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Blackshirts and Reds

Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism


Blackshirts and Reds cover
0-87288-330-1 (cloth)
0-87286-329-8 (paper)
City Lights Books, 1997
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 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 the way they are. It is a bold and engaging exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today.

Contents

  1. Rational Fascism
  2. Plutocrats Choose Autocrats
    Whom Did the Fascists Support?
    Kudos for Benito and Adolph
    The Rational Use of Irrational Ideology
    Patriarchy and Pseudo-Revolution
    Friendly to Fascism
  3. Let Us Now Praise Revolutions
  4. The Costs of Counterrevolution
    Presumptions of Power
    Whose Violence?
    Free Market for the Few
    The Freedom of Revolution
    What Measure of Pain?
  5. Left Anticommunism
    Genuflecting to Orthodoxy
    Pure Socialism vs. Siege Socialism
    Decentralization vs. Survival
  6. Communism in Wonderland
    Rewarding Inefficiency
    Nobody Minding the Store
    Wanting It All
    Reactionism to the Surface
    Romanticizing Capitalism
  7. Stalin’s Fingers
    How Many Victims?
    Where Did the Gulag Go?
    Memories of Maldevelopment
  8. The Free-Market Paradise Goes East (I)
    Suppression of the Left
    One-Way Democracy
    Must We Adore Vaclev Havel?
    Colonizing the East
  9. The Free-Market Paradise Goes East (II)
    For Vipers and Bloodsuckers
    Shock Therapy for the Many
    Crime and Corruption
    Cultural Decay
    Women and Children Last
    “We Didn’t Realize What We Had”
  10. The End Of Marxism?
    Some Durable Basics
    More Right than Wrong
    A Holistic Science
    Compartmentalized Ideology
    Learning to Ask Why
  11. Anything But Class: Voiding The C-Word
    The Class Denial of Class
    The ABC Theorists
    Everyday Class Struggle
    A Disappearing Working Class?
    Wealth and Power
    Eco-Apocalypse, a Class Act

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