rn: cj #1111 Whole Earth Matrix article (red pill)


Jan Slakov

Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 20:01:38 +0000
From: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: cj#1111,rn> ** Are you ready for the red pill? **

Formatted version: 

(other new features also on website - rkm)


        (c) 2000 Richard K. Moore
        email: •••@••.•••

        As published in Whole Earth Magazine (#101), Summer 2000.

        Are you ready for the red pill?
        The defining dramatic moment in the film The Matrix occurs
        just after Morpheus invites Neo to choose between a red pill
        and a blue pill. The red pill promises "the truth, nothing
        more." Neo takes the red pill and awakes to
        reality--something utterly different from anything Neo, or
        the audience, could have expected. What Neo had assumed to
        be reality turned out to be only a collective illusion,
        fabricated by the Matrix and fed to a population that is
        asleep, cocooned in grotesque embryonic pods. In Plato's
        famous parable about the shadows on the walls of the cave,
        true reality is at least reflected in perceived reality. In
        the Matrix world, true reality and perceived reality exist
        on entirely different planes.

        The story is intended as metaphor, and the parallels that
        drew my attention had to do with political reality. This
        article offers a particular perspective on what's going on
        in the world--and how things got to be that way--in this era
        of globalization. From that red-pill perspective, everyday
        media-consensus reality--like the Matrix in the film--is
        seen to be a fabricated collective illusion. Like Neo, I
        didn't know what I was looking for when my investigation
        began, but I knew that what I was being told didn't make
        sense. I read scores of histories and biographies, observing
        connections between them, and began to develop my own
        theories about roots of various historical events. I found
        myself largely in agreement with writers like Noam Chomsky
        and Michael Parenti, but I also perceived important patterns
        that others seem to have missed.

        When I started tracing historical forces, and began to
        interpret present-day events from a historical perspective.
        I could see the same old dynamics at work and found a
        meaning in unfolding events far different from what official
        pronouncements proclaimed. Such pronouncements are, after
        all, public relations fare, given out by politicians who
        want to look good to the voters. Most of us expect rhetoric
        from politicians, and take what they say with a grain of
        salt. But as my own picture of present reality came into
        focus, "grain of salt" no longer worked as a metaphor. I
        began to see that consensus reality--as generated by
        official rhetoric and amplified by mass media--bears very
        little relationship to actual reality. "The matrix" was a
        metaphor I was ready for.

        In consensus reality (the blue-pill perspective) "left" and
        "right" are the two ends of the political spectrum. Politics
        is a tug-of-war between competing factions, carried out by
        political parties and elected representatives. Society gets
        pulled this way and that within the political spectrum,
        reflecting the interests of whichever party won the last
        election. The left and right are therefore political
        enemies. Each side is convinced that it knows how to make
        society better; each believes the other enjoys undue
        influence; and each blames the other for the political
        stalemate that apparently prevents society from dealing
        effectively with its problems.

        This perspective on the political process, and on the roles
        of left and right, is very far from reality. It is a
        fabricated collective illusion. Morpheus tells Neo that the
        Matrix is "the world that was pulled over your eyes to hide
        you from the truth....As long as the Matrix exists, humanity
        cannot be free." Consensus political reality is precisely
        such a matrix. Later we will take a fresh look at the role
        of left and right, and at national politics. But first we
        must develop our red-pill historical perspective. I've had
        to condense the arguments to bare essentials; please see the
        annotated sources at the end for more thorough treatments of
        particular topics.

        Imperialism and the matrix
        From the time of Columbus to 1945, world affairs were
        largely dominated by competition among Western nations (1)
        seeking to stake out spheres of influence, control sea
        lanes, and exploit colonial empires. Each Western power
        became the core of an imperialist economy whose periphery
        was managed for the benefit of the core nation. Military
        might determined the scope of an empire; wars were initiated
        when a core nation felt it had sufficient power to expand
        its periphery at the expense of a competitor. Economies and
        societies in the periphery were kept backward--to keep their
        populations under control, to provide cheap labor, and to
        guarantee markets for goods manufactured in the core.
        Imperialism robbed the periphery not only of wealth but also
        of its ability to develop its own societies, cultures, and
        economies in a natural way for local benefit.

