Institutional Thinking – The Matrix, 1984 and The Allegory of The Cave

I saw this and thought it would be a perfect follow up to my last post. Thanks Ethan, and Waking Times for all the awesome information you put out there. (groovy picture below from google images). Keep in mind this was written around 380 B.C. so sadly, it’s safe to say enlightenment seems very slow in coming to the collective we. Does mankind really prefer to look at the shadows rather than look up at the light of the sun?

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Ethan ‘Indigo’ Smith, Contributor
Waking Times

Some philosophical work is so profound as to be influential for thousands of years. Plato’s ‘The Republic‘ is one such series of dialogues. It explains and explores the relationship between state institutions and individuals, and has provided humanity with lessons in politics, philosophy and individual enlightenment since it was penned some two thousand years ago.

One of the central dialogues in The Republic is called the Allegory of the Cave. The lessons the Allegory of the Cave provides to today’s world are numerous, and its depiction of our insidious societal structure is extremely accurate and insightful — despite often going unacknowledged as such.  Through its exploration of our political outer states, it also explores our psychological inner state as well.

The Allegory of The Cave proposes that what people take to be ‘reality’ in total is only a partial reality, or an all out illusion.  As is all similar philosophy, the allegory is layered, but it is partially about breaking from mainstream thinking and seeking individual knowledge; the ascension of  perspective; being in a cave and coming out of a cave. It’s about how we can ascend from the bottom to stand face-to-face with the golden Sun.

Socrates begins:  “Let me show you in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened Behold! Human beings living in an underground cave”.

The 4 Characters of the Cave

In the Allegory there are four character types.  Most people are chained, forced to watch images on a cave wall. Some however, the second character type, are unchained. They need no force; they are so transfixed with the imagery on the wall that the shadows are all they care about, and remain in the cave by choice. The images are cast on the wall by the third character type, the captors, who use a fire behind them to produce various shadows, to keep the prisoners entertained. The prisoners interpret the shadows and whatever noises are made as reality in total, for it is all they know. The fourth character type is the freed prisoner.

The narrative of The Cave hypothesizes what happens after the prisoner is released from the false imagery to which his society is subjected. In the film The Matrix, Neo is the freed prisoner; in 1984, Winston Smith dreams of being the freed prisoner.

The Freed Prisoner

The story of the freed prisoner goes that, after initial shock and distress, the prisoner learns to distinguish between reality and shadows, and sees the fire producing the shadows. When exiting the cave, he is first blinded by the light but eventually learns the basics of nature. He learns what is real, and what is shadow and reflection. He learns of Earth and Water and that all is dependent on the Sun, seasons and all life. After learning of the true reality outside the cave, free of the false images of his captors, the prisoner is inclined to return and inform those still confined to the cave of their present predicament… with unexpected results.

Similarly, the story of 1984 by George Orwell  takes place within an imagined dystopian future;  the allegorical cavern. The Telescreen, which constantly transmits as well as oversees, is equivalent to the shadows on the cave wall cast by the unseen captors, the Inner Party. Most people in 1984 are Proles; they are equivalent to the people chained in the cave, forced to accept false imagery as their reality. They have been prisoners their whole lives and do not notice the fact they are chained. The Outer party are the unchained, remaining totally transfixed on the party line told by the Telescreen. They are so loyal to the imagery and  narrative created by their captors that they will believe whatever they are shown, rather than observe for themselves. They will believe two plus two is five, as the saying goes, as long as it is presented as such on the Telescreen.

In the  dystopian world of  The Matrix, the same futuristic Allegory of The Cave is again explored. Neo is freed and seeks to free the others, and encounters the same archetypes and challenges.

Moreover the return of the freed prisoner can also be related to the ‘return of the prophet’ described in many theological constructs.

The Freed and the Scorned

The experience of the freed prisoner who returns to the Cave to free his fellow captors  is depicted in all three narratives; the Allegory of the Cave, 1984, and The Matrix.

In 1984  Emmanuel Goldstein (Emmanuel = God is with us, Goldstein = gold rock)  is a character who figuratively left the cave, or understood the Inner Party’s images were lies and attempted to get others to understand the institutional lies. Emmanuel is the supposed leader of the elusive Brotherhood in 1984, and is scorned, even hated by society. His attempt to enlighten his community to its captivity is met with disbelief,  resistance and scorn.

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The character of Winston Smith in 1984 is that of a person who attempts to leave the cave. He is privy to certain Inner Party lies and begins to question the Inner Party line  and seek alternate facts and perceptions. Winston’s end is not a happy one; akin to the return of the prisoner hypothesized in The Allegory of The Cave, he  attempts to leave the cave only to be shut in and beaten down – made to hold the party line by both prisoners and captors alike.

Similarly, today, individuals can transmute from dull repetitive ‘thought’ into ascended golden thinking, but as our minds are freed, one at a time, we ultimately find that our broader society is embedded with a series of norms and structures – of Matrices and Caves – that perpetuate false imagery, preserving the status quo from the ‘threat’ of  individual thinking.

Individuals and Institutions

Some fictional literature is so profound as to be relevant for decades (and centuries) and serves to expand humanity’s language and thought; its understanding of itself. George Orwell’s  1984 is one such literary work. It is a post WWII interpretation of the relationship between individuals and institutions, using the archetypal Allegory of the Cave.

The Allegory of the Cave, 1984 and The Matrix contain corresponding layers. Each explores a diabolical form of societal control; the control of thought through the presentation of selective information and images,  in combination with physical constraints of  strict surveillance and imprisonment. Sound familiar? In fact, the original title of 1984 was proposed as The Last Man in Europe. Certainly that is the way many of us feel – as if we are the last lone person – when we first become aware of lies and partial-truths that are presented as reality by those in control, and accepted in totality by seemingly everyone else.

