On Freedom, Interdependence and Metaphysics
Freedom, Interdependence and Metaphysics are major themes in the Matrix movies, which is part of the reason why they resonate with so many of us
We all have this nagging sensation, this feeling that something is terribly wrong with our lives. Some of us have done a lot of research trying to figure out what is wrong, while others have just gone on with their lives despite not knowing what is wrong. So what is our problem? Our problem is that we are not free.
We are not free because our lives are largely dictated and controlled by these invisible systems we have no say in. These systems control every aspect of our lives. We have government systems and we have what they call "democracy", but that so called democracy is fake, with only a few people making the decisions for everyone. When it comes to the corporate systems, we have no say at all unless we prove our complete and utter obedience to their system, in which case we can sell our souls, "climb the ladder", become a manager and have a small amount of input... under their terms, of course.
Our lack of freedom is what bothers us. The problem is not so obvious to all of us, as we are always told that we are free and are always distracted with bread and circus so that we can be obedient slaves.
So what are these systems? These systems are the organization of society as a whole. They control every aspect of society and, by extension, every interaction we have with one another and with our environment as a whole. In short, they control our lives. These systems are owned and controlled by a few people, the plutocrats, who have spread their system across the globe, creating what we often refer to as “the empire”. Their system is designed to convert all our time and energy into wealth for them and to keep us ignorant, controlled and obedient to them.
We are not controlled with weapons, we are instead controlled with the threat of hunger, poverty, suffering and death if we don't comply with their system. We depend on their system to survive because their system gives us access to food, water and shelter. That is why we are not free. We have no say in their system and they have complete control over our lives so we are hostages to the owners of the systems, the plutocrats who hold the keys that allow us to access their system and, thus, the keys to our survival. We refer to their keys as “money”. Our lives are completely subject to them and, therefore, we are their slaves. They hold our lives in their hands and demand us to work, obey them and consume their products in order to maintain control of us.
The feeling of powerlessness that results from living under this hostage situation is what causes apathy and all the social ills that plague society. People become apathetic because they lose their intrinsic motivation required to fully function in their daily lives. They become apathetic because they are not allowed to be free. Self-determination is key to a healthy psyche. When we don't have the authority to govern ourselves and, thus, become deprived of self-determination, we end up with psychological problems and in more extreme cases even trauma.
They also gain considerable advantage by forcing us to compete against each other for resources and competing against each other in a war of left and right ideologies, neither of which can serve us alone. While we fight for the scraps, they run away with the spoils.
It is becoming clear that this won't end well for most of us, nor for the rest of life on Earth. We need to free ourselves from their system.
We are far too dependent on their system. Our only hope is to create our own systems to replace the ones owned and controlled by the plutocrats. Once we develop our own systems and become dependent on them instead, we will have an alternative for everyone to move to and we can then starve the empire.
Our system needs to be more sophisticated, universal, resilient, adaptable... and, most importantly, our system needs to fundamentally change our relationship with one another and with our environment. It needs to free us from our dependence on the plutocratic systems, or any other centralized system, all of which would lead to the same power dynamics we have today. We need to distribute power throughout society, so that we can become less dependent on centralized systems and more dependent on each other, through a system that distributes power. When power is distributed, by allowing all of us equal access to the system, we become interdependent, thus allowing all of us to be free within the context of society. This freedom is achieved, not only because of the autonomy and self-determination provided to us through the system, but also because the system expects us to become increasingly more responsible for our actions, which naturally leads to greater self-growth, which leads to greater levels of freedom.
We need our environment to survive as much as we need our bodies. We need trees to produce oxygen as much as we need lungs to breath the oxygen. For that reason, we can't be independent from our environment, we are one with it. We became enslaved to their system, because it was designed to facilitate our interactions with our environment, shelter us from their environmental consequences and give us the impression that we are independent from our environment, all while hiding the fact that we have become dependent on their system. The conveniences provided by their system come at the price of our freedom. The only way out of dependence from this plutocratic empire is by taking responsibility for our own lives, working together and becoming interdependent, thus replacing our dependence on their centralized system with interdependence amongst ourselves. We can only gain our freedom by working together and becoming interdependent.
The organizational structure of society is crucial because it is the organization of the society we live within that defines our relationship with each other and our behavior to ourselves and one another. Organization defines structure, structure defines reality. Our first step is to create an organization to encapsulate the development and ongoing maintenance of our own social-economic systems. This organization needs to restructure all relationships of society into partnerships. It needs to be owned and controlled by all its members, each of which being a highly autonomous partner in the society. Interactions between partners can then be intermediated by the social-economic systems built within the partnership, which will be owned and controlled by all. It is through our own organization that we will become free.
What is freedom? Freedom is the degree to which we are capable of influencing our environment. Freedom lies in the self-determination to govern oneself and to think independently. But freedom has a price. It requires critical thought in perception and responsibility in action, without which one is not truly free, nor the society which the individual belongs to. Freedom requires from all of us that we balance our own decisions based on how they affect not only ourselves but also those around us, because for as long as one of us is not free, none of us truly are.
Freedom is blind without logic and reason, so interactions that are not based on logic and reason are potentially harmful to us. We need to guide our interactions with one other and our environment in order to prevent harm done to one another and to our environment. This is responsibility. Responsibility is the price we pay to ensure that our interactions don't harm ourselves and our environment.
We tend to think of ourselves as separate from each other and our environment, but that perception is short sighted. We learn to think this way when we are still babies, when we notice that we can't directly influence our environment. This is when we become aware of our bodies, which we can control, and our body becomes the boundary of our being. The reality is that we are not separate from our external environment, we depend on it to survive just as much as we depend on our internal environment to survive.
Our primary work, then, is to develop smart social-economic systems to facilitate our interactions with one another and with our environment. It is through our own systems that we will become independent from the plutocratic systems.
We've got to do more than just protest and vote in a pseudo-democratic system, we need to get organized and take action. If we want the freedom to live our lives, then we must take responsibility for our lives by creating, owning and managing all the systems that we need to survive. It is only when we govern ourselves and become self-sufficient, interdependent and independent from the empire's system that we can truly become free.