The world is going crazy. People cry, seeing off cheeseburgers and nuggets on their last journey. People in line at IKEA are fighting for the right to buy garden furniture. You can’t buy tickets on planes flying to Yerevan. In Uzbekistan, they are discussing new migrants — Russians who came to work. Nobody drove them out of Russia — they fled on their own. From every blog and social media account, there are cries of the imminent end of the world coming in a single country. And this country, according to social networks, is Russia. What’s happening?
In 1999, the film «The Matrix» appeared in the United States. A film about a reality that is not really reality. Reality where people are controlled by machines. Territory where thoughts, actions, desires of everyone are programmed. The film was seen as a prophecy about a formidable but distant future. But the Matrix, with its illusory world, enveloped humanity much faster.
Its foundations were laid long ago. Step by step, from the thinking foundation of Western civilization, the Renaissance man, the beginnings were removed that made him remain a rational, thinking, resisting being. Christianity was the first to fall — a restraining moral component. The theory of mortal sin, the principles of a righteous life, which for a long time determined the existence of any person, from a peasant to a ruler, was erased. Nietzsche put a public end to the destruction of Christianity. God is dead, said one of the founders of Western philosophical thought. “Dead!” echoed his enthusiastic followers.
“God is dead: but such is the nature of people that for thousands of years, perhaps, there will be caves in which his shadow is shown.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Merry Science, 1882
Thus, a step was taken that sent Christian civilization and other world monotheistic religions to the caves. This was applauded, admired and called freedom of thought, freedom of action. The «chains» collapsed, the man became himself. This is how it was presented. Reality was different. The ruling class, the Italian philosopher Gramsci later said, had no intention of relinquishing power. It, Gramsci believed, needed new mechanisms to contain the revolutionary process (read — free thought). Such a mechanism, in the version of the philosopher, was supposed to be a false or embellished reality. The idea of the Matrix arose earlier than many think.
Many prominent philosophers warned about the impending threat — N. Danilevsky, K. Leontiev, V. Solovyov. Nikolai Yakovlevich Danilevsky was the first to point out the negative processes taking place in Western European bourgeois civilization in his work «Russia and Europe». They, in his opinion, led to the «godlessness» of a person, i.e. destruction of moral foundations. Pitirim Sorokin, a Russian philosopher and scientist exiled from Soviet Russia, went further than others in his forecast of the future of the West. Sorokin literally studied the West under a microscope — it was he who founded the department of sociology at Harvard.
How, in Sorokin’s version, should Western civilization have degraded? The destruction of the foundations of morality, he suggested, would entail the disappearance of the system of true values. “The boundary between truth and falsehood, fair and unfair, beautiful and ugly… will begin to steadily blur until the realm of mental, moral, aesthetic and social anarchy sets in,” Sorokin wrote in «Social and Cultural Dynamics».
Further, Sorokin believed, the situation should have deteriorated rapidly. “Treaties and agreements will lose the remnants of their binding power. The majestic contractual socio-cultural house built by Western man over the previous centuries will collapse. Its fall will sweep away contractual democracy, contractual capitalism coupled with private property, and the contractual society of free people,” the philosopher predicted. He talked about the inevitable disappearance of the family and landmarks — cultural, intellectual, moral. Sorokin clearly saw our days [as if] with his own eyes — so amazingly his vision of the future and modernity coincided.
“The disintegration of the family as a sacred union of husband and wife, parents and children will continue… Children will begin to separate from their parents earlier and earlier. The main sociocultural functions of the family will be reduced until it becomes a casual cohabitation of a male and a female, and the house is a place where you can “park” at night, mainly for sexual contacts.
The place of Galileo and Newton, Leibniz and Darwin, Kant and Hegel, Bach and Beethoven, Shakespeare and Dante, Raphael and Rembrandt will be taken by mediocre pseudo-thinkers, artisans from science, from music, from fiction, showmakers — one more vulgar than the other… Great Christianity will be replaced by many of the most disgusting tales, concocted from fragments of science, scraps of philosophy, infused with a primitive mishmash of magical beliefs and ignorant superstitions…
…Quantitative gigantomania will supplant qualitative sophistication; «the biggest instead of the best»; bestseller instead of classic; brilliant appearance instead of internal content; technique instead of brilliant insight; imitation instead of creativity; sensational success instead of a detailed assessment; «operational management» instead of enlightened knowledge; thinking will be replaced by «search for information»; instead of wise men there will be «Alices» (author’s note), instead of genuine criteria — fakes, instead of great leaders — scammers.
Even the greatest cultural treasures of the past will be humiliated. Beethovens and Bachs will become appendices to the eloquent empty talk advertising laxatives, chewing gum, corn flakes, beer and other sheer pleasures. Michelangelo and Rembrandts will decorate soap and razor blades, washing machines and whiskey bottles. Reporters and talkers on the radio will from time to time honor Shakespeare and Goethe by allowing them to «leave a mark» on their papers and conversations.