George Orwell’s 1984 spawned new language for age-old structures of manipulation presented in the Allegory of the cave – the word “Orwellian” being one among many. This all-encompassing term is reflective of lies made to be truths, unlimited institutional surveillance, and logic so distorted as to not only convince the masses that two plus two equal five, but that war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength; and also to deny the very basic elements of nature… Just as we do today.

In reality, individual ignorance is strength to institutions. Everyone has their own personal caves and we are all figuratively held in larger societal caverns. Coming up with your own questions is the way get out of the cave and gain enlightenment. Questioning what seems like a lie, or an illusion in the cave, is the first step outside the cave.

The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall toward the earth’s center. With the feeling that he was speaking to… and setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”. ~  George Orwell’s 1984

Ethan Discusses ‘The Allegory of The Cave’ on Aquarian Radio

Click here  to listen to  Ethan discussing the Allegory of the Cave, and much more, with Janet and Sasha on the Planetary Oligarchy series (presented by Aquarian Radio).

About the Author

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.

Ethan’s publications include:

For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook. (I follow him and enjoy his posts).

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Lovers Transcending the Duality Void

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There is much conversation today about gender equality, sensuality, sexuality. We talk about these things because our very deep and ever-present desire is to experience ourselves through love. We want to know love in all of its forms and manifestations… true lovemaking. But to know this, we must know what is within, unite what has been divided, and create what is new.

So to begin, we ask: what is the feminine spirit within and what is the masculine spirit within?

The first answer: they are not two – they have been divided at some point in history, but they are not two. What we must do is take what has been divided (torn apart by conditioning) back, and make it into: one. For those who wish to know the true meaning of oneness, this is it. You cannot have oneness in your outside life, so to speak, if you don’t have it within.

These forces interact within as the creation void: the field of infinite possibilities. These qualities are one within us, sometimes balanced, mostly not. Voids are not easily conquered.

Going about our daily lives, we try to correct that imbalance by interacting with our so-called counterpole. Men will go courting women, and women will go courting men, faintly knowing that who they are courting is themselves… deep within the hidden realms of their soul. So basically, when we look into the mirror reflection of the other, we see our own image on one level, and recognition on another. That seems to be the key to finding ourselves through love.

Such a precious finding has many names: soul mates, twin flames, cosmic souls… yet a sweet, sweet promise of merging into a state of Bliss. And yes, we still sit by the sunlit lake, gazing at its surface… waiting, through endless nights.

The day will come when we merge within ourselves, through our beloved. On that day we truly can speak of cosmic union, twin flames, soul mates… and transcending the absurd matrix parameters for physical love.

We can talk about sex, but sex is very uninteresting. Sensuality is everything. And sensuality can only exist when equals meet and surrender. Trust is the key… trust and non-competition. Equals don’t compete… they accept. The rhythm is: conquering, surrendering, conquering, surrendering.

What has happened to take us off track? We are dual, hetero-centered beings becoming alienated into a gender-bender scare agenda. People are gender scared by design.

Man’s feminine aspect put into context is: introspection, intuition, awareness of the other, awareness of feeling and emotions, a giving sensuality, perception of softness and flow, his ability to perceive the beauty he encounters.

But all too often man’s feminine aspect has gone bent. He opens to the feminine and forgets that he is masculine with power and authority to act. Is this a man, behaving like a wet noodle in a boring restaurant dish with only the parameters of the matrix guiding him the wrong way?

He believes he must be soft, he must go to sensitivity classes, he must debate his femininity with other men, he needs written permission for French kissing… his empowerment is gone. Much can be said about that – but first we will say that he didn’t put himself there.

Who did… what did? We see the bending of an awakening in the 60s and 70s: breast swinging women’s liberators going bezerk on equality. Yes, men and women are equal but men and women cannot be equal if the feminine insists on having the power in the relationship. That’s just a switch from the masculine having the power.

Trading places is not balance, and it’s not interesting any more since: Love doesn’t compete – Love IS the power. It does not insist on the struggle to avoid the surrender and keep up the differences.

When masculine enters feminine space it is not diminished; it is still masculine. The domination of the feminine agenda has caused confusion, the loss of masculine force, and the loss of respect… a very sad situation for all.

Don’t get it wrong here – we see true liberation in women setting themselves free. The liberated context of woman’s masculine aspect is in her ability to act upon self and others through feminine self-knowledge. When the feminine enters masculine space she does not lose her mind – it is a magnetic force of intelligence, spirit and conscious sensuality.

When a woman’s masculine aspect goes wrong she takes up control and becomes hard and competitive; discarding the knowing feminine, transforming her outer look into mirroring the masculine, diminishing her sensuality. It’s a craving for power, and that craving for power discards the knowing deep within her.

Diminished is the woman who does not know… she need not fight, she need not go to war. She can impact a household with the lift of her eyebrow. That is the feminine power – subtle, powerful subtle. And the masculine will stand in awe of that, knowing he has crossed her boundaries. He will not bow down… he will give in. That’s a huge difference, a transcending difference, and she will give in to his signs of discomfort.

So, disempowered man in all of your acquired helplessness, power craving woman pumping gender bender irons in the name of misconcepted equality…

Wake up – is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.

We’re approaching an end point… gender confusion supported by the matrix, by legislation, by interfering in people’s private lives: diminishing the right to be a man and the right to be a woman and stand proud by it.

Confused is the man who cannot let his eye wander upon a beautiful woman dazzled by her sensuality (which is basically the embodiment of the feminine sacred spirit) – not wanting to engage – just being in awe of it. The muse-effect has fueled much creativity.

Confused is the woman who cannot gaze at the masculine power – not wanting to engage – just to stand in admiration of it. That’s the point of accession. Empowerment, inspiration, sensuality – the joy of being different while knowing deep inside that the difference is just an illusion – it is within reach when we don’t cling to the programming.

