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HIERARCHY
Explorations of Augusto de Franco about
THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS
2
HIERARCHY: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about
THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS
Augusto de Franco, 2012.
Beta Version.
English translation and revision: Leila País de Miranda
and Joachim Lohkamp.
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The digital version of this work was given to the
Public Domain, edited with the seal of Escola-de-Redes
as an unilateral decision of the author. Public Domain in
this casemeans that this work, in relation to its digital
version, is not copyright protected, unless the moral right
of the author to be recognized for its creation. Total or
partial reproductions are permitted, by any means,
without prior permission. Thus, the digital version of this
work may be - in their original or modified form - copied,
printed, edited, published and distributed for profit (sold)
or nonprofit. It just can not be omitted from the authorship
of the original version.
Escola-de-Redes is a network of people dedicated to
research on social networks as well as to the creation
and transfer of network weaving technologies.
http://escoladeredes.net
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FRANCO, Augusto de
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about The Matrix
That Really Exists/ Augusto de Franco. – São Paulo: 2012.
94 p. A4 – (Escola de Redes; 6)
1. Social Networks. 2. Organizations. 3. Escola de Redes. I. Title.
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SUMMARY
PRESENTATION | Suddenly you see the Matrix | 9
INTRODUCTION | Does the Matrix exist? | 17
PART 1 | How the Matrix is uploaded on you | 29
In the Family | 33
At School | 39
At Church | 53
In the social and political organizations | 61
In the Barracks | 67
At University | 73
At work | 77
PART 2 | Is it possible to exit the Matrix? | 85
To exit the Matrix | 91
Become a common person | 99
NOTES AND REFERENCES | 105
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PRESENTATION
SUDDENLY YOU SEE THE MATRIX
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Suddenly your eyes are opened and what you see is: The
Matrix. And then you see it everywhere: at home, at
school, in the church, in the company, in business, in a
football game, in traffic, in public services, in social
media...
To see the Matrix you just have to stop and observe the
behaviour of private people. Do you need an example?
Observe the cues at the banks. When that patient client
of the bank arrives at the counter, after he was waiting
like forever, he is going to take as much or even more
time then the others before him. It is like he would say to
you: Now it's my time to do what I want to do, so I will talk
to the clerk a lot, I will inform myself about everything,
taking advantage of my turn to do many different
transactions... Now the others have to wait (like I had to
wait.) Because now it's my turn. This is the typical
behaviour of a private person (not common). But it is
unbelievable how these persons that behave like this are
not aware of it.
You want another example? Observe carefully your
facebook timeline or Twitter stream. You will see tons of
friends or people that you follow speaking about the
good, the beautiful and the true. You will see people
writing about ethics, values, awareness, transformation of
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society... You will see people posting pictures of sweet
kitties, dogs with ribbons, cute children with nice smiles,
awesome landscapes... These people think (or,
sometimes, they are not thinking at all because they are
acting unconsciously) that by doing this they free
themselves from their sins (and liberating themselves
from the guilt of being not good enough). They are
imagining (or even not imagining, but acting as they were
imagining) that by building a public persona identified
with the good, the beautiful and the true, they would be
improving themselves (because they judge themselves
as not good enough), repairing some defects that they
supposedly carry within them: but from where? Ok, they
don't know and the fact of not-knowing, but acting (in the
psychoanalytic sense of the term) like this explains
everything (although, for themselves, it does not explain
anything because these people are not seeking
explanations for what is as it should be).
Even more interesting is that you will see that in social
medias are tons of people celebrating fridays! And other
crowds are liking and retweeting these enslaving
manifestations. Automaticly. But from what do they really
want to escape in the weekends? If you want to know,
join a hierarchical organization. Anyone. And observe
how people relate themselves to others within these
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strange environments, how they are not themselves...
Yes, they are machines.
During many decades I was observing this herd
behaviour. Imagining, without to know how to excactly
explain, that the hierarchie introduces deformations in the
social field that are capable of inducing people to
replicate certain behaviours.
So I began to explore in the space-time of these flows, to
try to understand the structure and the dynamic that lies
behind this matrix that produces replicants.
Until suddenly, I saw an amazing thing. And what I saw
was a non-human - a monster - depicted in the figure
below:
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It was just then that I saw the Matrix. And when I saw it, I
freaked out. The picture is terrifying. It reminds me of
those ships of alien predators in Roland Emmerich's
movie Independence Day (1996).
Not by chance. Hierarchical organizations of humans
generate non-human beings. But something prevents
people from seeing it. That is why I decided to write this
booklet.
São Paulo, end of the winter 2012.
Augusto de Franco
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INTRODUCTION
DOES THE MATRIX EXIST?
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THE TITLE ORIGINALLY PLANNED for this text was
afirmative: "The Matrix Exists". I even opened a
Facebook group, exactly called like that, to gather
thoughts about the topic. But as the conversation rolled
on within the group, I began to be assailed by growing
doubts.
As we all know, the idea of the​Matrix came up with the
Wachowski brothers' film trilogy - The Matrix (1999), The
Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions
(2003) - whose argument (the first film) was passably
presented by distributors approximately like this: "in the
near future, the young programmer Thomas Anderson, a
hacker alias Neo, who lives in a dark cubicle, is plagued
by strange nightmares, in which he is - against his will -
connected by cables in a huge computer system of the
future. On all these occasions he wakes up screaming at
the exact moment when the electrodes are to penetrate
his brain. As the dream recurs, Anderson begins to have
doubts about reality. Through the encounter with the
mysterious Morpheus and Trinity, Thomas discovers that
he is, like other people, victim of the Matrix, an artificial
intelligent system that manipulates the minds of people,
creating the illusion of a real world while using their
brains and individual bodies to produce energy.
Morpheus is convinced that Thomas is the long awaited
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messiah capable of facing the Matrix and drive people
back to reality and freedom."
The central thesis of the film - I mean not only the first
film, but the complete trilogy (1999-2003) - was seen by
some like this: "What we experience as reality is an
artificial virtual reality generated by the 'Matrix', the
megacomputer coupled with our minds "(1). And,
somehow, this was the vision that became widespread.
But I had no such apprehension of the metaphor. What
caught my attention was its social side, not the
technological side, so to speak. Even because I thought
(and still think) that every 'reality' is virtual, in a broad
sense of the term.
Moreover, the film has also a conspiratorial story line. As
if there were manipulative centers responsible for the
massive alienation of people. Although, I do not think so.
There is no Big Brother (human or non-human) that
controls everything. I think the Matrix, if it exists, exists
only because it is replicated by us continually (as I wrote
in 2009, in the text "You are the enemy") (2). Working
with the metaphor of the Matrix means for me to reject
the hypothesis that there is a culprit, a universal enemy
responsible for all evil that plagues us.
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Then I turned the name originally imagined into a
question, placing it as the title of this introduction. The
social thematic (or antisocial, as defined by Maturana)
remains however. People keep reproducing very similar
behaviors - that distort the social field - as if under the
influence of the same system of beliefs, values​​, norms
of behavior and patterns of organization, or as running a
basic program that was installed on their minds and they
think the world (or 'reality') is just like that. Now that
evokes the metaphor of the film The Matrix, where
powerful machines with artificial intelligence, control
captivated humanity and people that just live their lives,
monotonous or frenetic, in its modern human hives,
without knowing it, taking what they see as reality.
There is a parallel that gives meaning to a social grasp of
the metaphor. In the Matrix that really exists, people do
not see that their replicant behavior deforms the social
field. They think that the social world can only be
interpreted through a set of basic beliefs of reference, by
taking self-evident truths, axioms that do not require
corroboration. Examples of these beliefs are that:
• The human being is inherently (or by nature)
competitive.
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• People are always making choices trying to
maximize the satisfaction of their own material
interests (egotistical).
• Without outstanding leaders it's not possible to
mobilize and organize collective action.
• Nothing can work without a minimum of hierarchy.
These basic beliefs are like parameters of the program
that was installed in people. So they do not realize that by
acting on these assumptions (often undeclared, but
always present), they reproduce the social reality that
was deformed. In other words, they do not realize the
distortion: because everyone knows that it is impossible
to be different.
These common beliefs that are not scientific at all
(although justified on scientific verisimilitude) are running
- as malware - on the social cloud we call mind. And they
are so deeply installed downstairs - or anchored as
preconceptions on the undergrounds of conscience
(whatever this is) - that they may not even have
perceived. In general people do not know that they are
acting within the "event horizon" set for them. As in the
known anecdote about that guy who "because he did not
know that it was impossible, he went there and did it",
people generally do not do anything different - which
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contradicts these basic prescriptions of functioning of the
social world - because they know that is impossible.
Evidently, we are here dealing with culture, i.e., non-
genetic transmission of behaviors, a program that runs on
the social network deforming the field (3). A software that
modifies the hardware. A hardware that once modified,
induces the replication of the software, i.e., automatically
installs the program in the people that connects them to
it.
The culture that we are dealing with is one that has been
replicated for millennia since the social network was
verticalized with the erection of centralized institutions.
Some call it patriarchal or warrior culture. Actually its
emergence coincides with what we call civilization (word
shrewdly translated by William Irwin Thompson
translated as militarization) (4). But this is just the
hierarchical culture.
In a general sense the word hierarchy is applied to
describe any arrangements of items (objects, names,
values​​, categories) in which these items are
represented as being "above", "below", or "on par" with
the other. In mathematics the concept denotes an
ordered set or a directed graph with no directed cycles
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(directed acyclic graph, abbreviated DAG - Directed
acyclic graph). But this is diferent from the original sense.
The term came to designate orders of midway beings
between celestial and terrestrial bodies (and was used,
for example, by Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite, in the
5th century, to describe the angelic choirs).
The word comes from the Latin word hierarchy which, in
turn, comes from the Greek word ἱεραρχία (hierarchía) of
ἱεράρχης (hierarchēs), who was in charge of chairing the
sacred rites: ἱερεύς = hiereus, priest, root = ἱερός
hieros , sacred + = ἀρχή arche, taking several related
meanings such as power, government, order, principle
(organizational).
The hierarchy is a priestly vertical power that installs itself
in a society artificially, introducing the need of
intermediation through separations (between upper and
lower). In general it is represented by the pyramid (few in
the top, many in the bottom) or the spider (which has a
head and several arms or legs, as opposed to a star-fish,
which has no central command and control). The celestial
hierarchy (with its seraphim, cherubim, thrones,
dominions, powers, virtues, principalities, archangels and
angels) and the military hierarchy (with generals,
colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants,
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corporals and soldiers) are the most common examples,
paradigmatic, of hierarchy. But any standard organization
introducing anisotropies into the social field and directing
streams of flow is hierarchical (either in a state
organization, business or social, religious or secular,
military or civilian). The basic organizational structure of a
government agency, a company or an entity of civil
society illustrates the pattern of an hierarchical
organization (the names of particular positions, roles,
positions or patents do not matter):
The hierarchy is an organizational pattern that
reproduces itself as a whole. It is a deformation on the
social field that affects all the events that occur in this
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field because it conditions the interactive flow going
through certain paths (and not others).
From the viewpoint of social network topology, hierarchy
is synonymous with centralization. There is power -
power in order to command the others - in the exact
extent that there is centralization (i.e. hierarchy).
To better understand this point of view it is necessary to
examine Paul Baran's diagrams, published in the famous
paper "On distributed communications" (1964) (5), to
realize the differences between patterns: centralized,
decentralized and distributed.
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In diagram (B) of the above figure we have the
decentralized pattern that does not represent a topology
without a center but, on the contrary, a multi-centered
configuration. This pattern is nothing more than a
hierarchy (corresponding to a hierarchical organization
chart of any entity, such as the one depicted in the
previous figure).
The hierarchy is a centralizing intervention in the social
network (or a deformation that makes the social field
more vertical) that allows you to delete nodes (disconnect
or delete people), separate clusters (separate or remove
shortcuts), and suppress paths (clog streams, filter or
delete connections). Without doing any of these three
things it is impossible to erect a hierarchy (or exert power
over others, what is the same thing). In fully distributed
networks there is no way to do anything. However,
actually existing social networks are not generally fully
distributed, but exhibit differing degrees of distribution (or,
conversely, of centralization) (6).
But without it - without centralization, without the
possibility of exercising power over others - it is said
(says the hierarchical culture), that nothing would work:
people could not be educated, they would not learn to
respect rules that ensure social coexistence and they
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would end in a war of all against all (because "the human
beast would not be tamed"), companies would not evolve,
we would not have developed philosophy, science, art,
techniques, and finally ... progress. We would still be in
the stone age. In the Matrix people believe it or behave
as if they believe, which is the same thing.
According to this point of view, therefore, the hierarchy is
the Matrix that really exists.
When you live in hierarchical systems you become, to
some extent, an automaton and a Matrix replicant (a kind
of unity borg) (7).
Yes, in that sense something that strongly evokes the
Matrix really exists. So better call the thing by its name.
What follows are imaginative explorations in the Matrix
that really exist, that are, free investigations into the
hierarchy.
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PART 1
HOW THE MATRIX IS UPLOADED ON YOU
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IN THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS a standard
program - the hierarchical program - is uploaded on you.
This happens every time you connect to a hierarchical
organization, or anything that is influenced by a social
field deformed by a hierarchy.
However, the hierarchical program is initially installed in
people during their childhood and youth. In general,
nowadays, this process should be completed by the age
of 21, (deployment time is, therefore, from 7 to 8000
days). It is an obedience program. The goal is to restrict
the degrees of freedom and discourage cooperation. Its
most damaging consequence is killing creativity (or, in a
more rigorous judgement, making the rise of what has
been called to the human soul difficult).
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IN THE FAMILY
The infection begins in early childhood. The institution in
charge of this first task is family (the monogamous
nuclear family, these days). Your task is: initialize the
control program (we cannot forget that it already reveals
what the Matrix is about - the Matrix is about control).
Yes, it starts really early. Gerda Verden-Zöller (1978 and
1982) was studying the root of the process by which the
child is dehumanized by their parents. She unveils the
controlling behavior in mother-child relationship, "when
the mother, in interactions with their children, aims their
future and uses it to educate and prepare them to
achieve precisely the stated future. When this intentional
dynamic settles in maternal-child relationship, the mother
stops to see her children as specific individuals, and
restricts her meetings with them to this condition. To the
extent that such restriction occurs, a hug is not anymore
a gesture of full acceptance of the specific children that is
being hugged. It becomes a pressure with an intention.
Similarly, the helping hand is no longer supporting the
individual identity of the child, and becomes an external
guide which negates this identity "(8).
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Seeing a child or baby as a future adult, parents do not
accept them as they are at present time, but as what they
should be in the future. Thus they transform the children
into objects of an educational process. They do not really
play with the kids because they do not see them as
something that has value in itself (without any purpose
other than the actual interaction in the present), but
always, in some measure, as a preparation for the future.
As a result, children do not see themselves as valid for
who they are interacting with but only to the extent that
they meet the expectations of parents, as they fulfill the
role that parents expect of them. They become
dependent on approval (initially from the parents, and
then from anyone who fulfills the same function of control
over them). They start to adopt a "top" approval instead
of a horizontal recognition of their identity within a
community. And that is why they have so many difficulties
to develop their social conscience (or, in a more rigorous
judgment of generating the quality of soul that we call
humanity).
The mother and father, in most cases, do not play freely
and unselfishly with their children. They want to educate
them. They want to shape them so they become
"someone in life," they want them to become a copy of
which they themselves were (or are) or a projected
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overshoot of what they are-not. In a kind of compensatory
revenge they want their children to be able to be (or
have) what they were (or have not). When this happens,
the children cease to be what they are, they stop being
children and become adults' projects, incomplete adults
that need to be formatted so that they complete
themselves according to the paternal projects.
Here is the first lesson embedded in the program: you
cannot be what you are in your free interactions with
others, but you have to become something different - you
have to be fixed, as if you had come with a defect from
the factory - under the policies of others (the ones that
are above you). If you do not act like this, you will not be
accepted as a valid person. But there is a second lesson.
The family privatizes social capital. The child learns to
distrust when he hears his mother recommend: "Do not
let your buddies break your toys, they are yours, not
theirs." From an early age children are taught to separate
what is "ours" from what is "others". They are taught to
accept (or tolerate) each other in their living space, but
with restrictions. They are taught that, somehow, those
(others) are less legitimate. And since they are really
young children are encouraged to stand out from the
others (the children of other families), they are rewarded
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when they get higher grades, or when they do well
(preferably better than their peers) in tests, when they win
contests, competitions and tournaments and thy are
warned (or at least not praised) when there are not the
first or excel somewhat. The reasons for this behaviorist
pedagogy of rewards and punishments are never openly
exposed. Because their drivers do not even know what
they are doing. Or because it is not needed.
Your children are more equal than the other children. This
also does not need to be said: the child grasps it all just
watching the recurrent behavior of parents. That
treatment that we should dispense to friends, we reserve
for "our blood". For them, yes, we do free things. Our
friends, however, we treat all on the basis of reciprocity
(as economists take the concept and deform it): I help
you today, but you are in my debt and should help me
later on. This, of course, is implicit, tacit knowledge that is
rarely stated, but it is part of the handling code with
strangers: yes, the others, who are not of my family, who
do not have significant portions of my DNA or who are not
part of the closed circle of coexistence that was formed
around my "crib" or are not "my". They are "theirs" (or
someone else's) and it's you (or someone other than me)
who must take care of them.
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This is how each of these cores we call family conforms a
protection unit against interaction, a prevented
detachment from the outside world (against the other,
especially the unpredictable-other). So this is the second
lesson embedded in the program: a separation, not a full
acceptance of the "outsiders", the devaluation of others
(which will no more be seen as another-myself) and the
overvaluation of an inner circle, composed of
"insiders" (and the adult produced this way will never
again get rid of it: he will spend a lifetime trying to build or
join private closed groups where "insiders" are worth
more than "outsiders" and where the other is accepted
only to the extent that it ceases to be himself to become a
"we" organizational).
