Category Archives: Escaping the Matrix

What Marx was wrong about

As my previous post indicates, I think Marx’s economic analysis – based on the idea that ownership or control of the mode of production is all-important – was right on. So, was the social (class) analysis stemming from that concept: that in a capitalist society, workers will, by definition, be at odds with the bourgeoisie (owners of capital, capital being “durable goods” used to produce goods for purchase, via the labor of workers).

Marx’s political analysis – that violent revolution would be necessary to wrest ownership of the mode of production from the bourgeoisie in order for the workers (“the people”) to control it – has a fatal flaw in it, however: the means are the ends, and once you use violence for anything but self-defense, it just goes on forever, tit for tat. A quick look at the history of groups taking “power” from each other violently will show you that. Not only does the first group try to get its power back violently, the “revolutionary” group kills its own members if they “betray” the cause, and both groups kill ordinary citizens they perceive as helping the other side.

The only way to make change that will last, it seems to me, is to act from the spiritual realization that we’re all one/there is no “other,” and include everyone – then share the means of production equitably. We have some experience of this, having done it for 90% of human history as hunter-gatherers. (Hunter-gatherers can’t amass many possessions, because they have to be able to move around on foot or on horseback to find food. They also need to cooperate, especially in the hunt.) Equitable sharing – of power/control and stuff – will be harder now that we have more, but there has to be a way to do it.

In Escape from the Matrix, Richard Moore says that once people realize how easily common problems can be resolved in respectful, “talking-stick” sessions, they’ll put their differences aside for the common good…forever. I’m all for respectful “talking-stick” sessions (more on the how-to of that later) – in fact, I agree with Moore that a hierarchy of them should be our political system. I just don’t think getting from Point A to Point Z, or even Point B, will be that easy. The how-to of that is what I’m trying to explore in this blog. Your ideas are always welcome!

What dream do you live in?

What Dream Do You Live In?

In his books on spirituality, Miguel Ruiz says we each live in a dream that seems so real we think of it as “reality.” Some of the dream we make up ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, but a lot of it we get from our families, our culture, and the mass media. This is the “consensual reality” that enables us to interact with each other without too much friction, at least in our own groups.

Political writer Richard Moore has a similar way of looking at this, based on the popular 1999 science fiction-action film “The Matrix.” The film depicts a future in which most humans are “living” in a simulated reality created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue them. They think they’re living fairly pleasant, active lives in 1999, but they’re actually floating passively in closely spaced pods 200 years later, their brains connected to towers that send them Matrix “information.” Neo, the film’s hero, becoming suspicious, is led to a man named Morpheus, who understands what’s going on. Morpheus offers Neo a choice of two pills: a blue one that will let him continue the “life” he’s known, and a red one that will allow him to learn the truth about the Matrix. Neo swallows the red pill, and is eventually drawn into a rebellion against the machines mounted by others freed from the Matrix dream world into reality.

Moore’s book, Escaping the Matrix, is a red pill that gives the reader an accurate description of the nightmarish reality behind recent history and suggests ways in which we could come together in a more positive, consciously chosen dream. Ruiz also advises us to become conscious of the dream(s) we’re living in, so that we can see how they work (or not) for us. He says we’ll always be living in a dream, but that, individually and collectively, we can consciously choose and create one that’s more “beautiful,” moment by moment. I’ll soon be creating pages for Moore and Ruiz, if you want to learn more – and, of course, you can always explore their work for yourself on and

It takes effort and conscious thought to escape our common nightmare matrix – and, since that “reality” will be pervasive as long as so many believe in it, our “escapes” have to be repeated over and over, moment by moment. At least, that’s been my experience. (The same is true for leaving the individual nightmare of your at least partially dysfunctional family and school conditioning.) It helps to remember that where you place your attention is where your energy will go. Avoiding mainstream news outlets like TV news is one of the things I do. Though I admit to watching “Survivor” – definitely not politically correct!

I’ll be writing more about all this in days to come, but for now I want to draw your attention to how the dream/matrix concept relates to the recent tenth anniversary of 9-11. This post is, in part at least, an introduction to that discussion – the subject of my next message to you. (Gotta get to it before September’s over!)

P.S. The film “The Matrix” is an example of utopian/dystopian fiction, a genre that, with its imagined visions of the future, can get us thinking creatively about how to make our present more like the future we want our kids and grandkids to inherit. I have a list of favorite utopian/dystopian novels, one of which was written by a close friend of mine, that I’ll be sharing with you in these posts and pages. Stay tuned!