Frances Fox Piven Quote

I am not predicting the dawn of global democracy or global socialism. What I am predicting is an era of turmoil and uncertainty. Moreover, like all forms of power, interdependent power has a dark side, and it has always had a dark side. The hungry and diseased mobs who terrified the burghers of late-medieval Europe were not enlightenment thinkers, nor are the suicide bombers thrust forward by a resurgent Islam. Even the struggles of the Western Federation of Miners had a dark side, as they fought state and company violence with their own violence. Still, the defiant movements from the bottom that are fueled by interdependent power hold at least the hope that the needs and dreams of the great masses of the planet's people will make their imprint on the new societies for which we wish. Of course, the process of reform will be complicated and the outcomes shaped not only by interdependent power, but also by the complex institutional structures we inherit, cultural memory, and the concentrated power resources of aggrandizing elites. All that said, without the tempering influence of movements from below and the interdependent power they wield, our future is ominous.
- Frances Fox Piven


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