I don’t exactly remember which of my friends and/or acquaintances told me to read this book in the first place, and like always I added this book to my “to be read” list and decided to wait whenever it’s turn comes up in the my list.
Initially I had reservations reading this book. For a guy like me who had none whatsoever background of accounting & economics, words like Economic Hit Man were totally intimidating. My first reaction to the title was of fear. It appeared daunting and a bit of too subjective to read. It is not clear to me, what made me read this book – my internal ability to push myself to do new (read weird) things and keep myself open (read vulnerable) to everything or my ability to torture myself with most awkward things in life just because I want to see myself as strong (read Mighty STRONG) or just random curiosity. But whatever it was, I can’t thank it enough for making me read this book and completing it till the very end.
John Perkins writes very candidly about his life, his geographically widespread professional entourage, turbulent personal accidents and of all the stories which his experience brought to him. The book started with a confused and a not clear note, which is acceptable given the fact that the reader should be able to put things in “his perspective” rather than putting things in “author’s perspective”.
At first I guessed that this book would be a fable of some economic blunders made in the US economy and some of its “free trade partners” in this global economy, but to my surprise this book contained that and much more.
The way John passes through countries through countries and explains tirelessly about what MAIN Corporation stands for and how MAIN reaped him in, intertwined with the notion of personal life as well is nothing short of indescribable. Earlier just professional and later his personal experiences started to revolve around MAIN’ strategy to expand the global empire and meeting to my realms of understanding, this thirst of oil continues to evade US supported MAIN from one continent to another.
Horrifying examples of Ecuador, Panama, Indonesia, and Canal country are meant to open the eyes of the readers and the masses (by a long shot though) to the corporate bureaucracy. The author coined a new term out of it, which is interesting too. The book clearly shows that the oldest democracy in the world has outlawed all the international laws (the experience stories about Vietnam and Iraq war), nullified all the popular democracy movements in the targeted countries (for e.g. Canal), CIA assassinations imprints (for example, murder of Roduge) all over the books, colossal amount of national debts incurred to these countries in lieu of providing foreign aid for building infrastructure ( such as highways, dams, power plants, oil plants and many more), loss of national freedom, and many similar activities.
Why this book & its controversial experiences seem to me as different is a good question that I am asking myself, way before even I thought I would write a review about it.
Big fish still eats the small fish. A mightier country today dictates the smaller country by means money (read foreign aid), technology transfer (read lobbying for concessions and army base) and sometimes war (read US supported army coup). Oil thirst seems to overtake everything else in the world and on this planet. NOTHING stands in front it. The fact that first EHMs are sent to a country to investigate and prepare the ground to a new country and if that fails, the jackals are sent shows the pinch of might these bigger conglomerates have over you and my daily affairs.
Each one of us likes to think that I am free and I am equal as guaranteed by the constitution (this is usually true for most of the countries, irrespective of where you belong to and from where you are reading this), but in the bigger picture, these big money earning and oil thirsty juggernauts will destroy the very fundamental of freedom by enslaving everyone of us with their products, services and money.
To our greatest fear, even today the imperialism prevails. It really doesn’t matter that which nation you are reading this entry from, but it matters what history you nation has and most importantly what it is going through now. Imperialism as we knew it, ended ages ago. Now you don’t see geographically spread colonies and rampant human slavery, but you see huge national debts of countries once rich with natural resources, now we don’t see blacks and browns tortured because of their skin color (partly thanks to the system and partly to education that let’s everyone to be seen as equals), but we see good people like John Perkins working as EHM and helping to create global empires for the countries like this one on the expense of so many others.