But the program, in its basic full version, is really installed
at school (acting as a church), and in some cases, at the
church (acting as school), as we shall see in the following
topics.
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AT SCHOOL
Well, then the child enters school and, as they say,
escapes the frying pan to fall into the fire. No wonder that
children in general do not like going to school (except,
sometimes to the so called pre-school, where they can
play, that is, be what they are: children). And no wonder
that, later, when they are young, will celebrate effusively
to get off the school, as if they had regained freedom
after serving a sentence (if the school was good for them,
they would regret having to leave it, right?).
Then the child enters - i.e., the child is compulsorily
imprisoned by determination of the family and the state -
in an institution structured to protect you from free-
learning, which until then - excluding the instrumental
interventions made ​​by parents - was going well. Thanks.
But not now. Now the child will learn not what it really
wants to learn, but what someone wants it to learn. It's
called education.
Quickly the child finds no use for complaining. Soon it
realizes that resistance is futile: that is the first lesson. As
Bob Black (1985) wrote, now the child is in one of these
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"concentration camps to get in the habit of obedience and
punctuality that are good qualities to a worker" (9).
Yes, the child is being formatted to work for someone or,
in exceptional cases, to serve and reproduce a system
that would require someone to work for others. To do so,
the children will receive an implant, a set of memetic
parameters that will ensure that the program that is
installed on them by the school will be able to run without
problems. This special software that gets loaded into the
child is the basic version of "program-slave" (or, in
exceptional cases, the "program-enslaving": in fact the
basic routines of both programs are the same).
Unlike what is communicated, by entering the school the
child did not go into an environment capable to give rise
to or accelerate their learning, not even in an institution of
knowledge transfer. Knowledge is there, of course, but it
is only the legitimating excuse, the apparent product that
justifies the existence of the factory or the lubricant for
the machine to run smoothly. So, anything will do the job,
including maintaining the same curriculum in the 21st
century that made sense in the Middle Ages. Because
what is essential is that the program will be installed.
That's why the child is there. At school.
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But to do that, the school needs to be a hetero-didact
institution. The school needs to strongly discourage the
self-learning (learning by yourself, seeking and inventing)
and prohibit - or restrict the interaction to the point of
making the alter-didacticism (to learn from each other, co-
creating and sharing) impossible. If the school was not
based on hetero-didacticism, it would have no reason to
exist.
The hetero-didacticism is realized through the
fundamental separation of bodies that school based on:
the separation between a teaching body and a student
body. This separation leads to a subordination: the
students are under-ordered in relation to teachers. Here
is the first subordination that the child experiences
outside their family nest. Some other people - who do not
belong to the child's family (its first community) - will now
be able to say what it should do, will be able to boss the
child. And their parents are the guarantors of this
subordination. Those same parents that were warned of
strangers now - paradoxically for the child - will tell it that
there is a kind of stranger that it should obey to: it's the
teacher or professor. In order to smoothen this process,
but extremely violent to the child psychologically, the
teacher is often called "aunt" (to keep the link with family
relationships that it already knows: it's just a way to trick
41
the child sweetly) which is facilitated by the fact that the
vast majority of the faculty in basic education is
composed of women (yes, that's part of the system).
Then the child is taught to obey. There is a shift. Obeying
the parents is a preparation for obeying the teachers. To
obey the bureaucrats of teaching (teachers) will be a
preparation to obey the religious bureaucrats (priests,
pastors, rabbis, imams...and others). Sometimes this
process is concurrent, when the first hetero-didact
experience happens at school and simultaneously in
some church (through catechesis), or if the school is
religious, or if all is open and scandalous is the same (as
in a madrassa). To obey the parents and teachers is a
preparation to obey the chiefs in general (in future social
organizations, the state or enterprises the child will join
when it's young or grown up).
The fact is that the child continues to seek legitimation for
what it does from someone who is above, and out of its
interaction with its peers. The school is organized as a
cyst, separated from the community, protected from the
interaction with the neighborhood by fences, walls, gates,
locks (and often inside the school the doors are always
locked, only the employee who carries the keys can open
them, in the case that this is permitted by the guidelines
42
of the establishment). There is no significant interaction
within this closed environment, commanded and
controlled by a director, and the people in the community
where the school is located. With rare exceptions (that
prove the rule), parents and other relatives, neighbors
and friends of the child, cannot interfere with the
educational process to which the child is being subjected
to.
At school the child is accepted to the extent that it
correctly responds to the expectations from the high;
here, for the first time, a top down order is being
established through a bureaucracy. The school (or
sometimes the church) is the child's first experience of
being possessed by a non-human entity (an incident that,
despite all the problems mentioned above, has not
occurred in the family). On entering one of these
deformed social fields the child is violated by a hierarchy
for the first time.
The main violation is a ban on playing. After entering the
school the child can not play anymore, except in certain
periods, under strict conditions and continuous
surveillance. It's called recreation time and if the
recreation is a form of distraction it means that during all
the rest of the time the child is trapped in the school's
43
work, duty, penalty, yoke. The recreation time reminds of
the right of those prisoners to take a sunbath periodically.
The Portuguese word for "school break or recreation
time", is "recreio". In its origin, the word referred to the act
of creating, producing something new. Recreating is how
the child learns. But schools are not about learning, they
are about teaching. Teaching is a forced and exhausting
process. So "recreio" was given new meaning to express
a kind of therapeutic refreshment, necessary to prevent
or remedy diseases caused by education.
The "educators" (i.e., the teachers) argue that at the pre-
school (early childhood education or what was called
kindergarten) the child can play. The problem is that
when you enter the school, the child is still a child, still in
its infancy. Every primary school should remain a
kindergarten and should be considered a learning period
for children. But this would not be teaching. And then
there would be no school!
Another important violation is the prohibition imposed on
a child to learn what it wants to learn. At school the child
has no wishes. The child is subjected to a curriculum or a
set of themes chosen by the bureaucracy of teaching
(vertical or horizontal, it does not matter), which
44
previously were imposed or acknowledged and endorsed
by the State. The outcome is that the child does not learn
in freedom: the child is compulsorily educated. And the
learning problems that this violation of the fundamental
freedom to learn entails is actually teaching problems
(even the incorrectly called "learning disorders" are, for
the most part, introduced by teaching disorders). If we
quit the will to teach and let the child freely learn (what
she wants to learn and not what we want it to learn), most
of these disorders would simply disappear and it would
be not necessary to pump children full with hard drugs
(such as methylphenidate, commonly used today - and
criminally) or dope them (with other substances that act
structurally as amphetamines).
The prohibition on free learning - because learning
without being taught is subversive: it is a danger to the
reproduction of institutionalized forms of management
hierarchies of all sorts - it comes also with the banning of
inventing. Essentially both are the same thing because
learning is always an invention (while teaching is a
reproduction). Then the child is discouraged to invent, to
create, co-create, in short, discouraged to do the only
thing able to leave it healthy while living in a disturbed
social environment.
45
The child will be accepted, included, validated and
rewarded to the extent that it knows how to reproduce a
given content or an expected cognitive behavior, not to
the extent that it ventures to generate, individually or
collectively, a new content or an unheard cognitive
behavior. If the child is caught drawing during a grammar
lesson, composing a song during a Science test or
developing a game on his laptop during a physical
education activity it will be warned. If several children are
getting together to do any of these things it will be worse:
the group will be punished, their parents will receive
notifications. Deviant behavior - from hetero-didacticism,
especially when collective, can not go unpunished. The
teachers take it as a personal offense.
Educators in charge with guarding and punishing the kids
do not realize that by doing so they are rooting out the
creativity of those potential geniuses - and the real, yes,
the real - of humanity. And they do not realize they are
robots, replicating the Matrix. They are fulfilling their
antisocial role: they are just murdering Mozart to run this
strange human bending machine. As Saint-Exupery wrote
(1939), "But there are no gardeners for people. An infant
like Mozart is marked just like all the others by the
stamping press... Mozart is doomed ... It is something like
the human species, and not just the individual who is
46
wounded, who are getting injured. What torments me is...
that in each of these people, a bit of Mozart is being
killed."(10).
The installation of the program is complete with the
teaching of competition. At school the child is
discouraged to cooperate and encouraged to compete
with her or his peers. This is hierarchical violation in its
pure state, the main evil consequence of the centralizing
deformation of the social field and of the vertical direction
the flows are forced to take. The hierarchy constrains the
current to flow upward. To do well in life is to climb, climb
the rungs of a ladder, to go from one school grade to the
other getting the corresponding degree. For this
purpose, the child has to be plucked from the tangle that
she conforms with her or his peers. She must be
individualized (or depersonalized by being disconnected
from her/his network of friends) and to receive - always
from above - the rewards due to his or her solo effort. The
evaluations are individual and not about a group that
cooperates (even if that may exist groups that
cooperate). The student will be better evaluated on the
extend that he/she stands out from the "others" rather
than approaching them. The solidarity, mutual help and
cooperation are not valued​and they are not part of the
evaluation criteria adopted by the school. Each one looks
47
after yourself. And the others be damned. This is how the
child is taught (i.e., deformed) by the competition.
In the competition, strictly speaking, anything goes
(everything that the command-and-control system cannot
prohibit, prevent or suppress). As for the competitive
culture the most important thing is to take advantage, in
school children learn to cheat.
The main trick is to copy your colleague's tests. And
copying should not be a trick at all, as it is an action that
is actually a natural impulse to share. It just turns into
cheating because there is a test (individual). If the
challenges of learning were collective, the "copy"
behavior would not only be lawful but desirable. Imitation
(or cloning) is a phenomenology of interaction deeply
associated with learning. We learn only when we clone,
i.e., strictly speaking, we copy. That is the way it is with all
living species. It is through cloning that termites can build
their sophisticated mounds. And that the birds can fly in
flocks in such amazing formations (flocking) and the fish
of the sea play those fantastic evolutions (shoaling). All
self-propelled entities that interact imitate each other.
Thus also humans.
48
The child learns by imitating what it observes in its
surroundings, initially cloning the behavior of parents and
siblings, and then of the members of its extended social
environment (other relatives, neighbors and friends). At
school, the child will clone the behavior of teachers, but
at this stage the child is already connected to a wider
social network, but the child is strongly discouraged to
clone the behavior of its colleagues. The social network
of the school class is centered on the teacher just to
guarantee that it is not going to turn into a distributed
social network. This is the hierarchy!
The hierarchy cannot, however, avoid the dysfunctions
that its disturbance causes in the social field. The basic
sociability of humans is cooperative. Without cooperation
we can not be humans (because language and talk
themselves presuppose - and they are - cooperation). But
when the environment favors competitive attitudes and
discourages cooperative attitudes, it is inevitable that
social and individual pathologies arise as dysfunctions.
The dysfunction currently most evident is bullying. It is a
disease of the environment and not of the people. Bullies
can only have such a behavior when they are
depersonalized by the system. They are symptoms of a
collective disease that was contracted by the centralized
49
network. The supposed need to control or dominate
others would not manifest in individuals if they do not live
in environments designed to control.
It seems obvious that to end bullying in schools would be
sufficient to close the schools. While this is not even
considered, harassment will continue. And the bullying
occurs in virtually all centralized environments or in all
social fields deformed by hierarchy (in the workplace,
neighborhood gangs, in military organizations etc).
At the end of the seven to eight years of its ongoing
transformation into an object of teaching, serving as raw
material for the school factory, the service is almost
accomplished. The child which was caught when it was
six or seven years old was taught to conform itself to the
restriction of its freedom (because resistance is futile). It
was prevented from playing (because what counts is to
engage in serious things that have a purpose and
produce a result). It was discouraged to learn what it
wants to learn, to invent, to create and co-create
(because none of that is important, but one should know
what was taught and reproduce the teachings received).
And it was induced to compete (because cooperating is a
delay in life and does not lead you anywhere). In fact the
child is now dead - had his childhood mowed - and what
50
rises in its place is a young formatted individual to obey
(and to feel guilty and accuse others when she/he
transgresses). It's done. The hierarchical program was
successfully loaded in its basic version.
Later the same school - or its vertical stretch, the
university - will teach the young arguments to justify it all.
In fact the child will learn to repeat a bunch of claims
based on beliefs (ideological, not scientific) that humans
are inherently (or naturally) competitive, that life is a
struggle in which each one makes choices to maximize
the satisfaction of their own interests, that only winners
matter and that the winners are those who make
(individually) the right choices and that nothing can
operate without... hierarchy!
But long before it learns to rationalize, the child who was
infected at the school and received the slave-program,
will reproduce the program through its everyday behavior.
Each schooled will become a schooler (and later will
convert all the organizations founded by them or in which
they take part, in something like schools). That's how the
hierarchical system - the Matrix that really exists -
reproduces itself.
51
52
AT CHURCH
Not rarely, the church (and religion) acts on a child as
school (making it a victim of teaching, during the so
called catechesis). The religious intervention goes
deeper, however. Its goal is to inculcate idea-implants,
malicious memes (programs) able to make the child a
replicator of hierarchical configurations (usually priests).
This operation is done on a level of depth that no secular
education could achieve.
In church the child is taught that there is a single belief
system fully correct and true (the one that it is receiving,
of course, and therefore all others are wrong and false).
Even when it is not clearly stated, it is implied: otherwise
why would it be catechized in that religion and not in
another? Or why would the child not be receiving an
ecumenical initiation in all religious traditions?
It is an experience of violation of the "human" to be
inoculated with the perverse idea of denial of all other
beliefs and invalidation of all other mystical conversations
different from ours. The child alone would never reach
such a conclusion, which is obviously stupid. That has to
53
be printed onto the child, marked, as we brand cattle with
a hot iron (11).
The separation between faithful and unfaithful, the
delegitimization of the infidel as an equal and its denial,
rejection and exclusion, was one of the most perverse
things introduced by the religious hierarchy (and actually
in a deeper sense, the whole hierarchy is religious, is
always a sacred power, i.e., separate from the vulgar, the
profane) in societies. This is not about spirituality and the
mystical experience "in which a person lives itself as an
integral component of a wider field of relations of
existence ... [and that] depends on the network of
conversations in which it is immersed in and in which the
person lives in who has that experience," as written by
Humberto Maturana (1993) (12). This is related to the
installation of that same slave program that the school
exists to implant.
The basic idea-implants vary with religious tradition, but
are approximately the following, for millennia, at least
since the "Indo-European" patriarchs (whatever it may
have been) - as it seems, in civilizations derivative of the
first hierarchical formations of ancient Mesopotamia (or
contaminated by them) - they have erected "a denial
54
frontier of all the mystical conversations different from
theirs":
Firstly you have to internalize the idea that you are an
inferior being and that there is a higher being, a
superhuman, that you should fear, and to whom you must
submit yourself (becoming a servant of this superior
being: yes, this is exactly the word to be used here:
"servant").
Secondly you have to believe that even if you do not do
anything bad, you are wrong, simply because you are
what you are: a human (imperfect, impure and bad) and
not a superhuman (perfect and pure, the only being really
good). In certain traditions that belief is reinforced by the
perverse myth of original sin.
Thirdly you have to give up trying to have an experience
of direct contact (unmediated) with this supposed
superhuman power. For the superhuman to being able to
relate to human beings, intermediaries (priests) were
established. And for you to be saved from the
consequences of mistakes (sins) inherent in the human
condition, a program has been built to protect you from
interacting with this terrible power, and at the same time,
include you in the list of the faithful, i.e., the flock of those
55
who will be saved by him, if you provide the proper
worship. This program is religion.
Fourthly and lastly you have to obey the directives of the
priests who constitute the church (teaching), outside of
which there is no salvation.
It seems like school - and it is school, really - because the
relationship that founds the school remains: teachers and
students are two separated bodies. Where there is
religion there are always two churches: one that teaches
- teachers (priests, pastors) and another that is taught -
students (the laity, the flock).
But it is even more serious. The goal of this whole
operation is to make the world priestly, I mean, to forge a
social world that works only through mediation, and being
sanctified from top to bottom. Attention: you are no longer
in an isotropic social cosmos. There is someone above
(or something terrible, with immeasurable power) that
turned the flow vertical. This non-human power conferred
special attributes to human intermediaries who, in turn,
gained permission to reproduce themselves as a status
group, investing other humans with the same private
function of their condition and to anoint and consecrate
environments, people and events (13).
56
Humanity is not composed of the same if some are closer
to (or receive more blessings from) that superhuman
entity than others. There are now also Saints, Rishis,
Mahatmas, and righteous people... that have a different
status from ordinary people, sinners, and the unfair.
Normal people are not just people, but kind of Saints that
failed: if they are not Saints then this is a sign that they
are not good enough. There is a foundation to distribute
humans according to the rungs of a ladder, by its
proximity to the supernatural hierarchy that permeates
the human world (social).
Even when nothing is said of it so crudely, it is implicit,
that it comes along in the package. The most banal is
(but not less cruel) that you'll be thinking that there are
people that are more important than others, more
important than you. Most people think that and behave
befittingly with such belief, filling up of reverence to speak
to a superior (not just a church hierarch, but any higher, I
mean someone who has more power, more wealth, more
diplomas or more fame than you). That's why we need
just a leap to go from the religious world to the secular
world. Powerful people, rich, full of titles and very famous
will be seen, in this vertical social order, as superior.
Bosses have some transcendent reason to occupy their
57
position and must be nominated by their differential titles,
obeyed, treated with some fear and often, with servility.
A child who receives such a load of ideas (very
unfavorable, let's face it, from the standpoint of freedom
and cooperation) - even if it receives everything in a
sweet way, through uplifting stories and floral and
pastoral examples that exalt beauty, grace, the
exuberance of nature created and invaded by divine love,
as do the catechists - cannot recover easily. Something
inside will be damaged for the rest of its life.
