Our Brand is Crisis- Economic Hitmen

This week in class we watched the movie Our Brand is Crisis. Initially, my heart jumped for joy because the movie was in English, and I wouldn’t have to contort my neck around just to read subtitles. After this joy had worn off and the movie settled in, I was thoroughly intrigued by the content of the movie. Our Brand is Crisis followed the political firm of Greenberg Carville Shrum as they tried to help the political agenda of “Goni”. Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada, a presidential candidate of Bolivia, was hoping to be reelected to the office of President despite the failures of his first tenure in that position. While watching the movie, we learned that Goni had been a huge advocate for privatization and capitalization, which contributed to his lack of support. Most Bolivians did not like the idea of privatization because they felt it took money away from the majority and gave it to a select few. Because of this, GCS had its work cut out for them. This movie showed just how much goes into shaping a candidate into what he or she needs to be in order to win. Going off of the failures of Goni’s past term, GCS members marketed the presidential nominee as a man who had learned from his mistakes and would not commit the same ones again. While watching this film, I got the feeling that these men were marketing a specific product, like something you would buy at a store, instead of a person. Never realizing the effort of these types of people. like GCS, before watching this film, I was surprised to learn of economic hitmen and just how far the hand of capitalization reaches into the world.
Goni’s possible presidency took a hit because of his advocacy of Capitalization. The people of Bolivia felt like he had taken money away from the country and they never received anything in return for it. Why would anyone ever want to take money from their country? This is where the manipulation of Economic Hitmen comes into play. John Perkins, once a hitman himself, wrote about his experience. He says that the Hitmen were sent in to convince a country’s leader to adopt capitalization, and the ones who would not listen, often ended up six feet under. No doubt Goni had come under the sway of such influence and now his popularity was taking a hit because of it. Speaking on the deaths of the opposing leaders, Perkins wrote, ” They were assassinated because they opposed the fraternity of corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire(Perkins).” Capitalism, and EHM, swayed Goni to put his nation’s money into the hands of the few.
Apparently, the idea of allowing countries to shift their monetary focus away from themselves and into the pockets of the worldy elite was wildly adopted by leading American econmonic minds. This “Washington Consensus” “urged deregualtion of capital markets, free exchange rates, privatization of parastate firms and ‘flexible’ labor markets”(Cypher,47). By breaking down the walls of trade and destroying national private firms and turning them into international corporations, the elites of the world were able to enjoy their excesses while the people, like the Bolivians, struggled to get by. These Economic Hitmen were able to convice some people to adhere to this “Washington Consensus” but others were quickly cut down if they did not comply to international capitalization. Goni and GCS were now trying to recover from the idea of Capitalization that tore down the Bollivian people.