An Intro to Empire: Corporatocracy and the Ruling Elite

Note:  This essay is intended to serve as an intro­duc­tion to the hid­den world of global pol­i­tics and the rul­ing elite, and should act as a poten­tial entry point into fur­ther research.

Have you ever won­dered who really con­trols the power-structures of our soci­ety? Or if democ­racy actu­ally exists in Amer­ica? Is Amer­ica an empire, and if so how does it really exert its force around the world? Is cap­i­tal­ism the best form of social orga­ni­za­tion, or are other, more demo­c­ra­tic and humane sys­tems avail­able? And if we were to cre­ate another world, what would it look like?

If you ask a ran­dom per­son on the street Who con­trols Amer­ica? they will most often tell you one of a hand­ful of responses. “The Pres­i­dent”, “The politi­cians”, “The banks”, “The cor­po­ra­tions”; these are the com­mon answers, and while they are par­tially true, they beg the ques­tion, Well who con­trols them? Who funds the politi­cians that come into office? Who owns the banks? Who runs the cor­po­ra­tions? And most sac­ri­le­giously of all, Who con­trols the President?

Few peo­ple have answers for these ques­tions. They usu­ally say some­thing like, “Well, peo­ple with money,” or “the elite”, but they usu­ally leave it at that. Once in a while we may find an extra informed or opin­ion­ated per­son who goes so far as to say some­thing like, “The Rock­e­fellers and the Roth­schilds con­trol the Fed­eral Reserve, and the Fed con­trols every­thing else.” But besides this occa­sional fringe response, most peo­ple usu­ally just shrug their shoul­ders and change the sub­ject. Why is this? In a soci­ety with so much access to such a wide range of infor­ma­tion, why do most peo­ple seem to care so lit­tle about what really goes on behind the scenes, and who really “con­trols the world”? Are these ques­tions even impor­tant, or is it a waste of time to ask?

To be clear, I am not here to con­vince you of a mas­sive satanic global con­spir­acy to enslave all of human­ity; or that there really is an Illu­mi­nati secretly con­trol­ling every major social and polit­i­cal action; or that the rulers of this planet are them­selves under the con­trol of extrater­res­trial ser­pent over­lords reign­ing from another dimen­sion. Though these are some of the most pro­lific con­clu­sions that the con­spir­acy com­mu­nity often holds as truth, I have no per­sonal desire to elab­o­rate on their mer­its. I will leave that for you to research and decide, if you choose. Instead I pre­fer to look at very straight for­ward ideas and evi­dence of how our polit­i­cal sys­tem actu­ally works: who pulls the levers, what their cul­ture is like, what their strate­gies and plans are, and what is the result of allow­ing such forces to gov­ern our world. In short, I want to look at who these peo­ple are and how they man­age their empire.

But before we lift the veil on the iden­ti­ties and strate­gies of this global elite, I’d like to dis­pel a few myths about pol­i­tics in America.

The Myth of Left vs. Right

In this coun­try, and through­out much of the world, a sup­posed cul­ture war rages on between two pow­er­ful polit­i­cal fac­tions, with pro­gres­sives on the left, and con­ser­v­a­tives on the right. Nearly all major polit­i­cal dis­course is framed in this dual­is­tic man­ner, as the suc­cess of one cul­ture is viewed as the fail­ure of the other. At the heart of each cul­ture exists a well struc­tured polit­i­cal body designed to enact the ide­o­log­i­cal will of its core con­stituents, and when one group comes into power, poli­cies reflect the gen­eral beliefs of that group, and its mem­bers ben­e­fit from its actions, accord­ing to this myth.

Now, I do rec­og­nize that there is a con­flict between two oppos­ing ide­olo­gies, and this con­flict is being played out in the greater polit­i­cal arena. It is his­tor­i­cally clear that a more tra­di­tional, con­ser­v­a­tive cul­ture has been work­ing hard to “pro­tect” its cul­tural dom­i­nance from the ever-encroaching emer­gence of pro­gres­sive ide­ol­ogy. But while pol­i­tics is often framed solely in these terms, as a “cul­ture war” to “defend tra­di­tional val­ues”, I believe this is both an over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and ulti­mately a false con­struct designed to divert atten­tion away from the real polit­i­cal con­flict that exists; a con­flict not so much between con­ser­v­a­tives and pro­gres­sives as between the elite rul­ing class and the rest of the pop­u­la­tion. While the two dom­i­nant polit­i­cal par­ties appear to work on behalf of their con­stituents, in real­ity they work on behalf of a shared ide­ol­ogy based in social and eco­nomic dom­i­na­tion and con­trol. As I will show, it really doesn’t mat­ter which party is in office, or who is pres­i­dent, the greater polit­i­cal agen­das remain the same.

The Cor­po­ra­toc­racy

It is com­monly assumed in this coun­try that Amer­ica is a demo­c­ra­tic nation, and that as cit­i­zens we are directly respon­si­ble for elect­ing the polit­i­cal offi­cials that will man­age our gov­ern­ment. If we don’t like the behav­ior of one politi­cian or party, we can decide dif­fer­ently come next elec­tion, and the ulti­mate des­tiny of our gov­ern­ment rests in our hands. On the local level this may often be the case, but when it comes to influ­enc­ing the larger polit­i­cal appa­ra­tus, at the national and inter­na­tional level, is this really true? Does this power-structure really rely upon its cit­i­zens for direction?

If it was your job to main­tain the sta­bil­ity and influ­ence of a cul­tural and polit­i­cal entity as large and pow­er­ful as the US, a pro­found pres­ence of con­trol would be required; a type of con­trol that is directly threat­ened by the erratic decision-making of aver­age peo­ple. In the eyes of the rul­ing elite, com­mon­ers can­not be trusted to lead, and their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the gov­er­nance of soci­ety should be kept to a min­i­mum. If you want to run an empire, you have to allow lit­tle room for error, and the most effi­cient way to guar­an­tee this level of dynamic sta­bil­ity is to directly con­trol all major polit­i­cal par­ties and the agen­das they enact.