        The driving force behind Western imperialism has always been
        the pursuit of economic gain, ever since Isabella
        commissioned Columbus on his first entrepreneurial voyage.
        The rhetoric of empire concerning wars, however, has
        typically been about other things--the White Man's Burden,
        bringing true religion to the heathens, Manifest Destiny,
        defeating the Yellow Peril or the Hun, seeking lebensraum,
        or making the world safe for democracy. Any fabricated
        motivation for war or empire would do, as long as it
        appealed to the collective consciousness of the population
        at the time. The propaganda lies of yesterday were recorded
        and became consensus history--the fabric of the matrix.

        While the costs of territorial empire (fleets, colonial
        administrations, etc.) were borne by Western taxpayers
        generally, the profits of imperialism were enjoyed primarily
        by private corporations and investors. Government and
        corporate elites were partners in the business of
        imperialism: empires gave government leaders power and
        prestige, and gave corporate leaders power and wealth.
        Corporations ran the real business of empire while
        government leaders fabricated noble excuses for the wars
        that were required to keep that business going. Matrix
        reality was about patriotism, national honor, and heroic
        causes; true reality was on another plane altogether: that
        of economics.

        Industrialization, beginning in the late 1700s, created a
        demand for new markets and increased raw materials; both
        demands spurred accelerated expansion of empire. Wealthy
        investors amassed fortunes by setting up large-scale
        industrial and trading operations, leading to the emergence
        of an influential capitalist elite. Like any other elite,
        capitalists used their wealth and influence to further their
        own interests however they could. And the interests of
        capitalism always come down to economic growth; investors
        must reap more than they sow or the whole system comes to a
        grinding halt.

        Thus capitalism, industrialization, nationalism, warfare,
        imperialism--and the matrix--coevolved. Industrialized
        weapon production provided the muscle of modern warfare, and
        capitalism provided the appetite to use that muscle.
        Government leaders pursued the policies necessary to expand
        empire while creating a rhetorical matrix, around
        nationalism, to justify those policies. Capitalist growth
        depended on empire, which in turn depended on a strong and
        stable core nation to defend it. National interests and
        capitalist interests were inextricably linked--or so it
        seemed for more than two centuries.

        World War II and Pax Americana
        1945 will be remembered as the year World War II ended and
        the bond of the atomic nucleus was broken. But 1945 also
        marked another momentous fission--breaking of the bond
        between national and capitalist interests. After every
        previous war, and in many cases after severe devastation,
        European nations had always picked themselves back up and
        resumed their competition over empire. But after World War
        II, a Pax Americana was established. The US began to manage
        all the Western peripheries on behalf of capitalism
        generally, while preventing the communist powers from
        interfering in the game. Capitalist powers no longer needed
        to fight over investment realms, and competitive imperialism
        was replaced by collective imperialism (see sidebar).
        Opportunities for capital growth were no longer linked to
        the military power of nations, apart from the power of
        America. In his Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA
        Interventions since World War II (see access), William Blum
        chronicles hundreds of significant covert and overt
        interventions, showing exactly how the US carried out its
        imperial management role.


            Elite planning for postwar neo-imperialism...
            Recommendation P-B23 (July, 1941) stated that
            worldwide financial institutions were necessary for
            the purpose of "stabilizing currencies and
            facilitating programs of capital investment for
            constructive undertakings in backward and
            underdeveloped regions." During the last half of
            1941 and in the first months of 1942, the Council
            developed this idea for the integration of the
            world.... Isaiah Bowman first suggested a way to
            solve the problem of maintaining effective control
            over weaker territories while avoiding overt
            imperial conquest. At a Council meeting in May 1942,
            he stated that the United States had to exercise the
            strength needed to assure "security," and at the
            same time "avoid conventional forms of imperialism."
            The way to do this, he argued, was to make the
            exercise of that power international in character
            through a United Nations body.
            - Laurence Shoup & William Minter, in Holly Sklar's
            Trilateralism (see access), writing about strategic
            recommendations developed during World War II by the
            Council on Foreign Relations.

        In the postwar years matrix reality diverged ever further
        from actual reality. In the postwar matrix world,
        imperialism had been abandoned and the world was being
        "democratized"; in the real world, imperialism had become
        better organized and more efficient. In the matrix world the
        US "restored order," or "came to the assistance" of nations
        which were being "undermined by Soviet influence"; in the
        real world, the periphery was being systematically
        suppressed and exploited. In the matrix world, the benefit
        was going to the periphery in the form of countless aid
        programs; in the real world, immense wealth was being
        extracted from the periphery.

