By Steven Yates

December 31, 2021

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.                                                            

The Matrix (1999)

Happy 2022, readers! Such as it is!

I have no review of the new Matrix movie, Matrix 4: Resurrection, or whatever it’s called. I’ve yet to see it. Everything I’ve read about it from folks I trust who have seen it suggests steering clear, that it’s a celluloid train wreck trying to cash in on the successes of its predecessors, and that I’d be wasting my time. My time being valuable, I’ve listened. So far. (Truth be known, I never thought that much of the two previous sequels. I caught myself dozing trying to watch Matrix Revolution.)

What I can offer is a retrospective on the original classic, easily one of the half-dozen or so most important films of the past 50 years. I wrote a series that began here: my debut on this site. Given the time that has passed and how the site has changed, it might look a little weird.

If anything, The Matrix is more relevant today than when it first appeared. Just in case anyone was in a cave back then:

At some point civilization fell under the sway of an artificial intelligences, so that human beings are born, live out their lives, and die within “pods.” Their brains are wired into the AI which feeds them steady input: all the details of their lives, loves, etc.,the full trappings of the post-industrial landscape of the late twentieth century.

While thinking they are free, people are slaves, their life energies used to sustain the AI: living batteries!

Morpheus (to Neo): The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTU’s of body heat. Combined with a form of fusion, the machines had found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields – endless fields – where human beings are no longer born, we are grown. For the longest time I wouldn’t believe it, and then I saw the fields with my own eyes. Watched them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth. What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world, built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this [he holds up a copper-top D-cell battery]

The point being: the world the masses believe they experience is not real. It is a simulation, the product of the AI, from which they never awaken.

Morpheus again:

Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

A gold mine for philosophy classes!

As the film progressed, those who had escaped, led by the intrepid Morpheus, battle Agents and other mechanical denizens sent by the AI to recapture them. Their goal: to destroy the AI and the Matrix, so the human race can once again be free.

What they are up against is what all freedom fighters come up against sooner or later: the fact that not only are they fighting denizens of the enslaving AI,they’re fighting the impulses of their own who do not really want to be free.

Most of the human race, after all, prefers the security and creature-comforts of serfdom to the responsibilities that come with freedom (political, economic, and so forth). Morpheus yet again:

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

In a poignant moment later, a character named Cypher (interesting name!) is having dinner with Agent Smith and arranging to have himself reinserted into a “pod,” telling Smith, “I want to remember nothing!” And:

I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [He takes another bite of steak.] Ignorance is bliss!

The “real Matrix”?

The fantasy world of manufactured consent created by corporate media leviathans, now including Big Tech, with their relentless propaganda, cancelations, and censorship efforts. On top of this we have governments and academia, which the majority of people still trust to dispense truth.

Truth about globalization, foreign wars such as the one in Iraq, liberal democracy, race and crime or race and history, right versus left, Russia, Election 2020, and Covid-19.

Perchance extending to much of the past 150 years (if not more!) of science, technology, and political economy.

The billion dollar question: how long have the Regime’s dominant institutions been feeding us lies to keep us under control, so that our cooperative work and life energies sustain the elites the system has enabled to grab power?

By early last decade, the number of people who had figured out that they were being lied to systematically about one or more or all of the above had swollen to populations numbering millions, all over the world.

From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street. Arab Spring. Wikileaks.

So-called “populism.” Brexit. Donald Trump. Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Others.

The growth of belief in “conspiracies.”

Then, as if in unintended confirmation, beginning almost immediately after the Trump upset in 2016, came the pushback.

The Regime awakened in a burst of collective terror to the realization that it was losing control!

Arguably the most visible and influential Regime Media pushback began with this scurrilous, unsourced, evidence-free article (though a search discloses any number of earlier preemptive strikes about “Russian hackers” helping Trump).

The rest is history. I’ve recounted aspects of it in countless articles; so have others, here and elsewhere. No need to repeat….

What is clear to me now, as we enter 2022 following almost two years of plandemic, is that I greatly underestimated the Regime (or the super elite or GloboCorp if you prefer) in my 2011 book Four Cardinal Errors.

Never underestimate cold-blooded psychopaths with billions of dollars at their disposal!

We are now in what I think of as a narrative cold war — a war that could conceivably turn hot and tear the U.S. apart within the next few years.

You could say we are fighting several narrative wars, one for each topic listed above.

I use the word narrative a lot. What does it mean?

Narratives are stories told to us, and which we tell ourselves. It should be clear,most people respond to stories better than they do to any form of logical deduction.

When Jesus wanted to illustrate a point, he spoke in parables. A parable is one kind of narrative, or story.

Stories are invariably emotive. They can be evocative if their intent is to inspire. Or threatening, if intended as mind control. They can encourage you to think about the point being made. Or to relinquish your freedom of thought and submit to authority (e.g., The Science). Do what the voices of the Regime tell you, and you’ll be safe.

Your safety is what counts, right?

However we explain it, our brains are wired to protect us from danger. Except for the handful of us who have created oases of peace and abundance, I believe the default setting for many of us is of the world filled with potential and actual dangers.

The point is, narratives are powerful control factors in cultures, with economic and political activity flowing downstream from dominant narratives.