But this is just the first intervention of the church. In many
cases the young and the adult will remain under its
influence receiving program updates, first as laymen (or
members of the flock, the student church). In other cases,
in smaller numbers, the adult will enter the religious order
that erected the teaching church, integrating his priestly
bureaucracy and becoming a hierarch (a condition which
he will hardly escape from unscathed after being
ordained, i.e. after his ability to reproduce the vertical
order of the Matrix was recognized by the hierarchy).
The process will reach its climax when, beside the church
and other organizations around confession or devotion
(sects, religious associations, societies, sororities,
fraternities), enter the scene of esoteric organizations
58
(such as the really clandestine masonic society and the
secret organizations of initiation, especially the military-
religious orders that echo Templar traditions, through
which the program will be installed in its hard version, so
to say, in its professional version, for developers).
59
60
IN THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS
The child is dead, and now it is time to continue the
process of impregnating the already formatted young.
This continues in school (and sometimes in church). But
now new institutions show up, such as social and political
organizations called "of youth", recreational clubs, or in
some cases the gangs and criminal organizations (such
as drug trafficking, which recruit even children), or so-
called "social movements" (mainly the rigged by
corporate organizations and political hierarchies,
especially the high school student movement), civil
society organizations of the new associationist
bureaucracy of the NGOs (including corporations,
foundations, etc.) and the so called service clubs. What is
common to them all is that they are hierarchical
organizations. They are kind of computer servers where
the programs are ready to be downloaded and installed.
Simply enter (connect yourself to) one of them and the
download will start automatically. And the programs - the
various versions of the same hierarchical program - are
executable.
61
A little later and it will be the turn of the barracks (when
there is conscription to the armed forces); in some cases
-depending on time and place - clandestine political
organizations, said to be revolutionary (are in general
structured in a highly centralized pattern, sometimes
military), or in the so-called youth parties. All of those will
act simultaneously (excluding child labor) with the work
(as a trainee or as disqualified auxiliary of general
services) in companies and other state or civil society
bureaucratic organizations, exactly when they are turning
from the first youth (if one can say so) into young
adulthood.
"Youth" organizations are, in general, fields for initiation
and training in autocratic and hierarchical methods and
processes. Curiously, they are managed - overt or
covertly - in large part, by non-youth. Policies for the
youth are discussed in the central committees of
gerontocratic organizations where elderly leaders gather
and agree to recruit more and more young people to
submit them to their supervisors or to frame them in their
hierarchies.
When they are right-wing political organizations, the
youth organizations aim the inculcation of ideologies and
training in methods of command and control. When they
62
are left-wing, they aim the inculcation of ideologies and
training in methods of command and control. The main
difference is that in the former case, there is the
assumption of maintaining order and the secular
institutions (such as family, tradition and property and
sometimes religion and 'race') and, in the second, the
declared goal is to change the current order for another
top-down order (also hierarchical, but with new actors
exercising command and control). Another difference: the
so-called left-wing trains young people in techniques of
mass manipulation and conduction of assemblies,
opening a participative space to do so (poorly
interactive). In these "gather the herd" environments,
which are always polarized by senior leaders, the youth
will learn to be professionals in assemblies, to vote for
every decision, to fake votes, to create and run
campaigns, to defend some proposals, to attack and
destroy opposing ones and sometimes, also learning to
destroy the people that make such proposals, who will be
considered as enemies. But all these organizations - left-
wing or right-wing - are sidered by the imperative to train
new leaders (who will replace the current hierarchs, also
called leaders).
63
A note on the role of parties, these hierarchical
institutions in which people learn to privatize the public
sphere.
Parties are a special type of corporation to assert the
interests of one group over the interests of other groups
and individuals; based on (or taking as a pretext) a
program, a set of ideas from which it is possible to gain
and retain power to legitimate the exercise of command
and control of others (being illegitimate from the social
point of view, that is, from the point of view of distributed
social networks).
The first parties were religious - they were the priestly
castes who erected the state - and therefore parties are,
in the origin, hierarchical organizations stricto sensu.
Parties are a way to protect people from the experience
of public politics. To achieve that - either as a monopoly
(in dictatorships) or as an oligopoly (in formal
democracies) - the parties privatize public politics. Their
legal existence indicates that people, as just people, do
not need to do public politics in their daily lives and at the
base of society (in their communities): someone will
make politics for them! Even in the democracies of the
modern world it's assumed that people should not make
public politics, unless you are a member of a party: a kind
64
of state employment agency, a private organization
authorized to compete with other private congeners
organizations to have access to state institutions which
are recognized legally as public and, therefore,
exclusively are in charge of public policy. If we take off
the liberal theories about the role of parties in democracy,
what is left is more or less what was described above.
Even if we make lots of effort trying to justify this unequal
access to exercise public policy, it seems obvious that the
party system privatizes politics. When you give to parties
- excluvely - the power to transform politics in policy,
people automatically become customers of the system.
After entering a party - even if it is in its sector reserved
for youth - the person begins to be deformed. He or she
begins to feel that society is an area of dispute for
hegemony and that politics is a kind of "art of war". It is,
in short, to impose the will of a group on society, by all
licit means (and, often, illicit).
Youth who had its initiation in the political party life will
have great difficulties to get rid of the practice of
instrumentalization of others on behalf of a cause (of a
smaller group of people). They will often remain with the
idea that the ends justify the means. They will learn to lie
and use lies as a method; they will behave as members
65
of a gang and even against their declared "values​​", they
will justify - or at least omit or fail to report - corruption
and other crimes when committed by 'ours'.
To the extent that democracy is more the "metabolism" of
a community of projects than the project of some
interested in conducting a community somewhere
according to their particular points of view or to satisfy
their interests - a bold and crude definition of a political
party - in these parties the young will learn, essentially,
autocracy (and, what is more curious, he or she will do it
incessantly reproducing speeches praising democracy).
66
IN THE BARRACKS
During military service the hierarchy program is updated
with the installation of a brute version, actually loutish.
For the first time the hierarchy is openly presented as a
necessary principle to live (or survive) in the universal
and eternal war that supposedly makes the world.
According to the intrinsic cretinism in military ideology,
war is a reality permanently present: it has existed since
the foundation of human society and will exist for all time.
Si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for
war) is the main motto, which is written on the walls of the
barracks. It should be obvious that if one prepares for
war, the future will be war and not something else. Only
at the cost of high doses of ideological loaded upon a
normal person can assimilate this contradiction.
Accepting it means admitting the assumption that human
beings are, by nature, homo hostilis, i.e. inherently
competitive and that, in the absence of a power above
them to curb their primitive impulses, humans would
destroy each other in a bellum omnium against omnes (a
war of all against all), as written by the famous ideologist
of State Thomas Hobbes (1651) (14).
67
Now, to prepare for war requires hierarchy. In war you
can not break, dilute, delay or mediate the vertical flow of
command-execution. As, in times of peace, people have
to prepare for war, then, even in the absence of any
conflict - which eventually justify the absolute control of
the chiefs over their subordinates, as a matter of life or
death - it is necessary to strictly observe and follow order-
hierarchy-discipline-obedience. In other words, the whole
issue becomes a matter of life or death. Here is the
necrophiliac root of military ideology.
In the barracks the young will experience, at first, what is
the command of one person over another (and the
subjection of one person to another) in all its crudeness,
without any justification or need for rational explanation: if
you are the boss, you can send a recruit to do almost
anything: wash the patio, carry furniture for removal of an
officer, buy cigarettes at the corner bar, "pay" forty
pushups ... This is deliberately encouraged to train
subordinates in obedience. To support such an
aberration, some additional scripts of the slave program
Matrix will be inculcated in the recruits through aphorisms
heavily laden with prejudices: "The top never fails, unless
because of a sole responsibility fault of the subordinate";
"Only the one may give orders who learned obedience";
68
"Collective indiscipline is a command error " etc..;
besides an infinity of other sayings of foul language, like
"The barracks is the place where the child cries and the
mother does not see," or "Military can not: are allowed to;
do no rest: relax position; do not compliment: salutes"- all
of them, however, with the aim of deploying the spirit of
subjection to hierarchy and submission to bosses.
Hierarchy in its raw state is revealed in the strongly
centralized social network topology of the military
organization. There, it is prohibited to multiply paths or
take shortcuts that pass off (or bypass) the immediate
supervisor (e.g., the lieutenant can not go straight to the
colonel bypassing the captain and the major and violating
the one path, skipping the compulsory stations of the
course. This would be serious misconduct). All of that, of
course, spills over to other civil and religious hierarchies.
Some religious or religious-military orders lead the
distribution of hierarchical positions to the extreme,
justifying them by analogy with beyond merely human
settings. In this case the perversity is greater, but there
we are already in a programming environment - for
developers.
69
Last but not least, in the barracks the young will "learn"
patriotism, a delusion with warmonger roots (the same
one that accompanied the installation of the modern
nation-State, this fruit of the war - in fact of the Peace of
Westphalia. It is no coincidence that the military worship
the imaginary community called nation, actually a domain
of the State. The State reifies the nation to justify itself as
the autocratic apparatus that supposedly emanates from
the nation. The military are one of the arms of the State
(the armed wing), without which it would not have been
possible to accomplish the erection of this organization
constituted against others, against the enemies (and to
be so it's enough just be another, it is not necessary to
maintain any belligerent posture), against other states.
The international system of perverse competitive
equilibrium (which still could not be violated by
democracy) is a pact between less than two hundred
nation-states to centralize sociosferas where 7 billion
people live.
The patriotic fervor will be the fuel for the rulers to stay in
power, to reproduce the system of (state) institutions that
want to impose their legitimacy to society with the aim of
making it their dominium (likewise feudal) and to continue
producing enmity in the world. The culture of patriotic
fervor allows the generation of an identity matrix, an
70
identity based on war, state of war or preparation for war.
The basic argument is the one of the real-politic
(autocratic, not democratic): if we are not prepared for
war, if we do not arm ourselves, we will be invaded and
dominated by those who are prepared and have armed
themselves (against us). It is a gang's argument.
That is why patriotism is so important to the military.
Without it, there is no way to recruit people to compose
armed forces. Oaths, salute the flag, exaltation of
nationalism, sacred duty, to die for the fatherland ... this is
all hard drugs and part of the ideological charge the
recruits get while being prepared, in most cases, not for a
real war (hot or cold) against any true external enemy, but
to maintain an internal state of war or to the preparation
for war (paradoxically taken as a condition for peace) to
justify vertical conformation of the social field.
To sum up, the young, in the barracks, barely out of high
school or even just out of elementary school, are the
victims of a rude intervention. Apparently, most of the
compulsorily enlisted are able to recover from the trauma
after completing their annual period of service. Those
who decide to follow a military career, however, hardly
will get rid of the impregnation. In every place they go,
they will reproduce the matrix that was printed on them
71
and that is composed of mythical, hierarchical and
autocratic concepts of the eternal and universal war epic
world: order, hierarchy, command, control, discipline,
obedience, honor, duty, bravery , heroism ... They will
educate their children with these "values​​". They will treat
their collaborators, in civil projects that they engage in
after they get out of the army or retire, as subordinates.
They will require obedience, respect for authority and
they will restrain freedom they deem excessive.
The barracks are the environment where the Matrix that
really exists strips down at a point that it appears, almost
naively, as a caricature. This appearance is so crude that
it is laughable, as can be seen by any intelligent person
who observes the life in the barracks for sometime.
72
AT UNIVERSITY
When approaching adulthood, some young - in growing
numbers in most countries - enter the university, a
meritocratic medieval corporation which remained in
modernity and came to today under the monopoly of the
award of degrees (since the alleged monopoly of
knowledge, which it held eight centuries ago, was lost
sometime in the recent past with the emergence of the
network-society).
At the university the young will basically learn
meritocracy. The autocratic ideology they will receive is
that those who know more have the right to direct those
who know less. Even when it is not said openly - this
autocratic Platonic principle that inspired academies
around the world for more than two millennia - sounds
like the natural thing to do.
At the university, the youth will be taught that it's
legitimate to erect epistemological courts, based on a
supposed knowledge about knowledge, who will judge
what is scientific (and should be accepted) and what is
not (and must then be rejected). In some cases,
73
especially in politics and sociology courses, the student
will also be recruited to erect or be part of ideological
barriers, which will allow the crossing of a few visions and
prohibit the entry of others (considered contraband in the
light of the dominant ideology in academia).
At the university the young will join a corporation
(perhaps the first experience of corporation that the
student will have in life, except, in some cases, the
military, if recruited; but the former is more like a caste).
The young will begin to see the world from the
perspective of the corporation of the ones who "know"
and will believe that such a view is somehow superior to
the views of common people.
It is also at the university that the young - who decide to
continue in academic life - will get in touch initially with
the idea of ​​a career that is nothing else but a
conditioned flow to climb positions of power, prestige and
better pay in relation to the others, against the others or
standing out from the others, instead of interacting and
approaching them. In the dynamics of careers
competition is strongly encouraged.
Finally, at the university the young will receive the
justifications to defend and reproduce it all. It is there that
74
the student will contact the scholarly explanations about
social reality and its laws, through formulations that are
largely non scientific, but compose the belief system of
trendy influential metaphysics accepted by their teachers
- the priestly bureaucracy of knowledge.
In short, at the university the young is still at school and
everything that has been said about the school can be
said, mutatis mutandis (and changing just a little bit),
about the university. The priestly bureaucracy of
knowledge (the hierarchy consists of teachers, postdocs,
PhDs and masters) is actually a bureaucracy of teaching.
Now, however, the young is in a meritocratic hierarchy
that will give the student the security to pass judgment on
the organization of the world, including the need to
strengthen universal meritocracy and, inevitably,
hierarchy.
In some countries, like the United States, there is the
tradition of college fraternities (named by combinations of
Greek letters, such as Phi Alpha, Delta, Kappa, Beta,
Omega etc..), that aim "to separate leaders from
losers" (15). These fraternities - whose standard of
organization, secret rituals and ideology were
shamelessly copied from masonry and other esoteric
organizations - play a greater role than is generally
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evaluated in training the youth as an installer of
hierarchies, i.e., as an Matrix agent.
When the young adult joins a company or any other state
or social organization, this young academic will bring
there the belief that the positions (especially the
leadership) have to be associated with academic titles
conferred by the university corporation. Somehow,
continuing to reproduce the school in all of them.
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AT WORK
Well, then the young people come to the place where
people celebrate Fridays and curse Mondays: the
workplace! This should be enough to make them suspect
that something is terribly wrong, but they do not take this
eloquent sign into account (that about 70% of their lives
is not being enjoyed according to their wishes). They find
it natural to pay tribute for six or five days a week to be
able to live as they want in one or two days left.
When the young adult gets a first job and goes to a
workplace, whether in a company or other hierarchical
organization responsible to a State or civil society, the
slave-program that was installed is finally activated.
Somehow, that was why he received such a long
preparation. At work the contractor acknowledges that the
slave-program is running well in the one who was hired
(when no contractor has difficulty making such
recognition, it is called sometimes the "employability").
The slave-program is the password for the young to be
admitted in the fields of the Matrix reproduction. All
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hierarchical organizations are fields of reproduction, but
we are now focusing on those that replace the freedom of
invention by the prison of labor (routine).
Yes, workplaces are environments of reproduction, not of
creation. They require discipline and obedience to allow
that a process, a product or a service can be replicated
with the fewest errors, in less time and at the lowest
possible cost (and this has been called quality and
productivity).
For this purpose, companies and other general working
organizations imprison the bodies of workers to enable
leaders (administrators of people) to control them and
command them closely. The assumption here is that the
employee does not fulfill its role voluntarily, but only if it is
subjected to a system - feitorial or nearly feitorial
(nowadays, taskmasters replaced the whip by the clock,
the book of presence, the magnetic badge or the bank of
hours) - in which someone watches the worker
movements to avoid that he or she wastes time, loses
concentration in the tasks and fails to "hit the
targets" (decreasing the quality and productivity).
Over 90% of employers imprison bodies. Heads of
government offices, business managers and "owners" of
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NGOs often imprison bodies. If people did not have to
sleep and if it was allowed by the laws, they would like
them to stay at their disposal full time: - 24 (hrs) X 7
(days): tum, tum, tum ...
Even when they say the contrary, they do not want
people to be entrepreneurs, creative, building innovative
products or processes and performing wonderful things,
but that they "work". They want: "work" = "repetition and
execution of orders". If they wanted creation, innovation,
they would not impose strange agendas to people
(agendas that they had no opportunity to co-create), they
would not tear time in controllable units, with rigid
schedules of entry and exit in a walled space. They would
give their employees (all of them) the best conditions for
innovation (they would, maybe, rent a house on a
paradise island, on a pleasant farm, or maybe at an
urban forest, or with a garden, they would cultivate
gardens ... in short, they would not organize or decorate
their places - work places - in a so horrendous way, with
no colors, art... all gray, like a prison or a convent) and,
above all, they would not reduce your mobility: an
essential dimension of people's freedom to create.
The key to the captors of bodies is to keep their workers
out of creative chaos, protect them from their own
entrepreneurial spirit. So, to sterilize you, they put you in
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the pyramid. Or in a concentration camp: at the entrance
of Auschwitz one could read (and still can, above the
main gate), the words "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes
you free).
The company (sensu lato) is a machine and the worker is
not an operator but a part of the machine. The machine
has to work to produce the processes, products and
services for which it was designed and built. For the
machine to work, the part has to work as a part, playing
exactly the role for which it was designed.
The hierarchical company was created to protect people
from the experience of being an entrepreneur. To enter a
company like that, people have to abandon their dreams
for the sake of the dream of others. It is more or less as if
the owner of the dream (or his servant or agent) was
saying: "You do not need to be an entrepreneur but let
me do it for you; since you, of course, give up your dream
and adopt mine, working for me."
