John Perkins (born January 28, 1945) is an American author. He is best known for his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, in which Perkins claims to have played a role in an alleged process of economic colonization of Third World countries on behalf of what he portrays as a cabal of corporations, banks, and the United States government.
- I think once Americans understand what we’re doing in the world and how much hatred this is generating, we will demand change. And I think history has proven that when we demand change in any area, eventually — it takes a little time — but we do get it. So I’m very hopeful...
- Nobody wants to be able to connect the dots. So the N.S.A., the C.I.A., these types of organizations often recruit economic hit men and the jackals, the assassins, the 007 types, but they will recruit us, maybe train us, and then turn us over to a private corporation, so that you really can’t make the connection, so that if I were caught at what I was doing in one of these countries, it would not reflect on our government; it would only reflect on the corporation that I worked for.
- The other thing we do, Amy, and what’s going on right now in Latin America is that as soon as one of these anti-American presidents is elected, such as Evo Morales, who you mentioned, in Bolivia, one of us goes in and says, “Hey, congratulations, Mr. President. Now that you’re president, I just want to tell you that I can make you very, very rich, you and your family. We have several hundred million dollars in this pocket if you play the game our way. If you decide not to, over in this pocket, I’ve got a gun with a bullet with your name on it, in case you decide to keep your campaign promises and throw us out.”
- I think that Hugo Chavez of Venezuela might not have survived his presidency... had we not been in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we were so diverted. We — the economic hit men tried to overthrow him, you know, a few years ago and were successful for about 48 hours. But then he had control over the oil company, and he was very, very popular. So he got back into office. At that point, had we not been involved in Iraq, I strongly suspect that we would have done something much more aggressive, as we’ve done so many other times. When the economic hit men fail, we take more drastic steps. Because we were so involved in Iraq, we didn’t do that.
- We also tried to do that to Saddam Hussein. When he didn’t come around, the economic hit men tried to bring him around. We tried to assassinate him. But that was an interesting point, because he had pretty loyal security forces, and in addition he had a lot of look-alike doubles, and what you don’t want to be is a bodyguard to a look-alike double and you think it’s the president and you accept a lot of money to assassinate him and you assassinate the look-alike, because if you do that, afterwards your life and your family’s isn’t worth very much, so we were unable to get through to Saddam Hussein, and that’s why we sent the military in...
- I spend time in Central America. I speak Spanish. I used to be an economic hit man (EHM) whose job was to corrupt government officials so our corporations could exploit natural and human resources. I see that what has happened in Central America during my lifetime is a microcosm for much of the world. Predatory capitalism, global corporations, and US government agencies have used the stick and carrot–– EHM methods–– to coerce governments to promote economic systems that enrich the wealthy and drive the Poor and what used to be the Middle Class deeper and deeper into poverty. The Titans of industrial agriculture and infrastructure projects, and the retailers of sporting goods, clothing, and other sweatshop-oriented industries have ravaged and chemicalized lands that once supported thousands of small farmers. At the same time, they’ve created working conditions akin to slavery.
- Message From Immigrants And Plants, Perkin's Blog (12 July 2018)
(for a larger collection of quotes see Confessions of an Economic Hitman)
- 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 terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. I should know; I was an EHM.
- When men and women are rewarded for greed, greed becomes a corrupting motivator. When we equate the gluttonous consumption of the earth's resources with a status approaching sainthood, when we teach our children to emulate people who live unbalanced lives, and when we define huge sections of the population as subservient to an elite minority, we ask for trouble.
- In their drive to advance the global empire, corporations, banks, and governments (collectively the corporatocracy) use their financial and political muscle to ensure that our schools, businesses, and media support both the fallacious concept and its corollary. They have brought us to a point where our global culture is a monstrous machine that requires exponentially increasing amounts of fuel and maintenance, so much so that in the end it will have consumed everything in sight and will be left with no choice but to devour itself.
- The corporatocracy is not a conspiracy, but its members do endorse common values and goals. One of corporatocracy's most important functions is to perpetuate and continually expand and strengthen the system.
- People like me are paid outrageously high salaries to do the system's bidding. If we falter, a more malicious form of hit man, the jackal, steps to the plate. And if the jackal fails, then the job falls to the military.
- History tells us that unless we modify this story, it is guaranteed to end tragically. Empires never last. Everyone of them has failed terribly. They destroy many cultures as they race toward greater domination, and then they themselves fall. No country or combination of countries can thrive in the long term by exploiting others.
- This book was written so that we may take heed and remold our story. I am certain that when enough of us become aware of how we are being exploited by the economic engine that creates an insatiable appetite for the world's resources, and results in systems that foster slavery, we will no longer tolerate it. We will reassess our role in a world where a few swim in riches and the majority drown in poverty, pollution, and violence. We will commit ourselves to navigating a course toward compassion, democracy, and social justice for all.
Zeitgeist Addendum (2008)
We used many techniques, but probably the most common is that we will go to a country that has resources that our corporations covet- like oil- and we will arrange a huge loan to that country from an organization like the World Bank or one of its sisters. But almost all of the money goes to U.S. corporations, not to the country itself, corporations like Bechtel and Halliburton, General Motors, General Electric, these types of organizations, and they build huge infrastructure projects in the country- power plants, highways, ports, industrial parks- things that serve the very rich and seldom even reach the poor.
In fact the poor suffer because the loans have to be repaid, and they are huge loans, and the repayment of them means that poor won’t get education, health, and other social services and the country is left holding a huge debt, by intention. We go back, we economic hitmen, to this country and say, “Look, you owe us a lot of money. You can’t repay your debts, so give us a pound of flesh”.
- As soon as one of the anti-American presidents is elected, one of us goes in and says, “Hey, congratulations Mr. President. Now that you are president, I just want to tell you that I can make you very, very rich, you and your family. It’s several million dollars in this pocket, if you play the game our way. If you decide not to, over in this pocket, I’ve got a gun with a bullet with your name on it, in case you decide to keep your campaign promises and throw us out. Sell our oil companies your oil real cheap, or vote with us at the next UN vote, or send troops in support of ours to some place in the world such as Iraq”, and in that way, we have managed to build a world empire with very few people actually knowing that we have done this.