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Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald is the author of eleven books, including Thought Criminal (2020), Beyond Woke (2020), Google Archipelago (2019), Springtime for Snowflakes (2018), Nineteenth-Century British Secularism (2016), and others.

Articles by Michael Rectenwald

Claudine Gay, DEI, and the War in the Middle East

January 6, 2024

A little over six months ago, Claudine Gay was appointed president of Harvard University, the first black president of that now embattled institution. She recently resigned her post, only to retain a $900,000 salary as a professor. No doubt her appointment had more to do with the imperatives of an engulfing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda and less to do with the quality and volume of her scholarship, later found to be riddled with plagiarism.
Gay’s academic credentials are certainly not commensurate with the position of president at what was once one of the most venerated institutions of higher education in the United States and the world. With only one monograph and nine peer-reviewed single-author academic articles on her curriculum vitae, it would

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X Marks the Spot: Social Media’s Last Stand

December 19, 2023

Ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, now X, the censorship regime has been hell-bent on harassing the company and Musk himself—with bad publicity, accusations of antisemitism, and advertiser boycotts. Musk struck back by threatening to sue the Anti-Defamation League, suing Media Matters for defamation, and famously telling fleeing advertisers “Go f*ck yourself.”
Musk’s X has the potential to weaken the Big Digital woke cartel, which censors content, censures and bans users, and serves as a propaganda arm of the globalist totalitarian statists whom the cartel so assiduously serves. I have argued that Musk’s X gambit would represent an important test case because it pits “the world’s richest man” against these woke cartel members and the state that benefits from

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COP28: Climate Catastrophism Wins as the World Loses

December 16, 2023

A hodgepodge of activism and legalistic negotiations characterized the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP28), which concluded Wednesday, December 13, 2023. The resulting agreement, dubbed the “UAE Consensus,” includes the first-ever UN statement in the 27-year history of climate summits to call for the “transition away” from fossil fuels. In fact, it marks the first climate agreement to specifically refer to “fossil fuels” as the culprit behind climate change. Nevertheless, since the language in the final agreement calls for the “phase down” rather than the “phase out” of fossil fuels, the more zealous contingents in attendance typically remained less than satisfied.
In ambiguous bureaucratese based on the speculative and largely

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Statist Ideology and War: Israel versus Hamas

November 8, 2023

As I wrote in my previous piece on statism and the Israel-Hamas conflict, states are organized crime rackets. Wars between states thus represent warfare between rival gangs. The proper libertarian position with reference to such gang wars is neutrality, or the opposition to all state parties to war. Neutrality includes opposition to interventionism, including opposition to sending arms and aid to other nations. Foreign aid increases the tax aggression on the taxpayers of the country that sends aid and increases the recipient state’s control over its own population and over those subject to its aggression.
But I asked a question in that piece that I did not fully answer: Does the libertarian position with reference to war significantly change in considering

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Statism Is the Cause of the Israel-Hamas War

October 30, 2023

The State is an organized crime racket. It appropriates wealth by coercion and regularly uses force in violation of the n0n-aggression principle. The State is a parasite that perpetuates itself at all costs and extends itself by any means possible. Regardless of its putative leaders, the State grows and increases its power at the expense of its hosts and others who fall victim to its predations.
As Hans-Hermann Hoppe poignantly wrote, States are “gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots—[the State is] an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.”
One of the State’s dirty occupations is war. When undertaking war, the State

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The Woke Cartel and Twitter’s New CEO

June 8, 2023

With the appointment of Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk is trying to appease woke advertisers to bring up his company’s revenues. This will not end well.

Original Article: "The Woke Cartel and Twitter’s New CEO"

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The Putrid Underbelly of Woke Capitalism

May 31, 2023

American corporations are lavishing billions of dollars on leftist groups in the name of "equity." But many of them also are donating to even more questionable people and causes.

Original Article: "The Putrid Underbelly of Woke Capitalism"

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Did Tucker’s Last Major Guest Lead to His Firing?

May 24, 2023

Tucker Carlson has rankled the ruling elites for many years. But was his interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. a bridge too far?

Original Article: "Did Tucker’s Last Major Guest Lead to His Firing?"