        Growing glitches in the matrix weren't noticed by most
        people in the West, because the postwar years brought
        unprecedented levels of Western prosperity and social
        progress. The rhetoric claimed progress would come to all,
        and Westerners could see it being realized in their own
        towns and cities. The West became the collective core of a
        global empire, and exploitative development led to
        prosperity for Western populations, while generating immense
        riches for corporations, banks, and wealthy capital

        Glitches in the matrix, popular rebellion, and neoliberalism
        The parallel agenda of Third-World exploitation and Western
        prosperity worked effectively for the first two postwar
        decades. But in the 1960s large numbers of Westerners,
        particularly the young and well educated, began to notice
        glitches in the matrix. In Vietnam imperialism was too naked
        to be successfully masked as something else. A major split
        in American public consciousness occurred, as millions of
        anti-war protestors and civil-rights activists punctured the
        fabricated consensus of the 1950s and declared the reality
        of exploitation and suppression both at home and abroad. The
        environmental movement arose, challenging even the
        exploitation of the natural world. In Europe, 1968 joined
        1848 as a landmark year of popular protest.

        These developments disturbed elite planners. The postwar
        regime's stability was being challenged from within the
        core--and the formula of Western prosperity no longer
        guaranteed public passivity. A report published in 1975, the
        Report of the Trilateral Task Force on Governability of
        Democracies, provides a glimpse into the thinking of elite
        circles. Alan Wolfe discusses this report in Holly Sklar's
        eye-opening Trilateralism (see access). Wolfe focuses
        especially on the analysis Harvard professor Samuel P.
        Huntington presented in a section of the report entitled
        "The Crisis of Democracy." Huntington is an articulate
        promoter of elite policy shifts, and contributes pivotal
        articles to publications such as the Council on Foreign
        Relations's Foreign Affairs (access).

        Huntington tells us that democratic societies "cannot work"
        unless the citizenry is "passive." The "democratic surge of
        the 1960s" represented an "excess of democracy," which must
        be reduced if governments are to carry out their traditional
        domestic and foreign policies. Huntington's notion of
        "traditional policies" is expressed in a passage from the

             "To the extent that the United States was governed
             by anyone during the decades after World War II,
             it was governed by the President acting with the
             support and cooperation of key individuals and
             groups in the executive office, the federal
             bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important
             businesses, banks, law firms, foundations, and
             media, which constitute the private sector's

        In these few words Huntington spells out the reality that
        electoral democracy has little to do with how America is
        run, and summarizes the kind of people who are included
        within the elite planning community. Who needs conspiracy
        theories when elite machinations are clearly described in
        public documents like these?

        Besides failing to deliver popular passivity, the policy of
        prosperity for Western populations had another downside,
        having to do with Japan's economic success. Under the Pax
        Americana umbrella, Japan had been able to industrialize and
        become an imperial player--the prohibition on Japanese
        rearmament had become irrelevant. With Japan's then-lower
        living standards, Japanese producers could undercut
        prevailing prices and steal market share from Western
        producers. Western capital needed to find a way to become
        more competitive on world markets, and Western prosperity
        was standing in the way. Elite strategists, as Huntington
        showed, were fully capable of understanding these
        considerations, and the requirements of corporate growth
        created a strong motivation to make the needed
        adjustments--in both reality and rhetoric.

        If popular prosperity could be sacrificed, there were many
        obvious ways Western capital could be made more competitive.
        Production could be moved overseas to low-wage areas,
        allowing domestic unemployment to rise. Unions could be
        attacked and wages forced down, and people could be pushed
        into temporary and part-time jobs without benefits.
        Regulations governing corporate behavior could be removed,
        corporate and capital-gains taxes could be reduced, and the
        revenue losses could be taken out of public-service budgets.
        Public infrastructures could be privatized, the services
        reduced to cut costs, and then they could be milked for easy
        profits while they deteriorated from neglect.

