re/ ETM: Chapter 1 – The Matrix


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI

Greg Maybury wrote:

G’day Richard,

There is some serious meaty stuff in here. Although I was familiar with much of it, there was nonetheless quite a bit of information that I wasn’t aware of. I expect I’ll be ‘plagiarizing’ some of this in future pieces.

Hope you are well. My latest piece:

Greg Maybury 

Editor / Publisher 

Thanks Greg, that’s an interesting blog you’ve got there. Everything I write is for sharing!


Tasha Polak wrote:

HI, Richard. Please forgive me if I’ve mentioned this before but years ago in a  former life as a journalist for the <hiss> mainstream media while doing  a weekly  nationally syndicated celebrity interview column etc, I remember something  Buckminster Fuller said when I interviewed him– visionaries and leading-edge folks are typically 50 years ahead of everyone else– which is why it would be so frustrating for you who see these connections before anyone else can fathom them. Tasha

Fuller also said, in a talk I attended, that he wasn’t smarter than other people, but that he asked questions no one else was asking. I ask for instance these questions, “What would a real democratic society look like?”, “How can We the People be given real meaning?”  I’m surprised how few people have any interest in such questions.


Below are the last three paragraphs of Chapter 1. They provide a good introduction to the rest of the book. 



“We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy – from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses – that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.” 

—Frances Moore Lappé, Time for Progressives to Grow Up

When I say we, in this context, I mean we the people, ordinary people, regular citizens – as expressed so eloquently by Lappé. But does this make sense? Do we really have the ‘capacity for self governance’? What kind of ‘direct engagement’ can enable us to feel ‘meaningful ownership of solutions’ to our problems? What would self-governance look like? How would it function? How, indeed, can we even exist: how can we ordinary people somehow come together and agree on what we want and how we’re going to proceed toward achieving it? What does we the people look like, in terms of political arrangements?

These are by no means easy questions to answer, but answer them we must if we want to live to see a better future than the one that has been mapped out for us by our elite rulers. The rest of this book can be seen as a quest, in search of answers to these questions. To get our bearings, in preparation for this quest, let us go back to before the Matrix existed, and look at how human societies evolved. If we can understand how we got to where we are as a civilization, we may gain some perspective on how we might go about shifting our course.