What To Do When Corporations Rule the World

David Korten posted Jun 30, 2001

More specifically, global financial markets and global corporations are programmed to destroy life — the lives of working people, the life of community, and the living wealth of the planet — to make money for the already wealthy. And they do it with extraordinary efficiency. The threat will not be resolved until the publicly traded, limited liability corporation is effectively eliminated as an organizational form. By that time, the new global consciousness will be so deeply embedded in the human consciousness as to be irreversible.

Let me elaborate. Recall that our contemporary global corporations are direct descendants of the British East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company. The institutional form of the publicly traded, limited liability corporation was created to make possible the nearly unlimited aggregation of economic power under a centralized command authority for the purpose of colonizing and extracting the wealth of others without regard to human or natural consequences. Today, corporations, which command more economic resources than most states, are using their power to claim ownership rights to yet more of the productive assets of society and planet, including water, soils, air, knowledge, genetic material, communications.

the publicly traded, limited liability corporation is designed to encourage and facilitate the abuse of power for the exclusive benefit of a privileged elite. It is an institutional form programmed by its legal structure to behave like a sociopath irrespective of the ethical sensibilities of the employees who serve it — including those of the CEO.

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