At work (in a company or any other hierarchical
organization) the young are taught to non-create, non-
invent. They will soon learn that this could be bad for their
career. It will make them uncomfortable to the chiefs: the
young will be following paths that are not the ones they
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(the hierarchs) made (for them). The own colleagues will
rebuke their initiatives, they will see it as a kind of
disloyalty - as a bad habit of "showing service". New
ideas to improve a management model, a process, a
product or a service, will be judged in the midst of the
worker flock as a desire to "show off" to the bosses. A
flock of employees is more or less like those hordes of
beings infected by some virus - very common in horror
films (or science fiction B-movies) - who will chase and
try to infect anyone who is not infected, yet.
At work, the young man learns to be mediocre, to
conform to a routine, to do things just like everyone else
does, in exchange to the possibility, to enjoy life in the
30% of the time he has left, and he is going to see a
match, or date somebody, or goes to the beach or to the
movies, socializing with friends at a Sunday barbecue or
at a bar, or he will try to do some sports or a follow his
hobby, or to travel over the weekend ... In fact he will
learn to bear the yoke, to suffer fatigue... daydreaming,
dreaming of what he will do later, while making him
believe that he is focused on what he is doing now. It is
really a slaves' life, only acceptable for a person who was
loaded with ... a slave program (16). In a hierarchical
company the young will learn that he is not going to be
paid for his work (or for what it is worth), but the
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willingness to be available to the managers or owners to
do any work (they want them to do).
Everything is organized so that the young does not
realize that he is the entrepreneur, not the company. So
he does not see that the company is a medium for him to
do something, not a working camp (as if he is a slave?), a
prison where he has to pay a penalty eight hours a day
(as if he had been convicted of some crime), almost
every day of the week (always bored and anxious, like
the kids at school, always waiting for the time that the bell
rings), or an idol that he should adore. If the young
cannot see, then it is a sign that the impregnation
process is completed, the program has successfully
loaded, it is fully installed and running well.
The young man is now fully integrated into the Matrix and
can now be considered a responsible adult.
Family, school, church, youth organizations, parties,
barracks, university, business and other work
organizations (state or social) - all these institutions load
the program, update the program (or one of its different
versions). It is nearly impossible to escape them all. And
what is common to them all, or apparently so different,
with many differing or even opposite goals? What is
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common is the hierarchy, the more centralized than
distributed pattern of organization, with all that it implies:
the management model based on command-and-control,
the existence of leadership of one person, the
requirement of obedience (or sub-ordering). Restricting
freedom and discouraging cooperation seems to be the
goal.
People in the Matrix will react to all this saying: "- But
could it be any other way? If we do not organize people in
hierarchical systems they would still be in the stone age,
living in groups, wandering, busy to survive and their life
would be - as Hobbes wrote (1651) - 'solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish and short' ? "(17).
These objections are, obviously, suggested by the
hierarchical program installed in them. But telling them
they are people that are just giving a voice to a typical
being, the standard individuals of the Matrix that really
exists are being converted into private individuals, as
discussed below.
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84
PART 2
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET OUT OF THE
MATRIX?
85
86
BEFORE ANYTHING we need to know what it means to
get out of the Matrix. The Matrix that really exists is not
an external reality to the tangles that we are in (and
where we are - as we are, we, the humans). It is a social
field deformed by hierarchy. It is in the middle of us in a
double sense: it is among us (we weave relationships
with others) and it is also within us (because we introject
or mirror the social tangle settings in which we exist as
persons).
To stop to reproduce these (hierarchical) settings in our
relations with the others is the first step to break free of
the Matrix. This seems to be the decisive step to start to
clear the deformations and not the opposite, as is often
believed. There is a widespread belief - with a
hierarchical background - according to which first the
person has to have an inner transformation (as an
individual) and then change the (social) settings in which
he or she is immersed in. However, it seems, the change
of visions, conceptions and ideas do not change
behavior: only behaviors change behavior. The Matrix is
not reproduced because of our beliefs, convictions and
values, but rather because of our behavior, because of
the way we relate to others. If we do not obey (someone)
and do not demand obedience (from anyone) there would
be no hierarchy. It would be enough, in essence, to give
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up bossing others, i.e., to command them and control
them. As simple as that.
To boss people and to obey people, however, is not to
desire to do this, but to act so as to effectively perform
the command and obedience. Nobody can do it if you
cannot select flows, eliminating nodes, connections or
shortcuts in the social network.
Nobody can do this alone. One must have a centralized
network of people to erect a hierarchy (in fact, the
hierarchy is already the centralization of the network). To
exit the Matrix a person needs to change the topology of
the social networks she or he is connected to, towards
more distribution (or less centralization). It's not enough,
although, just to have a desire to do this or just speak or
write about it. It is necessary to change the network
settings. It's not a question of just a new software, it's a
new hardware what matters.
Escaping the Matrix is like building a refuge, a shelter
protected from the influence of the social field deformed
by the hierarchy (or by the more centralized than
distributed network topology). This result will be
temporary - huts or shelters are like bubbles - and thus
the effort to escape should be intermittent. Sooner or
later the influence of the hierarchical environment will
88
burst the bubble. And another bubble should then be
opened (18).
The bubbles (huts or shelters from the influence of the
Matrix) are just more distributed than centralized
networks. The more distributed the network, the less it
will suffer from the influence of the Matrix, which is just
another way of saying - the obvious - that there will be
less centralization (or less hierarchy in the environmental
setup).
To exit the Matrix you have to hack the institutions that
put you into the Matrix (i.e., who installed the program in
you): family, school, church, hierarchical organizations
(including entities of the civil society, corporations and
political parties), the barracks, universities and business,
governmental and social organizations that employ
persons for compensation or that are agents of their
work.
However, although necessary, this is not enough. It's not
enough just to cut (to hack) or break (to crack) the code
of these institutions (and deprogramming them): you
have to reprogram them, or better, program what they
would be without hierarchy (and this is not just hacking,
it's more of netweaving), not only generically, but for you
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and for the tangle where you are glocally inserted. For
that, you need to become a common person.
In the movie The Matrix, Neo (Thomas Anderson) is a
hacker. But a hacker is still an uncommon person and, as
such, can not get out of the Matrix. A hacker is a different
person, a kind of "digital Zionist," a member of a
"thirteenth tribe", an elite whose members are able to
recognize themselves based on their differential
attributes, i.e., from what they stand out from the others
(rather than the ones that approximate them) (19).
Neo is a hacker while it would be necessary for him to be
a netweaver to exit the Matrix. And then he would not be
the chosen one. He would be a common person, chosen
together with all who are in the same tangle, when this
cluster got caught by the flow (i.e., when the configuration
of the cloud of connections that surrounds it becomes
more distributed than centralized). All of us are chosen
when caught by the flow.
Exiting the Matrix is abandoning yourself into the
interactive flow, let it invade the worlds that we set in our
living, pierce the walls that we erect "against the winds,
the tides and the stars" ... (20).
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TO EXIT THE MATRIX
To exit the Matrix you need to be un-taught. There is no
other way. You're in the Matrix because you were taught,
i.e. programmed. Now you need to be deprogrammed.
Not enough, however. You also need to be
reprogrammed. Both, deprogramming and
reprogramming should be done ​​by you and the other
people who interact with you in your tangle. But
deprogramming and reprogramming are not teaching, but
free and common learning. All autodidact learning or
learning with your peers gets the teaching out of you.
The key out of the hierarchy is unlearning. Unlearning
hierarchy, yes, but the word 'unlearning' is used here in a
opposite direction to the heterodidatic learning, it means,
when you learn not what you want to learn but what
someone else wants you to learn (i.e., teaching). In this
sense, to unlearn hierarchy is learning to disobey (or
unlearn to command, which is the same thing).
In the Matrix that really exists, teaching obedience is a
constant. It begins in the family, is deepened in school, is
based with transcendent reasons in the church, gets
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instrumentalised in the social and political organizations,
is exacerbated in the barracks, becomes rational in the
university and is consolidated in the workplace.
To deprogram the part of the program (its deepest layer)
that you received in the family, it is necessary to stop to
replicate family everywhere, resisting the temptation of
belonging (or forming) an owner or closed group (21),
stopping to make projections of your parents in the chiefs
and authorities in general (22) and - most important -
relearning how to play (23). But reprogramming will only
become real when you begin to live in a network
(distributed) or live in the community (open) with your
friends (regardless of the degree of relationship they
have with you), with no other purpose than to delight in
the enjoyment of living with them.
To deprogram the schooling that you were a victim of,
one must give up teaching others. This is harder than it
sounds because it is not only a question of avoiding to be
a teacher (which most people are not), but avoiding to
reproduce the teaching behavior, in all its forms. Give up
the will to lead others or convince others - even with the
pretext of facilitating their learning process and to give
opportunities for them "to be included" (where?) -
requires constant attention. Reprogramming will come
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when you begin to act as a catalyst for learning
processes in free communities of seekers and pollinators,
structured as distributed networks.
To break the script that you may have received in the
church, you have to give up to meet exclusively in
clusters of those who profess the same faith (or belief)
and believe that there is a (unique) way to truth (24). It is
not necessary that you abandon your spirituality or your
mystical life, not even your god (since you do not want to
impose it on others, separating believers from
unbelievers). This process is not complete while you are
building (or joining) the priestly orders who proclaim
themselves the only way, the only door, the only hope of
salvation, i.e., while you re-edit (or belong to) any of
these flow traps constructed for herd sheep to feed them
(called churches) (25). Reprogramming will come when
you - if applicable and if you want to do this - start sharing
post-religious forms of spirituality with others in new
Ecclesias (as "lovers assemblies"), such as networks of
seekers who are willing to celebrate their love and
pollinate each other and the ways they live their
spirituality or mysticism.
To deprogram what you received in the social and
political organizations, you have to let go of the
conservative mind - "conservadorismo" - (which wants to
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freeze and reproduce preterit settings resisting the
interactive flow) and also the transformer mind -
"transformacionismo" - (who wants to convert people into
what they are not, to lead them into a radiant future that
would be installed with the transformation of society in
what it is not, by performing some authoritarian utopia
able to install a new order) (26).
Therefore, it would be sufficient to adhere to democracy,
but as this word is not taken in the original sense of
deconstitution of autocracy but often confused with a
governance model or a political form of the state
administration, to just use the term (without adjectives) -
would lead to a confusion with the representative or
electoral system - not helping to make it understandable.
Reprogramming will come when you - giving up the
regressive notions of patriotism and nationalism, and
becoming a citizen of your transnational glocality - begin
to relate to networks of social and political interaction
(public) in neighborhoods and areas of activity within
communities that exercise cooperative democracy at the
base of society and at the daily lives of people (who
coexist with you) (27).
To deprogram what you eventually received in the
barracks or military organizations in general (including
the political-military organizations, as certain political
94
parties; or religious-military, as some churches, sects and
orders), you have to renounce war and the construction
of enemies. Enemies are created by fighting someone.
But there is not a good fight, there is not a good struggle,
there is not just a war of good against evil. Just as the
righteous king legitimates autocracies, the "warrior of
light", involved in an ongoing fight against the "Warrior of
Darkness", legitimizes the existence of war (and, hence,
the employment and manufacturing of the gun). The war
(or politics practiced as the art of war) is, in itself, the evil.
The only enemy that exists is the creator of enemies. If
you fight, you will be the enemy. Reprogramming will
come when you do not fight. If you do not fight, there is
no fight at all.
To deprogram what you received in college you have to
renounce meritocracy, giving up to erect (or validate)
epistemological courts able to approve (or disapprove)
people based on heterodidatic checks of knowledge that
was "taught". Reprogramming will come when you begin
to assess the tree by its fruits, not by certificates issued
by some botanical corporation (28).
To deprogram what you received in companies and other
workplaces, you have to learn to collaborate (work with
others), or, in other words, to unlearn to work for others
95
and putting other people to work for you. Reprogramming
will happen when you become an interdependent
entrepreneur, i.e. a co-entrepreneur, a co-creator of ideas
and a co-maker of projects in shared ventures (29).
Learn to disobey (or unlearn how to boss people); resist
the temptation of belonging to a group, stop transferring
and projecting the images of our parents in bosses and
authorities and relearn how to play; catalyze free learning
processes; horizontally share your spirituality and
celebrate what you love; exercise cooperative democracy
and avoid to create enemies; evaluate the trees by their
fruits delegitimizing the epistemological courts, and
creating and making things together. It seems difficult, but
nobody ever said it was easy. However, it is not
necessary to do all these things at once.
The hierarchical program you are hacking is the same in
all these traps of flows whether it is in the family, the
school, the church, at social and political organizations,
the barracks, the university, or the companies and other
hierarchical work institutions. To change the code from
one of these institutions is enough to change the
programming of societies of control. You can choose
where you want to start. But to start is not to finish. To
96
reprogram glocal social spheres it is not enough to hack,
you must also do net weaving.
In short, all this can be summed up in one word:
networking. Networks should be seen in this sense as
hierarchical deconstruction movements and as
environments of formation of other worlds, protected - at
least temporarily - from the influence of the Matrix that
really exists. It would be an impossible task for an
individual. But you are not an individual as the Matrix
wants you to believe (because the Matrix is a factory of
individuals). It is necessary to abandon the illusion that
you are an individual and become a person. A common
person.
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98
BECOME A COMMON PERSON
When a person relates to others in a more distributed
than centralized network, she or he learns to become a
common person. But in the Matrix that really exists
people, in general, are not common people (in the sense
of commons), but private individuals (closed in the
interaction with the unpredictable other). The Matrix is a
kind of factory of private persons.
Private persons could turn into common persons if they
wouldn't want to be unusual people. But immersed in a
vertical current that drags everything up, people want to
be unusual (and behave befittingly with such a desire).
So they isolate themselves from interaction and then can
no longer be common persons.
Yes, a common person. This is perhaps the most difficult
concept to grasp because of its disconcerting simplicity. It
arose from the observation that, in hierarchical structures,
we are not ordinary people, as we strive to be unusual
people and stand out from the similar ones (rather than to
approach them).
99
The term 'common' has here the sense of commons, the
common good, something to be shared by a community
(not ordinary, normal or remarkable, nor mediocre, as is
generally attributed pejoratively). Thus, a common person
is one who keeps the same conditions of other people
sharing their tangle, although each is, in its particulars,
totally different, and always unique.
The common person is the one who shares (she is really
what she shares, letting themselves to be swept by the
breath, permeable to the interactive flow) and not one
that achieved success because of their inherited
characteristics (the "blood" or "cradle"), or the
characteristics acquired by the efforts they made ​​to get
ahead or to progress or to evolve in her spiritual path.
The common person is someone who managed to
coexist, the one that could anticipate the fullness of living
together or living in a social network prefiguring a social
symbiote.
Common persons are not failed saints or heroes. Rather,
saints and heroes fail to be common persons (30). Saints
and heroes are unusual people, results from the
escapades of humanity, attempts to individual
transformation outside the interactive flow and are, in that
sense, humans fleeing the interaction and not the
100
opposite, as the hierarchical culture tried to inculcate,
according to which common persons are not good
enough, as if they were failed saints or heroes or just
losers (losers, as the American culture likes to tell,
associating success with virtue) - because they could not
win accumulating wealth, power or many titles. The same
can be said about the so-called celebrities, which, from a
collective or network point of view, are symptoms of a
pathology of interaction (31).
When asked, people who believe in that sort of things -
and there are many - often say that life is like that. It's a
fight. And we need that to succeed in life. But who wins?
Are we really in a war? The problem is that we are. The
Matrix exists only because people behave as if they were
in a war.
You can exit the Matrix, yes, but it's hard. Because it is
not easy to be a common person, in contrary to what it
seems. In the Matrix we are induced to gain some
advantage and stand out from ordinary people. When we
interact with someone in any hierarchical environment we
are evaluated by these differences and then we began to
cultivate them. As a reflection of the vertical flows which
we start to value, our life also turns vertical. It's like we
absorb the anisotropy generated in the social field by the
101
hierarchy. In our rush to climb, we began to imitate the
persons at the top and despise the ones at the bottom. In
doing so, however, we replicate the Matrix.
James Joyce (1902) was right when writing in a letter to
Augusta Gregory, that "there is no heresy or philosophy
that bother the church more than a human being" (32).
The church is an example of how the Matrix really
became into existence. There is nothing more dangerous
to the Matrix than a common person. It is more
dangerous, infinitely more dangerous than a saint or a
hero. This is the reason for the religious discourse of
devaluation of the common person in favor of unusual
people (like the saints and those who received the
anointing through the intermediation of the hierarchy: the
priests that were holy as full faculty members through the
operation of rituals practiced by other priests of the same
hierarchical status: metastasis).
To examine the behavior of private individuals is a way to
reveal the Matrix that really exists. They want to be
powerful, rich, very titled, famous. In general, they are
nothing like this, but they behave according to the illusion
(undeclared, often unconscious) that they could be.
Actually there is a desire to imitate the powerful people,
rich, titled or very famous. Then they close themselves
102
from interaction, being selective in relationships (which -
from the point of view of the network - is the failure of all
the so called "successful people") (33).
If you want to "be successful", go ahead. But be aware
that success is an indicator of adaptation to the Matrix
that really exists.
But if you do not want to adapt to the Matrix, if you want
to be a revolutionary or a reformer of institutions, if you
want to save the family, improve the school, reform the
church, modernized the hierarchical company, change
state democratic institutions making them more
participatory, you can be in peace. Enjoy with Cypher (34)
that juicy virtual steak. And forget that you will continue in
the Matrix. It will be easier to bear.
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104
NOTES AND REFERENCES
(1) Cf. ZIZEK, Slajov (2002). Matrix: ou os dois lados da
perversão, in IRWIN, William org. (2002). Matrix:
Bem-vindo ao deserto do real. São Paulo: Madras,
2003.
(2) Cf. FRANCO, Augusto (2009). Você é o inimigo.
