A little film clip for your Sunday pleasure. Call this a music post, if you will. From the brilliant pen of writer Paddy Chayefsky, one of our geniuses, in full voice on the Song of the Rich versus the Rest: “There is no America. There is only IBM and AT&T and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world”. Today we call it “Tales of the .001%.”
This is from Network, a film way ahead of its time. Or rather, a film willing to tell a truth no one in that time was brave enough to say. Most people remember a different scene, but this one is key. They call it the Money Scene.
Transcript here (click “Show More”). A snippet:
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 immense, interwoven, interacting, multi-varied, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rands, rubles, pounds and shekels.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beale. The world is a college of corporations
Ignore Ned Beatty’s sniveling self-congratulation at the end — the character has to say that. If he didn’t he’d realize he’s just a predator. Who in a suit wants to admit to such a horrible self-image? After all, predators are thugs; they’re other people.
This is the Ayn Rand secret, by the way, if you haven’t figured it out. Upper class predators always need a cover story in order to live with themselves — a paint job over the blood-sucking and life-draining. Rand provided that in the form of the Myth of the Producers — the only worthy people in the world.
Thank Ayn Rand for the image — delusional blood-suckers tarted up as “producers” who are forced to fend off the “parasites.” You’ve heard this in other forms — makers vs. takers, for example, or in Cameron’s Britain, strivers vs. skivers.
Calling your victims “parasites” is almost psychopathic, but the self-deception is needed if they’re going to get any sleep at all. We do the same today with paint-job language — the new magic phrase is “job-creators.” The inner monologue goes something like this:
“I chain you to your work, drain your labor into my pockets and accounts, give you the least I can give to keep you making my wealth, and throw you away at the end. Noble me — I gave you that job. Golf anyone? Maybe St. Andrews; I think I deserve a reward.”
(And yes, that’s Ned Beatty as the bad guy, the same actor who played this character — Otis to Gene Hackman’s “Mr. Luthor” in the Randian role. A very versatile talent, one of my favorites. Try The Big Easy sometime.)
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