This is done pri­mar­ily through an ide­ol­ogy and net­work known as the cor­po­ra­toc­racy, which can be gen­er­ally defined as a polit­i­cal and eco­nomic sys­tem con­trolled by cor­po­ra­tions or cor­po­rate inter­ests. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy) Whereas in a tra­di­tional democ­racy the greater polit­i­cal appa­ra­tus is man­aged by a polit­i­cal elite who have an alle­giance to the coun­try and its cit­i­zens (and that their inter­ests are con­tained within the cul­tural bound­aries of the coun­try), the cor­po­ra­toc­racy exists as an inter­na­tional net­work of busi­ness own­ers and finan­cial tycoons who have an alle­giance to their own eco­nomic inter­ests, often at the expense of the coun­tries in which they reside. In this way we can­not sim­ply say that Amer­ica rules the world, or that the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment is seek­ing supremacy above all other coun­tries. Instead, it is help­ful to view Amer­ica as the most capa­ble vehi­cle to enact the agen­das of the cor­po­ra­toc­racy, agen­das that expand beyond the sole influ­ence or suc­cess of the US itself.

Though I wish I could sim­ply say that “cor­po­ra­tions con­trol the world”, and that our gov­ern­ment is ruled by a cor­po­ra­toc­racy, this is not the full truth. In real­ity, the cor­po­ra­toc­racy is a means rather than an end. It is not a final goal but a mech­a­nism in which the rul­ing elite of this planet seek to con­sol­i­date the world’s resources and dom­i­nate the world’s peo­ple, through eco­nomic and mil­i­tary means. The cor­po­ra­toc­racy is a mod­ern incar­na­tion of an ancient his­tory of empire build­ing and social con­trol, and in its cur­rent form can be traced back to the emer­gence of Euro­pean and Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ism and the more recent emer­gence of the post-World War II Military-Industrial-Complex, in which major cor­po­rate and finan­cial enti­ties began to exert greater influ­ence on the actual poli­cies of the US, not just serve as resource sup­port in its endeavors.

The cor­por­toc­racy is a truly inter­na­tional entity, though its core mem­ber­ship are pri­mar­ily Amer­i­can and Euro­pean. At the heart of this frame­work exist a pow­er­ful net­work of fam­i­lies, orga­ni­za­tions, and cor­po­ra­tions, and while the outer lay­ers of this frame­work change, (ex: pres­i­dents, polit­i­cal par­ties, com­pa­nies), the inner frame­work remains rel­a­tively the same. For us to bet­ter under­stand this net­work, I’d like to intro­duce you to a sub­cul­ture of social engi­neers I refer to as the global elite.

The Global Elite

When ven­tur­ing into the world of royal fam­i­lies, secret soci­eties, elite social clubs, and bank­ing dynas­ties, it is easy to become over­whelmed with the sheer vol­ume of strange and often fright­en­ing infor­ma­tion we can find. And due to the secre­tive nature of much of this infor­ma­tion, is can be dif­fi­cult to find “cred­i­ble” sources, and to dis­tin­guish the facts from the inten­tional and unin­ten­tional mis­in­for­ma­tion. For this rea­son I have cho­sen to dis­cuss areas that are ver­i­fi­able and rather uncontroversial.

While I am not here to deny or con­firm the exis­tence of a ubiq­ui­tous con­spir­a­to­r­ial plot for global dom­i­na­tion, I feel that it is impor­tant to at least rec­og­nize that there does in fact exist a hid­den world of pol­i­tics that most peo­ple are unaware of. By acknowl­edg­ing the gen­er­a­tional influ­ence of elite fam­i­lies and pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions, the greater polit­i­cal land­scape takes on a dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent form. If it is our goal to have a well rounded com­pre­hen­sion of the power-structures of this world, at the least so we can know how pol­i­tics actu­ally oper­ates behind the scenes, then a brief overview of this hid­den real­ity is necessary.

Rule by Blood

I’ve cho­sen to cat­e­go­rize the main body of this net­work into three promi­nent groups. The first of these groups are what I call the tra­di­tional rul­ing fam­i­lies, who are pri­mar­ily the royal and aris­to­cratic fam­i­lies of Europe and post-European Amer­ica. They have been in exis­tence for at least the past sev­eral hun­dred years, and pos­si­bly much more, and take the mod­ern form as Amer­i­can fam­i­lies such as the Bushes, DuPonts, Rock­e­fellers, Roth­schilds and Mor­gans, to name a few.

Nearly every major found­ing fam­ily of this coun­try can trace their lin­eage back to the royal aris­toc­ra­cies of Europe, as can most of our past and cur­rent pres­i­dents. In an Octo­ber 2008 inter­view, Amer­i­can his­to­rian and for­mer vice-presidential wife Lynne Cheney revealed that her hus­band, Dick Cheney, was a dis­tant cousin to then pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Barack Obama, and also has genealog­i­cal ties to George W. Bush and Ulysses S. Grant. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/16/AR2007101602070.html)

Speak­ing of Bush, the for­mer pres­i­dent has genealog­i­cal ties to pres­i­dents George Wash­ing­ton, Calvin Coolidge, Ruther­ford B. Hayes, James Garfield, both Theodore and Franklin Roo­sevelt, and oth­ers. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogical_relationships_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States) The Bush fam­ily can most def­i­nitely be con­sid­ered a mod­ern aris­to­cratic dynasty, trac­ing its lin­eage back to the British throne and the Wind­sor dynasty, and to his­toric char­ac­ters such as 8th cen­tury Roman emperor Charlemagne.

