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The Big Answer


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Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED -- and How to Fix It

a book by John Perkins

(our site's book review)

Who Perverted Capitalism?

Perkins believes that regular capitalism was working okay, and the global economic problems are not about the failure of normal, unperverted capitalism. But we’ve developed a really predatory and mercenary form of capitalism, particularly beginning with the time of Reagan and Milton Friedman’s highly flawed economic theories (he is a tool of the shadow government). Why? Because these two guys drank the Kool-Aid the shadow government sold them in the 70s and 80s and the shadow government has been selling it ever since, in spite of it having a terrible effect on the economy of not just the U.S. but all countries. This new predatory capitalism stresses that the only goal of business is to maximize profit, regardless of the social and environmental costs, and not to regulate businesses at all — regulation is bad, all forms — and to privatize everything, so that everything is run by private business. And "this mutant form of capitalism, which I think is really a predatory form of capitalism, has created an extremely unstable, unsustainable, unjust and very, very dangerous world," says Perkins.

If capitalism 2.0 works, why are the oligarchs laughing so hard?
If capitalism 2.0 works, why are the oligarchs laughing so hard?

The author wants us to delve down and root out the cancer and move into something much better than predatory capitalism. This type of economics was designed by oligarchs and their flunkies to extract money from the middle and lower classes and put it into the pockets of the oligarchs and their corporatocracy. U.S. citizens never signed on to such a bizarre form of economics. Instead, the world's most expensive P.R. agencies created a huge mythology around this anti-human, anti-environment, anti-life form of slash-and-burn economics that eventually devastates. The main feature of it is utilization of what Hitler's Mein Kampf calls the big lie. The big lie is a propaganda technique coined by Adolf Hitler.

The Big Lie

To use the method, a known falsehood is stated and repeated and treated as if it is self-evidently true in hopes of swaying the course of an argument in a direction that takes the big lie for granted rather than critically questioning it or ignoring it. Well-known forms of the big lie include Hitler's use of anti-Semitism in Nazi propaganda (blaming Jews for all of Germany's problems), communist propaganda blaming the "bourgeoisie" for all workers' problems, the frequent demonizing of the left-wing as communist and of the right-wing as fascist, religious fundamentalist claims of persecution, etc. (Source: big lie.) Regulations as barriers to a healthy and vibrant economy was another big lie.

Regulations as barriers to a healthy and vibrant economy was a major big lie, but from the 80s on we drank the Kool-Aid
Regulations as barriers to a healthy and vibrant economy was a major big lie, but from the 80s on we drank the Kool-Aid

We look despairingly at the way the Great Depression of 2008 could have been prevented had the deregulations Reagan and George H. W. Bush and Clinton supported not been implemented in the first place—they made people and corporations reckless, and gave banks enough rope to hang themselves with, and hang they did. The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages, and dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk—a recklessness that could only happen because deregulation reversed many policies that had been in place to prevent people playing fast and loose with the economy in general and their financial transactions in particular. And the worldwide economic crisis could have been prevented if both the deregulation hadn't occurred and the economic hit men and jackals working for the shadow government had not wrecked so many countries' economies.

The only reason the deregulation Kool-Aid was drunk by Reagan and the public was that hugely effective and expensive P.R. agencies taught the Reagan administration how to serve the Kool-Aid with devastating effectiveness
The only reason the deregulation Kool-Aid was drunk by Reagan and the public was that hugely effective and expensive P.R. agencies taught the Reagan administration how to serve the Kool-Aid with devastating effectiveness

The most effective big lies are outrageous enough to be unbelievable, yet appeal strongly to the prejudices of the listeners and are therefore stated in as bland and matter-of-fact terms as possible. Sometimes it is even more effective to merge several big lies together in a series of talking points, like calling big government part of our economic problem in the 80s when in truth most of the "big" government that was moaned about was really "safe" government—regulations put in place to keep us more economically prudent, cautious, protected, and responsible. The only reason the deregulation Kool-Aid was drunk by Reagan and the public was that hugely effective and expensive P.R. agencies taught the Reagan administration how to serve the Kool-Aid with devastating effectiveness. The big lie was served up as shadow-government-supported propaganda to perform a RRH (reverse Robin Hood—take from the poor and give to the rich).

The big lie was served up as shadow-government-supported propaganda scripted by shadow-government-hired P.R. agencies
The big lie was served up as shadow-government-supported propaganda scripted by shadow-government-hired P.R. agencies

In a Democracy One Can Vote for Change—In our Oligarchy, We Must Act from the Grassroots

Perkins says that the corporatocracy is calling the shots and you can prove it to yourself by looking at Obama replacing Dubya. The two are exact opposites if you listen to them. But then you look at what they do and see Obama was merely Bush 2.0, only worse than Dubya. And the corporatocracy is still in charge. Nothing changed a bit. If a "liberal" democrat has the same effect on the country as a conservative warmongering rightwinger, why do we even bother to vote? The more things change the more they stay the same. If this doesn't show that the shadow government rules and the politics and elections are a cover, serving as a clown show to distract us from the real action happening in the shadows, we don't know what could.

