The Matrix

Good morning, dear Friends!

Today I came across a most interesting write-up by Joel S. Hirschhorn that reflects what I've been saying for the duration of the Bush junta, namely that engaging in the political process has become a pointless distraction from progress.  I've been roundly criticized by many people for this attitude. "If you don't vote you can't complain" is the typical comment.  My response to this has become:  Bullshit.

I voted in every election from the time I achieved my majority until the first Dubya administration when it became clear to me that our votes no longer mean anything, but are simply being used against us to provide the illusion that we retain a meaningful election process.  Once it becomes clear that the election process is a sham, then people begin to consider other ways of inducing change - and Americans still labor under the delusion that thier aspirations, opinions and intentions mean something to their government.  

Josef Stalin is credited with saying:  "Those who cast the votes decide nothing.  Those who count the votes decide everything."  I've never been able to pin down this attribution, but it doesn't matter who said it.  It expresses a forceful truth.

I do not believe in violent overthrow.  I no longer believe in demonstrations and protests.  I have come to believe that knowledge and virtue are the most subversive elemens of all.  We need a million Gandhis.  Here is Hirshhorn's essay, which I hope will spark some discussion and debate among us.


Western Democracies Have Evolved Into Tyrannical Governments

Politics / New World Order Feb 04, 2008 - 03:44 AM

By: Joel_S_Hirschhorn


Perhaps a global political apocalypse has already arrived.

Activists and dissidents should understand that evil forces and tyrannical governments have evolved. Just as human knowledge and science expand, so do the strategies and instruments used by rulers, elites and plutocrats. By learning from history and using new technology they have smarter tools of tyranny. The best ones prevent uprisings, revolutions and political reforms. Rather than violently destroy rebellious movements, they let them survive as marginalized and ineffective efforts that divert and sap the energy of nonconformist and rebellious thinkers. Real revolution remains an energy-draining dream, as evil forces thrive.

Most corrupt and legally sanctioned forms of tyranny hide in plain sight as democracies with free elections. The toughest lesson is that ALL elections are distractions. Nothing conceals tyranny better than elections. Few Americans accept that their government has become a two-party plutocracy run by a rich and powerful ruling class. The steady erosion of the rule of law is masked by everyday consumer freedoms. Because people want to be happy and hopeful, we have an epidemic of denial, especially in the present presidential campaign. But to believe that any change-selling politician or shift in party control will overturn the ruling class is the epitome of self-delusion and false hope. In the end, such wishful thinking perpetuates plutocracy. Proof is that plutocracy has flourished despite repeated change agents, promises of reform and partisan shifts.

The tools of real rebellion are weak. Activists and dissidents look back and see successful rebellions and revolutions and think that when today´s victims of tyranny experience enough pain and see enough political stink they too will revolt. This is wrong. They think that the Internet spreads information and inspiration to the masses, motivating them to revolt. This is wrong. They await catastrophic economic or environmental collapse to spur rebellion. This too is wrong.

Why are these beliefs wrong? Power elites have an arsenal of weapons to control and manipulate social, political and economic systems globally: corruption of public officials that make elections a sham; corporate mainstream media that turn news into propaganda; manipulation of financial markets that create fear for the public and profits for the privileged; false free trade globalization that destroys the middle class; rising economic inequality that keep the masses time-poor and financially insecure; intense marketing of pharmaceuticals that keep people passive; and addictive consumerism, entertainment and gambling that keep people distracted and pacified.

The biggest challenge for dissidents and rebels is to avoid feel-good therapeutic activism having virtually no chance of removing evil and tyranny. Idealism without practicality tactics without lofty goals, and symbolic protests pose no threat to power elites. Anger and outrage require great strategic thinking from leaders seeking revolution, not mere change. And social entrepreneurs that use business and management skills to tackle genuine social problems do nothing to achieve political reforms. To the extent they achieve results they end up removing interest in overthrowing political establishments that have allowed the problems to fester.

What is the new tool of tyranny? Technological connectivity achieved through advanced communications and computer systems, especially the rise of wireless connectivity. The global message to the masses is simple: Buy electronic products to stay plugged in. Connectivity may give pleasure, but it gives even more power to elites, rulers and plutocrats. It allows them to coordinate their efforts through invisible cabals, to closely monitor everything that ordinary people and dissidents do, and to cooperatively and clandestinely adjust social, financial and political systems to maintain stability and dominance.

