David C Korten
Others have done well at addressing the strengths of this book, what I can do is bring to bear a few links to other books that deeply support this author and his views.
We must begin in the 1970's, when Richard Barnett in Global Reach and others first began to understand that corporations were amoral, disconnected from communities, and beyond what Kirkpatrick called “human scale.” Joining the authors focusing on multinationals as a unique new breed of corporation were authors such as Lionel Tiger, whose book Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System remains a standard. The industrial era disconnected kinship and community from the manufacturing process, and trust was a casualty (a thesis confirmed in the 1990's when a Nobel Prize was awarded for a man who proved that trust lowers the cost of doing business).
Now we have an entire new literature on how corporations have abused the personality status intended for freed slaves, and been largely freed from all accountability and transparency. Books like The Informant: A True Story and Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story and the books about Wal-Mart, Enron, and Exxon, all support the concerned premise of this author.
Corporations have created a global class war (see the books by that title), and have compromised virtually all governments. Corporations have bought the US Congress (see Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders and The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy); they have compromised national, state, and local social safety networks and standards, they have enhanced the power for 45 dictators world-wide, and they have bribed or created and then bribed elites in virtually every country on the planet so as to loot the commonwealths of those nations with the permission of the elites and against the public interest of the larger population.
Corporations do not rule the world, they are killing the world, and as one wag whose name I cannot recall has said, those doing the killing have names and addresses. Hence this book is a natural lead in to the author's latest work, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (Bk Currents) which I am also reviewing today.
There are *many* books on the evil of unfettered corporations, if I were to recommend only two, they would be Barnett's “Global Reach” for historical context, and this one for the current threat. I also recommend the DVD, The Corporation
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