John Perkins is one of the guest talkers at Conscious Events seminar series InfoReset.
Conscious Events presents the 2018 instalment in their newly-minted seminar series InfoReset.
This year's programme features several prominent speakers sharing their expertise and knowledge on a wide range of global issues.
John Perkins was once an 'economic hit man' who contributed to the economic colonisation of Third World countries by the United States government.
John has since become a whistleblower for the nefarious practice, publishing his book 'Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man' in 2014 and the second volume in 2016.
Before he tells all at InfoReset, we ask John to explain some of the finer points of his work, both past and present.
What is an 'economic hit man'? [John Perkins] In my case, I was chief economist at a major consulting firm. My job and that of my staff was to identify countries with resources that our corporations would want, for example oil.
We would then arrange a huge loan from the World Bank or one of its sister organisations to those countries. However, the money never actually went to those countries.
Instead it went to one of our corporations, like Bechtel, Halliburton and Stone & Webster to build electric utility systems, highways, industrial parks and other infrastructures. The huge profits that these companies made from these deals also benefitted particular families that represented the industrial and commercial centres of these countries.
However, the majority of the population suffered because money was diverted from education, healthcare and other social services to pay the interest on the loans.
In the end, the principal debt could never be paid off. So we would go back and demand that the country sell its resources, for example oil, real cheap to the corporations without any environmental or social regulations.
They also had to allow our country to build a military base on their soil, or other things that in essence created an empire.
The first volume of 'Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man' was released in 2004 and the second in 2016; had much changed in the intervening years? Yes, as I explained in detail in the book, the techniques we developed had become so successful in developing countries and have been used since 2004 to put people deep in the governments of the United States, Europe and other parts of what we call the developed world. This included credit card, educational, and healthcare debt.
Also, in addition to the rather generic type of economic hit man that I was, today every major corporation has its equivalent economic hit men who promote the interests of that particular country throughout the world. I go into great detail about this in the book.
Do you believe that capitalism has failed, or rather that its ideal has been corrupted? In its simplest definition, capitalism is the medium whereby production and commerce are owned by individuals and not by the government.
What we have today is something I call predatory capitalism. It really turns the whole concept upside down. Corporations are owned by individuals through the stock market and eventually buy huge pension funds. They in essence own governments or at least have huge amounts of control over governments around the world.
Why did you decide to expose the operations of EHMs and the organisations that employ them? After 911, I knew that I had to confess what I had done so that the world would understand that we have created a failed global economic system, a death economy that is based on the thread of warfare and killing, ravaging the very resources upon which the system depends.
We must turn that around and create a life economy, which cleans up pollution, regenerates destroyed environments and uses new technologies that recycle and are sustainable, instead of destroying the planet.
As I detail in the book, this life economy is in itself a renewable resource and is very much within our reach.
Did you ever feel guilt or remorse for your own part in the economic colonisation of Third World countries? Yes. That’s why I confessed! And that’s why I have to go through the rest of my life transforming it.
Can the general public ever know the true extent of the role played by such agents in world affairs? I don't think anyone knows the true full extent of the role played by such agents. But I believe that books like mine and many other resources including all the recent internet leaks, films, documentaries and other media are helping the world to at least get a fairly good idea about the overall picture.
How do you respond to claims you are a conspiracy theorist and that much of your book is a fabrication? My book has been well vetted by the New York Times, my publisher and many other institutions. For many months it was a bestseller at the World Bank and is taught at many universities and business schools around the world.
As a whistleblower, what are your thoughts on Australian legislation for the protection of whistleblowers? Protecting whistleblowers is essential to a transparent system and to any government that claims to resemble democracy in any way.
What will you be discussing/ presenting at your InfoReset seminar? All of the above and what each and everyone of us can do to turn a death economy into a life economy.
Sat 24 Feb - Darling Harbor Theatre (Sydney) Sun 4 Mar - Crown Convention Centre (Perth) Sat 10 Mar - Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre Sat 17 Mar - Chandler Theatre at Sleeman Centre (Brisbane)