Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Blackstone Audio, 2005)

The title of this book makes it sound like it’s going to be a hilarious romp, with lots of wild and crazy adventures and snarky humor. In fact, Perkins could not be more serious (both about confessing and about being a hit man), yet this is not a dry economics tome, either. It is a memoir of Perkins’ real life as an economic consultant in the many developing countries where American companies operate. It reveals a successful strategy for creating a global capitalist empire so insidious that most of the people who helped make it happen didn’t know they were doing it. Perkins did know, up front; his guilt for what he did eventually made him write this book. The job of an EHM is to convince poor countries to borrow huge amounts of money from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, then give the money to American engineering firms to exploit their natural resources and create modern infrastructure. Just make sure that the countries can never pay the money back, so the “corporatocracy” (a collusion of government, big corporations, and big banks) can continue to control them.
As with all capitalist schemes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (often by being forced off their land by big oil or big agriculture), and the environment is destroyed in the process. If the country elects democratic leaders with left-wing ideas (like helping the poor or nationalizing oil companies), the “jackals” are sent in to assassinate the leaders in nasty “accidents” and put right-wing dictators in place. If the jackals don’t succeed, the American armed forces invade and remove the leader who doesn’t want to do the big corporations’ bidding and allow the country to be exploited. This is the true story of the “third” world since World War II, and especially since 1970, which has been hidden from us by the corporate-controlled media – the story of what really happened in places like Indonesia, Panama, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ecuador. You may not believe me now, but when you have read this book, you will.

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