June 14, 2021

"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 bylaws 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."


That's Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen in "Network" (1976).  

Ned Beatty died yesterday at the age of 83.


Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

It's a great clip from a great movie that seems to get more appropriate with each decade.

The Biden administration now uses the word 'stakeholder' to refer to us, the citizens of the US, getting that corporate-speak into everyone's minds. And you can substitute our Big Tech companies for the old money companies listed in the Beatty speech. Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. in place of Exxon, IBM, DuPont, Dow, etc. "The world is a college of corporations" is more applicable today than ever before. Borders are blurred. Nations are barely hanging on as their 'leaders' open up the borders and encourage their countries to be overrun by foreign cultures, in some cases, with zero interest in assimilation. The actual monetary system is in flux as new cryptocurrencies take hold and governments reluctantly jump in. Better to control that new thing than be on the outside of it.

And even as we watch the growth of China and their military, we also watch as Google and Apple and Facebook play within China's rules to operate there, all the while working over here to control our rules of society. The corporations are apparently very nimble, and can adjust from country to country until the entire thing becomes homogeneous.

Great clip.

Ann Althouse said...

Dave Begley writes:

I thought he was great as the corrupt New Orleans cop in The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin.

Never saw Deliverance as it creeped me out.

I never saw "The Big Easy." I did eventually get around to seeing "Deliverance," but I didn't want to see that highlighted in the obits for Beatty.

Ann Althouse said...

Montgomery writes: "Most of the movies Ned was in were serious dramas. However, he was adept at comedy as well. A favorite movie of mine that Ned Beatty was in was the Steven Spielberg comedy film "1941". Beatty's daughter is being chased by US servicemen, who he is wary of and the Army placed an anti-aircraft gun in his house's yard. I recall his character trying to operate the gun against a Japanese submarine with disastrous (and hilarious) consequences."

Ann Althouse said...

Lucien writes:

When I read the quote, I thought it was internally contradictory: if we no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, then that means we used to, but if the world had always been a business, then there had been no change. “Paddy Chayefsky wrote this?” I thought.

Then I listened to the whole screed (was the guy on Ibogaine?) and realized that it was supposed to represent an absurdist insane view of the world, so logical consistency be damned.

Ann Althouse said...

Robert Cook writes:

"The Biden administration now uses the word 'stakeholder' to refer to us, the citizens of the US, getting that corporate-speak into everyone's minds."

This is hardly new and is not unique to the Biden administration. If anything, "stakeholder" is a better and less insulting description for US citizens than the far more common term "consumers," which defines us and our engagement with our society only as passive and mindless consumers of what is fed to us--whether products sold to us, media programming streamed to us, or propaganda blathered at us--as opposed to being active agents in the governance of our local, state, and national communities. 20 years ago, in response to the traumatic violence of 9/11, Bush's prescription for Americans was for us to keep shopping. That starkly illustrates how we are actually seen by those who presumably are supposed to serve us.

Paddy Chayevsky wasn't ahead of his time in seeing what America would become, he was simply clear-sighted enough to see way back then what America had long been.