Friday, July 6, 2012

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Confessions of an Economic Hit ManConfessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I checked out Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins from the library for my husband and then it read it myself. Now you may be wondering what an Economic Hit Man is?  He worked for a private company to go into countries to build up infrastructure that then burdens the country with massive debt to the World Bank that the country will never be able to pay back.  Thus the bankers backing the World Bank get richer.  The infrastructure is of course built by American companies.   It didn't say that much new ideas, I already knew our country stopped being a republic and started being an empire.  I also knew that even we claimed to be "isolationists" we only meant in other hemispheres.  As a government we have been trying to rule Central and South America for more than a century, unlike the rest of the world, which has happened since the World Wars.  But I found this book interesting because it was Perkins' life story, its what he experienced working for the empire builders.  Instead of some book written by a guy who "uncovered a conspiracy."  At the same time it was life story, so sometimes, I scanned thinking, move along move along, this doesn't really have anything to do with anything, other than his lifetime of guilt.  The book is an example of why my PolSci professors told me and my other classmates to read international newspapers.  We in the United States live in a dream world with dream headlines, often times the news of world events isn't even reported here.

Here are a few quotes from the book I found interesting.  In the early 70s Perkins was in Indonesia, and he unlike most of his co-workers liked to mingle with locals.  While he was in Indonesia for months, he befriended some college age students, they told him that Communism wasn't the real threat, it would go away, the real war would be inbetween Christians and Muslims.  I was very surprised to read this passage that took place in the early 70s, more than a decade before the Berlin wall fell.
"The Soviet Union currently stands in its way, but the Soviet will not endure.  ...They have no religion, no faith, no substance behind their ideology. History demonstrates that faith -- soul, a belief in higher powers -- is essential.  We Muslims have it.  We have it more than anyone else in the world, even more than the Christians. So we wait. We grow strong." p 46 in 1970s

It makes me sad to think for the most part the republic is dead, and has been replaced by an empire, but this is nothing new or crazy.  We use to talk about where America was trying to head during its empire phase of its life cycle.
"... the distinction between the old American republic and the new global empire.  The republic offered hope to the world.  Its foundation was moral and philosophical rather than materialistic.  It was based on concepts of equality and justice for all. ... The global empire, on the other hand, is the republic's nemesis.  It is self-centered, self serving, greedy and materialist, a system based on mercantilism. 127-8

This next quote was sort of my own personal vendetta.  It drives me crazy when people hail Ronald Reagan as the savior of conservatism.  I've heard it from different groups that fall inside the Conservative umbrella, and all I have ever been able to see is he was one of the first to bring in Neo-Conservatism, as in lets become a world powerful empire.
"Reagan, on the other hand, was most definitely a global empire builder, a servant of the corporatocracy.  At the time of his election, I found it fitting that he was a Hollywood actor, a man who had followed orders passed down from moguls, who knew how to take direction.  That would be his signature.  he would cater to the men who shuttled back and forth from corporate CEO offices to bank boards and into the halls of government.  He would serve the men who appeared to serve him but who in fact ran the government -- men like Vice President George H. W. Bush, Secretary of State George Schultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Richard Cheney, Richard Helms, and Robert McNamara.  He would advocate what those men wanted: an America that controlled the world and all its resources, a worth that answered to the commands of that America, a U.S. military that would enforce the rules as they were written by America, and international trade and bank system that supported America as CEO of the global empire.  p. 155

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