David Korten's "When Corporations Rule the World"

Topics: Globalization, Multinational corporation, Renewable resource Pages: 6 (2203 words) Published: October 8, 1999
David Korten's "When Corporations Rule The World"

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 numb er 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...
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