Review: Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Crime (Corporate), Democracy, Future, History, Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars A Four Pumped to Five to Stave Off the Ideologues
November 27, 2009
David C. Korten
I would normally rate this book a four because of its lack of reference to Buckminster Fuller (see Critical Path; the Open Money movement; or the literature on wealth of networks, fortune at the bottom of the pyramid, and collective intelligence, but I make it a solid five for three reasons:

1. Anybody capable of writing The Great Turning (Volume 1 of 2) (EasyRead Large Edition): From Empire to Earth Community


Review: The Great Turning–From Empire to Earth Community

6 Star Top 10%, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Censorship & Denial of Access, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Catastrophe, Complexity & Resilience, Congress (Failure, Reform), Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Information Society, Justice (Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Science & Politics of Science, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity

Great TurningPeople are the new super power–local resilience, global community,

January 28, 2007

David C Korten

I have mixed feelings about this book. It is unquestionably a five-star work of reflection, integration, and focused moral intent. On the other hand, while it introduced a broad “earth-friendly” literature that I was *not* familiar with, it does not “see” a much broader literature that I have absorbed, and so I want to do two things with this review: feature the highlights from this book, and list a number of other works that support and expand on the author's reflections for the greater good of us all.

Early highlights include the continued relevance of Dennis Kucinich and the emerging value of the Case Foundation and Revolution Health as funded by Steve Case, founder of AOL. The author posits early on the choice we have been a great unraveling and a great turning. He describes all our institutions as failing at the same time that we have unlimited potential. He concludes, as have many others, that centralized authority is not working, and suggests that we must confront that which does not work and devise new constructive alternatives (“for every no there must be a yes”).

In the middle of the book he describes the five levels of consciousness as magical, imperial, socialized, cultural, and spirirtual. I would have put socialized ahead of imperial, since the industrial era used schools to socialize us into both factory workers and conscripts for the armed forces. He concludes this section with a commentary on moral autism, which of course reminds us of nakedly amoral Dick Cheney.

The author moves toward a conclusion by pointing out that people are the new super-power, with the Internet and its many new features as the foundation for bringing people together and making people power effective.

A large portion of the middle section is a historical review of America, with its genocidal, slavery, and unilateral militant interventionist nature, and its extreme inequality now, which the literature on revolution clearly identifies (the latter, concentration of wealth) as a precurser to almost inevitable violent revolution).

The book ends with four strategic elements:

1) Awakening of cultural and spiritual consciousness
2) Resistance of the imperial empire's assault on children, families, communities, and nature
3) Form and connect communities of convergence
4) Build a majoritarian political base.

In parting notes he points out that the status of our children is the key indicator of our future, and that today one out of every two children is born into and lives into poverty (one reason why the High Level Threat Panel put poverty above infectuous disease and environmental degradation).

He ends by calling for local living economies at a human scale.

If you have the time to only read one book within the broad literatures of imagination, corporateism, and constructive prospects for the planet, this is probably that book. Below I want to a list quite a few that support this author's thesis, and for which I have provided a summative as well as an evaluative review within these Amazon pages:

The Corporation
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions
Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America's Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

See also:
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'
“The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past”
Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems
Deep Economy

There are many more should you wish to explore via my categorized lists, but the above both lend great credence to the author of this single book, and expand considerably on the reflections that he has distilled into this one book.

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Review: When Corporations Rule the World

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad)

Corporations RulePinnacle of the Negative Consequences of Corporate Impunity,

January 28, 2007

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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