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Taking Back Our Lives In The Age of Corporate Dominance

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Taking Back Our Lives In The Age of Corporate Dominance


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Caught between the twin forces of corporate domination and pervasive competition, consumers are stressed, discontent, controlled by outside forces and numbed by violent entertainment. The good news is, you can still head for the lifeboats!

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


In the pages of their new book, Ellen Schwartz and Suzanne Stoddard relate this quote from Paul Hawken’s, The Ecology of Commerce: "There is no polite way to say that business is destroying the world." While Hawken was talking specifically about the physical Earth, Schwartz and Stoddard are not so limited in their condemnation. Business is destroying the world and everything in it: democracy, living wages, healthcare, the nutritional value of food and even our sanity. We’ll put it simply: If you agree with that mindset, you’ll love this book. If you have any doubts that corporations constitute an evil empire, you won’t. Nevertheless, getAbstract recommends that dedicated professionals read this double-barreled critique of the corporate world, just to know how the other side sees you.


The Evil Empire

Today, corporations consume people’s lives. People are stressed by modern society’s relentless work demands and by their personal inability to find enough time for themselves, their families and friends, and their communities.

Yet, people have created plenty of distractions to cope with this severe imbalance. Oddly enough, most adults spend 15 to 20 hours a week "watching other people have experiences" - via television, the Internet, video, film and other media - rather than having their own. Most children spend twice that amount of time as passive spectators. Working and commuting probably take so much of your energy as an adult that you have lost the will to spend your free hours engaged in any experiential activities. The passive entertainment washing over you numbs you.

People succumb to the influence of the slick advertising that surrounds them and live far above their means, sinking deeper and deeper into debt trying to satisfy consumer desires that can never be satisfied. The major media present news and information in a segmented, superficial, sensational way, leading people to feel powerless to make a difference in their own lives and...

About the Authors

Ellen Schwartz  is executive director of Invest in Kids, which she founded in 1998 to provide scholarships and mentors to low income, at-risk youth. She is a recipient of the Thread of Hope Award and the Women of Achievement Community and Human Services Award. Suzanne Stoddard  teaches English and citizenship at Contra Costa Community College and donates many hours to community service, mentoring young people and grant writing for Invest in Kids.

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