The Great Turning
From Empire to Earth Community
By David C. Korten
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Final Release Date: October 2007
Pages: 408

David Korten’s classic bestseller When Corporations Rule the World was one of the first books to articulate the destructive and oppressive nature of the global corporate economy. In The Great Turning he argues that corporate consolidation of power is merely one manifestation of what he calls “Empire”: the organization of society through hierarchy and violence that has largely held sway for the past 5,000 years. The Great Turning traces the evolution of Empire from ancient times to the present day but also tells the parallel story of the attempt to develop a democratic alternative to Empire, beginning in Athens and continuing with the founding of the United States of America—although elitists with an imperial agenda have consistently sought to undermine the bold and inspiring “American experiment.” Finally, Korten 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 alternative to Empire based on democratic principles of partnership—is indeed possible. And he outlines a grassroots strategy for beginning the momentous turning toward a future of as-yet-unrealized human potential.

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