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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


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

by Loretta Napoleoni


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.


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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