Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism

Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism

Michael Parenti

Language: English

Pages: 165

ISBN: 0872863298

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.

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problem. Why in so many hundreds of actual rebellions, including ones led by anarchists themselves, has anarchism never been tried or never succeeded in surviving for any length of time in an "intact" anarchist form? (In the anarchist uprising Engels described, the rebels, in seeming violation of their own ideology, did not rely on Thomas's "direct administration by the people" but set up ruling juntas.) The unpracticed, unattainable quality of the ideal helps it to retain its

overthrow of Ceaucescu, after which Ceaucescu and his wife were summarily executed without trial. The killings in Poland and Rumania are the sum total of fatalities, as far as I know. 78 B L A C K S H I R TS A N D R E D S Unburdened by any documentation, these "estimates" invite us to conclude that the sum total of people incarcerated in the labor camps over a twenty-two year p eriod (allowing for turnovers due to death and term expirations) would have constituted an astonishing portion of

of arms into a number of small, conservative republics under the suzerainty of the Western powers. With that dismemberment came a series of wars, repressions, and atrocities committed by all contend­ ing sides. One of Yugoslavia's first breakaway republics was Croatia, which in 1990 was taken over by a rightist coterie, including some former Nazi collaborators, backed by the armed might of the proto-fascist National Guard Corps, under a constitution that relegated Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and

once hired Blackshirts to destroy 1 60 BLACKS H I RTS A N D R E D S democracy out of fear that their class interests were threatened, have no trouble doing the same against "eco-terrorists." Those who have waged merciless war against the Reds have no trouble making war against the Greens. Those who have brought us poverty wages, exploitation, unemployment, homelessness, urban decay, and other oppressive economic conditions are not too troubled about bringing us ecological crisis. The

16 British Petroleum, 1 1 1 Brooks, David, 69 Brown shirts, 4, 14 Bulgaria, 45, 85, 94, 102, 107, 1 10, 1 18 Burbach, Roger, 56 Bush, Georg� 20, 25, 34, 7 1 , 98, 1 29 Buthelezi, Mangosutho, 33 c Capitalism; in Albania, 94-95; in Bulgaria, 94, 102, 107, 1 10, 1 18; in Czech and Slovak republics, 83, 97-99, 10 I, 106; in Macedonia, 102; in Mongolia, 85, 107- !08; myth of U.S. superiority, 67, 69- 7 1 ; in Poland, 7 1 72, 77, 88, 95, IOI, 1 10, 1 1 2, 1 18; restoration in Eastern Europe, 57,

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