Author: ‘Corporatocracy’ Responsible For Economic Mess

John Perkins, a New York Times best-selling author who’s speaking in DFW today and tomorrow, blames the current economy on corporations and the U.S. government–he calls it the “corporatocracy”–which conspired to drive us all into unsustainable debt in order to reap maximum profits. Now, he contends, the same players are swooping in to buy up assets like banks and real estate on the cheap, while average Joes and Janes get left holding the bag. His solution to this mess? A “sustainability revolution” spearheaded by a truly democratic marketplace. Perkins, who wrote Confessions of An Economic Hit Man, appears at the Barnes & Noble at Park and Preston Road tonight at 7, then at the University of Texas Dallas tomorrow evening at 7. I was going to advise bringing your tinfoil hats, but his theories actually sort of make sense.


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15 responses to “Author: ‘Corporatocracy’ Responsible For Economic Mess”

  1. As The Memnosyne Foundation’s vision is one of helping the diverse people of the world to consciously encourage an evolution for themselves and for future generations by helping them to interact responsibly in a society where globalization is the new reality, we have been passionate about how economics, ecology and ethics are intimately linked. This past year we successfully launched our first annual conference on Social Responsible Investing where we focused on informing the consumer and investor; but we recognize that an equally vital part of this equation is informing the most vulnerable communities about the unethical tactics that are often used to take advantage of them. It’s for this reason that we (Memnosyne Foundation) are so excited to work with John Perkins and his non-profit, “DreamChange” towards the creation of an educational outreach program that will help the leaders in poor and/or indigenous communities be better able to protect their people’s natural resources, human rights, the environment in which they live, and therefore their communities’ welfare.

    We (The Memnosyne Foundation) and DreamChange who are designing an educational outreach program that will serve to educate both people in Third World countries, and indigenous people around the world, about the type of tactics “economic hitmen” have historically and currently use to take advantage of their natural resources.

  2. Todd Collier says:

    I was in the room with John Perkins this afternoon as he was engaged in the interview via speaker phone with D Magazine, and find him to be a very gracious and humble human being. If you have seen the new James Bond film, imagine if you will a repentant villain. You remember the story, the villain in the film was acquiring large amounts of land along with all the water rights and selling the water back to the military dictator at an enourmous profit. Meanwhile, the people were without life supporting water, and the “economic hit man” banked enormous amounts of money for himself or the people he was working for. You have to see the film to find out what happens to the villain, but what happened to John Perkins was he had a change of mind and heart. We in the Bible belt know something of this notion of repentance, or metanoia as the Greeks put it. Imagine indeed, a “sustainability revolution,” a magnitude of repentance on a global scale. John doesn’t so much “blame” the corporatocracy as depicted above, but merely points out the magnitude of the global crisis, and what we do as consumers to keep fueling it. After all, it is we consumers who demand goods and services from the multinational corporations at prices that all but dictate the working conditions in which the manufacturing facilities operate. John is calling for a metanoia of sorts on the part of consumers, a change of mind. Isn’t that what repentance is? John is also very hopeful during this economic crisis in the US, as if this is the “invisible hand” at work making a huge global correction inspiring us to think differently. He is all for making profits, and is very much a capitalist in every sense of the word, but at the same time, recognizing the need for creating and sustaining a peaceful and just world. Even Jesus spoke of how the peacemakers would be blessed, along with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. John Perkins is truly blessed. He has gone from being an “economic hit man” to being an economic peacemaker.

  3. The first comment is a parody, right?

  4. The second one definitely is.

  5. For the record... says:

    Thanks, Trey, I was actually feeling sorry for the first writer, thinking of how out of touch she is with the audience/medium/ability to write interesting posts; then the second troll started to miasma my mind. (I know “miasma” is a noun, I just like the way it alliterates.)

    Posted two minutes apart and with that not-wrong but so-weird polysyballism – yeah, we got trolled.

  6. Todd Collier says:

    If you would like to learn more polysyllabic words, join us tomorrow night at UTD’s Conference Center Auditorium at 7:00. John will be speaking and you are free to attend and ask him anything you would like.

  7. You guys can make fun of me all you want, that’s what free speech is for. But I know I’m making a difference with my life for others and I believe in the work I do and in humanity’s capacity to evolve itself into the kind of world we want our grandchildren to live in. You don’t have to agree with my ideas, but please seek out your own way to make a difference. For the easiest job in the world is to be critic. Anyone can criticize a thought, an idea or action. But ask yourself, what and how would you do it better? If you have an idea to make a difference for the people being hurt out there in the world due to not knowing how to handle the globalized world we’re living in, then go for it! Suggest it- I want to hear it, and maybe we can collaborate and make a difference together. But if you can’t or if you don’t care about making a difference, then get off your but and get to work because if you are living in this country, you are one of the most empowered people in the world.

  8. Tey says:

    Well, she constructs sentences better than Sandra.

  9. Todd Collier says:

    You have yourself a real interesting following here, Glenn. You must be proud. I thought you gave a very engaging interview, and asked some very pertinent questions. Too bad your following thinks this is such a joke. What does that say about your publication?

  10. For the record... says:

    Todd, while the excerpt of the interview that appears on this blog was indeed interesting (and we’ll come back to “blog”), you and Ms. Thompson managed to quell my enthusiasm with your overlong, overwrought, overly cliched posts. Granted that you may not have been appealing to the common man/woman originally, now you are just petulant and whining.

