Matrix & Transformation – v. 2.1 – Synopsis


Richard Moore


    v. 2.1
    © 2004 Richard K. Moore




Chapter 1   A brief history of humanity
    Species evolution: competition within a cooperative framework
    The first humans and cultural evolution
    Origins of civilization: inside and outside the Garden
    The evolution of hierarchy and elite rule
    Cultures and conditioning

        As biologists have learned to look at whole ecosystems, they
        have found that evolution has been characterized more by
        cooperation for mutual benefit than by cutthroat competitions.
        Whereas other species inherit most of their behavior patterns
        genetically, humans learn their behavior patterns - and their
        culture generally - socially. This evolutionary breakthrough
        enabled the first humans to spread out and adapt rapidly to
        new ecological niches, and it later enabled the control of
        populations through conditioning and fabricated mythologies.
        The earliest civilizations, enabled by the domestication of
        plants and animals, began down one of two paths: that of
        harmony or that of domination. The standard 'history of
        civilization' can be seen as the story of how harmonious forms
        have been relentlessly supplanted by those of domination and

Chapter 2   The matrix
    Are you ready for the red pill?
    Imperialism and the matrix
    World War II and Pax Americana
    Glitches in the matrix, popular rebellion, and neoliberalism
    Globalization and corporate governance
    The management of discontented societies
    9/11 and the New American Century
    Capitalism and the matrix
    Civilization in crisis

        In our modern societies, the whole mainstream portrayal of
        history and current events amounts to a fabricated mythology
        of progress and democracy - a matrix version of reality. In
        the real world history tells a different kind of story, of
        competition among elites and the manipulation and exploitation
        of populations. Following three centuries of
        national-competitive imperialism, 1945 saw the emergence of
        Western-collective imperialism under Pax Americana, an
        unprecedented economic boom, and a policy of general Western
        prosperity. Declining growth forced this regime to be
        consciously abandoned (c. 1971) by elites - to be replaced,
        incrementally, with neoliberalism and globalization. The New
        American Century marks yet another global regime change as
        American elites pursue unilateral military and economic
        hegemony. Meanwhile, capitalism's insatiable need for growth
        is in fatal collision with the boundaries of a finite Earth.

Chapter 3   We the People and the transformational imperative
    We the People: lessons from our long experience of struggle
    The transformational imperative

        Civilization is facing a crisis of survival that can only be
        addressed by a thoroughgoing global transformation of our
        economic and political systems. The only agent that can or
        will bring about this needed transformation is an awakened We
        the People, and we have much to learn from the experiences of
        previous social movements.

Chapter 4   The harmonization imperative
    Adversarial systems and liberal democracy
    Liberal democracy and elite hegemony
    Divide and rule: the role of factionalism
    Individualism reconsidered
    The harmonization imperative

        Based on common-sense analysis, we can see that our political
        system - with political parties and competitive elections - is not
        democratic and could never be democratic. Indeed, if we look
        at the words and actions of the Founding Fathers, we learn
        that the American Constitution was consciously designed to
        facilitate elite dominance. We are kept under control by
        divide-and-rule factionalism and by a mythology of human
        nature based on a misunderstanding of evolutionary processes.
        We the People can only come into existence if we learn to
        overcome our divisiveness and find our common identity as
        sensible human beings.

Chapter 5   Achieving harmony and wisdom in groups
    Meeting dynamics: collaborative & adversarial
    A gap in our cultural repertoire
    Some remarkable meetings
    The dynamics of harmonization

        Meetings are the vehicles we use to make plans and decisions
        in our societies - as citizens, in business, and in government.
        We have two kinds of meetings - adversarial and
        collaborative - and neither of these seeks to - nor is able
        to - resolve differences among participants. Listening-enabling
        facilitation provides a third kind of meeting dynamics - based
        on harmonization - which enables participants to break through
        their differences, discover their common identity and wisdom
        as We the People, and find creative solutions to their shared
        problems. Outcomes of such meetings, as reported by
        participants, and as measured in results, have been truly

Chapter 6   We the People and social transformation
    Envisioning a transformational movement
    The role of movement initiators
    The new society within the old
    Engagement with the regime
    Global transformation and the third world

        The developments examined in the previous chapter suggest that
        the potential may exist in the West for a social movement to
        arise - focused on community empowerment and participatory
        democracy. Such a movement could awaken the spirit of We the
        People in society generally, and become a vehicle for social
        transformation. Such a locally based movement would not be
        guided by any centralized leadership group, but the emergence
        of the movement could be accelerated by the intervention of
        movement initiators. As a community-empowerment movement
        spreads throughout society, the grassroots-based democratic
        process of the transformed society would be growing up within
        the shadow of the current regime. Ultimately, when nearly
        everyone is part of the movement, the regime leadership would
        not be able to maintain control. Meanwhile, people in parts of
        the third world are finding their own paths to social
        transformation - leading the way for the rest of us.

 Chapter 7  Envisioning a democratic and sustainable world
    A framework for genuine democracy: local autonomy and harmonization
    The maintenance of peace
    The management of large-scale projects and operations
    The management of the global commons
    A systems perspective

        When our movement prevails, we will need to establish a new
        system of global order. The movement's own democratic
        process - based on local autonomy and harmonization - provides a
        basis for democratic governance in the new society. Local
        autonomy not only enables direct, participatory democracy, it
        also facilitates economic efficiency and sustainability. In
        order to prevent the emergence of new power elites, we will
        need to avoid creating any hierarchical structures, whether
        political or economic. Representative councils, assembled as
        needed, provide a means by which large-scale and global
        matters can be managed - without establishing centralized
        governmental institutions

Chapter 8   The transition process
    Taking responsibility locally
    Recycling institutional resources and developing the commons
    Establishing an equitable basis of exchange
    Networking and large-scale projects
    The journey is the destination

        The systems of our societies cannot be changed all at once. As
        we move toward a sensible world, we must keep the wheels of
        society turning all the while. In building infrastructures and
        creating systems that will be sustainable, we will need for
        the time being to continue exploiting our fossil-fuel
        reserves - an unavoidable one-time investment in our future.
        Managing the process of transition will be our first challenge
        to be faced as We the People. As we pursue this project in
        parallel in our various communities and regions - our efforts
        harmonized by the work of appropriate large-scale councils - 
        we will be establishing the systems of our transformed societies.

Chapter 9   Living outside the matrix
    Cultural evolution in a democracy
    Democracy and personal liberation
    Education outside the matrix
    Reflections on human evolution

        In a decentralized, democratic world we can look forward to
        the emergence a global cultural renaissance - the natural
        expression of a dynamic, liberated civilization. In such a
        culture we can expect people to experience liberation at a
        personal level as well, leading to a renaissance in art, and
        literature, and all forms of personal expression. Genuine
        education, as opposed to conditioning, will lead to new
        generations whose heights of achievement we can only guess at.
        In one sense our transformed global society will be an
        entirely new adventure for humanity. In another sense we will
        be returning to our roots, going home to the Garden.

Annotated bibliography

Appendix 1: Some simple facilitation methods: a Primer

Appendix 2: Empowerment or manipulation? A consumer's guide to group processes