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.
Praise for Blackshirts & Reds:
"A penetrating and persuasive writer with an astonishing array of documentation to implement his attacks." —The Catholic Journalist
“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
Michael Parenti is one of the nation's leading progressive thinkers. He lectures widely around the country and is the author of Dirty Truths, Against Empire, Democracy for the Few, Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America, and many other books. He lives in Berkeley, California.