Former international consultant and self-described "economic hit man" John Perkins decried a global "corporatocracy" last night in a lecture held in a packed McCosh 10.
Perkins, author of the 2004 bestselling book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," alleged that the National Security Agency (NSA) indirectly employed him to saddle poor countries with debt so that their domestic politics and foreign relations could be controlled by the U.S. government and their natural resources exploited by American corporations.
He further claimed that "jackals" would assassinate uncooperative, populist leaders who failed to accept the loans offered to them by "hit men" such as Perkins.
Perkins alternately whispered and shouted as he described his former life as a Peace Corps volunteer and a consultant for Charles T. Main, an international engineering firm, where he claims he began to work for the NSA as an "economic hit man."
Media outlets and the State Department have confirmed the general details of Perkins' employment history, but have raised serious doubts about any secret NSA connection.
Throughout his speech, Perkins condemned corporations for setting "as their primary goal making a few very rich people richer every day."
"We must change the corporations," he said. "We're living under what I call an imperialist, capitalist system."
Later he loudly urged the audience not to drink bottled water, due to the energy expenditures and environmental damage caused by its production.
After taking a gulp of local Princeton tap water, Perkins reconsidered his exhortation, conceding that "your local water is not as good as mine," before imploring the audience to consume it despite the taste and chemical impurities.
At other points in his talk, Perkins accused the U.S. government and American corporations of secret plans to enhance their control over the global oil supply.
Perkins predicted that war with Venezuela would come after the South American nation announces at the June 1 OPEC meeting that its oil reserves exceed those of the entire Middle East.
"I happen to know that we've assembled a force in nearby countries — in Guyana — to invade Venezuela," Perkins said. He did not cite a source for his information.
Toward the end of his lecture, Perkins invited the audience to close their eyes, relax and visualize "over the United States ... the body of an octopus, its tentacles reaching out to every corner of the earth, sucking up resources."
"Imagine what it would be like to be a peasant at the end of one of the tentacles," he said.
The lecture was sponsored by Princeton Social Forum, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Green Party of New Jersey and the Princeton College Democrats.
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.