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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

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,

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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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