Cornering the Radicals
by Melvyn_Fein
 Current Events
May 10, 2012 11:22 AM | 1677 views | 2 2 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

If it squeals like a stuck pig, there’s a good chance it’s a stuck pig.

Over the years I have grown accustomed to being called names.  As readers of the MDJ will know, I have strong opinions that I forcefully express.  Consequently, I invite criticism.  Furthermore, as an academic, I am a conservative in a very liberal environment; hence I am surrounded by people who look askance at my views.

My usual response to censure is therefore to let it roll off my back.  Trying to refute it would give it credence it rarely deserves.  But recently I have been attacked in a manner that requires a rejoinder.  Accusations hurled at me have been so over the top that they have ignited a firestorm of charge and counter-charge.

I do not, however, intend to address the allegations point by point.  Suffice it to say that they lack substance.  Instead, I plan to put these accusations into context.  Those who have read the slanders precipitated by my most recent MDJ column will surely recognize that the accusers are political radicals.

And that is the point.  In exposing some of the nonsense emanating from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, I have backed them into a corner.  The comeback has thus been desperation.  Instead of reasoned analysis, we get wild vituperation.

The explanation is simple.  These radicals are peddling a brand of “reform” that is not selling very well.  As self-styled revolutionaries and/or anarchists, they hope to undermine our financial system, and with it our entire society.  From their perspective, theUnited Statesrepresents a fossilized despotism that deserves to be overthrown.

These folks simply don’t like us.  They tell us they want to improve our way of life, but offer nothing save for shortsighted destruction.  And bet on it, this summer they will be out in force, up to their familiar shenanigans.  If they have anything to say about it, there will be more marches, more obstruction, and more accusations of injustice.

Some activists on the left believe that these methods push their agenda forward, but they are wrong.  A majority of Americans are offended by the empty-headedness of the Occupy folk’s language and their unhygienic demonstrations.  While most people appreciate idealism, they do not condone pointless disruption.

The Occupy activists are tone deaf with regard to their impact.  They assume that the more they agitate, the better “educated” the public will become.  This being so, they resent someone like me who steps forward to burst their bubble.  As a result, they turn their ire on me as a stand-in for the market-oriented institutions they despise.

I, of course, am small potatoes.  Discrediting me is merely symbolic.  But then again, I need to be intimidated into silence, lest someone be corrupted by my arguments.  Furthermore, because I have obviously questioned their credibility for the sake of the prestige that attacking them offers, my reputation must be destroyed in order to balance the books.

The problem is that I am too set in my ways to let the disdain of a few radicals alter my course.  I know that not everyone agrees with me, but a genuine marketplace of ideas requires that even the views of conservatives can be vigorously defended.

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology


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Tyler Durden
May 14, 2012
Wow...this column is a great example of how the GOP has turned into the party of the victims...poor me...these mean old OWS folks challenge my rants that aren't supported by facts, or burdened by reality...poor me...I am a conservative in COBB County (seriously?)

I do have to thank you though, whenever I start to miss Marietta (which I do) and wonder why I left, I read a column from you or your ilk...then I remember. Too many small, uninformed minds in one county...
Oliver G. Halle
May 10, 2012
Dr. Fein,

I have been reading your Monday columns and blogs for as long as you have been writing them. We rarely agree on anything despite both of us being from Brooklyn, being about the same age, and having some other background similarities. I find it amusing how you often lament being a "conservative in a very liberal environment." If your whole world is Kennesaw State, perhaps you are right, but without more evidence than your assertion, I have some doubts. For sure you are not in a very liberal environment living and working in Cobb County.

Invariably your columns and blogs accuse those with a different political world view than yours of being leftists, activists, radicals, very liberal, and other terms to sterotype and suggest that they are un-American. For sure, Dr. Fein, you haven't backed your stereotypes into a corner unless it is in your imagination. We can agree that the rule of law is foundational to a civilized society, and that Occupiers that break the law should pay the price. But you smear all Occupiers as though they are a homogeneous group. They are not. A large number are middle or former middle class workers, police, fire fighters, teachers, former service members and other solid Americans who have no meaningful voice in our political system. Interesting that you have never once mentioned the Citizens United case where the Supreme Court lifted the ban on corporate contributions to campaigns. How do those who can't pay, who feel disenfranchized, get their voices heard?

I do not know Kevin Foley, never met him, never spoke or corresponded with him. However, your self-serving comments about "busting the bubbles" of those who have "slandered" (the correct word would be libel in this instance) you, and portraying yourself as a victim is absurd. As an observer of your writings and Foley's comments, all he has done is criticize you for your factually incorrect statements, your lack of basic research, and your own political agenda---all fair game in the market place of ideas. As a professor one would think that you would welcome debate and the clash of ideas. And one would think as a professor you would respond with facts, logic, reason and evidence instead of writing a blog on why you are not going to respond, that you are above the frey becasue you are a self-professed conservative, and that you know more than the rest of the readers.

I think you summed up very well your state of mind, which is that you are very set in your ways. Indeed. And trying to reason with a closed mind is like giving medicine to a dead man.

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