Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
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Blackshirts & Reds explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy, and ecology—terms often bandied about but seldom explored in the original and exciting way that has become Michael Parenti’s trademark.
Parenti shows how “rational fascism” renders service to capitalism, how corporate power undermines democracy, and how revolutions are a mass empowerment against the forces of exploitative privilege. He also maps out the external and internal forces that destroyed communism, and the disastrous impact of the “free-market” victory on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He affirms the relevance of taboo ideologies like Marxism, demonstrating the importance of class analysis in understanding political realities and dealing with the ongoing collision between ecology and global corporatism.
Written with lucid and compelling style, this book goes beyond truncated modes of thought, inviting us to entertain iconoclastic views, and to ask why things are as they are. It is a bold and entertaining exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today.
"A penetrating and persuasive writer with an astonishing array of documentation to implement his attacks."—The Catholic Journalist
"Blackshirts & Reds discusses the great combat between fascism and socialism that is the defining feature of the Twentieth Century, and takes every official version to task for its substitution of moral analysis for critical analysis, for its selectivity, and for its errata. By portraying the struggle between fascism and Communism in this century as a single conflict, and not a series of discrete encounters, between the insatiable need for new capital on the one hand and the survival of a system under siege on the other, Parenti defines fascism as the weapon of capitalism, not simply an extreme form of it. Fascism is not an aberration, he points out, but a "rational" and integral component of the system."—Stan Goff, The Prism
Michael Parenti, PhD Yale, is an internationally known author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leadiing progressive political analysts. He is the author of over 275 published articles and twenty books. His writings are published in popular periodicals, scholarly journals, and his op-ed pieces have been in leading newspapers such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. His informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad.
strategy against demo cratic, anti-apartheid forces (AP report, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/ 1 8/96). There is no denying that Buthelezi is Huntington's kind of guy. 34 BL A C K S H I R T S A N D R E D S Bush - whose invasions of Panama and Iraq brought death and destruction to those nations and who presided over a U.S. military empire that is the single greatest purveyor of violence in the world lectured revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela on the virtues of non violence, even going so far
early as 1 927, Cuba a U. S.-sponsored dictatorship. Lithuania, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria were outright fascist regimes allied with Nazi Germany in World War II. Then there were the distorting effects that unremitting capitalist encirclement had upon the building of socialism. Throughout its entire seventy-three-year history of counterrevolutionary invasion, civil war, forced industrialization, Stalinist purges and deportations, Nazi conquest, cold war, and nuclear arms race, the Soviet
U.S. leaders and media. What they most liked about Yeltsin was that he "never wavered in his support for privatization" ( San Franicsco Chronicle, 7/6/94) . 2 Yeltsin, the "democrat," twice suspended publication of the Communist party newspaper Pravda. He charged it exorbitant rent for the use of its own facilities. Then in March 1 992, he confiscated the paper's twelve-story building and its press and turned full own ership over to Russiskaye Gazeta, a government (pro-Yeltsin) news paper.
Yemen. Ethiopia was occupied by Tigrean and Eritrean forces that imprisoned large numbers of Ethiopians without trial; expropriated Ethiopian property; suppressed Ethiopian educa tion, business, and news media; and imposed a "systematic enforce ment of tribalism in political organization and education" (Tilahun Yilma, correspondence, New York Times, 4/24196). A systematic enforcement of tribalist political organization might well describe Yugoslavia's fate, a nation that was fragmented by force
we study any part of that order, be it the news or entertainment media, criminal justice, Congress, defens e spending, overseas milita ry intervention, intelligence age ncies, campaign finance, science and technology, education, medical care, taxation, transportation, ho usi ng, or whatever, we will see h ow the particular part reflects the nat ure of the whole. Its unique dyna m ic often buttresses and is shaped by the larger social system - espe cially the system's overridin g need to maintain