The Great Turning

  • by David C. Korten
  • Narrated by Sandra Swafford
  • 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his classic international best seller, When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten exposed the destructive and oppressive nature of the global corporate economy and helped spark a global resistance movement. Now, he shows that the problem runs deeper than corporate domination with far greater consequences.
Korten argues that global corporate consolidation of power is but one manifestation of what he calls "Empire", the organization of society by hierarchies of dominance that have held sway for the past 5,000 years. Empire has always resulted in misery for the many and fortune for the few. Now it threatens the very future of humanity.
The Great Turning traces the ancient roots of Empire and charts its long evolution from monarchies to the transnational institutions of the global economy. Empire is not inevitable, not the natural order of things, Korten argues. He draws on evidence from sources as varied as evolutionary theory, developmental psychology, and religious teachings to make the case that "Earth Community", a life-centered, egalitarian, sustainable way of ordering human society based on democratic principles of partnership, is indeed possible. He details a practical strategy for advancing a turning toward a future of as-yet-unrealized human potential.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wakeup call

... at least that what this book was for me. While I can partially agree with other reviewers that Korten's attempt to (re-)tell the stories needed for the other view on the world which he calls Earth Community (as opposed to the prevailing view he calls Empire) feels a bit immature, it is very much appreciated and needed. While clearly inspired by spiritual movements, the author maintains a scientific and rational approach, another aspect of this book I admire greatly. This book was the most inspiring book I have read in many years, and I read a lot. There is already a lot going on in the world to work on something like a Great Turning (towards Earth Community) and this book deserves a serious place as an inspiration from one of our elders in this work.
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- Rob

ahead of its time?

Some writers are so far ahead of their time that they fail to get the recognition they deserve. I'm not sure that is the case here. I think Korten is perfectly synched with "time." It's everybody else who is so far behind the times that creates the mismatch. Korten is presenting "cooperation" as a life affirming essential in an age when dog eat dog is still the mantra. We have no trouble grasping the concept of cooperation when it's abstract, cartoonish and linked to a story long ago and far away (the classic childhood tale of two men with a pot of food and only long handled spoons), but in the here and now it all becomes Greek (the stock market goes up when employment goes down, schools that can't afford a good lit department invest heavily in a new football stadium, etc.) Sadly, I think things will have to get much worse before most readers truly open up to Korten's message. Let's just hope it isn't too late by then.
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- hh

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-02-2006
  • Publisher: Polity Audio LLC