In this dystopian world all systems are integrated to serve upper class elites and the corporate state, not ordinary people. When ordinary people spend their money to be more shackled to connectivity products, they become unwitting victims of largely invisible governmental and corporate oppressive forces. They are oblivious that their technological seduction exacerbates their political and economic exploitation. Though some 70 percent believe the country is on the wrong track, they fail to see the deeper causes of the trend. And if Americans were really happy and content with their consumer culture, then why are they stuffing themselves with so many antidepressants, sleeping pills and totally unhealthy foods? In truth, the vast majority of people are in denial about the rotten system they are trapped in (aka The Matrix). They are manipulated to keep hope alive through voting, despite the inability of past elections to stop the slide into economic serfdom.

Increasingly, the little-discussed phenomenon of economic apartheid ensures that elites live their lavish lives safely in physically separated ways. Concurrently, economic inequality rises, as the rich extract unusually high fractions of global wealth. When the rich get richer, the powerful get stronger. Does some economic prosperity trickles down to the poorest people? Perversely, the middle class is moved into the lower class. In this new physics of evil, wealth transfer is not from the rich to the poor, but from the middle class in wealthier countries to the poor in developing nations, where a few new billionaires join the global plutocracy.

Some data on economic inequality: The after-tax income of the top 1 percent of Americans rose 228 percent from 1979 through 2005, while middle class income remained flat over the last 4 decades. The richest 0.01 percent of earners made 5.1 percent of all income in 2005, up more than 300 percent from just 1.2 percent in 1960. Bad economic times like the present just exacerbate inequality. Even as most Wall Street companies lost billions in the sub-prime mortgage debacle after they had already made billions, they gave obscene bonuses to their employees: the average topped $180,000 for 2007, tripling the $61,000 in 2002. Scholars used to predict that high levels of economic inequality like we have today would lead to rebellion. But there are now insufficient tools and paths for rebellion, because the plutocracy has eliminated them. Instead, citizens are offered elections whose outcomes can be controlled and subverted by the ruling class.

The New World Order is getting what it wants: a stable two-class system, with the lower class serving the elitist upper class. The paradox is that along with rising economic inequality and apartheid is mounting consumerism and materialism that is used to pacify, distract and control the masses. That´s where easy credit and cheap products from low-wage nations are critical. The poor can have cell phones, 24-7 Internet access and increasingly cars, while the bejeweled upper class travel in private jets and yachts, vacation on private islands, and have several gated mansions maintained by servants and guarded by private police. We have a technologically advanced form of medieval society. It is working in the US and China and most other places. Elections just mask economic tyranny and slavery.

The ruling class knows how to maintain stability. Keep the masses distracted, fearful, brainwashed, insecure, and dependent on government and business sectors for survival. Train people to see themselves as relatively free consumers. Maintain the myth that ordinary people can become wealthy and join the ruling class, which theoretically is not impossible, but of no statistical significance for the masses.

There are no easy paths to restore power to the people. But here are three strategies worth considering.

First, the real power of the masses is as consumers, not as voters, workers, activists, or Internet users. Weakened unions, globalization, technology, and illegal immigration have sapped the power of workers. National economies, especially the US, depend on consumers. Suspensions in discretionary consumer spending used as a political weapon could force reforms. But curbing personal spending and saving money has become a rare form of civil disobedience. Consumers buy stuff when they want it, not when they can afford it. Rulers have replaced chains with debt and no political leader in a very long time has championed economic rebellion.

Second, because they are more a tool of tyranny than rebellion, the masses should stop giving credibility and legitimacy to faux democracies by boycotting elections. Plutocrats cleverly equate patriotism and good citizenship with voting while at the same time ensuring that no genuine change agents can succeed even if elected. All election results can be subverted by the forces of corruption. Those promising change, like Barack Obama, do not pose a lethal threat to forces of evil and corruption. Sadly, refusing to vote in corrupt political systems is another worthy but unpopular form of civil disobedience. The compulsion to vote is a political narcotic that sustains democratic tyranny.

Third, people must seek forms of direct democracy that give them political power. National ballot measures and initiatives are needed to make laws, impose spending mandates and recall elected officials. A most important tool is constitutional conventions outside the control of status quo preservationists to obtain systemic reforms that governments will never provide, as explained for the US at No greater example of ruling class power exists than the absence of massive public demands for using what the Founders gave Americans in Article V: the convention option to circumvent and fix the federal government that – amazingly – has never been used, and that no presidential candidate has supported, including constitutional champion Ron Raul.

By Joel S. Hirschhorn


JoyAnna's picture

Thanks for sharing this article, Dave.

