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The (Bush) Matrix

Posted by Rick · September 27th, 2004 · 2 Comments

We were watching The Matrix last night for about the third time. As I was watching, it suddenly struck me how the story of this digital world was a perfect analog for living in the current political milieu.

In The Matrix, of course, humans have been enslaved. They’re mere batteries giving their power to the machines which only pay attention to people when they become problems. In fact, they detest ordinary humans. “You are a plague,” they think. They even convince us that we are a plague and gain our support for the USA Patriot Act to keep it/us in check.

The real viruses — self-replicating programs named “Smith” — rove the world of the Matrix, seeking out those who would expose it for the lie it is and neutralizing them.

The majority of people don’t realize that the world they live in is not real. They do not realize they are being spoon-fed “truths” that serve no real purpose except to keep them enslaved. Their very energy, ironically, helps to maintain the false presentation of the world fed back to them; the excess is used by the machines for whatever purpose the machines decide upon. It’s amazing, though, that most people don’t recognize that the energy directed back is only directed back either to keep them complacent or, when they get out of hand, to destroy them.

So it is with The Bush Matrix. The only difference here is that those roving the world are apparently semi-secretly driven along by Karl, rather than Smith. Everything else is the same. The Bush Matrix uses people; extracts their energy for its own purposes.

Some of that energy, though, has to be returned to them to maintain the façade of the Bush Matrix. The lion’s share goes to friends — Halliburton, Bechtel, those who surround and support the President. But some of their energy is returned to the people. One friend recently told me he didn’t care that someone making millions of dollars per year might be getting back tens or even hundreds of thousands in tax cuts. He had gotten a $600 cut himself. No Democratic administration had ever returned any of his money to him.

Have you ever stood and stared at it, Morpheus? Marveled at its beauty? Its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives…oblivious. Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. Agent Smith to Morpheus, The Matrix (1999).

To hell with social programs from which we might benefit. National health insurance? Affordable health care? Jobs in America instead of India or China? Investment in education? Ptooey! War is more exciting, anyway. Why keep our dollars, our sons, our daughters at home, when we can send them into the deserts of Iraq? There’s oil to be had by someone (already it’s bringing gasoline prices dow— oh, wait…) — we’ll even get some of our sons and daughters back!

You just don’t realize how thoroughly brainwashed people are until you hear someone say that millionaires receiving thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax cuts doesn’t bother them because they themselves got back six hundred dollars. Six hundred! Nevermind that what essentially happened was they got a cash advance on a credit card. Because make no mistake, that’s exactly what happened. In order to give my friend “his” $600, the Bush Administration is running up a deficit where Clinton and the Democrats had created a surplus; they’re borrowing the money. And instead of borrowing it to benefit all Americans through social programs — instead of buying us insurance, cheaper medicines, better (and more) schools — they just do a cash advance. They borrow a few billion, give chunks of $600 to ordinary people and chunks of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands — millions if you happen to be the right corporation — and everyone is happy. Satisfied. Ensconced in the Matrix.

One day, though, the credit card comes due.

Guess where the machines that have taken over our world get the energy for that.

Categories: Politics-In-General


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // Sep 28, 2004 at 8:34 am


    Let me get this right: you have a friend who is happy that someone “gave” him $600 while in essense charging $15,000 in debt to his credit card at the same time? Please tell me who this friend of yours is. I’d like to be his financial advisor. Heck, I’d only incur $10,000 in debt in his name for $600. Would he know such a good deal when he saw it?

  • 2 Rick Horowitz // Sep 28, 2004 at 9:30 am

    That was exactly my thought, which is why I mentioned it in the post. I tried to convince this person what a silly position that was to hold. And I tried to explain that even if he himself didn’t end up having to help repay that credit card debt in his lifetime, his child would. (He has a daughter who is barely walking and talking, so she’ll be around long enough to have to deal with it.)

    Listening to this guy, it was easy to see why our country is going to the dogs, so to speak. It reminded me of a comment made by Thomas Paine:

    The mind of the nation had changed before hand, and the new order of things has naturally followed the new order of thoughts. Thomas Paine, Preface to the English Edition of Rights of Man, in Rights of Man; Common Sense; and Other Political Writings 83, 144 (Mark Philp, ed., 1995).

    Paine’s comment explained why the French Revolution occurred, so it’s really the opposite of the situation in the United States today. But the mechanism is the same: People first have become complacent and mentally-enslaved by corporate activities that convince them if they get any health insurance, however crappy; if they get any benefits, however poor, they’re doing well — all while the owners of their companies live high on the hog and get the world’s best health care. (Because America has the best health care available in the world, if you have enough money, or win the equivalent of the health lottery by special press pass or something.) Now it’s a small thing to think what a wonderful President they have because he helped pass a “tax cut” that gave them $600, even while the wealthiest people in America received back hundreds of thousands in that same move and the deficit (the credit card balance) soared.

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