Chronology of Terror
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We can have a democratic society or we can have the concentration of great wealth in the hands of the few. We cannot have both.
Supreme Court Justice from 1916-1939
Democracy for the Few
From the Michael Parenti Political Archive:
The study of politics is itself a political act, containing little that is neutral. True, we can all agree on certain neutral facts about the structure of government and the like. However, the book that does not venture much beyond these minimal descriptions will offend few readers but also will interest few. Any determined pursuit of how and why things happen draws us into highly controversial areas. Most textbooks pretend to a neutrality they do not really possess. While claiming to be objective, they are merely conventional. They depict the status quo in implicitly accepting terms, propagating fairly orthodox notions about American politics.
For decades, mainstream political scientists and other apologists for the existing social order have tried to transform practically every deficiency in our political system into a strength.
They would have us believe that the millions who are nonvoters are content with present social conditions, that high-powered lobbyists are nothing to worry about because they perform an information function vital to representative government, and that the growing concentration of executive power is a good thing because the president is democratically responsive to broad national interests.
The apologists have argued that the exclusion of third parties is really for the best because too many parties (that is, more than two) would fractionalize and destabilize our political system, and besides, the major parties eventually incorporate into their platforms the positions raised by minor parties (which is news to a number of socialist parties whose views have remained unincorporated throughout this entire century).
Reacting to the mainstream tendency to turn every vice into a virtue, left critics of the status quo have felt compelled to turn every virtue into a vice... Democracy for the Few tries to strike a balance; it tries to explain how democracy is incongruous with modern-day capitalism and is consistently violated by a capitalist social order, and yet how democracy refuses to die and continues to fight back and even make gains despite the great odds against popular forces.
American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy that is, a system of rule by and for the rich for the most part.
Most universities and colleges, publishing houses, mass circulation magazines, newspapers, television and radio stations, professional sports teams, foundations, churches, private museums, charity organizations, and hospitals are organized as corporations, ruled by boards of trustees (or directors or regents) composed overwhelmingly of affluent businesspeople. These boards exercise final judgement over all institutional matters.
Chapter 3: The Plutocratic Culture
- Partisan Politics
- Wealth and Want in the United States
- The Plutocratic Culture: Institutions and Ideologies
- A Constitution for the Few
- The Rise of the Corporate State
- Politics: Who Gets What?
- Health, Environment, and Human Services: Sacrificial Lambs
- Unequal before the Law
- Political Repression and National Insecurity
- The Mass Media: For the Many, by the Few
- The Greatest Show on Earth: Elections, Parties and Voters
- Who Governs? Leaders, Lobbyists or Labor?
- Congress: The Pocketing of Power
- The President: Guardian of the System
- The Political Economy of Bureaucracy
- The Supremely Political Court
- Democracy for the Few
About the Author
Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1962. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, in the United States and abroad. His writings have been translated into Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Polish, German, Bangla, and Dutch.
He is the author of fourteen books (see below). His articles have appeared in CovertAction Quarterly; Monthly Review; Prevailing Winds; The Humanist; New Political Science; Nature, Society and Thought; The Nation; Z Magazine; Dollars and Sense and numerous other publications.
He appears on radio and television talk shows to discuss current issues and ideas from his published works. Dr. Parentis talks and commentaries are played on radio stations to enthusiastic audiences in the U.S., Canada and abroad.
He lectures on college campuses and before a wide range of audiences across the country. His books are enjoyed by both lay readers and scholars, and have been used extensively in college courses.
Among the many topics he treats are:
- Democracy and Economic Power
- Imperialism and U.S. Interventionism
- Political Bias in the U.S. News Media
- Ideology and History
- Race, Gender, and Class
- The Overthrow of Communism
- Fascism: Past and Present
Articles & Selections from Published Works of Dr. Parenti http://www.michaelparenti.org/articles.html
A brief, unauthorized history of politically motivated faculty firings at the University of Vermont since 1972
Professor Will Millers Introduction for Dr. Michael Parenti before an overflow audience on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of his firing by the UVM Trustees.
