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John Perkins: The Shadow World Of The Economic Hitman

An exposé of the ugly global battle for control of resources
Sunday, March 6, 2016, 1:51 AM

If you're hoping to have a 'feel good' day today, we're about to owe you an apology.

John Perkins, author of The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is someone we've been trying to get on the program for some time. He tells a dark story of an elite cabal working in the shadows to subjugate governments as it pursues ever-greater control of the planet's resources.

What's most frightening about this story is how credible it is. Anybody paying attention to world developments will have a hard time dismissing Perkins' claims out-of-hand; and a harder time not being sickened at how on the mark his claims may likely prove to be:

Economic hitmen – I'm a former one, actually – created the world's first truly global empire. It's really a corporate empire, not an American empire although the U.S. government certainly supports it.

We work many different ways, but perhaps the most common is that we will identify a country that has resources that corporations want, like oil. We arrange huge loans of that country from the World Bank or one of its sisters. Yet, the money never actually goes to the country. It is primarily there to make the our companies -- that build the infrastructure projects like the power plants, and the industrial parks, highways, and ports -- very rich.

In addition, a few wealthy families make a lot of money off of these programs. They own the industries and commercial centers. 

But the majority of the people do not benefit at all. They do not have enough money to buy much electricity. They cannot get jobs in industrial parks because the industrial parks do not hire many people. They lose out because a lot of money is diverted from healthcare, education, and other social services to try to pay the interest on the debt. 

In the end, the principal is never paid down. We go back and say Since you cannot pay your debts, sell your resource real cheap to our corporations without any environmental restrictions or social regulations. Or privatize, and sell off your electric utilities;,your water and sewage systems, and your schools, your jails -- all of your public sector businesses -- to our corporations

These leaders are very aware that if they do not accept these deals; if we economic hitmen fail to bring them around, the jackals are likely to show up. These are people that will either assassinate those leaders or overthrow their governments. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with John Perkins (41m:54s)

Transcript: 

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson. The signs of global distress are piling up. Increasingly chaotic financial markets, refugee crises, the hottest year on record, ocean phytoplankton disappearing, unrest in the Middle East, and crashing emerging markets are among the many alarming changes we see around us. Disturbingly, the response from those in charge appears to stretch well past denial, possibly into something darker and more sinister even as they double down on failed policies.

Their answer to the obvious and grotesque predicaments caused by economic growth is: more growth. The treatment for a system loaded with too much debt is: more debt. If lower interest rates are killing the financial system and creating perverse corporate incentives, then the answer is even lower rates, obviously. If reasonable people cannot get through the membrane of political parties, then only hopelessly out of touch hacks and demagogues become our polarized choices.

There is clear pathology apparent in the human experiment here in 2016. There is no heart, no connection to the natural world, to our roots, or to our souls anymore. Everything seems to be about money and power.

To help us understand the extent to which this is all by design, and not accident, is John Perkins, prolific author and human activist. Among his many excellent works was the groundbreaking book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man that really rocked my world when I read it. It details the system of Western control and domination that treats weaker countries and their resources as prey to be stalked and consumed. That book has been expanded and updated. We are here to discuss that new work today. Welcome John, it is a real pleasure to have you on our show.

John Perkins: It is great to be here with you, Chris.

Chris Martenson: Briefly, tell us how the economic hit man program works.

John Perkins: Well, I think it is fair to say that we economic hit men – I am a former one actually – created the world's first truly global empire. It is really a corporate empire and not an American empire. Although the U.S. government certainly supports that. We work many different ways. But perhaps the most common is that we will identify a country that has resources that corporations want, like oil. We'll arrange a huge loan to that country from the World Bank or one of its sisters.

Yet, the money never actually goes to the country. It is primarily there to make our companies that build the infrastructure projects, like the power plants, the industrial parks, highways, ports, very rich. Or the company that builds them makes a lot of profits. In addition, a few wealthy families make a lot of money off of these programs. They own the industries and commercial centers.

But the majority of the people do not benefit at all. They do not have enough money to buy much electricity. They cannot get jobs in industrial parks because the industrial parks do not hire many people. Yet they lose out a lot because money is diverted from healthcare and education and other social services to try to pay the interest on the debt.

In the end, the principle is never paid down. We go back and say "since you cannot pay your debts, sell your resource real cheap to our corporations without any environmental restrictions or social regulations. Or privatize, and sell off your electric utilities—your water and sewage systems, your schools, your jails, all of your public sector businesses to our corporations."

Chris, these leaders are very aware that if they do not accept these deals—if we economic hit men fail to bring them around, the jackals are likely to show up. These are people that will either assassinate those leaders or overthrow the governments. I talk in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the book that just came out, about my own experiences with the democratically elected president of Ecuador, Jaime Roldos, and the Head of State of Panama, Omar Torrijos. They had integrity. They would not accept the deals I was trying to convince them to take and they were both assassinated.

Chris Martenson: This is something that is an unfortunate part. I wrote a fairly detailed piece on Libya recently as a recent example of something where I noted that Muammar Gaddafi had turned Libya from the time of his coming into power until the time he was taken out—he had converted it from the poorest nation on the planet to one that had a higher standard of living than Russia, Brazil, and a number of places. He was really taken out, was he not?

John Perkins: Absolutely. He had been a thorn in our side for a long time. I know that story quite well. Then when Russian aid went away from Libya when the Soviet Union was demolished, he made overtures back to us and the British. He actually admitted to playing his role in the downing of the Pan American Airline jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. We sort of forgave him and began to resume relations with him. Then in response, he offered to sell oil back to us. This really upset the French because they were not part of the deal. They began to side with some of the tribal factions that were opposed to Gaddafi. In the process, also managed to embarrass us and the English by saying "How can you side with this guy that you have been so deeply critical of for so many years?"

We were then convinced that we had to come around and take him out. I think it is very unfortunate. He is one of those examples of a leader that could be brutal, there is no question, but also did a lot of good for his country. He got very bad press because we did not like his ways. We did not like the fact that he was trying to keep our oil companies out for a long time. He became this public enemy.

Chris Martenson: I have so many questions from that. But I want to dial back just a second. Because this idea of the United States or rather the corporations having this first truly global empire. It is really an empire of debt, I guess. I want to get your views on debt. Now, one of the things we do at my site in my work is we just talk about how money is created. Once you peel back the veil on that, G. Edwards Griffin's Creature from Jekyll Island would open my yes and said, "look, money, it is an idea. We create this idea out of thin air."

The question is really about how though is debt any different from slavery in concept? Because it is really a system of control. It takes one person or one country's output and it transfers it to another. Debt seems to me – it seems like black magic. Because it is conjured out of thin air, right? It is literally printed up out of thin air. Yet, everyone believes it has real power. So it actually does have enormous power. How is it that the system really operates this way?

John Perkins: Well, that is fascinating. You are talking about one of my favorite subjects that I discuss in some detail in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man how things are getting so much worse since I wrote the original Confessions of an Economic Hit Man in 2004. That is why I have written the new one. Because things are getting so much worse, the whole economic hit man system has spread from the developing world to the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world. It has really created a failed global economic system, a death economy that is based on death, fear, and the destruction of resources. At the same time, around the world, people are really waking up to this fact. We are really beginning to understand that we live on a very fragile space station without any shuttles. That we must change and create a life economy. We can go into that in more detail later.

But this idea of creating a reality. I think it is fascinating that we humans are probably the only living creatures as far as we know who live in two realities. There is the objective reality. There is the telephone or the computer screen, or the computer that we are talking on right now. Then there is the imagined reality, which is really in a way the most important reality to human societies. The imagined reality are the things that we are discussing right now. Country borders are imagined.

There is no such thing as the United States, or Canada, or Russia, or China. The borders are something that we have created out of imagination and then codified into law so they actually become very important. You can say the same for culture, or for religion, for so many things including economics and money.

Money is an imagined reality that we have codified on an economic level; and in fact, on a legal level. Therefore, it has tremendous power. That also gives us the hope—as I mentioned just a few minutes ago, people are waking up around the world, understanding that we live on a fragile space station without any shuttles. We are creating a new imagined reality. But we understand that the old one does not work.

Revolutions always happen—and they can happen pretty quickly—because people drop one imagined reality for one that is more appealing to them. As an example, back in the 1700s, there was a believed and imagined reality that American hunters, and farmers, and fisherman could never possibly beat the British military, the most powerful in the world at the time. But George Washington saw something different during the French and Indian War.

Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and others wrote that we could defeat them by simply hiding behind trees like Indians and firing out at these lines – rigid lines of red coated targets. The imagined reality very quickly changed. It rallied everyone to say "yeah, well, let us take on the British." This is true throughout history. Right now, we are at one of those pivotal times where people are understanding that the imagined reality of this economic system that has failed us, this death economy, needs to be replaced by a new reality of a life economy that is based on cleaning up pollution, regenerating destroyed environments, and alleviating the causes of terrorism.

Chris Martenson: Very well said. This brings to mind, there is a passage I wanted to read out from your book and get your response to it. Because you write beautifully by the way. This book, New Confessions, like the old one, very full of easy-to-relate-to stories, and very wonderful use of imagery.

You start Chapter 34 in New Confessions with this passage:

The situation has gotten much worse since Confessions of an Economic Hit Man was first published. Twelve years ago I expected that books like mine would wake people up and inspire them to turn things around. The facts were obvious. I and others like me had created an EHM system that supported the corporatocracy. Together the EHMs, corporate magnates, Wall Street robber barons, governments, and jackals, and all of their networks around the world had created a global economy that fails everyone.

It is based on war or threat of war. Debt, an extreme form of materialism that pillages the earth's resources, and is consuming itself into extinction. In the end, even the very rich will fall victim to this death economy.

Now, it is not just the rich who are going to fall victim to this, is it?

John Perkins: No. But even the rich will. I mean, and that is…. A lot of people think that the rich are just getting richer and they are going to protect themselves against the collapse. But they cannot. Because the collapse we are looking at is so systemic that everybody will suffer. This space station, Earth, is headed for calamity. If it crashes, we are all going to crash. The Earth itself will survive but most life forms as we know it will be gone. We must not let that happen.

Chris Martenson: Well, I completely agree. Really I guess I came into this work was as somebody who spent a lot of time outside in my youth and then in my early young adult stage—a lot of time outside. Also, I am trained in the biological sciences so I understand systems. I understand biological systems to some extent.

But I understand the extent to which humans are just another organism on a planet. There are a number of rules that organisms live by. One is that you do expand into your available food source. Oil became our food source. We are literally eating oil, if you can follow the steps along from pumping it out of the ground, to turning it to fertilizers. It becomes food, which I eat. Back to this idea of this imagined reality.

I feel like humans have really gotten out of touch with that primal connection—the extent to which we are dependent on this little sphere. Fantasies of getting off the planet to Mars aside. Or fantasies of finding some new magic technology aside, the larger idea here for me is that we spend all of our time inside and food magically shows up so we think that is how everything works. There is almost like an entitlement to that, right?

