John Perkins’ new book is called Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Written in a manner that is simultaneously informative and first person-narrated, Perkins has this kind of naturalistic ability to communicate ideologically exclusive concepts for a wide audience. He can emotionally engage as much as he can intellectually stimulate.


Needless to say, it’s a potent mix. The emotional bit is particularly on display in the word choice of the book’s titling, the ‘economic hitman’ being Perkins referring unflatteringly to himself. “The promise made by those 192 CEOs at the Business Roundtable is a confirmation that attitudes are changing. Many executives have told me that they have children and grandchildren and want their companies to be much more socially and environmentally responsible. However, they are faced with a challenge.

Executives in investor-owned companies, including the Business Roundtable CEOs, are aware that they must answer to shareholders who are conditioned to focus on profit maximization. These executives tell me that the hope is that customers will send a message that, unless their company does the right thing, they will take their business elsewhere and the company will lose market share and profits,” Perkins writes. “It is up to each of us to use social media and any other available means to encourage and empower executives to take actions and become leaders in the conversion to a life economy. In our jobs, shopping, investing, and the people we elect, we have the opportunity to send messages that support a new perception, a new story, of what it means to be successful.

We are positioned to promote the actions necessary to make that happen…Because you live at a time of highly efficient connectivity technologies, you have the ability to inspire others to change policies and actions. You are blessed with the means to tell stories that promote the perception that success is about working together, defining prosperity as benefiting all life, seeing ourselves as a part of—not apart from—nature, knowing that we are the navigators of spaceship Earth, and we are blessed with the opportunity to all come together and pilot ourselves away from the death into the life economy.”


Once again speaking to Perkins being a very emotionally capable storyteller, he cites a painfully personal and intimate passage following these convictions. “I once asked my grandmother how she dealt with her fears during World Wars I and II, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the Great Depression. ‘Hope, faith, courage, and action,’ she answered without hesitation,” he writes. “This is a time for us to embrace hope; to know that we change reality by changing perceptions; to have faith that, like people before us, we can overcome perceived obstacles; and to muster the courage to channel our fears into perceptions that result in positive actions…Honor your dreams, your mission, the things that bring you joy, and take actions that make the world a better place.

Know that it is time to end the EHM strategy everywhere. It is time to embrace a perception that supports the long term: ‘If we want our country to prosper, we will define prosperity as benefiting all life in the entire world, see ourselves as a part of—not apart from—nature, accept that we are the navigators of spaceship Earth, and join forces to pilot ourselves away from the death into the life economy.’”

Cyrus Rhodes