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August 2004

Capitalism as Cancer

I’m reading “The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism” by David C. Korten. His most well-known work, “When Corporations Rule the World,” probably had more influence on my worldview than any single book. I’m not sure why I’m only now getting around to his follow-up effort several years later.

Speaking of impact, I’ve heard that “When Corporations Rule the World” was one of the catalyzing forces behind the 1999 WTO Protests in Seattle. What makes his message so powerful is nothing other than his deep understanding of the material…theoretically, personally, and even spiritually.

Korten often uses the metaphor of “Capitalism as cancer.” He explains how, in a Corporation, the unquestioning quest to increase shareholder value is an alternate “morality” completely detached from life-based morality that would sustain us. Much like the out-of-control and destructive growth of cancer in a biological organism, we have otherwise good people acting immorally as scientists, engineers, and business people, and unknowingly working to destroy civilization and the planet itself. While his previous work describes the problem, “The Post-Corporate World” promises solutions.

I highly recommend anyone visit the library or for a little re-education…the kind you don’t get in economics courses.