Available at http://www.slideshare.net/
augustodefranco/voc-o-inimigo-3900733
(3) The idea of a social field - like a force field (means by
which a force communicates its influence) - was
suggested in 2007 and published in the book Novas
Visões (2008), to describe the effect of the social
network topology on people (such as in a physical
field it is possible to determine the intensity and
direction of the force at each point). In a distributed
topology, the social field would keep the same
properties in all directions. A centralized topology
introduces an anisotropy (favoring certain directions
or conditioning the flow to pass through them to the
detriment of other possible directions). This anisotropy
- introduced by the hierarchy (i.e., by the
105
centralization) - is then seen as a deformation in the
social field. In general it is described as a field forced
to be vertical (privileging the vertical direction or paths
of ascent and descent). In the presence of
hierarchical organizations, the social field suffers a
deformation, not only inside of it, but also in its
surroundings. The concept (or picture) has no
analytical purposes, but intends to demonstrate
something (or illustrate): people in a deformed social
field tend to behave in a manner consistent with the
available paths, regardless of their individual
characteristics: for example, in a vertical field, one
tends to privilege the vertical direction, disputing with
others the possible paths of ascension (competition),
instead of establishing horizontal relations with them
(collaboration). This view is consistent with the
hypothesis that collaboration is an attribute of how
humans organizing themselves and not a function of
their individual distinctive characteristics (like their
principles, visions and values​​). Cf FRANCO,
Augusto (2008). School Networks: New views on
society, development, internet, politics, and world
glocalization. Curitiba: School-of-Networks, 2008.
106
(4) Cf. THOMPSON, William Irwin org. (1987). Gaia: uma
teoria do conhecimento. São Paulo: Gaia-Global,
1990.
(5) BARAN, Paul (1964). On distributed communications:
I. Introduction to distributed communications
networks. (Memorandum RM-3420-PR August 1964).
Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 1964.
(6) The degree of distribution (or centralization) of a
network depends on the number of connections (a
function of the number of nodes), on the number of
nodes disconnected with the elimination of the most
connected node and on the number of connections
eliminated by removing the more connected node. Cf
FRANCO, Augusto (2009): The power of social
networks. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/
augustodefranco/o-poder-nas-redes-sociais-2a-
versao
(7) In the fictional universe of Star Trek (The Next
Generation), the Borgs are a "race" of alien cyborgs,
humanoids of various species assimilated and
improved with the injection of nanoprobes and
application of cybernetic implants that alter their
anatomy and their biochemical functioning, expanding
107
their mental and physical abilities. When they find
their prey - any members of other civilizations, which
they are always hunting - the Borgs recite, with some
variations, the following litany: "We are the Borgs.
Existence as you know is over. We will add your
biological and technological qualities to ours.
Resistance is futile." There is no such thing as a Borg
social network, with some significant degree of
distribution, because there is no Borg-person.
Transformed into replaceable individuals, the Borgs
are replicated in series by a structure highly
centralized in their queen (yes, the system is an
absolute monarchy), the only one who can think freely
(if that is possible without talking to other people).
Their brains are wired to a collective mind (the Borg
Collective) controlled by a central hub (Unimatrix A).
The stated goal of the Borg people (which can only be
called people at that particular original meaning of the
Latin word 'populus' = "contingent of troops") is "to
improve all the species bringing order to chaos." A
possible interpretation of the metaphor is: somehow
anyone turned into a replaceable part of a centralized
organization (hierarchical), is - to some extent - a
Borg. Note from the book FRANCO, Augusto (2011).
Fluzz: vida humana e convivência social nos novos
108
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists
Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists

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Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about the Matrix that really exists

  • 1. HIERARCHY Explorations of Augusto de Franco about THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS
  • 2. 2
  • 3. HIERARCHY: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS Augusto de Franco, 2012. Beta Version. English translation and revision: Leila País de Miranda and Joachim Lohkamp. 3
  • 4. 4
  • 5. The digital version of this work was given to the Public Domain, edited with the seal of Escola-de-Redes as an unilateral decision of the author. Public Domain in this casemeans that this work, in relation to its digital version, is not copyright protected, unless the moral right of the author to be recognized for its creation. Total or partial reproductions are permitted, by any means, without prior permission. Thus, the digital version of this work may be - in their original or modified form - copied, printed, edited, published and distributed for profit (sold) or nonprofit. It just can not be omitted from the authorship of the original version. Escola-de-Redes is a network of people dedicated to research on social networks as well as to the creation and transfer of network weaving technologies. http://escoladeredes.net 5 FRANCO, Augusto de Hierarchy: Explorations of Augusto de Franco about The Matrix That Really Exists/ Augusto de Franco. – São Paulo: 2012. 94 p. A4 – (Escola de Redes; 6) 1. Social Networks. 2. Organizations. 3. Escola de Redes. I. Title.
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  • 7. SUMMARY PRESENTATION | Suddenly you see the Matrix | 9 INTRODUCTION | Does the Matrix exist? | 17 PART 1 | How the Matrix is uploaded on you | 29 In the Family | 33 At School | 39 At Church | 53 In the social and political organizations | 61 In the Barracks | 67 At University | 73 At work | 77 PART 2 | Is it possible to exit the Matrix? | 85 To exit the Matrix | 91 Become a common person | 99 NOTES AND REFERENCES | 105 7
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  • 11. Suddenly your eyes are opened and what you see is: The Matrix. And then you see it everywhere: at home, at school, in the church, in the company, in business, in a football game, in traffic, in public services, in social media... To see the Matrix you just have to stop and observe the behaviour of private people. Do you need an example? Observe the cues at the banks. When that patient client of the bank arrives at the counter, after he was waiting like forever, he is going to take as much or even more time then the others before him. It is like he would say to you: Now it's my time to do what I want to do, so I will talk to the clerk a lot, I will inform myself about everything, taking advantage of my turn to do many different transactions... Now the others have to wait (like I had to wait.) Because now it's my turn. This is the typical behaviour of a private person (not common). But it is unbelievable how these persons that behave like this are not aware of it. You want another example? Observe carefully your facebook timeline or Twitter stream. You will see tons of friends or people that you follow speaking about the good, the beautiful and the true. You will see people writing about ethics, values, awareness, transformation of 11
  • 12. society... You will see people posting pictures of sweet kitties, dogs with ribbons, cute children with nice smiles, awesome landscapes... These people think (or, sometimes, they are not thinking at all because they are acting unconsciously) that by doing this they free themselves from their sins (and liberating themselves from the guilt of being not good enough). They are imagining (or even not imagining, but acting as they were imagining) that by building a public persona identified with the good, the beautiful and the true, they would be improving themselves (because they judge themselves as not good enough), repairing some defects that they supposedly carry within them: but from where? Ok, they don't know and the fact of not-knowing, but acting (in the psychoanalytic sense of the term) like this explains everything (although, for themselves, it does not explain anything because these people are not seeking explanations for what is as it should be). Even more interesting is that you will see that in social medias are tons of people celebrating fridays! And other crowds are liking and retweeting these enslaving manifestations. Automaticly. But from what do they really want to escape in the weekends? If you want to know, join a hierarchical organization. Anyone. And observe how people relate themselves to others within these 12
  • 13. strange environments, how they are not themselves... Yes, they are machines. During many decades I was observing this herd behaviour. Imagining, without to know how to excactly explain, that the hierarchie introduces deformations in the social field that are capable of inducing people to replicate certain behaviours. So I began to explore in the space-time of these flows, to try to understand the structure and the dynamic that lies behind this matrix that produces replicants. Until suddenly, I saw an amazing thing. And what I saw was a non-human - a monster - depicted in the figure below: 13
  • 14. It was just then that I saw the Matrix. And when I saw it, I freaked out. The picture is terrifying. It reminds me of those ships of alien predators in Roland Emmerich's movie Independence Day (1996). Not by chance. Hierarchical organizations of humans generate non-human beings. But something prevents people from seeing it. That is why I decided to write this booklet. São Paulo, end of the winter 2012. Augusto de Franco 14
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  • 18. THE TITLE ORIGINALLY PLANNED for this text was afirmative: "The Matrix Exists". I even opened a Facebook group, exactly called like that, to gather thoughts about the topic. But as the conversation rolled on within the group, I began to be assailed by growing doubts. As we all know, the idea of the​Matrix came up with the Wachowski brothers' film trilogy - The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) - whose argument (the first film) was passably presented by distributors approximately like this: "in the near future, the young programmer Thomas Anderson, a hacker alias Neo, who lives in a dark cubicle, is plagued by strange nightmares, in which he is - against his will - connected by cables in a huge computer system of the future. On all these occasions he wakes up screaming at the exact moment when the electrodes are to penetrate his brain. As the dream recurs, Anderson begins to have doubts about reality. Through the encounter with the mysterious Morpheus and Trinity, Thomas discovers that he is, like other people, victim of the Matrix, an artificial intelligent system that manipulates the minds of people, creating the illusion of a real world while using their brains and individual bodies to produce energy. Morpheus is convinced that Thomas is the long awaited 18
  • 19. messiah capable of facing the Matrix and drive people back to reality and freedom." The central thesis of the film - I mean not only the first film, but the complete trilogy (1999-2003) - was seen by some like this: "What we experience as reality is an artificial virtual reality generated by the 'Matrix', the megacomputer coupled with our minds "(1). And, somehow, this was the vision that became widespread. But I had no such apprehension of the metaphor. What caught my attention was its social side, not the technological side, so to speak. Even because I thought (and still think) that every 'reality' is virtual, in a broad sense of the term. Moreover, the film has also a conspiratorial story line. As if there were manipulative centers responsible for the massive alienation of people. Although, I do not think so. There is no Big Brother (human or non-human) that controls everything. I think the Matrix, if it exists, exists only because it is replicated by us continually (as I wrote in 2009, in the text "You are the enemy") (2). Working with the metaphor of the Matrix means for me to reject the hypothesis that there is a culprit, a universal enemy responsible for all evil that plagues us. 19
  • 20. Then I turned the name originally imagined into a question, placing it as the title of this introduction. The social thematic (or antisocial, as defined by Maturana) remains however. People keep reproducing very similar behaviors - that distort the social field - as if under the influence of the same system of beliefs, values​​, norms of behavior and patterns of organization, or as running a basic program that was installed on their minds and they think the world (or 'reality') is just like that. Now that evokes the metaphor of the film The Matrix, where powerful machines with artificial intelligence, control captivated humanity and people that just live their lives, monotonous or frenetic, in its modern human hives, without knowing it, taking what they see as reality. There is a parallel that gives meaning to a social grasp of the metaphor. In the Matrix that really exists, people do not see that their replicant behavior deforms the social field. They think that the social world can only be interpreted through a set of basic beliefs of reference, by taking self-evident truths, axioms that do not require corroboration. Examples of these beliefs are that: • The human being is inherently (or by nature) competitive. 20
  • 21. • People are always making choices trying to maximize the satisfaction of their own material interests (egotistical). • Without outstanding leaders it's not possible to mobilize and organize collective action. • Nothing can work without a minimum of hierarchy. These basic beliefs are like parameters of the program that was installed in people. So they do not realize that by acting on these assumptions (often undeclared, but always present), they reproduce the social reality that was deformed. In other words, they do not realize the distortion: because everyone knows that it is impossible to be different. These common beliefs that are not scientific at all (although justified on scientific verisimilitude) are running - as malware - on the social cloud we call mind. And they are so deeply installed downstairs - or anchored as preconceptions on the undergrounds of conscience (whatever this is) - that they may not even have perceived. In general people do not know that they are acting within the "event horizon" set for them. As in the known anecdote about that guy who "because he did not know that it was impossible, he went there and did it", people generally do not do anything different - which 21
  • 22. contradicts these basic prescriptions of functioning of the social world - because they know that is impossible. Evidently, we are here dealing with culture, i.e., non- genetic transmission of behaviors, a program that runs on the social network deforming the field (3). A software that modifies the hardware. A hardware that once modified, induces the replication of the software, i.e., automatically installs the program in the people that connects them to it. The culture that we are dealing with is one that has been replicated for millennia since the social network was verticalized with the erection of centralized institutions. Some call it patriarchal or warrior culture. Actually its emergence coincides with what we call civilization (word shrewdly translated by William Irwin Thompson translated as militarization) (4). But this is just the hierarchical culture. In a general sense the word hierarchy is applied to describe any arrangements of items (objects, names, values​​, categories) in which these items are represented as being "above", "below", or "on par" with the other. In mathematics the concept denotes an ordered set or a directed graph with no directed cycles 22
  • 23. (directed acyclic graph, abbreviated DAG - Directed acyclic graph). But this is diferent from the original sense. The term came to designate orders of midway beings between celestial and terrestrial bodies (and was used, for example, by Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite, in the 5th century, to describe the angelic choirs). The word comes from the Latin word hierarchy which, in turn, comes from the Greek word ἱεραρχία (hierarchía) of ἱεράρχης (hierarchēs), who was in charge of chairing the sacred rites: ἱερεύς = hiereus, priest, root = ἱερός hieros , sacred + = ἀρχή arche, taking several related meanings such as power, government, order, principle (organizational). The hierarchy is a priestly vertical power that installs itself in a society artificially, introducing the need of intermediation through separations (between upper and lower). In general it is represented by the pyramid (few in the top, many in the bottom) or the spider (which has a head and several arms or legs, as opposed to a star-fish, which has no central command and control). The celestial hierarchy (with its seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, powers, virtues, principalities, archangels and angels) and the military hierarchy (with generals, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, 23
  • 24. corporals and soldiers) are the most common examples, paradigmatic, of hierarchy. But any standard organization introducing anisotropies into the social field and directing streams of flow is hierarchical (either in a state organization, business or social, religious or secular, military or civilian). The basic organizational structure of a government agency, a company or an entity of civil society illustrates the pattern of an hierarchical organization (the names of particular positions, roles, positions or patents do not matter): The hierarchy is an organizational pattern that reproduces itself as a whole. It is a deformation on the social field that affects all the events that occur in this 24
  • 25. field because it conditions the interactive flow going through certain paths (and not others). From the viewpoint of social network topology, hierarchy is synonymous with centralization. There is power - power in order to command the others - in the exact extent that there is centralization (i.e. hierarchy). To better understand this point of view it is necessary to examine Paul Baran's diagrams, published in the famous paper "On distributed communications" (1964) (5), to realize the differences between patterns: centralized, decentralized and distributed. 25
  • 26. In diagram (B) of the above figure we have the decentralized pattern that does not represent a topology without a center but, on the contrary, a multi-centered configuration. This pattern is nothing more than a hierarchy (corresponding to a hierarchical organization chart of any entity, such as the one depicted in the previous figure). The hierarchy is a centralizing intervention in the social network (or a deformation that makes the social field more vertical) that allows you to delete nodes (disconnect or delete people), separate clusters (separate or remove shortcuts), and suppress paths (clog streams, filter or delete connections). Without doing any of these three things it is impossible to erect a hierarchy (or exert power over others, what is the same thing). In fully distributed networks there is no way to do anything. However, actually existing social networks are not generally fully distributed, but exhibit differing degrees of distribution (or, conversely, of centralization) (6). But without it - without centralization, without the possibility of exercising power over others - it is said (says the hierarchical culture), that nothing would work: people could not be educated, they would not learn to respect rules that ensure social coexistence and they 26
  • 27. would end in a war of all against all (because "the human beast would not be tamed"), companies would not evolve, we would not have developed philosophy, science, art, techniques, and finally ... progress. We would still be in the stone age. In the Matrix people believe it or behave as if they believe, which is the same thing. According to this point of view, therefore, the hierarchy is the Matrix that really exists. When you live in hierarchical systems you become, to some extent, an automaton and a Matrix replicant (a kind of unity borg) (7). Yes, in that sense something that strongly evokes the Matrix really exists. So better call the thing by its name. What follows are imaginative explorations in the Matrix that really exist, that are, free investigations into the hierarchy. 27
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  • 29. PART 1 HOW THE MATRIX IS UPLOADED ON YOU 29
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  • 31. IN THE MATRIX THAT REALLY EXISTS a standard program - the hierarchical program - is uploaded on you. This happens every time you connect to a hierarchical organization, or anything that is influenced by a social field deformed by a hierarchy. However, the hierarchical program is initially installed in people during their childhood and youth. In general, nowadays, this process should be completed by the age of 21, (deployment time is, therefore, from 7 to 8000 days). It is an obedience program. The goal is to restrict the degrees of freedom and discourage cooperation. Its most damaging consequence is killing creativity (or, in a more rigorous judgement, making the rise of what has been called to the human soul difficult). 31
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  • 33. IN THE FAMILY The infection begins in early childhood. The institution in charge of this first task is family (the monogamous nuclear family, these days). Your task is: initialize the control program (we cannot forget that it already reveals what the Matrix is about - the Matrix is about control). Yes, it starts really early. Gerda Verden-Zöller (1978 and 1982) was studying the root of the process by which the child is dehumanized by their parents. She unveils the controlling behavior in mother-child relationship, "when the mother, in interactions with their children, aims their future and uses it to educate and prepare them to achieve precisely the stated future. When this intentional dynamic settles in maternal-child relationship, the mother stops to see her children as specific individuals, and restricts her meetings with them to this condition. To the extent that such restriction occurs, a hug is not anymore a gesture of full acceptance of the specific children that is being hugged. It becomes a pressure with an intention. Similarly, the helping hand is no longer supporting the individual identity of the child, and becomes an external guide which negates this identity "(8). 33
  • 34. Seeing a child or baby as a future adult, parents do not accept them as they are at present time, but as what they should be in the future. Thus they transform the children into objects of an educational process. They do not really play with the kids because they do not see them as something that has value in itself (without any purpose other than the actual interaction in the present), but always, in some measure, as a preparation for the future. As a result, children do not see themselves as valid for who they are interacting with but only to the extent that they meet the expectations of parents, as they fulfill the role that parents expect of them. They become dependent on approval (initially from the parents, and then from anyone who fulfills the same function of control over them). They start to adopt a "top" approval instead of a horizontal recognition of their identity within a community. And that is why they have so many difficulties to develop their social conscience (or, in a more rigorous judgment of generating the quality of soul that we call humanity). The mother and father, in most cases, do not play freely and unselfishly with their children. They want to educate them. They want to shape them so they become "someone in life," they want them to become a copy of which they themselves were (or are) or a projected 34
