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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Technocapitalism

The Rise of the New Robber Barons and the Fight for the Common Good

by Loretta Napoleoni

Book cover for Technocapitalism
Book cover for Technocapitalism

A fascinating look at how the Space Barons and Techtitans—heads of companies like Uber, Amazon, Tesla—have hijacked technology, preventing it from being used on behalf of the common good and profiting from the politics of fear and consumerism.
 

The respected Italian economist and journalist offers a bold and provocative argument that the speed of technological transformation is threatening our future

At the dawn of the digital revolution, the internet was going to be the great equalizer, a global democratic force. Instead, with the money printed electronically to bail out banks, Wall Street ended up funding a new breed of serial capitalists, the Techtitans, who embraced rapid, transformational change while stripping their workers of rights and enriching themselves beyond anybody’s wildest imagination; and the Space Barons, who mine new frontiers for precious resources. Then came the gig-economy, another supposed digital equalizer, where everybody was his or her own boss, but it was just another illusion.

Tech pioneers like Google, Facebook, Apple, Uber, and Microsoft never had any intention of spreading democracy. Those who control and own the technology are the absolute masters. As artificial intelligence enters the labor market, companies like Uber are able to cut labor costs to the barest of minimums, by squeezing workers’ privileges and rights. 

In Technocapitalism, Napoleoni describes these phenomena as the genesis of a new paradigm, born in a period of extraordinary change in which the acceleration of transformational change has caused a dizzying, anxiety-induced paralysis from the FTX collapse to AI, private space companies to the war in Ukraine, from inflation to the dirty environmental truth of EV car batteries. Technological transformation is occurring at a speed that is existentially unbearable for most of us. We must fight for our common good to address today’s real challenges of global warming and militarism and the soulessness of capitalist endeavor. Napoleoni shows us how.

Book cover for Technocapitalism
Book cover for Technocapitalism

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“Her argument is well documented and addresses the real threat that the economy’s financialization poses to democratic institutions and personal freedom. We are, she claims, 'sleepwalking towards dystopia.' A heartfelt plea for greater vigilance in a world increasingly controlled by advanced digital technology.”

blog — January 18

Spring 2024 Political Non-Fiction

MSNBC's legal expert Barbara McQuade breaks down the ways disinformation has become a tool to drive voters to extremes, disempower our legal structures, and consolidate power in the hands of the few. 

A graphic biography of the local activist group Detroit Eviction Defense, whose work combatting — and beating — evictions in Detroit demonstrates the importance — and efficacy — of people organizing locally with their communities. The stories included in this book feature families struggling against evictions, organizing, taking to the streets, and winning their homes back.

An urgent, groundbreaking, and visually stunning new collection of graphic story-telling, edited by Persepolisauthor Marjane Satrapi, Woman, Life, Freedom is a collaboration of activists, artists, journalists, and academics working together to depict the historic uprising — with comics that show what would be censored in photos and film in Iran — in solidarity with the Iranian people, in defense of feminism.

For a new generation of activists, these are classic revolutionary writings by four famous radicals, including The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; Reform or Revolution by Rosa Luxemburg; and Che Guevara’s Socialism and Man in Cuba. Includes an introduction by Cuban Marxist intellectual Armando Hart and a preface by US radical poet Adrienne Rich.

Italian economist and journalist Loretta Napoleoni explains how the heads of Big Tech companies like Uber, Amazon, Tesla, have effectively hijacked technological innovation on a grand scale, and how that unprecedented control is ruining our minds and the planet.

With great immediacy and poignancy, Aleida recounts the story of her epic romance with Che Guevara—their fitful courtship against the backdrop of the Cuban revolutionary war, their marriage at the war’s end and the birth of their four children, up through Che’s tragic assassination in Bolivia less than ten years later. Featuring excerpts from their letters, nearly one hundred never-before-seen photographs from their private collection, and a moving short story Che wrote for Aleida, here is an intimate look at the man behind the legend and the tenacious, courageous woman who knew him best—a story of passionate love, wrenching sacrifice, and unwavering heroism.

A collection of columns and essays that reveal Ralph Nader at his outspoken and prescient best, fighting the good fight against corporate corruption, unbalanced political power, consumer dangers, big pharma, and climate denialism. Featuring an introduction by Lewis Lapham. 

This classic manual on repression by revolutionary activist Victor Serge offers fascinating anecdotes about the tactics of police provocateurs and an analysis of the documents of the Tsarist secret police in the aftermath of the Russian revolution. With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove.

From renowned writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Pancho Villa is wild ride and revealing portrait of the controversial figure, one of Mexico’s most beloved (or loathed) heroes, that finally establishes the importance of his role in the triumph of the Mexican revolution. Published on the 100th anniversary of Pancho Villa's death.

In these three speeches on corporate globalism and imperialism, Ernesto Che Guevara offers a revolutionary view of a world in which human solidarity and understanding replace imperialist agression and exploitation. This collection of writings merges Che's philosophy, politics, and economics in his all encompassing, coherent revolutionary vision.

Loretta Napoleoni

A woman of the Left who garners praise from Noam Chomsky and Greg Palast at the same time as she is quoted respectfully in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, LORETTA NAPOLEONI was born in 1955 in Rome. In the mid 1970s she became an active member of the feminist movement in Italy, and later studied as a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She began her career as an economist, and went on to work as London correspondent and columnist for La Stampa, La Repubblica and La Paîs. Napoleoni is the author of the international bestsellers Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism. She has served as Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, and lectures regularly around the world on economics, money laundering and terrorism. Napoleoni lives in London and Montana.

Other books by Loretta Napoleoni