Michael Parenti: Reflection on The Overthrow of Communism

Since putting work into this blog laboriously explaining pseudo-dissidence mostly makes me manna for trolls, intellectual parasites and plagiarists, I am free of all temptation to weigh in at length on Chelsea Manning’s rebirth as a 14-year-old fashion icon and anti-communist.

However, her recent stunt recapitulating the Cold War “truism” that Nazi Germany = The DDR = The Soviet Union requires an answer, especially given that this disgusting false equivalence is becoming increasingly popular in the Radicals for Rubes set.  Only a few weeks ago, that other avatar of proxy rebellion for credulous boobs, Ed Snowden, was saying pretty much the same thing.  Elsewhere there is much comparing of Confederate statue toppling to Lenin statue toppling in Ukraine.

There is absolutely no question that Manning and Snowden and those who would liken Lenin to Robert Lee are the most misleading kind of propagandist, regardless of how they see themselves. Therefore, the question of their motives for espousing this garbage is a far less pressing matter, I think, than that they and others are foisting it on impressionable nitwits in thrall to their celebrity and dissident cred.  With that in mind, I’m offering as disinfectant this excellent talk from Michael Parenti, which places the failings of communism in historical perspective.

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17 Responses to Michael Parenti: Reflection on The Overthrow of Communism

  1. U.R. Dumb says:

    I think the argument more to the point says that Gestapo = DHS = immigration and customs. She made an argument against borders.
    Disrespecting the Stasi is okay, but not the Soviets? She did not say that America is evil and neither did she say that Soviet Union was evil. We all know the Nazis were evil.
    It was a comment against police state tactics not against the state.

    Of all the people to answer this charge, you pick the biggest fraud of statist socialism, Michael Parenti, who never saw a dead-end state capitalist solution to the ills of “capitalism” that he didn’t like.
    You could have at least obsessed on her “now America has” as if America didn’t have the FBI, the NSA, the NYPD. You think those are useful tools against oppression, though.

    You are a creep for picking on Manning. Even bigger creep for pushing Parenti at rubes. You could save your blogging time for something better. Why not just put a note up saying that your political belief is that voting Democrat is lesser evil than voting Republican Right Wing Capitalist.

    Why read Marx when there’s Greenwald?

    As if you ever read one page of Marx. Or ever will, turd.

    • Tarzie says:

      Gestapo = DHS = immigration and customs.

      Except that isn’t all she said, asshole.

      You could have at least obsessed on her “now America has” as if America didn’t have the FBI, the NSA, the NYPD. You think those are useful tools against oppression, though.

      I think the FBI, NSA and NYPD are useful? Oxy, honey, you know that’s not true. You also know I’m not a lesser evilist. I think you’re glitching, fella.

      However, you’ve made half a good point. I hate her dimwitted declinism too. But because assholes like you are what I yield no matter what I post, I don’t take the hard road any more. Parenti’s response to liberaltarian turds like you and Manning was all nicely tied up in a YouTube bow.

      PS: You need to do a better job of hiding your IP Oxy. You’re such a dumbass.

  2. Rich says:

    And to that end, as an ode to her “celebrity and dissident cred”, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chelsea Manning, visiting fellow at Harvard.


  3. Long time reader, first time poster, etc. It’s a little dispiriting to check in on here again and find a dearth of engagement with your latest posts. I remember this place used to be pretty active. I have generally avoided putting in two cents here because I always felt I had a lot more to learn than to contribute; still do. Nonetheless, I’d like to say I appreciate your writing for it’s wit and clarity. There are very few as good as you on both those fronts.

    There are a few things I’d like to see if you’d have interest in elaboration on. If none catch your fancy, and/or if you can’t muster up enough desire to put effort into something that will apparently receive almost no notice whatsofuckingever, I sympathize. But here they are:

    1) As someone who reads a lot of Marxist-Leninist commentary and generally finds it the most cogent in town, but who is not especially sectarian or “settled” in ideology themselves, I am curious as to how you negotiate reading/appreciating Marxist criticism as someone who is not really a statist. Parenti’s wonderful defense, contextualization, and historicization of the USSR here being a fine example at hand.
    2) There was an interesting exchange on Twitter involving you and Circadian Wolf the other day. He expressed the bleak prospects of political mobilization and consciousness-raising in the Empire, but affirmed it’s possibility and necessity. You expressed firmer doubts. My heart would like to believe it could happen, but looking around at this nightmarish pustule of a place….I have trouble imagining it. The vicious and highly experienced ruling class, the gaping naivety of the young, the propaganda, the co-optation – all make it very. very hard to see this. I love CW’s writing as well, and I think a long form exchange between the two of you on the subject would be illuminating.
    3) It’s obvious you’re a fan of Querelle, and I recall you mentioning Seconds on twitter some time ago (both are in my top 15). Perhaps too off topic for this blog, but I would be curious to see what other films do it for you.

