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Michael Rectenwald



Articles by Michael Rectenwald

An Autoethnographic Account of the Free Market: My Father

May 8, 2021

Instead of approaching the free market abstractly, in this short series, I’ll approach it from the standpoint of my own experience. In short, I’ll treat the free market in an autoethnographic account. Autoethnography is just what the word suggests: it is a genre of ethnographic writing and research that connects the personal to the cultural, …

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The State-Corporate Convergence in Our State of Emergency

April 22, 2021

Perhaps the most pressing matter today for advocates of freedom is the prospect of the Left completing the institution of a totalitarian state. There is no other way to read the multiprong approach and the political maneuverings that political operatives are taking to rule under “Biden.” I put “Biden” in quotation marks here because the current president …

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Why Postmodernism Is Incompatible with a Politics of Liberty

April 5, 2021

Several months ago, I debated Thaddeus Russell on The Tom Woods Show. The proposition debated was “Postmodern philosophy is compatible with a politics of individual liberty.” Thaddeus defended the proposition and I opposed it. Here, I want to flesh out some of the points I made in the debate, adding more context than I could …

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The Great Reset, Part V: Woke Ideology

February 27, 2021

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the Great Reset and introduced several ways of understanding the economics of it. The Great Reset can be thought of as neofeudalism, as “corporate socialism,” as “capitalism with Chinese characteristics,” and in terms of “stakeholder capitalism” versus “neoliberalism.” In future installments, I intend to treat the technological (transhumanist) and monetary …

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The Great Reset, Part IV: “Stakeholder Capitalism” vs. “Neoliberalism”

February 1, 2021

Any discussion of “stakeholder capitalism” must begin by noting a paradox: like “neoliberalism,” its nemesis, “stakeholder capitalism” does not exist as such. There is no such economic system as “stakeholder capitalism,” just as there is no such economic system as “neoliberalism.” The two antipathetic twins are imaginary ghosts forever pitted against each other in a …

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The Great Reset, Part II: Corporate Socialism

January 1, 2021

The aims of the WEF are not to plan every aspect of production and thus to direct all individual activity. Rather, the goal is to limit the possibilities for individual activity—by dint of squeezing out industries and producers within industries from the economy. Original Article: “The Great Reset, Part II: Corporate Socialism” This Audio Mises …

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The Great Reset, Part III: Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics

January 1, 2021

The title of this essay represents a play on the Chinese Communist Party’s description of its economy. Several decades ago, when China’s growing reliance on the for-profit sectors of its economy could no longer be credibly denied by the CCP, its leadership approved the slogan “socialism with Chinese characteristics” to describe the Chinese economic system.1 Formulated …

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Un-woke

November 30, 2020

[Michael Rectenwald was a professor of liberal studies and global liberal studies at NYU from 2008 to 2019. He holds a PhD in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s in English literature from Case Western Reserve University, and a BA in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Rectenwald is …

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The Google Election

November 13, 2020

[This is the transcript of the eponymous talk presented at the Mises Institute’s Ron Paul Symposium on November 7, 2020, in Angleton, Texas.] “Don’t be evil” may no longer be Google’s official company motto, but it remains the last sentence of its Code of Conduct. As part of not being evil, Google maintains that “everything …

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The Google Election

November 7, 2020

Whether Trump or not-Trump is finally declared the winner of the 2020 US presidential election, we’re in for the battle of our lives. A constellation of state and state-extended apparatuses has openly declared war on liberty—on us. We’re all thought criminals now. Presented at the Symposium with Ron Paul on Saturday, 7 November 2020, in …

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Google Marxism: Internet Ideology and the Academics Who Perpetuate It

October 3, 2019

Rectenwald argues that, just as the Gulag was the means to physically disappear dissidents and other thought criminals from normal life in the Soviet Union, powerful corporations currently preside over big data and serve as the chief arbiters of expression with power to delete “dangerous” persons from its various platforms. Presented at the Libertarian Scholars …

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Libertarianism(s) versus Postmodernism and ‘Social Justice’ Ideology

October 1, 2019

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 22, no. 2 (Summer 2019) full issue. ABSTRACT: This Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture, sponsored by Yousif Almoayyed, was given at the Austrian Economics Research Conference at the Mises Institute on March 22, 2019. Coined by Ross Douthat of the New York Times, woke capitalism refers to a burgeoning wave …

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