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The Matrix*

(For Kesari Kannepalli)

 

If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have
any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.

George Orwell
 


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan…

Alexander Pope

 

My critique of Eurocentrism (EuroModernism, or EM, the specific variant of Modernism invented in Europe and imposed on the world (I have placed a precis of its main traits in the APPENDIX below this piece) is simplicity itself:

 
I maintain that ALL of EM thinking is plain Wrong, not just bits of it.
 

Why?
 

Because EM rests on an ontology/epistemology of humans (and society) that is flat out incorrect.
 

On Manifest Error, EM built an architecture of socio-human theory and praxis that has doomed us all, and is now rushing us headlong into perdition. .
 

If so many of us live in depravity ,emotive deprivation, and/or depression ,it is solely owing to imbibing the false nostrums of EM.
 

It,perforce, converted a band of Convivials into a company of Strangers.

 

Unlike any prior social formation in history, it dehumanized (by desocialising) our species by penalizing altruistic behavior(s) and rewarding anti-social activities.
 

Worse, it compounded injury with insult, by self-styling this obvious devolution as the very acme of ‘progress’.

 

And , everywhere, including within Europe itself, it was forcibly imposed: not ‘voted in’.
 

Today most of the world breathes its ether, North and South, East and West.
*
 

Emergent EM Elites ( mercantilist, in vein, be they landed or not) drew their premises partly from the then state of European society, in transition from medieval values to modernist values , partly from wishful thinking as to what would serve their interests : viz., a novel , composite, melange (departing from extant norms) of domination and mutual distrust, coupled with egregious avarice and supernal greed.
 

The former produces its social and political theory, the latter its political economy.
 

Both served to ratify the now familiar Modernist ethos of aggressive cupidity, and avarice , at one remove, and mutual distrust, adversarialism, and (permanent ) domination, and incurable dissension/disaffection, at the other.
 

Contra it’s absurd reductionisms, we are neither economic nor political entities, in the main, but natural-cultural beings: bringing creativity and imagination to the rites and rituals of communal life.
 


In fact, as an aside, it would be correct to say that we are , as humans, quite consummate mythmaking animals
(indeed, we excel in it).
 

At any rate, given its imperial reach and clout , EM was able to impose this ‘iron cage’ on most of the planet (save a few native peoples).
 
But as its domain shrinks, its ideational hegemony is now also dwindling.
 

That is where we are today.
 

*
 
This is not to imply that there was no tangible content-gain at all during the transition(s) attended by EM, as , per exemple, in the obvious abatement of extreme, medieval cruelty and gross iniquity, of the more egregious kind (the Colonies were still treated brutally, but the Mother country was made relatively pacific to enable routine conduct of commerce)

 

However, such benefits were purchased at prohibitive, life-threatening , even exterminist, costs that life on the planet simply cannot afford, as must be , by now, abundantly clear.

 

It doomed us all to stark loneliness, anomie, desperation, and loss of meaning (in effect, being denied the human right to be human) the signature hallmarks of the dreadful alienations of E-Modernism: whilst simultaneously helping degrade both society and ecology.
 

*

 

Our real, collective, ‘human nature’ is an Open Book, and plain to see for anyone who indulges in but a little self-examination.
 

Yes, self-examination.

 

Our very lived experience confirms the Theses I am advancing.

 

No books, no scholarship, no deep insights, are needed.

 

Their basis is natural and instinctual, not societal and environmental.
 

As animals (lest we forget!) we are possessed of instincts that may be suppressed/sublimated – but not excised.
 

Care, consideration, and conviviality (within an organic community) are our principal , nay primal urges : contrary to the misanthropic myths perpetuated by Modernist ideologues.
 

You might conceive of EM, therefore, as the First Great Reset.

 

*
 

Why?
 

For sharing the same rationale as the one being planned by the WEF (and its sister multilaterals) today: to reboot society, to suit the tributary needs of the predator-governors of society.
 
Family, clan, and community identifications/loyalties, were obstacles to the homogenisation of us all into a vast Precariat, tied to the Wheel, at one end , and to the whims of the gambler-governors at the other, playing their Game of Thrones.
 

That is the hidden logos behind their spurious ‘universalism’, which we were conned into taking at face value.
Uniformity is a sine qua non of easy governance.
 
