Thursday, January 20, 2011

A good word for Frances Fox Piven

The Nation reports the Beck demagoguery machine has singled out Frances Fox Piven as a new scapegoat. As readers here probably know, Professor Piven is among the heroes of the four-decade-old welfare rights movement and an advocate for the substantive equal protection of the laws, and that is a good thing. People who feel cheated in life, who lend their personal unhappiness to demagogues, would be better off learning from activists who defend individuals' rights to speak for themselves. A good starting point on that subject is the classic Piven co-authored with Richard Cloward: Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail.

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