While the direct con­nec­tions between many of these fam­i­lies is often wide (some only related as 8th or 10th cousins, etc.), they still present an inter­est­ing trend in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics: that ris­ing to the pres­i­dency is not only about who you know, but also who you’re related to. His­tor­i­cally speak­ing, this makes a lot of sense. Con­sid­er­ing how dom­i­nant many of these fam­i­lies have been in the past, it would be fool­ish to assume that they would have lit­tle influ­ence in pol­i­tics today. While the idea that lin­eage pro­duces lead­er­ship is often over­looked or under­val­ued by most Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, this fact remains an impor­tant ele­ment in the com­po­si­tion of the rul­ing class around the planet.

Secret Soci­eties, Ancient and Modern

The sec­ond cat­e­gory of global rule is what I con­sider philo­soph­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions. These types of groups have taken many forms over the years, and have existed with a vari­ety of intents. Since the begin­ning of civ­i­liza­tion, spir­i­tual, reli­gious and philo­soph­i­cal lead­ers have gath­ered together to study occult and philo­soph­i­cal knowl­edge, share ideas, and cre­ate gov­ern­ing agen­das to be applied to their soci­ety or group. Dat­ing back to ancient Egypt, Sume­ria and beyond, these orga­ni­za­tions, often referred to as Mys­tery Schools, have existed at the core of nearly every major civ­i­liza­tion, soci­ety, gov­ern­ment, and religion.

The life of these mem­bers, both men and women, was often ded­i­cated to the explo­ration of nature and con­scious­ness through a vari­ety of means, includ­ing diverse forms of med­i­ta­tion, asceti­cism, dietary, breathe and yoga-like prac­tices, music, and sex magic, to name only a few. In the world of occult phi­los­o­phy, is it often regarded that these groups and indi­vid­u­als were the real direc­tors and rulers of the given soci­ety, and that the polit­i­cal lead­ers relied upon them for their philo­soph­i­cal and spir­i­tual insight and knowl­edge of his­tory, sci­ence and pol­i­tics. (Manly Hall, Secret Teach­ings of All Ages, pg. 21)

As I have men­tioned, the pur­pose and intent of such soci­eties has taken diverse forms over the years. Some groups (such as the 3rd cen­tury Gnos­tic Essenes) were ded­i­cated to the spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion of the planet, and shared their knowl­edge of heal­ing and self trans­for­ma­tion with nearly any­one who was in need. Other groups, how­ever, have taken a dif­fer­ent view of their roles as keep­ers of eso­teric knowl­edge, instead choos­ing to with­hold the core teach­ings as a way to main­tain polit­i­cal power; or, worse yet, to use the knowl­edge to neg­a­tively dom­i­nate and con­trol the pop­u­la­tions they govern.

While these groups were were in greater abun­dance in the ancient world, and their exis­tence often rec­og­nized even by the unini­ti­ated, after the Roman empire destroyed the great Library of Alexan­dria in BCE 30, regarded as the schol­arly bea­con of the ancient world, many of these mys­tery schools were forced to go under­ground and migrate to safer, less polit­i­cally hos­tile regions. Mov­ing from Egypt, Greece and the Mediter­ranean, these groups, and their knowl­edge, tra­di­tions and sym­bol­ism, spread through­out the Mid­dle East and Europe, and even­tu­ally became influ­en­tial forces behind much of the Euro­pean and Amer­i­can polit­i­cal establishments.

Some of the mod­ern, and arguably more neg­a­tive, forms of these ancient mys­tery soci­eties can be seen in Rose­cru­cian­ism, Freema­sonry, and the Skull and Bones soci­ety out of Yale. Other, more polit­i­cally cen­tered orga­ni­za­tions include the Bilder­berg Group (which we will briefly dis­cuss soon), the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions (CFR), and the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion (TC). Though groups like the CFR and the TC are widely rec­og­nized as impor­tant fac­tors in US and inter­na­tional polit­i­cal and eco­nomic deci­sion mak­ing, their over­all struc­ture closely resem­bles their more eso­teric coun­ter­parts, albeit much of the occult rit­ual and phi­los­o­phy is less overtly present.

For exam­ple, the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions is a pol­icy orga­ni­za­tion founded in 1921 par­tially at the request of Woodrow Wil­son. Since its incep­tion, the CFR has had pol­icy advis­ers serv­ing on the cab­i­nets of a num­ber of pres­i­den­tial admin­is­tra­tions, in the past and present, includ­ing those of Bill Clin­ton, both Bushes, and Barack Obama. Their role is to cre­ate poli­cies and pro­mote ideas that will fur­ther their greater polit­i­cal and eco­nomic agen­das, and place them­selves into posi­tions in which these poli­cies are enacted. Pres­i­dents rely upon their guid­ance reg­u­larly, and con­sid­er­ing that CFR mem­bers serve to advise politi­cians on both sides of the polit­i­cal spec­trum, no mat­ter who is in office the poli­cies of the CFR prevail.

Before we move on I want to high­light an orga­ni­za­tion that has gained con­sid­er­able atten­tion in the past few years by inde­pen­dent researchers and jour­nal­ists alike, and lends cre­dence to the idea that the elite of this planet meet reg­u­larly, and secretly, to plan polit­i­cal and eco­nomic agen­das. The Bilder­berg Group is an annual con­fer­ence that was ini­tially held in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilder­berg, near Arn­hem, in the Nether­lands. Since that time it has con­tin­ued to serve as a cen­tral meet­ing place for the polit­i­cal and eco­nomic elite of Europe and the United States. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group)

Its meet­ings reg­u­larly con­sist of diverse rep­re­sen­ta­tives from royal dynas­ties, cor­po­ra­tions, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and polit­i­cal par­ties, media groups, think tanks, mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions, and acad­e­mia. Accord­ing to their own offi­cial web­site, the 2012 con­fer­ence was held in Chan­tilly, Vir­ginia, from May31st to June 3rd, and those in atten­dance included Henry Kissinger, David Rock­e­feller, George Soros, Tim­o­thy Gei­th­ner, Paul Wol­fowitz, Bill Clin­ton, Melinda Gates, and oth­ers. (http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.html)

Orga­ni­za­tions like the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions and the Bilder­berg Group serve as inter­est­ing case stud­ies, and acces­si­ble entry points, into the secret world of the elite, and while we are rarely, if ever, able to learn about what is actu­ally being dis­cussed at these meet­ings, we can observe the result­ing poli­cies and actions enacted by the var­i­ous mem­bers, hence also gain­ing spec­u­la­tive insight into their inter­nal agendas.

