Michael Parenti: The Face of Imperialism

Capitalism Isn't Working

Image by James Mitchell via Flickr

by Michael Parenti
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 28, 2011

“A searing indictment of the ruthless nature of imperial capitalism. Eloquent, deeply researched, and beautifully argued, The Face of Imperialism is a truly wonderful book that is essential for understanding the world we live in. Parenti’s compassionate voice is a much-needed corrective to the lies we are routinely fed.” —Gregory Elich, author of Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit

“Michael Parenti’s study of imperialism provides a timely and incisive framework for understanding the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East. His analysis of the links between autocrats and Washington is essential to comprehend the powerful tide of hostility that informs the popular revolutions.” —James Petras, Bartle Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

“Parenti’s new book, The Face of Imperialism, is by far the best and boldest of all his formidable work. It meticulously exposes the disastrous consequences of the greed of multinational (mostly U.S.) corporations, and it documents how and why they control our government, which claims to foster democracy but systematically supports the dictatorships that cater to the profit motives of those corporations.” —John Gerassi, Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY and author of Great Fear in Latin America and Talking with Sartre: Conversations and Debates

In the last half-century we have witnessed a dramatic expansion of American corporate power into every corner of the world, accompanied by an equally awesome growth in U.S. military power. These phenomena are often treated as independent developments. Here, Michael Parenti brings them together in a sharp critique aimed as much at errant liberals and certain Marxists as at the dominant political actors who have perpetrated the imperial lie.

Parenti adds shocking new evidence to the litany of injustices visited upon victims of U.S. imperialism: expropriation of their communal wealth and natural resources, complete privatization and deregulation of their economies, loss of local markets, deterioration of their living standards, a growing debt burden, and the bloodstained suppression of their democratic movements.

Just as compelling is Parenti’s convincing case that the empire feeds off the republic. He shows how the richly financed corporate-military complex is matched at home by increasing poverty, the defunding of state and local governments, drastic cutbacks in human services, decaying infrastructure, and impending ecological disaster.

In this brilliant new book, Michael Parenti redefines empire and imperialism to connect the current crisis in America to its own bad behavior worldwide.

The Face of Imperialism makes clear that:

  • The purpose of the U.S. global empire is not the pursuit of power for power’s sake but power to fashion the world into a corporate dominated global free-market. There is a politico-economic content behind the pursuit of imperial power.
  • U.S. foreign policy is neither inept nor misguided. Rather, it is largely successful in serving the interests of transnational corporate America. This process of global expropriation by the superrich —often involving the use of force and violence— is what is known as imperialism.
  • Third World poverty is not a product of”underdevelopment” but of overexploitation and maldevelopment.
  • The drastic development of climate change is not a thing of the next generation or end of the century. Catastrophic changes are happening now. For us to survive we must roll back the empire, develop sustainable energy, and rid ourselves of the profit pathology.

Table of Contents

  1. Thinking about Empire
    Orthodoxy as “Objectivity”
    The Myth of Innocent Empires
    Not Just “Power for Powerís Sake”
    Instrumental “Truths” and the Dominant Paradigm
  2. The Omnipresent Arsenal
    An Expensive Parasite Cui Bono?
    Global Military Dominance
    After the Red Menace
  3. Why US Rulers Seek Global Dominion
    Determining Intent
    Bolstering the Right-wing Autocrats
    Suppressing the Leftist Rebels and Reformers
    Enemies without End
  4. Deliberate Design
    The Third Worldization of Eastern Europe
    Other Rollbacks
    Underlying Consistencies
    When the Truth Slips Out
    Secrecy and “Innocent Incompetence”
    Anything Except Moneyed Interests
  5. How Moneyed Interests Create Poor Nations
    “Only Themselves To Blame”
    Wiping Out the Locals
    Phony Aid It Works Well for Somebody
  6. Globalization for the Few
    Introducing Globalization
    Privatizing Nature
    Free Trade vs. Public Service
    Spreading Poverty
    Bending the Rules
    Some Confused Marxists
  7. Free Market Servitude
    Impunity for The Oligarchs
    Free Market Pauperism
    The Global Sweatshop
    Destroying Self Development
    When Life Is Unregulatedóand Cheap
    Another Free Market Disaster
  8. Target Cuba
    The Enemy Offshore
    Aggressing against the “Communist Aggressors”
    Nonfalsifiable Hostility
    One-way Freedom
    Consistent Inconsistencies
  9. Satellites or Enemies
    Yugoslavia: Privatization by Bombing
    Iraq: Regime Change the Hard Way
    North Korea: “Sanity” at the Brink
    Iran: Evil Threat du Jour
    Venezuela: The Threat of Socialistic Reformism
  10. Rogue Imperium
    A Successful Empire
    Above International Law
    Two-Party Imperialism
    Bleeding the Republic
    The Collapse of Empire?
    Thinking Outside the Paradigm


Michael Parenti – “The Face of Imperialism”

by Maverick Media

Michael Parenti talks about his new book “The Face of Imperialism”

Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (2011). For further information about his work, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.

From the archives:

Michael Parenti: Deep Ideology: How Reactionary Agendas Shape Political Awareness (must-see)

Michael Parenti: Gangster State + The U.S. Empire

Michael Parenti: Conspiracy and Class Power (1993)

Noam Chomsky: U.S. Imperialism and Fake Democracy