        These are the very policies and programs launched during the
        Reagan-Thatcher years in the US and Britain. They represent
        a systematic project of increasing corporate growth at the
        expense of popular prosperity and welfare. Such a real
        agenda would have been unpopular, and a corresponding matrix
        reality was fabricated for public consumption. The matrix
        reality used real terms like "deregulation," "reduced
        taxes," and "privatization," but around them was woven an
        economic mythology. The old, failed laissez-faire doctrine
        of the 1800s was reintroduced with the help of Milton
        Friedman's Chicago School of economics, and "less
        government" became the proud "modern" theme in America and
        Britain. Sensible regulations had restored financial
        stability after the Great Depression, and had broken up
        anti-competitive monopolies such as the Rockefeller trust
        and AT&T. But in the new matrix reality, all regulations
        were considered bureaucratic interference. Reagan and
        Thatcher preached the virtues of individualism, and promised
        to "get government off people's backs." The implication was
        that everyday individuals were to get more money and
        freedom, but in reality the primary benefits would go to
        corporations and wealthy investors.

        The academic term for laissez-faire economics is "economic
        liberalism," and hence the Reagan-Thatcher revolution has
        come to be known as the "neoliberal revolution." It brought
        a radical change in actual reality by returning to the
        economic philosophy that led to sweatshops, corruption, and
        robber-baron monopolies in the nineteenth century. It
        brought an equally radical change in matrix reality--a
        complete reversal in the attitude that was projected
        regarding government. Government policies had always been
        criticized in the media, but the institution of government
        had always been respected--reflecting the traditional bond
        between capitalism and nationalism. With Reagan, we had a
        sitting president telling us that government itself was a
        bad thing. Many of us may have agreed with him, but such a
        sentiment had never before found official favor. Soon,
        British and American populations were beginning to applaud
        the destruction of the very democratic institutions that
        provided their only hope of participation in the political

        Globalization and world government
        The essential bond between capitalism and nationalism was
        broken in 1945, but it took some time for elite planners to
        recognize this new condition and to begin bringing the world
        system into alignment with it. The strong Western nation
        state had been the bulwark of capitalism for centuries, and
        initial postwar policies were based on the assumption that
        this would continue indefinitely. The Bretton Woods
        financial system (the IMF, World Bank, and a system of fixed
        exchange rates among major currencies) was set up to
        stabilize national economies, and popular prosperity was
        encouraged to provide political stability. Neoliberalism in
        the US and Britain represented the first serious break with
        this policy framework--and brought the first visible signs
        of the fission of the nation-capital bond.

        The neoliberal project was economically profitable in the US
        and Britain, and the public accepted the matrix economic
        mythology. Meanwhile, the integrated global economy gave
        rise to a new generation of transnational corporations, and
        corporate leaders began to realize that corporate growth was
        not dependent on strong core nation-states. Indeed, Western
        nations--with their environmental laws, consumer-protection
        measures, and other forms of regulatory "interference"--were
        a burden on corporate growth. Having been successfully field
        tested in the two oldest "democracies," the neoliberal
        project moved onto the global stage. The Bretton Woods
        system of fixed rates of currency exchange was weakened, and
        the international financial system became destabilizing,
        instead of stabilizing, for national economies. The radical
        free-trade project was launched, leading eventually to the
        World Trade Organization. The fission that had begun in 1945
        was finally manifesting as an explosive change in the world

        The objective of neoliberal free-trade treaties is to remove
        all political controls over domestic and international trade
        and commerce. Corporations have free rein to maximize
        profits, heedless of environmental consequences and safety
        risks. Instead of governments regulating corporations, the
        WTO now sets rules for governments, telling them what kind
        of beef they must import, whether or not they can ban
        asbestos, and what additives they must permit in petroleum
        products. So far, in every case where the WTO has been asked
        to review a health, safety, or environmental regulation, the
        regulation has been overturned.

        Most of the world has been turned into a periphery; the
        imperial core has been boiled down to the capitalist elite
        themselves, represented by their bureaucratic,
        unrepresentative, WTO world government. The burden of
        accelerated imperialism falls hardest outside the West,
        where loans are used as a lever by the IMF to compel debtor
        nations such as Rwanda and South Korea to accept suicidal
        "reform" packages. In the 1800s, genocide was employed to
        clear North America and Australia of their native
        populations, creating room for growth. Today, a similar
        program of genocide has apparently been unleashed against
        sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF destroys the economies, the CIA
        trains militias and stirs up tribal conflicts, and the West
        sells weapons to all sides. Famine and genocidal civil wars
        are the predictable and inevitable result. Meanwhile, AIDS
        runs rampant while the WTO and the US government use trade
        laws to prevent medicines from reaching the victims.

