Volume 96, Issue 92
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

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Outside the Box: Corporations is anti-globalization bible

By Des Stuchbury
Gazette Staff

"Say what?"

That would be a natural reaction to possibly one of the most revolutionary books of our time, When Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten, published in 2001.

Korten is co-founder and board chair of the Positive Futures Network, publisher of YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, founder and president of The People-Centered development Forum and an associate of the International Forum on Globalization. He earned his MBA and PhD at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. He also served for over five years as a faculty member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

Corporations has been labelled as the quasi-bible of the anti-globalization movement – or as Korten prefers, "the living democracy." It is not another Communist Manifesto. In fact, Korten is a strong supporter of the capitalist system and Adam Smith's writings. However, he is not a fan of the Disneyland/ABC/ General Motors/Exxon conglomerate, which he effectively points out is leading society ever closer to the precipice.

If Bretton Woods, IMF, WBO and the military-corporate conglomerate are a mystery to you, read this book.

One of the outstanding features of Korten's work is his meticulous footnoting. Many of the facts presented may seem incredulous, especially if you have been watching a lot of American television. By using numerous footnotes, the author has given the reader the opportunity to confirm whether what is written is true or not.

Unfortunately, the seriousness of the subject does not lead to what might be described as a light read. On the other hand, if you are seen reading this book on the beach this summer, you have an excellent chance of having a conversation starter (i.e. a chance to use your famous pick-up lines). That's not to say this book is a babe or hunk magnet, it just means that anyone intelligent enough to have read the book might be someone worth talking to.

Over 30 years ago, Bob Dylan wrote, "The times they are a changin'," and they did – for the worse. Korten's book shows that the water is rising, and it's time to sink or swim. To quote Captain Kirk, "In every revolution there is one man with a vision." With luck, that man or woman will read this book.

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