P. Sorokin, «Social and cultural dynamics», 1937-1941
To create a new false reality, it was necessary not only to remove moral and intellectual barriers. Tools were needed to change reality. Such became the media. The tone was set by the West, and it began long before talk about the coming bad future.
In July 1870, the Prussian Chancellor Bismarck ordered that forged diplomatic documents be published in newspapers. The purpose of the publication was the desire to provoke a war with France, convincing its head, Napoleon III, that there was no other way. The war began and entailed huge losses. This is how the first attempts to replace reality with a false entity looked like.
All these processes came together at one point at the turn of the 20th-21st centuries, strengthened each other and acquired maximum expression in the classic phrase of Adolf Hitler “The more monstrous the lie, the more willingly the crowd believes in it” (a phrase from Mein Kampf, which is mistakenly attributed to J. Goebbels — author’s note). With the development of the television and video industry, the «empire of lies» has become no longer a tool, but a prototype of the very matrix, a new world of «beautiful reality» for all its participants. The world of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rambo, Levis jeans, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. World of consumption.
It cannot be said that Western scientists did not talk about how this world was built, and did not discuss the consequences of such “building”. Good old Europe with its intellectual potential screamed about what was happening. Its thinkers spoke of the perniciousness of such a phenomenon as a consumer society, and, in their words, «the society of the spectacle» (Guy Debord, 1967), «one-dimensional society» (G. Marcuse, 1964), «simulacrum» (F . Baudrillard, 1981), «globalitarianism» (Paul Virilio, 1977-1997). But, unlike Sorokin, they did not predict, they were already observers. “Everything that was previously experienced directly is now removed into representation,” Guy Debord stated in 1967, speaking of the transformation of reality into a spectacle. Herbert Marcuse openly admitted that most of the needs of a person of a «new» Western civilization are false, imposed on him by the system.
«Most of the prevailing needs (to relax, to have fun, to consume and behave in accordance with advertising patterns, to love and hate what others love and hate) belong precisely to… the category of false needs.»
Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, 1964
The world of Coca-Cola, burgers and Rambo was slowly swallowing up one nation after another. Brands that changed moral guidelines and new gods from Hollywood became markers that (if there was a fact of their consumption) spoke about the involvement of a particular country in “civilization”. This process was described by another genius — Jean Baudrillard.
Back in 1970, Jean Baudrillard argued that it is not real things that are consumed, but their symbols — brands, labels, logos. Consumption does not imply choice — goods set, dictate the need, as in one of the slogans quoted by Viktor Pelevin: “Prepare to want one”. Consumption sets behavior patterns: brands allow you to identify a person’s place in society, function and status.
It is for this reason that there are so many fake Louis Vuitton bags around us. Their buyers are well aware that they own fake copies of real bags, but they cannot contradict the settings of the matrix and refuse them — then, as it seems to them, they will not be fashionable. But who said that this fashion is natural and real? The use of such a mechanism of influence on the minds led to a drop in the general level of culture. Baudrillard 50 years ago called this state of society the time of «the smallest common culture» — the time of the minimum set of signs that is accessible even to the most uneducated and marginalized sections of the population. Through these signs, said Baudrillard, they control the desires and actions of people. Today we know these signs as ‘likes’ and ’emojis’. These are the tools of the top of the matrix — social networks. The main mechanism for managing people, events, continents.
Russia, or rather the USSR, lost in the fight against the civilization of consumption. And tried to merge with her. McDonald’s, Rambo and other supermen began to replace our symbols. For more than 30 years, Russia has been systematically accustomed to the rules of a new life, the main measure of which is consumption. Like overseas natives, we were hand-fed candy, and we liked candy. We were told: “Why do you need your own when you have the whole world at your fingertips?” This gentle and kind world bribed us with beautiful products, gadgets, cars and planes. In the euphoria of consumption, we burrowed deeper and deeper. Instead of the usual “study, study”, we got a more attractive “buy, buy”. Is your car already 3 years old? Buy a new one! Change clothes with each new collection. After all, you are a fashionista. No education — buy it. Tired? — pay for a comfortable stay. Not enough money — take a loan. Most importantly, pay. And so that you don’t think, here’s social networks for you. They connect you with the whole world. In which you are not a Russian. Well, yes, you have funny matryoshka, bears and pancakes. Everything else is ours. The codes of the Matrix began to be written in the Russian mind, the very minimum set of signs that Baudrillard spoke about. And not just codes.
Russia was not a unique place in terms of the events taking place. At a certain point, the policy pursued by the United States led to a complete and uncontested «cultural hegemony» in the world (according to the American politician Patrick Buchanan with reference to the Italian philosopher A. Gramsci). The matrix is closed. The new control mechanism also implied control over public consciousness to justify wars, murders, and aggression. The world of consumption assumed wars — for consumers and for the right of consumers to continue consuming. This too was foretold.
