Thursday, January 29, 2009

When Corporations Rule the World or Where to Retire

When Corporations Rule the World: SECOND EDITION

Author: David C Korten

* An international best-seller
* Endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab

This second edition updates the reader on the deepening human crisis of the global economy. The gap between rich and poor continues to grow, and people continue to exploit the planet. Korten writes of the new global citizens' movement of activism in response to corporate globalization, and of civil society groups' efforts to restructure global economic governance. He transitions from a critical analysis of the new world order to an optimistic focus on the role of spirit and culture in a "civil-ized" society.

ForeWord Magazine - Cindy Patuszynski

Vivid imagery and original ideas make The Post-Corporate World an interesting and thought-provoking perspective of Korten's view of global society.

Andrea Martin

...[W[ith thrilling clarity, discusses practical ways to create a just, sustainable and compassionate society. —Utne Reader

Publishers Weekly

This well-documented, apocalyptic tome describes the global spread of corporate power as a malignant cancer exercising a market tyranny that is gradually destroying lives, democratic institutions and the ecosystem for the benefit of greedy companies and investors. Korten (Getting to the 21st Century) points out his conservative roots and business credentials-and then proceeds to finger such classic conspiracy-theory scapegoats as the Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations as the planning agents of the new world economic order he decries. Korten, founder of the People-Centered Development Forum, prescribes a reordering of developmental priorities to restore local control and benefits. Suggested reforms include shifting tax policies to punish greed and reward social responsibility, placing a 100% reserve requirement on demand deposits at banks and closing the World Bank, which he claims encourages indebtedness in nations that can't afford it. (Oct.)

Publishers Weekly

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy and the market economy." So begins The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, the latest salvo from David C. Korten (When Corporations Rule the World). In four sections of three or four chapters each, Korten lays out how it happened and what we can do about it, using model communities that have already begun to "treat money as a facilitator, not the purpose, of our economic lives."

Library Journal

For 30 years, Korten toiled as a development worker seeking to end the poverty of the world's underdeveloped nations. In that time, he noted a stark difference between capitalism's democratic myth and the reality of social, economic, and environmental deterioration that accompanied such efforts. In this intriguing sequel to When Corporations Rule the World (Berrett-Koehler, 1995), Korten identifies the root causes of these failures as consumerism, market deregulation, free trade, privatization, global consolidation of corporate power, a focus on money as purpose for economic life, and corruption of our democratic institutions. His solutions prescribe excluding corporations from political participation, implementing serious political campaign reform, eliminating corporate welfare, regulating international corporations and finance, making financial speculation unprofitable, reestablishing locally owned and managed economies that rely predominantly on local resources, and focusing on service to life, not money, as the purpose of our economic existence. Korten makes a good case, but his solutions won't necessarily fly in the face of reality. Still, his book should find a receptive audience in both academic and public libraries.--Norman B. Hutcherson, Kern Cty. Lib., Bakersfield, CA

Library Journal

Korten (Getting to the Twenty-First Century, Kumarian Pr., 1990) brings impressive credentials to the task of blaming large international corporations for many of the social and environmental problems confronting people all over the world. Using numerous well-researched examples, Korten argues that not only do today's corporations exploit labor and the environment, but governments (particularly the U.S. government), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, aid and abet this exploitation through policies that favor capitalists over workers and small business. Although Korten speaks from an obviously liberal position, in an era when conservative political voices declare an unswerving faith in the benefits of unfettered free markets, a voice from the opposition offers a welcome balance. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.


While protestors at the WTO meetings in Seattle and at similar meetings of the global financial institutions have been derided as ill-informed troublemakers by the majority of the press, Korten (former advisor to the Ford Foundation and U.S. Agency for International Development) argues that their concerns about increasingly centralized corporate power are essentially right. He outlines the evolution of corporate power over the economy and governance worldwide, while acknowledging the severe depredations it causes to millions around the world. After looking at many facets of the problem in financial systems, flawed economic analyses, declining democratic institutions, and other aspects of growing corporate power, he offers some solutions. He grounds his alternative in a theory he calls the "Ecological Revolution" that would attempt to localize economies, while globalizing cooperation among communities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Andrea Martin

...[W[ith thrilling clarity, discusses practical ways to create a just, sustainable and compassionate society. -- Utne Reader

