Jacob the patriarch is said to have wrestled with God and, as a result, was renamed “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). He is the only person who came “face to face” with God and lived (32:30b). Television host Howard Beale also saw the face of God, but, unfortunately for him, he died. On national television, no less.
Beale is the main character in Network, an eerily prescient movie about the New World Order, globalization, the end of national sovereignty, the imbecilization of America, and what the young Italian philosopher, Diego Fusaro, calls the “financial priesthood.” The screenplay was written by Paddy Chayefsky and stars Peter Finch as Beale. The amazing thing is that the movie was made in 1976, not 2017.
Beale starts out as a news anchor who gets his own show where, thanks to high ratings, he can say whatever he wants. In fact, the more outrageous, the better. He is known as “The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves” for his denunciation of a society in which image, branding, and marketing reign supreme. Another thing that reigns supreme are multinational corporations like IBM, AT&T, Union Carbide, Exxon, and the network’s corporate owner, the fictional Communication Corporation of America (CCA).
Today, we have Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. The talk is about globalization, open borders, cryptocurrencies, and a world government run by a band of oligarchs under the auspices of the United Nations. The liberal ideals of free speech and the right to rebel against oppressive governments (e.g., Catalonia) are no longer “trending.” These have given way to abortion, euthanasia, gender ideology, and pedophilia as fundamental rights.
You may lose your dignity as a rational human being but you gain unrestricted sexual activity in return, starting in childhood. No more limits. Everybody’s happy. Well, until you discover that sexual liberty is actually licentiousness and that the Hollywood heads on CNN (the real CCA) are as empty as they are pretty.
The fascist antifascists will crush all opposition. Some have called the Constitution “outdated,” which is in line with the Bush-Obama nullification of the Fourth Amendment and habeas corpus. Privacy no longer exists, and you will be arrested for saying that it does (privately, of course). Habeas corpus is just a Latin term invented by dead Europeans, anyway. Get with the program.
I used to think that the point to the coming corporate state was money. It isn’t. Money is just the mechanism by which the larger objective is achieved, which is control. Control of capital, labor, and, ultimately, the population. There are already companies that will implant microchips in you to make it easier to keep track of your personal data and financial records. You know, because the pace of life is just so hectic. And here are some opioids to get you through Black Friday. Forced sterilizations will be paid for by the the state.
All of this has come up recently, because of the section in my business ethics class on advertising and marketing. According to some authors–idiots, all–it is perfectly fine to market to children, because they have “rights” as consumers. We are now at a point in history when the defining characteristic of human existence is consumption, not thought. We are no longer homo sapiens but homo emens, consuming man.
Students sense that there is something wrong with this, although many have neither the skills nor experience to figure out what to do about it. So, I lecture more than I care to, catechize more than I should, and challenge them more than they are used to, what with their concern about getting a job after graduation. And why shouldn’t they be concerned? Their educational loans have made indentured servants of them.
I have them watch the clip from Network in which Howard Beale is told that the world is a business, that there are no more countries or peoples or borders. That everyone is a shareholder in World Inc. That morality is whatever the corporate state says it is.
But all Howard Beale can say is, “I have seen the face of God.”
You want more? Go to Robert Brancatelli. Note to self: Welcome to the still beautiful world, Camilla, Sofia, and Angelo! Fight the good fight always. Love, Nonno.