Twelve years ago, John Perkins shook the world with Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the blockbuster account of how a handful of shady professionals undermine economies around the globe. The book opened our eyes to how struggling nations are cheated out of billions of dollars, subjected to a system of sustained debt and servitude — to U.S. strategic and business interests — that’s enforced by CIA jackal assassins and the military. The tell-all sold more than 125 million copies worldwide.
Now Perkins is back, with The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Berrett-Koehler, 2016). With a new introduction and 15 riveting chapters of entirely new material, the reformed economic hit man (EHM) of the title reveals how the cancer he helped to unleash has since spread even further around the globe. As he writes, it has become the dominant system of business, government, and society operating today. A new breed of EHMs — and the jackals who step in when EHMs fail — now attack the American economy, literally threatening the foundations of democracy. But Perkins believes that hope lies ahead if we work together.
Perkins explains that at the hands of what he calls the “corporatocracy,” the entire world has been plunged into a “death economy” that benefits but a few of unimaginable wealth and power, while the middle class slides toward poverty. The EHMs of his time have shape-shifted into bankers, lobbyists, corporate executives and other professionals with slippery titles who “con governments and the public into submitting to policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”
No longer an EHM, Perkins is an outspoken defender of the environment, and a critic of corporate malfeasance and government meddling in the affairs of other countries. He is an advocate of indigenous peoples around the globe, leading tours into the mountains and jungles of Latin America in order to shed light on the shameful realities these regions face.
The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man offers specific ideas and strategies for how each of us — students, entrepreneurs, middle-aged people, retirees, and corporate executives — can help transform the Death Economy into a Life Economy, regenerating devastated resources and providing abundance for future generations. Perkins’s vast experience on both sides of the moral divide has taught him that great things can be accomplished when ordinary people join together. Having witnessed the resourcefulness of people in the face of devastating deprivation, he shows that we have the ability to save our own lives.
Perkins has an optimistic vision of the future — in which no single group has the power to impose desperate conditions on the powerless. It is within our power, he writes, to clean up pollution; help starving people grow, store, and transport food more efficiently; develop new technologies for energy, transportation, communications, and business; bring diverse communities together; and live less materialistic, spiritually fulfilling lives.
For more information go to JohnPerkins.org.