You talk about this sense of hope then. How is it that we are going to get from this imaginary world we are inhabiting back to reality? How do we begin that process?

John Perkins: Well, I think that you hit on a point there that our imagined reality is that we are somehow separate from nature, or above nature. That we can pollute the oceans, and the air, and the soil the way we want and somehow the earth will manage to take care of all of that, absorb it, and continue to provide us with food even though we are destroying the earth with our pollution, which includes yeah, fertilizers, and insecticides, and all of the other biological things that we put into the creation of foods.

It is actually destroying the resources upon which it depends. That is a mindset. It is an imagined reality that we have bought into. It seemed to work for a long time. I remember back when I was working as an economic hit man. My actual title was Chief Economist at this Boston based consulting firm. I sailed a lot in the Atlantic_____ [00:15:11] of Boston. Even back in those days, people who thought they were going environmental thought you could throw just about everything into the ocean including soda and beer cans if you just put a little hole in them before you threw them in, and made them sink, the ocean would take care of everything. We discovered that is not true. That was an imagined reality. Now we are understanding that. We know that the oceans are rising and the glaciers are melting.

How do we get out of this? It is becoming pretty obvious to the large numbers of people that this system is not working. It is becoming very obvious to leaders of big corporations and CEOs. They too are concerned. They just do not know what to do about it.

I speak at a lot of the events of corporate executives. I hear continually, "gosh, I would like to be greener. I would like to make my company greener. But I know that if I lose half a percentage of market share, my main stockholders will fire me. They will replace me with someone who does not care about being green. Who just cares about market share."

What I want for you to do is tell all of your people, tell all of your readers and your listeners that I want to be flooded with e-mails and tweets and so forth saying "I love your product, Mr. Monsanto or Mr. Nike, or Mr. Wal-Mart," or whatever it is. Do not make them the bad guy. "I love what you are doing. But I am never going to support you or buy your products anymore unless you stop using fertilizers and stop creating petroleum based insecticides, and fertilizers, and toxic chemicals. Or, unless you start paying your workers in Indonesia a fair salary," and so on, and so forth.

These corporate executives want to hear from us. Because we have got to understand that although corporations pretty much run the world and control the U.S. government, and most other governments, they are totally dependent on us, we the people, to buy their goods and services, to support them with our tax dollars and our government policies, and to invest in them. They are totally dependent on us. We have to recognize that and know that we have tremendous power because of that.

Chris Martenson: Now, this thing you talk about of this wanting to be greener. It really goes further than that I hope for some people, right? There is a sense that our larger narrative is breaking down. Anybody who is my age—I am 53. I also grew up in the New England area. I grew up on Long Island Sound. The amount of change, of ecological change in terms of the fish that are not there anymore, other things like that, is just absolutely profound for me to see. But I think that even if somebody was fairly disconnected from the natural world, you cannot open up a newspaper... How can you read about a 40 percent loss in major megafauna, or a 90 percent loss in large pelagic ocean fish, or the sixth great extinction as being underway, or glaciers disappearing at the rates they are. Any of these things without getting that feeling of dread down there. I mean, are you saying—are you detecting that there is this awakening that is beginning to happen? Even though people do not know what to do yet, they are getting close to really being—what would I say—activated?

John Perkins: Absolutely, in the last 12 years since the original Confessions of an Economic Hit Man was published, I have traveled all over the world speaking in places like Romania, and China, and all over Europe, and the Middle East, and Latin America, North America. I have been on a lot of Russian programs and so on, and so forth. Everywhere I go, Chris, I find that people are getting it. They are waking up to this fact that we can no longer continue like this. The question is: What do we do?

A few years back, I spent some time with the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, India._____ [00:19:15] was leading a group of about 30 people to that part of the world. He invited us all up to spend an afternoon with him in his living room. One of the things he said was you know... Somebody asked what he thought about praying for peace and getting everybody in the world to pray for peace at a certain time on a certain day? He said well, that is – praying for peace is a good thing unless that is all you do, and then it is a waste of time and perhaps even a diversion. You have to take daily action for peace every single day.

I think that is where we are at now. People around the world are waking up. They are understanding that this system is broken. It just plain is not working. It is going to destroy us. But now, we have got to take daily action every day. It is not enough just to understand it.

We have got to each commit to taking action, whether that is as small or as seemingly simple as sending an e-mail out once a day to these various corporations and telling them they have got to change, or going and demonstrating at their headquarters and maybe being put into jail. I mean, there is a whole level of actions we could take. But the important thing is for everyone, all of your listeners to take some action every day towards creating a life economy, a better world for our future generations as well as for ourselves.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely, and one of the concepts we work with is to take our financial capital and plow it back into creating more living capital and other things like that where we are using the stored energy in our money to actually create abundance. Here is one of the narratives that I grew up with: When humans move into an area, they will ruin it, right? That is just a story I believed. When the bulldozer shows up next door, something ugly is about to happen. Or, people will show up and all of the plants and animals will slowly begin to suffer.

I held that story for a long time, John. Then visiting places where people are engaged in really intelligent farming practices, permaculture, really deep. I learned that humans can actually be incredible agents of abundance. We can work either for destruction or for regeneration. It is really a choice, honestly. It is really something that is within our power. But I think that the system that you were part of that you described—I think that we are all complicit in it, I am not saying you—but that economic hit man system, it is about money. It is about power. It really feeds on this idea that it is all about being rapacious and destructive. It holds that as its core. Do I have that wrong? Is it not that malicious? Or is there something here we really have to open our eyes up to and understand better?

John Perkins: Well, it is malicious. It is what I call predatory capitalism. When I went to business school in the late '60s, that is not what we were taught. We were taught that a good CEO makes a decent rate of return for investors. But also, he takes good care of his employees. He will take a cut in salary before laying anyone off. Imagine that. And a good CEO takes good care of his suppliers and his customers. He is a good community citizen wherever his corporation happens to work or sell its products. He pays taxes. Imagine that. Beyond that, also, he donates money to local school systems, and recreational facilities, etcetera.

That all changed in the '70s when Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in economics by stating that the only responsibility for business is to maximize profits regardless of the social and environmental costs. Everybody bought into that. It is a very insane idea. It is a new idea. But it gives license to CEOs. In fact, it basically mandates CEOs to do whatever it takes, including bribing politicians or creating new laws where what used to be considered bribery like in the huge campaign funds is no longer bribery.

It is totally legal. Suddenly in the '70s, everything changed. Corporations suddenly get this marching order to do whatever it would take to maximize profits. That has created this predatory form of capitalism that is destroying us. We need to turn that around and change that. Because we have seen that it just plain does not work.

Chris Martenson: But unfortunately it seems to work for a very select few people who generate tremendous wealth in this wealth disparity that has popped up, which is now the most magnificent on record where you cannot…. I think Oxfam came out and said, "hey, there are 65 people that have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion." That is an extraordinary imbalance. Plutarch way back when said that the oldest and most fatal ailment of all Republics is an imbalance between the rich and poor. We are really in a kind of imbalanced point here, are we not?

John Perkins: We are. It looks as though it has succeeded for those 60 some odd people. Yet, like I said, as the system fails, they will be part of the failure. That is part of what has been happening. One of the reasons that the economic hit man system has expanded from the developing world into the United States and Europe in the last 12 years and the rest of the world is that the people who run this system had understood that they have pretty much maxed out in the developing country. They have exploited them to a very large degree. They continue to do it for resources and markets. But they have also seen that in order to keep expanding, they had to move into the United States, Europe, and everywhere else.

The frontier has gotten much smaller—talking about the economic frontier here—for exploitation. Before long, that is going to run out, too. Even though it seems as though this handful of people benefits—and they do at the moment—in the long run they have got to recognize—and I think they are beginning to recognize that they too are going to be part of the failed system. They, like the rest of us, are confronted with the challenge of figuring out how to change it.

We need to lead that way, you and I, your listeners, my readers, the people in the United States that still has a leadership role in the world. We need to recognize that the system we have created where less than five percent of us live in the United States and consume 30 percent of the gross resources while half the world is starving or on the verge of starvation—that is not a model. It cannot be repeated. China cannot do that with 19 percent of the world's population. Brazil cannot do it, Russia, India. Nobody else can do it. We have got to recognize that it is not a model. It is a failed system. We have got to create a new model.

Chris Martenson: That really brings to – it puts a sharp point on this whole idea of the United States exporting Democracy. A long story there by the way. Lots of territory to cover. But this by the numbers, the model of five percent consuming 25 percent only works for the first 20 percent. Then you are up to 100 percent, right? That is it. People cannot follow the United States model in terms of consumption and all of that. But I am intrigued with this idea that we have touched on a number of points here. I would like to expand on it, this idea that there were marginal returns to be found across the world so that the same systems of exploitation and domination were turned inward against the self.

Let us talk about some of these practices that are being deployed right now, maybe just in the United States, to focus it even more, being practiced right here at home against U.S. citizens. What are these EHM practices that are being waged here?

John Perkins: There are so many. Like I said at the beginning, the death economy is based on fear, death, and the destruction of resources. Fear has certainly been brought home here. I mean, 9-11 was a watershed moment for that. That happened about the same time I was just putting finishing touches on the original Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. I say everything has changed since that book came out in 2004. But in a way, the real marking point was 9-11 in 2001.

This fear that has always been used by empires. It used to be the fear of communism. Then the Soviet Union was destroyed. Now, it is the fear of the extremists, of terrorists, of Muslim extremists, of immigrants, and so on, and so forth. We have really brought that fear home. Constantly in the United States being hammered by this idea that they are the problem. If we can just take care of them. If we can just stop the immigrants. If we can just get rid of Al-Qaida, or ISIS, or whoever, everything will be okay.

At the same time, we have put a lot more debt on ourselves. Part of that debt goes to feed this war machine, this fear. But other debt is credit card debt, which has skyrocketed; and education debt, which is outrageous. Obviously homeowners' debt, and health insurance debt because we do not have good health insurance. People have to go deep into debt to take care of themselves when they are sick. Huge amounts of debt that have occurred in the last 12 years in this country.

We have got fear, debt, and the resource destruction, which has just been increasing and increasing as you pointed out earlier. The Big Ag businesses are destroying the earth with their insecticides, and fertilizers, and other chemicals. This has come home to roost in the United States in the form of new forms of economic hit men. We have now got a situation where we have got over 100,000 people who serve as lobbyists. Only 13,000 actually registered as lobbyists, but the others call themselves political consultants, and government advisors, etcetera.

Many of these people come out of the Senate or the House of Representatives once they leave those organizations. They join big corporations at huge salaries. We have got jackals in the form of drones, and police surveillance, and FBI trying to break into our telephones and our e-mails, etcetera. I go into great detail in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man about how this system is coming home to roost in the United States now. Those are just a few of the more generalized subjects. But there is a lot of detail in the book.

Chris Martenson: Well, that is what I really did like about The New Confessions; so much is brand new. You do go into all of these things that have transpired since 2004. It has been astonishing. The Snowden revelations about what the NSA has really been up to. Just how little privacy actually exists. The overall program, once I see the dots lined up the way you lined them up, it is hard not to feel like a farm animal. I have to be honest about that.

