This book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, is written by John Perkins, who has also served as an economic hitman at an American multinational firm and has also been the CEO of a successful alternative energy company that finds new eco-friendly ways to harvest energy.
The book is full of confessions regarding the system that is present behind the curtains and has control over almost the whole world. He also answers questions like how America became a global power, what the tactics of America are to remain on top, and how America is ruling over the world with the help of a system of which he was also a part. In the book, he writes about his life as well as his personal experience as an economic hitman (EHM). He describes his journey to becoming an EHM and also explains the role that EHMs play, that “they are highly paid professionals who cheat” countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraud, financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. He describes the new US policies to take charge of poor countries without ammunition and exploit their natural resources like colonization in the past.
The book is comprised of four parts from 1963 to 2004. In the first part of the book, he talks about his life journey, how a child from a conservative family became a Chief EHM economist in a well-known international firm “Main”. In this book, the author also uses the word “corporatocracy” for that whole group that is involved in this game of new imperialism. CIA, US Govt. Officials, and international firms are included in the corporatocracy. He adds that these consulting firms hire EHMs and send them to poor but resource-rich countries. They justify that new projects in their countries would boost their economy by creating inflating forecasts. They convince them to lend loans from US International lending firms and also make sure that these projects are given to US consulting firms. Once these countries are trapped in huge loans, the US Govt. would request their “pound of flesh” in favor, including access to natural resources, military corporations’ air bases, and political support.
Since World War II, the US has been involved in the unique type of hijacking the country’s economy and dirty activities to take control of poor countries and make them depend on themselves and exploit their oil for their people. They want to see America as a superpower forever. In this book, John similarities the role of EHMs with the mafia but this time, they are well-dressed, reputed, and educated. In this dirty game, EHMs have a very crucial role. They are supposed to get consent from the govt. officials of the targeted countries by bribing, giving them benefits, and showing wrong statistical figures. If they don’t do so according to their will, then the jackals behind the EHMs come in. Jackals have the power to change the regime with one who agrees with their terms. Otherwise, the last solution is the assassination of this betrayer of the US.
In the second and third parts of the book, he writes about the regime change in Iran in the 1950s, where Mossadekh’s regime was overthrown by the CIA because his policies were not US-friendly. He opposed the narrative of the US becoming a superpower by undermining poor countries. He states that, like Iran, the US did the same with every other country, including Panama and Saudi Arabia, to fulfill their new operation to become a global empire. He also mentions his experience as an EHM in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, sharing some shocking facts about how the US trapped Saudis in the SAMA (Saudi Arabia Money Laundering Affair) and funded Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
The fourth and last part of the book is about the brutal assassination of his two friends and clients, James Roldos and Omar Torrijos, who were the presidents of Ecuador and Panama, respectively. They were murdered because they did not accept US policies and did not want to give their lands and resources to America for exploitation. This became the cause of their assassination. Both of them were killed in a plane crash. Anyone who does not hand over their resources loses their lives in exchange for absolutely nothing.
It is clear throughout the book that the author was torn between comprehending the distinction of the ideals of the American republic and the new American global empire that has been created. The American Republic offers hope and moral promise and also opposes the exploitation of the poor, while the new global empire offers only a self-centered, greedy, and materialistic dominance of weaker but resource-rich countries. With his work and experience in different countries and learning from the locals’ experiences, he got a clearer sense of the actual devastating and long-lasting impact of his job. He struggled with whether or not to continue working for MAIN, and although his conscience wanted him to quit, he continued for a time.
Therefore, this book is also an eye-opener for those who are unaware of the new tactics of imperialism by the USA. These new tactics involve saddling resource-rich countries with enormous debt, which they are unable to pay. He also reveals that this new way of imperialism by the USA to become a great global empire is achieved with the help of American multinational corporations and US international lending bodies. The goal of the US government’s foreign aid, such as World Bank, IMF, and USAID, etc., for the projects or infrastructures through semi-autonomous consulting firms, was quite simple economic world dominance by making countries economically dependent to increase bargaining power for oil.
The author wants to convey a message that a country can harm the sovereignty, lands, and environment of the earth only for its interest. About 70% of the fossil fuel consumed by Americans contains only 10% of the world’s population, and he wants to show us the reality that America is involved in changing the peace of the whole world. But in the end, he also mentions our individual as well as societal roles and how it’s possible to get out of the clutches of these exploiters. We have to take the first step towards saving the future of our new generations as well as our earth’s environment. We have to raise our voices against this new system, which only supports the elites or capitalists of the country.