Two peculiar activities coincided, collided and commingled at Hodapphaüs this week. The first was that Alice and I are working on a new project for the Dummies folks. I can't reveal the title yet, let's just say "it's a secret." But we have been engrossed in research on the origins of the Illuminati and its subsequent morph into a shorthand term for the secret domination and control of the world. Whatever that means.
The second was our very first public protest demonstration ever. We gathered with about 2,000 other angry Indianapolis citizens on Monument Circle on Sunday to protest the jackbooted thuggery of our county's property tax system. Not to bore you with local politics, but a "perfect storm" of taxation has occurred in the county in which Indianapolis resides, resulting in a skyrocketing rise in property taxes on homes, first in 2003, then again this year. In some notorious cases, taxes went up 300% and more, and average folks living in homes they paid $100,000 for are getting bills in excess of $3000 to $7000 per year. And the City now also wants to raise the local income tax to pay for 30 years of failure to provide for a police and fire pension plan. Like I say, boring stuff to anyone who doesn't live here. But thousands of protesters are now showing up regularly at the governor's mansion, the mayor's office, the statehouse, city council meetings and anywhere else politicians leave their slimy trail. The best thing is that the protests cross all party and socio-economic lines. Single moms in tarpaper shacks with a $800 bill are marching side by side with millionaires with $49,000 tax bills.
Remember the movie Network? It was very early on Saturday that someone (it wasn't me) stepped up to the megaphone and said, "I'm as mad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore." And a wave of Howard Bealeism infected the crowd. Like Howard Beale's order to his TV audience to flood the White House with telegrams to stop a business deal, the protests have seemed to work. After just over a week, the Governor has stepped in with at least a temporary solution. Democracy and threats of mob riots won the day.
Then I remembered Arthur Jensen's speech to Howard after the White House blocked the CCA deal, and suddenly, there it all was. The best explanation of what people these days seem to believe is the illuminati, all laid out in one of the best two minutes ever put on film.
Jensen: YOU HAVE MEDDLED WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE, MISTER BEALE, AND I WON'T HAVE IT!! IS THAT CLEAR? You think you've 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 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 immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and SUB-atomic and GALACTIC structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mister Beale, and YOU WILL ATONE!
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&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, 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 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.
And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Beale: But why me?
Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
God love Paddy Chayefsky.