I appreciate that Hirschhorn not only points out a source of the economic inequality of our culture, but also offers three possible strategies without resorting to violence. So many of us have been lulled and drugged, by consumerism and patriotic jingoism, into accepting our loss of citizen rights and powers. I have often wondered if my rather disdainful attitude toward all this rage for electronic gadgetry (except my computer, of course :-) isn't just a symptom of age, etc. But those who have lost their way into greed are actually dependent upon all of us spending every dollar we can get our hands on for the latest toy. How much richer could our lives be if we actually began to buy less and lived more simply, causing less abuse of our dear planet ?

I think I may have voted for the last time. The first time was for Eisenhower, and I have never missed since. Now, however, it almost feels like a sacrilege to participate in these sham elections. The mail-in ballot still sits on my desk. We'll see.

Joining with all of you in Sacred Love,

Hey Dave,

We have a different voting system to you over here. It is compulsory for us to vote!
I stopped voting about 10 years ago. I get fined every Local, State and Federal election. About $50 each time. I pay it with pride.......why.....I dunno know? but I do feel good when I pay it........I will not give them my vote!
I have never found anyone to agree with me......
until now maybe...........


StanP's picture

Hi, Dave. Thanks for posting this article. It's scary. But all the more important for being scary. I don't have an answer to the issues raised. But looking at this from another view point might useful. One other perspective may be had from reading Bob Altermeyer's free PDF book "The Authoritarians." In it he describes a certain segment of society as "Authoritarian Followers" who he believes form the heart of the social problems of our times. Here is one of Altermeyer's opening paragraphs: Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want--which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I=m going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation. Find Bob Altermeyer's book for yourself at this link: Stan

davelambert's picture

Good point, Stan. Thanks for sharing that. I think I agree with that pretty wholeheartedly. We abdicate our responsibilities and our virtues easily when we mindlessly submit.


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davelambert's picture

We think similarly. The questions you ask are good ones. I've considered them, too. The best answer I have so far is to live for what we really believe in and not against that which offends us. To me, that doesn't mean we never protest or take action. It means we don't waste our time and efforts (energy flows where thoughts go!) trying to work withing a system that is designed to make us do just that - waste our time.

I've seen many models or scenarios of where we could be headed. Things seem pretty bleak for a lot of people right now. There is no way for the crumbling of the old world to be a painless or orderly process. There are people attempting to make it so - for themselves. There are people attempting to mitigate the pain of passage for others, too. I see no point in trying to prop up a house that is ready to fall - but I respect those who do, as long as they don't stand in my way. I mean them no harm and will help them if I can. But I'm looking onward and further out, to what we face in a few years which, as far as I can see, is without precedent.


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davelambert's picture

Losing absolutely everything can be the best possible experience.

You said a mouthful! It's death and rebirth, the profoundest of mysteries. I'd hazard a guess that many who've found themselves propelled into a new life-paradigm have done so in conjunction with such a dizzying awakening. I remember once writing that it's like waking up and finding out that the dream has been your life, and reality is like nothing you ever thought.

You're right about providing an alternative. And you're right that this is much of what the T Team's about. Part of what makes this all so exciting is that the alternatives are so individual, encouraging us to seek commonality and unity to stave off chaos. Part of what makes it so confusing to so many is that there are dozens of alternatives being thrust into the spotlight, and not many folks these days possess true discernment.

I'm quite sure that Ego will not play as large a part in the new paradigm as it has in the old. Paradoxically perhaps, I believe people will fulfill their individual potential much more fully and freely. For me, ego never carries me forward. I understand this. Yet it throws stones beneath my feet continually. It's much the same for others in their own ways, I'm sure. I'm a baby compared to most of the folks here at the Portal, and my ego is the prime reason why!

Loss of ego can be as great a death as loss of body. But if we can step aside from it and see beyond it we may see the many levels of reality our "I's" keep us from seeing. Nevertheless it's an essential part of who we are that must be nurtured and pruned like a rose bush. It must be tall, to see above the confines of circumstance. It must be deep, to drink living water from far beneath the surface. It must bear fruit. It must not grow hubris. Above all, to survive season after season, it must be robust and strong.

But in the end it is no more than our frame of reference for this particular garden.

I wonder about the relationship between Authoritarianism and the development of the Ego. I'm thinking much could be said about it.


davelambert's picture

Compulsory voting, now that is a totally new concept to me. If I had no faith in the integrity of the election, I'd pay the fine too.

When my government can prove to me that our votes actually mean something, then I will use mine once again. If my preference is lost to the majority, that is alright with me so long as the process is valid. Meanwhile however I think I can find more meaningful ways to create a good effect.