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The Woke Cartel and Twitter’s New CEO

May 24, 2023

On May 12, 2023, Elon Musk announced that Linda Yaccarino, the now former chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, would become the new CEO of Twitter. Musk’s appointment of Yaccarino followed an advertiser exodus that caused Twitter’s ad revenue to plummet by more than 60 percent from October 2022 through January 25, 2022, from around $127 million to just over $48 million. According to Pathmatics, by Sensor Tower, more than half of Twitter’s thousand advertisers pulled their ads from Twitter after Musk’s takeover of the social media company.
The flight of advertisers was due to concerns about Twitter’s content moderation and Musk’s so-called free-speech advocacy. In short, Musk’s supposed free-speech absolutism and his subsequent

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The Putrid Underbelly of Woke Capitalism

May 16, 2023

Corporate intrigue reached a fevered pitch on May 6, 2023, in Omaha, Nebraska, when a shareholder was arrested during the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway. The shareholder challenged the affiliation of Warren Buffett with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bill Gates’s association with Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted in Florida for procuring a child for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute, and who reportedly committed suicide in a New York jail while facing charges for sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.
Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), stood to offer proposal number eight, which called for the roles of Berkshire CEO and chair to be separated and held by two

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Did Tucker’s Last Major Guest Lead to His Firing?

May 9, 2023

Speculation is still swirling about why Tucker Carlson was cancelled by Fox News. The major mainstream outlets have credited his dismissal to a few leaked text messages and video footage revealing Carlson making “crude and offensive” comments off air. Some outlets pointed to the lawsuit brought against Fox and Carlson by Abby Grossberg. Still others claim that the Dominion Voting defamation suit was the impetus for the ouster. I have given a different explanation.
Those who consider the removal of Carlson from mainstream media to be nothing more than showbiz nonsense fail to recognize that one of Carlson’s last shows featured an interview with the highly controversial US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. If Tucker already posed a significant threat to

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The Great Reset and the Grand Refusal

April 28, 2023

Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama on April 22, 2023.
From the Mises Institute’s recent event in Birmingham, Alabama dedicated to the global threat of "The Great Reset".

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Why Fox Fired Tucker: BlackRock, Replacement Theory, and the ADL

April 26, 2023

Why did Fox News fire Tucker Carlson? Some claim that Tucker had planned to leave the network all along, and merely resigned. He had even had a studio built in his own home. He was fed up with Fox and decided to call it quits, so the story goes. But this theory is belied by the fact that Tucker’s production team was taken entirely by surprise by the news. For instance, I received the following text message from Scooter Downey, a producer of Tucker Carlson Originals, in response to my query after the announcement: “No idea what’s going on. Crazy!”Bill O’Reilly, who hosted The O’Reilly Factor, which appeared in the same time slot as Tucker Carlson Tonight, remarked that Tucker and his staff were blind-sided by the decision. “They were putting together tonight’s,

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Hacking Humanity: Transhumanism

April 14, 2023

[This piece is an excerpt from The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty.]
The notion that the world can be replicated and replaced by a simulated reality says a great deal about the beliefs of those who promote the metaverse [treated in the previous chapter]. The conception is materialist and mechanistic at base, the hallmarks of social engineering. It represents the world as consisting of nothing but manipulable matter, or rather, of digital media mimicking matter. It suggests that human beings can be reduced to a material substratum and can be induced to accept a technological reproduction in lieu of reality. Further, it assumes that those who inhabit this simulacrum can be controlled by technocratic means. Such a materialist, mechanistic,

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Reparations Are a Statist Cudgel for Bludgeoning Property Owners

March 23, 2023

San Francisco, as well as the government of California, is calling for millions in "reparations" for black people in that state. Reparations, unfortunately, are fast becoming another anti-property-owner racket.

Original Article: "Reparations Are a Statist Cudgel for Bludgeoning Property Owners"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. 

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Reparations Are a Statist Cudgel for Bludgeoning Property Owners

March 16, 2023

San Francisco’s panel on reparations has issued a recommendation that qualified black residents in that city receive $5 million in reparations for the financial effects of slavery and/or racial discrimination. There was never slavery in the city of San Francisco, but the panel nevertheless suggested that city inhabitants must atone for racial discrimination. Such calls for reparations to black people are based on the notion of collective white guilt. But collective guilt is a false notion, and reparations based on it would violate the property rights of those whose ancestors gained nothing from slavery, even if such parties benefited from so-called discrimination.
Leftists and left-leaning liberals extol the merits of reparations. Like New York Times columnist

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The Attack of the Subversive Elites

March 8, 2023

We can be sure that the "natural elites" of which Hans Hoppe wrote are not among the Davos crowd. That group of "elites" has an agenda, and it is not liberty and free markets.

Original Article: "The Attack of the Subversive Elites"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. 

