Which Matrix pill produces critical race theory?

Conservatives have long seen in The Matrix as an allegory for the totalitarian takeover of our society.  You’ve grown up in a world of intrinsic deception so thorough that you cannot tell that it isn’t simply reality.  Still, there are sometimes glitches and a pervasive feeling that something isn’t quite right.

So, you must make a choice.  The blue pill will make that pervasive feeling of unease go away; the red pill will awaken you to the true world.  This speaks to the experience of many of us who — typically after leaving the education treadmill — realize that the world is not as we were taught to see it.  The people whom we were told were the good guys are not.  The world does not actually function as we were told.

It’s interesting (and, in a way, unsettling), then, to read Luke Rosiak’s explanation of critical race theory (CRT) on The Daily Wire, which explains that The Matrix model is basically the argument of CRT proponents:

[Heritage Foundation Mike] Gonzalez studied the critical theorist philosophy of the era and learned that “Their position was the worker has become his own oppressor because he’s bought into the idea of country and his family and capitalism. They say he has a ‘false consciousness’ by buying into the ‘superstructure.’”

Then he put something together: “I watch ‘The Matrix’ and I think, this is what they’re talking about.”

Quoting the character Morpheus from the movie:

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

That is the story that CRT tells about “whiteness.”

Having had the experience of awakening to the reality that conservatism, not progressivism, is fundamentally true, we must always remind ourselves that dogmatic confidence is a risky state of mind.  We once thought the world to be different, so we should leave open the possibility that there is another mirror through which we can fall.  How do we know which “real reality” is correct?

Well, start with context.  The Matrix is a simulation, and the red pill allows the protagonist, Neo, to unplug from the simulation to actual, physical reality.  Neither modern “awakening” conservatism nor CRT claims that we can literally wake up to a physically different world.

Realizing that this is it, physically, gives us solid ground on which to base a comparison of the two ideological propositions.  Weighing the worldview of traditional Western civilization against that of CRT, we can ask a two-part question:  Which one has the realistic promise to make the world a better place, given the way reality and humanity actually function?

Put that way, it is clear that one is an evolved cultural practice of understanding reality for human betterment, while the other is an attempt to offer vague fantasies of an “equitable” future in the service of power.

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