|“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it! Is that clear?!…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, multi-variate, 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, and You Will Atone!”(Network, the 1976 film masterpiece, screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky)
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” (Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, 1928)
Money, money, and more money.
This piece is a follow-on from my recent article about the NBA, China, and the tyranny of Globalism.
As an illustration of MONEY FIRST policy, here is a brief Deadspin quote:
“Fun fact: The company more or less responsible for the Opium wars and the annexation of Hong Kong still exists, still operates in China and is now a multi-billion dollar conglomerate that manages hotels, convenience stores and shipping lines…”
The British company is Jardine (Jardine Matheson).
“‘It [Jardine] is never far from the front of public memory in China today’…Indeed, up the river from Hong Kong on the mainland, portraits of William Jardine and James Matheson stare down from walls inside the Opium War Museum in the industrial city of Dongguan. Beneath them, a label reads: ‘Opium Smuggler’.”
The point? Forget “public Chinese memory.” Just in case anyone thinks the Chinese regime still holds a MONEY grudge for the devastating 19th century Opium Wars, which the British, urged on by Jardine, leveled against China, in order to force them to accept ongoing shipments of opium, addicting millions of people—the “hated Jardine” is doing billion-dollar business with China today.
Principles first, until the cash arrives.
And also, currently: Yahoo News:
“In a new letter co-penned by a bipartisan group of members of Congress, federal lawmakers say they have ‘strong concern’ related to Apple’s recent actions in China. The letter, which is addressed to CEO Tim Cook, zeroes in on Apple’s decision earlier this month to remove HKMap, an app pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong used to track the location of local law enforcement.”
“The letter goes on to criticize Apple for its other app removals. Citing data from an organization called GreatFire, it says, ‘Apple has censored at least 2,200 apps in China, which include Virtual Private Network apps used to circumvent China’s Great Firewall, and apps made by and for oppressed ethnic minorities, including the Uyghur and Tibetan communities’.”
Yes, the Apple leaders are really on the cutting edge of enlightenment, aren’t they? Superior consciousness. Grasp of global evolution. We’re all in this together. Unity. Citizens of the world. Heavens to Betsy, these spiritual masters aren’t just hawking cosmic bullshit about themselves. Certainly not.
“Yes, sir, we’ll cancel that app. Any other apps we can erase for you? Do you need any other favors? We love your 1.4 billion customers like first cousins. Do you need technical assistance for any purpose?”
Bow the head and bend the knee.
Big Tech savants and nerds across the board apparently still need a Daddy. They still need a pat on the head. There just aren’t enough Daddies in America. And they need a stern Daddy in a place like China. Generals in one army sometimes long to be privates in another army.
But no matter. The money makes the adrenaline flow.
Here are a few choice quotes from Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple: “I don’t think that you’re born with gut [instinct], a gut matures and gets better and better over time, the struggle that most people have is learning to listen to it. Figuring out how to access it in some way. What I found is that even though I’m an engineer and an analytical person at heart the most important decisions I’ve made had nothing to do with any of that. They were always based on intuition.”
—Yes, for example, the gut instinct to just give in to the brutal Chinese regime. That was a personal revelation.
“The countries that embrace openness do exceptional and the countries that don’t, don’t. It’s not a matter of carving things up between sides. I’m going to encourage that calm heads prevail.”
—Yes, calmly give in to the Chinese regime because, after all, since they don’t embrace openness, they’ll dry up and blow away on their own, and we won’t have to worry about them anymore.
“We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy. So we choose a different path, collecting as little of your data as possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it’s in our care because we know it belongs to you.”
—Of course, when the Chinese government rips away every possible shred of privacy from their 1.4 billion people, choose the well-worn path—kneel down and take the cash and help erase the possibility of communication between citizens.
“The privacy thing has gotten totally out of control. I think most people are not aware of who is tracking them, how much they’re being tracked and sort of the large amounts of detailed data that are out there about them.”
—The Chinese people are aware. But a whole lot of cash is on the table, and only a fool wouldn’t grab it. If that means aiding and abetting a monster regime, all parties will understand.
“I don’t think business should only deal in commercial things. Business, to me, is nothing more than a collection of people. If people have values, then companies should.”
—On the other hand, if governments don’t have values, but they do have money, make a deal. Who wouldn’t?
Public relations is a wondrous thing. In places like Cupertino, Mountain View, Seattle, Arlington, Menlo Park, and even the Chinese city of Dongguan at the Opium War Museum, it’s become a full-fledged religion.