What have we with the politically correct conditioning? We have reached the cliff’s edge. Kindergarten children in Sweden are not allowed to refer to each other as he and she. What are they thinking about? The rules are set up by professionals who know that children develop their gender identity at that precise age.

Imagine those children growing up, wanting to have their first kiss, their first relationship. How will they know an approach? Is this a road sign to a trans-agenda? It is the exact opposite of where we need to go – erasing polarities on the outside will result in a state of stasis: gender confused drones who cannot breach the reality gap.

So everybody is suffering here in the genderless matrix – humanoids seeking automatic body movement in order to find release in whichever way programming suggests. If he can’t satisfy you, get a nine volt device instead. If she can’t, see a 20$ hooker or how about an online chat. That is beyond sad, and the revenue and the demand for add-ons is big business.

For the orgasm outcome no heart-centered energy is required. In fact, quite the opposite can be true. There is a pleasure potential, and also a descending potential which we have seen result in some of the greatest suffering that we know of in the world today.

It’s a sad sight to see lovers who cannot open each other into the sensual world, because they plugged into the world of the matrix-defined mechanical body movements.

Nature pulls male and female together in magnetic attraction. We are part of that nature, but we can go beyond that. We can transcend it but we need love in the flesh to show us the way to pleasure a thousand raptures deep – surrendering, transcending, loving, giving it up.

Stepping back from the cliff, we can see the return of romance, balanced male and balanced female, sensuality, beauty in feminine flow, beauty in masculine action, respect, renewed life, lovemaking from heart and all the body – from top to toe – everything embedded. We can be as balanced as we want, depending upon what we want and our willingness to sail the uncharted sea of the divinity in love. This sailing is not instant: it requires time, commitment and effort.

How does sex become lovemaking? The shift is within our intent. When we go from being result oriented to being process oriented the result will follow… if we surrender to it.

We can surrender if we are safe – if we feel safe within our feminine or masculine spirit. It’s true that we may need our partner to guide us to surrender. We cannot expect that two people when they meet are at exactly the same level – let he or she who has traveled the furthest show the way. That becomes a beautiful trust.

In the heart we experience the magnetic attraction of the other polarity through our senses: we look at the beauty, we smell the fragrance, we feel the spirit, we touch the body, we listen to the voice, we resonate with it all. That is why we desire and it should be all we desire.

Evolution is not difficult here… yet finding the courage to forego political correctness and speak up for it seems to be one of our major obstacles. Merging hearts will take us to our love affair with the god within – the feminine and the masculine in oneness – on the inside.

And that is where we started out….

About the Authors

Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from http://talk2momz.com/.

Soren Dreier is the author of SorenDreier.com, an excellent blog with mind-blowing perspectives on the modern world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Transforming the Mind: De-Programming Mental Conditioning

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There are times in our day-to-day life when we experience ourselves acting or thinking in ways we wish could be different. Sometimes, it can seem like our thoughts are running on auto-pilot, and whoever is doing the driving is not the most qualified person for the job. These thoughts then lead to actions which we regret later. The reason for this is that we often have un-conscious mental and emotional programs running our lives. Maybe these programs are fine for going about our daily interactions with the world, but what happens when they are no longer helping us to live our lives to the fullest?

The First Step: Uncovering That Which is Hidden

Since they are subconscious, these programs do a good job of staying hidden. Consciousness is not something which can be seen or touched, so it can be difficult to pinpoint disharmonious patterns within it. What are the signs that a subconscious mental program is affecting us? Fortunately, these programs leave traces that they are indeed there. These traces come in the form of negative thoughts, or that nagging little voice in the head. Knowing this, we can follow the breadcrumbs of thought to the root of what is running them.

Thoughts can be likened to bubbles in a lake. We can observe the bubbles on the surface, but where they come from is deep down at the bottom. Likewise, thoughts appear at the surface of our mind, but where they come from is deep down, in the realm of emotions. Thoughts are the surface signs of emotions.

We can begin by examining the inner voice we hear in our head, as well as the outer voice coming out of our mouths, and just observe them.

It can quickly be seen that thoughts occur all on their own, spontaneously, like a radio station continually broadcasting into space. If we tune into the mental stream, they become the central focal point; however, try shifting the dial of focus to the space in which these thoughts are occurring. As you do this, you will discover that the thoughts become blended into the background of awareness.

Now, from this space outside of thought, try observing the content of the mind, just don’t get pulled into it. What do you hear? What is the common theme around which the mental chatter is arranged? Is the voice angry? afraid? guilty? Take this chance to be radically honest with yourself – this is not a time to be squeamish!

Step Two: Removing Identification With the Mind

Understand that these thoughts are not even yours, so you do not need to identify with them. Just like a radio tower, the mind is continually broadcasting thoughts. It is what the mind does, continuously and automatically.

To prove that the mind is not even yours, try this: tell the mind to stop thinking and see what happens. The mind will probably just go right on thinking, against your will. If the mind was really yours, you could tell it what to do and it would listen, right? On the contrary, the mind is an impersonal aspect of our human nature.

Bringing humility into our understanding of this is very helpful. It can be very frustrating when one first comes to meditation and realizes how strong the monkey-mind chatter is, but remember: there is nothing wrong with it. It is only doing what it knows how to do. Just because you have negative thoughts does not make you a bad person. You are not your thoughts! This is part of the collective (un)consciousness of humankind. Everyone else has these same kinds of thoughts too; they truly are impersonal.

Step Three: Surrendering the Temporary Emotional ‘Payoff’

Dis-identifying with the mind makes it easier to go further inward to the source of thinking itself: emotions. Subconscious programs are fueled by our emotions, so addressing them from the emotional level is the key to canceling them.