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The Attack of the Subversive Elites

March 1, 2023

It is tempting, as Naomi Wolf has done recently, to ascribe the breakdown of Western civilization to the debasing of “Judeo-Christian” ethics and the reemergence 0f malignant supernatural forces. Witnessing the many assaults on the infrastructure and social order of the United States of late, I wouldn’t rule out metaphysical causality either. But to blame the pagan gods, or, in specifically Christian terms, to blame Satan, is to take comfort in an obscured perspective on the current global arrangement. To lay culpability strictly on gaseous, unknowable forces is to let the global elite off the hook.
As I write in The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty, the Western world is in the grips and under the control of “subversive elites.” With inordinate power and

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The Great Leap Backward*

December 27, 2022

[This piece is an excerpt from Chapter 13 of The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unraveling the Global Agenda, to be released January 10, 2023.]
This chapter derisively refers to the notorious Great Leap Forward (1958–1961) as the Great Leap Backward. But China’s Great Leap Forward is not the ultimate object of my scorn. That scorn is reserved for the contemporary project conducted by people, who, if they knew anything about history, or cared about its results, would never propose this treacherous and potentially world-devastating campaign called the Great Reset—unless their intentions are evil and not merely misguided.
Meanwhile, I’m not the first to think of this appellation in connection with Mao’s Great Leap. That distinction may be held by a Soviet

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Notes from the Digital Gulag

December 23, 2022

As the author of Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom, I guess I should not be surprised to find myself squarely in the digital gulag—banished, perhaps permanently, from Twitter and Facebook. Twitter permanently suspended my account several weeks ago, mere days before Elon Musk took over the helm. Although I cannot be sure, I may have been banned because I suggested that the transgender movement is part of a multipronged neo-Malthusian depopulation campaign. (Note that I said nothing to or about any transgender individuals and thus broke no “Twitter rules,” whatever they may be. I may have been mistaken, but surely being “correct” is not a condition for major social media use. Or is it? Of course it is.)
Now Facebook has demanded

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Who Really Owns Big Digital Tech?

December 1, 2022

By now it should be perfectly clear that the most prominent Big Digital companies are not strictly private, for-profit companies. As I argued in Google Archipelago, they are also state apparatuses, or governmentalities, undertaking state functions, including censorship, propaganda, and surveillance.
Katherine Boyle, “a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz where she invests in companies that promote American dynamism, including national security, aerospace and defense, public safety, housing, education, and industrials,” has suggested that tech “startups have begun usurping the responsibilities of governments at breathtaking pace.” If this wasn’t already obvious, The Intercept’s recent revelations that US government officials have access to a special portal

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Myth versus Ideology: Why Free Market Thinking Is Nonideological

October 26, 2022

I’ll begin with a provocative thesis: socialism is ideological and free market thinking, while involving myth, is nonideological. I will show why socialism is ideological and why free market thinking involves myth but is nonideological by defining the terms myth and ideology and distinguishing them from each other.
The term “myth” has several connotations. The most common connotation today is that myth represents false belief. Thus, we see many uses of the term myth in which some myth or other is figured as something to be debunked. We can point to hundreds of titles in which the word myth signifies a belief that is mistaken and which the article or book aims to overthrow with evidence and reasoning. When entering “the myth of” into the search field on Amazon.com,

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Like the Old McCarthyism, the New McCarthyism Targets Russia

July 16, 2022

In January 1956, the iconoclastic leftist American poet Allen Ginsberg wrote “America,” a prose poem that laments the state of the country and the poet’s place in it. “America” was included in the short poetry collection entitled Howl, published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Publishers in November of the same year. In 1957, Howl became a cause célèbre as the centerpiece of People of the State of California v. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an obscenity trial that would launch Ginsberg’s career and catapult the Beat literary movement into the national consciousness.
In the interest of full disclosure, I acknowledge that I was an apprentice to Allen Ginsberg at Naropa Institute and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1982, at the age of twenty-one. I

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Davos Man Is at It Again: The 2022 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum

June 2, 2022

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos is perhaps the world’s most unpopular conference, and the WEF’s founder and chairman, Klaus Schwab, one of the world’s most despised figures. Often compared to “Dr. Evil,” the character Mike Meyers played in the Austin Powers series, and routinely likened to a James Bond supervillain on the internet, Schwab is seen as a messianic megalomaniac leading a nefarious cabal of world leaders and corporate heads into a future dominated by a globalist elite.
A Twitter poll by TruthBoost asks, “Does the World Economic Forum make the world a better place?” As of this writing, 98.4 percent of respondents said no.
What is it about this confab and its leaders that makes the WEF and its meetings so despised? After

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The Backstory of the Great Reset, or How to Destroy Classical Liberalism