  • 35. overshoot of what they are-not. In a kind of compensatory revenge they want their children to be able to be (or have) what they were (or have not). When this happens, the children cease to be what they are, they stop being children and become adults' projects, incomplete adults that need to be formatted so that they complete themselves according to the paternal projects. Here is the first lesson embedded in the program: you cannot be what you are in your free interactions with others, but you have to become something different - you have to be fixed, as if you had come with a defect from the factory - under the policies of others (the ones that are above you). If you do not act like this, you will not be accepted as a valid person. But there is a second lesson. The family privatizes social capital. The child learns to distrust when he hears his mother recommend: "Do not let your buddies break your toys, they are yours, not theirs." From an early age children are taught to separate what is "ours" from what is "others". They are taught to accept (or tolerate) each other in their living space, but with restrictions. They are taught that, somehow, those (others) are less legitimate. And since they are really young children are encouraged to stand out from the others (the children of other families), they are rewarded 35
  • 36. when they get higher grades, or when they do well (preferably better than their peers) in tests, when they win contests, competitions and tournaments and thy are warned (or at least not praised) when there are not the first or excel somewhat. The reasons for this behaviorist pedagogy of rewards and punishments are never openly exposed. Because their drivers do not even know what they are doing. Or because it is not needed. Your children are more equal than the other children. This also does not need to be said: the child grasps it all just watching the recurrent behavior of parents. That treatment that we should dispense to friends, we reserve for "our blood". For them, yes, we do free things. Our friends, however, we treat all on the basis of reciprocity (as economists take the concept and deform it): I help you today, but you are in my debt and should help me later on. This, of course, is implicit, tacit knowledge that is rarely stated, but it is part of the handling code with strangers: yes, the others, who are not of my family, who do not have significant portions of my DNA or who are not part of the closed circle of coexistence that was formed around my "crib" or are not "my". They are "theirs" (or someone else's) and it's you (or someone other than me) who must take care of them. 36
  • 37. This is how each of these cores we call family conforms a protection unit against interaction, a prevented detachment from the outside world (against the other, especially the unpredictable-other). So this is the second lesson embedded in the program: a separation, not a full acceptance of the "outsiders", the devaluation of others (which will no more be seen as another-myself) and the overvaluation of an inner circle, composed of "insiders" (and the adult produced this way will never again get rid of it: he will spend a lifetime trying to build or join private closed groups where "insiders" are worth more than "outsiders" and where the other is accepted only to the extent that it ceases to be himself to become a "we" organizational). But the program, in its basic full version, is really installed at school (acting as a church), and in some cases, at the church (acting as school), as we shall see in the following topics. 37
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  • 39. AT SCHOOL Well, then the child enters school and, as they say, escapes the frying pan to fall into the fire. No wonder that children in general do not like going to school (except, sometimes to the so called pre-school, where they can play, that is, be what they are: children). And no wonder that, later, when they are young, will celebrate effusively to get off the school, as if they had regained freedom after serving a sentence (if the school was good for them, they would regret having to leave it, right?). Then the child enters - i.e., the child is compulsorily imprisoned by determination of the family and the state - in an institution structured to protect you from free- learning, which until then - excluding the instrumental interventions made ​​by parents - was going well. Thanks. But not now. Now the child will learn not what it really wants to learn, but what someone wants it to learn. It's called education. Quickly the child finds no use for complaining. Soon it realizes that resistance is futile: that is the first lesson. As Bob Black (1985) wrote, now the child is in one of these 39
  • 40. "concentration camps to get in the habit of obedience and punctuality that are good qualities to a worker" (9). Yes, the child is being formatted to work for someone or, in exceptional cases, to serve and reproduce a system that would require someone to work for others. To do so, the children will receive an implant, a set of memetic parameters that will ensure that the program that is installed on them by the school will be able to run without problems. This special software that gets loaded into the child is the basic version of "program-slave" (or, in exceptional cases, the "program-enslaving": in fact the basic routines of both programs are the same). Unlike what is communicated, by entering the school the child did not go into an environment capable to give rise to or accelerate their learning, not even in an institution of knowledge transfer. Knowledge is there, of course, but it is only the legitimating excuse, the apparent product that justifies the existence of the factory or the lubricant for the machine to run smoothly. So, anything will do the job, including maintaining the same curriculum in the 21st century that made sense in the Middle Ages. Because what is essential is that the program will be installed. That's why the child is there. At school. 40
  • 41. But to do that, the school needs to be a hetero-didact institution. The school needs to strongly discourage the self-learning (learning by yourself, seeking and inventing) and prohibit - or restrict the interaction to the point of making the alter-didacticism (to learn from each other, co- creating and sharing) impossible. If the school was not based on hetero-didacticism, it would have no reason to exist. The hetero-didacticism is realized through the fundamental separation of bodies that school based on: the separation between a teaching body and a student body. This separation leads to a subordination: the students are under-ordered in relation to teachers. Here is the first subordination that the child experiences outside their family nest. Some other people - who do not belong to the child's family (its first community) - will now be able to say what it should do, will be able to boss the child. And their parents are the guarantors of this subordination. Those same parents that were warned of strangers now - paradoxically for the child - will tell it that there is a kind of stranger that it should obey to: it's the teacher or professor. In order to smoothen this process, but extremely violent to the child psychologically, the teacher is often called "aunt" (to keep the link with family relationships that it already knows: it's just a way to trick 41
  • 42. the child sweetly) which is facilitated by the fact that the vast majority of the faculty in basic education is composed of women (yes, that's part of the system). Then the child is taught to obey. There is a shift. Obeying the parents is a preparation for obeying the teachers. To obey the bureaucrats of teaching (teachers) will be a preparation to obey the religious bureaucrats (priests, pastors, rabbis, imams...and others). Sometimes this process is concurrent, when the first hetero-didact experience happens at school and simultaneously in some church (through catechesis), or if the school is religious, or if all is open and scandalous is the same (as in a madrassa). To obey the parents and teachers is a preparation to obey the chiefs in general (in future social organizations, the state or enterprises the child will join when it's young or grown up). The fact is that the child continues to seek legitimation for what it does from someone who is above, and out of its interaction with its peers. The school is organized as a cyst, separated from the community, protected from the interaction with the neighborhood by fences, walls, gates, locks (and often inside the school the doors are always locked, only the employee who carries the keys can open them, in the case that this is permitted by the guidelines 42
  • 43. of the establishment). There is no significant interaction within this closed environment, commanded and controlled by a director, and the people in the community where the school is located. With rare exceptions (that prove the rule), parents and other relatives, neighbors and friends of the child, cannot interfere with the educational process to which the child is being subjected to. At school the child is accepted to the extent that it correctly responds to the expectations from the high; here, for the first time, a top down order is being established through a bureaucracy. The school (or sometimes the church) is the child's first experience of being possessed by a non-human entity (an incident that, despite all the problems mentioned above, has not occurred in the family). On entering one of these deformed social fields the child is violated by a hierarchy for the first time. The main violation is a ban on playing. After entering the school the child can not play anymore, except in certain periods, under strict conditions and continuous surveillance. It's called recreation time and if the recreation is a form of distraction it means that during all the rest of the time the child is trapped in the school's 43
  • 44. work, duty, penalty, yoke. The recreation time reminds of the right of those prisoners to take a sunbath periodically. The Portuguese word for "school break or recreation time", is "recreio". In its origin, the word referred to the act of creating, producing something new. Recreating is how the child learns. But schools are not about learning, they are about teaching. Teaching is a forced and exhausting process. So "recreio" was given new meaning to express a kind of therapeutic refreshment, necessary to prevent or remedy diseases caused by education. The "educators" (i.e., the teachers) argue that at the pre- school (early childhood education or what was called kindergarten) the child can play. The problem is that when you enter the school, the child is still a child, still in its infancy. Every primary school should remain a kindergarten and should be considered a learning period for children. But this would not be teaching. And then there would be no school! Another important violation is the prohibition imposed on a child to learn what it wants to learn. At school the child has no wishes. The child is subjected to a curriculum or a set of themes chosen by the bureaucracy of teaching (vertical or horizontal, it does not matter), which 44
  • 45. previously were imposed or acknowledged and endorsed by the State. The outcome is that the child does not learn in freedom: the child is compulsorily educated. And the learning problems that this violation of the fundamental freedom to learn entails is actually teaching problems (even the incorrectly called "learning disorders" are, for the most part, introduced by teaching disorders). If we quit the will to teach and let the child freely learn (what she wants to learn and not what we want it to learn), most of these disorders would simply disappear and it would be not necessary to pump children full with hard drugs (such as methylphenidate, commonly used today - and criminally) or dope them (with other substances that act structurally as amphetamines). The prohibition on free learning - because learning without being taught is subversive: it is a danger to the reproduction of institutionalized forms of management hierarchies of all sorts - it comes also with the banning of inventing. Essentially both are the same thing because learning is always an invention (while teaching is a reproduction). Then the child is discouraged to invent, to create, co-create, in short, discouraged to do the only thing able to leave it healthy while living in a disturbed social environment. 45
  • 46. The child will be accepted, included, validated and rewarded to the extent that it knows how to reproduce a given content or an expected cognitive behavior, not to the extent that it ventures to generate, individually or collectively, a new content or an unheard cognitive behavior. If the child is caught drawing during a grammar lesson, composing a song during a Science test or developing a game on his laptop during a physical education activity it will be warned. If several children are getting together to do any of these things it will be worse: the group will be punished, their parents will receive notifications. Deviant behavior - from hetero-didacticism, especially when collective, can not go unpunished. The teachers take it as a personal offense. Educators in charge with guarding and punishing the kids do not realize that by doing so they are rooting out the creativity of those potential geniuses - and the real, yes, the real - of humanity. And they do not realize they are robots, replicating the Matrix. They are fulfilling their antisocial role: they are just murdering Mozart to run this strange human bending machine. As Saint-Exupery wrote (1939), "But there are no gardeners for people. An infant like Mozart is marked just like all the others by the stamping press... Mozart is doomed ... It is something like the human species, and not just the individual who is 46
  • 47. wounded, who are getting injured. What torments me is... that in each of these people, a bit of Mozart is being killed."(10). The installation of the program is complete with the teaching of competition. At school the child is discouraged to cooperate and encouraged to compete with her or his peers. This is hierarchical violation in its pure state, the main evil consequence of the centralizing deformation of the social field and of the vertical direction the flows are forced to take. The hierarchy constrains the current to flow upward. To do well in life is to climb, climb the rungs of a ladder, to go from one school grade to the other getting the corresponding degree. For this purpose, the child has to be plucked from the tangle that she conforms with her or his peers. She must be individualized (or depersonalized by being disconnected from her/his network of friends) and to receive - always from above - the rewards due to his or her solo effort. The evaluations are individual and not about a group that cooperates (even if that may exist groups that cooperate). The student will be better evaluated on the extend that he/she stands out from the "others" rather than approaching them. The solidarity, mutual help and cooperation are not valued​and they are not part of the evaluation criteria adopted by the school. Each one looks 47
  • 48. after yourself. And the others be damned. This is how the child is taught (i.e., deformed) by the competition. In the competition, strictly speaking, anything goes (everything that the command-and-control system cannot prohibit, prevent or suppress). As for the competitive culture the most important thing is to take advantage, in school children learn to cheat. The main trick is to copy your colleague's tests. And copying should not be a trick at all, as it is an action that is actually a natural impulse to share. It just turns into cheating because there is a test (individual). If the challenges of learning were collective, the "copy" behavior would not only be lawful but desirable. Imitation (or cloning) is a phenomenology of interaction deeply associated with learning. We learn only when we clone, i.e., strictly speaking, we copy. That is the way it is with all living species. It is through cloning that termites can build their sophisticated mounds. And that the birds can fly in flocks in such amazing formations (flocking) and the fish of the sea play those fantastic evolutions (shoaling). All self-propelled entities that interact imitate each other. Thus also humans. 48
  • 49. The child learns by imitating what it observes in its surroundings, initially cloning the behavior of parents and siblings, and then of the members of its extended social environment (other relatives, neighbors and friends). At school, the child will clone the behavior of teachers, but at this stage the child is already connected to a wider social network, but the child is strongly discouraged to clone the behavior of its colleagues. The social network of the school class is centered on the teacher just to guarantee that it is not going to turn into a distributed social network. This is the hierarchy! The hierarchy cannot, however, avoid the dysfunctions that its disturbance causes in the social field. The basic sociability of humans is cooperative. Without cooperation we can not be humans (because language and talk themselves presuppose - and they are - cooperation). But when the environment favors competitive attitudes and discourages cooperative attitudes, it is inevitable that social and individual pathologies arise as dysfunctions. The dysfunction currently most evident is bullying. It is a disease of the environment and not of the people. Bullies can only have such a behavior when they are depersonalized by the system. They are symptoms of a collective disease that was contracted by the centralized 49
  • 50. network. The supposed need to control or dominate others would not manifest in individuals if they do not live in environments designed to control. It seems obvious that to end bullying in schools would be sufficient to close the schools. While this is not even considered, harassment will continue. And the bullying occurs in virtually all centralized environments or in all social fields deformed by hierarchy (in the workplace, neighborhood gangs, in military organizations etc). At the end of the seven to eight years of its ongoing transformation into an object of teaching, serving as raw material for the school factory, the service is almost accomplished. The child which was caught when it was six or seven years old was taught to conform itself to the restriction of its freedom (because resistance is futile). It was prevented from playing (because what counts is to engage in serious things that have a purpose and produce a result). It was discouraged to learn what it wants to learn, to invent, to create and co-create (because none of that is important, but one should know what was taught and reproduce the teachings received). And it was induced to compete (because cooperating is a delay in life and does not lead you anywhere). In fact the child is now dead - had his childhood mowed - and what 50
  • 51. rises in its place is a young formatted individual to obey (and to feel guilty and accuse others when she/he transgresses). It's done. The hierarchical program was successfully loaded in its basic version. Later the same school - or its vertical stretch, the university - will teach the young arguments to justify it all. In fact the child will learn to repeat a bunch of claims based on beliefs (ideological, not scientific) that humans are inherently (or naturally) competitive, that life is a struggle in which each one makes choices to maximize the satisfaction of their own interests, that only winners matter and that the winners are those who make (individually) the right choices and that nothing can operate without... hierarchy! But long before it learns to rationalize, the child who was infected at the school and received the slave-program, will reproduce the program through its everyday behavior. Each schooled will become a schooler (and later will convert all the organizations founded by them or in which they take part, in something like schools). That's how the hierarchical system - the Matrix that really exists - reproduces itself. 51
  • 52. 52
  • 53. AT CHURCH Not rarely, the church (and religion) acts on a child as school (making it a victim of teaching, during the so called catechesis). The religious intervention goes deeper, however. Its goal is to inculcate idea-implants, malicious memes (programs) able to make the child a replicator of hierarchical configurations (usually priests). This operation is done on a level of depth that no secular education could achieve. In church the child is taught that there is a single belief system fully correct and true (the one that it is receiving, of course, and therefore all others are wrong and false). Even when it is not clearly stated, it is implied: otherwise why would it be catechized in that religion and not in another? Or why would the child not be receiving an ecumenical initiation in all religious traditions? It is an experience of violation of the "human" to be inoculated with the perverse idea of denial of all other beliefs and invalidation of all other mystical conversations different from ours. The child alone would never reach such a conclusion, which is obviously stupid. That has to 53
  • 54. be printed onto the child, marked, as we brand cattle with a hot iron (11). The separation between faithful and unfaithful, the delegitimization of the infidel as an equal and its denial, rejection and exclusion, was one of the most perverse things introduced by the religious hierarchy (and actually in a deeper sense, the whole hierarchy is religious, is always a sacred power, i.e., separate from the vulgar, the profane) in societies. This is not about spirituality and the mystical experience "in which a person lives itself as an integral component of a wider field of relations of existence ... [and that] depends on the network of conversations in which it is immersed in and in which the person lives in who has that experience," as written by Humberto Maturana (1993) (12). This is related to the installation of that same slave program that the school exists to implant. The basic idea-implants vary with religious tradition, but are approximately the following, for millennia, at least since the "Indo-European" patriarchs (whatever it may have been) - as it seems, in civilizations derivative of the first hierarchical formations of ancient Mesopotamia (or contaminated by them) - they have erected "a denial 54
  • 55. frontier of all the mystical conversations different from theirs": Firstly you have to internalize the idea that you are an inferior being and that there is a higher being, a superhuman, that you should fear, and to whom you must submit yourself (becoming a servant of this superior being: yes, this is exactly the word to be used here: "servant"). Secondly you have to believe that even if you do not do anything bad, you are wrong, simply because you are what you are: a human (imperfect, impure and bad) and not a superhuman (perfect and pure, the only being really good). In certain traditions that belief is reinforced by the perverse myth of original sin. Thirdly you have to give up trying to have an experience of direct contact (unmediated) with this supposed superhuman power. For the superhuman to being able to relate to human beings, intermediaries (priests) were established. And for you to be saved from the consequences of mistakes (sins) inherent in the human condition, a program has been built to protect you from interacting with this terrible power, and at the same time, include you in the list of the faithful, i.e., the flock of those 55
  • 56. who will be saved by him, if you provide the proper worship. This program is religion. Fourthly and lastly you have to obey the directives of the priests who constitute the church (teaching), outside of which there is no salvation. It seems like school - and it is school, really - because the relationship that founds the school remains: teachers and students are two separated bodies. Where there is religion there are always two churches: one that teaches - teachers (priests, pastors) and another that is taught - students (the laity, the flock). But it is even more serious. The goal of this whole operation is to make the world priestly, I mean, to forge a social world that works only through mediation, and being sanctified from top to bottom. Attention: you are no longer in an isotropic social cosmos. There is someone above (or something terrible, with immeasurable power) that turned the flow vertical. This non-human power conferred special attributes to human intermediaries who, in turn, gained permission to reproduce themselves as a status group, investing other humans with the same private function of their condition and to anoint and consecrate environments, people and events (13). 56
  • 57. Humanity is not composed of the same if some are closer to (or receive more blessings from) that superhuman entity than others. There are now also Saints, Rishis, Mahatmas, and righteous people... that have a different status from ordinary people, sinners, and the unfair. Normal people are not just people, but kind of Saints that failed: if they are not Saints then this is a sign that they are not good enough. There is a foundation to distribute humans according to the rungs of a ladder, by its proximity to the supernatural hierarchy that permeates the human world (social). Even when nothing is said of it so crudely, it is implicit, that it comes along in the package. The most banal is (but not less cruel) that you'll be thinking that there are people that are more important than others, more important than you. Most people think that and behave befittingly with such belief, filling up of reverence to speak to a superior (not just a church hierarch, but any higher, I mean someone who has more power, more wealth, more diplomas or more fame than you). That's why we need just a leap to go from the religious world to the secular world. Powerful people, rich, full of titles and very famous will be seen, in this vertical social order, as superior. Bosses have some transcendent reason to occupy their 57
  • 58. position and must be nominated by their differential titles, obeyed, treated with some fear and often, with servility. A child who receives such a load of ideas (very unfavorable, let's face it, from the standpoint of freedom and cooperation) - even if it receives everything in a sweet way, through uplifting stories and floral and pastoral examples that exalt beauty, grace, the exuberance of nature created and invaded by divine love, as do the catechists - cannot recover easily. Something inside will be damaged for the rest of its life. But this is just the first intervention of the church. In many cases the young and the adult will remain under its influence receiving program updates, first as laymen (or members of the flock, the student church). In other cases, in smaller numbers, the adult will enter the religious order that erected the teaching church, integrating his priestly bureaucracy and becoming a hierarch (a condition which he will hardly escape from unscathed after being ordained, i.e. after his ability to reproduce the vertical order of the Matrix was recognized by the hierarchy). The process will reach its climax when, beside the church and other organizations around confession or devotion (sects, religious associations, societies, sororities, fraternities), enter the scene of esoteric organizations 58
  • 59. (such as the really clandestine masonic society and the secret organizations of initiation, especially the military- religious orders that echo Templar traditions, through which the program will be installed in its hard version, so to say, in its professional version, for developers). 59
  • 60. 60
  • 61. IN THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS The child is dead, and now it is time to continue the process of impregnating the already formatted young. This continues in school (and sometimes in church). But now new institutions show up, such as social and political organizations called "of youth", recreational clubs, or in some cases the gangs and criminal organizations (such as drug trafficking, which recruit even children), or so- called "social movements" (mainly the rigged by corporate organizations and political hierarchies, especially the high school student movement), civil society organizations of the new associationist bureaucracy of the NGOs (including corporations, foundations, etc.) and the so called service clubs. What is common to them all is that they are hierarchical organizations. They are kind of computer servers where the programs are ready to be downloaded and installed. Simply enter (connect yourself to) one of them and the download will start automatically. And the programs - the various versions of the same hierarchical program - are executable. 61
  • 62. A little later and it will be the turn of the barracks (when there is conscription to the armed forces); in some cases -depending on time and place - clandestine political organizations, said to be revolutionary (are in general structured in a highly centralized pattern, sometimes military), or in the so-called youth parties. All of those will act simultaneously (excluding child labor) with the work (as a trainee or as disqualified auxiliary of general services) in companies and other state or civil society bureaucratic organizations, exactly when they are turning from the first youth (if one can say so) into young adulthood. "Youth" organizations are, in general, fields for initiation and training in autocratic and hierarchical methods and processes. Curiously, they are managed - overt or covertly - in large part, by non-youth. Policies for the youth are discussed in the central committees of gerontocratic organizations where elderly leaders gather and agree to recruit more and more young people to submit them to their supervisors or to frame them in their hierarchies. When they are right-wing political organizations, the youth organizations aim the inculcation of ideologies and training in methods of command and control. When they 62
  • 63. are left-wing, they aim the inculcation of ideologies and training in methods of command and control. The main difference is that in the former case, there is the assumption of maintaining order and the secular institutions (such as family, tradition and property and sometimes religion and 'race') and, in the second, the declared goal is to change the current order for another top-down order (also hierarchical, but with new actors exercising command and control). Another difference: the so-called left-wing trains young people in techniques of mass manipulation and conduction of assemblies, opening a participative space to do so (poorly interactive). In these "gather the herd" environments, which are always polarized by senior leaders, the youth will learn to be professionals in assemblies, to vote for every decision, to fake votes, to create and run campaigns, to defend some proposals, to attack and destroy opposing ones and sometimes, also learning to destroy the people that make such proposals, who will be considered as enemies. But all these organizations - left- wing or right-wing - are sidered by the imperative to train new leaders (who will replace the current hierarchs, also called leaders). 63
  • 64. A note on the role of parties, these hierarchical institutions in which people learn to privatize the public sphere. Parties are a special type of corporation to assert the interests of one group over the interests of other groups and individuals; based on (or taking as a pretext) a program, a set of ideas from which it is possible to gain and retain power to legitimate the exercise of command and control of others (being illegitimate from the social point of view, that is, from the point of view of distributed social networks). The first parties were religious - they were the priestly castes who erected the state - and therefore parties are, in the origin, hierarchical organizations stricto sensu. Parties are a way to protect people from the experience of public politics. To achieve that - either as a monopoly (in dictatorships) or as an oligopoly (in formal democracies) - the parties privatize public politics. Their legal existence indicates that people, as just people, do not need to do public politics in their daily lives and at the base of society (in their communities): someone will make politics for them! Even in the democracies of the modern world it's assumed that people should not make public politics, unless you are a member of a party: a kind 64
  • 65. of state employment agency, a private organization authorized to compete with other private congeners organizations to have access to state institutions which are recognized legally as public and, therefore, exclusively are in charge of public policy. If we take off the liberal theories about the role of parties in democracy, what is left is more or less what was described above. Even if we make lots of effort trying to justify this unequal access to exercise public policy, it seems obvious that the party system privatizes politics. When you give to parties - excluvely - the power to transform politics in policy, people automatically become customers of the system. After entering a party - even if it is in its sector reserved for youth - the person begins to be deformed. He or she begins to feel that society is an area of dispute for hegemony and that politics is a kind of "art of war". It is, in short, to impose the will of a group on society, by all licit means (and, often, illicit). Youth who had its initiation in the political party life will have great difficulties to get rid of the practice of instrumentalization of others on behalf of a cause (of a smaller group of people). They will often remain with the idea that the ends justify the means. They will learn to lie and use lies as a method; they will behave as members 65
  • 66. of a gang and even against their declared "values​​", they will justify - or at least omit or fail to report - corruption and other crimes when committed by 'ours'. To the extent that democracy is more the "metabolism" of a community of projects than the project of some interested in conducting a community somewhere according to their particular points of view or to satisfy their interests - a bold and crude definition of a political party - in these parties the young will learn, essentially, autocracy (and, what is more curious, he or she will do it incessantly reproducing speeches praising democracy). 66
  • 67. IN THE BARRACKS During military service the hierarchy program is updated with the installation of a brute version, actually loutish. For the first time the hierarchy is openly presented as a necessary principle to live (or survive) in the universal and eternal war that supposedly makes the world. According to the intrinsic cretinism in military ideology, war is a reality permanently present: it has existed since the foundation of human society and will exist for all time. Si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war) is the main motto, which is written on the walls of the barracks. It should be obvious that if one prepares for war, the future will be war and not something else. Only at the cost of high doses of ideological loaded upon a normal person can assimilate this contradiction. Accepting it means admitting the assumption that human beings are, by nature, homo hostilis, i.e. inherently competitive and that, in the absence of a power above them to curb their primitive impulses, humans would destroy each other in a bellum omnium against omnes (a war of all against all), as written by the famous ideologist of State Thomas Hobbes (1651) (14). 67
  • 68. Now, to prepare for war requires hierarchy. In war you can not break, dilute, delay or mediate the vertical flow of command-execution. As, in times of peace, people have to prepare for war, then, even in the absence of any conflict - which eventually justify the absolute control of the chiefs over their subordinates, as a matter of life or death - it is necessary to strictly observe and follow order- hierarchy-discipline-obedience. In other words, the whole issue becomes a matter of life or death. Here is the necrophiliac root of military ideology. In the barracks the young will experience, at first, what is the command of one person over another (and the subjection of one person to another) in all its crudeness, without any justification or need for rational explanation: if you are the boss, you can send a recruit to do almost anything: wash the patio, carry furniture for removal of an officer, buy cigarettes at the corner bar, "pay" forty pushups ... This is deliberately encouraged to train subordinates in obedience. To support such an aberration, some additional scripts of the slave program Matrix will be inculcated in the recruits through aphorisms heavily laden with prejudices: "The top never fails, unless because of a sole responsibility fault of the subordinate"; "Only the one may give orders who learned obedience"; 68
  • 69. "Collective indiscipline is a command error " etc..; besides an infinity of other sayings of foul language, like "The barracks is the place where the child cries and the mother does not see," or "Military can not: are allowed to; do no rest: relax position; do not compliment: salutes"- all of them, however, with the aim of deploying the spirit of subjection to hierarchy and submission to bosses. Hierarchy in its raw state is revealed in the strongly centralized social network topology of the military organization. There, it is prohibited to multiply paths or take shortcuts that pass off (or bypass) the immediate supervisor (e.g., the lieutenant can not go straight to the colonel bypassing the captain and the major and violating the one path, skipping the compulsory stations of the course. This would be serious misconduct). All of that, of course, spills over to other civil and religious hierarchies. Some religious or religious-military orders lead the distribution of hierarchical positions to the extreme, justifying them by analogy with beyond merely human settings. In this case the perversity is greater, but there we are already in a programming environment - for developers. 69
  • 70. Last but not least, in the barracks the young will "learn" patriotism, a delusion with warmonger roots (the same one that accompanied the installation of the modern nation-State, this fruit of the war - in fact of the Peace of Westphalia. It is no coincidence that the military worship the imaginary community called nation, actually a domain of the State. The State reifies the nation to justify itself as the autocratic apparatus that supposedly emanates from the nation. The military are one of the arms of the State (the armed wing), without which it would not have been possible to accomplish the erection of this organization constituted against others, against the enemies (and to be so it's enough just be another, it is not necessary to maintain any belligerent posture), against other states. The international system of perverse competitive equilibrium (which still could not be violated by democracy) is a pact between less than two hundred nation-states to centralize sociosferas where 7 billion people live. The patriotic fervor will be the fuel for the rulers to stay in power, to reproduce the system of (state) institutions that want to impose their legitimacy to society with the aim of making it their dominium (likewise feudal) and to continue producing enmity in the world. The culture of patriotic fervor allows the generation of an identity matrix, an 70
  • 71. identity based on war, state of war or preparation for war. The basic argument is the one of the real-politic (autocratic, not democratic): if we are not prepared for war, if we do not arm ourselves, we will be invaded and dominated by those who are prepared and have armed themselves (against us). It is a gang's argument. That is why patriotism is so important to the military. Without it, there is no way to recruit people to compose armed forces. Oaths, salute the flag, exaltation of nationalism, sacred duty, to die for the fatherland ... this is all hard drugs and part of the ideological charge the recruits get while being prepared, in most cases, not for a real war (hot or cold) against any true external enemy, but to maintain an internal state of war or to the preparation for war (paradoxically taken as a condition for peace) to justify vertical conformation of the social field. To sum up, the young, in the barracks, barely out of high school or even just out of elementary school, are the victims of a rude intervention. Apparently, most of the compulsorily enlisted are able to recover from the trauma after completing their annual period of service. Those who decide to follow a military career, however, hardly will get rid of the impregnation. In every place they go, they will reproduce the matrix that was printed on them 71
  • 72. and that is composed of mythical, hierarchical and autocratic concepts of the eternal and universal war epic world: order, hierarchy, command, control, discipline, obedience, honor, duty, bravery , heroism ... They will educate their children with these "values​​". They will treat their collaborators, in civil projects that they engage in after they get out of the army or retire, as subordinates. They will require obedience, respect for authority and they will restrain freedom they deem excessive. The barracks are the environment where the Matrix that really exists strips down at a point that it appears, almost naively, as a caricature. This appearance is so crude that it is laughable, as can be seen by any intelligent person who observes the life in the barracks for sometime. 72
  • 73. AT UNIVERSITY When approaching adulthood, some young - in growing numbers in most countries - enter the university, a meritocratic medieval corporation which remained in modernity and came to today under the monopoly of the award of degrees (since the alleged monopoly of knowledge, which it held eight centuries ago, was lost sometime in the recent past with the emergence of the network-society). At the university the young will basically learn meritocracy. The autocratic ideology they will receive is that those who know more have the right to direct those who know less. Even when it is not said openly - this autocratic Platonic principle that inspired academies around the world for more than two millennia - sounds like the natural thing to do. At the university, the youth will be taught that it's legitimate to erect epistemological courts, based on a supposed knowledge about knowledge, who will judge what is scientific (and should be accepted) and what is not (and must then be rejected). In some cases, 73
  • 74. especially in politics and sociology courses, the student will also be recruited to erect or be part of ideological barriers, which will allow the crossing of a few visions and prohibit the entry of others (considered contraband in the light of the dominant ideology in academia). At the university the young will join a corporation (perhaps the first experience of corporation that the student will have in life, except, in some cases, the military, if recruited; but the former is more like a caste). The young will begin to see the world from the perspective of the corporation of the ones who "know" and will believe that such a view is somehow superior to the views of common people. It is also at the university that the young - who decide to continue in academic life - will get in touch initially with the idea of ​​a career that is nothing else but a conditioned flow to climb positions of power, prestige and better pay in relation to the others, against the others or standing out from the others, instead of interacting and approaching them. In the dynamics of careers competition is strongly encouraged. Finally, at the university the young will receive the justifications to defend and reproduce it all. It is there that 74
  • 75. the student will contact the scholarly explanations about social reality and its laws, through formulations that are largely non scientific, but compose the belief system of trendy influential metaphysics accepted by their teachers - the priestly bureaucracy of knowledge. In short, at the university the young is still at school and everything that has been said about the school can be said, mutatis mutandis (and changing just a little bit), about the university. The priestly bureaucracy of knowledge (the hierarchy consists of teachers, postdocs, PhDs and masters) is actually a bureaucracy of teaching. Now, however, the young is in a meritocratic hierarchy that will give the student the security to pass judgment on the organization of the world, including the need to strengthen universal meritocracy and, inevitably, hierarchy. In some countries, like the United States, there is the tradition of college fraternities (named by combinations of Greek letters, such as Phi Alpha, Delta, Kappa, Beta, Omega etc..), that aim "to separate leaders from losers" (15). These fraternities - whose standard of organization, secret rituals and ideology were shamelessly copied from masonry and other esoteric organizations - play a greater role than is generally 75
  • 76. evaluated in training the youth as an installer of hierarchies, i.e., as an Matrix agent. When the young adult joins a company or any other state or social organization, this young academic will bring there the belief that the positions (especially the leadership) have to be associated with academic titles conferred by the university corporation. Somehow, continuing to reproduce the school in all of them. 76
  • 77. AT WORK Well, then the young people come to the place where people celebrate Fridays and curse Mondays: the workplace! This should be enough to make them suspect that something is terribly wrong, but they do not take this eloquent sign into account (that about 70% of their lives is not being enjoyed according to their wishes). They find it natural to pay tribute for six or five days a week to be able to live as they want in one or two days left. When the young adult gets a first job and goes to a workplace, whether in a company or other hierarchical organization responsible to a State or civil society, the slave-program that was installed is finally activated. Somehow, that was why he received such a long preparation. At work the contractor acknowledges that the slave-program is running well in the one who was hired (when no contractor has difficulty making such recognition, it is called sometimes the "employability"). The slave-program is the password for the young to be admitted in the fields of the Matrix reproduction. All 77
  • 78. hierarchical organizations are fields of reproduction, but we are now focusing on those that replace the freedom of invention by the prison of labor (routine). Yes, workplaces are environments of reproduction, not of creation. They require discipline and obedience to allow that a process, a product or a service can be replicated with the fewest errors, in less time and at the lowest possible cost (and this has been called quality and productivity). For this purpose, companies and other general working organizations imprison the bodies of workers to enable leaders (administrators of people) to control them and command them closely. The assumption here is that the employee does not fulfill its role voluntarily, but only if it is subjected to a system - feitorial or nearly feitorial (nowadays, taskmasters replaced the whip by the clock, the book of presence, the magnetic badge or the bank of hours) - in which someone watches the worker movements to avoid that he or she wastes time, loses concentration in the tasks and fails to "hit the targets" (decreasing the quality and productivity). Over 90% of employers imprison bodies. Heads of government offices, business managers and "owners" of 78
