Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Were Warned

Watching the US economic bailout hearings on C-SPAN today, I'm once again reminded of the words of the character Arthur Jensen in writer Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 movie Network.

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians! There are no Arabs! There are no Third Worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone!

Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT and T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon - those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state - Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and mini-max solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.

What's going on in Washington and on Wall Street now was scripted throughout history to arrive at this very point. This isn't a crisis. It's an eventuality. Just one more obscene step in the furtherance of empire by those who really run the world - the corporations. There is no punishment, only enabling.

Ironically, the acronym for treasury secretary Paulson's bail out plan, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is TARP . That's exactly what it is - a $700 billion temporary cover for the status quo.


Chris Hedges: Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury
Naomi Klein: Now is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine
Noam Chomsky: Where now for capitalism?
Democracy Now!: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Robert Scheer and Dean Baker on the Proposed $700 Billion Bailout of Wall Street, the Largest Government Bailout of Private Industry in US History
Congress Urged to Act Soon on Bailout (includes links to Paulson's and Bernanke's prepared testimony)

No comments:

Post a Comment