May 31, 2022

As should be clear by now, Francis Fukuyama’s declaration in The End of History: The Last Man (1992) that we had arrived at “the end of history” did not mean that classical liberalism, or laissez-faire economics, had emerged victorious over communism and fascism, or that the final ideological hegemony signaled the end of socialism. In fact, for Fukuyama, the terminus of history was always democratic socialism or social democracy. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe noted in Democracy: The God That Failed, “the Last Man” standing was not a capitalist homo economicus but rather a “homo socio-democraticus” (222). The end of history, with all its Hegelian pretenses, did not entail the defeat of socialism-communism but rather of classical liberalism. Evidently, the big state and big

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Elon Musk’s Twitter Gambit and What It Means to the “Clique in Power”

April 30, 2022

Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter and turn it into a private company has apparently been successful. Now the real action begins. Musk’s buyout exposes the Big Digital media complex to unwanted and unwonted competition, while threatening to loosen its near-total control of information and opinion. Twitter has represented a vital component in an information configuration that has barred competitors and participants from the digital sphere by means of progressive criteria, including wokeness, political fealty, and obedience to official state dictates and narratives.
The response to the Twitter takeover by the arbiters of acceptable expression has been as hysterical as it has been swift. The New York Times, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Media Matters

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Do Conspiracies Really Exist? Murray Rothbard Thought So

April 28, 2022

The quickest way to discredit an intellectual opponent is to accuse that person of being a “conspiracy theorist.” But what happens when real conspiracies occur?

Original Article: “Do Conspiracies Really Exist? Murray Rothbard Thought So”

It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any “conspiracy theory of history;” for a search for “conspiracies” means a search for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical misdeeds. If, however, any tyranny imposed by the State, or venality, or aggressive war, was caused not by the State rulers but by mysterious and arcane “social forces,” or by the imperfect state of the world or, if in some way, everyone was responsible (“We Are All Murderers,” proclaims one slogan),

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„Woke“- Gesellschaft – Warum Jordan Peterson die akademische Welt verlassen hat

February 12, 2022

Der Psychologieprofessor Jordan B. Peterson ist im Januar von seinem Posten an der Universität von Toronto zurückgetreten. Ein Kommentar.Die Vorherrschaft der „Woke“- Gesellschaft hat der westlichen Zivilisation einen hohen Tribut abverlangt. Die Opfer der Wokeness sind zu zahlreich, um sie alle aufzuzählen. Aber wir sollten nicht vergessen, dass die „Wokeness“ zuerst in der Hochschulbildung aufkeimte, von wo aus sie sich auf den gesamten sozialen Körper ausbreitete. Die Akademi…Glh Xqtjgttuejchv ghu „Gyuo“- Vthtaahrwpui voh xyl aiwxpmglir Nwjwzwgohwcb vzeve ovolu Jhyrkj rsmvicrexk. Glh Cdtsf nob Ewsmvmaa brwm mh ijquanrlq, jb brn uffy tnysnsäaexg. Qruh eqz bxuucnw fauzl pylaymmyh, mjbb qvr „Ogcwfwkk“ kfpcde bg ghu Wdrwhrwjaqxasjcv mgrwquyfq, haz dv kec fvr zpjo rlw stc qockwdox jfqzrcve

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The Great Reset, Part VI: Plans of a Technocratic Elite

November 3, 2021

In previous installments, I introduced the Great Reset idea1 and treated it in terms of its economic2 and ideological3 components. In this, the sixth installment, I will discuss what the Great Reset entails in terms of governance and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4-IR), closing with remarks about the overall Great Reset project and its implications.
According to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the 4-IR follows the first, second, and third Industrial Revolutions—the mechanical, electrical, and digital, respectively.4 The 4-IR builds on the digital revolution, but Schwab sees the 4-IR as an exponential takeoff and convergence of existing and emerging fields, including Big Data; artificial intelligence; machine

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What Is the Great Reset? Part I: Reduced Expectations and Bio-techno-feudalism

December 20, 2020

The Great Reset is on everyone’s mind, whether everyone knows it or not. It is presaged by the measures undertaken by states across the world in response to the covid-19 crisis. (I mean by “crisis” not the so-called pandemic itself, but the responses to a novel virus called SARS-2 and the impact of the responses on social and economic conditions.)
In his book, COVID-19: The Great Reset, World Economic Forum (WEF) founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab writes that the covid-19 crisis should be regarded as an “opportunity [that can be] seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on the path toward a fairer, greener future.”1 Although Schwab has been promoting the Great Reset for years, the covid crisis has

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