        As in the past, Western military force will be required to
        control the non-Western periphery and make adjustments to
        local political arrangements when considered necessary by
        elite planners. The Pentagon continues to provide the
        primary policing power, with NATO playing an ever-increasing
        role. Resentment against the West and against neoliberalism
        is growing in the Third World, and the frequency of military
        interventions is bound to increase. All of this needs to be
        made acceptable to Western minds, adding a new dimension to
        the matrix.

        In the latest matrix reality, the West is called the
        "international community," whose goal is to serve
        "humanitarian" causes. Bill Clinton made it explicit with
        his "Clinton Doctrine," in which (as quoted in the
        Washington Post) he solemnly promised, "If somebody comes
        after innocent civilians and tries to kill them en masse
        because of their race, their ethnic background or their
        religion and it is within our power stop it, we will stop
        it." This matrix fabrication is very effective indeed; who
        opposes prevention of genocide? Only outside the matrix does
        one see that genocide is caused by the West in the first
        place, that the worst cases of genocide are continuing, that
        "assistance" usually makes things worse (as in the Balkans),
        and that Clinton's handy doctrine enables him to intervene
        when and where he chooses. Since dictators and the stirring
        of ethnic rivalries are standard tools used in managing the
        periphery, a US president can always find "innocent
        civilians" wherever elite plans call for an intervention.

        In matrix reality, globalization is not a project but rather
        the inevitable result of beneficial market forces. Genocide
        in Africa is no fault of the West, but is due to ancient
        tribal rivalries. Every measure demanded by globalization is
        referred to as "reform," (the word is never used with
        irony). "Democracy" and "reform" are frequently used
        together, always leaving the subtle impression that one has
        something to do with the other. The illusion is presented
        that all economic boats are rising, and if yours isn't, it
        must be your own fault: you aren't "competitive" enough.
        Economic failures are explained away as "temporary
        adjustments," or else the victim (as in South Korea or
        Russia) is blamed for not being sufficiently neoliberal.
        "Investor confidence" is referred to with the same awe and
        reverence that earlier societies might have expressed toward
        the "will of the gods."

        Western quality of life continues to decline, while the WTO
        establishes legal precedents ensuring that its authority
        will not be challenged when its decisions become more
        draconian. Things will get much worse in the West; this was
        anticipated in elite circles when the neoliberal project was
        still on the drawing board, as is illustrated in Samuel
        Huntington's "The Crisis of Democracy" report discussed

        The management of discontented societies
        The postwar years, especially in the United States, were
        characterized by consensus politics. Most people shared a
        common understanding of how society worked, and generally
        approved of how things were going. Prosperity was real and
        the matrix version of reality was reassuring. Most people
        believed in it. Those beliefs became a shared consensus, and
        the government could then carry out its plans as it
        intended, "responding" to the programmed public will.

        The "excess democracy" of the 1960s and 1970s attacked this
        shared consensus from below, and neoliberal planners decided
        from above that ongoing consensus wasn't worth paying for.
        They accepted that segments of society would persist in
        disbelieving various parts of the matrix. Activism and
        protest were to be expected. New means of social control
        would be needed to deal with activist movements and with
        growing discontent, as neoliberalism gradually tightened the
        economic screws. Such means of control were identified and
        have since been largely implemented, particularly in the
        United States. In many ways America sets the pace of
        globalization; innovations can often be observed there
        before they occur elsewhere. This is particularly true in
        the case of social-control techniques.

        The most obvious means of social control, in a discontented
        society, is a strong, semi-militarized police force. Most of
        the periphery has been managed by such means for centuries.
        This was obvious to elite planners in the West, was adopted
        as policy, and has now been largely implemented. Urban and
        suburban ghettos--where the adverse consequences of
        neoliberalism are currently most concentrated--have
        literally become occupied territories, where police beatings
        and unjustified shootings are commonplace.

        So that the beefed-up police force could maintain control in
        conditions of mass unrest, elite planners also realized that
        much of the Bill of Rights would need to be neutralized.
        (This is not surprising, given that the Bill's authors had
        just lived through a revolution and were seeking to ensure
        that future generations would have the means to organize and
        overthrow any oppressive future government.) The
        rights-neutralization project has been largely implemented,
        as exemplified by armed midnight raids, outrageous
        search-and-seizure practices, overly broad conspiracy laws,
        wholesale invasion of privacy, massive incarceration, and
        the rise of prison slave labor (2) . The Rubicon has been
        crossed--the techniques of oppression long common in the
        empire's periphery are being imported to the core.

