All crises, climate crisis included, have been created by ‘predatory capitalism’, stated John Perkins at the Green Festival in Washington, D.C. when he launched his latest book.
The root of all this, said the controversial author of ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man’, lies in the adolescent stance on competition that Americans find deeply embedded in their education: ‘be better’, ‘beat others’.
“It might be positive for our homeland security, however our homeland is the Earth.” John Perkins
The world is witnessing the first global empire that was created not by military force, but by economic means and corporations. These latter ones, believes Perkins, are central to politics for they control the whole economy via lobbying and the media.
However, “corporations exist only because of us; we buy their products and we worship their leaders by printing on the covers of the magazines their bosses’ faces. But they use slave labor (…). Say ‘no’ to that! Say no to Nike shoes manufactured in Vietnam!”
It takes real consumer responsibility and a deep reform of politics and of government. “If we don’t buy their tennis shoes and their cars they are going to have to come around. Instead of Monsanto’s GMO’s and dirty crops of Chiquita or Kraft why not go organic in Africa and local elsewhere,” said the ‘Economic Hit Man’.
The best students in Economics are oriented towards entrepreneurship and they do not want follow a corporate career. “Who the hell would want to look like that guy with ridiculous hairdo and that repeats that cynical line on TV – “you’re fired!” – Donald Trump? Who wants to look like this guy?” asked Perkins.
If we want to put an end to “corporatocracy” we will need a new rule for business: make profits – yes, but only if your work creates a better world. More than 200 years ago corporations, continued Perkins, could exist only if they served the public interest in USA. And that was capitalism too.
There are many examples of Latin-American countries that had brutal dictators and currently they turned to good democracies. “We don’t want foreign aid, they would cry out with Perkins’ words, we must give our peoples the opportunity to raise out of their bootstraps.”
What you can do?
Find your passion, advises Perkins. Join an organization that fights for good causes. “We must rise up, we are a democracy, so act democratically,” shouts Perkins. See good democratic examples such as Yes! Magazine or Dream Change!
Or as Perkins states in the Epilogue of “Confessions…”:
“(…) cut back on your oil consumption. In 1990, 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.’ 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” trade agreements and against companies that exploit desperate people in sweatshops or that pillage the environment.
I could tell you that there is great hope within the current system, that there is nothing inherently wrong with banks, corporations, and governments – or with the people who manage them – and that they certainly do not have to compose a corporatocracy. I could go into detail about how the problems confronting us today are not the result of malicious institutions; rather, they stem from fallacious concepts about economic development. The fault lies not in the institutions themselves, but in our perceptions of the manner in which they function and interact with one another, and of the role their managers play in that process.
I could enumerate the amazing opportunities we have available to us for creating a better world, right now: enough food and water for everyone; medicines to cure diseases and to prevent epidemics that needlessly plague millions of people today; transportation systems that can deliver life ‘s essentials to even the most remote corners of the planet; the ability to raise literacy levels and to provide Internet services that could make it possible for every person on the planet to communicate with every other person; tools for conflict resolution that could render wars obsolete; technologies that explore both the vastness of space and the most minute, subatomic energy, which could then be applied to developing more ecologic and efficient homes for everyone; sufficient resources to accomplish all of the above; and much more.” (Perkins, 222)
“We do not know where this movement is going to go, but we have faith,” closed Perkins in mystical manner. “We have faith in a sustainable, peaceful, and a just world for everyone!”
John Perkins recently launched his new book, “Hoodwinked”. Besides “Confessions…”, previous books by John Perkins include “Shapeshing”,” The World Is As You Dream It”, “Psychonavigation”, “The Stress-Free Habit”, and “Spirit of the Shuar”. To learn more about John, to find out where he is lecturing, to order his books, or to contact him, go to his Web site:
Perkins is also twittering under the I.D. of “Economichitman”.