The reason that these dysfunctional programs are running in our consciousness, despite our desire to be free of them, is because they offer us a hidden payoff. They create the illusion that we are getting something beneficial from them, a ‘juice’ if you will. This may not be apparent at first, as one might think, “How is there a payoff from being angry?”

The ‘juicy payoff’ is the emotional reaction; the feeling that moves through us. There is a part of us that finds a temporary pleasure, or satisfaction, in the feeling of anger, guilt, pride, etc. The part of us which feeds off of this juice is commonly called the ego.

The ego easily becomes addicted to the emotional payoff of negative emotions, and in turn feeds off of the juice. Since the juice is only a temporary satisfaction, the ego must seek more of it, thus perpetuating an endless feedback loop. With each infusion of ‘juice’ into the loop, the addiction becomes stronger and thus harder to break free of.

With this realization, it becomes clear that in order to undo negative programming, we must let go of the temporary payoff gained from negative thoughts and emotions. When this payoff is continually let go of, the unconscious program loses its power and influence. The juice becomes less and less interesting to us.

The next time a negative thought or emotion arises, ask yourself, “What is the juice I’m getting from this?” and “Is it worth the price?” If the juice is found to make you feel anything other than peace and tranquility, it is a sign that it needs to be let go of.

In this light, there is no need to fight or suppress anything, even fear and hatred itself. In fact, we can begin to let these emotions just be as they are and run themselves out. We no longer need to be afraid of emotions because we are no longer controlled by the temporary ‘pleasure’ of them.

With this practice of continually surrendering the juicy payoff of the negative emotions, a peaceful state naturally emerges. Peace is what prevails when all of our negative programs have been let go of. In this sense, it can be seen that Peace is actually a choice. When we choose Peace instead of the juice of the ego, our emotional dependence on negativity diminishes. When done continually, this Peace stabilizes and becomes our natural state, undisturbed by the passing temptations of negativity.

About the Author

Ryan Brown is a meditation teacher, energetic healer and writer. He has studied shamanic traditions of the Amazonian Basin and strives to integrate the ancient wisdom teachings of both the East and West in a way that is applicable to modern living. You can learn more about his pursuits at www.wayruna.org

Waking Times 

The Metaphysics of World Collapse

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V. Susan Ferguson

“…movement and change are actually prized for their own sake…outward action…fleeting…dispersion…a tendency toward instantaneity, have for its limit a state of pure disequilibrium, which…would coincide with the final dissolution of this world; and this too is one of the clearest signs that the final phase of the Kali Yuga is at hand.” – Rene Guenon, ‘The Crisis of the Modern World’

The French metaphysical scholar Rene Guenon (1886-1951) is considered to be one of the greatest of all in the western world. Guenon was no mere occultist. He was an authority on the Sanskrit teachings, Sufism, Taoism, and many others including western esoteric traditions. ‘The Reign of Quantity’ is his masterwork and was the turning point in my own understanding as he convinced me to accept the Cycles of Time as reality.

Guenon’s ‘The Crisis in the Modern World’ was written in 1942 (three years before my own birth) and describes our current times with prescient and increasing accuracy. In the chapter on ‘Knowledge and Action’ Guenon explains in his razor-like French precision that the modern world, its sciences and philosophies, its very foundations have become completely disconnected from any metaphysical truth. The reason for this is our ongoing Kali Yuga descent into matter and limited five-sense perception, which blocks our understanding of the Invisible Realms that are the support and substratum of this entire universe.

The people who have become prominent in all fields of modern life simply are no longer capable of understanding the real underlying metaphysical principles that are the substratum of the temporal illusory earth we stand upon. Thus the various and always changing theories that become the basis of our lives are profoundly flawed, unsound, and subject to collapse. Rene Guenon: “It is impossible in any way to separate knowledge from the process by which it is acquired.” The intelligence that is now held in high esteem is of the lowest order — regardless of how many corporate global policy institute think-tanks these modern era PhD priests are ensconced within.

True knowledge consists in ‘identification’…

Guenon: “…for all true knowledge essentially consists in identification with its object.” This is the traditional ancient way of immersing consciousness to reach wisdom knowledge and is precisely what the shamans still today practice. In the west and spreading around the globe, this process of intense identification is overlooked and “…they admit nothing higher than rational or discursive knowledge, which is necessarily indirect and imperfect, being…reflected knowledge.” One is reminded of Plato’s shadows in a cave being taken as real.

This ‘lower type of knowledge’ has become more and more valued ‘only insofar as it can be made to serve immediate practical ends.’ Our modern western culture has become absorbed and obsessed with action, scientific and mathematical theories that produce profitable results, and have denied everything that lies beyond the grasp of their own limited five-sense perception. These servants of the corporatist scions are blind to the fact that acts thus disconnected from metaphysical truth degenerate — “from the absence of any principle, into an agitation as vain as it is sterile.”

Sleepwalkers

We still know very little about the mysteries of our universe, beyond what produces short-term profit at the expense of Mother Earth. Reflect on the countless theories, scientific and others that have come and gone like ill winds. Arthur Koestler, the now forgotten genius whose works were highly honored not so long ago, wrote about this in his 1959 book, “Sleepwalkers” in which he chronicles the parade of scientific theories that have been discovered, lauded and discarded.

“The muddle of inspiration and delusion, of visionary insight and dogmatic blindness, of millennial obsessions and disciplined double-think…may serve as a cautionary tale against the hubris of science. … The dials on our laboratory panels are turning into another version of the shadows in the cave [Plato’s analogy]. Our hypnotic enslavement to the numerical aspects of reality has dulled our perception of non-quantitative moral values; the resultant end justifies the means ethic may be a major factor in our undoing.”