    • Tarzie says:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      For various reasons, I’ve stopped putting in the work to foster community and dialogue here. I turn to these pages when I want to blow off steam or quickly counter poison like what Manning and her ilk inject into the ether from time to time. So it’s entirely fitting and perfectly fine that this blog is past its golden age. I had a good run and truly don’t give a shit.

      To your questions:

      1. My politics are non-denominational at this point, but even a hardcore anarchist should have no strong objection to the analytical side of Marxism, nor have any reluctance to choose sides between colonizer and colony. One thing I like about Parenti, as opposed to a lot of other Marxists, is that he acknowledges human nature and the problems it creates for socialist organizing. As to the whole matter of states and revolution, it’s not something I think a lot about. It’s too abstract at this point for me to care beyond general misgivings about big states and central committees.

      2. I think revolution is possible, but I don’t think in the core the conditions are in any way close to right for it at the moment. I think my and CW’s doubts are roughly equal. I admire him also but won’t invite a collaboration on the topic because it would be too much like work.

      3. Even if film comment made sense on this blog, I wouldn’t write it because I’m really bad at it. I think I have a fairly educated palette but I still find it incredibly difficult to analyse why one film is good and one is bad. As for favorites, that’s largely contingent on what I’ve seen most recently or can remember. I find that films I loved a few years ago don’t often hit me the same way some years down the road. A lot of the canonical films leave me cold. That said, any top 10 list I make would likely include The Battle of Algiers, A Touch of Evil, Distant Voices, Still Lives, Cronenberg’s The Fly, Barry Lyndon, 2001, Chinatown, and Double Indemnity. Don’t have much use for current USian films, though I’ve enjoyed the Planet of the Apes reboots and the odd Wes Anderson outing.

  4. MrSemiRancid says:

    The one thing I would add with regard to your Snowden and Manning criticism is that when one goes into state security services, as they were both a part of, the first thing they tend to do, in my experience, especially in the more elite services is to blow up the person’s ego who is now in the club in addition to whatever other means of achieving group cohesion. So with regards to their incomplete analysis of world affairs and presumably their overconfidence in their own contribution to, things, that may have something to do with it.

  5. robertmstahl says:

    “I am free of all temptation to weigh in at length on Chelsea Manning’s rebirth as a 14-year-old fashion icon and anti-communist.”

    Pure love. I miss your antifascism commentary, particularly, now. The Michael Parenti piece was indispensable. Lately, I have been enamored with Montagraph and his aliases, et al, actually in danger from a John Wayne Gayce type, Dane Wiggington, MrCati [censored], Skywatch Media News, and Bravo Alternative Media plus Bravo Von Muller. Centrally, at least. Always, the “design” of the Pied Piper’s hole.

    Here, is to, wishing you well!

  6. semirancid says:

    Re-watching this and finding there is a lot to learn and absorb. Also, noticed you have not written in a while, or so it would appear. Thoughts on Rojava? Crypto-currency? CNN-UFO-SAT (sat for saturday, as in saturday, december 16, when NYtimes published what some ppl think amounts to an admission of USG knowledge of ET life). Although crypto may seem like the black sheep and unimportant topic, given the company, it may have the most immediate implications of the three for political and social change, as, as it stands, bitcoin seems poised to become basically something on the order of a publicly-owned, or at least, middle-class owned bank, unlike previous institutional precedents. Ciao, buey. One day, perhaps, a TV channel to curate slash produce in your future? Tarzie TV?

  7. Pingback: “Kill your idols”: Chelsea Manning and the reactionary “left” – Leftist Critic

  8. Hummus says:


  9. forest says:

    in large part thanks to you, been vegan for about a year now. miss your writing. hope you be well.

  10. Tarzie says:

    Forest, there are few things that please me more than Honeytrap readers who’ve gone vegan. I also appreciate the thoughtfulness of reaching out to let me know. You’ve put a smile on my face. Was just telling a friend about how much I appreciate the community that formed around this blog. I won’t soon forget it

    Everything’s fine with me. Just don’t have the right mix of time and motivation to post here anymore. Maybe one day…

    I hope everything is good with you, too.

    • milosevic says:

      It seems as though the identity-politics fake left must now be on the verge of exploding in a blinding flash of self-serving stupidity, hypocrisy, intolerance, and hate.

      Good f***ing riddance to them, and their ruling-class sponsors and puppetmasters (Divide-and-Conquer — recommended by four out of five billionaires), but the re-emergence of a genuine left is going to require careful political and cultural analysis, of the sort that this venue used to provide. Otherwise, we’re stuck with the senile musings of Gnome Chompsky, and haven’t we had quite enough of that already?

  11. suspiria2 says:

    come back! we need you, Tarzie!

  12. fjdh says:

    (housekeeping message: the video’s been removed. Possible alternative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05tz0V9IBi0
    Aside: I assume you’ve read about FLM’s shuttering of the snowden archive citing “cost reasons” -> https://www.mintpressnews.com/intercept-snowden-archive/256772/ ?)

  13. Random, and I figure you might not agree with many of things I say/write, which is fine; but, I randomly thought of you today and wanted to say Hello and that I’m still vegan. 🙂

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