The shadow government rules and the politics and elections are a cover, serving as a clown show to distract us from the real action happening in the shadows
The shadow government rules and the politics and elections are a cover, serving as a clown show to distract us from the real action happening in the shadows

The author is a populist who tells us to forget government and politics and social engineering—"we, the people, must create the change." Amen! He says it is okay for corporations to make profits, but only within a context of creating a sustainable, just and peaceful world. "We cannot have homeland security unless we understand that the whole planet is our homeland . . . we are one — one human species living on a very fragile planet." Right now it is clear that we are headed for a cliff.

We were hoodwinked by corrupt shadow government goons, and now it is clear that we are headed for a cliff
We were hoodwinked by corrupt shadow government goons, and now it is clear that we are headed for a cliff

Let's Return to the Days of Corporate Charters Given Only If They Act in the Public Interest

'Our company deserves its charter renewal since every time our pollution makes people sick, we send them Get Well cards!'
"Our company deserves its charter renewal since every time our pollution makes people sick, we send them Get Well cards!"

Perkins tells us that in the late 1800s, no corporation was allowed to get a charter unless it could prove that it served the public interest, and all their charters came up for renewal every ten years or so. They didn’t get a renewal unless they could prove they served the public interest—can you imagine that in today's world? That all changed with a Supreme Court ruling that made corporations equivalent to individuals in the late 1880s due to robber baron influence—and then in 2014 that atrocious Citizens United case simply rubber-stamped that corporations are not only people, but they are allowed to buy and sell elections and the formal change from democracy to pseudo-democracy to corporatocracy was now complete—a fait accompli. Many of us, forgetting the particulars of U.S. history, will be shocked to realize how our so-called democracy's civic morality has disappeared like ice on a hot griddle. And the forces that made an art of international rape and pillage are applying the same methods inside the U.S.A. and the result is the biggest income gap in history.

Wall Street Protest: Occupy Wall Street—Copyright © 2011 by Louis Lanzano
Wall Street Protest: Occupy Wall Street—Copyright © 2011 by Louis Lanzano


'You know, Archibald, my bladder is a tad too full—do these windows open? I'd like to send my regards to those pesky OWS protesters'
'You know, Archibald, my bladder is a tad too full—do these windows open? I'd like to send my regards to those pesky OWS protesters'

The Corporatocracy Has Sold Us All on Predatory Capitalism as a Way of Life

Perkins cites the cause of current global financial meltdown. He shows how we've been hoodwinked by the CEOs who run the corporatocracy—those few corporations that control the vast amounts of capital, land, and resources around the globe—and the politicians they manipulate. These corporate fat cats, explains the author, have sold us all on predatory capitalism as a way of life. And like lambs led to the slaughter, we drank the Kool-Aid. Exploit the many to benefit the few. Spock on Star Trek told us that the good of the one is outweighed by the good of the many. Maybe we need Spock or Perkins for president instead of ass clowns like the Bushes and Obama! We can create a society that fosters a just, sustainable, and safe world for us and our children, but not with corporatocracy flunkies at the helm. Where is J.F.K. when you need him? We need statesmen, NOT FLUNKIES!

Where is J.F.K. when you need him? We need statesmen, NOT FLUNKIES!
Where is J.F.K. when you need him? We need statesmen, NOT FLUNKIES!

Support for Perkins' Book

Robert Baer reviewed Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED -- and How to Fix It: "I wasn’t twenty pages into Hoodwinked when I realized Perkins nailed it. What got us into the mess we’re in today, the worst recession since the Great Depression, is the same grotesque capitalism cum corruption we shoved down the throat of the Third World since the end of World War II. (Yes, the Third World’s elites were cheerfully corrupted.) We, and the rest of the West, learned the trick of selling unneeded infrastructure, services, over-sophisticated weapons—stuff that could never benefit anyone other than the people who lined their pockets. And yes, Perkins is right, the international economists and press were handmaidens to the thievery."

The international economists and press were handmaidens to the thievery of Third World resources
The international economists and press were handmaidens to the thievery of Third World resources

Howard Zinn says "John Perkins has been in and out of the world of high finance and low ethics, and in Hoodwinked he not only illuminates that world with dramatic stories and keen insights, but suggests what we might do to create a better society."

Daniel Goleman says "John Perkins' engaging narrative draws us into a brilliant analysis of capitalism's shadow side, and points us to a hopeful path to a better future. Hoodwinked is a must-read for anyone who cares about our economic welfare, social justice, and our collective well-being."

Effective Action Through Five Pathways for Change

Perkins presents a solid framework for effective action through five pathways for change:

This is a good book to get one to realize that the U.S. drank the Kool-Aid in the 1980s and ever since has been guzzling the damn stuff
This is a good book to get one to realize that the U.S. drank the Kool-Aid in the 1980s and ever since has been guzzling the damn stuff


We've been led down the garden path, failing to see that there's a sinkhole up ahead on this path—and it's miles deep
We've been led down the garden path, failing to see that there's a sinkhole up ahead on this path—and it's miles deep

This is a good book to get one to realize that the U.S. drank the Kool-Aid in the 1980s and ever since has been guzzling the damn stuff. We've been led down the garden path, failing to see that there's a sinkhole up ahead on this path—and it's miles deep. If we truly understand what has happened we will cease participating in presidential elections. Being part of these hollow farces just encourages the corporatocracy to believe that they have us all permanently Hoodwinked! Instead, try to use grassroots methods and movements to deal with local issues, community issues, family issues, and neighborhood issues. Here is an example: MCs.

Other Shadow Government Perspectives

Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar
Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar