We realized we have been living in the Matrix, and then we took the red pill, or it was administered to us. A dark and unpleasant time follows in which we experience the anger, resentment, frustration, and even hatred that comes from realizing the unpleasant truth.
What follows is the true rite of passage. The way you handle it determines the course of your life: what do you do?
Denial is quite common.
Fear can be paralyzing. Staying stuck in a situation based on a lie might seem easier, if it is all you have ever known - even if it's terrible. Even if you can acknowledge the truth, the prospect of leaving behind all you have known can be too terrifying to consider.
But like it says in that CSNY song Ohio..."how can you run, when you know?"
How indeed. If we are lucky, it won't require the threat of mortal peril to bring us to our senses, but sometimes that is what it takes. Or a whack on the side of the head. Or a short, sharp shock.
The financial crisis of 2008 was one of those. We got whacked with the the truth that there is a financial elite over on Wall Street that is determined to plunder as much of the wealth of this world as they can, even if it means bringing the world's economy to its knees.
The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year was another. We came face to face with the reality that big oil companies will stop at nothing in pursuit of the mega-profits the oil business brings in, even if it means irrevocably damaging the environment and the atmosphere of our little planet.
These two events essentially represent the same problem, that of huge corporations causing great harm with a brazen lack of conscience or shame. It is just the sort of thing one assumes that government is supposed to be there for - to protect the rights of the innocent and powerless against the sociopathic cruelty of the super-rich. But here, another slap - in both crises, at every step where the government could have been of assistance, it failed. And the reason was obvious: the huge financial powers in question have already wielded their clout and made sure that the government never (effectively) acts against them, never punishes them (in any effective way), and never takes any (effective) steps to prevent such crises. In fact it is pretty clear that the government functions as little more than a tool to assist the super-rich in their mission of endless self-enrichment. They are not there for us. The government is a subsidiary of the corporate elite.
That's a bitter red pill to swallow. But it has been right in front of us, for a long time. We have been in denial because we have bought into the myth that both democracy and free-market capitalism are resilient and self-correcting, so when a crisis occurs we simply assume that things will get better, return to normal, even possibly improve. But now the unethical lawless behavior of those at the top in business and government has gotten so brazen, so egregious, that we just can't look away any more.
As the matrix of illusion dissolves and we begin to see clearly, we start to realize that it has always been this way. It's not a secret, or a hidden conspiracy, and it shouldn't come as a surprise.
The ultra-rich and powerful simply have such great disdain for most people, they see nothing wrong with treating them with complete callousness and cruelty. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, and have absolutely no sense of shame, conscience or regret about whether anyone gets hurt, or killed. The government's function is (evidently) to enable, enhance and defend their right to do this.
So what do you do? How can you run, when you know?
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