Twenty Years of The Red Pill
It came to us in an iconic movie, twenty years ago today, and It never left.
Three days ago, whilst wondering how to write down what was in my mind, without banging on the VRENAR drum yet again (oops), I had a quick look to see if there might be any convenient dates marking the source of a relevant namesake that often comes up, and there it was:
31st March 1999, the release date of the iconic source of the “Red Pill”.
How convenient. Exactly twenty years ago.
Some things were just meant to be.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I mean:
Sorry if that disappoints. It is not gender related. It is something that affects us all equally, even if you are not yet particularly a fan of The Matrix movie, if such a thing could be possible. It was a movie ahead of its time, one that had a lasting impact on our culture.
Each of us has a different story to tell.
But for the vast majority of us, the process and the end result is always the same.
We go through life on a diet of blue pills, until one day we drop a red pill, then suddenly we start to see the real matrix.
After it has been seen, it can never be unseen. There is no going back. We see it in everything we do, and everything done to us.
We need to do something very special ourselves, something almost biblical, to prevent it becoming like a pre-scripted chess game, where each move feels like we might be just one move away from being cornered, with a disembodied voice whispering quietly but ominously “Check, mate”.
The Blue Pill
For me, a western “middle class” baby boomer, from a working class background, the Matrix movie came along at a time when the vast majority of us were well and truly in the blue pill domain, even though we were completely unaware of it.
I was no exception.
The movie seemed like a cool, if thought provoking intellectual distraction.
We watched it, and then we carried on with our lives taking the blue pill, deluding ourselves that of course, we’d always chosen the red pill for ourselves, just like we’d willed the hero of the movie, Neo himself, to take.
A concept and an Ideology
Thus the concept had been planted, if not completely swallowed. Now, at least the Red Pill existed.
More subtly, and more importantly, was the fact that each of us had worked out for ourselves, using our own logic, that it was the right decision to take it.
The full meaning of that would become clear with time.
The Movie itself had very cleverly served the function of it’s character of Morpheus, delivering to us the concept of the red pill.
From that point on, it was in our mouths. We just had to choose to swallow.
By that, they gave us a weapon, one that would equip us to recognise the Matrix.
Ironically, the makers of the movie themselves may well have been unaware of the nature of the real matrix.
Most of us carried on beavering away in our working lives, still guzzling blue pills as usual in our own individual endeavors to financially line our own pockets and nests, and for some of us also those of our families. We occasionally paid attention with a passing interest to world events.
But mostly we were detached, entirely trusting our political figures, leaders of industry and institutions, and other key trusted figures within our lives, with complete faith in our societal workings as history unfolded over the next ten years or so.
Readers and fellow Matrix fans identifying with the above will all have their own things that were significant to them.
Glitches that occur in our reality, that we sometimes catch a glimpse of.
For me, the following stood out:
- The 9/11 twin towers attacks (2001)
- The 2008 financial crash
- The appearance of Bitcoin (2008)
No need for me to provide any links there.
We watched as the drama of 9/11 unfolded, believing everything we heard and were glued to in mainstream media. In my working career, that event was the only exception I ever saw to the unspoken rule that employees must never indulge in non-work activities during working hours. In those few hours of awful news, all of the people around the world in front of monitors and TV screens dropped what we were doing, and gawped in horrified disbelief at the scene unfolding.
We watched transfixed, as the twin iconic buildings of the world trade center came under apparent diabolical attack, one after the other, and were reduced to smoldering piles of rubble. With graphics and script that seemed like something straight from a Hollywood action movie, narrated by countless hysterical newscasters around the world. We watched helplessly as the towers were each engulfed in inferno, before collapsing with the death of thousands.
The 2008 financial crash
A few years later, after several invasions apparently justified by the 9/11 events, the financial crisis of 2008 came along.
Again, each of us affected will have a different story to tell.
For me it was the beginning of my own awakening. Everything in my world was turned upside down that year.
My red pill was finally swallowed in the form of a video documentary story, “Money as Debt” by Paul Grignon, of how banks and money really work, outlining the mechanisms used in modern day banking to maintain our debt-based economy.
I can’t remember seeing anything about it when it was apparently released in 2006. Probably for three reasons:
Firstly, I would not have been interested if I’d seen it.
Secondly, I would not have believed it if I’d seen it.
That year, arguably still in early forties, I was with spouse, as an apparently successful family “In business”. We were signed up to multiple concurrent mortgages. The last, our third, was made that same year.
At no point was it made clear that our lender’s business models were themselves fundamentally based on insolvent trading.
I laugh now when I realise how incredibly naive I was, to still believe the banks were just like a giant version of the piggy-banks many of us owned ourselves when we were at school, being taught such things as kids.
We might as well still believe in tooth fairies.
Oh how I had gulped down those blue pills.
Mainstream media just didn’t talk about those things anyway.
The Red Pill
A few others had obviously taken the red pill much earlier. Maybe they were influenced by the Matrix movie also, who knows. I like to think so.
Bitcoin came out at about the same time as the sordid details of the banking crisis of 2008, giving us a glimpse of a shining alternative financial world that could exist, an alternative to those dastardly banks.
It was perfectly timed.
In December 2010, founder Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto mysteriously disappeared, leading to an explosion of related investigations and theories, thoroughly complicating any chances of anyone ever discovering the truth.
A modern day legend was born. The apparent biblical parallels of the Bitcoin saga were not lost on many, me included.
Perhaps unfortunately, I never invested in any way that I could gain financially.
The Consequences of the Red Pill.
Before swallowing the red pill, everything discounted as “Conspiracy Theories” by mainstream media and even conventional science, were just that, conspiracy theories, not actual conspiracies.
After the red pill is swallowed, all of the facts we ever took for granted as real history become part of a moving quicksand. We see hard evidence of some huge lies that had previously transcended our consciousness, because previously, they were just too outrageous to comprehend, our minds were repelled.
“Awoke”, after the red pill, we realise there really is no boundary to the untruths we can be told, and by whom, however unwittingly. Now we really do have to question everything we are told, and even what we read of history. We realise there really is a hidden force working behind the scenes driving the untruths, to convince us of what “Normal” life actually is. And all the while, it feeds on us.
Finally, we see the possibility of a real life Matrix, of sorts.
Now we see the profit monster for what it really is.
As children, when we first learn of the atrocities committed by say, the Romans, pitting imprisoned people against one another as gladiators, we struggle to get our minds round why or what could possibly drive some humans to be so inhuman towards some other humans.
As adults, reinforced with further research , we see what it was really about, Money.
In particular, the way it is used, perhaps even abused, and has been for thousands of years, to enslave ourselves.
When the Roman Empire was crumbling; when profiteering had eaten out the heart of Roman society that had endured for a thousand years, the profit monster continued to feed on the frenzied attention of an impoverished people, fixated on the non-stop horror-fest of gladiator “Games”.
The individuals in the days of the Romans who found themselves “Bankrupt” to debtors, often gave themselves up as physical slaves, because all they could offer in collateral for whatever was loaned, was their own body, or perhaps those of their children and/or spouse. By definition, they had no chance of ever repaying whatever debt they had signed up to.
Just like today. As a society, we have no chance of ever repaying the debt we are unwittingly signed up to.
In the modern day we are functional slaves. No matter how rich or poor, we are conditioned to be slaves. We all necessarily practice the tactics of enslavement to compete, and we have all become slaves ourselves, by the system which enslaves us.
Now we can see the almost perfect self-perpetuating abomination feeding from us for what it really is.
The real Matrix.
We analyse the awful cost to humanity, and even our planet, and we see that with modern technology, for the first time in known history, we are networked with Ai, just like in the movie.
Those algorithms are already hard at work, learning, shaping our society, so as to maximise profit, with the already evident effect of further enslaving us.
And yet there is a solution, an alternative technological future so bright many of us are afraid to think about it, in case it might be too good to be true. It involves a non-profit alternative system, designed to align monetisation with our values of what is good and bad for us and our world, as a society, with the end result we are all of us, every living soul and our planet, very wealthy.
As yet, very few appear prepared to invest any time, funds or otherwise in it.
But the seed has been sown. It was sown in the form of the red pill.
Personally I thank The Matrix movie for being at least instrumental in opening my mind to the new future we will have, after we defeat the profit monster in society. Of course profit still has a place. But that place is not to rule us.
I hope and trust there are many, many other fellow humans who feel similar.
Even if they do not feel like committing yet, I have faith they will very soon, before it is too late for all of us.
 Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982