"When Corporations Rule The World" By David Korten

2282 words - 10 pages

The book 'When corporations Rule the World' by David Korten describes the way things will be in the future with multi-national corporations. These large corporations are found all over the world. There are many different problems that are appearing and many of them can be seen to be connected to corporations. We need to look at what is occurring with corporations and see if they are causing more problems or are helping to solve problems of the world. David Korten addresses this question in his book. He points out many of the problems that are being caused by multi-national corporations in the world today. He points out the effects to communities, families, the individual and the environment that are being forgotten about in the ever expanding process of economic globalization. Korten states ' the process of economic globalization are not only spreading mass poverty, environmental devastation and social disintegration, they are also weakening our capacity for constructive social and cultural innovation at a time when such innovation is needed as never before' (269).Corporations have not always been as big and powerful as the are today. Through economic globalization they have become very powerful. 'Corporations have emerged as the dominant governance institutions on the planet, with the largest among them reaching into virtually every country of the world and exceeding most governments in size and power' (54). Prior to the Civil War, owners were personally responsible for any liabilities or debts the company incurred, including wages owed to workers. Early Americans feared corporations as a threat to democracy and freedom. After the Civil War, owners and managers of corporations pressed relentlessly to expand their powers, and the courts gave them what they wanted. Perhaps the most important change occurred when the U.S. Supreme Court granted corporations the full constitutional protections of individual citizens. By the early 20th century, courts had limited the liability of share holders; corporations had been given perpetual life times; othe number of owners was no longer restricted; the capital they could control was infinite. Some corporations were even given the power of eminent domain. In effect, the U.S. Supreme Court bestowed natural rights on unnatural creatures, amoral beasts that were created to serve selfish men. Now corporations had life and liberty, but no morals, and the fears of the early Americans were soon realized.There are many problems that can be seen being caused by the multi-national corporations that have spread all over the world. One of these problems is the thoughtlessness of these large corporations to abuse the environment that we all have to live in. Corporations have been destroying both the renewable and non-renewable resources of the world. Many of the nonrenewable resources are being used at very excessive rates for profit to the few and nothing for the people where the natural resources are being taken from. 'When industrialization caused countries to exceed their national resource limits, they simply reached out to obtain what was needed from beyond their own borders, generally by colonizing the resources of non-industrial people' (27).Many renewable resources are also being destroyed all over the world and this is having very devastating effects to many people. One of these main resources is the polluting of the fresh water and air in the world and the ability to absorb our wastes. One example of this is the amount of damage that has done by acid rain. 'At the global level, each year deserts encroach on another 6 billion hectares of once productive land, the area covered by tropical forests is reduced by 11 million hectares, there is a net loss of 26 billion tons of soil from oxidation and erosion, and 1.5 billion hectares of prime agricultural land are abandoned due to salinization form irrigation projects' (28).Two of the most important aspects of good health are in the abundance of clean water and proper sanitation. 'Countries with high income levels are experiencing increases in rates of cancer, respiratory illness is, stress and cardiovascular disorders, and birth defects, as well as falling sperm counts' (41). This is due mostly to what is left after economic growth, waste and pollution.One of the other effects is that many of these multi-national corporations have much more power than many governments of the world. 'As markets become freer and more global, the power to govern increasingly passes from national governments to global corporations, and the interests of those corporations, and the interests of those corporations diverge ever farther from the human interests' (67). This means that these corporations have the power to influence many decisions that are made by the governments of the world. This can be done in two main ways. The first is in helping to get the people that they feel will help make political decisions that will benefit them. This is done through the many donations that are made to the campaign funds of those individuals. The other way is in the nature of the corporation. This is through the large amounts of capital that the success of the corporation of the is dependent on. In democracies, a person gets one vote. 'In the market one dollar is one vote, and you get as many votes as you have dollars. No dollar, no vote. Markets are inherently biased in favor of people of wealth' (66). This means that the market only recognizes money, not people. It gives no voice of the penniless, and when not balanced by constraining political forces can become and instrument of oppression by which the wealthy monopolize society's resources leaving the less fortunate with out land, jobs, technology or other means of livelihood. 'Money is its sole measure of value, and its practice is advancing policies that are deepening social and environmental disintegration every where' (69).These huge corporations are also effecting and changing our lives in another way. These corporations are able to manipulate the cultural values and universal symbols of the societies of the world. 