        In the matrix, the genre of the TV or movie police drama has
        served to create a reality in which "rights" are a joke, the
        accused are despicable sociopaths, and no criminal is ever
        brought to justice until some noble cop or prosecutor bends
        the rules a bit. Government officials bolster the construct
        by declaring "wars" on crime and drugs; the noble cops are
        fighting a war out there in the streets--and you can't win a
        war without using your enemy's dirty tricks. The CIA plays
        its role by managing the international drug trade and making
        sure that ghetto drug dealers are well supplied. In this
        way, the American public has been led to accept the means of
        its own suppression.

        The mechanisms of the police state are in place. They will
        be used when necessary--as we see in ghettos and
        skyrocketing prison populations, as we saw on the streets of
        Seattle and Washington D.C. during recent anti-WTO
        demonstrations, and as is suggested by executive orders that
        enable the president to suspend the Constitution and declare
        martial law whenever he deems it necessary. But raw force is
        only the last line of defense for the elite regime.
        Neoliberal planners introduced more subtle defenses into the
        matrix; looking at these will bring us back to our
        discussion of the left and right.

        Divide and rule is one of the oldest means of mass
        control--standard practice since at least the Roman Empire.
        This is applied at the level of modern imperialism, where
        each small nation competes with others for capital
        investments. Within societies it works this way: If each
        social group can be convinced that some other group is the
        source of its discontent, then the population's energy will
        be spent in inter-group struggles. The regime can sit on the
        sidelines, intervening covertly to stir things up or to
        guide them in desired directions. In this way most
        discontent can be neutralized, and force can be reserved for
        exceptional cases. In the prosperous postwar years,
        consensus politics served to manage the population. Under
        neoliberalism, programmed factionalism has become the
        front-line defense--the matrix version of divide and rule.

        The covert guiding of various social movements has proven to
        be one of the most effective means of programming factions
        and stirring them against one another. Fundamentalist
        religious movements have been particularly useful. They have
        been used not only within the US, but also to maximize
        divisiveness in the Middle East and for other purposes
        throughout the empire. The collective energy and dedication
        of "true believers" makes them a potent political weapon
        that movement leaders can readily aim where needed. In the
        US that weapon has been used to promote censorship on the
        Internet, to attack the women's movement, to support
        repressive legislation, and generally to bolster the ranks
        of what is called in the matrix the "right wing."

        In the matrix, the various factions believe that their
        competition with each other is the process that determines
        society's political agenda. Politicians want votes, and
        hence the biggest and best-organized factions should have
        the most influence, and their agendas should get the most
        political attention. In reality there is only one
        significant political agenda these days: the maximization of
        capital growth through the dismantling of society, the
        continuing implementation of neoliberalism, and the
        management of empire. Clinton's liberal rhetoric and his
        playing around with health care and gay rights are not the
        result of liberal pressure. They are rather the means by
        which Clinton is sold to liberal voters, so that he can
        proceed with real business: getting NAFTA through Congress,
        promoting the WTO, giving away the public airwaves,
        justifying military interventions, and so forth. Issues of
        genuine importance are never raised in campaign
        politics--this is a major glitch in the matrix for those who
        have eyes to see it.

        Escaping the matrix
        The matrix cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
        Under the onslaught of globalization, the glitches are
        becoming ever more difficult to conceal--as earlier, with
        the Vietnam War. November's anti-establishment
        demonstrations in Seattle, the largest in decades, were
        aimed directly at globalization and the WTO. Even more
        important, Seattle saw the coming together of factions that
        the matrix had programmed to fight one another, such as
        left-leaning environmentalists and socially conservative
        union members.

        Seattle represented the tip of an iceberg. A mass movement
        against globalization and elite rule is ready to ignite,
        like a brush fire on a dry, scorching day. The establishment
        has been expecting such a movement and has a variety of
        defenses at its command, including those used effectively
        against the movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In order to
        prevail against what seem like overwhelming odds, the
        movement must escape entirely from the matrix, and it must
        bring the rest of society with it. As long as the matrix
        exists, humanity cannot be free. The whole truth must be
        faced: Globalization is centralized tyranny; capitalism has
        outlasted its sell-by date; matrix "democracy" is elite
        rule; and "market forces" are imperialism. Left and right
        are enemies only in the matrix. In reality we are all in
        this together, and each of us has a contribution to make
        toward a better world.