Books by Michael Parenti
To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 2001; Reveals a decade-long disinformation campaign waged by Western leaders and NATO officials in their pursuit of free-market reforms. The political and economic destabilization of Yugoslavia continues today, Parenti shows, as does the forced privatization and Third Worldization of the entire region.
History as Mystery, 1999; how history is manufactured and distorted by the victors, from early Christianity to today.
- America Besieged, 1998.
Dirty Truths, 1996; selected readings on politics, ideology, media, conspiracy, ethnic life, and class power.
Against Empire, 1995; critiques U.S. imperialism and the New World Order at home and abroad.
Democracy for the Few, 1995; now in its sixth edition, a critical study of the U.S. political system.
Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media, 1993; now in its second edition, the first comprehensive critique of the news media.
The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race, 1989; an exposé of U.S. cold war history and interventionism in the Third World.
Make-Believe Media, 1992; the hidden politics of the entertainment media.
Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America, 1994; challenges many of the deceptions put forth by conservative elites.
- Power and the Powerless, 1978
Americas foremost progressive writer and speaker, Parenti is illuminating, penetrating, and never afraid of the truth.
SUNY professor and noted author
Radical in the true sense of the word, [Parenti] digs at the roots which...sustain our public consciousness.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Corporate Watch provides news, analysis, research tools and action resources to respond to corporate activity around the globe. We also talk with people who are directly affected by corporate abuses as well as with others fighting for corporate accountability, human rights, social and environmental justice. As part of the independent media, Corporate Watch is free of corporate sponsorship.
Imagine democracy with an actively participating public. Imagine progress defined as improved quality of life for all people and families. Reclaim Democracy! aims to make these goals reality. We strive to restore democracy to improve our lives today, and for our childrens future. We are a non-partisan grassroots organization and welcome all who share our goal of regaining democratic authority over corporations.
Solutions: American Revolution 2 and a Humane Future of International Socialist Democracy
Thomas Jefferson Calling: The Time for Revolution is NOW
by John Kaminski
Civil Disobedience and Tax Resistance
The two-headed, two-faced American plutocracy
Our Hidden History: Corporations in America
The Corporate Domination of American Culture and Politics
Revealing Quotes 2: Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy
The Plutocratic Presidency
The Hunt for Mega-Profits and the Attack on Democracy
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule
edited by Kevin Danaher and Roger Burbach; multiple authors
The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
by Gore Vidal
How Democracy Serves the Rich
by Vince Copeland
The America the Media Dont Want You to See
by David McGowan
War At Home:
Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It
by Brian Glick
A Peoples History of the United States:
by Howard Zinn
What Uncle Sam Really Wants
by Noam Chomsky
The Years Top 25 Censored Stories
by Peter Phillips & Project Censored
My 25 years in the CIA
by Ralph W. McGehee
Lies My Teacher Told Me:
Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James Loewen
Dumbing Us Down:
The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
by John Taylor Gatto
A Guide to the Worlds Only Superpower
by William Blum
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII
by William Blum
Western State Terrorism
Alexander George, editor; essays by Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Gerry OSullivan and others
Terrorizing the Neighborhood:
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
by Noam Chomsky
Pressure Drop Press, 1991
Pirates and Emperors, Old and New:
International Terrorism in the Real World
by Noam Chomsky
The Culture of Terrorism
by Noam Chomsky
The Beast Reawakens
by Martin A. Lee
The Destruction of Dresden
by David Irving
Saving Private Power:
The Hidden History of The Good War
by Michael Zezima
The American Presidency
by Gore Vidal
Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy
by Robert W. McChesney
The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media:
Decoding Spin and Lies in Mainstream News
by Norman Solomon
The Political Economy of the Mass Media
by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
Toxic Sludge is Good for You!:
Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry
by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton
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