Surfing the Surface

Concurrent with our descent into matter has come the need for ‘ever-increasing speed’ and ‘ceaseless agitation, for unending change.’ We have become addicted to surface effects. Recent observations, one might say warnings, from Jaron Lanier and Nicholas Carr reveal that surfing the Internet is reconfiguring the human brain. The evidence is conclusive. We are lost in what Guenon back in 1942 called “dispersion in multiplicity, and in a multiplicity that is no longer unified by consciousness of any higher principle.” This external multiplicity is merely the temporal ‘appearance’ generated by the eternal Real, the One substratum beneath all appearances. And yet the best and seemingly the most intelligent are consumed in its quantitative analysis, a bottomless pit of frantic change for its own sake and profit.

Guenon:  “…in daily life, as in scientific ideas, it is analysis [of external multiplicity] driven to an extreme, endless subdivision, a veritable disintegration of human activity in all the orders.” Nothing is of value that cannot generate profit, while the wisdom that is born from silent contemplation is ridiculed. Thus we live in an intellectual environment suffused in “the inaptitude for synthesis and the incapacity for any sort of concentration.”

High Frequency Trading

What could be more symptomatic of this dispersion into multiplicity, addiction to speed and what Guenon terms an obsession with ‘instantaneity’ than the recent revelations regarding HFT, high frequency trading in the markets. Michael Lewis’ 2014 best seller ‘Flash Boys’ explains that the process of buying and selling have been transformed into a high speed mechanism in which those with the biggest fastest computers and most sophisticated algorithms will always be winning, the ‘front runners’ over any others. The markets have been rigged by the impenetrable wizardry of the science of algorithms. Sophisticated slight-of-hand advantage smacks of criminality and contributes to the collapse of fragile democracies around the planet, allowing the worst to rape the earth.

Guenon in 1942: “It is therefore to be expected that discoveries, or rather mechanical and industrial inventions, will go on developing and multiplying more and more rapidly…and who knows if, given the dangers of destruction they bear in themselves, they will not be one of the chief agents in the ultimate catastrophe.”

Sovereign Debt Collapse does happen…

As odd as my interest in finance may seem to many, I am convinced that the collapse of our current economic system is indeed ‘one of the chief agents’ in the catastrophic events that occur at the close of any Kali Yuga. Complexity theory expresses the notion that complex systems must inevitably collapse as they become more complex and unstable. We are approaching the edges of instability in the realm of fiat money, sovereign debt default, trillions of dollars in derivatives, and an increasing loss of confidence in the world’s reserve currency. Indeed as many far more knowledgeable and brighter that me have publicly stated, confidence is all that remains between our safe secure world and a complete breakdown of civilisation. Once this ‘confidence’ is gone no one really knows what will follow.

Are we being indoctrinated by the globalists to accept a new reserve currency? The Special Drawing Rights, the SDRs created by the IMF are waiting in the theoretical wings to rescue us from financial chaos and oblivion. But who created this instability? In his most recent book ‘The Death of Money’ James Rickards says that the Federal Reserve does not understand that the recent unlimited printing of trillions of dollars, known as QE quantitative easing, can be a perilously irreversible process. The reckless creation of fiat money (along with now $600 trillion in derivatives) may produce a total loss in confidence not only in the dollar, but also in the financial institutions themselves. Once this loss of confidence occurs, a new system must be created to replace the abandoned one.

This entirely new system, often called the New World Order, will be a planetary financial system which has been in the plan stage for centuries, but now actually appears to be gaining success mostly due to the advances in technology, meaning the global access which computer technology allows. Is this all ‘bad’ as the conspiracy researchers have warned us? Surely there is an argument for a more fair system that does not solely serve only one country.

Perhaps.

What worries me is the heinous effects we have already seen that result when corporations are allowed to plunder – (can there be another better description?) – resources in far away lands with impunity. The multinational corporations are poisoning the planet and her oceans. I need not enumerate the plethora of irrefutable evidence, anyone can see the curious disturbing neglect in Fukushima, the consequences of desperate fracking to local water supplies, the obscene greed of GMOs, the insidious ongoing dispersion of endocrine disrupting chemicals EDCs, the insane buying of world water rights, and more. Here clearly we see the results of a loss of individual financial sovereignty and remote control global governance.

While I do recommend that you read James Rickards in online interviews, YouTube, or his books, I have come to believe that his job is to indoctrinate the more financially keen into the IMF’s plan to implement their SDRs and complete control of global finance. In ‘The Death of Money’ Rickards says that when the dollar ceases to be the world reserve currency there are three probabilities: the SDR will replace the USD as world money, the possibility of a gold standard, and the threat of social disorder. I think this threat of social disorder has been carefully inculcated into our consciousness by many bizarre events, which normal peaceful law-abiding citizens have wondered at. Are we being warned? Accept the global system or face the frightening consequences. Anything will be better than lawless mad-max chaos and disorder. But will it?

A done deal?

Rickards says that the substitution of SDRs for dollars as the global currency is now in motion. A ten-year IMF transition plan has been ‘informally endorsed’ by the United States. What? So, we are told this is a done deal. No one has asked the public, there has been no democratic vote, no consensus from we the people. In a rather causal unexpected sentence, Rickards calmly says that money riots would be (his words) ‘squashed quickly’. I see. Resistance is futile indeed. This suppression of money riots is already legal because of a little known legislation passed in 1977, the IEEPA, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Many of the rather frightening rumours floating around the Internet begin to make sense in light of this impending transition. Follow the money, indeed!

Rickards tell us that the IMF is buying time, some say in desperation. Thus the quantitative easing may go on, but he cautions the reader that the plan for a peaceful transition to SDRs or even gold may not occur before the collapse — and because of the prevalence of high frequency trading, collapse of the financial markets will be likely come flash-crash fast.

