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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
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Jun 04, 2009

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bookshelves: non-fiction, latin-america-latino, biography, audio-book
Read in June, 2009

This book stands testament to the fact that it doesn't matter one wit what you think, or how you feel. What matters is what you do.

John Perkins simpers his way throughout the third world, undermining democratically elected regimes for various corporations and International Financial Institutions. Each time, he regrets what he is about to do, and then curses himself for doing it. Each time, the easy way out is taken: the route that wins him more money, keeps his job, and is the most exploitative of already impoverished people.

That there are actual economic hit men, and after them jackals, and after them the US government sends in troops to murder and oppress make it sound like it is a conspiracy by a tiny group of controlling individuals. Perkins feels like a pawn of these controlling elites, until one day it is found that there isn't anyone on top: he has been following orders, sure, but his work has opened entire new paradigms of exploitation. Sure that someone was pulling the strings behind him, he ended up pulling plenty of strings himself.

And that is where the strong suit of this book comes in. It's pretty repetitive, and sometimes the insights are pretty mundane (the American Revolution was an anti-colonial fight, and so was the Vietnam War). But it provides concrete evidence of the banality of evil, and the insatiable greed of the system of global capital. He stresses constantly that it's not a cabal of bankers somewhere controlling everything, but the economic system that pervades every level of our society that is to blame for the massive oppression dealt in the world from this nation.

Read next to The Shock Doctrine for best results.

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06/04/2009 page 300

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Daniel I just wanted to revisit this book review with some new knowledge. I recently came across the book Shapeshifting: Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation, wedged into the seat of the movie theater in which I work. Now I'm not saying the dude has always been a total nutter, and he could have been quite lucid in writing Confessions of an Economic Hitman, but I cannot reccommend this book in good conscience anymore, just in case anyone who is legitimately excited about the book happens to find out that the author also wrote a SERIOUS NONFICTION BOOK ABOUT THE FUCKING ANIMORPHS.

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