Perkins - JOHN PERKINS Confessions of an Economic Hit Man...

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JOHN PERKINS Confessions of an Economic Hit Man South Hadley, MA 11 January 2005 John Perkins was a loan shark to developing countries. After a stint in the Peace Corps in Latin America, he went to work as an economic planner for an international consulting firm that was a front for the National Security Administration. His book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is a bestseller. What we're going to talk about is the post-World War II history of the world as I see it. And that history is essentially the story of empire. During the period since World War II, we've managed to create the world's first truly global empire, and it's the only empire in history that's ever been created primarily without the military. It's been created through economics, through economic hit men. And it's a very subtle empire: it's an empire that many of us who live in that empire don't realize is an empire. We wouldn't even call it that. When you create an empire as the Romans did or the Persians or the Chinese or the conquistadores or the British Empire or the French or the Dutch Empires, through military, everybody knows you're doing it, because all your young men, and sometimes women, are going off to fight in the wars. But when you create an empire through economics, it's very possible to keep that pretty secret from most of the people, most of the time. Nonetheless, we've created an empire. And this empire manages to consume over 25% of the world's resources. Five percent of the world's population, us, consumes over 25% of the world's resources. That's an empire. But even worse than that, it's only about 1% of this 5%, 1% of our population, that controls more of our wealth than 90% of our people. So 25% of the world's resources are really going into this 1% of the 5%, what I call the corporatocracy. The other unique characteristic of this empire is that, unlike other empires, there is no emperor, there is no single king there is not even a family dynasty, although some of you might disagree with me on that right now. This empire is controlled by what I call the corporatocracy, which is a group of people, primarily men, with a few women, who run our major corporations, our big banks, and our government. And they blend at the top. It's very hazy what they work for. Do they work for the government? Do they work for the banks? Do they work for the corporations? In fact, they work for all of them. Men like Robert McNamara, who was the first president of Ford Motor Company, secretary of defense under Kennedy and Johnson, and then president of the World Bank. Men like George Schultz, who was secretary of the treasury and then president of Bechtel, and then secretary of state. Men like Dick Cheney. Women like Condoleezza Rice. These people move across these lines all the time. In fact, if they did that in most countries that we look at -- if you knew, for example, that you were hiring the watchdog for a specific industry from the top ranks of that industry and when he got done with his
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course POLS POLS 333 taught by Professor Evans during the Winter '11 term at Cal Poly.

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Perkins - JOHN PERKINS Confessions of an Economic Hit Man...

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