Archival, updated to reflect Trump admin.
In February, 2017 the name of Michael Parenti and references to his 23 books and countless lectures are flooding the Internet. It appears that his writings on history, the demise of US democracy, capitalism and the rule of the one percent, fascism, patriotism and US First-ism that span the decades from the late 1960s to 2014 were meant to be read and used today.
Michael Parenti was born into a working class Italian family in East Harlem, New York City. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in political science at Yale in 1962. His academic career was cut short by his dismissal after he was arrested for protesting the US war on Vietnam. Parenti became an independent scholar, lecturer and author.
The 12 part TUC Radio series “Democracy What Went Wrong” with recordings of Parenti’s lectures was produced in 1995. Parenti comments on major institutions such as the military, the CIA, media, corporations, universities, police, and the Supreme Court, offering suggestions on how to regain democratic control. We chose to rebroadcast Michael Parenti’s extraordinary history and analysis of the Supreme Court since that court and a Trump nominee dominate the media in early 2017.
Over 20 years ago Parenti already pointed to the role of the court in concentrating wealth in the top 1 percent, and the way in which the Supreme Court expanded the power of corporations and laid the groundwork for what later became the Citizens United ruling of 2009. And Parenti shows how the Supreme Court began to give powers to the President in matters of foreign policy and national security that neither Congress nor the constitution had granted. He said: “… by Judicial Fiat the President could now do whatever he wanted in the absence of specific legislative prohibitions.”
As of the date of this recording it still remains to be seen how the executive order issued by Donald Trump on January 27 barring citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely preventing refugees from Syria from coming to the US will be decided by the current Supreme Court of 2017. Given the analysis made by Michael Parenti 20 years ago the outcome is uncertain.