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davelambert's picture

8-D, I am convinced that ego only became problematic when the concept
of hierarchy and "power over" came into being. As we reclaim a state of will prevail.

That's pretty close to how my thinking runs, too. You're quite right that ego is what we use to protect us from the exploitive paradigm...and focusing outward allows us to see beyond it into the realm where we all connect. This is certainly not a new idea but it's one that's desperately needed right now.

I gotta tell you, I haven't fully absorbed the implications of the Feminine that I've been getting from the WM'll take a while. There's nothing there that's radical to me but the contemplation of the music we make together seems to be missing the second and third verses. As in Qabbalah, where numerical symbols devolve ever-upward into ever-more-esoteric applications, so the divine dance of male and female would seem to lead ecstatically to ever-more-exquisite modulations of the music of the spheres. Perhaps if there are undiscovered WM sites in other places, one is dedicated to the sacred male, while others to the upper reaches of bliss that few of us (certainly not I) can yet comprehend.


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UrsulaD's picture

Thank you for the interesting discussion and insights. It is important to remain positive and to anchor the light. That is what makes the difference. The more we focus on negativity, the more power we give it.

Love U

davelambert's picture

I posted elsewhere about a sad milestone...more than one in a hundred Americans is now being kept in prison.  Our country is going down, and not doing it well or gracefully.  As one goes down, of course, another comes up, and it's not about nations in the long run.  Here is more on that...this is from Whitley Streiber's site.


The New Superpowers--UPDATE

The US and Russia used to be considered the two
superpowers. Then Europe formed a union and Russia broke
apart, and now India and China are poised to be the
superpowers of the future. The Worldwatch Institute says
that the rise of these two countries represents one of the
gravest threats—and greatest opportunities—facing the world

The choices these countries make in the next few years in
business, oil consumption, politics, pollution protection and
agriculture will effect the rest of the world—for good or for ill.

Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin says, "Rising demand
for energy, food, and raw materials by 2.5 billion Chinese and
Indians is already having ripple effects worldwide." However,
the US still consumes three times as much grain per person
as China and five times as much as India. U.S. per-capita
carbon dioxide emissions are six times the Chinese level and
20 times the Indian level. If China and India were to consume
resources and produce pollution at the current U.S. level, it
would require two planet earths just to sustain their

Thankfully, these two countries are beginning to realize this.
Flavin says, "We were encouraged to find that a growing
number of opinion leaders in China and India now recognize
that the resource-intensive model for economic growth can't
work in the 21st century. Already, China's world-leading solar
industry provides water heating for 35 million buildings, and
India's pioneering use of rainwater harvesting brings clean
water to tens of thousands of homes. China and India are
positioned to leapfrog today's industrial powers and become
world leaders in sustainable energy and agriculture within a

UPDATE: Meanwhile, China is having the same kind of
problems we are, caused by
. Clifford Coonan writes in the Indpendent that a
hurricane with winds of over 100 mph has hit the southern
Chinese coast, killing 11 people and forcing a million more to

Maybe we need to learn some lessons from them, before WE become a
third-world country!

Stefa's picture

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davelambert's picture

In the US we are brought up to understand that voting is one of the basic duties of a citizen. "If you don't vote, you can't complain" is the mantra. For many, many years I have joined my fellow-citizens in bemoaning the necessity thrust upon us of trying to select the lesser of two evils, instead of anything positive. Eventually I asked myself, "Why play this game?" And with the advent of the Cheney-Bush regime, it has become more and more clear that our votes mean nothing. The results have all been decided beforehand, and the only thing they have to figure out is how to maintain the illusion - for a just a little longer, I hear them telling themselves - that a vote is a meaningful exercise in anything at all.

So I dropped out. I feel no regret, only a blessed relief that I don't have that illusion any longer. I see the criminals for what they are, and I name it. That's a first step.

They cannot control my thoughts, although if what I read is true, they are trying to do that.

As long as we have the internet and our computers, they cannot stop us networking and sharing ideas.

Not only is not voting a vote indeed, but so is our presence here and our willingness to let the old structures crumble. There is nothing more subversive than a paradigm of love and universal brotherhood. We are dangerous in the extreme, by their lights.


Stefa's picture

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JoyAnna's picture

Me too. My first presidential vote was for Eisenhower. You know, "I like Ike." Ever since then it's been like Dave said, the lesser of two evils. Now I learn that Ike also was involved in the earlier terrorism. I've had enough. I will not vote this time. Voting is our most precious duty and right, but it feels sacreligious to participate in this sham, as if it were real. Maybe if enough of us stop playing the game, some kind of message will be sent.


Stefa's picture

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