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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Paperback – December 27, 2005
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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With a presidential election around the corner, questions of America?s military buildup, environmental impact, and foreign policy are on everyone?s mind. Former ?Economic Hit Man? John Perkins goes behind the scenes of the current geopolitical crisis and offers bold solutions to our most pressing problems. Drawing on interviews with other EHMs, jackals, CIA operatives, reporters, businessmen, and activists, Perkins reveals the secret history of events that have created the current American Empire, including:
? How the ?defeats? in Vietnam and Iraq have benefited big business
? The role of Israel as ?Fortress America? in the Middle East
? Tragic repercussions of the IMF?s ?Asian Economic Collapse?
? The current Latin American revolution and its lessons for democracy
? U.S. blunders in Tibet, Congo, Lebanon, and Venezuela
From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe, with consequences reflected in our daily headlines. Having raised the alarm, Perkins passionately addresses how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.
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Perkins was sent in with a proposition for newly-christened foreign leaders who were given an offer (that was unwise to refuse) of riches and comfort IF they accepted American corporations coming to their country to basically rape it for any and all raw materials, precious metals, energy, etc. If (and sometimes when) Perkins failed to cajole the leader into accepting this sellout offer, then said leader would find himself the victim of either a military putsch OR dead in a plane crash.
Perkins's book has an important message to impart in that the American government has exercised this ugly practice in literally DOZENS of countries since WWII -- sometimes multiple times in the same country. My contention with Perkins is with Perkins himself. Basically, he waited good and long (and made his nest egg $$$$$$$$$$) before making more money by writing this book about how he participated in raping some of the already desolately-poor countries on the planet. Anyone else see something wrong here? Now that he has made his gold, he now takes the opportunity to make more money preaching about the evils of the American empire? Think I'm being a harsh critic? When Perkins "left" his government service, he still employed his golden parachute by taking a job at a juicy American corporation and I might add, still kept his complicit mouth shut for YEARS.
An important message? You bet. However, let's not forget the millions who suffered under a system propagated by the author himself even after his conscience got to him and he left government service. I'd be FAR more impressed had he taken action immediately at the time rather than waiting years upon years while feathering his own nest.
The confusion came in the form of the author's insistence that corporations, left alone, are hurting foreign interests with or without government protection/assistance. He claims that corporations opening foreign factories and paying workers low wages hurts those people...that you'd think $1 a day is better than $0 a day, though in fact this is not the case. However, the author never supports this claim the way he supports other claims. While the support for corporatocracy hurting indigenous cultures was lucid and apparent, the damage done by corporations alone was not. This seems to highlight an internal struggle the author may have. On the one hand, he makes very clear that corporations' use of government to exploit other nations is a staggering problem, while on the other hand he seems to imply that government needs to be more involved with activities of corporations. See the contradiction here? Without further support, it's not clear that corporations, void of government partnership and subject to competitive market forces, are in any way unfavorable from either a production or consumption standpoint.