The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments.— Michael Parenti
The most belligerent Michael Parenti quotes you will be delighted to read
The problem with capitalism is that it best rewards the worst part of us: the ruthless, competitive, conniving, opportunistic, acquisitive drives, giving little reward and often much punishment-or at least much handicap-to honesty, compassion, fair play, many forms of hard work, love of justice, and a concern for those in need.
In societies that worship money and success, the losers become objects of scorn.
Those who work the hardest for the least are called lazy. Those forced to live in substandard housing are thought to be the authors of substandard lives. Those who do not finish high school or cannot afford to go to college are considered deficient or inept.
You see there are people who believe the function of the police is to fight crime, and that's not true, the function of the police is social control and protection of property.
You will have no sensation of a leash around your neck if you sit by the peg.
It is only when you stray that you feel the restraining tug.
The close relationship between politics and economics is neither neutral nor coincidental. Large governments evolve through history in order to protect large accumulations of property and wealth.
People who think they're free in this world just haven't come to the end of their leash yet.
A nation as such does not give aid to another nation.
More precisely, the common citizens of our country, through their taxes, give to the privileged elites of another country. As someone once said: foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich country give money to the rich people of a poor country.
The last four secretaries of defense have pointed out that defense spending creates jobs. So do pornography, prostitution, and narcotics.
The worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny.
One finds fortunes built on slave labor, indentured labor, prison labor, immigrant labor, female labor, child labor, and scab labor - backed by the lethal force of gun thugs and militia. 'Old money' is often little more than dirty money laundered by several generations of possession.
The dirty truth is that the rich are the great cause of poverty.
[The ruling elites] know who their enemies are, and their enemies are the people, the people at home and the people abroad. Their enemies are anybody who wants more social justice, anybody who wants to use the surplus value of society for social needs rather than for individual class greed, that's their enemy.
Our fear that communism might someday take over most of the world blinds us to the fact that anti- communism already has.
A tiny portion of the population controls the lions share of the wealth and most of the command positions of state, manufacturing, banking, investment, publishing, higher education, philanthropy, and media... these individuals exercise a preponderant influence over what is passed off as public information and democratic discourse.
Maintaining silence about a dirty truth is another way of lying, a common practice in high places.
Revolutions are not push button affairs;
rather, they evolve only if there exists a reservoir of hope and grievance that can be galvanized into popular action.
It is ironic that people of modest means sometimes become conservative out of a scarcity fear bred by the very capitalist system they support.
You don't know you're wearing a leash if you sit by the peg all day.
Ecology's implications for capitalism are too momentous for the capitalist to contemplate. The plutocrats are more wedded to their wealth than to the Earth upon which they live, more concerned with the fate of their fortunes than with the fate of humanity. The present ecological crisis has been created by the few at the expense of the many.
The two party electoral system performs the essential function of helping to legitimate the existing social order.
The crucial role communists played in organizing industrial unions in the 1930s and struggling for social reforms, peace, and civil rights strengthened rather then undermined democratic forces.
The first law of the market is to make the largest possible profit from other people's labor or go out of business. Profitability rather than human need is the determining condition of private investment.
The dirty truth is that many people find fascism to be not particularly horrible.
Official Washington cannot tell the American people that the real purpose of its gargantuan military expenditures and belligerent interventions is to make the world safe for General Motors, General Electric, General Dynamics, and all the other generals.
The peculiar danger of executive power is that it executes.
The [CIA] Agency has owned outright more than 240 Media operations around the world, including newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, radio and television stations, and wire services, and has partially controlled many more.
Only by establishing military supremacy were the European and North American colonizers able to eliminate the crafts and industries of Third World peoples, control their markets, extort tribute, undermine their cultures, destroy their villages, steal their lands and natural resources, enslave their labor, and accumulate vast wealth.
The powers that be not only try to control events, but they try to control our memory and understanding of these events, which is part of controlling the events themselves.
The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth.
Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was a member of the Salvadoran aristocracy.
He could not have risen to the top of the church hierarchy otherwise. But after he began voicing critical remarks about the war and concerned comments about the poor, he was assassinated.
If the test of patriotism comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for dictatorship, not democracy... But the American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.
Generosity toward the lower classes historically has never been an important part of upper-class awareness.
Even though the crime rate has dropped in recent years, the United States has more police per capita then any other nation in the world.
Just as the power of the feudal aristocracy had to be broken in order for capitalism to emerge fully, so must imperialism and capitalism in Third World nations be overcome if a new system is to prevail.
The nation, like the church, has its visible symbols and insignia, its parchments engrossed with the revealed word, its dogmas, hymns, liturgy, holy day celebrations, its early Fathers, prophets and martyrs, its priesthood and its lay sodality, its myths of sacred genesis and apocalyptic crises, its world-saving mission and its missionaries.
All economic and political institutions are contrivances that should serve the interests of the people. When they fail to do so, they should be replaced by something more responsive, more just, and more democratic. Marx said this, and so did Jefferson. It is a revolutionary doctrine, and very much an American one.
The American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.
Conservatives insist that government should be "run more like a business.
" One might wonder how that could be possible, since government does not market goods and services for the purpose of capital accumulation.
Union busting has become a major industry with more than a thousand consulting firms teaching companies how to prevent workers from organizing and how to get rid of existing unions.
Capital requires protection, as do the institutions through which it operates.
As capital expands its operations, the state that is associated with its protection must develop its capacity for autocratic control. Thus, the "Free World" increasingly resembles a dreary string of heartless police states.
There is a century-old saying, "The dollar votes more times than the man."
The Federalists also used bribes, intimidation, and fraud against opponents of the Constitution.
The US government is usually on the wrong side against the poor and downtrodden, because the wrong side is the right side, given the class interests upon which the [US] policy is fixed.
For the last fifty years we've been supporting right-wing governments, and that is a puzzlement to me...I don't understand what there is in the American character...that almost automatically, even when we have a liberal President, we support fascist dictatorships or are tolerant towards them.
In almost every enterprise, government has provided business with opportunities for private gain at public expense. Government nurtures private capital accumulation through a process of subsidies, supports, and deficit spending and an increasingly inequitable tax system.
The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.
Democracy is not about trust; it is about distrust. It is about accountability, exposure, open debate, critical challenge, and popular input and feedback from the citizenry. It is about responsible government. We have to get our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves more, trust their own questions and suspicions, and their own desire to know what is going on.
Candidates who win while spending less than their opponents still usually have to spend quite a lot. While not a surefire guarantor of victory, a large war chest -even if not the largest-is usually a necessary condition. Money may not guarantee victory, but the lack of it usually guarantees defeat. Without large sums, there is rarely much of a campaign, as poorly funded 'minor' candidates have repeatedly discovered.
Conservatives are fond of telling us what a wonderful, happy, prosperous nation this is. The only thing that matches their love of country is the remarkable indifference they show toward the people who live in it.