Guided Critical Analysis: John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
The world system of today has become what it is through complex interactions between people,
corporations and countries. To understand it all is a near impossible task, however in learning the
basics of the world system, a few key concepts and theories stand out. One major one being debt.
Debt is an ever present thing throughout the world which is playing a major role in modern society.
Debt is seen in the world having effects on individual people and right up to nations all over the
globe and along with it, carrying various complications and implications. The development of a
global empire is another reoccurring concept that describes the current world situation. The United
States appears to be at the fore front of this development, wanting to spread its materialistic ways
across the world turning it into an empire in which it can rule. The last thing that stands out within
today's world is that evil from powerful figures, are seducing and corrupting the less fortunate in
order for self gain, and through today's globalization it has lead to the level of countries corrupting
other countries. Through John Perkins's, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and other sources I
will explore the three concepts of debt, a global empire and evil that has shaped today's world, and
look to how people can encourage good within society to help form a more happy and healthy
In society, debt to me was fairly unknown until recent times; the debt that came with loaning money
to purchase the family home was previously a large amount in my eyes, however learning the debt
that large corporations and countries take upon, it soon comes clear the small scale of the family
loan. The total US debt in 2010 was close to 50 trillion dollars (Heinerg, 2011, p.72), a number hard
to fathom. Debt begins through the borrowing of money that a person, company or country is
currently not in possession of, it is unavoidable burden in today's society. Debt is the by product in
purchasing the family home, for a company to jump start a business and all the way up to
governments taking out loans to pay for essential needs to citizens. There is no doubt that when
managed well and in moderation, debt can have large benefits. However it also has the potential for
devastating consequences. On an individual level, over borrowing can lead to unpayable debts
ending in bankruptcy or financial ruin. This over-indebtedness has severe social consequences, such
as financial hardship, poor physical and mental health, family stress, stigma, and difficulty obtaining
employment. The impact of over borrowing grows larger and larger with the greater amount owed,
once on the country level, debt has the potential to impair a government's ability to deliver the
essential needs to citizens.
Through John Perkins work as an economic hit man (EHM), his job was to put countries into this kind
of dangerous debt through producing...