The “matrix” that is modern life

Was thinking of other things someone was mentioning recently having to do with what impact society at-large may be having on all of us. I took it that his position doesn’t place as much weight on societal influences as my assessment has led me to.

First off, while society’s become populated with top-down schemes, they came into being through hodge-podged efforts. Plenty who originally set out to create a new venue or business or political camp probably had noble intentions initially. And perhaps many maintained those noble intentions for the most part throughout their lives. But others pick up their ideas and run with them in all sorts of directions, for better or worse. Others might be pursuing their own version of a higher ideal or they might be just trying to manipulate the setup to benefit themselves first and foremost. It divvies up in various ways. But through these collective efforts the Hodge Podge is constructed, and those within the wealthiest and most influential classes tend to gain access and rise to the top, not necessarily because they’re competent though they do tend to be charismatic. Charisma has fooled humans for a long, long time, so I’ve been learning about. As with anything apparently, it too has proven to be a double-edged sword, and in this case not necessarily of equal proportions.

Technology has fueled the economic machine ever since (or prior to) anything remotely resembling technology or economics could be articulated. When someone asks me how I can view economics as playing such a invasive role in our lives, I’m left puzzled. Has it become so prolific that people fail to even notice that we live in a day and time when practically everything under the sun has a price tag attached to it?  While I recognize that anything with any real value has nearly always had some sort of cost extracted in order to attain it, though for the vast majority of human history it was not monetarily assessed. Now damn-near everything is. Water tends to cost money, accessing shelter costs money, food costs money, legally-required clothing (so as to avoid running around naked) costs money oftentimes (unless donated), education costs money, time costs money (at least while at work, which is necessary to afford to exist, unless money is provided by others through charity and government services), etc. The media that we’re fed a steady diet of costs money. Political races themselves nowadays cost money.  Our technologies and the electricity/gas needed to fuel them all costs money. And then we get bogged down in the tedious, like the costs to repair technological equipment (that routinely malfunctions) and costs associated with maintaining all that money has afforded us, from the upkeep on our homes and personal health to helping raise our kids to providing maintenance for the concrete jungles so many of us alive today have come to rely (nay, depend) on. What do you mean there’s no economic imperative breathing down our necks? To survive requires money, whether earned by oneself or provided by others. That’s become a fact a life. It is that which constitutes the skeleton of the modern matrix.

So, I start there, and layer by layer we can assess the influences of pop culture and media output and political propaganda. Then we can break it down to how that’s impacting the interpersonal aspects of our lives in terms of gender relations and how we commonly define “success” and the expectations we harness to ourselves and others, etc. (all of which has come to be heavily influenced by politics and popular media).

Oh, and I suppose we could back up a bit to mention the fusion of popular religions and the sway modern interpretations hold over people’s psyches, from liberal to outright fascist. And, interestingly enough, one needn’t actually be an adherent to a known religion to still behave and think religiously. That’s another aspect of human evolution — religions of various sorts have been with us for a long time. To perceive the world through that type of lens is quite natural and occurs even when we don’t realize its presence. (That consideration adds an interesting spin on what can be observed among atheists.)

So anyway, this matrix extends deep and wide. And that’s where we currently stand. One can fight to become cognizant of it, but I don’t see how most of us might escape it. It’s entrenched and we’re entrenched within it. This is reality as we know it. It’s what we were born into and is truly all we really know. And it colors everything we might be capable of learning. Yet another strange paradox where it seems only rogue individuals themselves might effectively resist it, since getting trapped in the debt game leads one to feel coerced into playing the money game, lest one wants to wind up possibly subjected to the penal system. There’s a tremendous amount of feedback within this loop.

And, as I mentioned in the last post, that doesn’t make what’s occurring necessarily unnatural in regard to human strivings bringing us to this destination. But what has been constructed proves to be so far from anything natural that we’ve evolved to deal with that we experience a great deal of stress as a consequence. And this can jeopardize one’s perceived quality of life. Which then leads to psychological health problems and existential crises/panic across the affected populations (which is rapidly expanding to draw in everybody on earth as this matrix spreads globally).

At least that’s what it looks like to me by this point.


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