalinist roots.

Martin said...

"... the erosion of the American way of life should be supported."

See, the ASA honestly says what they want, you just have to read it carefully.

And don't you dare disagree.

Martin said...

"... the erosion of the American way of life should be supported."

See, the ASA honestly says what they want, you just have to read it carefully.

And don't you dare disagree.

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John Jordan said...

Outside of subjects like enginering and the hard sciences, academia has outlived its usefulness in the US. The liberal arts (no coincidence in that nomenclature , is there?)are run by a closed community of ideologues who detest dialogue. I am advising my kids not to go to college unless they wish to study something that is demonstrably useful to the world. More:
unforgettable experience essay