John Perkins: That is an interesting analogy. Yeah, I agree.

Chris Martenson: I understand—listen, my background, I worked for Pfizer in R&D for a while. I worked for a company called SEIC in a commercial division side. I understand big corporations. The people I worked with at Pfizer are not bad people, right? They were good people. But incentives are what they are. What I now notice being outside of that system and watching what is happening, Pfizer prices—not to pick on Pfizer—drug companies in the United States price things here in a way that is absolutely predatory that nobody else in the world puts up with, right? Here in the United States, we pretend as if it is normal and reasonable and it makes sense and all of that. But it feels extractive to me, like the corporations are doing everything they can to extract what little remains.

The story you are saying is that system of control and domination only gets a little bit more desperate as things get tighter. The competition really locks up. There is not enough bare surplus to go around. Because there are no fresh continents to exploit. There are no fresh countries.

People are onto the game as well. They resist a little bit more. I am particularly seeing how the oil companies get resisted in other areas now, to pick another example. But that is my sense when I read your book. It just confirms for me this growing sense of feeling like that farming, of really, I feel exploited at this point.

John Perkins: Yeah. The sad fact is that if you talk to people at Pfizer or any of the pharmaceuticals and any of the executives, they, like people throughout the industry, will probably tell you that they are frustrated by this system, too. Like you said, there is a lot of really good people working for corporations. I know a lot of top corporate executives, CEOs. The ones that I know are not bad people. They are good people. They are very frustrated by the system, too.

I know there are sociopaths out there running some of our corporations. I personally do not think I know any of them. But even sociopaths come around if we can let them know that the way they are going to be successful is by changing this system. In any case, when you have talked to people in the pharmaceutical industry, they will tell you well, yes, the United States pays more. That is justified because there is more money here and it costs an awful lot to bring a drug to market, the medicine to market. Somebody has got to finance it. The system here is in a way a socialistic system where those who have the money in the United States pay for the research so that those who do not have the money can get it.

Of course, that is spurious, too, because a lot of those people who do not have the money, do not get it either. It is still too overpriced for them. Or the products just do not reach them. But there is always these justifications. That is this mindset.

I think Chris, the difference between you and me, and the rest of us, and the farm animal is that we have this concept of imagined reality. The farm animal that is stuck there in the pen waiting to just be super fed and then milked or whatever, and then eaten. It does not think beyond that pen, as far as we know. You and I can do that. You and I know that there is an imagined reality out there that we have bought into, and allowed our culture to buy into. That we support in the marketplace and in our tax dollars. That gives us the power to change that, that realization to know that we can turn this around. That the Redcoats are not invincible. That the Americans could win a revolution. That Hitler was not invincible, and so on, and so forth.

We need now to change this mindset and say hey, the death economy that we have of ravaging resources and debt, and fear is not a natural thing. It is not the way of the world. We need to create a new economy that is based on cleaning up the pollution and regenerating destroyed areas; and alleviating the causes of terrorism rather than combating terrorism with a force that just makes people more desperate and probably feeds ammunition to the terrorists.

Chris Martenson: John, I am really interested in this angle then, which is I think one of the more important parts of The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which is well, so what do we do? You have other books out about techniques for global and personal transformation. I am really interested in what we really can do at this point.

One of the things that I talk about with my listeners, one of the practices we carry is that old maxim: You have to become the change you wish to see. I do not believe it is possible to transform things outside of us until we have transformed ourselves inside. But I am a bit confused about how we go about transforming systems and cultures and things like that. How do we do that?

John Perkins: Well, I would turn it around a little bit, too and say we cannot transform ourselves inside until we also recognize that ourselves inside is deeply connected to everything that is around us. We have to do both. I cannot be a better person personally unless I am also working to make the whole earth a better place. I truly believe that.

The two go hand in hand. They are not separate. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man really is devoted to outlining strategies for converting a death economy into a life economy. There's a long list in the book of things everybody can do. There is a list of ten things everyone can do. There is a list of I think 14 things that retired people can do; and 16 things that students can do. A list of what people in between can do, and what entrepreneurs can do. There are a lot of very strong suggestions in that book. I cannot go into them all now.

But I think the most important advice I can give is that everybody needs to pick a cause, something that you really believe in. Or, something that you want to change. It could be a corporation. It could be the education system in the country or the pharmaceutical system, or whatever. Pick something that really appeals to you. What draws your passion? Then start doing things that bring you joy in changing it. It is amazingly powerful. If every one of your listeners once a week sends e-mails, posts, and tweets to everybody on their list; and asks them to send them to everybody on their lists and so on about this one cause. Let us say it is changing the animal industry that you mentioned. Animals in these cages and being fed... Launch a crusade against one of the corporations that is involved in that, and say to this corporation—do not make them an enemy. Say "hey, I like your products..." and so on, and so forth. "But in order to be successful in the future, you are going to have to change the way you do things. Instead of raising your cattle in pens, let them be free range." Whatever the product is.

But if everybody out there takes a cause, and really devotes themselves to it, and makes it fun. Enjoy doing it. Because if you do not enjoy doing it, you are going to burn out.

Chris Martenson: John, I wonder if you would be willing to share with us your causes?

John Perkins: Yeah. You can go on my website, JohnPerkins.org and see that I am a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance. The Pachamama Alliance now is in something like 85 countries. Those are specific things that I work in as organizations that are forming a change around the world and doing amazing work, actually those two organizations. Incidentally, I would really encourage everybody to sign up for my newsletter. You could actually put your e-mail in the little blog there – in the little box. They get a newsletter once a month and a couple of blogs from me, and go on Facebook.

But beyond that, Chris, I would say that my overarching goal is to create a life economy. To create an environmentally sustainable and regenerative and socially just world. Now that is a big cause, if you look at it that way. But I can say each day I pick a smaller part of that. You sort of pick it apart. Today, what am I doing? I am talking to you about that very subject. I am trying to reach out to your listeners to help them be inspired to do something every day.

Tonight, I am speaking at a bookstore right here in Miami, Books & Books in Coral Gables about this very same subject. It is a promotion of my new book. But really why I am there is not necessarily to sell books but to sell the ideas. I will be speaking about this. Tomorrow I fly up to Washington, D.C. I am going to be speaking to the World Affairs Council, which many people think is part of the system. I will be speaking to some very important people there as well as at bookstores.

Every day I do something. I write a book. I write another chapter. Or, I write another page in a book. Or, I speak to people like you on programs. But all of it is aimed for this big umbrella idea that I want to help create a life economy that my 8-year-old grandson, when he is my age, will thank me for being here to participate in. Then I break that down into subcategories of smaller things I can do every day.

But, I want to do things that I would enjoy. I am loving talking to you right now. You can probably feel that. I am going to really enjoy being at Books & Books tonight and then in Washington in the next few days. Not everybody would enjoy doing that. You have got to pick something you really enjoy doing and are good at doing.

Chris Martenson: It is such an honor to meet you in this way. The motto at Peak Prosperity is: We are creating a world worth inheriting.

John Perkins: I love it.

Chris Martenson: It is a big mission, right? But you scratch under that and there are a lot of very detailed things that can fall out from under that. Obviously we do not do that all at once. It is great to know that. It is good to feel that energy of more and more waking up and saying, "look, this just does not make sense."

In closing, you had 11 things that everybody should do. Number three really jumped out at me. I would just like to close on this one. Because this to me is the heart of it. Number three is: "Live consciously. Focus on doing things that enhance your relationship with other people, your community, and the world around you, including honoring nature in whatever form it takes in your locale."

That to me, that word "relationship" is at the heart of this. I feel like our system has fundamentally been isolationist and reductionist. It has been about – it has been anti-relational. It is time to bring the relation back in. It is really about bringing in the archaic forms, the feminine back in to balance the masculine. It is time to become relational again. So it is good to meet you.

John Perkins: Thanks Chris. I totally agree with you. That is something indigenous people that I have spent a lot of time with since the late '60s talk about constantly, relationships. How do we relate to the world around us? How do we leave it a better place for our children and grandchildren than the one that we inherited?

Chris Martenson: Well, thank you so much for your time. We have been talking with John Perkins, author of the recently released book, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. A great book. John, thank you so much for your time and thank you mostly for the work you are doing.

John Perkins: My pleasure, Chris, and likewise, thank you for the work you are doing. Keep it up and we will change the world, all of us together. You, all of your listeners, and my readers, we will make it happen.

Chris Martenson: We already are.

John Perkins: Right.

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61 Comments

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
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John Perkins

Take the 40 minutes to fully appreciate the conversation.It is time well spent and why we come to Peak Prosperity!

cello55's picture
cello55
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Vedic Astrology, any believers out there?

For your consideration, apologies to Mr. Kelleher and "un-believers".

The Mars/Saturn Conjunction

 

February 19 - June 16. 2016

July 12 - September 17, 2016

August 23rd Exact.

Saturn and Mars will be in Scorpio for the next several months.  Actually, they will take a little break between June 16th and July 12th,  but the exact periods of their shared occupation of Scorpio will be between February 19th and June 16th, and then again from July 12th to September 16th. 

Saturn and Mars are both malefic or challenging planets.  Saturn is the planet of delays, obstacles, and pressures.  Mars is the planet of warfare, desire, anger, and violence.  Having them together in the same sign is a recipe for an increase of difficulties in the world.  Having them both in the sign of Scorpio, the sign of upheavals and changes, is like throwing a fire cracker into the recipe. 

When two planets come to the same degree of the zodiac it is called a conjunction.  That event will  take place on August 24, 2016.  On the other hand, as long as they share the same sign, they will mix their energies.  In Vedic astrology we also refer to the sharing of the same sign as a conjunction, even though the planets may be several degrees away from each other.  The exact conjunction, is just the most intense part of their shared interaction. 

Mars wants to go ahead quickly.  Saturn wants to go slowly and tends to produce obstacles.  Together these planets tend to produce a phenomenon which I call the "Rush Hour Traffic Effect".  It's like driving the car with the gas and the brakes on at the same time. It is a time during which masses of people throughout the world are feeling an increase in the level of frustration.

As a result, this period, whether we are talking about the mutual occupation of Scorpio or the exact conjunction of Mars in August,  will be likely to increase tension and stress in the world.  This will inflame hot-spots that are already on fire in areas like the middle east.  It will also produce a tendency towards a greater number of events related to terrorism and warfare in general. 

Going back in history, Mars and Saturn make a conjunction in Scorpio about every 30 years.  On the other hand, it is rare to have Mars and Saturn in Scorpio at the same time that Mars is retrograding.   A normal conjunction of Mars and Saturn only takes a couple of months.   When it occurs along with the retrograde phase of Mars they can stay in the same sign for up to about 9 months.  That is what is happening in 2016.  The last time this happened was in 1779. 

In 1779 the revolutionary war was going on, and the Mars/Saturn transit in Scorpio took several months to complete due to Mars' retrograde motion.  During that time, Spain declared war on Great Britain, in support of the United States. Benedict Arnold was court martialed near the time of the conjunction as well.  There were also violent flare ups and warfare in other parts of the world. 