Money as Water

Money can be understood as the ‘water’ necessary to business and trade; and financial institutions, banks & bonds, are the conduits through which money flows. Rickards says that the large banks, such as Goldman Sachs will be instrumental in the future distributions of the new planetary reserve currency, the SDRs. Thanks to Mike Taibbi’s courageous journalism, we have fully understood how deserving the Vampire Squid is of our complete trust. James Rickards’ publishing company Portfolio Penguin also happens to have published three books that were finalists for the prestigious Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Edward N. Luttwak explains in ‘The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy‘ that the “highest echelon” of the U.S. Treasury, for example Timothy Franz Geithner, “is staffed almost entirely by former or future employees of the leading financial firms” that are sensitive to Chinese enterprises as future clients. According to Luttwak, these financial power elites have no responsibility for or indeed any intellectual interest in the condition of the U.S. manufacturing sector and the subsequent loss of jobs, which they regarded as “uncompetitive and not worth having” — and their willingness to bend to Chinese demands for the sake of making cheap capital available to private finance, has also allowed a tsunami of technology, including aerospace technology, innovated by American enterprise to be given to the Chinese.

I wish I could believe that all this is a rather benevolent and necessary transition. Certainly the obviously very bright and astute Benn Steil of the Council of Foreign Relations makes rational intelligent calming practical arguments somewhat in favour. Steil is extraordinarily knowledgeable and a wonderful writer. He says many in the USA will not be willing to undermine the US monetary sovereignty. However a lack of confidence in a dollar, which is used globally, will undermine the ability of the Federal Reserve to control interest rates, inflation, and contain any domestic financial crises; and therefore inevitably the power of the FED will decline to the point that the sovereignty of the USA becomes, in his words ‘meaningless’.

Unanswered Questions

Can it be that globalization is something that recurs on all planets in their various stages of social and financial evolution, as they move from tribal & clan, to nation states, to global interests? Yet the question remains: Why allow the destruction of the planet herself, the contamination of her oceans, our fields & land, and the air we breathe? Who turns away from planet Earth’s future for mere profit?

This incessant frantic descent into ever increasing multiplicity and complexity is, as Rene Guenon says, the result of “a pretended intuition modelled on the ceaseless flux of things of the senses, far from being able to serve as an instrument for obtaining true knowledge, represents in reality the dissolution of all possible knowledge.”

An intelligence that has been disconnected from the immutable imperishable substratum that lies beneath ‘the curtain of each atom’ [Mahmud Shabistari’s Sufi poem] is necessarily precariously unstable and inclined to collapse. Without metaphysical wisdom, each temporal ‘fix’ our elitist servant PhD’s come up with will only lead us closer to the final moments of this Kali Yuga.

Our sole refuge is a higher consciousness and to individually reconnect with the God essence that dwells within All. Nothing ever dies and as the Bhagavad Gita tells us, ‘The Wise do not grieve.’ Rene Guenon would not have been surprised to witness our current predicament. Guenon offers us one last profound comfort in the final sentence of his brilliant ‘The Reign of Quantity’: “…it can be said in all truth that the ‘end of a world’ never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.”

“[We are] made of the same stuff of which events are made…The mind that is parallel with the laws of Nature will be in the current of events, and strong with their strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, from the essay ‘Power’ in “The conduct of Life”

About the Author

V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.

Resources:

– The Crisis of the Modern World, by Rene Guenon, 1942; Sophia Perennis, NY, 2004.
The Reign of Quantity and the Sign of the Times, by Rene Guenon, 1945; Sophia Perennis, NY, 2004.
The Death of Money, The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, by James Rickards; Portfolio Penguin, NY, 2014.
Currency Wars, The Making of the Next Global Crisis, by James Rickards; Portfolio Penguin, NY, 2011, 2012.
The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy, by Edward N. Luttwak; Harvard University Press, 2012.
Money, Markets & Sovereignty by Benn Steil & Manuel Hinds; A Council of Foreign Relations Book, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2009.
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order, by Benn Steil; Council of Foreign Relations Books, Princeton University Press, 2013.
The Sleepwalkers, A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe, by Arthur Koestler; Penguin Arkana, London, 1959.
This Time is Different, Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff; Princeton University Press, NJ, 2009.
Cosmic Evolution, The Rise of Complexity in Nature, by Eric J. Chaisson; Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass., 2001.
The SHALLOWS, What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr; W.W. Norton & Company, NYC, 2011.
‘You are not a gadget’, by Jaron Lanier; Vintage Books, NY, 2011.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Bill Hicks 101

Bill_Hicks_take_some_mushrooms

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” ~ Bill Hicks

 

Ahead of his time? You bet. Born December 16, 1961 –  Died of cancer February 26, 1994 RIP Bill Hicks, thanks for your comedy/philososphy

5 Thought-Provoking Quantum Experiments Showing That Reality Is an Illusion

Is this reality an illusion? Are we living inside a matrix? The following article provides ‘food for thought’ about the reality we THINK we are experiencing.

~In5d

No one in the world can fathom what quantum mechanics is, this is perhaps the most important thing you need to know about it. Granted, many physicists have learned to use its laws and even predict phenomena based on quantum calculations. But it is still unclear why the observer of an experiment determines behavior of the system and causes it to favor one state over another. “Theories and Applications” picked examples of experiments with outcomes which will inevitably be influenced by the observer, and tried to figure out how quantum mechanics is going to deal with the intervention of conscious thought in material reality.

1. Schrödinger’s cat

Today there are many interpretations of quantum mechanics with the Copenhagen interpretation being perhaps the most famous to-date. In the 1920s, its general postulates were formulated by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. The wave function has become the core term of the Copenhagen interpretation, it is a mathematical function containing information about all possible states of a quantum system in which it exists simultaneously. consciousness-reality2

As stated by the Copenhagen interpretation, the state of the system and its position relative to other states can only be determined by an observation (the wave function is used only to help mathematically calculate the probability of the system being in one state or another). We can say that after observation, the quantum system becomes classical and immediately cease to exist in other states, except for the state it has been observed.

