Many on the U.S. Left have exhibited a Soviet bashing and Red baiting that matches anything on the Right in its enmity and crudity. Listen to Noam Chomsky holding forth about “left intellectuals” who try to “rise to power on the backs of mass popular movements” and “then beat the people into submission. . . . You start off as basically a Leninist who is going to be part of the Red bureaucracy. You see later that power doesn’t lie that way, and you very quickly become an ideologist of the right. . . . We’re seeing it right now in the [former] Soviet Union. The same guys who were communist thugs two years back, are now running banks and [are] enthusiastic free marketeers and praising Americans” (Z Magazine, 10/95).
Adam Hochschild: Keeping his distance from the “Stalinist Left” and recommending same posture to fellow progressives.
Those of us who refused to join in the Soviet bashing were branded by left anticommunists as “Soviet apologists” and “Stalinists,” even if we disliked Stalin and his autocratic system of rule and believed there were things seriously wrong with existing Soviet society. Our real sin was that unlike many on the Left we refused to uncritically swallow U.S. media propaganda about communist societies. Instead, we maintained that, aside from the well-publicized deficiencies and injustices, there were positive features about existing communist systems that were worth preserving, that improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people in meaningful and humanizing ways. This claim had a decidedly unsettling effect on left anticommunists who themselves could not utter a positive word about any communist society (except possibly Cuba) and could not lend a tolerant or even courteous ear to anyone who did.
- God and His Demons (Prometheus Books, 2010)
- Democracy for the Few (Wadsworth, 9th edition, 2011)
- Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (City Lights Books, 2007)
- Democracy for the Few (Wadsworth, 8th edition, 2007)
- The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press, 2006)
- Superpatriotism (City Lights Books, 2004)
- The Assassination of Julius Caesar (The New Press, 2003)
- The Terrorism Trap (City Lights Books, 2002)
- To Kill a Nation (Verso Books, 2001)
- History as Mystery (City Lights Books, 1999)
- Blackshirts and Reds (City Lights Books, 1997)
- Dirty Truths (City Lights Books, 1996)
- Inventing Reality (Wadsworth, second edition, 1993)
are duly regarded as classics,