Kirkus Reviews

In the '80s, capitalism defeated communism. Now it has defeated democracy, we are informed by Korten (When Corporations Rule the World). Capitalism is inimical to life, he declares, and he thinks, naturally enough, that life is better. The author, a former Harvard Business School teacher, depicts the doleful condition on our sad little planet. He objects to the wayward thinking of proponents of what he calls a "dead universe" governed by inhumanly impersonal corporations. Midas was wrong. Life and money do not mix. Humanity, as a functioning organism, can make a better choice. It can reject the power of international business, bent on amassing hegemony and cash at any cost. Corporations, to put it baldly, are soul destroying and inherently evil. They are merging and metastasizing worldwide. The unfortunate current primacy of cash returns to shareholders bodes ill. Corporations destroy natural assets and human institutions and exploit workers—this is the author's angry preachment. (The reader must conclude that the term "corporation" is simple synecdoche, standing in for Mammon as Capitalist). Korten is preaching a kind of Zen: We must learn the lessons of life's ancient wisdom and stop the foolishness now. Without a shift to ethical and mindful markets and the local rooting of capital, we are doomed, saith Korten. Reject NAFTA, the WTO, and the IMF as ultimately destructive forces. Corporations should not, as is presently the case, be accorded the status of personhood or be recipients of governmental largess. Economic democracy must be advanced, but can the change happen? The author thinks so, pointing to signs of postmodern populism and grassroots humanitarianism. Staytuned. Less a full-scale program for action than a life-affirming pep talk. An amalgam of physics, biology, and politics, with a dollop of philosophy, this manifesto is as troublesome as any zealot's call for morality.

What People Are Saying

Ralph Nader
Building on the electrifying, best-selling first edition of When Corporations Rule the World, this new edition expands and updates Korten's laser-like analysis of how global corporations dominate people and their governments, and the miserable conditions that result when the few rule the many.  Korten then shows practical pathways to a realizable future of more just, prosperous, and sustainable societies. This book will agitate your mind, elevate your soul, and engage your civic spirit.

Desmond Tutu
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.

Danny Glover
Like many of the people who in November 1999 attended the WTO Teach-ins in Seattle, I was motivated to be there because of David Korten's work.  When Corporations Rule the World continues to be at the very center of this expanding global dialogue and invites us all to become participants in what I believe to be a sacred trust to create a world that works for all.

Table of Contents:
Prologue: A Personal Journey1
1From Hope to Crisis17
2End of the Open Frontier25
3The Growth Illusion37
4Rise of Corporate Power in America53
5Assault of the Corporate Libertarians69
6Decline of Democratic Pluralism87
7Illusions of the Cloud Minders103
8Dreaming of Global Empires121
9Building Elite Consensus133
10Buying Out Democracy141
11Marketing the World149
12Adjusting the Poor159
13Guaranteeing Corporate Rights173
14The Money Game185
15Predatory Finance195
16Corporate Cannibalism207
17Managed Competition215
18Race to the Bottom229
19The End of Inefficiency239
20People with No Place249
21The Ecological Revolution261
22Good Living277
23An Awakened Civil Society293
24Agenda for Change307
Epilogue: A Choice for Life325
Appendix: The People's Earth Declaration: A Proactive Agenda for the Future329
About the Author375

Read also Economia Ecológica:Princípios e Aplicações

Where to Retire: America's Best and Most Affordable Places

Author: John Howells

Finding the ideal home base for your retirement years is a crucial decision. It is also a decision that can be confusing if you aren't sure where to look or what to look for.
In this well-researched and completely revised and updated guide, retirement guru John Howells gives the best advice not only on where to relocate for your retirement, but why you should pick up and move just as life is settling down. Where to Retire provides guidance in the form of clear snapshots of life in hundreds of the most affordable, comfortable, and stimulating places to retire in the United States.
Inside you will find carefully researched, up-to-the-minute information on: where you can live graciously, yet affordably; the ideal climate for your health and preference; recreation opportunities; social environments that suit your lifestyle; where to find the best health care.

Internet Book Watch

Any considering moving to a better area for retirement years should consult this guide first: it provides a set of assessments for popular retirement communities which include tips on how to assess for lifestyle, and appears in its 4th updated edition to provide the latest on changing communities. Chapters are especially strong in detailing affordability factors, climates and health care for selected areas.

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