There is a vast literature on who supported the Nazis, but relatively little on whom the Nazis supported after they came to power. This is in keeping with the tendency of conventional scholarship to avoid the entire subject of capitalism whenever something unfavorable might be said about it. Whose interests did Mussolini and Hitler support? In both Italy in the s and Germany in the s, old industrial evils, thought to have passed permanently into history, re-emerged as the conditions of labor deteriorated precipitously. In the name of saving society from the Red Menace, unions and strikes were outlawed.
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Start your review of Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism Write a review Shelves: non-fiction , politics , marxist Best chapters: 6, 7, 8, 9. The big problem with these 2 is their lack of detail on some stuff. There was the clerk who chatted endlessly with a friend on the telephone while a long line of people waited resentfully for service, the two workers who took three days to paint a hotel wall that should have taken a few hours, the many who would walk off their jobs to go shopping.
I feel he really sells the system short here, repeating the old claim that central planning was "too inefficient" - if so, what is the advantage of socialism at all? Outside of the idea of "totalitarianism", it feels like he endorses near every Western view about the "inefficiencies" of the socialist system.
To have a whole chapter chapter 4 which is a weird bashing of the socialist states and featuring many claims about "disincentives to work" and even "human nature" is kind of frustrating cause it feels so out of place. Here another big problem of his style of writing shines through - his reluctance to actually cite anything.
Maybe Parenti is a bit of a Bukharinite. Siege socialism would have given way to worker-consumer socialism". Certainly an unusual take on communism, kind of Yugoslavite. For most genuinely curious people, the question is less "well how many people did Stalin kill" and more "if a significant number of people died or were killed, how can we stop this happening again if I support communism".
Even if the death counts are massively inflated, those deaths are still horrifying. But I do really appreciate how easy to read his writing style is.
Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism