I am very happy to published this guest article by author John Perkins, of whom I am a great admirer. Much of the reason is that he combines his political and economic activism work with a deeply profound understanding of Mother Nature, which comes from the great deal of time he has spent with indigenous people, learning their ways, and helping us understand and tap into the power of our dreams. In May he comes to the UK for a week to teach at Schumacher College, on the course Hoodwinked! What Wrecked our Economy and How to Fix It.
Unfortunately I will not be in the UK, but this will be one of the few opportunities for those of you in the UK to spend an entire week with John, and I know it will be extremely powerful.
Taking Back Our Destinies
The world has changed a great deal since I wrote Hoodwinked in 2009, and in precisely the direction I predicted. The financial crises in Europe and the US, and events in Latin America and the Middle East continue to escalate. Countries are in turmoil. Leaders have been toppled. We have entered the time prophesized by indigenous cultures around the world – the Mayan era of 2012, the age of Aquarius (which begins in June 2012) and the Andean people’s Legend of the Eagle and Condor or “Time of the Great Turning” to name just a few.
An extremely dangerous form of capitalism is thriving under the ever-increasing powers of Big Business and the governments that support them. unlike the capitalism I was taught in business school in the late 1960S, this predatory version, which took hold in the late 1970S, is based on the assumption that (in the words of Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics) “The only responsibility of business is to maximize profits,” regardless of the social and environmental costs. This misguided philosophy has placed us under the continuing reign of the robber barons, the “corporatocracy,” and resulted in an unsustainable world where the rich get richer and everyone else suffers.
Today, thousands of people around the world are rising up and demanding that we take back our governments, our banking system, and the corporations that should be serving us rather than the infamous 1%– take them back from bloated fat cats who are not interested in long-term sustainable practices, corporate social responsibility, or a marketplace that benefits the People. Citizens are demonstrating and speaking out in Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, England, Chile, Ecuador, China, Russia, the United States, throughout the Middle East, and many, many other countries.
In Hoodwinked, I predicted that elections of new government leaders would not change the current system. Leaders today are vulnerable to assassination, but in these times that usually takes the form of character assassination resulting from well-planted rumors. We saw the impact of this when the career of the head of the IMF was destroyed by the accusation of a hotel chambermaid. Whether rumors are true or not makes little difference. Time and again, leaders from around the globe have demonstrated that they are almost solely motivated by corporate interests; the stick of rumor and the carrot of financial rewards. In most so-called “democracies” key advisors come from Big Business, and return to their corporate offices after they’ve served their time. Today, conflicts of interest are accepted as the “norm”. As citizens of the world, we need to demand a critical shift away from predatory capitalism.
We have learned an essential lesson. Political campaigns will not result in the necessary solutions. Rather, the solutions revolve around you and me. As history makes clear, when We the People are lethargic, we are abused. When we take action, we mold our destinies.
Hoodwinked offers five strategies for actions we can each take that will give us, the 99%, the power to win back our WORLD. The Occupy London movement is part of one of those five strategies. Like other Occupy Movements, it elevates our efforts to open up new levels of consciousness.
The Occupy movement is symbolic of actions that help to manifest a new system that focuses on serving the public interest, cleaning up pollution, providing adequate healthcare and retirement pensions, and developing more efficient and sustainable forms of energy, transportation, and commerce. It is already having major impacts, including shaking people awake, transferring money from national to local banks, and supporting unions and local businesses. Yet is just one of a limitless array of creative actions that will make a better world for ourselves and our children.
Each of us has passion and talents. My passion is for writing about these issues and encouraging people to act. Whatever your passion is, follow it. When we all direct our individual passion and talents toward creating a sustainable, just and peaceful world, we will attain it.
Look to your passions, follow your heart and take action! Together we will change the world!
About John Perkins
John Perkins’s classic exposé, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, spent over 70 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and is published in more than 30 languages. His two follow-up books – New York Times bestseller, The Secret History of the American Empire, and Hoodwinked – provide a plan for creating a better world. He is the author of Shapeshifting, The World Is As You Dream It, and other books on indigenous cultures; founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, nonprofit organizations devoted to establishing a sustainable, just, and peaceful world; and has lectured at universities on four continents.
Hoodwinked! What Wrecked our Economy and How to Fix It, Schumacher College, Devon May 21st – 25th