These function as “prisons for our minds” — if we let them.

What happened 1990s – 2015 was the collapse of most if not all of the dominant narratives the Regime had spent much of the past century carefully constructing.

Globalization was not “making us richer.” It was destroying American workers and threatening the American middle class. If your job could be done from anywhere in the world, it would be. Corporations were moving at breakneck pace to wherever labor was cheapest.

The Regime war machine had started a war in Iraq based on fabrications. The likely impending fate of the world’s most visible political prisoner, Julian Assange, speaks volumes about what the Regime is capable of doing to those who expose its lies and war crimes.

Race/ethnicity: nothing left-liberal Democrats (and a lot of Republicans) did regarding race over the past half-century improved the lives of more than a small handful of African-Americans. Many of the rest are arguably worse off, after welfare-statism made black fathers obsolete.

According to academic elites, people of whatever color with real privileges, the ruination of black America was due to the “legacy of slavery,” “systemic racism,” “white privilege” — anything except the irruinous ideologies and policies.

By the way, how could a self-identified African-American be elected president of the U.S. not once but twice if America really was a “systemically racist” country—?

Huh-uh! Down the memory hole with that!

Regime Media pointedly ignores black-on-white crime. Note the literal disappearance of the Darrell Brooks case (the Waukesha Christmas Parade Massacre, November 21). Brooks, 39, a rabid white-hater, drove his vehicle into the festival parade, killing six and injuring 62, all white. One of the dead was an eight-year-old girl.

There was no mention of the man’s race in the initial reports, which to any thinking person is now a dead giveaway that a perp is black. The case was quickly memory-holed. You can only learn about it on “right-wing” news sights.

Speaking of which….

Do you see any references to groups such as the Proud Boys without the accompanying epithet far-right or some equivalent?

How many times have you seen Antifa referred to as far left? Or referred to at all? I see occasional mentions of “anti-fascists.” Fascism is bad, of course. So anti-fascists must be good.

See how this works?

Moving right along: liberal democracy?

For those who care to dig, the U.S. (and every other Western industrial / post-industrial power) became a plutocratic oligarchy over a century ago!

I could write several more articles on how plutocrat efforts to protect real privilege are now passed off as “shoring up liberal democracy,” while efforts to expose the elites and their agendas are portrayed as “authoritarianism,” “white supremacy,” “neo-fascism,” etc., even “domestic terrorism.”

And then there’s Election 2020. I have to resist screaming every time I see an article about how the Jan-6ers “endangered democracy” or how Trump supporters “weaken democracy” by doubting the legitimacy of the process that gave us “President Biden.”

A narrative is being constructed on how Trumpian Republicans are preparing to steal Election 2024 using new state-level election-security laws and other efforts to block fraudulent voting and digital theft.

I sense fear in many Regime Media op-eds. I probably don’t need to link to examples. They’re everywhere! Just scroll down any mainstream new aggregator such as Yahoo!

Millions of people are now “red-pilled,” and the Regime’s programmers know it.

Hence the blitzkrieg of narrative-control efforts, which I expect will continue on into 2022.

Threats to your health have proven to be a more effective means of control than warnings about, say, terrorists, foreign or domestic.

The plandemic is easily the biggest grab for power since the creation of the Federal Reserve System (that was the biggest coup in U.S. history by the oligarchs of that era).

It beautifully illustrates Hegelian dialectic: crisis-reaction-response. Manufacture a crisis. Issue nonstop hysterical reportage 24/7 as weeks turn into months and months into years, so that the masses react with a collective “Do something!” The Regime moved in with responses wanted all along: economically destructive lockdowns (and the end of the Trump presidency), mandated injections the long-term effects of which will likely be depopulation, as 2021 saw an abnormally high death rate, including injected athletes in the prime of their lives, details also memory-holed.


Welcome to the Desert of the Real!

This is the Desert of the Real behind the narratives, but the narratives still have us by our throats. Their enforcers are everywhere. Guys like Fauci (“The Science”) are at the top, and the enforcer class extends down to the worker-bees scanning QR-codes in restaurants and theaters.

To see through it all, I suggest forgetting the new movie and giving the originala rewatch. Then think about the fantasy world the Regime has tried to sustain over two decades.

Think about narratives in which George Floyd is up there with Jesus, thousands of leftists blocking highways and burning city blocks protesting his death are “mostly peaceful,” whereas the 600 or so who marched through the Capitol a year ago were “violent insurrectionists” bent on “overturning democracy.”

Or think about how a virus with a mortality rate under .05% for everyone with no comorbidities or not in nursing care has become a reason for starting up a new form of Apartheid against those who refuse an experimental, invasive medical treatment whose makers are indemnified from lawsuits for harm done by their products.

(I haven’t mentioned “economic recoveries” that never existed outside Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and government numbers; or the idea that an economy can be sustained forever on printed money!)

Just a couple days ago as I write this I saw a meme: Morpheus, wearing the familiar dark glasses, was holding up a sign:

If you’re going to see the new Matrix movie and you show a vaccine passport to get in, you missed the point of the first three and took the blue pill.

If you were looking for a review of the new film, that’ll have to do!

Steven Yates’s new book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (Wipf and Stock, 2021) is available here and here.

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