Blackshirts & Reds explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy, and ecology-terms. Blackshirts & Reds explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy and ecology—terms often bandied about. This essay is written in response to the book “Blackshirts and Reds” by Michael Parenti, a large part of which is taken up with apologetics for, and praise of, the.

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May 21, Jana rated it it was amazing. All comparisons between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic anv purely for the purpose of exposing double standards and should not be taken as support for any state. City Lights Foundation Books. In any case, what Parenti is saying here is just plain wrong. Georgia, the Ukraine, Finland, who by declaring their independence from Russia in most cases blxckshirts to be quashed by the state which to quote Parenti “provided vital assistance to national liberation movements in countries around the world.

If you are a student of history, particularly of class struggle, it is unlikely you will find much new or that you didn’t already know in this text although Parenti’s writing amd very digestible and he provides numerous amusing anecdotes concerning his encounters with other academics across the political spectrumbut as an apologia for the revolutionary states of the past, and an explanation of how and anc our opinions of them are so contorted by corporate media, it could offer some consolation to a cynical leftist disillusioned with the practical application of his or her politics.

Orlando Figes, historian and author of ‘Peasant Russia, Civil War’ and ‘A People’s Tragedy’ describes the opulent lifestyle of the new ruling class in the early days of the ‘worker’s state’:. Blacjshirts definition of ‘counter-revolution’ and ‘sabotage’ included absenteeism from work and private trading which was a necessity.

Leninism minus military threat ; all the more so given that on March 14th Lenin said “The Soviet Government has triumphed in the Civil War” and again on April 23rd he said “One can say with certainty that the Civil War in its main phases has been brought to an end”.

One of the key points Parenti makes is that western governments have a long track record of inserting capitalism into third-world and FSB countries–and causing antidemocratic ruin.

Similar directly democratic organisation is to be found in every revolutionary period.

In fact the American Relief Association sent food supplies to Russia with the support of the American government and received praise from none other than Kremlin boss Kamenev for doing so. He holds a doctorate from Yale University. I just feel it’s not very convincing from that perspective and it’s almost just missing the point. I cannot stress this enough. Nov 09, Mick rated it really liked it. I will deal with each part of his defence of “Communist” tyranny in turn. Lacking a profit motive as their driving force and therefore having no need to constantly find new investment opportunities, they did not resd the geds, labor, blackshirtts, and natural resources of weaker nations, that is, they did not practise economic imperialism.


Each House Committee delegated one of it’s members to the Street Committee, which was in charge of matters that concerned the whole street. Nov 17, Sami Eerola rated it liked it Shelves: As a counter balance, however, his book is rife with statistical examples of how western capitalist democracy has failed, both in practice and in ideological consistency, in the ‘liberated’ Warsaw pact states.

Parenti completely acknowledges this and attacks Stalin but because he can’t provide any explanations or give any alternatives it’s not a promising blackshrts convincing defence.

Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism

This should answer blackshiets of Parenti’s argument. Note the building of socialism requires “thousands subordinating their will to the will of one” in other words submission to authority is an inherent prerequisite of socialism not a temporary expedient employed to win the civil war or to maintain ‘socialism in one country’.

It’s goal was t I thought this book was going to go down as one of my favorites of all time. Look instead to Parenti and this text.

The terror was not just a means of disposing of dissidents but also a means of labour discipline, to quote Lenin again, this time writing in December ,: He’s great at writing against the USA and against anti-communism but he’s much worse at mounting an effective defence of socialist countries. At a rough estimate if you convert 70 dollars into West German marks they are worth about East German marks.

The Kremlin’s domestic quarters had over 2, service staff and it’s snd complex of shops, including a hairdresser and a sauna, a hospital and a nursery, and three vast restaurants with cooks trained in France. res

An excellent thought provoking book. City Lights Open Media. Generally speaking, at Kronstadt and elsewhere in Russia before the enthronement of the Bolsheviks, the inhabitants of a house first organised a number of tenants’ meetings.

For a normal person they seem more like apologetics or heavy and desperate spinning. This book is essential and since its warnings and prescriptions have gone unheeded for 20 years, it is even more urgently essential today than it was when published.


It is a bold and entertaining exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today. The topics covered are broad – ranging from the role of big business in helping install fascist autocracies in Italy and Germany to the unwillingness of contemporary Marxist theorists to engage with ideas of class – but all are connected meaningfully and reasonably. Subtitle Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism. Return to Book Page.

Blackshirts & Reds

blackshiets A good polemic, but a bit outdated and definitely too schematic. Yet it’s clear from what he says elsewhere that even with these inefficiencies, the USSR was able to deliver a decent standard of living for everyone.

Main content page count That assertion, however, belies reality. Yet Parenti praises the U. He explains the class interests of fascists, discusses the nuances of the USSR and gives an iconoclastic defense of revolution.

Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism by Michael Parenti

In any case the social policy of “Communist” states ranged from welfarism similar to Western Europe but rsds as good to ‘social cleansing’ similar to Latin America i.

Ress adequately explains seige socialism, how Brits groomed Nazi Germany and other fascist nations to be pitted against the Bolsheviks, why Russia was ideal geographically for Soviets with abundance of natural resources whereas marginal for Cuba and North Korea with finite oil and minerals and how Ricardian Trap and isolationism led to the decline of Communism. A modest amount of aid, in money, munitions, and equipment: In the words of Foreign Minister Molotov “Bolshevik policy demands a resolute struggle against equalitarians as accomplices of the class enemy, as elements hostile to socialism.

Tags capitalismconnections between class and politics annd, corporate powerdemocracy vs. To the Free Earth web site. Quotas were set at such a level that the producers were at times even left with insufficient food for themselves and insufficient seed for sowing. Title First Published 01 June The critique of the Soviet and Eastern bloc governments and economies is particularly good.

Michael Parenti: Blackshirts and Reds

Turn away from the Black Book of Blwckshirts and its Nazi allegory. I thought this book was going to go down as one of my favorites of all time. Here another big problem of his style of writing shines through – his reluctance to actually cite anything.