Paradoxically, the consumer society breeds violence:
“The real problem of violence lies in another area — in the realm of real, uncontrolled violence, which creates abundance and security itself, since they reach a certain level. Here we are not talking about integrated violence, consumed along with the rest, but about uncontrolled violence, generated by welfare in its very implementation.
Jean Baudrillard, The Consumer Society. Its myths and structures, 1970
Consumption has created an artificial world, which it also protects and takes care of. The existence of this world means the existence of the hegemon itself. This invented world generates anti-natural entities in the form of freaks, gays, transgenders — everything that is alien to traditional civilization. The perverted consciousness of the inhabitants of the false world produces fakes, and envy of the healthy real world produces aggression, hatred and cruelty. To maintain such a configuration, it is no longer the civilization of the West, but the “transcivilization” of the West, that is ready for anything: waging wars, deploying offensive weapons, NATO expansion, color revolutions, extermination of indigenous peoples, hybrid wars and complex projects of controlled chaos.
If there is no reason for the war means that it will be created and implemented. The story invented by Bismarck multiplied many times and reached the point of absurdity. In 1999, information about the genocide in Kosovo was used to attack Yugoslavia by NATO. On May 17, 1999, the US Secretary of Defense, explaining the NATO attack on a sovereign country, stated: “We know that approximately 100,000 men of military age have disappeared in Kosovo. Perhaps they were killed.» Later, UN experts found 2,108 dead people in graves in Kosovo, of different ethnic and age groups. But no one remembered this.
On February 5, 2003, while explaining the attack on Iraq, US Secretary of State Colin Powell showed a test tube that he said was evidence of Iraqi biological weapons development. Iraq was wiped off the face of the earth. In the test tube, as it became known later, there was nothing.
The events of recent years in Syria have shown how staged videos of chemical attacks and stories about supposedly “killed” babies were thrown through social networks. The fact that this is not true did not bother anyone.
But that wasn’t the point. The videos, produced by the White Helmets organization created by the British intelligence services, were promoted on social networks as an example of «humanism» and were nominated for a Nobel Prize. A documentary about the White Helmets in Syria won an Oscar, once the highest accolade in cinema. The lie received the highest world awards in the field of culture and humanism. The landmarks of truth have completely disappeared. The killers became heroes, and the heroes became killers. These are the new rules of the «civilization» of the West, more precisely, the fruits of the action of the created global mechanism for managing people — the mechanism of social networks. There is no biblical truth or falsehood in them. There is no censorship either – there is only one truth of the “correct world”. The good old censorship can now be remembered as the golden age of truth.
“The era of the “information revolution” is… the era of Disinformation: if yesterday the lack of information and censorship characterized totalitarian states that reject democracy, today the opposite is happening. Viewers are being misinformed by overloading them with information, frankly contradictory information… The globalitarian state of economic and strategic alliances is no longer the good old censorship with scissors, it is Babylon. From now on <…> conscious manipulation has become indistinguishable from an unintentional occurrence.
Paul Virilio, Strategy of Deception, 2000
But the Matrix doesn’t just stop at aggression. Behind the illusory world are not at all illusory desires of its owners. They want to keep earning. In social networks, you can say as much as you like that everything that was before, for example, minerals, is no longer needed. But in reality, the Western world (read the Matrix) needs oil, electricity, workers and much more. Therefore, her desire to get something from those who possess them is limitless. In our previous version of life, we exchanged oil for printed and unsecured dollars. Their value is no less virtual, and no one can guarantee its safety.
In the new version of our lives that we are seeing right now, the Matrix simply takes away the values that belong to others. How? We see it literally on ourselves. Right now.
In the already mentioned film «The Matrix», the characters were disconnected [from the fictional reality] gradually, by persuasion, by offering a conscious choice. With Russia and its inhabitants, everything happened differently — they were thrown out of the Matrix, because the country went sideways. Across the rules of the Matrix, its lies, its invented Nobel Prizes and Oscars. After years of hesitation and doubt, Russia nevertheless decided to live in the real world. In a world where moral values are still alive, the familiar to us Christian ethics is alive. We want to think, live the way we want, as common sense and the genetic code tell us.
A backlash followed. We were not turned off — we were urgently thrown out of the Matrix. Without persuasion and choice. No red and blue pills. And then they began to deprive us both real and virtual values — from foreign exchange reserves to Adidas sneakers.
Apparently, the creators of the illusory world assumed that, left without McDonald’s and the App Store, the Russians would find themselves in the role of virtual drug addicts who had lost their daily dose of dope. And choose the way back. Society (primarily in Moscow) really experienced a mental shock, a rollback, the realization that now everything is not the same as before. Weeping for Mac does indeed take place, but did it come as a shock? Looks like no.