This conjunction is also a mechanical or technical influence.  In 1779, it took place during the first industrial revolution.  At the time of the conjunction the Iron Bridge (Mars rules iron) was erected in England.  The oldest still-working engine in the world was brought online, and the Spinning Mule, a miraculous new invention that revolutionized the textile industry, was perfected.  This means that in 2016,  a number of significant technological advancements will be realized. 

Although this type of conjunction is primarily used to predict trends in the world, it will also play a role in each person's individual chart.  Depending on the domain of life related to the house in which the sign of Scorpio is located in each person's horoscope, Mars and Saturn will produce a variety of influences on each of us.  In general, this is a good year to cultivate patience.  It is also a good year for taking care of a variety of mechanical and technical issues in your life.

Here is a brief description of what the Mars/Saturn conjunction might do in your chart over the next six months.  Remember, this description only applies to the period from February 19 - June 16 and then again from July 12 - September 17 of 2016.  Also remember that, in Vedic astrology, we use a different zodiac, so make sure that you look at the birth dates very carefully and don't use your western Sun sign. 

Apr 14 - May 14  (Aries)   This period could produce significant changes. This is good time to commit yourself to an exercise program.  Yoga, especially is a good idea. 

 

May 15 - Jun 14 (Taurus).   This period challenges you to exercise patience in the area of partnership, marriage, or business. 

 

Jun 15 - Jul 15 (Gemini)    This is a good time to work on  your health.   Saturn encourages you to establish or reinforce routines like diet or exercise.  Mars is the planet of energy and also rules the muscles of the body.  So you might benefit from looking at a total health program.

 

Jul 16 - Aug 16 (Cancer)  Mars and Saturn are transiting your fifth house, the house of children, education, creativity and romance.   If you are in school, double down on your studies. This period favors the study of math or science.  If you have kids, pay attention. You might need to be a little more patient with them, or you might find that one of them is under a little stress.  In romance, be patient. This isn't the most romantic time, so don't make mountains out of mole hills.  The same is true for creativity.  This is a good time for routines, techniques, and regular effort, rather than creative inspiration.

 

Aug 17 - Sep 16  (Leo)   Mars and Saturn are passing through your  fourth house. This is a transit that suggests the need to be a happy camper with regards to your place of residence.  It is a great time for doing repairs or remodels, but it is also may require you to be patient with regards to selling or buying property.

 

Sep 17 - Oct 16  (Virgo)  The conjunction of Saturn and Mars is influencing your 3rd house, the house of communications, information, and short journeys.  This is a good time for doing lots of practical errands around town, especially if they are related to anything mechanical or technical.  Also, make sure you take plenty of time going to and from appointments.  Similarly, you might experience a little "rush hour traffic" in the area of communication.  However, this period favors the process of getting technical information.

 

Oct 17 - Nov 15 (Libra)   During this period, Mars and Saturn will be transiting your second house, which rules over money and food.  With money, it is mixed, giving period of expenses and periods of gains.  The best approach is to be patient, prudent, and thrifty.  With diet, this period is challenging you to be disciplined.  Maybe it is a good time to get back on your diet, or to simply make an effort to eat more high quality food.

 

Nov 16 - Dec 15 (Scorpio)  Mars and Saturn are influencing your first house during this period. The first house signifies your body and you expression of self.  On the negative side, this period could make you work very hard or feel like your work is simply tedious.  You could feel that your energy is low or that you are simply over extended.  It could also produce delays  and obstacles in general.  On the positive side, this could be a very productive period of working very hard.  The idea is to pace yourself, and to make sure that you are taking time for your routines of health and rest.  Get up, dress up and show up.  Be positive, patient, polite, and persistent.  How's that for a lot of  P's.

 

Dec 16 - Jan 13 (Sagittarius)   During this period, Saturn and Mars are moving through your twelfth house.  This is the house of introspection, sleep, expenditure and distant places.  This is a period during which travel could involve delays or pressures.  It is a good time to be thrifty and to minimize expenditure.  As far as introspection goes, a physical form of meditation ,like yoga or tai chi, is recommended. Yoga can also help  you sleep more soundly, but in this department, it is also recommended that you go to bed early and try to have a regular sleep schedule.

 

Jan 14 - Feb 12 (Capricorn).    This period finds Saturn and Mars in your eleventh house.  This is the section of the horoscope that is related to friends, groups, earnings, and goals.  During this time you might experience occasional frustration with friends or with the organizations or groups to which you belong.  So a little patience will go a long way.  Remember, your friends are not wired like you.  They are all doing the best they can.  This period could also put you into overdrive in your desire to accomplish your goals.  If you experience a little rush hour traffic in the process, just be patient.  In fact, this combination actually produces a transiting Dana Yoga, which is a combination that promotes financial gains.

 

Feb 13 - Mar 13 (Aquarius)  For you, the  Saturn/Mars combination is influencing your career.  This is actually creating a temporary Raja Yoga in your area of career and this is good for producing better results with career, projects, or avocational pursuits. This is especially true if these involvements are technical or mechanical in nature.  On the other hand, the process of accomplishment could involve starts and stops and a lot of problems solving, so be patient.

 

Mar 14 - Apr 13 (Pisces)    During this period, Mars and Saturn are moving through your ninth house.  This is a transit that can produce long distance travel, and that travel will be more beneficial if it involves the accomplishment of something practical.  It could also involve some delays or obstacles.  This house is also related to teachers and education, so if you are involved in the educational process, then you will need to make an effort now. 

March Eclipses

Total Solar Eclipse

March 8, 2016

4:54 pm PST

24 degrees Aquarius

Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra

This solar eclipse takes place in Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra which is symbolized by a funeral bed. On a simple level, this suggests an increase of tension and violent events flaring up in political hot-spots throughout the world during the next few months. The effect of an eclipse is more prominent in the days or weeks surrounding the eclipse, but the overall influence can last up to a few months.

Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra is also a spiritual nakashatra. Its Shakti is the power to elevate consciousness. It calls our attention to the fact that life is temporary and that the only thing that is permanent is spirit. For this reason, the days surrounding the eclipse are good for focusing on activities like meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices.

A funeral cot is also a symbol of endings. This period is good for bringing things to conclusion; getting rid of things that are no longer useful or which no longer serve you. All things pass away. Everything changes constantly, yet we cling to the pleasant conditions and things in our life, trying to desperately make them last forever. During this eclipse, let go. Remember that we are only here for a short time, and that life is only a dream.

The mantra for this eclipse is Om Purva Bhadrapada Nakshatra Devataye namah

 

Lunar Eclipse

March 23, 2016

4:am PST

9 degrees Virgo

Uttara Phalguni nakshatra

This nakshatra ruled by the deity, Aryaman, god who blesses marriages. He is the matchmaker. He is also a mentor or patron for helping people who are struggling. The Shakti of this nakshatra is the power of wealth through marriage. In general, it is not a good Idea to begin things that are related to the significations of the nakshatra in which the eclipse is taking place. On the other hand, this is a good time to make donations to married couples, hospitals, or to people who need help.

The mantra for this eclipse is Om Uttara Phalguni Nakshatra Devataye Namah

HughK's picture
HughK
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Thanks - positive impact

Thanks, Chris, for another great podcast.  I hadn't realized that Perkins had a new book out and I'm downloading the audio version now.

A lot of great stuff in there, but this part jumped out at me:

Chris Martenson said:

I held that story for a long time, John. Then visiting places where people are engaged in really intelligent farming practices, permaculture, really deep, I learned that humans can actually be incredible agents of abundance. We can work either for destruction or for regeneration. It is really a choice, honestly. It is really something that is within our power. 

John's reply about finding a cause that one finds important and enjoys working towards was equally encouraging.

This Ben Falk quote seems to fit:

Creating a multi-storied ecosystem, with mushrooms and berries and fruits and nuts, grazing animals and vegetables all interwoven...This idea of permaculture.  We can actually be healing forces...  So all of a sudden, humans start doing good.  And then impact is a great thing. Then footprint is something we want to leave. 

nigel's picture
nigel
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Posts: 111
Confirmation Bias

The crash course was a masters work in accuracy and simplicity. It made clear comments about the broad issues facing our society. Lately, the tone has changed to conspiracy and confirmation bias. I adored the post about singing frogs farm, and I enjoy some challenging comments on the forum, however I really don't need to hear about complex conspiracy theories.

If there really is a select group of people manipulating world events then I functionally have no control over them. I can't stop them, I can't join them, I probably can't help but be caught up in the world events no matter how cautious, and I probably can't predict or understand their strategy. So why would I try to understand something that has no functional use for me, that the understanding off will make me angry.

I like trying to figure things out, fun things, things that make me happy. The hours spent reading conspiracy theories on the internet has no value to me. The hours spent horse riding and swimming and in the garden are priceless.

mememonkey's picture
mememonkey
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Yes, it's not all puppies and kittens

nigel wrote:

The crash course was a masters work in accuracy and simplicity. It made clear comments about the broad issues facing our society. Lately, the tone has changed to conspiracy and confirmation bias. I adored the post about singing frogs farm, and I enjoy some challenging comments on the forum, however I really don't need to hear about complex conspiracy theories.

If there really is a select group of people manipulating world events then I functionally have no control over them. I can't stop them, I can't join them, I probably can't help but be caught up in the world events no matter how cautious, and I probably can't predict or understand their strategy. So why would I try to understand something that has no functional use for me, that the understanding off will make me angry.

I like trying to figure things out, fun things, things that make me happy. The hours spent reading conspiracy theories on the internet has no value to me. The hours spent horse riding and swimming and in the garden are priceless.

Of course you are free to pursue happiness, however you see fit, however, perhaps you should reconsider your own confirmation bias.

What I gather from your comment is that:  you don't want to hear about bad things outside of your control, you don't want to invest energy in understanding how things might actually work if
those things are unpleasant. and you have no power as an individual against the rapaciousness of the various evil forces at work.

But we all have power to pursue truth and act in congruity with our knowledge in our dealings with the world. That is perhaps the only real power that we have! 

If the mission here is to hep create a world worth inheriting, than isn't the first step,  seeking to understand the world we've got?   How the system works?  Don't solutions flow from better understanding of the problems? 

I have and continue to adjust my individual behaviors to reflect what I learn. 

I found this to be a valuable, hopeful and proactive interview with someone that is has unique personal experience in the worst of our broken systems.

mememonkey
 

debu's picture
debu
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Vijay Prashad: The Foreign Policy of the 1%

Great lecture by Vijay Prashad on the Real News yesterday very much in keeping with the themes of this interview with John Perkins that is brimful with humaneness. Erm, I mean to say that both lecture and interview are...

