Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Confessions Of An Economic Hitman - By John Perkins - Review

Posted by Muhammed Khan on 02:27 0 comments

The Confessions Of An Economic Hitman - John Perkins

Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe
out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), and other foreign "aid" organizations into the coffers of
huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet's natural
resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion,
sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and
terrify-ing dimensions during this time of globalization. - John Perkins (Confessions Of An Economic Hitman)

Confessions of an economic hit man is John Perkins biography or memoirs which takes notes of  his life as an Economist in a consulting firm or what he prefer to say, as an Economic Hitman, in which he tries to throw some light on the facade of the slogan of "Development & Prosperity" which is put forward by many capitalist establishments and how the few hands manage to mint all the money through all those economic developments.

All the discussions in the book become even more credible since the writer himself claims to be one of those notorious Economic Hit Man and served the consulting firm, Chase T. Main in Boston. John Perkins "Confessions" describes that how the entrepreneurs have managed to seep into the political establishments of the country and all the foreign policies are extensions of their own interests.

The book came out in 2004 as the writer says that he was always encouraged not to complete this book through bribery and threats. Somehow he managed to complete it but then he faced difficulties in publishing it since no publishing house was willing to own such a controversial material.  

According to John, he was interviewed by the National Security Agency (NSA) before being hired by Chase T. Main and he always felt that his induction at the firm was actually a covertly recruitment by NSA as the agency seemed to be impressed by his unstable and deteriorating childhood and felt that he was the right person for the job he was hired.

Being an economist and gifted with the art of convincing others, the core job of  John Perkins was to  persuade the high level authorities and Government officials of other countries to allow themselves to be indebted under the huge and almost "unpayable" loans of international and/or American financial institutions or to allow the private sector to explore the wealth of their lands paying no regards to the local communities and habitat and for this purpose he never refrained in using highly exaggerated economic development models just to meet the ends. He also explains that how the same money which is granted to these countries, is funneled  back in the accounts of few American companies and in the end, they remain most beneficial.

The author explains in the book the three levels the establishment uses to make things work out in their way. The first level is of course the assignment of EHMs (Economic Hit Men) whose jobs are to convince the third world countries become indebted at the cost of their own natural resources. Secondly, the CIA backed "Jackals" are given the responsibility and even if these Jackals fail, the last option left is the invasion of that very country and for this purpose the blood of young American countrymen and women paves the way.

The author supports his allegations/theory/experiences/findings or whatever may sound appropriate, with the incidents of the dethroning of  democratically elected, the then popular Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, that how his own people were set up against him as he nationalized all the oil fields which ended up in depriving of his chair as a Prime Minister. Secondly, the death of Panamanian Leader, Omer Torrijos through a plane crash which he claims to be more than a mere accident as a result of contention of his with the American Government over the Panama Canal. The author seems to be impressed with the personality of Omar Torrijos as he had may opportunities to meet and talk to him on various issues. That's why he has paid a homage to Omar in the preface of the book along with Jaime Roldos, the President of Ecuador, who shared the same fate as Omar when it came to death.

The book is written in a descriptive manner as John doesn't seem to run through the facts quickly and along with that the writer also doesn't try to drag too much which really enhances the reading experience and the reader can easily guess that the author is sure an experienced writer. The best part is that despite being a financial and economical topic, the book doesn't seem to be boring at all.

There are also some downsides as well. After reading the whole book one would feel that a rather hopeless situation of the world is portrayed and every step taken in the direction of development and prosperity would be felt like being intrigued and a conspiracy plotted to benefit few. The writer also shares some list of actions one could take to avoid all these fallacies but they seem to be too lame and limited only to micro level. Like John writes:
I could give you a list of practical things to do. For instance, cut back on your oil consumption. In1990, before we first invaded Iraq, we imported 8 million barrels of oil; by 2003 and the second invasion, this had increased more than 50 percent, to over 12 million barrels.1 The next time you are tempted to go shopping, read a book instead, exercise, or meditate. Downsize your home, wardrobe, car, office, and most everything else in your life. Protest against "free" 


Moreover, the writer thinks that a radical change can be brought in without dismantling the system which I believe, sounds too naive. In other words he is advocating the same system which he blamed to be responsible of many miseries especially to the developing countries.

Apart from criticisms, I believe the book is no doubt a good read, fascinating and eye opening. I downloaded the e-book version of this book (not sure whether I violated the piracy act...!!!) but even if you buy this from the market, believe me you would not feel that your money is wasted. 




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