In my first 48 hours on vacation, I read the book entitled Confessions of an Economic Hit Man“, where author John Perkins describes “Corporatocracy” as the collaboration of large corporations, international banks and governments in their greedy quest for global supremacy.
In his role as an “Economic Hit man” (EHM), Mr. Perkins’ job was provide inflated forecasts for economic growth for developing countries with the goal of landing huge construction and engineering contracts for U.S. firms. These countries would receive large loans from The World Bank or the International Monetary Fund for the proposed projects with the expectation that they would be unable to meet the payments of their loans. This would in effect hold these countries hostage and U.S. corporations would be free to ravage their natural resources or sway government policy in U.S. favour. He notes that if the EHM fails, the “jackals” are released to do their part. He references the jackals role in several U.S. assisted coup d’etat’s and the plane explosion assinations of Ecquadorian president Jaime Roldos Aguilera and Panama’s Omar Torrijos. When the jackals fail, Perkins notes that the American troops are then sent to die for their country; by far the most costly of the 2 alternative options.
He compares the exploitation of cheap labour by large corporations to the pre-Civil war South slave owners. The corporations (and slave owners) see themselves as helping the third world countries by providing them jobs (where the slave owners saw themselves doing a good deed by providing slaves a roof over their head and a better life than they saw in Africa). The U.S. economy depends on access to oil and to cheap labour in the same way that the economy in the pre-war south depended on the slaves. It’s something that corporations have become used to. The last things shareholders want to hear is that their dividends are going to decrease because a product can no longer be manufactured in Indonesia, or a construction company’s profit will dwindle because their illegal Mexican workers are being deported.
What’s also noted in the book and is very interesting is the fact that Mr. Perkins was employed by a privately owned company. There was no congressional oversight in any of the activities the corporation took part in. His company could meet the goals of the U.S. government without being held accountable by the people. It’s interesting when you look at how intertwined the corporations are with the government. Many high-level elected government officials previously held high positions in the private corporations that play a huge role in rebuilding developing countries.
After hundreds of years of imperialism by the Brits, the French, the Dutch, etc, these countries have learned their lessons. With the United States and its form of imperialism since World War 2, it has yet to learn its lesson. The costly war in Iraq might get the picture across, while memories of the Americans fighting to oust the British in the 18th century seemed to have been forgotten. Bush has very recently announced he plans to send more troops to Iraq to fight “terrorism” and to win peace. It’s not that simple. The enemies and terrorism were a creation of the U.S. military and corporate greed. More fighting will create more enemies. Where’s Jimmy Carter when you need him? Islamic militants cannot be defeated by an army. It can only be defeated by dialogue and compassion.
Editor’s note: In an article recently posted on TIME.com, sources have revealed that the U.S. is funding and supporting covert operations to oust Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad. Perkins would say this is the “jackals” doing their work.