David C. Korten: When Corporations Rule the World

Berrett Koehler, 3rd ed., 2015 (1995)

Publisher’s Description:

Korten2Our Choice: Democracy or Corporate Rule

A handful of corporations and financial institutions command an ever-greater concentration of economic and political power in an assault against markets, democracy, and life. It’s a “suicide economy,” says David Korten, that destroys the very foundations of its own existence. The bestselling 1995 edition of When Corporations Rule the World helped launch a global resistance against corporate domination. In this twentieth-anniversary edition, Korten shares insights from his personal experience as a participant in the growing movement for a New Economy. A new introduction documents the further concentration of wealth and corporate power since 1995 and explores why our institutions resolutely resist even modest reform. A new conclusion chapter outlines high-leverage opportunities for breakthrough change.

Contents:

A Choice for Life
Prologue: A Personal Journey
Introduction: Capitalism and the Suicide Economy
PART I: COWBOYS IN A SPACESHIP
1. From Hope to Crisis
2. End of the Open Frontier
3. The Growth Illusion
PART II: CONTEST FOR SOVEREIGNTY
4. Rise of Corporate Power in America
5. Assault of the Corporate Libertarians
6. The Decline of Democratic Pluralism
7. Illusions of the Cloud Minders
PART III: CORPORATE COLONIALISM
8. Dreaming of Global Empires
9. Building Elite Consensus
10. Buying Out Democracy
11. Marketing the World
12. Adjusting the Poor
13. Guaranteeing Corporate Rights
PART IV: A ROGUE FINANCIAL SYSTEM
14. The Money Game
15. Predatory Finance
16. Corporate Cannibalism
17. Managed Competition
PART V: NO PLACE FOR PEOPLE
18. Race to the Bottom
19. The End of Inefficiency
20. People with No Place
PART VI: TO RECLAIM OUR POWER
21. The Ecological Revolution
22. Economies Are for Living
23. An Awakened Civil Society
24. Agenda for Democracy
Conclusion: A Living Economy for Living Earth
Epilogue: Our Need for Meaning

Review Quotes:

“This is a ‘must-read’ book–a searing indictment of an unjust international economic order, not by a wild-eyed idealistic left-winger, but by a sober scion of the establishment with impeccable credentials. It left me devastated but also very hopeful. Something can be done to create a more just economic order.”  Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu

“Anyone serious about the systemic crisis we now face ought to read this updated version today. Korten captures the devastating and increasingly threatening dynamics of the corporate-dominated global system and has offered a vibrant, well-written, and important strategy for moving us beyond its destructive economic, social, and ecological logic.”  Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do?

“If every corporate leader who believes implicitly that consumerism is the path to happiness (and that rampant development is the road to global prosperity) were to read When Corporations Rule the World with an open mind, that world just might have a chance of becoming a better place for us all.”  Toronto Globe and Mail

About the Author:

David Korten, author and activist, is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, co-founder and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, president of the Living Economies Forum, an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, a member of the Club of Rome, and founding board member emeritus of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. A 20th anniversary edition of his classic international best seller When Corporations Rule the World will launch in June 2015. His other books include Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism.

David has MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the Stanford Business School, and in his earlier career served as a captain in the US Air Force, a Harvard Business School professor, a Ford Foundation project specialist, and Asia regional adviser on development management to the U.S. Agency for International Development. He lived and worked for 21 years as a development professional in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Living Economies Forum (davidkorten.org)

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