Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Other Matrix

This is my most recent article that has been posted up at The Hampton Institution's website, of which I am the Politics/Government department chair.

"Fools," "sheeple," and "ignoramuses" are just some of the words used to insult those who are still trapped in what we call "The Matrix" - that system of thinking in which people expect the government to solve problems, and believe in the current economic and political system as well as have a faith in government officials and the mainstream media. Yet, there are many problems with referring to people in such a manner, and it ignores the fact that those who consider themselves having left this Matrix may only unknowingly find themselves within another one.

Upon encountering videos, articles, and general information which seems to shed the truth about how society works and how the entire system is rigged, many people become encouraged and want to spread this news around, which is good. In their quest to share this newfound information, many find that their friends and relatives are rather averse to what is being presented to them, and such a reaction can be taken in quite a negative manner. Others, after having been steeped in such information for quite some time, begin to develop disdain for those who do not accept the same ideas that they have. Such individuals take their knowledge and begin to lord it over others and insult those who have not read the same books, watched the same movies, read the same articles, and generally don't hold the same worldview as they have. Such examples can be seen in the aforementioned insults that are regularly thrown around by the so-called 'unplugged' individuals.

This is problematic, as it makes individuals much less receptive to even slightly discussing the information they are being presented with, as they feel the presenter is berating them, rather than attempting to display these new ideas in non-threatening and non-insulting ways.

Both the negative reaction from loved ones and/or the arrogance of individuals can result in self-alienation and information bias. In a way, the two go hand-in-hand as people who become 'purists' sometimes begin to alienate themselves from others who do not accept their newfound way of thinking, and thus confine themselves to communities that do reinforce their own thoughts, as well as get their information only from sources that agree with them, even if there are serious problems with their chosen outlets.

A prime example of this can be found in Alex Jones website Infowars. Many Jones fans take the word of Alex as gospel; and while he may get things right from time to time, it ignores the overall problem with sites like Infowars - namely that Jones doesn't truly care about "fighting the new world order," but rather is a fear monger and has had accusations of being a "disinformation agent." Alex Jones wins either way, because if the "plot" is foiled, then he can claim he "stopped it," and if the "plot" succeeds, then he can say everyone needs to help him. In both scenarios, Jones gets paid. There are a number of groups like Alex Jones, from Whale to Rense; groups which, at the heart, are nothing but fear mongers.

These groups, while they do feed highly questionable information, on a deeper level also constitute a different matrix, separate from the one which people claim to have broken free. They have unplugged from one matrix and jacked into another, arguably worse matrix, in which suspects range from "the powers that be" and "the new world order" to the so-called Illuminati. All this does is allow for people to be split up into different camps based on who/what they follow and fight amongst each other, while doing absolutely nothing to confront and battle the current oppressive systems of power. 

At the end of the day, only you can decide what you believe or do not believe; only you can actually do the research and decide for yourself.

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