9Escaping the Matrix – how We the People can change the world
Richard MooreThe Cyberjournal Project ISBN 0-9770983-0-3 May 2006 $15.95 US
This very readable, optimistic book uses the metaphor of ‘the Matrix’ to peel back the layers of official myth which distort our perception of ‘reality’ to suit the needs of the rich elite who control the World, and so to reveal the hidden, real, ‘reality’.
In doing this the American-Irish author looks at the truth behind the World War II and ‘Pax Americana’, popular rebellion and the decline of the ‘postwar blueprint’, London banking elites and the strategy of oil-based dominance, World War I and the House of Morgan, the Anglo-American Alliance, … the neoliberal project, 9/11 and the New American Century, … Capitalism and the Matrix, etc. (– some of the sub-headings for sections of the first chapter, The Matrix).
This is followed by A Brief History of Humanity, in which he looks at our evolution from hunter-gatherers, through co-operative farming groups, then to become dominated by aggressive, competitive ruling heirachies, and ‘the co-evolution of conditioning and heirarchy’.
I liked his quote from Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual: ‘The world needs a new, non-polarised, non-contentious politic; one not made possible by those in situations that promote a left-right, black-white, capitalist-communist, believer-infidel thinking. Such systems are, like it or not, promoting antagonism and destroying cooperation and interdependence. Confrontational thinking, operating through political or power systems, has destroyed cultural, inetellectual, and material resources that could have been used, in a life-centred ethic, for earth-repair.’
He looks at the lessons to be gained from the long experience of struggle to gain freedom from the oppressors, and the potential for ‘We the People’ to achieve a cultural transformation. He contrasts the adversarial systems commonly used to make ‘democratic’ decisions in a ‘representative democracy’ with the collaborative meetings in which consensus is sought, between people without power. He takes as a lesson the example of the development in the 19th century of the (US) Farmers’ Alliance into the Populist Movement, and its subsequent fate. This started in 1877 as a farmers’ self-help movement, organising buying and selling cooperatives, and spread from region to region, eventually winning elections, but then joining forces with the Democratic Party, which backed the money-reformer Williams Jennings Bryan. They were defeated by the elite-owned media support for the Republican candidate. The lesson Moore draws from this is that any ‘transformational movement’ must focus on what people can do for themselves collectively, at least until they have built a wide-enough level of support to make an effective electoral challenge to the existing system of power.
He cites his experience of both confrontational/adversarial and collaborative/harmonising types of meeting, and argues that we need a cultural revolution for ‘We the People’ to develop collaborative ways to organise, undermining the authorities, to evolve a true democracy of local groups combining through delegates into larger, regional, up to global, at each level retaining a collaborative independence. Delegates would not have power to agree decisions unacceptable to the groups they represent.
His message is essentially anarchist-communist, though he does not use this term. It is also in line with the aspirations of the Green Party, of decisions to be made at the lowest appropriate level.
From the start of the book, he recognises the overarching power of the banks, as creators and controllers of money, but does not criticise the system they have foisted on us, with the resulting exponential growth of unpayable debts,or examine the possibility of changing this. I regard this as a shortcoming to an otherwise optimistic but realistic thesis.
"That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money."
Marriner S. Eccles, Chairman and Governor of the Federal Reserve Board
"I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money... I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with the Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue."
Congressman Wright Patman