As you might expect, the foreign policy of the 1% that we have been living with since forever is singularly lacking in humaneness, possibly humanity as well. /dismount soapbox

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David Huang
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There is some functional use to understanding this

My take away from this discussion wasn't so much that this is some sort of secret conspiracy so much as a business model.  Those in the corporations approaching things this way are not necessarily evil doers rubbing their hands together with glee as they plot world domination.  More like they are just people working their jobs following the business model that is bringing in profits.  We need to become aware of how it works to recognize it as a failing model.  While changing this as a broad world trend may be out of our hands individually I think there are things we can take and apply directly to improve our lives now.

When Mr. Perkins spoke of this model now being applied in the US and other western countries my immediate thought was that this was happening in both a macro and micro scale.  Encourage an entity to take on too much debt then when they can't pay you start forcing other behaviors which wouldn't have happened otherwise.  In the US I think we are seeing this at the city, state, and federal levels, areas that get increasingly out of our hands to seriously influence as an individual.  However, is this not also the new practice at the individual level.  We are encouraged to take out students loans, mortgages for homes larger than we need, home equity loans, car loans, credit cards, and payday loans.  It used to be that you could pretty well count on a bank or loaning business to run the numbers and make sure you weren't taking on too much debt.  Not so anymore from what I read.  Then when you get in over your head you get slapped with fees of all sorts, higher interest rates, foreclosures, and repossessions.  You may find you have to work longer and harder at jobs you don't really like just to try and stay afloat.  I have a friend who has gotten himself into this sort of situation.  He can't safely keep money in a bank because creditors can have the bank go and take the money out of his account.  For this "service" the bank first charges the account from $50 to $100 which will be deducted whether that much is in the account or not.  If any money is left then it goes to the creditor.  If there wasn't enough then his account is considered overdrawn and a whole new batch of fees gets applied.  I'm not saying he isn't to blame to some degree for his situation, he certainly is, however, it is extremely hard for him to get out of it now.  This is the sort of thing I would see as economic hit man activity on a personal micro level.  If you know and understand the business model then you will be better able to avoid falling into it.

Personally I've always strongly avoided taking on debt.  About 10 years ago I was finally able to pay off the last of the few debts I had taken on.  The freedom that has given me is wonderful!  Since one of those debts was for a very small, minimal home, which I now own free and clear this means my required expenses are miniscule.  If I so chose I have the power to reduce my income to poverty wages and still lead a pretty good life.  These are the sorts of ways I can fight the economic hit man sort of business model.  I can live and demonstrate a different model that works better for me as an individual.  Put differently, I have the option to spend much more of my life pursuing things I enjoy whether these things are a job that pays less, or activities that pay nothing at all.  That has been the functional use to me of understanding how debt could be used at a tool to extract my productive energy.

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AKGrannyWGrit
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War Against The Weak

War against the weak us as old as man himself.  Edwin Black provides illuminating historical information.

AK GrannyWGrit

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AKGrannyWGrit
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Economic Hitman

Looked for a promo on YouTube for Mr Perkins new book but didn't find one. This would be a good place to put it if he had one or makes one.  Didn't mean to steal his thunder just remembered seeing YouTube videos by Mr. Black that also discussed the targeted war on the weak.  YouTube's for books can be very informative.  Just a suggestion.

climber99's picture
climber99
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Win - Lose strategies invariably result in Lose - Lose outcomes

Win - Lose strategies invariably result in Lose - Lose outcomes.

This was one of the most important lessons I learnt during a graduate training course in my first job after leaving university.

"Suddenly in the '70s, everything changed. Corporations suddenly get this marching order to do whatever it would take to maximize profits. That has created this predatory form of capitalism that is destroying us." 

can be translated to : "Corporations aggressively started pursuing Win - Lose strategies and as a result we are ALL losing."

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kaimu
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EVILNESS

Aloha! Thanks and mahalos to John Perkins, as any account from the inside is always enlightening and sobering. I first read Confessions of an Economic Hitman back in 2005. If you understand the USA as Empire then it all fits. At this point in the cycle it seems the best we can hope for in our efforts is some sort of "truthiness" which then leads to a fleeting understanding of "evilness" that we can all point our fingers at, democrat or republican or independent.  

In my life experience it seems to me we are all trying to survive the heavy handed grip of government. Don't forget government controls everything. Just like any dictator central government can be benevolent or it can be totalitarian. These days even dictators can say they were "elected". Even Hugo Chavez was "elected"! He destroyed Venezuela, a country I called home during my childhood. Even in the 1960s when I lived there it was a socialist military junta. What isn't a "junta" and what hasn't been throughout human history. There are many was to "force" compliance other than military might. Still, that said the US military enforces the USD globally. No matter what you want to call it social democracy or whatever it is still Empire. Are we that blind that we cannot see we are Empire. We are the new British Empire.

I blame no US corporation for their efforts to survive Empire. Look to the British East India Company during the British Raj. What was that other than a conglomerate of the wealthy endeavoring to survive the British monarchy. That monarchy still has wealth and if you think the current politicians in control of Washington DC, both sides of the isle, are any different than monarchy in terms of using military and laws to gain favorable status and advance wealth then you are living a delusion. No government on Earth is any different because the human condition dominates us as humans. It dominates our decisions and the main force we possess is that of "survival"! No longer do we fear TRex, but we do fear the newest brutal predator who has replaced the TRex ... TRulers. Rulers are ... as rulers do! Make no mistake as taxation is predatory. It is government exercising "Rule". Try not paying taxes and see. See what happens when you stop paying property taxes and association dues. Try little things like not paying the taxes on your phone bill.Tell the gas station attendant you will only pay the cost of the fuel not the taxes. Tell the Mercedes dealer you will only pay for the car not the sales tax.

Corporations stand a better chance of surviving Empire than the average citizen simply because corporations have more capital. Our politicians are too proud and sophisticated to call it "bribes" like Third World dictators, but what is the Clinton Foundation other than a "bribe depository"? You think Castro and Krushev were not capitalists? Where is there anyone who isn't a capitalist? If you have a job so you can pay bills you are a capitalist and the system is capitalism. Wasn't that the USSR too? And who profited most from the USSR? It wasn't the worker.

Our Founding Fathers knew this best because they had plenty of experience with Empire. They knew more government meant monarchy. They knew less government meant more Freedom.

I have made choices to best survive Empire. If you can pay the least taxes and live in the least desirable areas then your chances are better. As an example. A five acre farm near an active volcano in Hawaii costs $365 per year in property taxes. I would rather take my chances with an active volcano than a condo in Los Angeles or New York. Just because you think you can afford property taxes now does not guarantee you can afford them 10 or 20 years from now. Look at all the senior citizens now who were told to save their entire lives. I know seniors with over $500k in their bank savings getting paid $26 a month interest. You really think you 401k is safe? Nothing is safe when dictators get elected.

Consider Donald Trump and his supporters the fly in the King's ointment!

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LesPhelps
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Finding a Purpose

Good discussion.  I did not get conspiracy either.

I particularly liked mention that decisions regarding actions should take into consideration age/stage in life, among other factors.

Here's a good purpose to consider:

Corporations and CEOs are part of the problem.  So are governments, religions and countries.

It would be hard to argue that exponential population growth isn't one of the top two or three problems we face. I'd place it first by a wide margin.  It is a large driver of virtually every other problem we face, whether it's environmental, economic, consumption or conflict.

Of course the projection of 11 billion by 2100, that is widely published on the Internet, will never happen.  Of the 11 billion people in 2100, half of them are supposed to be in Africa.  

World wide famine before the middle of this century will at least slow the population growth.

But, I'd argue that facing an inevitable world wide famine is a very strong reason to try to make this the number one topic of discussion world wide.

Sounds like I found a purpose.  Consider joining me.

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HughK
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LesPhelps wrote: World wide

LesPhelps wrote:

World wide famine before the middle of this century will at least slow the population growth.

But, I'd argue that facing an inevitable world wide famine is a very strong reason to try to make this the number one topic of discussion world wide.

Sounds like I found a purpose.  Consider joining me.

Yes, in some ways the big limits to growth trends trump most of our short term problems, whether political or otherwise.  For example, if we agree that you're right Les - and I think you are - in terms of the likelihood of worldwide famine, it might imply moving somewhere with lots of local/regional food per capita. 

And if we look at one of the the other super-trends - climate change - moving significantly further north (or south, if you're in the southern hemisphere) also might make sense, if possible.  Of course, one could also argue that moving to Arkansas or Queensland makes sense because there's a lot of water per capita and will be more, as far as we can tell, with more climate change, at least in the Mississippi corridor. (I'm not really sure about Queensland in terms of water projections.)

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HughK wrote: Yes, in some

HughK wrote:

Yes, in some ways the big limits to growth trends trump most of our short term problems, whether political or otherwise.  For example, if we agree that you're right Les - and I think you are - in terms of the likelihood of worldwide famine, it might imply moving somewhere with lots of local/regional food per capita. 

And if we look at one of the the other super-trends - climate change - moving significantly further north (or south, if you're in the southern hemisphere) also might make sense, if possible.  Of course, one could also argue that moving to Arkansas or Queensland makes sense because there's a lot of water per capita and will be more, as far as we can tell, with more climate change, at least in the Mississippi corridor. (I'm not really sure about Queensland in terms of water projections.)

I regularly see news stories that, at minimum, support the prediction of world wide famine.  Water shortages, aquifer and lake depletion, land decertification, and bee colony collapse are all hand writing on the wall.  If I had to guess, I'd say we are going to hit that speed bump before the 2045 prediction.

I live in central Wisconsin, which has all the things you mentioned, plus a low population density.  My primary concern is that it is difficult to go "off grid" in central Wisconsin.  Solar panels are not as cost effective due to overcast and our winters are cold.

I see I missed the Y axis on the chart I uploaded this morning.  In my defense, I was undercaffeinated when I made that post.

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Population growth - number

Population growth - number one problem. Agreed.

So why don't we tackle the problem ?  Three reasons come to mind.

1) GDP/capita and population size is highly correlated.  Hence increasing population is a sure way to get the "growth" that our politicians promise to deliver if elected . (I can provide graphs if necessary to prove this)

2) A falling population causes problems to entitlement programs such as pensions and healthcare. i.e. Less working age people to support an ageing non-productive population.

3) A large population provide cannon fodder in wars you may want to wage and also deters others from attacking you.

Hence we will continue to have a total blackout on population related topics from the media, government and corporations.

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climber99 wrote: Population

climber99 wrote:

Population growth - number one problem. Agreed.

...

Hence we will continue to have a total blackout on population related topics from the media, government and corporations.

But, I will carry the message, as best I can.

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puppies, kittens, and personal energy spend

Nigel, meme-

In the earlier part of my life, I read a great deal of history and I too came to the conclusion that not everything is puppies and kittens.

In my later years I've gone through more spiritual training and realized something in addition: that where you, personally, decide to spend your energy ends up creating (to a large extent) your own world.

I think Nigel is saying that, regardless of the global puppy + kitten distribution, he personally would prefer to focus the majority of his energy on creating positive outcomes in the areas that he personally controls, so that he, personally, ends up with more puppies and kittens in his own experience, while acknowledging that there are plenty of unfortunately puppy-free spots in many other places around the globe.