'Our cultural symbols provide an important source of identity and meaning; they affirm our worth, our place in society....When control of our cultural symbols passes to corporations, we are essentially yielding to them the power to define who we are...We become simply members of the 'Pepsi generation' detached from place and any meaning other than those a corporation finds is profitable to confer on us' (158). The societies of the world, are loosing their heritage and traditions that had separated each of them and made them each unique. As the world grows smaller through technology and we become more dependent on each other many of these important traditions that united a community are being lost and forgotten. The corporations are looking to just make a profit.There are many other problems that are being caused by multinational corporations that are being over looked because they can not be measured by monetary means. These are the effects that the individual and society are noticing more and are trying to have to deal with. The first of these is in the feeling of job security. 'Not so long ago, the firm which a person worked was almost like family. It was primary support system in an otherwise impersonal and transient world. A good job was far more than an income. It was a source of identity and of valued and enduring relationships' (245). With these large corporations we are getting away from this feeling of security. Many people are learning that 'no amount of money can buy peace of mind, a strong and loving family, caring friends, and a feeling that one is meaningful and important work' (243). This is becoming true for people with jobs on any level. There is no longer any job security for virtually anyone at any level.This feeling is also bring on many other problems. These are in the family. With out security stress levels can become very high causing many problems in the family. Is this why the divorce rate in America has climbed to unbelievable heights? 'High rates of deprivation, depression, divorce, teenage pregnancy, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, crime and suicide are among the more evident consequences in both high and low income countries' (45).One of the other main problems falls to the poor societies of the world. They end up getting totally neglected by multinational corporations. This is done on all levels. From the taking of natural non-renewable resources to the poor not being able to make any impact on the decisions made because they do not have the capital to make their 'vote'. They are being excluded from land, technology is eliminating jobs faster than it is creating new ones, and public services that were placed there to help them are being dismantled because there is not enough funds. This is all being done to increase the wealth of those who really do not need any more. These large corporations do not have feelings or think of the destructive things that are being caused by their practices.There are many things that need to be done to turn all of these problems around. Major changes will have to occur. One of these changes is trying to get back to small businesses that this country was started on and still depends on today. Locally owned small businesses are not only the foundation for strong communities; they are the driving force of strong economies. Small businesses are our engines of innovation and job creation. One example of this how small business is better than large corporations, is in the court case where an 81 year old woman, sued the huge multinational corporation of McDonalds for serving her a coffee heated to 180-190 degrees, far above the average temperature of 140 degrees. She was hospitalized for 8 days and had to undergo skin grafts for third degree burns. She was awarded $2.9 million dollars in the case. The jury was told that this had happened to 700 patrons over the past 10 years who had burned themselves on the super heated coffee. Only after the verdict did any fast food changes evaluate this unnecessary practice of subjecting their customers to this potential injury.If this had occurred at a local neighborhood coffee shop, think of the consequences. How many customers would get burned until a customer talked to the owner and demand that the temperature get turned down. Big corporations require a legal system that allows the average citizen to force them to pay for their mistakes and mend their ways. Local business are able to more easily hear the voice of their customers and remedy the problems more quickly and easily.Connected with this, since corporations can not be eliminated, they need to at least change their ways. They need to 'Think globally, act locally' (271). This means that the need to help out the community. To set up programs for the people of the community. To bring 'community' back into the cities and towns where these businesses are. They also need to make sure that these efforts are working and reaching the people that really would benefit from them.'We must decide whether the power to govern will be in the hands of living people or will reside with corporate entities driven by a different agenda. To regain control of our future and bring human societies into balance with the planet, we must reclaim the power we have yielded to the corporation' (48). This statement means to main things. That we as individuals must work together to reclaim the power that was given to these corporations and that they are abusing. It also states that societies need to come into balance with the planet, mainly the environment.Korten states the three main things that have to change in order to come into balance with the environment. These are one the 'Rates of use of renewable resources do no exceed the rates at which the ecosystem is able to regenerate them.' Second, ' Rates of consumption or irretrievable disposal of nonrenewable resources do not exceed the rates at which nonrenewable substitutes are developed and phased into use.' Third, 'Rates of pollution emission into the environment do not exceed the rates of the ecosystem's natural assimilative capacity.' (272). With out more strict laws that effect corporations world wide it is going to be very difficult to have an impact on improving the environment.In this book, Korten makes important points to opening the eyes of society to making changes to the free market and the multinational corporations that rule over it. He points out the effects of the threefold of human crisis, the deepening of poverty, the social disintegration and environmental destruction. At the heart of this destruction is the corporations. The are unaccountable for the polluting and driven by an addiction to economic growth, the serve the interests of a very small international elite and are harming the rest of us. He hopes on the co-existence revolution that is bound to come. He also looks to an awakening of civil society and the growth of more social movements.

