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  • Episode 127 – John Perkins, Life Economy & Updated “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 127 - John Perkins, Life Economy & Updated "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

[Got “Life” Economy?] John Perkins discusses his updated 3rd edition of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, in which his NYTimes bestseller is brought current with a special focus on China’s rise to global economic dominance alongside the United States, which has held the position of largest economy (and global influencer) since World War Two. Building on his distinction between a “Life Economy” and “Death Economy,” as presented in his book Touching the Jaguar (see Y on Earth Community Podcast Episode #72), Perkins makes clear the dysfunctions of “business as usual,” and lays out several of their key origins (including the 1980s “greed is good” attitude that was central to the economic theories of Nobel Prize winners Friedrich von Hayek (1974) and Milton Friedman (1976) who advocated shareholder profits as the ONLY objective of corporate behavior). In addition to articulating many of the key reasons we are facing the global crisis that stand now before us, Perkins also articulates the characteristics and strategies needed to change course and to achieve a “life economy” instead.

That is, Perkins is helping to find the path from a deeply flawed “predatory capitalism” to a much more ethically oriented “stakeholder capitalism,” in which an ethos of stewardship, regeneration, care of humanity, and relief of suffering is paramount. Having worked as an “economic hit man” (EHM) himself, Perkins now sees how China has deployed similar tactics around the globe in order to further its own national interest. He discusses the EHM strategy as having four main tactics: fear, debt, anxiety (over perceived/manufactured scarcity/insufficiency of capital and other resources), and a divide and conquer approach to securing access to resources, markets, and policy makers.

But, especially through his work with indigenous cultures in the Americas, Perkins has come to understand that our economic system isn’t the product of some immutable laws of nature, but is the outcome of prevailing attitudes, cultural biases, myths – what he calls our “dreaming” – and that we can and must now “dream a new reality” together if we are to survive and thrive during this momentous time of change facing our entire planet and species. “Perception molds reality,” he writes, and “living at a critical moment in history” we are invited – implored – to examine and transform our deep-held perceptions.

You can pre-order the updated version of Confessions today and receive FREE access to a special 90-minute “fireside chat” webinar program with John Perkins – johnperkins.org.


John Perkins is the author of the NY Times best-selling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (now in its 3rd Edition), Touching the Jaguar, The Secret History of the American Empire, and Hoodwinked. He has lived four professional lives: as chief economist of a major global consulting firm where his actual job was that of an Economic Hit Man (EHM – clandestinely trained by agents of the so-called “Washington Consensus”), as CEO of an alternative energy company, as an expert on indigenous cultures, and as a writer, teacher, and speaker who promotes ecology and sustainability. He co-founded the non-profits Dream Change and Pachamama Alliance and applied his consulting fees to championing indigenous rights and environmental movements, working especially closely with Amazonian nations. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man has become an international bestseller in 38 languages and has sold over 2 million copies. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, and in Time, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and on the Y on Earth Community Podcast.





Episode #96 – John Fullerton, Capital Institute, Regenerative Finance

Episode #72 – John Perkins, Touching the Jaguar

Episode #50 – Dr. Anita Sanchez, Indigenous Wisdom, Pachamama Alliance

Episode #25 – Hunter Lovins, A Finer Future



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