In effect , the affective Social Economy of Affections was being replaced by the sordid Political Economy of Interests – and defined as advancement.
 
*
 
However, returning to our tribal origins, instincts again intercede(d) to create a tension within the integrated tribal system.
 

Men and women are instinctually conditioned to have dissimilar urges (btw, biology is not destiny: instincts can be worked against)
 
This is as easily verifiable , across time, place, and culture, as to be trivially true.
 
Women , as progenitors and initial food-providers to the infant, are possessed by nature, of nurturance.
 
Men have predatory instincts expressed , at the apex, in a willingness/readiness to kill.

This tension is smoothed over, in tribal modes, by women, ‘naturally’, imprisoning the proclivities of men within emotive bonds, basically domesticating them.
 
Why do they (have to) do it?
 

Because the human infant (more helpless than many of our animal cousins) cannot be nurtured, if there is random violence in its vicinity (incidentally, the mother-child dyad is the first social, whence moral, relationship – albeit naturally inspired- : and is the fons et origo of All societal morality).
 
They , sort, of ‘secure the perimeter’ (interestingly, it is, as an aside, as if men take after chimps, and women after bonobos).
 
In effect, men have to be ‘tamed’ (via emotional bonds) much as nature, for the social organism to reproduce safely.
 
Incidentally, there is no other restraint that has ever worked nearly as well.
 

*
 
This is not a permanent snare, however, and at some point, men break away from intra-tribal bondings to adventurism , be it military, political, or economic, whence the dissolution of tribal societies begins.
 
It is in this sense that it is women who patiently (and naturally) build a human society, whilst men, at some point, tear it apart.
 
That’s the real ‘animal spirits’ that Keynes , quite unknowingly, invoked , if in another context.
 
We call the rest (post-Tribal orderings) that follows, history: or, perhaps more aptly, His Story.
 
All post-Tribal societies are, necessarily, in consequence, both masculinist and male dominated.
 
*
 
EM began its recasting of our species-being between the 16th and 18th centuries,
in its own aggressive image.
 
Given the realities of late medieval society, the mores of their tribal past were already a distal memory.
 
However , the former still retained one rather important concept: that of a Social Compact , recognizing the organic nature of the community, despite its deep class cleavages.
 
Here, EM took a quantum leap into Dystopia by abrogating that Compact and replacing it with the now familiar notion of a Contract (vide the ‘social contract’ theorizing).:
 
To that sacrilege, it added the Final Corrosion that was to define Modernism forever:
 
Asocial Individualism, essentially positing society as but a means to personal/individual advancement(s) , (which is what the upstart mercantile elites were doing, anyway).
 
It is this momentous ‘innovation’ that separates EM Europeans from All other peoples (btw not ALL of Europe succumbed to this: the more tribalist Euros, like the Scandinavian nations, also couldn’t wholly absorb this, which is why their capitalisms are so much more muted and ‘communal’), as much as their own prior history.
 
They Other may accept E-Modernism: but not Asocial Individualism.
 

This remains true even today.
 

That may well be the true differentia specifica between the EM West and the EM Other.
 

*
 
EM ‘economics’ , vulgar and otiose as it is, only enshrines these travesties in its banal oeuvre: in fact it is the crown jewel in the hegemonic ideology of EM(whence the gratuitous gratuity of a Nobel Memorial Prize)
 
The ‘nation-state’ is also forged in this period (post Treaty of Westphalia) and becomes the corral of merchant princes/potentates , within which all denizens are permanently imprisoned – at the mercy of the executive whims of the governors.
 
And Martin Luther restructures religious duty as a nexus between the individual and god, (much as the economy is seen as a ‘deal’ between individuals and /or the market) niftily blunting the societal welfare side of the Church of Rome, by not requiring any ‘good works’ to substitute for the vague pledge of ‘faith’.
 
In all of the above, the self-seeking/acquisitive individual is placed above communal bondings and responsibilities.
 
These were the fateful steps, taken with Seven-League Boots, no less, with which Europe left all of humanity , including its own past, behind.
 
EM was now complete : as the New World Ordering, we all genuflect to.
 
It was , in a sense, an effort to convert mammals into reptiles.
 