Therefore, more and more “shutdown” is being used. Following an attempt to deprive us of money, airplanes, household appliances, medicines, smartphones and much more, the last trump card is thrown on the table: the collective matrix is trying to cancel the very concept of “Russian”, to make it a symbol of something obscene. This is not even National Socialism or fascism, this is a new phenomenon. What does it mean?
Everything outside the Matrix is untermensch. You can’t treat them with sympathy, you can’t even ignore them, you need to mark them as a negative example, so that others do not behave in the same way in any case and never enter into a relationship of any kind with them. After all, untermensch is a concentration of vices with which they wants to infect everyone, to spoil the wonderful matrix world. Therefore, Yulia Tymoshenko can say that the inhabitants of Donbass can be “shot from atomic weapons” and remain in the matrix.
The “enlightened” world, controlled by the matrix of social networks, beats in ecstasy, puts ‘likes’, draws ’emojis’, without even knowing what Ukraine is and where it is located. The leaders of the «enlightened» world, having fallen into a frenzy, no longer even hide their ignorance, having no doubt that no one will question them for their words.
«How did we get to the international situation where Putin invaded Russia?»
«Putin can surround Kyiv with tanks, but he will never win the souls and hearts of the Iranians.»
Joe Biden, US President
«If you look at the map, you will see Hungary and how it is surrounded by Russia.»
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives
If Belarus invades Ukraine, the US 6th Fleet will immediately be transferred to the coast of Belarus.
Jen Psaki, Representative of the US State Department
Is it worth interrupting the withdrawal and returning? No. The Matrix and the “Transcivilization” generated by it have neither the ability nor the desire to negotiate. This force does not recognize truth and law, violating, first of all, its own basic doctrinal value — the inviolability of private property.
«Everyone understands that any legal subtleties today are just a way of deception — disinformation put on stream — designed to hide the collapse of apparent justice.»
Paul Virilio, Strategy of Deception, 2000
In the Matrix system, no one has a right to their own. In this system, money can no longer be money, and a baseball arena can cost more than Rosneft. That is why the dialogue with the Matrix does not make sense. If even US President Donald Trump, deprived of social media accounts, declared a fiend of evil and subjected to all forms of public censure, is not a person for her, then what can we say about some Russians? The civilization of the Matrix is dangerous for any nation, because it does not want to see it as a nation, but only consumers, symbols, ‘likes’, ’emoji’ and credit ratings. There is no person in it, a consumer society, terrible in its scale, is built in it, the same drug illusion from Stanislav Lem’s novel «Futurological Congress», in which everyone has already been assigned his role. And that role is the silent consumer. «Progressive» humanity has plunged into virtual reality and the illusory world of almost complete abundance and prosperity. To see the true state of things is the prerogative of only the elite. The real reality is the complete collapse of civilization.
Do we have a choice? Are we barbarians who have lost the values of Western civilization? No. At the heart of true Western civilization, the civilization of the Enlightenment, there has always been choice. But not always easy.
On October 31, 1517, a simple monk Martin Luther nailed his famous “95 Theses” to the doors of the Wittenberg church, where he smashed the ideological foundations of society that existed in medieval Europe, and as a result of Catholic absolutism, the socio-political foundations of society.
By asking a simple question about «normality», Luther turned the world upside down, in which lies, injustice and imaginary ideals reigned. With his ideas, he largely predetermined the emergence of that same old Europe, of which we ourselves are a part. Was this path easy? No. It caused a series of conflicts and wars. Now we can’t avoid them too.
Both us and our opponents are in for a shock. “Brute force and cynical deception will be the only attributes of all interpersonal and intergroup relations. Power will become right. As a result, wars, revolutions, riots will break out, society will be overwhelmed by unrest and atrocities. The bellum omnium contra omnes will raise its head: a person will go against a person, a class against a class, a nation against a nation, faith against faith, a race against a race,” predicted Pitirim Sorokin, narrating about the finale of Western civilization. Time confirmed all his predictions.
Now we actually see what the Matrix looks like. We see how she takes “her people” – as if in hysterics, not even understanding where, why, people are fleeing Russia. The drug of the Matrix is powerful, and not everyone can get rid of it. But, perhaps, an urgent evacuation to the Matrix will make the air cleaner in the Motherland? The formed «empire of lies» replaces ideas about the future, deprives a person of the idea of the future as such. If the country is deprived of idea, neither tanks nor armies will help — that is why Alexander the Great took Aristobulus on an Indian campaign. We need to get our idea. We have everything for this – nation, history, culture, intellect.
Russia challenged the «empire of lies» and launched the process of the birth of a new world. What it will be, we will know in a few decades. They think we’ve been turned off. We believe we were able to get away. The matrix is no more. And that means no lies.