The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism

An earthshaking book--a product of brilliant thinking from one of history's most groundbreaking intellectuals and activists.
—Lynne Twist, Co-chair, State of the World Forum

This is beyond "big think." In fact The Post-Corporate World is positively cosmic...Korten's book is valuable because it invites us to do something we rarely bother about: to reimagine ourselves.
— Business Week, March 29, 1999

More Reader Comments

THERE IS A DEEP CHASM between the promises of the new capitalism and the reality of social breakdown, spiritual emptiness, and environmental destruction this economic system is leaving in its wake. In this important book, David Korten makes a compelling and well-documented case that capitalism is actually delivering a fatal blow not only to life but also to democracy and the market. Among his startling ideas: 

  • Capitalism is a pathology that commonly afflicts market economies in the absence of vigilant public oversight
  • Since the economy internal to a corporation is a planned economy, the current consolidation of economic control under a handful of global corporations is a victory for central planning-- not the market economy
  • The alternative to the new global capitalism is a global system of healthy market economies that function as extensions of local ecosystems to meet the needs of people and communities

Radical as such proposals seem, they actually reflect processes that are steadily gaining momentum around the world. The Post Corporate World provides a vision of what's needed and what's possible, as well as a detailed agenda for change. Korten shows that to have a just, sustainable, and compassionate society, concentrated absentee ownership and footloose speculative capital as embodied in the global, for-profit public corporation must be eliminated in favor of enterprises based on rooted stakeholder ownership limited to those with a stake in the firm as a worker, supplier, customer, or member of the community in which it is located.

Korten outlines numerous specific actions to free the creative powers of individuals and societies through the realization of real democracy, the local rooting of capital through stakeholder ownership, and a restructuring of the rules of commerce to create "mindful market" economies that combine market principles with a culture that nurtures social bonding and responsibility.

Like Korten's previous bestseller, When Corporations Rule the World, this provocative book is sure to stimulate national dialogue and inspire a bevy of grassroots initiatives. It presents readers with a profound challenge and an empowering sense of hope.

Read a review by David T. Ratcliffe with extensive annotated abstracts and web linked references .