(And certainly if most everyone focused on this, we'd probably be overrun with puppies and kittens, metaphorically speaking)

For those thoroughly grounded in the realpolitik of our objective reality, this is simple burying-your-head-in-the-sand nonsense, and prior to my spiritual training I would have agreed.  I don't agree anymore.  I believe that each of our personal focus matters, and maintaining a positive personal focus results in real changes to our apparently objective reality.

That doesn't mean I ignore conspiracies, but I believe it is important to assess the level of attention that I personally give them in my daily life, and the impact that has on where my energy and focus happens to be.

Phrased differently, one can understand that sewers are present, and the contents of the sewers are relatively noxious, without feeling the need to tramp around in them every single day trying to determine the exact composition of said sewer contents, discussing at length who exactly was filling the sewers with crap, what they had eaten the night before, and then attempting to predict what they are planning on eating tomorrow.

I also need reminders from Nigels of the world not to focus over-much on the things I tend to over-focus on.

"That which you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life."

Now lets see if I can focus on bringing more puppies and kittens into my own experience, and less on these silly markets.  Or ""markets"".  Or **markets**.  Or !!MARKETS!!  Pick the punctuation that makes you happy.  :-)

Ultimately, the world is more than objective reality.  Or so I believe.

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Where we put our attention grows

Dave,

I'll take the opposite side of your position here.  This is a debate that rages in my family who mostly come from a philosophy that is described as "new-thought" (power of positive thinking) mixed with some Eastern mysticism.

The key idea is:

"That which you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life."

(So only think of happy things.)

And the opposite might be phrased:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Or said another way:

If the priest really is molesting the alter boys, it will continue until the people see it clearly and refuse to allow it to continue.

So when one calls out the priest, they are not necessarily "acting out of negativity," or to "damage the ideals of the church," "failing to focus on love" but to protect the alter boys.  (These are examples of my family's response to revelations about the deep state.)  Calling out ongoing destructiveness is an act of humanity and caring for those still in the process of being hurt.

For example, this man is undergoing "simulated drowning experiences" at Guantanamo Bay in order to identify the terrorists who caused 9/11.

We must take a stand on this issue to protect these fellow human beings.

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altar boys

SP-

"That which you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life."

(So only think of happy things.)

I can see my language has caused you to drop me in the same space as your family.  :-)

I'm just guessing I'm not very much like your positive-thinking family.  I come from the other end of the spectrum.  I know very well what the unhappy things are.  After a lot of work, I can look at them, acknowledge they exist, and the effects they currently have, but I am now able to refrain from turning them into the focus of my life.

The world is full of good and bad, little of which we have the ability to personally alter.  Iris Chang decided to write about the Rape of Nanking to tell everyone in the west what occurred.  She penned a fascinating, horrific book - and ended up committing suicide some years later.  You have to be very careful what you immerse yourself in.  Was her choice wise or foolish?  I can't say.  But knowing what I know now about how stuff works, I wouldn't have gone there.  Then again, I didn't feel her sense of mission.  Truth be told, it feels like she came into this life just to tell this particular story.  But that's not why I'm here.

And from my own personal experience, some events I can see and acknowledge but if I don't let it go, I can just feel that it will end up consuming me.  And I have better things to do.  (And no, they don't involve priests or altar boys).

At the same time, if someone kicks me, my response won't be particularly enlightened.  I'll kick them back, just as hard as I can.  I'll probably regret it later, but that's how it usually works out - because the initial kick is never seen by the bystanders, but the response sure is.

So, getting back to Nigel - perhaps he doesn't feel like he wants to spend his days engaged in this particular crusade, and instead he prefers to focus on creating things that are within arm's reach, in the world he can directly affect.  Well that's my impression of what he was saying anyway.

This sounds bad to you?

If the priest really is molesting the alter boys, it will continue until the people see it clearly and speak out.

I'm calling Godwin's Law on this one: Priests molesting altar boys are equivalent to Nazis, Hitler, and other trigger examples.  If you want to bring up another one, I'd be happy to play along.

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Buildings then

OK. 

If you don't like having your tallest buildings in downtown Manhattan blown up (while still full of several thousand people) or bombs exploded in your train stations, then you'll want to be really clear on how this works and who is doing it.

Or,

A centrally controlled monetary system that, by its design, shifts wealth from one group to another.

Or,

International banking cartel that extracts resources through issuing debt beyond what can ever be repaid.

Now I really need to go out and work in the garden before I am overwhelmed by a sense of darkness in the world. :-)  So I actually do understand very well why we need to return to something good and beautiful to nurture our souls.

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Well said, Dave

Thank you for expressing that sentiment so clearly.  

While the "conspiracy theorists" on this site do make some valid points, they have become so pervasive and overwhelming here that I find myself visiting less and less.  And that saddens me because there is so much valuable information here.  I just get tired of constantly wading through the **** to get there.

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Gardening info

In the spirit of trying to make a positive contribution, rather than just criticizing others, I offer this:

There is a wonderful organic gardening/alternative agriculture seminar going on this week that be accessed for free at www.homegrownfoodsummit.com

Enjoy!

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I'm right with you.

The attacks are disturbing and unpleasant.

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nicely summarized

SP-

That's three well chosen examples of stuff we should keep an eye on.

I like the way Catherine Austin Fitts talks about all of this.  Her goal is to get her clients to understand how (she believes that) the world works.  From the way she talks, she sees every story you talk about, but her goal is not to spur people to tilt against the windmills of the world.  That would only get them killed.

No, her goal is to make it so her clients can create lives of meaning while staying out of the way of the machine, avoid falling into the pits, and understand about the black budget and all it implies for each of our lives.  And then go about creating meaningful lives - whatever that means for them individually.

In my small way I'm trying to do the same thing in my little corner.  When I advise people to avoid the news, watch prices, and remain relatively detached - the gang in charge of "financial entertainment TV" wants you listening to the news, and wants you in an emotional state, preferably fearful or greedy, so they can get you to sell your stuff at the lows (OIL GLUT OIL GLUT) so they can buy it up cheap, and then sell it back to you once prices have gone up, rinse-repeat.  Fear and greed are the tools of control in wall street.

(Swing high today in XLE; you've seen the wash cycle, now here comes the rinse, most likely)

But I say, there's no need to get angry, or protest, or blow up the world - just understand how it works, so they can't trick you.  Once you know the trick, it stops working on you, and they lose all their power.  There's no need to fear either.  If they were all powerful, they wouldn't need to resort to these sorts of tricks - tricks are a mark of weakness, not strength.

Myself I'm glad for the intro on the whole WTC-7, and the background on neocon agendas and where it might have come for, but being a busy executive (!), the "executive summary" was sufficient.  I feel appropriately armed now and I have a proper lens through which I can view all this mid-east activity.  As with everything else, I don't feel well-served by getting angry about it - I just want things clear in my mind, so I can sort through how I might act if I ever had an opportunity to do anything about it.

My desire to avoid anger about these things is somewhat personal.  My mother was quite angry at all these events you talk about.  She took all this stuff very personally.  Two years ago she died of cancer that I'm convinced came at least in part because of her great unhappiness with how the world was going.  And in the end, the anger she could not let go of ended up hurting her and our family, and nobody else.

So...no anger for me.  Its just not helpful.  People think it is, but it isn't.  At least not from what I've seen.

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I'm am going to name one economic hit I noticed.

How long does it take to mobilize an army, and begin a war? three months?

Because back when Kabila conquered Congo and renamed it zaire, it took a few years before the hitmen showed up, and quietly asked Kabila to "resume" IMF stabilization payments.

Kabila's answer was that the payments and Mobutu were both in France. Note further that "stabilization" had failed, and Kabila also pointed out that there was no longer a Zaire: the country was now Congo.

That was not the set of points that the IMF wanted to hear. Within three months there was an army, with an insurrection, with one of the main generals being the son of the IMFs representative to Congo.

Then ran a long, multi-year war of attritition to wear Zaire down. Apparently famile and disease wasn't enough in the opinion of the IMF.

Eventually, Kabila asked to "resume" payments on mobutu's loot. Within three months, the insurrection army vanished.

Then Kabila was assassinated, to help seal the deal.

If there is an international court of justice, the IMF needs to be tried and convicted. I won't ask for them to swing, but life on Elba would be oh so appropriate. I woud expect it to be at least as crowded as Monaco.

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Resource grabbing

Michael - a couple of books popped into my mind as I read your post.

I read these in conjunction with each other a few years ago and they fit well together.

'The Great Food Robbery'  Published by Pambazuka Press/GRAIN

'Profit over People' by Chomsky

Eye opening for anyone who still thinks the IMF is a benign institution which helps poor countries out.

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ANOTHER NIMBY MEETING!

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Conspiracies, climate change, the three E's and practical action

While I think this specific interview was great, and that Perkins' suggestions for working towards change in an emotionally-sustainable and joyous manner is excellent advice, nigel's point about the evolution over time from the original Crash Course to the increase in focus on conspiracies at PP more recently has also been made by JTWalsh and others.

We have also had a similar conversation about the place that climate change should take at PP, and climate change is arguably is the keystone limit to growth within the third E, whereas there is really no part of the core ideas of the Crash Course or PP's mission statement that involve geopolitical analysis, whether mainstream or alternative.

Here is Chris on why he chose to keep climate change out of the original conception of Environment in the Crash Course. (From the thread following his interview with Mark.)  Most of the bold is mine.

cmartenson wrote:

Thank you all for keeping this conversation civil, factual, and educational.

My relative absence from the Climate Change arena reflects very little about my own views on the matter scientifically, but quite a lot about my views on the utility of the AGW story to lead to the sorts of changes I desire to see in the world.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely convinced me that humans have a certain amount of hard wiring and that wiring responds better to some threats than others.  If we want people to take something seriously enough to change their behaviors, then the threat we are describing is most powerful if it:

  1. Has a face.  We combat things like Hitler, Saddam, even wolves, because they are easy to identify in our brains.  We are less successful with things like climate change, because there's nothing we can see and touch directly. There is no single foe to defeat.  Worse, the only face we can legitimately attach to the issue is the one we see in the mirror every morning.
  2. Is immediate and visible. The nearer and more immediate the threat, the faster we respond to it.  A saber tooth tiger gets more of our attention than a slowly advancing (or retreating) glacier.  We will dive into a body of water to save a drowning child we see, but barely give a second thought to children dying halfway around the world from fully preventable causes.  Evolutionarily this makes perfect sense, but it is a distinct liability for a species with the ability to fundamentally deplete resources that took hundreds of millions of years to accumulate over a few hundred years.  Similarly, discussions about potential changes in 2100 tend to lose a lot of people.
  3. Is concrete.  Statistical arguments really lose most people.  Even the idea of smoking, with its very high statistical chance of leading to illness and premature death, is not compelling enough to get people to quit or to not take it up at all.  The point here is that humans do better with certainty than with uncertain arguments, even though statistical methods are really solid and businesses and financial people use them every day to great effect.  Uncertain, or statistical, arguments are far less effective than you might expect based on the (severity) x (likelihood) outcome of some things like climate change.
  4. Is something we can control.  This means we have some sense of agency in the cause.  If it's something that we feel we have very little control over, that serves to blunt our tendency towards action.  The things we can control are the ones we react to best and with the most vigor.  What sense of control does any one person have in the climate change story given that most think that even if their entire nation gave up burning fossil fuels, China would simply do it instead?  