RELATED

What does Lenin mean when he says the state is an instrument of class rule - Newcastle, Politics - Essay

544 words - 3 pages What does Lenin mean when he says the state is an instrument of class rule. Unlike Bernstein who believes that the capitalist state will adapt and change, to protect the interests of the working class. Lenin disagrees with his suggestion that it would in theory be possible for the state to put measures in place for this to happen through socialist democratic reform. He thinks that it is the state itself which perpetuates the oppression of the

Paper On "Rule Of The Bone" By Russell Banks: The Men In His Life

1101 words - 5 pages because I’d seen lots of really gross things by then.” The sexual abuse theme haunts Bone. He is trapped by what Ken has done to him. Bone’s experience with Ken disenables him from being able to release his demons. Bone is unable to forget the past and move on with the future because of what Ken has done to him. Bone even has difficulty interacting with others physically. When the bikers offer Bone a woman, he declines the offer. Bone

The Inevitable: "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver

515 words - 3 pages all have a reason for existing. In the end of Mary Oliver's poem she talks about when the end does come she wants to have been amazed by the things she has seen and experienced.She wants to experience her life whole heartedly and she wants to look back on her life seeing a theme of "No regrets!" She finally states that she doesn't want to come across that hungry bear in the woods and be scared or question if it the right time, she wants to be ready and feel comforted by the fact that she lived her life the best way she knew how and know somewhere she had left a mark on the world as "common and singular" as she was.

Tomorrow When The World Began Critical Essay - English Language Arts - Essay

660 words - 3 pages . This is a very valuable lesson to people as it is very relevant to today's world. In the novel, ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’, shows us that in time of chaos and disaster, the human spirit will always triumph. Despite having their worlds turn upside down, they still pull themselves together in order to survive and help one another. Values and morals may have to change, but victory will still befall in anyone who follows their hearts. The group

Why The North Won The Civil War By David Donald: Reflection On The Economic, Military, Diplomatic, Political, And Social Reasons The South Lost

1391 words - 6 pages botheration and disagreement with their opposition. The purpose of this essay is to summarize each of the five arguments presented by Richard N. Current, T. Harry Williams, Norman A. Graebner, David Herbert Donald, and David M. Potter. Each author gives his insight on one of the following five reasons: economic, military, diplomatic, social, and political, respectively.The essay entitled "The Military Leadership of the North and South" by Harry Willams

Paper on world war two and its causes also the hollicost and when the allied powers began winning - American history - research

1433 words - 6 pages -europe-and- north-africa-axis-supremacy-193942/. VE and VJ Days - World War 2 - History for Kids, www.historyforkids.net/ve-and-vj-days.html. V-J Day-WWII. History.com. n.p.,n.d, n.d. Wedell, Colton. "A Devastating War." U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons by Lori Verstegen. Locust Grove: IEW, 2015. 184-188. Print. White, David. “Social Studies for Kids.” The 13 American Colonies: Maryland, 2002, www.socialstudiesforkids.com/subjects/worldwarii.htm.

