Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Themes

John Perkins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
This section contains 594 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Modern Day Slavery

The narrator makes it very clear towards the end of the book that the corporatocracy is merely an empire that controls the nations and people around it, using them for labor and resources in order to feed, clothe,and provide for its own. John Perkins states that this is simply another form of slavery, especially in the way that the empire almost forbids the "slaves" from ever rising up and improving their lives by making sure that their countries are indebted forever. This is very similar to the way an indentured slave would work, or the way an African slave was controlled in colonial America. What makes this type of slavery different is the complete disconnection from the slave and the slave owner. The modern-day slave owner never sees the slave, never hears him screaming for freedom and compassion when the whip of imperialism is slashed across its back. All that matters is that the work is done quickly, cleanly and efficiently. The mess of the slave and the exploitation of the land is left abroad, outside the walls of the empire.


The idea of a conscience is brought up several times throughout the book. John has the ability to quiet his conscience several times throughout his life. Just when you think he is giving his conscience a chance to convince him that he is doing wrong, he quiets it again. The goal of the book is to allow people to let their consciences be heard. With the information presented in each chapter, there is a chance to think about what the U.S. is doing morally wrong, and a chance to make people think about how to help change that. It isn't easy, however, as the narrator has shown in his book. He fights his gut feeling, and when he does something good, it is usually backed by the corporate empire in order to keep him quiet. When he does something good, such as create IPS, but he is succeeding only because of his ties to the corporate world. It makes the reader wonder whether there really is a way to live a life with clean hands within the corporate empire, regardless of to what and whom we listen.

The Spread of Democracy.

The U.S has always been very passionate about spreading democracy, at least politically. There have been hundreds of speeches given by presidents about the need to make sure that every nation have presidents that are democratically elected, that people have basic rights and that everyone be happy and live in prosperous societies. However, this spread of democracy seems to be quite weak in Latin America. And while Latin America has been successful at voting for the people they want in office, the U.S. has been quick to oust someone who goes against an idea, value or resource that Washington believes, or is invested, in. The U.S. invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War was a fight for resources, while the invasion of Panama was a fight for the Canal. Even though Panama didn't pose any threat whatsoever, and even though its president was beloved and democratically elected, the U.S. still invaded. The U.S. went against its democratic ideals, shook the nation of Panama to a core, took back the Canal, and gave them a puppet president. When the puppet didn't dance the way the U.S. wanted, he, too, was ousted. Thus the spread of democracy appears to be no more than a label with undertones of U.S. imperialism.

This section contains 594 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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