This is a powerful scene from the 1970’s movie “The Network”. Its ever more poignant today as it was back when the film was made. “…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&T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.”
“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr.Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal — that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance!
You are an old man who thinks in terms ofnations 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, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels!It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of lifeon this planet!
That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic,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? (pause) 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 isonly IBM and ITT and AT&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 pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and minimax 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 deter- mined 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, Mr.Beale, will live tosee that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and 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 Ihave chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.