Bank­ing Dynas­ties and Eco­nomic Organizations

The third cat­e­gory of global rule are what I refer to as eco­nomic orga­ni­za­tions, which include banks and finan­cial insti­tu­tions such as the Fed­eral Reserve, the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion, as well as the dom­i­nant cor­po­ra­tions that com­prise the main body of the corporatocracy/Military-Industrial-Complex.

In its mod­ern form, the inter­na­tional bank­ing insti­tu­tions are such a ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence in global affairs that their over­all power and influ­ence is rarely acknowl­edged, and their his­tory as social engi­neers often kept secret. In our global cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem, gov­ern­ments and cit­i­zens alike need money in order to func­tion, and the role of banks as the eco­nomic over­lords of our world only comes under pub­lic scrutiny dur­ing times of eco­nomic duress. When things are “going well”, as in when most peo­ple in the West have jobs and eco­nomic mobil­ity, the finan­cial basis of our cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem is rarely ques­tioned by most.

Aris­to­cratic rul­ing fam­i­lies, ancient and mod­ern secret soci­eties, and the eco­nomic dynas­ties they con­trol all com­prise a mas­sive inter­na­tional net­work of global rule, and to study his­tory is to study the actions of such groups and indi­vid­u­als. One thing I’d like to make clear is that this cor­po­ra­toc­racy exists as a mas­sive inter­con­nected web in which mem­bers of var­i­ous soci­eties and orga­ni­za­tions reg­u­larly rotate between var­i­ous posi­tions in both pol­i­tics and busi­ness, and often occupy diverse posi­tions simul­ta­ne­ously. It is also com­mon for an indi­vid­ual to serve on the board of direc­tors of sev­eral com­pa­nies or gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions at once, or to rotate between pub­lic and private-sector posi­tions, and to reg­u­larly sur­round them­selves with mem­bers of sim­i­lar asso­ci­ated groups.

For exam­ple, Michael Tay­lor is a lawyer and for­mer Mon­santo exec­u­tive who has a long his­tory of mov­ing between the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, often with clear con­flicts of inter­est. As a lawyer Tay­lor has worked off and on with King & Spald­ing, a law firm that reg­u­larly rep­re­sents GMO agribusi­ness giant Mon­santo. In 1991 he was appointed as Deputy Com­mis­sioner for Pol­icy at the FDA where he played an instru­men­tal role in cre­at­ing poli­cies that directly related to the use and reg­u­la­tion of genetic engi­neer­ing in food. Tay­lor also served as an admin­is­tra­tor of the Food Safety and Inspec­tion Ser­vice at the USDA, and after bounc­ing back and forth between jobs as gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tor and Mon­santo lawyer, was recently appointed by pres­i­dent Obama to serve as the newly cre­ated Food Safety Czar, one of the most pow­er­ful polit­i­cal posi­tions involv­ing the reg­u­la­tion of food there is. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/youre-appointing-who-plea_b_243810.html)

How they Rule: Cor­po­ra­toc­racy and the Pri­va­ti­za­tion of the World

Now that we have taken a brief look at the body of this rul­ing elite, lets dis­cuss how a vast and pow­er­ful empire such as the United States main­tains its global hege­mony. Whereas in the past rul­ing fam­i­lies used war and phys­i­cal occu­pa­tion as the main means to expand their empires, today they use debt and eco­nom­ics as the pri­mary means, with mil­i­tary action reserved only for spe­cific instances when eco­nomic con­trol has failed. Debt is by far one of the most effec­tive ways to con­trol a pop­u­la­tion and its lead­er­ship: debt is sys­tem­atic, highly effi­cient, well orga­nized, rel­a­tively non-violent, as is often viewed by the pub­lic as consensual.

For a sim­ple and clear under­stand­ing of this global con­trol appa­ra­tus, let’s take a look at the work of John Perkins, the best­selling author and for­mer Eco­nomic Hit Man. Through­out the 1970’s Perkins was employed by a pri­vate US util­i­ties devel­op­ment firm called Chas. T. Main, which worked with a vari­ety of finan­cial insti­tu­tions includ­ing the IMF and World Bank.

Accord­ing to Perkins:

Eco­nomic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid pro­fes­sion­als who cheat coun­tries around the globe out of tril­lions of dol­lars. They fun­nel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID), and other for­eign “aid” orga­ni­za­tions into the cof­fers of huge cor­po­ra­tions and the pock­ets of a few wealthy fam­i­lies who con­trol the planet’s nat­ural resources. Their tools include fraud­u­lent finan­cial reports, rigged elec­tions, pay­offs, extor­tion, sex, and mur­der. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and ter­ri­fy­ing dimen­sions dur­ing this time of glob­al­iza­tion. I should know; I was an EHM.”

As detailed in Perkins’ 2004 book Con­fes­sions of an Eco­nomic Hit Man, there are three pri­mary ways in which the mod­ern global empire dom­i­nates other coun­tries: by manip­u­lat­ing them through coer­cion, debt, and eco­nomic con­trol; by assas­si­nat­ing their lead­ers and other crit­i­cal tar­gets; and by over­throw­ing gov­ern­ments through direct action. It is impor­tant to note that all three of these meth­ods are often used simul­ta­ne­ously, though some (such as bribery and coer­cion) are employed more reg­u­larly than oth­ers; and that the process of polit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion often spans over long peri­ods of time, and does not sim­ply hap­pen over night. If we see a major polit­i­cal action or con­flict spo­rad­i­cally erupt, chances are it was months or years in the mak­ing, and the cor­po­ra­toc­racy likely had a hand in it.

Con­trol Method #1: Eco­nomic Hit Men

The first, and least vio­lent, method of con­trol is through the use of indi­vid­u­als such as Perkins. Accord­ing to his book, EHM work on behalf of the IMF/World Bank and major cor­po­ra­tions, and their goal is to lure the gov­ern­ments of tar­get coun­tries into accept­ing mas­sive loans and finan­cial agree­ments under the promise of eco­nomic devel­op­ment. These loans often go towards the cre­ation of vital infra­struc­ture, such as the con­struc­tion of new high­ways and power plants, and are in turn seen as invest­ments into the country’s future eco­nomic success.

The role of EHM is to not only secure these mas­sive loans, often amount­ing to hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars or more, but to also design an eco­nomic strat­egy that will cause these tar­get coun­tries to even­tu­ally default. Eco­nomic spe­cial­ists reg­u­larly agree to such loans in the hopes that they will cre­ate a large enough boom in their country’s econ­omy that the loans can be repaid in the future. When the coun­tries fail to see the invest­ment returns they expected, they are forced to default on their loans and com­ply with finan­cial penal­ties and polit­i­cal con­ces­sions, rang­ing from the pro­cure­ment of even more loans, to the sell­ing of vital com­modi­ties, such as oil, at reduced rates.

Strate­gi­cally speak­ing, Eco­nomic Hit Men serve as a buffer between US corporate/banking inter­ests and polit­i­cal actions that are often deemed ille­gal or immoral. It is sim­i­lar to how the US mil­i­tary uses inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors (such as paid mer­ce­nary com­pa­nies like Blackwater/Xe) to do their dirty work in coun­tries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors often cre­ate an account­abil­ity shield between the agen­das of “legit­i­mate” enti­ties (gov­ern­ments, com­pa­nies and banks), and the ille­gal actions required to ful­fill their plans.

EHMs have a diverse range of tools to coerce lead­ers and spe­cial­ists into accept­ing loan agree­ments, includ­ing the use of bribery, threats, scan­dals, and more plea­sur­able meth­ods such as the use of pros­ti­tutes and the sup­ply­ing of drugs. Exam­ples of the suc­cess­ful use of EHMs can be seen in coun­tries like Indone­sia, Mex­ico, Jamaica, and poten­tially most other coun­try that is indebted to the IMF or World Bank. Though these prac­tices are com­mon in the world of global finance, they had remained mostly out of view of pub­lic scrutiny, until Perkins’ scathing expose was pub­lished in 2004.

Con­trol Method #2: The Jackals

If Eco­nomic Hit Men fail to do their jobs, and lead­ers can­not be bought or finan­cially manip­u­lated, more dras­tic meth­ods are often deployed, and this is where the pri­vately sanc­tioned Jack­als come in. Jack­als are pro­fes­sional assas­sins who are most often for­mer mil­i­tary sol­diers turned covert spe­cial­ists. They orig­i­nate from any num­ber of coun­tries, and are often cho­sen based upon their per­sonal spe­cial­ties and pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence in the tar­get region or country.

Ide­ally (but not always), men or women with expe­ri­ence in the native lan­guages and cus­toms will be cho­sen for the job, and diverse meth­ods of assas­si­na­tion will be used, rang­ing from tar­geted assault through gun­fire or explo­sives, to more sub­tle meth­ods such as poi­son­ing. As can be imag­ined, covert assas­si­na­tion is one of the most ancient of all forms of polit­i­cal con­trol. I have often said that if an impor­tant or con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure sud­denly dies, either of “heart attack”, “drug over­dose”, “plane crash” or “sui­cide”, chances are they were assassinated.

In essence, assas­si­na­tion is a much cheaper means of polit­i­cal con­trol than direct mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion, and has been a tac­tic widely used by empires for thou­sands of years. Perkins recounts his per­sonal expe­ri­ences, and the fail­ures of EHMs, in the deaths of two per­sonal friends Jaime Roldós, the for­mer pres­i­dent of Ecuador and ardent human rights advo­cate (who died in a plane crash in 1981, less than three years into his term) and Omar Tor­ri­jos, the for­mer leader of Panama,who dur­ing his reign suc­cess­fully nego­ti­ated the even­tual return of the Panama Canal back to the Pana­man­ian gov­ern­ment (and who also died in a plane crash that same year.)

EHMS and Jack­als give inter­est­ing and fright­en­ing insight into the dan­ger­ous world of polit­i­cal con­trol, and serve as an exam­ple of how rul­ing forces manip­u­late pol­i­tics. Sim­i­lar tac­tics are used in our own coun­try, against nearly any­one who poses a threat to the agen­das of the estab­lished order; politi­cians, busi­ness lead­ers, and cit­i­zens alike. If you are a threat, first they will try to buy you. If that fails they will threaten you and those you love. If threats don’t work they will try to destroy you, or some­one close to you, by phys­i­cal assas­si­na­tion or char­ac­ter defamation.

Con­trol Method #3: Overthrow

When both EHMs and Jack­als have failed to influ­ence or remove vital polit­i­cal tar­gets, the global elite often resort to even more dra­matic means of polit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion: one is to stage a local­ized “rev­o­lu­tion” in which a resis­tance force is sent in to phys­i­cally oust the lead­er­ship, and the other is to declare war and stage a US led mil­i­tary inva­sion. Of these two options, stag­ing a coup and enabling regional forces to replace the dis­fa­vored leader is more com­mon, and more finan­cially and polit­i­cally afford­able. In cases where this is not an option, or all other options have failed, the US is forced to overtly lead the mil­i­tary cam­paign itself, expos­ing its true polit­i­cal motives, and jeop­ar­diz­ing pub­lic opin­ion around the world.

While direct mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion is a widely acknowl­edged behav­ior in Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy today, stag­ing fab­ri­cated “rev­o­lu­tions” is a com­monly used means of polit­i­cal con­trol, though rarely rec­og­nized by most cit­i­zens in the US. Over­throw­ing a for­eign gov­ern­ment is rather for­mu­laic, and is often accom­plished by select­ing or cre­at­ing a resis­tance group to serve as a “rev­o­lu­tion­ary party” (usu­ally lead by a sym­pa­thetic and eas­ily con­trol­lable mil­i­tary leader with ties to the coun­try or region), and then work­ing to build up their strength through the invest­ment of money, weapons, and strate­gic guidance.

Simul­ta­ne­ously, elite fam­i­lies, cor­po­ra­tions and orga­ni­za­tions in the tar­geted coun­try (as well as in the US) are con­vinced or coerced into assist­ing in the cre­ation of a social and media cam­paign designed to present the cur­rent leader as an “oppres­sor” who needs to be “ousted”. When the “rev­o­lu­tion­ary party” even­tu­ally suc­ceeds in “oust­ing” the tar­get, com­mu­ni­ties out­side the cul­ture (in other coun­tries or other dis­tant loca­tions) are strate­gi­cally con­vinced that this was an act of cit­i­zens “tak­ing back their gov­ern­ment”, and the action was there­fore justified.

The US trend of over­throw­ing demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected and estab­lished gov­ern­ments didn’t begin with Iraq and Afghanistan, and instead can be traced to a long his­tory of aggres­sive for­eign pol­icy that spans over 100 years. In his 2006 best­seller Over­throw: America’s Cen­tury of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq, vet­eran New York Times cor­re­spon­dent Stephen Kinzer details the his­tory of 14 dif­fer­ent instances in which the United States has inter­vened to top­ple for­eign gov­ern­ments. And what is a com­mon theme among them? That the US reg­u­larly works in con­junc­tion with cor­po­rate inter­ests in order to secure resources and oust polit­i­cal lead­ers that resist Amer­i­can hegemony.

Regime change has been his­tor­i­cally jus­ti­fied as a means to pre­vent the fur­ther expan­sion of the US’ polit­i­cal ene­mies. For exam­ple, much of America’s aggres­sive actions through­out Latin Amer­ica dur­ing the Cold War was deemed nec­es­sary in order to pre­vent our south­ern neigh­bors from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union. But Kinzer denies this myth, claim­ing that the major­ity of these coun­tries had lit­tle to no ties to the Sovi­ets (although many of them were aligned with Marx­ist and social­ist philoso­phies and poli­cies), and that these coun­tries sim­ply desired to cre­ate autonomous gov­ern­ments free of exter­nal influence.

In 1954, for exam­ple, the US staged a mas­sive pro­pa­ganda cam­paign and mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion to oust Guatemalan pres­i­dent Jacobo Arbenz, whose newly enacted land reform and resource nation­al­iza­tion poli­cies directly threat­ened diverse cor­po­rate and polit­i­cal inter­ests. Arbenz sup­ported rad­i­cal land redis­tri­b­u­tion poli­cies that expro­pri­ated large parcels of unused land, in exchange for mar­ket based com­pen­sa­tion to the land own­ers, and put the land back into the hands of peas­ant farm­ers and impov­er­ished citizens.

While this action directly threat­ened the land own­er­ship of com­pa­nies like United Fruit (who was the largest pro­ducer of bananas in the coun­try, one of Guatemala’s two most lucra­tive exports), it was also viewed as a cul­tural and polit­i­cal threat to America’s cap­i­tal­ist plans for the region. Accord­ing to Stephen M. Streeter, a pro­fes­sor as McMas­ter Uni­ver­sity in Hamil­ton, Ontario, a post-revisionist look at the inten­tions behind the oust­ing of Arbenz reveal just that. Streeter states, “One State Depart­ment offi­cial warned in late 1953 that Guatemala threat­ened the sta­bil­ity of Hon­duras and El Sal­vador because “its agrar­ian reform is a pow­er­ful pro­pa­ganda weapon; [and] its broad social pro­gram of aid­ing the work­ers and peas­ants in a vic­to­ri­ous strug­gle against the upper classes and large for­eign enter­prises has a strong appeal to the pop­u­la­tions of Cen­tral Amer­i­can neigh­bors where sim­i­lar con­di­tions pre­vail.”” (www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/34.1/streeter.html)

While the United Fruit Com­pany was an obvi­ous pro­po­nent of actions to remove the social­ist leader and over­turn the land redis­tri­b­u­tion poli­cies, they were but one voice in a cho­rus of pro-corporate ide­o­logues who feared noth­ing more than to allow for the land redis­tri­b­u­tion trend (and sim­i­lar social­ist poli­cies) to spread across Latin America.

Land redis­tri­b­u­tion is a pol­icy widely sup­ported by left­ist and social­ist groups around the world who view the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the com­mons (land that had been his­tor­i­cally shared amongst the com­mu­nity, and often used for food pro­duc­tion) as one of the most aggres­sive meth­ods in which elite polit­i­cal forces move land and resources from the hands of the many into the hands of the few.

The pri­va­ti­za­tion of the world’s resources is a vital com­po­nent of the elite’s agenda to dom­i­nate this planet, and the secur­ing of these resources is an under­ly­ing motive behind most of the elite’s major polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary actions around the world. This is a his­toric trend that has long been met with great resis­tance amongst aver­age cit­i­zens and community-minded activists and politi­cians alike. While West­ern politi­cians rou­tinely claim the desire to “bring free­dom and democ­racy” to the rest of the world, a close analy­sis of this reveals quite the oppo­site. In truth, these pow­er­ful forces work tire­lessly to manip­u­late for­eign gov­ern­ments and politi­cians in every way pos­si­ble. But as more and more cit­i­zens become aware of their meth­ods and agen­das, the true motives of the elite will grow increas­ingly more dif­fi­cult to hide, and the Great Illu­sion will inevitably come crash­ing down.

The End of Global Hegemony

As we have seen, the power struc­ture cre­ated by this global elite is in dire need of trans­for­ma­tion, and if we are to move for­ward, both as cit­i­zens and as a greater global soci­ety, seri­ous changes are in order. So what will a sus­tain­able future soci­ety look like, and is it even pos­si­ble? For us to imag­ine what sort of world we would like to cre­ate, and are in the process of cre­at­ing, I believe it’s impor­tant to look at the his­tory and foun­da­tional prin­ci­ples behind our cur­rent eco­nomic sys­tem, with a crit­i­cal eye on both its neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics. Lets start with a look at the neg­a­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, so we can bet­ter under­stand what is in need of changing.

Mod­ernism and the Cap­i­tal­ist Reality

Par­a­digms and their cor­re­spond­ing social and eco­nomic sys­tems do not emerge in a vac­uum, inde­pen­dent of his­tor­i­cal influ­ences. Instead they emerge as man­i­fes­ta­tions of ever evolv­ing ways of relat­ing to the world: phys­i­cally, psy­cho­log­i­cally, socially, and spir­i­tu­ally. The dom­i­nant Mod­ernist par­a­digm his­tor­i­cally emerged within a long reign­ing Tra­di­tional and reli­gious par­a­digm, and though it has taken on a dif­fer­ent form than its reli­gious pre­de­ces­sor, is retains many of its core cul­tural and philo­soph­i­cal underpinnings.

First of all, the cur­rent Mod­ernist par­a­digm, like the Tra­di­tional par­a­digm, has evolved to be pow­er­fully author­i­tar­ian, based upon a long stand­ing power struc­ture that his­tor­i­cally places the rul­ing classes in direct oppo­si­tion to aver­age cit­i­zens. Cap­i­tal­ism is a cur­rent man­i­fes­ta­tion of the impe­ri­al­is­tic global con­quest of (mostly) elite European/post-European fam­i­lies, com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions, and due to this fact, is founded upon strong ele­ments of racism, sex­ism, homo­pho­bia, and militarism.

At its core cap­i­tal­ism is objec­ti­fy­ing, view­ing every per­son as a self-serving, socially removed indi­vid­ual exist­ing in a rel­a­tively iso­lated vac­uum (as embod­ied in the pop­u­lar arche­type ‘homo eco­nom­i­cus’), and turn­ing every “thing” into a com­mod­ity to be bought and sold, to be stripped of its intrin­sic value (as liv­ing and sacred), and to be prof­ited from. In the vision of free mar­ket cap­i­tal­ists and impe­ri­al­ists alike, humans are self­ish beings, obsessed with their own sur­vival at the expense of all oth­ers, and dri­ven by power and greed; and the exter­nal world is not a frag­ile net­work of inter­con­nected life but an infi­nitely abun­dant resource to be exploited, manip­u­lated, and owned. This vision has long held that both peo­ple (espe­cially non-white peo­ple) and nature are “things” to be con­trolled, sub­ju­gated, and dom­i­nated over, and daily life as a con­tin­u­ous process of exploita­tion and wealth accumulation.

Not only does the cap­i­tal­ist par­a­digm seek to reduce nearly every­thing and every­one into defin­able, mea­sur­able com­modi­ties, its real-world func­tion­al­ity is ter­ri­bly inhu­mane, dri­ven by a pow­er­fully false sense of scarcity in which vital resources, such as food, water, and health­care, are reg­u­larly with­held from those who need them most, sim­ply because they “can­not afford it”. Dom­i­na­tion, objec­ti­fi­ca­tion, and the denial of crit­i­cal resources are by their nature acts of vio­lence, and since cap­i­tal­ism is based upon these char­ac­ter­is­tics, it too is inher­ently violent.

At the heart of this par­a­digm exists the global bank­ing sys­tem, which, as even the most casual amount of research will show, has been founded on a long his­tory of war prof­i­teer­ing, geno­cide, and enslave­ment: human, ani­mal, nat­ural and oth­er­wise. Mod­ern bank­ing prac­tices are preda­tory in nature, seek­ing to dis­em­power aver­age cit­i­zens through debt and a never end­ing cycle of wealth and resource extrac­tion. The fam­i­lies and insti­tu­tions that con­trol this sys­tem are arguably par­a­sitic and socio­pathic, reg­u­larly sac­ri­fic­ing the lives and well-being of those around them (or “beneath” them) for fur­ther increases in profit, all the while destroy­ing the nat­ural and human infra­struc­ture they depend upon.

Not only is our cur­rent socioe­co­nomic sys­tem pro­foundly unjust and inhu­mane, it is also highly unsus­tain­able, and grossly inef­fi­cient. Well, it’s effi­cient in the sense that it is very suc­cess­ful at sub­ju­gat­ing entire pop­u­la­tions, enslav­ing them through debt, and forc­ing them into sub­stan­dard work and liv­ing con­di­tions. But when it comes to its per­ceived goals, that is to main­tain the fluid exchange of goods and ser­vices in a fair and equi­table man­ner, it fails mis­er­ably on most accounts. While it was designed to be effi­cient, it was never intended to be fair, and I almost feel fool­ish for assum­ing eco­nom­ics can be fair. Yet I believe future eco­nomic sys­tems can not only be just and fair, but also socially and envi­ron­men­tally regen­er­a­tive, respect­ful to both the nat­ural world and all beings who inhabit it.

While many in the mod­ern world have come to accept these char­ac­ter­is­tics as nec­es­sary evils of our “flour­ish­ing” eco­nomic sys­tem, or have failed to acknowl­edge them alto­gether, (espe­cially white males who have gained per­sonal eco­nomic suc­cess), the major reper­cus­sions of this par­a­digm are hard to ignore. As any sober observer can see, and as any­one on the objec­ti­fied end of the equa­tion can attest, the cap­i­tal­ist par­a­digm has cre­ated mas­sive suf­fer­ing and inequal­ity for much of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, and wrought havoc on the nat­ural world.

In spite of how neg­a­tive and bleak all of this may sound, and how pow­er­ful these rul­ing forces appear, I believe there is great rea­son for pos­i­tiv­ity and hope. We have entered an era in which this sys­tem of social and eco­nomic con­trol is lit­er­ally com­ing apart at the seams. We see this in the cas­cad­ing col­lapse of the planet’s ecosys­tems, a phys­i­cal tes­ta­ment to the real­ity that the envi­ron­ment can no longer sur­vive the con­stant destruc­tion and pol­lu­tion of its frag­ile ecostruc­tures. We see this in the grow­ing insta­bil­ity of global finan­cial mar­kets: in the ris­ing unem­ploy­ment among nearly all lev­els of soci­ety around the world; in the forced aus­ter­ity mea­sures that are cut­ting social pro­grams and directly threat­en­ing the very fab­ric of soci­ety. We see this in the rapid emer­gence of fas­cist and mil­i­taris­tic social poli­cies; in the destruc­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion and the denial of basic human rights in the name of “pro­tec­tion”; in the grow­ing para­noia among the estab­lished order; and in the increas­ingly ubiq­ui­tous sur­veil­lance appa­ra­tus that seeks to mon­i­tor and quan­tify every action in our lives.

As a result of the insta­bil­ity and wide­spread recog­ni­tion of the dehu­man­iz­ing nature of this global eco­nomic sys­tem, we are wit­ness­ing the great­est social, polit­i­cal and spir­i­tual awak­en­ing in the his­tory of human­ity as count­less peo­ple around the world are open­ing their eyes, ris­ing to their feet and tak­ing action in their lives. We have entered an era in which the long stand­ing sys­tems of con­trol are no longer accept­able, where even those in priv­i­leged soci­eties are call­ing for change. And as we begin to see that no gov­ern­ment, cor­po­ra­tion, or politi­cian will come in to save us, the role of sal­va­tion lands in its right­ful place, in the hands of each one of us.

The Great Shift

The notion that humans are inher­ently self­ish and indi­vid­u­al­is­tic has been proven time and again to be false, and instead our actions are often a prod­uct of the con­text in which we live. Most humans have the poten­tial to be pro­foundly com­pas­sion­ate beings that care deeply about their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, and when given the oppor­tu­nity to do so, reg­u­larly embrace such behav­ior. As a West­ern cul­ture, we have been locked into a power dynamic that more closely reflects the inter­nal real­ity of the rul­ing elite, and less the real­ity of aver­age peo­ple. I see this ever present con­flict as a pro­jec­tion of their own inher­ent desire for dom­i­na­tion and con­trol, and as a means to jus­tify their own socio­pathic actions and agendas.

Humans did not evolve into the dynamic, cre­ative beings we are today because of our self­ish­ness or avoid­ance of pain. We’ve got­ten to where we are now because of our ever expand­ing desire towards greater self real­iza­tion, com­bined with our will­ing­ness to coex­ist with one another; to help each other, to pro­vide and care for each other. Deep down we rec­og­nize that our per­sonal sur­vival depends upon the sur­vival of those around us, and when given the choice between dom­i­na­tion or coop­er­a­tion, humans more fre­quently choose the lat­ter. It is from this per­spec­tive that I have come to view the essence of human exis­tence, and it is from this per­spec­tive that I draw hope for our future.

As Raj Patel states in his 2009 book The Value of Noth­ing: How to reshape mar­ket soci­ety and rede­fine democ­racy, the vast major­ity of cit­i­zens around the world want sys­tems that work for the bet­ter­ment of all peo­ple, not just an elite few:

In a 2008 sur­vey cov­er­ing 60 per­cent of the world and involv­ing 50,000 peo­ple, 81 per­cent felt that gov­ern­ments should be in the busi­ness of pre­vent­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion against women, 87 per­cent felt that gov­ern­ment should pro­vide food to the hun­gry… 92 per­cent wanted gov­ern­ment pro­vided health­care… and 91 per­cent wanted pub­lic edu­ca­tion…” (Patel, pg. 75)

If the past 100 years of cul­tural evo­lu­tion is any indi­ca­tion of where we are headed, I believe we are wit­ness­ing the emer­gence of a new era of human exis­tence, one marked by gen­uine free­dom and authen­tic­ity, and the reclaim­ing of our lives and spir­i­tual des­tinies. The eman­ci­pa­tion of African-American slaves; the social and vot­ing rights of women; the legal pro­tec­tion of the earth and its envi­ron­ment; and the recog­ni­tion of the rights of all peo­ple, no mat­ter their eth­nic­ity, cul­ture, or sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion; all of this serves as evi­dence of the world that is com­ing into being, a world based upon peace­ful coex­is­tence and respect for the diver­sity of all beings.

Per­sonal and col­lec­tive strug­gle exists at the heart of social trans­for­ma­tion, as seen in the lib­er­a­tion move­ments through­out his­tory. But as more and more cit­i­zens work towards the cre­ation of social and eco­nomic sys­tems that honor the sacred­ness of the nat­ural world, and seek the empow­er­ment of fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and indi­vid­u­als alike, I believe such real­i­ties will con­tinue to emerge in cor­re­spon­dence to our greater desires and actions. In this light, free­dom and jus­tice are not only ideas whose time has come, but real­i­ties with no other option but to blos­som forth.

From my per­spec­tive, I believe that a new world is not only pos­si­ble, it is inevitable.

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