Never So True
As now. From Howard Beale in Network:
In this country, when one company wants to take over another company, they simply buy up a controlling share of the stock. But first, they have to file notice with the government. That's how CCA took over the company that owns this network. But now somebody is buying up CCA. Somebody called the Western World Funding Corporation. They filed their notice this morning. Well, just who in the hell is the Western World Funding Corporation? It is a consortium of banks and insurance companies who are not buying CCA for themselves but as agents for somebody else. And who is this somebody else? They won't tell you. They won't tell you, they won't tell the Senate, they won't tell the SEC, the FTC, they won't tell the Justice Department, they won't tell anybody. They say it's none of our business. The hell it ain't! I will tell you who they're buying CCA for. They're buying it for the Saudi-Arabian Investment Corporation. They're buying it for the Arabs...We all know that the Arabs control sixteen billion dollars in this country. They own a chunk of Fifth Avenue, twenty downtown pieces of Boston, a part of the port of New Orleans, an industrial park in Salt Lake City. They own big hunks of the Atlanta Hilton, the Arizona Land and Cattle Company, the Security National Bank in California, the Bank of the Commonwealth in Detroit. They control ARAMCO, so that puts them into Exxon, Texaco, and Mobil Oil. They're all over - New Jersey, Louisville, St. Louis Missouri. And that's only what we know about! There's a hell of a lot more we don't know about because all of the those Arab petro-dollars are washed through Switzerland and Canada and the biggest banks in this country. For example, what we don't know about is this CCA deal and all the other CCA deals. Right now, the Arabs have screwed us out of enough American dollars to come right back and with our own money, buy General Motors, IBM, ITT, AT and T, Dupont, US Steel, and twenty other American companies. Hell, they already own half of England. So listen to me. Listen to me, god-dammit! The Arabs are simply buying us. There's only one thing that can stop them. You! You! So, I want you to get up now. I want you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the phone. I want you to get up from your chairs, go to the phone, get in your cars, drive into the Western Union offices in town. I want you to send a telegram to the White House. By midnight tonight, I want a million telegrams in the White House. I want them wading knee-deep in telegrams at the White House. I want you to get up right now and write a telegram to President Ford saying: 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore! I don't want my banks selling my country to the Arabs! I want the CCA deal stopped now! I want the CCA deal stopped now.
And the response, from Arthur Jensen:
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.
I'm reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man right now, and between that and this Dubai port deal, I'm wondering whether Paddy Chayefsky wasn't actually a time-traveler.