Michael Parenti Quotes

Who is Michael Parenti?

Michael John Parenti is an American political scientist, academic historian and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects.

Parenti is known for his speeches and interviews as well as for his appearances in the documentaries 'The Panama Deception', 'Liberty Bound' and 'Fall and Winter'.

Born September 30, 1933

Books by Michael Parenti


Best 53 Quotes by Michael Parenti | Page 1 of 2

“Apathy's a problem but who cares?”

“As demonstrated in Russia and numerous other countries, when faced with a choice between democracy without capitalism or capitalism without democracy, Western elites unhesitatingly embrace the latter.”

“Capitalism is not just an economic system but an entire social order. Once it takes hold, it is not voted out of existence by electing socialists or communists.”

“No surprise then that the pure socialists support every revolution except for the ones that succeed.”

“People who think they're free in this world just haven't come to the end of their leash yet.”

“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.”

“The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth.”

“The inflated numbers of the crimes of Stalin offered by cold-war scholars serve neither historical truth nor the cause of justice but merely help to reinforce a knee-jerk fear and loathing of those terrible Reds.”

“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 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.”

“The third world is not poor. You don't go to poor countries to make money. Most countries are rich. Only the people are poor. Ordinary people pay the costs of empire. These countries are not underdeveloped, they are over exploited.”

“You don’t know you’re wearing a leash if you sit by the peg all day.”

“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.”

Products by Michael Parenti

Against Empire Quotes

“Designed to leave the world's economic destiny at the mercy of bankers and multinational corporations, globalization is a logical extension of imperialism, a victory of empire over republic, international finance capital over democracy.”

Against Empire

“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”

Against Empire

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“Liberal attitudes towards the other are characterized both by respect for otherness, openness to it, and an obsessive fear of harassment. In short, the other is welcomed insofar as its presence is not intrusive, insofar as it is not really the other. Tolerance thus coincides with its opposite. My duty to be tolerant towards the other effectively means that I should not get too close to him or her, not intrude into his space—in short, that I should respect his intolerance towards my over-proximity. This is increasingly emerging as the central human right of advanced capitalist society: the right not to be ‘harassed’, that is, to be kept at a safe distance from others.”

Against Human Rights


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“The diseconomies of capitalism are treated as the public's responsibility. Corporate America skims the cream and leaves the bill for us to pay, then boasts about how productive and efficient it is and complains about our wasteful government.”

Against Empire

“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.”

Against Empire

“The last four secretaries of defense have pointed out that defense spending creates jobs. So do p*rnography, prostitution, and narcotics.”

Against Empire

America Besieged Quotes

“One mechanism of repression is the grand jury.”

America Besieged

Contrary Notions Quotes

“The most powerful ideologies are not those that prevail against all challengers but those that are never challenged because in their ubiquity they appear as nothing more than the unadorned truth.”

Contrary Notions

Democracy for the Few Quotes

“Actually, the New Deal's central dedication was to business recovery rather than social reform.”

Democracy for the Few

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

“It is ironic that people of modest means sometimes become conservative out of a scarcity fear bred by the very capitalist system they support.”

Democracy for the Few

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

Products by Michael Parenti

“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.”

Democracy for the Few

“The Federalists also used bribes, intimidation, and fraud against opponents of the Constitution.”

Democracy for the Few

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“With love and understanding comes the prospect of infinite patience. What's the use of being in a hurry? Anyway, even if you don't see it that way, time doesn't exist. When you don't live in the present and get sucked into the past or worry about the future, you hurt yourself and grieve yourself. Time is also an illusion. Even in the three-dimensional world, the future is just a system of probabilities. So why do you worry?”

Only Love Is Real


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