As I've said many times, I am completely agnostic as to why somebody does something, only that they do it.  If one person installs solar hot water because it is a good investment, and another does it because this is a great way to put less carbon in the atmosphere, those are completely identical actions to me.  No difference.

If I put in fruit trees because I wish to bolster my neighborhood's food security (true), and my neighbor has put in fruit trees after seeing mine because they remind him of how much he enjoyed their blossoms as a boy (true), these are completely identical actions to me.  No difference between them. 

By dropping my requirement that people do things for the same reason that I do them, and letting them do them for their own reasons, I have opened up a much wider set of possible avenues to engage people and to support their concrete actions.  

Of course, once people discover that there are many changes that one can make that require very little in the way of modifying living habits, save money, save energy, and are good for the environment, then I believe that there's a far greater chance that more and more people will resonate with these actions and want to try them out for themselves.  

So....I happen to believe that all of the myriad ways that 7 billion people are changing the ecosystems of the world are quite serious and deserve our very best attention, and that it is my job to discover and continue to refine the very best ways to reach the most people and support their taking concrete actions.

As it happens, personal resilience and community engagement are very neatly aligned with the same actions that climate change would have us undertake, but they seem to offer a tougher path to personal change than other ones.  

Perhaps there's another way to see this, but this line of thinking explains why I have not chosen to make it the central argument for change, or even close to a central argument.

All that said, I am deeply grateful that the conversation is being held, and that dedicated people are looking closely at the matter, as I am glad there are scientists and activists concerned with every corner and facet of our earth's ecosystems and denizens.  

I fully welcome the conversation happening here and am 100% open to any and all ideas about how to re-frame any and every issue that we think could or should be motivational (if not aspirational) towards changing behaviors so that we can create a world worth inheriting.

Is a deep understanding of the deep state core to PP's mission?  More specifically, do discussions of whether or not a certain ethnic group controls American media, government and military attract more people to PP than they repel?

If taking a pragmatic, cost-benefit approach towards the inclusion or exclusion of climate change as a focus for Chris in his analysis of the three E's and practical responses, is it reasonable to use the same criteria when deciding to what extent we focus on 9/11, the deep state, Israel, and the Jews?

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No bias here (in my backyard)

Nigel, you said that the Peak Prosperity crash cource was a masters work in simplicity and accuracy.

Not so.

The peak prosperity crash course was very explicit that oil could not fall as far as fifty dollars a barrel. In fact, it has fallen to half that.

Chris Martenson quite accurately DID acknowledoge that he had not understood what the effects of deflation would do. But I would contend that it is indicative that it was NOT a masters work in simplicity and accuracy.

The crash course also modeled exponential growth, which IS accurate in demonstrating that the economy cannot always grow, but is NOT accurate in describing the coming crashes.

I noted early on in the growth of conspiracy discussion, that this was being led BY confirmation bias, in light of the inaccuracies of the model. (my nete is in the discussion of the crash course forum).

I noted further that if we wanted to avoid the conspiracy theories overtaking the website, we needed to work on our models. My idea here is that if you don't approach the difficult but positive changes, you don't wind up in the cyclic but useless changes.

I offer my point again: if we want to avoid pointless wasted energy of conspiracy screaming, we need to start fiixing our models.

(BTW: I too, like Dave, do think the conspiracies happen. I just don't think it's a valid use of my time.)

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Fragmentation - Good and Evil

This has been a long time discussion here at PP.  Being able to see the world, "as it is" is a complex process that involves both intellectual capacity as well as a "spiritual" practice.  Some of those who have the strongest spiritual practices would not identify themselves as spiritual at all, so integrated and wholesome (holistic) is there world view.

But everything we do effects everything in the world.  The thoughts we think, the toothpaste we buy, we what we spend our free time reading or viewing, what we do for a living, how we interact with family and friends.  All things contain everything within them.  Every act and thought is political, economic, social, spiritual, and ecological whether we are aware of it or not.

There are those who spend time, writing, thinking, about politics who's net effect may be completely antithetical to the views they are expressing because they are so unconscious.  That is where they may happen to be on their path for whatever reason.  Each of us takes on as much "reality" as we are capable at any give time.  If we attempt to take on to much "reality" before we have the capacity to do so, we only burn ourselves out and may even become destructive to ourselves and others, Dave F shared a personally painful story that made that point abundantly clear.

If our own sense of being is developed through identification with various human constructs like nationality, social groups, political concepts, class status, etc. our ability to "see" will be proportionally restricted.  The deeper we are connected to a deeper reality, the more detached and objective we can become regarding various human constructs.  Political arguments (or any argument that is not holistic) become ineffective unless it triggers all associated connections that allow us to shift to a broader reality.

If we live in a way that creates a world worth inheriting, we may doing much more than those who are "politically" "active" in stopping the evil that the TPTB are perpetrating.

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Spirituality and Politics

Good thoughts Treebeard.....If I had to choose between the two it would be spirituality, but I don't see them as mutually exclusive. I try to be politically active in the sense of doing my civic duty, while at the same time trying to live in a way "that creates a world worth inheriting".

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Personal histories behind our views

DaveF,  I very much appreciate your efforts to open your heart with your story about your mother, her psychology and the impact that had on you.  When someone voluntarily reveals his or her heart, our understanding of them goes deeper than just their ideas.

My personal history contains the roots of my fixation on 9/11 and the deep state.  I’ll offer it here:

My mom would be described as having a narcissistic personality disorder.  Everything was about her and every other human being only existed to reflect on her.  If we got a good grade on a school paper, it was all about what a great person she was and if we got detention is was all about her personal humiliation. 

Mom needed to dominate every situation—to be the “top dog”--occasionally with physical violence, mostly with scowls and fury.

Yet she was a high standing member of her church, pious, “better-than-thou.”  The net effect was that she was a “Christian Nazi,” moral on the outside and sometimes cruel / abusive in private.  We kids would watch her inner mood-currents for indicators of danger.  The surface postures meant little, we watched the deep mood-currents with our intuition and trusted what we saw ourselves.

When I was in the 5rd grade I got a book about Adolf Hitler’s life (written for children).  I was absolutely fascinated and yearned to understand how this worked.  It told the story of his childhood, foster homes, and schizophrenic aunt and moved to his ascendance to power, the holocaust, racial superiority beliefs and the execution of those with disabilities and psychiatric disease.  I remember lying in my bedroom reading about Adolf sensing a of a dark cloud of “evilness.”  I knew that there would be no relief from avoidance—it was real.  (It felt a lot like my house!)  I had to understand.  I “leaned into it” seeking understanding. 

After 9/11, I felt this same sense of “evilness” settling in on the world.  Now the entire world was “the battlefield,” every human being can be a “suspected terrorist,” bombing was without borders, war declaration or even publicly vetted evidence, and murder and imprisonment of everyone, foreign and domestic, without due process, was legally enabled.  Cruel treatment suddenly was OK.  We were descending into hell.  The transformation feels qualitatively like the Nazi’s.  (“Nazi” = RED/BLUE.)

My sense was that we were descending into hell.  I had to know how this worked.

My current frame is something that Ken Wilbur warned about:  Low cognitive/spiritual developmental levels of RED/BLUE gain control of technologies for war, communication and surveillance, technologies normally developed by societies centered in the higher levels.

So my sense is that this perceived “evilness” is a cognitive / spiritual evolution issue, the slipping of social control into the hands of a less developed RED/BLUE faction.

----

To finish with a very positive note:  The movie "Remember The Titans” with Denzel Washington, a story of a southern HS football team struggling to emerge from racial segregation in order to produce a champion football team.  This was an archetypal BLUE to ORANGE (and into GREEN) transformation myth.

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Controlling the dialogue...

Is a deep understanding of the deep state core to PP's mission?  More specifically, do discussions of whether or not a certain ethnic group controls American media, government and military attract more people to PP than they repel?

If taking a pragmatic, cost-benefit approach towards the inclusion or exclusion of climate change as a focus for Chris in his analysis of the three E's and practical responses, is it reasonable to use the same criteria when deciding to what extent we focus on 9/11, the deep state, Israel, and the Jews?

Hugh... Chris has engaged on this topic of building 7.  If the core mission here is helping to create a world worth inheriting... I will say for sure that some of us feel that exposing the deep state for what it is.. factually, is of great importance.  We can't deal with them/it, both on political, and spiritual terms, until we face the reality of it. 

Front page on ZH right now....

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-08/do-you-remember-five-men-being-...

There are many conspiracy theories surrounding 9-11, but this article focuses on just one conspiracy fact. The FBI released the, "Five Dancing Israelis," that were arrested by the NYPD on 9-11 for filming and celebrating the attacks on the WTC and driving around in a van that tested positive for explosives.  These were admitted Mossad agents working undercover in the USA.

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davefairtex wrote:So,

davefairtex wrote:

So, getting back to Nigel - perhaps he doesn't feel like he wants to spend his days engaged in this particular crusade, and instead he prefers to focus on creating things that are within arm's reach, in the world he can directly affect.  Well that's my impression of what he was saying anyway.


 

I could not have said it better.

To the credit of the opposing view point, I have to freely acknowledge that a great case has been put that understanding of the darker issues of our culture is necessary. That we can change behaviors and that we as a culture need truth seekers of some sort. I used to think I was one, but I've seen too much and it has become a destructive force in my life.

If I could offer one suggestion to all, for every investigation into something that is by it's nature upsetting, that you balance it with something else. Play with the kittens, puppies and horses. Watch the stars. Swim in the river. Have a beer with your friends. Laugh with your family. Achieve something that will endure.

Thank you for the polite comments, I have enjoyed reading this thread.

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Kicking Over the Chess Board?

Uncomfortable with the subject matter of the Neocon thread but apparently unable to rebut any of the material presented, HughK, you now want to kick over the chess board?

Yep, that would be contolling the dialogue, aka gatekeeping. A tried and tested means of warding off challenges to the official narrative, whatever the topic. We already have the MSM doing that for that us.

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Jim H
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nigel... great post!

To the credit of the opposing view point, I have to freely acknowledge that a great case has been put that understanding of the darker issues of our culture is necessary. That we can change behaviors and that we as a culture need truth seekers of some sort. I used to think I was one, but I've seen too much and it has become a destructive force in my life.

