THE POST-CORPORATE WORLD by David C. Korten

THE POST-CORPORATE WORLD

Life After Capitalism
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the ’80s, capitalism defeated communism. Now it has defeated democracy, we are informed by Korten (When Corporations Rule the World, 1995). 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. Stay tuned. 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.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1999
ISBN: 1-57675-051-5
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999