Parenti on the Overthrow of Workers States

Chris Brady chris_brady at SPAMearthling.net
Thu Oct 19 03:16:00 MDT 2000


Lou mentioned Morton, Huberman and Zinn as writing for the working
class.
They have been also well-regarded as "popularizers" for both bringing to
light
issues forgotten or obscured by the mainstream, as well as making them
more
accessible to the masses. I argued that Chomsky falls into that
category, while
cautioning that we must not leave things as they lie (<--word
coincidental).
But by far my favourite contemporary popularizer is Michael Parenti.
Unfortunately he is not as popular as Chomsky, although he is just as if
not
more of an entertaining speaker.  He is certainly more radical, i.e.:
red.
I would like to take this occasion to remind fellow Marxists of
Parenti's
production. He has a new book coming out :
To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia  (Verso: 2000).
Parenti's books are easy to read, engagaing, and challenging, too.
They wuold make excellent gifts for anyone, but especially for youth and

people who need a good introduction to how Marxists regard reality.
He is a wonderful speaker, witty, quick, and with a great sense of
humour.

You can read examples of his writings, and order his books on the web.
Most pertinent to our current thread:
"The Media and their Atrocities" by Michael Parenti
http://www.michaelparenti.org/MediaAtrocities.html#notes
Excerpt:
For the better part of a decade the U.S. public has been bombarded
with a media campaign to demonize the Serbian people and their
elected leaders. During that time, the U.S. government has pursued
a goal of breaking up Yugoslavia into a cluster of small, weak,
dependent, free-market principalities. Yugoslavia was the only
country in Eastern Europe that would not dismantle its welfare
state and public sector economy. It was the only one that did not
beg for entry into NATO. It was -- and what's left of it, still is --
charting an independent course not in keeping with the New World
Order.

                   Targeting the Serbs

Of the various Yugoslav peoples, the Serbs were targeted for
demonization because they were the largest nationality and the one
most opposed to the breakup of Yugoslavia.
...

The propaganda campaign against Belgrade has been so relentless
that even prominent personages on the Left -- who oppose the
NATO policy against Yugoslavia -- have felt compelled to
genuflect before this demonization orthodoxy, referring to
unspecified and unverified Serbian "brutality" and "the monstrous
Milosevic."6 Thus they reveal themselves as having been
influenced by the very media propaganda machine they criticize on
so many other issues. To reject the demonized image of Milosevic
and of the Serbian people is not to idealize them or claim that Serb
forces are faultless or free of crimes. It is merely to challenge the
one-sided propaganda that laid the grounds for NATO's aggression
against Yugoslavia.

6.  Both Noam Chomsky in his comments on Pacifica Radio,
     April 7, 1999, and Alexander Cockburn in Nation, May 10,
    1999, describe Milosevic as "monstrous" without offering any
    specifics.

Also pertinent (or impertinent if you are an IMFer):
http://www.michaelparenti.org/YugoslavSojourn.html

Check it out if you haven't already.

YFTR,
Chris Brady









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