March 09, 2010
Interview with Michael Parenti By Joel Wendland, (Extract) Political Affairs, Dec. 2004
In this segment of the interview Parenti and Wendland discussed anti-communism in the anti-globalization movement
PA: Within the anti-globalization movement, there is a tendency to reject political parties (especially Communist and socialist parties) in favor of social movements as the main vehicles for change. Is this a result of anti-Communism on the left? How do we deal with that?
MP: "MP: Social movements are built much more proficiently and durably when there’s an organized political party helping out. Groups that want to eschew left-wing parties, especially Communist parties, are really pursuing the passion of the American left broadly defined. That passion, the thing that possesses them most, is not their opposition to capitalism, imperialism or war, it’s their opposition to Communism. Oh sure, they’re against those other things, but the thing that really gets them fired up is their opposition to Communism. It’s as urgent today as it was when there was a Soviet Union. There are many on the left who are still obsessed. I can introduce you to Trotskyists, anarchists, and liberals who will start screaming about Stalin as if the purge trials just took place yesterday morning. This is really where their passion is.
...It’s amazing. When the Soviet Union was overthrown, I said, "Well, I guess that’s going to stop all this propaganda we get all the time." It hasn’t. It’s gone down a bit, but the references, the documentary films, the books that come out, it still goes on. If you read their literature they’re still talking about the hordes of Stalinists lurking here and there. That’s where their passion really is. It’s really not in fighting imperialism, building coalitions, or anything of that sort. They are more anti-Communist than the people on the right. The people on the right take it so utterly for granted that they don’t have to be fulminating every minute. But many of the "anti-Communist left" are still fighting Kronstadt or Barcelona or the ghost of Stalin."
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