More prosaically, women, toilers, and native peoples (never fully integrated into EM mores) found themselves, in common cause, against predacious (mainly male) commercial elites.
 
That uneasy Equation is still extant today.
 
The irony is how many (intended, real) victims of EM are yet its greatest votaries.
 
*
 
The Task before us becomes apparent.

We need to recognize and recapture our own (quint)essential human nature, and revive our local, micro-communities within which it was always expressed.
 
This is not necessarily for any exalted purpose of ‘emancipation’ (another, dissembling , EM trope) , but purely to retrieve our own personal lives from rack and ruin ,if lived on the false premises of EM which have us ensnared in all manner of delusion(s)
 
Human integrity is spontaneously evoked only within face-to face Gemeinschaft orderings (this is simply natural).
 
It abates as we move toward Gesellschaft formations (as entailed in EM nation-states).
 
Once self-aware of our own , inherent, essential, humanity, and rid of the phony barrage of false expectations and ambitions thrust upon us, disengagement , in theory and praxis, with the hypertrophic paraphernalia of Imperial State and Authoritarian Society will follow, as an adjunct – if gradually.
 
Why?
 
Because natural, emotive , ties with kith and kin and community, ever exceed the hold of any artificially inseminated loyalties to Modernist notions of state and nation.
 
Mind, this is NOT a sketch of yet another EM style Utopia, by any stretch.
 
Note also I am rejecting the usual EM stance of attempting macroscopic changes: these , being power struggles, only end up, be they right or left in persuasion, with the consecration of a new structure of domination.
 
Consider it qua Robert Michels the true Iron Law of Oligarchy (he was incorrect to think it stems from Organisation: it stems, instead, from male organised entities) entirely owing to purely masculinist power drives.
 

Utopia is a vainglorious EM fantasy with no precedent other than the ‘heaven’ of religious imagination: in effect, it is its secular equivalent.
 
It will not at all guarantee ‘democracy, equality, or liberty’, the delusional chimeras – nay sops – of EM (I won’t explain it here, but these norms are not merely utopian; even if achieved would do NOTHING to allay human alienation).
 
But it will give us back what we need most – our birth-right,to live as human beings.
 
Recall, we are mammals with rather simple needs (the governors distract us with meretricious ‘wants’ that help perpetuate their domination and keep us distracted, and on the treadmill).
 
Let me spell out what that all means via a small, but illustrative, detour.
 
*
 
Have a look at the Human Family.
 
It is neither democratic, individualist, nor free, nor equal.
 

Stop and think.
 

It gainsays every abstract idyll of EM !!
 
Imagine that!
 
A Non-Modernist anachronism, subsisting plumb in the middle of EM societies.
Yet, it gives all of us, via the related, and equally ubiquitous , concept of ‘home’: across time, space, and cultures, what we crave most: a cradle of hospitality.
 
That should tell you who we really are, as opposed to EM fantasies..
 
So, when EM took that quantum leap away from family, community, co-operation, and the social compact , in the name of progress no less, it sent us all spinning wildly into orbit.
 
The orbit of a foredoomed, benighted , existence: banished forever from the very fount of our species-being.
 
In that enforced orbit, were we lost, and are still lost, seeking dreary, vain, unrequiting, solace, in soulless regimes of production and consumption, competing against one another, turned away from natural domains of nurturance, whilst being subject to exploitation, conquest, genocide, and empire.
 
Worse ,we are beguiled into believing that all can still be redeemed at the level of civil society and the state, by virtue of (permanent) struggle and (inescapable) adversarialism.
 
Absolutely not.
 
They are the very EM entities that have to be abandoned/sublated.
 
*
 
In the EM matrix , the struggles to achieve LED (liberte, egalite,’democrace ‘ ) are perennial: they are never gained, and if gained , by fluke, can always be rolled back.
 
Our Citizen-Sysiphus is, thereby, forever climbing uphill muttering ‘yes , we can”.
 
Those ‘participatory delusions’ are what keep us tied to the EM Wheel, in grim, if tragic, loyalty.
 
Even hard-headed critics of EM fall for the spin.
 
Modernist Democracy is the most efficient device ever devised for maintenance of the status quo : whilst also providing the necessary illusion of mass participation and activism.
 
Besides, the underlying idea that we can declare ourselves , societally, by fiat, into any utopian project as crosses our minds, is both a fatal conceit and a ludicrous denial of realism.
 
For all the myriads of ‘protestors’ that throng the street, celebrating , or demanding, EM freedoms, the oligarchs remain in power; and if they are replaced , it is only by a new set : and the Great Game starts up, all over again.
 
Even worse, internalising EM norms will drive us (as it already has) to the very limits of societal insanity ( with sociopaths, psychopaths, abounding) for having lost our firm, anthropic, moorings in family, clan, and community.
 
*
 
Btw, I am not setting up any idylls: that is an EM penchant.
 
I am saying we, as natural, anthropic, beings , have simple, natural, traits/needs easily , and observationally,verified in the veritable cradle of humanity: i.e., simple, tribal society.
 
To be content , we need to live in rough conformity with them ( Or we can, in EM fashion, ‘climb every mountain, ford every stream’, and dissipate our precious lives in such absurd, empty, ruinous, assignations).
 
When that umbilical cord is cut , we are catapulted into unhinged, solo orbits where we suffer a radical loss of meaning which is the ontic basis of angst, anomie, and ennui.
 
*
 
The dystopian madness of our current EM societies (starting with their Lead Formations) verifies the aforesadid every day.
 
It is not merely psychic distress: it is the immanent possibility of mass annihilation.
 
It is EM which gifted us WW1 and WW2: and is now preparing us all for WW3, all ‘rationally’ and prosaically (we are , under EM tutelage become rational fools, thoughtful idiots).
 
We are no more , no less , than animals: domestic felicity– the hospice of kith, and kindred – keeps us , more or less, tolerably tame (within limits).
When that basis is deracinated, We are Undone.
That is what EM achieved, near-universally.
 

*
 

Against much of the foregoing, juxtapose, only by way of illustration, the Marx-Engels, and wholly E-Modernist , flaunt to ‘abolish the family’.
 
All the more ironic, because guess where Marx got his idyll of ‘communism’ from?
 

Yes, from the very tribal society I have been talking about.
 

He called it ‘primitive communism’.
And what is a tribe, but one big extended family?
 

So, Marx certainly understood the unique felicities of the tribal form, but his EM ideas – materialism, in particular -had him wishing it were ‘upgraded’ to Modernist standards of rationality, etc.
 
Besides , it was all to be accomplished within the grid of the extant nation-state, the very EM space that defines/promotes our alienation.
 
Now you know why EuroSocialism failed : it fell to my Iron Law of Oligarchy: i.e , to the omnipresent masculinist drives for domination.
It also equated the ‘ideal society ‘(socialism)’ with an ever augmenting bowl of goulash, within the false unity of ‘nation’.
 
Put simply, it had lost track of who we are as humans.
 

*
 
There is no elaborate ‘proof’ needed for any of the above.
 
Strip away Modernist delusions, and we stand revealed for who we really are.
 

We are human: and it takes but a little reflection to realise how we have been deceived.
 
Each of us knows that s/he is really far better than what the system requires her/him to be.
 
History and social science have been tendentiously authored by EM votaries (as the spoils of conquest): and most of the intelligentsia are under its spell.
 
But lay people will ‘get it’ without undue toil.
 
In fact, all of us recognize the benefice of kith/kindred/community – for its being natural – without at all being aware of its full significance.
 

Indeed, our unconstrained choices, if duly observed, dally gainsay the travesties of EM tutelage.
 

So, it is time to pierce the Veil.
 

*
 
The greatest error of EM lay in wholly forgetting we are , primarily, natural beings in a natural universe (despite the high social airs we affect).
 
EM Anthropocentrism, in its lapidary foolishness, acts as if it can wish/wash all that away by loud declarations and manifestos.
 
EM is a determined project of social engineering: and that required it to reject any inherent limits to our malleability.
 
EM dreamers (the cannon fodder of the paradigm – not its framers ) never stopped to consider the fact that in anthropic life there are no idylls to be realised.
 
All that is pure untrammeled , vanity.
 
Worse, it is tawdry bait held out by those who would use our hope and wishful thinking to achieve their own mundane purposes.
 
