The Matrix: Social/Political Satire?

Ok, so while I was in Gulf Shores, Alabama for my labor day weekend, it was raining, so via my hotel tv, I watched The Matrix Reloaded. Great flick. Afterwards, while driving over some bridge, someone had written “Fuck the system”, “We all live in the Matrix”, and a few other phrases on the bridge wall. The two phrases I mentioned combined, with me just having watched The Matrix Reloaded, struck a chord.

I’ve come to the conclusion that The Matrix may be in some sense a political or social satire. Let’s look:

The Bad Guys: The bad guys are always dressed in suits, or some other formal wear. Why? I think that they are dressed in professiobnal atire to represent the government, or large corporations, or even conservatives beating up on the little guys, the rebels.

The Good Guys: Now, the good guys represent those people who don’t go along with the main stream idea. The good guys could be helping to represent an opressive government that does as much as possible to keep the public in the dark as to the going ons of the government.

The Matrix: The matrix itself, I think, could represent the illusion of safety that plagues our country. Before the movie was made, everybody thought we would never get attacked, blah blah, and then we did. Our saftey net was cut and people fell into the water. In the Matrix Reloaded, Neo says that a lot, lot more people were being released from the matrix than before, and that more people were realizing the truth. After September 11, suddenly everybody was out to get us. After Morpheus is rescued, Zion goes under attack. Sounds like a moderate connection…

The Architect: A man behind the scenes. Big corporations are often cited as having their hand in the pocket of the government, a group behind the scenes. The architect was a man that nobody knew existed, but was behind everything that ran the matrix.

So there you have it.

And one of those bad guys is French. Coincidence? :stuck_out_tongue:

the matrix wouldnt suck if it didnt try to be pretentiously philosophical in a mainstream summer blockbuster format.

I agree with you apart from the sept 11 copnnection, that doesnt really make any sense. i think they would have pllaned out most of the plot before that. Its kinda like saying that the two towers in LOTR is a sept 11 tie in.

But if you think about in 10 years i bet theyll be studying the matrix movies in english classes and writing essays on the ideas in it and saying stuff like neo repersents the fact we can make a difference in the world by fighting the big coporations and how nothing is no predestination or fate.

you gotta admit that studying the matrix would be betyter than macbeth:yipee:

I agree. Now that you set it out, it makes a hell of a lot of sense. You rock.

The sole comparison I noticed was the Bible. In The Matrix Smith mentions the first Matrix was a perfect world (Eden), and no-one would accept it (A&E ejected from said Eden). In MR the Achitect (God) says he is going to erase Zion and start again (Noah’s flood). I had another reference, but now I coem to type this I’ve forgotten it completely. Damn.

EDIT: I just realised I put spoilers in that. Oops. Soz guys, shoot me at your leisure.

Spoilers! ><

Anyway, I don’t really connect movies to RL all that often.

Use spoiler tags or face the consequences. And yeah those are points that the matrix movies seem to be projecting, but I wouldn’t say its a satire.

Satire may be the wrong word. Allegory maybe? Metaphor?

Metaphor I think.

I would say allegory, rather, but metaphor works, too.

That is a very interesting interpretation and I gave some thought to similar points myself. Nevertheless, the first thought which I had about The Matrix was that it was metaphor of the nature of universe as conceived in Aristotelian metaphysics.

Pierson - yes, many events very closely relate to events in the Bible. And the Bible has been around for a very long time. Sometimes, people take very old ideas and work them into modern works of art or entertainment.

I apologize for sounding condescending, but I didn’t know how else to say it.

Social commentary, perhaps.

Satire probably isn’t the right word. Unless the Wachowski brothers, all this time, meant for us to be LAUGHING at The Matrix franchise instead of taking it somewhat seriously.

I thought this was The Matrix’s real message the whole time. Either that or the can’t-type-name brothers just took a bunch of overused anarchist ideas and a few bible quotes and dressed them on black coats. Really cool black coats.

there is certainly some low to mid-level philosophy/sociology/theology at work in The Matrix, but what Sorcerer proposed isn’t exactly hidden beneath the intellectual mists of the Wachowskis. My favorite part of the series thus far “philosophically” is…

it involves what the Oracle said to Neo. About how there is no real “choice” in the face of Fate, merely the understanding of the choices you’ve already made. I found it paradoxical and interesting. I also liked Smith’s speech about the quest for purpose, probably my favorite monologue section of the movie, and I enjoyed the twist at the end of Matrix 2 when the Architect states that Neo’s uniqueness is not unique at all but merely another statistical failsafe built into the Matrix.

In the end though,while the Matrix movies do at least try to be something more aspirational, never lose sight of the fact that the movies are more about blowing shit up in a really cool fashion, with a good old fight-against-crazy-odds backdrop plotline. If you want to read a quick story with many possible interpretations, pick up Kafka’s “In The Penal Colony.” You can read it in like 30 minutes, it’s probably available online, and it’s incredibly interesting.

Kafka rocks. Try ‘The Trial’.

demi: S’OK. It’s hard to convey tone over the net. I’ve insulted dozens of people accidentally like that. :slight_smile:

Perc: Aristotelian metaphysics?

Using (sorta) the bible again, you could take The Matrix films as an example of Gnostic Christianity.

About the writing essays on The Matrix in the future thing… Yeah, I’d say movies like these are probably the “masterpieces” of our time when it comes to popular entertainment with the possibility of interpretation. Personally, I’ve always thought that authors probably don’t have half of the ideas that people later write their thesis on in mind when writing their books.

And another thing, which I have no idea if anyone’s mentioned in any Matrix thread before… Maybe <i>I</i> did, even.

[spoiler]Someone suggested that in the end, where Neo lost consciousness, he did in fact “wake up”. The reality with Zion was actually a second Matrix - just another control system.

If so, the reason for the objective of the One (choosing survivors when Zion was destroyed) (anyone else notice the move-the-o-and-you-get-Neo-thing?) would be to keep the population of the second Matrix from becoming too large, since a certain percentage can be expected to “wake up”. Keeping the numbers down would lessen the chance (I don’t know the matemathic term I intended to use in English, so that phrasing will just have to do…) of this happening spontaneously, and also of people reasoning their way to the conclusion that they may still be in a Matrix.

This would also explain how Smith could “enter” Bane. He’s just code, right? So how could he possibly function as a soul in a biological organism? And also how Neo could use his powers in the “real” world. It seems unlikely that they would throw actual magic into the mix…

Yeah, smack me if someone already ranted on that… I can’t say I’ve read previous Matrix threads all that seriously.

I think sorc sums it up pretty good.

Originally posted by Jing

(anyone else notice the move-the-o-and-you-get-Neo-thing?)

This would also explain how Smith could “enter” Bane. He’s just code, right? So how could he possibly function as a soul in a biological organism? And also how Neo could use his powers in the “real” world. It seems unlikely that they would throw actual magic into the mix…
[/spoiler] [/b]

[spoiler]If you move “One” you get “Neo”. I don’t know what you meant.

The Smith/Bane thing… well you could be right but also consider than the guys in the Matrix are just digitalized minds. He could have just replaced Bane’s mind with his own. Morpheus said that whatever happens in there happens on the “Real World”. Then again that could apply to your theory too.[/spoiler]

It’s funny, in my Philosophy class it’s reccomended watching, and we are going to watch it many times through the semester. Mainly to see the philosophical stuff and point out that many of the ideas in the movie have been thrown around already.

One - neO

See? You move the O to the end. It’s annoying.

Digital minds? Isn’t it supposed to be more like connecting to the Matrix and everything you experience there is simulated? Although, of course, “you mind makes it real”.