        Marx may have failed as a social visionary, but he had
        capitalism figured out. It is based not on productivity or
        social benefit, but on the pursuit of capital growth through
        exploiting everything in its path. The job of elite planners
        is to create new spaces for capital to grow in. Competitive
        imperialism provided growth for centuries; collective
        imperialism was invented when still more growth was needed;
        and then neoliberalism took over. Like a cancer, capitalism
        consumes its host and is never satisfied. The capital pool
        must always grow, more and more, forever--until the host
        dies or capitalism is replaced.

        The matrix equates capitalism with free enterprise, and
        defines centralized-state-planning socialism as the only
        alternative to capitalism. In reality, capitalism didn't
        amount to much of a force until the Enlightenment and
        Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s-- and we certainly
        cannot characterize all prior societies as socialist. Free
        enterprise, private property, commerce, banking,
        international trade, economic specialization--all of these
        had existed for millennia before capitalism. Capitalism
        claims credit for modern prosperity, but credit would be
        better given to developments in science and technology.

        Before capitalism, Western nations were generally run by
        aristocratic classes. The aristocratic attitude toward
        wealth focused on management and maintenance. With
        capitalism, the focus is always on growth and development;
        whatever one has is but the seeds to build a still greater
        fortune. In fact, there are infinite alternatives to
        capitalism, and different societies can choose different
        systems, once they are free to do so. As Morpheus put it:
        "Outside the matrix everything is possible, and there are no

        The matrix defines "democracy" as competitive party
        politics, because that is a game wealthy elites have long
        since learned to corrupt and manipulate. Even in the days of
        the Roman Republic the techniques were well understood.
        Real-world democracy is possible only if the people
        themselves participate in setting society's direction. An
        elected official can only truly represent a constituency
        after that constituency has worked out its positions--from
        the local to the global--on the issues of the day. For that
        to happen, the interests of different societal factions must
        be harmonized through interaction and discussion.
        Collaboration, not competition, is what leads to effective

        In order for the movement to end elite rule and establish
        livable societies to succeed, it will need to evolve a
        democratic process, and to use that process to develop a
        program of consensus reform that harmonizes the interests of
        its constituencies. In order to be politically victorious,
        it will need to reach out to all segments of society and
        become a majority movement. By such means, the democratic
        process of the movement can become the democratic process of
        a newly empowered civil society. There is no adequate theory
        of democracy at present, although there is much to be
        learned from history and from theory. The movement will need
        to develop a democratic process as it goes along, and that
        objective must be pursued as diligently as victory itself.
        Otherwise some new tyranny will eventually replace the old.

             It ain't left or right. It's up and down.
             Here we all are down here struggling while
             the Corporate Elite are all up there having a nice
             --Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt
             Maine and anti-corporate activist

        Recommended reading
        (web addresses point to related information)

        Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization Of Poverty - Impacts
        of IMF and World Bank Reforms, The Third World Network,
        Penang, Malaysia, 1997.
             This detailed study by an economics insider shows the
        consequences of "reforms" in various parts of the world,
        revealing a clear pattern of callous neo-colonialism and
        genocide. Definitely red-pill material

        Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith, eds., The Case Against
        the Global Economy and for a Turn Toward The Local, Sierra
        Club Books, San Francisco, 1996.
             This fine collection of forty-three chapters by
        knowledgeable contributors analyzes the broad structure of
        globalization, and explores locally based and sustainable
        economic alternatives. An excellent introduction, textbook,
        and reference work.

        Richard Douthwaite, The Growth Illusion, Lilliput Press,
        Dublin, 1992.
             A fascinating and wide-ranging look at growth and
        capitalism, their historical roots and their consequences.
        Offers a healthy dose of common sense, and a vision of
        stability and sustainability.

        Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins, Peter Rosset, World
        Hunger, Twelve Myths, Grove Press, New York, 1986.
             Another red pill. Debunks Malthusian thinking, among
        other things. Here's a sample: "During the past twenty-five
        years food production has outstripped population growth by
        16 Percent. India--which for many of us symbolizes
        over-population and poverty--is one of the top third-world
        food exporters. If a mere 5.6 percent of India's food
        production were re-allocated, hunger would be wiped out in

        Hans-Peter Martin & Harald Schumann, The Global Trap,
        Globalization & the Assault on Democracy & Prosperity, St.
        Martin's Press, New York, 1997.
             A best-selling European perspective on globalization.
        Recommended for American audiences in order to understand
        more about the European context.