Reaction Paper on the article: Leadership and the common good by Randy David : Public Lives, Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005

440 words - 2 pages cooperation of my members... they are my strength, my inspiration. How I would like to imagine that our leaders feel the same way.Every Filipino dreams that one-day, we would be saved by a great leader who will pull us out of poverty and free from the dictates of other powerful nations. For more than once we have shown the world the power our people through bloodless revolutions that made us inspire and earn the respect of other nations. Plagued by amnesia

Conditions Experienced By Australian Soliders In The Western Front In World War One

489 words - 2 pages 1) Why did Australian men volunteer to enlist in WWI?PayThe army provided an extremely good regular wage that almost doubled the wage of a Labourer. The Australian Solider receiving 6 shillings a day was the best paid soldier in the world. The decision to enlist was very attractive because it was the time of high unemployment and a weak economy.Adventure/Travel'The chance of a lifetime', this was the chance for many young single men enticed by a

The extremes of love shown by Hitler during World War 2 - Harvard University- English Wing Major - Essay

1291 words - 6 pages happening out there?”- L “I’m not too sure”- D *The driver gets back in the boat and says “Everyone can get off now and follow the police man into his bus. Good luck everyone, pray to Allah you will get what you want.” *Everyone gets off the boat and gets into the bus by the police officer as F. *The bus starts up. “Where is he taking us?”- L “Hopefully someplace safe.”- D 4 HOURS OF TRAVELLING LATER *The bus finally comes to a stop. Both brothers

world war 1 research paper of a soldier by the name of Alvin C. York. - World history - Research paper

420 words - 2 pages Coach Carnline Michael Juarez Alvin C. York Alvin C. York Alvin Cullum York was an American war hero in WWI. He was born on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee. Being the eldest Alvin learned how to be a crack shot and a good woodsman in order to take care of his siblings. By 1911 his father died leaving his responsibilities to Alvin. There was a period in which he developed into a heavy drinker and started getting into frequent bar

Corporate Social Responsibility - York University/SOSC 1340 - Research Paper

2766 words - 12 pages /driver00garrgoog.pdf Glasbeek, H. J. (2002). Wealth by stealth: Corporate crime, corporate law, and the perversion of democracy. Toronto: Between the Lines. Hobbes, T. (2008). Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan. New York: Pearson Longman. Nace, T. (2005). Gangs of America: The rise of corporate power and the disabling of democracy (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. Rowland, W. (2006). Greed, Inc.: Why corporations rule our world (1st U.S. ed.). New York

David Copperfield The Evil Shadow of Edward Murdstone - English Victorian Literature - Essay

1680 words - 7 pages .” (Dickens 31). Apparently, many readers think that Mr. Murdstone’s action in the story is of utmost evilness as he enforces the rules and firms with David whenever he wants to break a rule, for example, in the chapter IV where David is sullen because he feels swallowed up by his depression and loneliness in the new house, Mr. Murdstone drags him to the upstairs and inquire him, “‘if I have an obstinate horse or dog to deal with, what do you think I

David Lurie from J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace - Modern Novelists - Term Paper

1706 words - 7 pages David Lurie from J.M. Coetzee’s ​Disgrace Regarding Andrew O'Hehir’s critical review of the novel ​Disgrace​ by J.M. Coetzee, the notion that judging David Lurie “is not a simple matter” allows us to break down an ideal world into its ugliest components. David’s discourse throughout the novel depicts the fluidity of his character, whether he is at his highest with a good job and a beautiful woman by his side or putting down dogs with Bev

a movie about Sabrina and how it is not considered a romantic comedy but should be - nyu English comp - research paper

779 words - 4 pages party. Knowing David dances with any pretty girl who catches his fancy, she puts on the most beautiful gown she has from Paris. While dancing, he whispers to her to meet him at the tennis court. He is caught up by his family and unable to meet Sabrina, so his brother goes instead. It is urgent that David marries Larabee’s daughter because he owns the second largest sugarcane business in the world which would help them make a lot of money if

Wall-e paper English 101 ethos pathos logos - English 101 - Essay

1196 words - 5 pages Olivia Fant Ms. Caskey English 101 5 December 2018 Outline I. We are living in Pixar’s future. a. Self driving cars, humans glued to the screens of their devices, trash everywhere, one company to rule them all. b. 2008 Pixar hit Wall-e. c. Debuting at a time when economy hits its lowest point since the Great Depression. d. Foreboding predictions e. Andrew Stanton’s garbage-covered, humanless Earth of the year 2805 becomes a reality. II. Have you