    Now to the blog. This is a more-or-less public blog, which admits nearly anybody with any opinion, thank goodness. This is “wrasslin’ ” compared to the more controlled “boxing” of paper-based letters to the editor. Didn’t you see the word “snark” associated with this blog?

    Had you spent any time on blogs, you would have recognized that your posts are much longer than most, especially when densely written without paragraph breaks. Further, your post in particular was so meanderingly general as to be useless and even annoying to a reader who’s curious about the real, demonstrable work of your group.

    Frankly, you seemed to be “preaching down” from your nattering nabob heights of self-importance. Your excess comes across as navel-gazing solipsism, and sets you up for just the sort of snark it deserves.

    Bottom line: you lost my interest with precious, preening, intellectualism for its own sake. Good luck with the group, whatever it does and whenever it gets it done.

    Oh, and Perkins’ book? I’ll be reading it this weekend. Thanks for the tip, Glenn.

  11. Todd Collier says:

    Glenn, there is no need to get defensive, nor for any further engagement in this Texas “wrasslin’” of wit. I will state again, your courtship with this brilliant author was going well. Your interview on the phone was sincere and engaging. You just took Mr. Perkins to the wrong bar.

    You’re right. I’ve never spent any time on D blogs. Had I known the nature of this party, that it was a snark fest, I would have advised against it. When Mr. Perkins saw your one paragraph after spending almost 30 minutes on the phone with you, his reaction was, “that’s all he wrote?”

    I will add my apologies, and I hope you don’t measure your enthusiasm by my meanderings. But, I’m not convinced D is ready for the confessions of an economic hit man. I’m not convinced DFW is ready for such global mindedness either. I’m not sure they are ready to put down their hot dogs and beer and get out on the field. But there were 200 people at his talk last night who are.

  12. Todd Collier says:

    My apologies. I was responding to “For the record,” not Glenn. The use of commas was a bit confusing, and so is this medium. For the “For the record” post looks like he/she is signing your name, Glenn. How about we get off this two-dimensional thing and meet face to face? I’m sure it would help clear things up.


  13. First of all, thank you D Magazine for giving us the exposure you did with this blog, as at least 250 people showed up this past week to hear John Perkin’s eloquent speech and several also made contributions to our efforts to make a difference in places around the world.

    Secondly, Mr. “For-The-Record-Person-Who-Hands-Out-Rude-Remarks-But-Can’t-Do-It-Without-Hiding-His-Identity”, I have written on several blogs and recieved positive feedback from pretty much all of them, including D Magazine’s Frontburner where I’m certainlly well aware that anyone can write in whatever they want and am thankful to you for providing such a service.

    Also, please know that my chossing to speak intelligently to you is my way of respecting you. If I handed out pithy silly remarks, then I would be condescending to you.

    Now as for “precious, preening, intellectualism for its own sake”, none of this is being done for it’s own sake.

    Trey Garrison, None of this is a joke. It’s not a joke to the 5.4 million people who have been killed in the Congo, and it’s not a joke to the Hopi who have 7 years left of clean drinking water before Peabody Coal, Sith, and Blackstone have destroyed it, and its not a joke to the people of Teotihuacan who watched their pyramids get destroyed for an incoming Walmart, and it’s not a joke for the people of Darfur, Sudan who are being killed by a genocide fueled in part by many of our 401k’s.

    You guys are writers, so let me extend an challenge to you, if you’ve got the —–. Come with me. Come with me on some of these trips and look these people in the eyes and see if you think any of our words are “navel-gazing solipsism”. I dare you to reveal your faces and step beyond the comfort of the computer and make a difference.

  14. Well Done Mary Ann, Well Said!!!
    It is far too easy to sling arrows in total anonymity than to offer positive feedback. It is more comforting to ignore the world around us than to get out there on the front lines and fight the battle because if we did that we would mean we would have to care. We would have to take that first step to recognize we are part of the problem and then make a conscious effort to become part of the solution. Centuries of conflict around the world have shown us we as humans are not good at cleaning up after ourselves. Look at the bombs and mines from previous wars that have still not been cleared and disposed of properly, and the endangered species lists where animals have been pushed to the brink how can we truly see the world around us and not admit we have a problem.
    To you Mary Ann keep your chin up and your shoulders squared and know that you are not only changing your little corner of the world but by continuing on in enlightening those who will allow you to with future programs such the John Perkins event you are making a Global Impact. Wear these arrows proudly and consider it a compliment you are shaking things up. You have made a conscious choice to come out from the comforts of your home into the world around you and make a difference. Perhaps the people slinging the mud in your direction are a bit jealous and envious of your bravery? You are doing this as a human being, a woman, a member of society and as a part of the Memnosyne Foundation and we applaud you.

  15. Mike Ghouse says:

    The subject was sharing the knowledge about a few mean individuals aka “economic hitmen” in the corporate world doing the dirty and irresponsible work, of robbing the less informed and causing an economic imbalance and continuing to tip it further for their own gains.

    One aspect of Journalism, I thought was to keep the public informed of such activities. The ones responding in behalf of D Magazine seem to be jumping off in different directions.

    I hope we all can re-focus on the topic instead of individuals. The topic is important as it provides an insight into the mess we are in today.