        William Greider, One World Ready or Not, the Manic Logic of
        Global Capitalism, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997.
             A tour by a superb journalist showing how the global
        economy operates in various parts of the world. Not much
        emphasis on political issues or economic alternatives.

        James Goldsmith, The Response, Macmillan, London, 1995.
             A critique of neoliberal thinking presented as a debate
        with those who criticized the author's previous book, The
        Trap. It may be pointless for the author to attempt logical
        debate with matrix apologists, but the book is informative
        for readers.

        Third World Resurgence, a magazine published monthly by the
        Third World Network, Penang, Malaysia,
             This magazine deserves widespread circulation. It
        covers a wide range of global issues, presents a strong and
        sensible third-world perspective, and is a very good source
        of real-world news. Martin Kohr is managing editor and a
        frequent contributor.

        The New Internationalist, a magazine published monthly by
        New Internationalist Publications, Ltd, Oxford, UK,
             Another good source of real news and commentary, with a
        global perspective.

        Holly Sklar ed., Trilateralism - the Trilateral Commission
        and Elite Planning for World Management, South End Press,
        Boston, 1980.
             This well-researched anthology explains the role in
        global planning played by such elite organizations as the
        Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and
        the Bilderbergers. Examples from various parts of the world
        are used to show what kinds of considerations go into the
        formation of on-the-ground policies.
        [back to Pax Americana] | [back to Glitches in the Matrix]

        Michael Parenti, The Sword and the Dollar, Imperialism,
        Revolution, and the Arms Race, St. Martin's Press, New York,
             One of many red-pill books by a prolific and
        well-informed author. Here he talks about the reality of
        imperialism and the matrix of Cold War rhetoric. For an
        insightful examination of how matrix reality is fabricated,
        see also his Make-Believe Media, and Inventing Reality, also
        from St. Martin's.

        Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States,
        HarperCollins, New York, 1989.
             A superlative and well-researched treatment of American
        history from 1942 to the present. The material on
        grass-roots social movements provides valuable lessons for
        present-day movement organizers.

        William Blum, Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA
        Interventions since World War II, Common Courage Press,
        Monroe Maine, 1995.
             A comprehensive review of how the US government manages
        world affairs by force and intrigue when persuasion and
        economic pressure fail to do the job. A red-pill antidote
        for anyone who feels tempted to trust the "international
        community" to pursue "humanitarian interventionism."
        [back to Pax Americana]

        Covert Action Quarterly magazine, published quarterly by
        Covert Action Publications, Inc., Washington D.C. 1994,
             Keeps you up-to-date on covert activities, cover-ups,
        military affairs, and current trouble spots. Contributors
        include many ex-intelligence officers who saw the error of
        their ways.

        William Greider, Who Will Tell the People, the Betrayal of
        American Democracy, Touchstone - Simon & Schuster, New York,
             This best seller shows in detail how the American
        democratic process is subverted at every stage by corporate
        interests. Greider was a highly respected journalist for
        many years at the Washington Post and his high-level
        contacts permit him to present an insider's view of how the
        influence-peddling system actually operates. A chilling

        Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash Of Civilizations and the
        Remaking of World Order, Simon and Schuster, London, 1997.
             Another classic by one of the foremost spinners of
        matrix illusion. In the guise of historical analysis,
        Huntington fabricates a world-view designed to justify
        Western domination under globalization. According to The
        Economist, Huntington's civilization-clash paradigm has
        already become the "sea" in which Washington policy makers
        swim. The book reveals the backbone structure of modern
        matrix reality, putting day-to-day official rhetoric into an
        understandable framework. And it clearly reveals the real
        intentions of elite planners regarding the tactics of global
        management through selective interventionism

        Foreign Affairs, a journal published quarterly by the
        Council on Foreign Relations, New York.
             The best source I've found to track the latest shifts
        in the matrix and to glean an understanding of current elite
        thinking. Some reading between the lines is called for, as
        the journal frames its analysis in terms of US national
        interests, failing to make the obvious links between
        geopolitical and economic regimes.
        [back to Glitches in the Matrix]

        (1) Primarily Western Europe, later joined by the United
        [back to Imperialism and the matrix]

        (2) See "KGB-ing America." Tony Serra, Whole Earth, Winter,
        [back to prison slave labor]

Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org
cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/
book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html

                A community will evolve only when
                the people control their means of communication.
                        -- Frantz Fanon

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