*
 

We are a self-conscious form of life on a lonely planet, a deserted oasis in the solar system: the best we can do is to embrace mutuality and make our years as hospitable as we can for each other watered by care, consideration, and conviviality.
 
That is what our tribal forebears achieved , naturally, and without elaborate verbal bluster,until EM Vandals destroyed the very basis of their simple existence : in the name of ‘progress.’ (parse that as more labor, more work, more discipline , more diktats, and less contentment, leisure, and satisfaction).
 
Whence, I make little effort to engage EM ideologues.
 
Let them keep their unsanguine satrapies, their near manic cumulations of wealth and power.
 
Life is too short , especially in these times, for such extended argument with such delusionaries.
 
*
 
If what I say is true, it needs no ‘defense’; if it is false, it would be silly to defend it.
 
Put aptly , “it is true because it is realizable: and it is realisable because it is true”.
 

In sum, EM philosophers have radically misinterpreted (and, thereby, nearly destroyed ) the world: the point , however, is to swiftly sublate, and transcend, their misanthropic abstractions.
 
Indeed , I have termed the EM view of humans a libel upon the human race.
 
We can, and must, rehumanise the world rendered , bitter, bare, and barren – by centuries of EM hegemony.
 

The First Step is true , sincere, Self-Reflection: who are you, and why are you living the way you do?
 
The ‘program’ will, I venture, quickly unravel after that.
 
You can bet all your EM idylls on that!
 
*I would doubt the producers of the film by that same name ( a cult classic) were aware of the Real Matrix that keeps us all in thrall: i.e, EuroModernism.

 

APPENDIX

EM has several components: I list but a few here.
 
First , it is a philosophy of Materialism (everything is matter: and all objects are material) aping classical Newtonian Physics . Today’s (Quantum) Physics debunks this notion.
 
Second , it adopts a triumphalist, Self-serving view of Progress (expressed again in material terms: GDP, etc.). Worse, it takes it for granted that ‘ Progress’ is wherever Europe happens to find itself – because Europe is the Gold Standard.
 
Third , it claims Official Science (scientism) , as defined by its elites, as truth : rejecting any and all other epistemologies sans proper scrutiny (e.g. acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal treatments, were dismissed , a priori, as ‘non-science”). Even worse, it marries science to the state : thereby risking despotism, substituting it for religion as in pre-Modern Europe.
 
Fourth , it enables the Statist use of Force, as needed, to ‘force people to be free’ (JS Mill), another license in favor of any and all Statist objectives
 
Fifth , it has a formal/mechanical /contractual /instrumentalist view of society , rejecting its natural, organic , features.
 
Sixth, its Asocial Individualism sees society as but an instrument to be used to achieve individualist ends. The individual, placed above society, is sovereign: society is but a means.
 
Seventh , it sees ‘Nature’ as external to us as ‘humans’ who stand ‘above’ it. Women, children and native peoples, were all assimilated to being ‘naturvolk’, to be raised/disciplined/ and tamed.
 
Eighth, it sees humans as untouched by essential properties such as Instincts. Animals have instincts, Humans don’t (since the latter are cast, as was the ,medieval belief, in the image of god: Darwin’s correction came much later , but has not entirely erased this precept). Levi Strauss , e.g., famously wrote, that “instincts explain nothing’.
 
Ninth, it privileges humans as the ‘Sovereigns of Creation’ (Marx), set above all other forms of life (Anthropocentrism). Nature exists only to serve us.
 

Tenth , it sanctions Adversarialism as innate in society, and validates the idea(l) of a brutish struggle for existence. Distrust is institutionalized , and intra-societal aggression/anger promoted.
 

Eleventh, it substitutes Abstract Ideals (rarely, or never realised) as a decoy away from attending to real human needs (so , e.g., they offer you the chimera of equality and democracy, but not food and shelter, in the first instance).
 

Twelfth, it promotes perpetual, strenuous, heroics as the idyll of life: climb every mountain, ford every stream, etc. (Doing is endless, Being is seen as passive) thereby overloading vulnerable flesh and blood humans with unbearable stress to ‘achieve’ – if, as per systemic norms/requirements.
 

N.B. There is an obvious degree of overlap between EuroCapitalism and EuroSocialism (since EM is their mutual provenance).

[© R.Kanth 2022]

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda, A Day in the Life, and Expiations

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