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Publisher's Summary

Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom explores the reach, penetration, power, and impact of Big Digital or the mega-information managers, social media platforms, Artificial Intelligence developers, providers of other web applications and functionalities, and the architects and proponents of the promised Internet of Things. Alphabet (Google, YouTube, etc.) Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and LinkedIn, as well as their many subsidiaries and competitors, comprise a digital collective Big Digital whose domain is global and whose ideological and functional power represents a force unlike any other in history.

Big Digital, a non-governmental constellation of digital technology corporations, now presides over public and private life to such an extent that it rivals, if not surpassing, the governmental reach and penetration of many national governments, combined. Big Digital represents a new private form of government, or a governmentality, the means by which populations are governed, and the technologies that enable that governance. But the constraints of the political field superintended by Big Digital include more than censorship and bias. Constraints are structurally determined by the technology.

The primary means behind Big Digital's governmental functions is ideology. And the ideology of Big Digital is decidedly leftist. I call Big Digital's ideology corporate leftism, or to borrow from and redefine a phrase coined by George Gilder, "Google Marxism". Corporate leftism comprises the set of values and beliefs now lodged within a growing number of US and other corporations. Corporate leftism informs the policies, politics, and procedures of Big Digital.

But corporate leftism is also disseminated well beyond the work cultures of Big Digital's corporate headquarters and regional sites. Corporate leftism is not a subsidiary feature or incidental aspect of Big Digital. Leftism is coded into the very DNA of Big Digital technology and replicated with every organizational offshoot and new technology. Big Digital's leftist ideology circulates through the deep neural networks of cyberspace and other digital spheres. Corporate leftism is intrinsic to the structure of the Internet, the cloud, algorithms, apps, AI bots, social media services, web navigation tracking software systems, virtual assistants, and more.

Google Archipelago tells the story of how Silicon Valley's digital technology corporations became bastions of leftism how, why, and to what ends corporate leftism constituted and informed Big Digital, while still promoting the commercial objectives of its digital global conglomerates and extending their reach as a private governmentality. Big Digital's corporate leftism is authoritarian to the core and the leading governmentality in today's world is the corporate leftist authoritarianism that I call the Google Archipelago.

©2019 Michael Rectenwald (P)2019 New English Review Press

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Not what I was expecting

First of all, I lost count of how many times I heard Google Archipelago being hammered (and sickled?) into my ears. Not to mention how many times I was told of what I would find within the book. I gave it a try thinking that I would find stories about how Google and companies like it manipulate data and people to suit their needs and desires. What I got instead was a word salad coming from an author that sounds like they are not all that familiar with how technology works and is attempting to explain it with all his ignorance for the first time. Fair warning, if you are a tech savvy individual, it will make you cringe. By the end, the book devolved down to an alleged tale of an ex gulag Russian turned American citizen being subjected to a Sci-Fi-like time travel contraption. The author desperately wants to tie this together with the goings on in Soviet Russia and the oh so often named Google Archipelago. I wish I could get my credit back.

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probably a better read than listen

this is an important book for our time. as a former leftie, recreate understands how they think and gain power and eliminate dissent. the concept of corporate Marxism explains a lot about what is going on today. the reader is awful, emphasizing the wrong words in many sentences, pausing inappropriately. the prose is dense, at times, too, so buy the book and read it... that's my plan.

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Must Read!

This was an effortless read and was crystal clear. Rectenwald delivers a timely piece of scholarship that is well-researched and profound. Everyone should read this book.