In his book about enormous sea changes brought about by digital technology, Michael Rectenwald
begins and ends his Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom
(New English Review, 2019) with the political, in particular with the objectives of the Big Digital conglomerates as global corporate monopoly capitalists or would-be-monopolies.
argues that Big Digital technologies and their principals represent not only economic powerhouses but also new forms of governmental power. The technologies of Big Digital not only amplify, extend, and lend precision to the powers of the state, they may represent elements of a new corporate state power.
In contrast to academics who study digital media and bemoan such supposed horrors as digital exploitation, in Google Archipelago
, Michael Rectenwald argues that the real danger posed by Big Digital is not digital capitalism as such, but leftist authoritarianism, a political outlook shared by academic leftists, who thus cannot recognize it in their object of study. Thus, while imagining that they are radical critics of Big Digital, academic digital media scholars (whom Rectenwald terms the "digitalistas") actually serve as ideological smokescreens that obscure its real character.
Michael Rectenwald is a recently retired Professor of Liberal Studies at New York University, where he taught cultural and social history as well as academic writing.
Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.