I fully understand this.. thank you so much for both acknowledging those of us who feel the need to don the armor and take up the sword (pen) ... and for explaining your own feelings in more depth.  I send you a bear hug.  Jim     

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Tim Ladson
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sand_puppy's quest

My first exposure to the 9/11 "conspiracies" discussion was a comment by Chris at PP before I became a dues paying member. It really threw me for a loop. I couldn't wrap my head around the concept of such a heinous act being perpetrated by the "good guys" who run the US government, these sorts of things only happened in other countries.  But I kept coming back and reading more from the site and the intelligent comments around that subject that over time, (6 months) convinced me to read up on the subject which led me to the conclusion that there is substantial merit in the 9/11 "truther" point of view regarding the facts vs. the 9/11 Commission report. The question of who is responsible for "allowing" this to happen in the first place and then covering it up is an important topic in my opinion because it expands the realm of possible other harms that could befall us citizens as a result of official policy. As we have seen in the wake of 9/11 these events have been used to scare the population into surrendering our few remaining liberties to the boogeyman of terrorism so the government could be expanded exponentially "for our protection". Inquiry into this matter leads me to look at how this could have occurred if our government is in fact by the people and for the people, US citizens shouldn't be used by their own government as props in a false flag operation that has been cited as the reason for legislation subjugating them in a new Orwellian reality. Getting to how this subject is pertinent to the discussion of this thread, the "neocons" have been in prominent, if not dominant executive branch decision making positions since at least the GHW Bush presidency, gaining more influence in subsequent administrations. They are therefore a worthy target of inquiry as to what their motivations might be for using false flag events to gain advantage. What might their future plans be for us?  A discussion of who they are and their possible connection to a deep state is important because if they are as powerful as they appear to be they hold very influential power to directly affect all three "E's", as well as climate change. I don't get that sand_puppy is coming from biased ethnic prejudice, he is merely following where the evidence is leading. Cui bono? I find repeated attempts to derail the discussion to be more suspect than any of sand-puppy's minor missteps and I applaud his efforts to shed light on this very important topic.  

Tim                    

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treebeard
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Choise

Fortunately or unfortunately we don't get to choose whether we are going to be political or spiritual, because all actions (and even inaction) are always both. Not only can we do both, but we are always doing both all the time.  It is only the awareness of what we are doing that shifts.  We have fewer choices than we imagine.  Our best hope is to make our "choices" consciously.

By sharing the values and quality of awareness of those committed the acts of 9/11, you are supporting them regardless of what one my say, type, write or even do.  We may see what happened on that day as unbelievable evil in action, but those organizing and putting all that in motion believed that they were moral and justified in their actions, their ends justified their means.  What was wrong with their thinking, what was wrong with their consciousness, those are the essential questions, not how they managed to manipulate the media, organize the controlled demolition, who participated, how and why.  Otherwise we will replace them when and if they are caught and the madness will continue.

Plant your garden, but what and how you plant supports the truth or the lies of 9/11.

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David Allan
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What we focus on

Dave

I'm a couple of days behind the play so was going to PM you. But what the heck, lets get it it out there. To me this was one of the most insightful and well written comments I've seen here in the last 6 years.

Which is not to say I don't agree with SP, mememonkey, Jim and others. I find the deep state subjects fascinating and centrally important to our predicament.  The key, I believe, is how and where we CHOOSE to focus our attention. If the process is unconscious and automatic we can become ensnared in all manner of unpleasantness. When the process is largely conscious  we can choose to explore 'unsatisfactory' situations without becoming swept away.

As you say what we focus on tends to expand into our lives - and this is not magical thinking (which I'm allergic to). To put it simply the content of our consciousness is the content of our life. Once again, well said Dave.

Shit I seem to be agreeing with pretty much everyone on this thread. Where have all those damn trolls gone? ;-)

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KugsCheese
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Stubbornness

Stubbornness of the Drunk.  You can show him highly elevated LDH and Ferritin but his "world view" won't change.  This behavior response is common in other areas of life like Central Bankers.

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KugsCheese
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The Deep State

We know the typical human cannot keep a secret; he loves to gossip.   Given this how can no significant members of The Deep State come forward to reveal its operation?   I think the problem is more likely the human is not that smart and is primarily driven by deep emotion.   Given this thinking it is easy to see that systems would develop over time that would become destructive like Central Banking and modern pro sports. 

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kaimu
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IT'S THE CORRUPTION STUPID!

Aloha! Corruption is about money. There is nothing "deep" about any of what is going on today. There is not anything unknown or sinister that we have not seen a thousand times in history books. What is new is that this time America is the Empire and not Britain or Rome.

Two quotes to contemplate from two very different eras of human history ...

"Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo."

The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)

The other quote is from the movie Syrianna ...

"What we are looking for is the illusion of due diligence Mr Pope. Corruption is how we win!" - Syrianna 2005

The quote from 1871 explains Empire. The only difference between Rome's "dung" and the main export of the US Empire is that our "dung" is political promises to the world that we will pay our debts. We export "debt" denominated in politically decreed US dollars, which makes Rome's "dung" look valuable!

The corruption is where our Caesar and our Senate somehow have convinced the world that the way to end excessive debt problems is to issue more debt. It does not take a "village" as Hillary would say, but instead,"It takes a central bank"! This is a crime since our political liars and the Liar In Chief will be long dead before their debt is ever repaid by the children and the children of their children! To issue debt that has a 30 year term is the equivalent to "taxation without representation" and that has been the basis of revolutions in the past.

I want to personalize this for a moment. Close your eyes and pretend your are the President of the USA or you are head of the Senate. These are positions whereby billions and billions of dollars pass through those offices on a daily basis. Would you be so honest that you would not hire your cousin or appoint a friend you owed money to? A contributor? Your former business partners or clients? Would you not use that status to improve your own son and daughters lives? Now imagine you have held that position for 20 years and some have been in the Senate longer. That's 20 years of constant billions and constant deals being thrown your way and constant wining and dining and "contributions". If you think you would be Mother Theresa for those 20 years then you fall in the elite .000000000012% of all humans ever born on Earth! Power corrupts and what does absolute power do?

Less corruption can only come from less government. All other plans, all other "reforms" other that will only fail bigger and faster! Nothing is deep or unknown ... read the title!

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Michael_Rudmin
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Generally, I like your thinking, KugsCheese

And I really liked the post after yours, "it's the corruption".

However, I would like to note the title of the forum you posted this note, “John Perkins"...

He's one. You may say, "well that's only one, where's the systemic evidence". But when we come up with the systemic evidence, you'll be back to "well name one person who's stepped forward."

I've learned that sometimes evidence is irrelevant, both for the mainstream and the nonmainstream.

So maybe I'll get nowhere with you.

But maybe I will get somewhere. I'll name one person to come forward, just as you asked.

John Perkins disproves your theorem. It only takes one.

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kaimu
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EMPIRE MATTERS!

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
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Theorem

Michael_Rudmin wrote:
And I really liked the post after yours, "it's the corruption". However, I would like to note the title of the forum you posted this note, “John Perkins"... He's one. You may say, "well that's only one, where's the systemic evidence". But when we come up with the systemic evidence, you'll be back to "well name one person who's stepped forward." I've learned that sometimes evidence is irrelevant, both for the mainstream and the nonmainstream. So maybe I'll get nowhere with you. But maybe I will get somewhere. I'll name one person to come forward, just as you asked. John Perkins disproves your theorem. It only takes one.

It takes more than one in this case because one could be crazy.

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thc0655
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"They thought they were free"

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2016/03/they-thought-they-were-free.html

"You see," my colleague went on, "one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.



"Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’



"And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.



"But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.



"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.



"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.



"You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.



"Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.



"What then? You must then shoot yourself. A few did. Or ‘adjust’ your principles. Many tried, and some, I suppose, succeeded; not I, however. Or learn to live the rest of your life with your shame. This last is the nearest there is, under the circumstances, to heroism: shame. Many Germans became this poor kind of hero, many more, I think, than the world knows or cares to know."





Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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They thought they were empowered

In the story you described, Thc0655, there never was a point that was open to any other path.That was an illusion. There are a few people who are empowered; the rest only have power over themselves at best, and often not even that.

That is the great shame of the slavery of the Holy Roman Empire known as Western oivilization.

Fortunately, from the great donation of Peppin ii, the HRE has now lasted 1260 years -- times, a time, and half a time. Mayhap its time is at an end.

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Michael_Rudmin
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Here's an example, THC0655

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/obama-says-cannot-legal-case-apple-inc-2230348...

Obama makes the case for the government getting all the keys, not just Apple.

What can I do about that? I can't even post a comment to the news site: it's a ONE WAY street.
Yes, I know that Democide historically outnumbers death in battle, 6:1, and our government isn't squeamish about killing our youth in battle, they won't hesitate to use democide either.

Yes, I know that the limit on Democide is the limit on government total power.

But not only that, am I worked as a slave, and ALL the fruit of my labor taken by the politicians.

I object, but the voice of my objection has no power. I have voted, but have never voted for a winner... because the choice of voting is an illusion to. Red apple or Red Delicious (we'll call the rotten peelings we give you by one name or the other).

Yes, I object.

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gillbilly
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Posts: 414
Get involved

I would echo Treebeard and DaveF's sentiments, but I would also like to add that if you are feeling angry or sad about the situation of the world, get involved! Much of the anger and sadness for me came from feelings of hopelessness, i.e. feeling like I had no say in what was happening. I spent a lot of time writing on this site a few years ago, and I learned so much, for which I will always be grateful, but at some point I decided what I was learning was of no use if I didn't put it to use - directly in my community. The more I began to participate, the less anger and hopelessness I felt. Am I still frustrated and angry at times? Sure, but at least I have a meaningful place to direct it and make a meaningful difference in my life and community. I have found many people working tirelessly for the good of our communities and are trying to stand up to the "moneyed interest" part of our system. Many of these people are awake and informed! So please, if you think this site is the only place to find "awake and informed" people, I would encourage you to get involved and participate more. Run for a local public office, participate on a public committee, help out with a community organization.  As bad as that may sound to you, the nature of that office or committee or organization will change with your voice in the room.

The presidential election this year does represents a shift in my opinion. Hopefully when all the craziness settles down, those that are beginning to make the first steps into participating (or stepping in again) will continue to do so past the election.

The candidates we have now, as bad as they are, seem much less important to me than the leaders we might be able to have in the future, but only if more of the people who have given up become involved. As schizophrenic and illogical as these campaigns are, we are beginning to shed some light on the deep-seated emotions that have been building over decades. These emotions if channeled correctly might bring about meaningful change. Do I think any of the current candidates can bring about that change? No, not really, because their power exists in the way things were and they are trying to use the same tools we used in the past. These tools, as CHS has pointed out in his most current article, are becoming ineffectual...so those in these "power" positions are losing power daily, and are likely the people who are the most scared out of all of us. Their tendency to seek and hord more control and wealth is a sign of weakness, not strenght. I think what scares all of us is not the people in charge (they are a part of the symptom), but that the system we've created has it's own inertia that is taking us somewhere we know will end badly. Hasn't this been PP's message all along?

Meaningful change will come with more participation.

Good luck and get involved!

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Uncletommy
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Posts: 186
But what are we up against/

Great comments, gillbilly, but we mustn't delude ourselves to the tendency that "everything will work out for the best if we stay positive". It requires persistence,awareness, determination and, above all, clear thinking if we are to keep the hounds at bay.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test?language=en

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