This approach has always had its opponents (remember for example Albert Einstein’s “God does not play dice“), but the accuracy of the calculations and predictions prevailed. However, the number of supporters of the Copenhagen interpretation is decreasing and the major reason for that is the mysterious instant collapse of the wave function during the experiments. The famous mental experiment by Erwin Schrödinger with the poor cat was meant to demonstrate the absurdity of this phenomenon.

Let us recap the nature of this experiment. A live cat is placed inside a black box, together with a vial containing poison and a mechanism that can release this poison at random. For instance, a radioactive atom during its decay can break the vial. The precise time of atom’s decay is unknown. Only half-life, or the time during which the decay occurs with a probability of 50%, is known.

Obviously, for the external observer, the cat inside the box exists in two states: it is either alive, if all goes well, or dead, if the decay occurred and the vial was broken. Both of these states are described by the cat’s wave function, which changes over time. The more time has passed, the more likely that radioactive decay has already happened. But as soon as we open the box, the wave function collapses, and we immediately see the outcomes of this inhumane experiment.

In fact, until the observer opens the box, the cat will be subjected to the endless balance on the brink of being between life and death, and its fate can only be determined by the action of the observer. That is the absurdity pointed out by Schrödinger .

2. Diffraction of electrons

According to the poll of the greatest physicists conducted by The New York Times, the experiment with electron diffraction is one of the most astonishing studies in the history of science. What was its nature?

There is a source that emits a stream of electrons onto photosensitive screen. And there is obstruction in the way of these electrons, a copper plate with two slits. What kind of picture can be expected on the screen if the electrons are imagined as small charged balls? Two strips illuminated opposite to the slits.

In fact, the screen displays a much more complex pattern of alternating black and white stripes. This is due to the fact that, when passing through the slit, electrons begin to behave not as particles, but as waves (just like the photons, or light particles, which can be waves at the same time). These waves interact in space, either quenching or amplifying each other, and as a result, a complex pattern of alternating light and dark stripes appears on the screen.

At the same time, the result of this experiment does not change, and if electrons pass through the slit not as one single stream, but one by one, even one particle can be a wave. Even a single electron can pass simultaneously through both slits (and this is also one of the main postulates of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, when particles can simultaneously display both their “usual” physical properties and exotic properties as a wave).
Diffraction-of-electrons

But what about the observer? The observer makes this complicated story even more confusing. When physicists, during similar experiments, tried to determine with the help of instruments which slit the electron actually passes through, the image on the screen had changed dramatically and become a “classic” pattern with two illuminated sections opposite to the slits and no alternating bands displayed.

Electrons seemed not wanting to show their wave nature under the watchful eye of observers. Did they manage to follow their instinctive desire to see a clear and simple picture. Is this some kind of a mystery? There is a more simple explanation: no observation of a system can be carried out without physically impacting it. But we will discuss this a bit later.

3. Heated fullerene

Experiments on the diffraction of particles have been conducted not only for electrons, but for much larger objects. For example, using fullerenes, large and closed molecules consisting of dozens of carbon atoms (for example, fullerene of sixty carbon atoms is very similar in shape to a football, a hollow sphere comprised of pentagons and hexagons).

Recently, a group of scientists from the University of Vienna supervised by Professor Zeilinger tried to introduce an element of observation in these experiments. To do this, they irradiated moving fullerene molecules with a laser beam. Then, warmed by an external source, the molecules began to glow and inevitably displayed their presence in space to the observer.

Together with this innovation, the behavior of molecules has also changed. Prior to the beginning of such comprehensive surveillance, fullerenes quite successfully avoided obstacles (exhibited wave-like properties) similar to the previous example with electrons passing through an opaque screen. But later, with the presence of an observer, fullerenes began to behave as completely law-abiding physical particles.

4. Cooling measurement

One of the famous laws in the world of quantum physics is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle which claims that it is impossible to determine the speed and the position of a quantum object at the same time. The more accurate we are at measuring the momentum of a particle, the less precise we are at measuring its position. But the validity of quantum laws operating on tiny particles usually remains unnoticed in our world of large macroscopic objects.

Recent experiments by Professor Schwab in the U.S. are even more valuable in this respect, where quantum effects have been demonstrated not at the level of electrons or fullerene molecules (their characteristic diameter is about 1 nm), but on a little more tangible object, a tiny aluminum strip.

This strip was fixed on both sides so that its middle was in a suspended state and it could vibrate under external influence. In addition, a device capable of accurately recording strip’s position was placed near it.

As a result, the experimenters came up with two interesting findings. First, any measurement related to the position of the object and observations of the strip did affect it, after each measurement the position of the strip changed. Generally speaking , the experimenters determined the coordinates of the strip with high precision and thus , according to the Heisenberg’s principle, changed its velocity, and hence the subsequent position.

Secondly, which was quite unexpected, some measurements also led to cooling of the strip. So, the observer can change physical characteristics of objects just by being present there.

5. Freezing particles
Freezing-particles

As it is well known, unstable radioactive particles decay not only for experiments with cats, but also on their own. Each particle has an average lifetime which, as it turns out, can increase under the watchful eye of the observer.

This quantum effect was first predicted back in the 1960s, and its brilliant experimental proof appeared in the article published in 2006 by the group led by Nobel laureate in Physics Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In this paper, the decay of unstable excited rubidium atoms was studied (photons can decay to rubidium atoms in their basic state). Immediately after preparation of the system, excitation of atoms was observed by exposing it to a laser beam. The observation was conducted in two modes: continuous (the system was constantly exposed to small light pulses) and pulse-like (the system was irradiated from time to time with more powerful pulses).

The obtained results are perfectly in line with theoretical predictions. External light effects slow down the decay of particles, returning them to their original state, which is far from the state of decay. The magnitude of this effect for the two studied modes also coincides with the predictions. The maximum life of unstable excited rubidium atoms was extended up to 30-fold.

Quantum mechanics and consciousness

Electrons and fullerenes cease to show their wave properties, aluminum plates cool down and unstable particles freeze while going through their decay, under the watchful eye of the observer the world changes. Why cannot this be the evidence of involvement of our minds in the workings of the world? So maybe Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli (Austrian physicist and Nobel laureate, the pioneer of quantum mechanics) were correct after all when they said that the laws of physics and consciousness should be seen as complementary?
consciousness-reality

We are only one step away from admitting that the world around us is just an illusory product of our mind. Scary, isn’t it? Let us then again try to appeal to physicists. Especially when in recent years, they favor less the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, with its mysterious collapse of the wave function, giving place to another quite down to earth and reliable term decoherence.

Here’s the thing, in all these experiments with the observations, the experimenters inevitably impacted the system. They lit it with a laser and installed measuring devices. But this is a common and very important principle: you cannot observe the system or measure its properties without interacting with it. And where there is interaction, there will be modification of properties. Especially when a tiny quantum system is impacted by colossal quantum objects. So the eternal Buddhist observer neutrality is impossible.

This is explained by the term “decoherence”, which is an irreversible, from the point of view of thermodynamics, process of altering the quantum properties of the system when it interacts with another larger system. During this interaction the quantum system loses its original properties and becomes a classic one while “obeying ” the large system. This explains the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat: the cat is such a large system that it simply cannot be isolated from the rest of the world. The mere design of this mental experiment is not quite correct.

In any event, compared to the reality of consciousness as an act of creation, decoherence represents a much more convenient approach. Perhaps even too convenient. Indeed, with this approach, the entire classical world becomes one big consequence of decoherence. And as the authors of one of the most prominent books in this field stated, such an approach would also logically lead to statements like “there are no particles in the world” or ” there is no time on a fundamental level”.

Is it the creator-observer or powerful decoherence? We have to choose between the two evils. But remember, now scientists are increasingly convinced that the basis of our mental processes is created by these notorious quantum effects. So, where the observation ends and reality begins, is up to each of us.

About the author
Anna LeMind – www.learning-mind.com
Hi, I like learning new things and sharing my knowledge with others! I post science, psychology, self improvement and other related topics. Add me to your circles on Google+ or follow me on Twitter to stay updated on my new articles.

Source: In5D.com.

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Beyond Left & Right: Escaping the Matrix

WIKI-Matrix-01

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 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 labour, 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 honour, and heroic causes; true reality was on another plane altogether: that of economics.Industrialisation, 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, industrialisation, nationalism, warfare, imperialism – and the matrix – coevolved. Industrialised 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 below). 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 recommended reading), William Blum chronicles hundreds of significant covert and overt interventions, showing exactly how the US carried out its imperial management role.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 “democratised”; in the real world, imperialism had become better organised 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 realised 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 investors.

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 protesters 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 recommended reading). 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 (see recommended reading).

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 report: 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 ‘Establishment’.

In these few words Huntington spells out the reality that electoral democracy has little to do with how America is run, and summarises 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 industrialise 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 behaviour 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 privatised, 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 “privatisation,” but around them was woven an economic mythology. The old, failedlaissez-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 criticised 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 favour. 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 process.

Globalisation and World Government

The essential bond between capitalism and nationalism was broken in 1945, but it took some time for elite planners to recognise 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 stabilise 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 realise 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 destabilising, instead of stabilising, for national economies. The radical free-trade project was launched, leading eventually to the World Trade Organisation. The fission that had begun in 1945 was finally manifesting as an explosive change in the world system.

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 maximise 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, globalisation 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 globalisation 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 earlier.

Management of Discontented Societies

The postwar years, especially in the United States, were characterised 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 globalisation; 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-militarised 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 realised that much of the US Bill of Rights would need to be neutralised. (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 organise and overthrow any oppressive future government.) The rights-neutralisation 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 labour. 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 defences 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 other 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 on 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 neutralised, 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 maximise 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-organised 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 maximisation 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 globalisation, the glitches are becoming ever more difficult to conceal – as earlier, with the Vietnam War. Last November’s anti-establishment demonstrations in Seattle, the largest in decades, were aimed directly at globalisation 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 globalisation 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 defences 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: Globalisation is centralised 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 centralised-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 characterise all prior societies as socialist. Free enterprise, private property, commerce, banking, international trade, economic specialisation – 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 limits.”

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 harmonised through interaction and discussion. Collaboration, not competition, is what leads to effective harmonisation.

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 harmonises 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 day!

– Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt Maine and anti-corporate activist

Footnotes:

1. Primarily Western Europe, later joined by the United States.
2. See “KGB-ing America”, Tony Serra, Whole Earth, Winter, 1998.

Recommended Reading:

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 analyses the broad structure of globalisation, 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 Lapp?, 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 India.”

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 globalisation. 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 criticised 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,http://www.twnside.org.sg.

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, http://www.newint.org.

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 organisations 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.

Michael Parenti, The Sword and the Dollar, Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1989.

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 organisers.

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.”

Covert Action Quarterly magazine, published quarterly by Covert Action Publications, Inc., Washington D.C. 1994, http://www.covertaction.org.

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, 1993.

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 Postand his high-level contacts permit him to present an insider’s view of how the influence-peddling system actually operates. A chilling eye-opener.

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 worldview designed to justify Western domination under globalisation. According to The Economist, Huntington’s civilisation-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.

About the Author

Richard Moore, an expatriate from Silicon Valley, currently lives and writes in Wexford, Ireland. He runs the Cyberjournal “list” on the Internet. Email: richard@cyberjournal.org,http://cyberjournal.org. Address: PO Box 26, Wexford, Ireland.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 62 (September-October 2000).

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