  • 79. NGOs often imprison bodies. If people did not have to sleep and if it was allowed by the laws, they would like them to stay at their disposal full time: - 24 (hrs) X 7 (days): tum, tum, tum ... Even when they say the contrary, they do not want people to be entrepreneurs, creative, building innovative products or processes and performing wonderful things, but that they "work". They want: "work" = "repetition and execution of orders". If they wanted creation, innovation, they would not impose strange agendas to people (agendas that they had no opportunity to co-create), they would not tear time in controllable units, with rigid schedules of entry and exit in a walled space. They would give their employees (all of them) the best conditions for innovation (they would, maybe, rent a house on a paradise island, on a pleasant farm, or maybe at an urban forest, or with a garden, they would cultivate gardens ... in short, they would not organize or decorate their places - work places - in a so horrendous way, with no colors, art... all gray, like a prison or a convent) and, above all, they would not reduce your mobility: an essential dimension of people's freedom to create. The key to the captors of bodies is to keep their workers out of creative chaos, protect them from their own entrepreneurial spirit. So, to sterilize you, they put you in 79
  • 80. the pyramid. Or in a concentration camp: at the entrance of Auschwitz one could read (and still can, above the main gate), the words "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes you free). The company (sensu lato) is a machine and the worker is not an operator but a part of the machine. The machine has to work to produce the processes, products and services for which it was designed and built. For the machine to work, the part has to work as a part, playing exactly the role for which it was designed. The hierarchical company was created to protect people from the experience of being an entrepreneur. To enter a company like that, people have to abandon their dreams for the sake of the dream of others. It is more or less as if the owner of the dream (or his servant or agent) was saying: "You do not need to be an entrepreneur but let me do it for you; since you, of course, give up your dream and adopt mine, working for me." At work (in a company or any other hierarchical organization) the young are taught to non-create, non- invent. They will soon learn that this could be bad for their career. It will make them uncomfortable to the chiefs: the young will be following paths that are not the ones they 80
  • 81. (the hierarchs) made (for them). The own colleagues will rebuke their initiatives, they will see it as a kind of disloyalty - as a bad habit of "showing service". New ideas to improve a management model, a process, a product or a service, will be judged in the midst of the worker flock as a desire to "show off" to the bosses. A flock of employees is more or less like those hordes of beings infected by some virus - very common in horror films (or science fiction B-movies) - who will chase and try to infect anyone who is not infected, yet. At work, the young man learns to be mediocre, to conform to a routine, to do things just like everyone else does, in exchange to the possibility, to enjoy life in the 30% of the time he has left, and he is going to see a match, or date somebody, or goes to the beach or to the movies, socializing with friends at a Sunday barbecue or at a bar, or he will try to do some sports or a follow his hobby, or to travel over the weekend ... In fact he will learn to bear the yoke, to suffer fatigue... daydreaming, dreaming of what he will do later, while making him believe that he is focused on what he is doing now. It is really a slaves' life, only acceptable for a person who was loaded with ... a slave program (16). In a hierarchical company the young will learn that he is not going to be paid for his work (or for what it is worth), but the 81
  • 82. willingness to be available to the managers or owners to do any work (they want them to do). Everything is organized so that the young does not realize that he is the entrepreneur, not the company. So he does not see that the company is a medium for him to do something, not a working camp (as if he is a slave?), a prison where he has to pay a penalty eight hours a day (as if he had been convicted of some crime), almost every day of the week (always bored and anxious, like the kids at school, always waiting for the time that the bell rings), or an idol that he should adore. If the young cannot see, then it is a sign that the impregnation process is completed, the program has successfully loaded, it is fully installed and running well. The young man is now fully integrated into the Matrix and can now be considered a responsible adult. Family, school, church, youth organizations, parties, barracks, university, business and other work organizations (state or social) - all these institutions load the program, update the program (or one of its different versions). It is nearly impossible to escape them all. And what is common to them all, or apparently so different, with many differing or even opposite goals? What is 82
  • 83. common is the hierarchy, the more centralized than distributed pattern of organization, with all that it implies: the management model based on command-and-control, the existence of leadership of one person, the requirement of obedience (or sub-ordering). Restricting freedom and discouraging cooperation seems to be the goal. People in the Matrix will react to all this saying: "- But could it be any other way? If we do not organize people in hierarchical systems they would still be in the stone age, living in groups, wandering, busy to survive and their life would be - as Hobbes wrote (1651) - 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short' ? "(17). These objections are, obviously, suggested by the hierarchical program installed in them. But telling them they are people that are just giving a voice to a typical being, the standard individuals of the Matrix that really exists are being converted into private individuals, as discussed below. 83
  • 84. 84
  • 85. PART 2 IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET OUT OF THE MATRIX? 85
  • 86. 86
  • 87. BEFORE ANYTHING we need to know what it means to get out of the Matrix. The Matrix that really exists is not an external reality to the tangles that we are in (and where we are - as we are, we, the humans). It is a social field deformed by hierarchy. It is in the middle of us in a double sense: it is among us (we weave relationships with others) and it is also within us (because we introject or mirror the social tangle settings in which we exist as persons). To stop to reproduce these (hierarchical) settings in our relations with the others is the first step to break free of the Matrix. This seems to be the decisive step to start to clear the deformations and not the opposite, as is often believed. There is a widespread belief - with a hierarchical background - according to which first the person has to have an inner transformation (as an individual) and then change the (social) settings in which he or she is immersed in. However, it seems, the change of visions, conceptions and ideas do not change behavior: only behaviors change behavior. The Matrix is not reproduced because of our beliefs, convictions and values, but rather because of our behavior, because of the way we relate to others. If we do not obey (someone) and do not demand obedience (from anyone) there would be no hierarchy. It would be enough, in essence, to give 87
  • 88. up bossing others, i.e., to command them and control them. As simple as that. To boss people and to obey people, however, is not to desire to do this, but to act so as to effectively perform the command and obedience. Nobody can do it if you cannot select flows, eliminating nodes, connections or shortcuts in the social network. Nobody can do this alone. One must have a centralized network of people to erect a hierarchy (in fact, the hierarchy is already the centralization of the network). To exit the Matrix a person needs to change the topology of the social networks she or he is connected to, towards more distribution (or less centralization). It's not enough, although, just to have a desire to do this or just speak or write about it. It is necessary to change the network settings. It's not a question of just a new software, it's a new hardware what matters. Escaping the Matrix is like building a refuge, a shelter protected from the influence of the social field deformed by the hierarchy (or by the more centralized than distributed network topology). This result will be temporary - huts or shelters are like bubbles - and thus the effort to escape should be intermittent. Sooner or later the influence of the hierarchical environment will 88
  • 89. burst the bubble. And another bubble should then be opened (18). The bubbles (huts or shelters from the influence of the Matrix) are just more distributed than centralized networks. The more distributed the network, the less it will suffer from the influence of the Matrix, which is just another way of saying - the obvious - that there will be less centralization (or less hierarchy in the environmental setup). To exit the Matrix you have to hack the institutions that put you into the Matrix (i.e., who installed the program in you): family, school, church, hierarchical organizations (including entities of the civil society, corporations and political parties), the barracks, universities and business, governmental and social organizations that employ persons for compensation or that are agents of their work. However, although necessary, this is not enough. It's not enough just to cut (to hack) or break (to crack) the code of these institutions (and deprogramming them): you have to reprogram them, or better, program what they would be without hierarchy (and this is not just hacking, it's more of netweaving), not only generically, but for you 89
  • 90. and for the tangle where you are glocally inserted. For that, you need to become a common person. In the movie The Matrix, Neo (Thomas Anderson) is a hacker. But a hacker is still an uncommon person and, as such, can not get out of the Matrix. A hacker is a different person, a kind of "digital Zionist," a member of a "thirteenth tribe", an elite whose members are able to recognize themselves based on their differential attributes, i.e., from what they stand out from the others (rather than the ones that approximate them) (19). Neo is a hacker while it would be necessary for him to be a netweaver to exit the Matrix. And then he would not be the chosen one. He would be a common person, chosen together with all who are in the same tangle, when this cluster got caught by the flow (i.e., when the configuration of the cloud of connections that surrounds it becomes more distributed than centralized). All of us are chosen when caught by the flow. Exiting the Matrix is abandoning yourself into the interactive flow, let it invade the worlds that we set in our living, pierce the walls that we erect "against the winds, the tides and the stars" ... (20). 90
  • 91. TO EXIT THE MATRIX To exit the Matrix you need to be un-taught. There is no other way. You're in the Matrix because you were taught, i.e. programmed. Now you need to be deprogrammed. Not enough, however. You also need to be reprogrammed. Both, deprogramming and reprogramming should be done ​​by you and the other people who interact with you in your tangle. But deprogramming and reprogramming are not teaching, but free and common learning. All autodidact learning or learning with your peers gets the teaching out of you. The key out of the hierarchy is unlearning. Unlearning hierarchy, yes, but the word 'unlearning' is used here in a opposite direction to the heterodidatic learning, it means, when you learn not what you want to learn but what someone else wants you to learn (i.e., teaching). In this sense, to unlearn hierarchy is learning to disobey (or unlearn to command, which is the same thing). In the Matrix that really exists, teaching obedience is a constant. It begins in the family, is deepened in school, is based with transcendent reasons in the church, gets 91
  • 92. instrumentalised in the social and political organizations, is exacerbated in the barracks, becomes rational in the university and is consolidated in the workplace. To deprogram the part of the program (its deepest layer) that you received in the family, it is necessary to stop to replicate family everywhere, resisting the temptation of belonging (or forming) an owner or closed group (21), stopping to make projections of your parents in the chiefs and authorities in general (22) and - most important - relearning how to play (23). But reprogramming will only become real when you begin to live in a network (distributed) or live in the community (open) with your friends (regardless of the degree of relationship they have with you), with no other purpose than to delight in the enjoyment of living with them. To deprogram the schooling that you were a victim of, one must give up teaching others. This is harder than it sounds because it is not only a question of avoiding to be a teacher (which most people are not), but avoiding to reproduce the teaching behavior, in all its forms. Give up the will to lead others or convince others - even with the pretext of facilitating their learning process and to give opportunities for them "to be included" (where?) - requires constant attention. Reprogramming will come 92
  • 93. when you begin to act as a catalyst for learning processes in free communities of seekers and pollinators, structured as distributed networks. To break the script that you may have received in the church, you have to give up to meet exclusively in clusters of those who profess the same faith (or belief) and believe that there is a (unique) way to truth (24). It is not necessary that you abandon your spirituality or your mystical life, not even your god (since you do not want to impose it on others, separating believers from unbelievers). This process is not complete while you are building (or joining) the priestly orders who proclaim themselves the only way, the only door, the only hope of salvation, i.e., while you re-edit (or belong to) any of these flow traps constructed for herd sheep to feed them (called churches) (25). Reprogramming will come when you - if applicable and if you want to do this - start sharing post-religious forms of spirituality with others in new Ecclesias (as "lovers assemblies"), such as networks of seekers who are willing to celebrate their love and pollinate each other and the ways they live their spirituality or mysticism. To deprogram what you received in the social and political organizations, you have to let go of the conservative mind - "conservadorismo" - (which wants to 93
  • 94. freeze and reproduce preterit settings resisting the interactive flow) and also the transformer mind - "transformacionismo" - (who wants to convert people into what they are not, to lead them into a radiant future that would be installed with the transformation of society in what it is not, by performing some authoritarian utopia able to install a new order) (26). Therefore, it would be sufficient to adhere to democracy, but as this word is not taken in the original sense of deconstitution of autocracy but often confused with a governance model or a political form of the state administration, to just use the term (without adjectives) - would lead to a confusion with the representative or electoral system - not helping to make it understandable. Reprogramming will come when you - giving up the regressive notions of patriotism and nationalism, and becoming a citizen of your transnational glocality - begin to relate to networks of social and political interaction (public) in neighborhoods and areas of activity within communities that exercise cooperative democracy at the base of society and at the daily lives of people (who coexist with you) (27). To deprogram what you eventually received in the barracks or military organizations in general (including the political-military organizations, as certain political 94
  • 95. parties; or religious-military, as some churches, sects and orders), you have to renounce war and the construction of enemies. Enemies are created by fighting someone. But there is not a good fight, there is not a good struggle, there is not just a war of good against evil. Just as the righteous king legitimates autocracies, the "warrior of light", involved in an ongoing fight against the "Warrior of Darkness", legitimizes the existence of war (and, hence, the employment and manufacturing of the gun). The war (or politics practiced as the art of war) is, in itself, the evil. The only enemy that exists is the creator of enemies. If you fight, you will be the enemy. Reprogramming will come when you do not fight. If you do not fight, there is no fight at all. To deprogram what you received in college you have to renounce meritocracy, giving up to erect (or validate) epistemological courts able to approve (or disapprove) people based on heterodidatic checks of knowledge that was "taught". Reprogramming will come when you begin to assess the tree by its fruits, not by certificates issued by some botanical corporation (28). To deprogram what you received in companies and other workplaces, you have to learn to collaborate (work with others), or, in other words, to unlearn to work for others 95
  • 96. and putting other people to work for you. Reprogramming will happen when you become an interdependent entrepreneur, i.e. a co-entrepreneur, a co-creator of ideas and a co-maker of projects in shared ventures (29). Learn to disobey (or unlearn how to boss people); resist the temptation of belonging to a group, stop transferring and projecting the images of our parents in bosses and authorities and relearn how to play; catalyze free learning processes; horizontally share your spirituality and celebrate what you love; exercise cooperative democracy and avoid to create enemies; evaluate the trees by their fruits delegitimizing the epistemological courts, and creating and making things together. It seems difficult, but nobody ever said it was easy. However, it is not necessary to do all these things at once. The hierarchical program you are hacking is the same in all these traps of flows whether it is in the family, the school, the church, at social and political organizations, the barracks, the university, or the companies and other hierarchical work institutions. To change the code from one of these institutions is enough to change the programming of societies of control. You can choose where you want to start. But to start is not to finish. To 96
  • 97. reprogram glocal social spheres it is not enough to hack, you must also do net weaving. In short, all this can be summed up in one word: networking. Networks should be seen in this sense as hierarchical deconstruction movements and as environments of formation of other worlds, protected - at least temporarily - from the influence of the Matrix that really exists. It would be an impossible task for an individual. But you are not an individual as the Matrix wants you to believe (because the Matrix is a factory of individuals). It is necessary to abandon the illusion that you are an individual and become a person. A common person. 97
  • 98. 98
  • 99. BECOME A COMMON PERSON When a person relates to others in a more distributed than centralized network, she or he learns to become a common person. But in the Matrix that really exists people, in general, are not common people (in the sense of commons), but private individuals (closed in the interaction with the unpredictable other). The Matrix is a kind of factory of private persons. Private persons could turn into common persons if they wouldn't want to be unusual people. But immersed in a vertical current that drags everything up, people want to be unusual (and behave befittingly with such a desire). So they isolate themselves from interaction and then can no longer be common persons. Yes, a common person. This is perhaps the most difficult concept to grasp because of its disconcerting simplicity. It arose from the observation that, in hierarchical structures, we are not ordinary people, as we strive to be unusual people and stand out from the similar ones (rather than to approach them). 99
  • 100. The term 'common' has here the sense of commons, the common good, something to be shared by a community (not ordinary, normal or remarkable, nor mediocre, as is generally attributed pejoratively). Thus, a common person is one who keeps the same conditions of other people sharing their tangle, although each is, in its particulars, totally different, and always unique. The common person is the one who shares (she is really what she shares, letting themselves to be swept by the breath, permeable to the interactive flow) and not one that achieved success because of their inherited characteristics (the "blood" or "cradle"), or the characteristics acquired by the efforts they made ​​to get ahead or to progress or to evolve in her spiritual path. The common person is someone who managed to coexist, the one that could anticipate the fullness of living together or living in a social network prefiguring a social symbiote. Common persons are not failed saints or heroes. Rather, saints and heroes fail to be common persons (30). Saints and heroes are unusual people, results from the escapades of humanity, attempts to individual transformation outside the interactive flow and are, in that sense, humans fleeing the interaction and not the 100
  • 101. opposite, as the hierarchical culture tried to inculcate, according to which common persons are not good enough, as if they were failed saints or heroes or just losers (losers, as the American culture likes to tell, associating success with virtue) - because they could not win accumulating wealth, power or many titles. The same can be said about the so-called celebrities, which, from a collective or network point of view, are symptoms of a pathology of interaction (31). When asked, people who believe in that sort of things - and there are many - often say that life is like that. It's a fight. And we need that to succeed in life. But who wins? Are we really in a war? The problem is that we are. The Matrix exists only because people behave as if they were in a war. You can exit the Matrix, yes, but it's hard. Because it is not easy to be a common person, in contrary to what it seems. In the Matrix we are induced to gain some advantage and stand out from ordinary people. When we interact with someone in any hierarchical environment we are evaluated by these differences and then we began to cultivate them. As a reflection of the vertical flows which we start to value, our life also turns vertical. It's like we absorb the anisotropy generated in the social field by the 101
  • 102. hierarchy. In our rush to climb, we began to imitate the persons at the top and despise the ones at the bottom. In doing so, however, we replicate the Matrix. James Joyce (1902) was right when writing in a letter to Augusta Gregory, that "there is no heresy or philosophy that bother the church more than a human being" (32). The church is an example of how the Matrix really became into existence. There is nothing more dangerous to the Matrix than a common person. It is more dangerous, infinitely more dangerous than a saint or a hero. This is the reason for the religious discourse of devaluation of the common person in favor of unusual people (like the saints and those who received the anointing through the intermediation of the hierarchy: the priests that were holy as full faculty members through the operation of rituals practiced by other priests of the same hierarchical status: metastasis). To examine the behavior of private individuals is a way to reveal the Matrix that really exists. They want to be powerful, rich, very titled, famous. In general, they are nothing like this, but they behave according to the illusion (undeclared, often unconscious) that they could be. Actually there is a desire to imitate the powerful people, rich, titled or very famous. Then they close themselves 102
  • 103. from interaction, being selective in relationships (which - from the point of view of the network - is the failure of all the so called "successful people") (33). If you want to "be successful", go ahead. But be aware that success is an indicator of adaptation to the Matrix that really exists. But if you do not want to adapt to the Matrix, if you want to be a revolutionary or a reformer of institutions, if you want to save the family, improve the school, reform the church, modernized the hierarchical company, change state democratic institutions making them more participatory, you can be in peace. Enjoy with Cypher (34) that juicy virtual steak. And forget that you will continue in the Matrix. It will be easier to bear. 103
  • 104. 104
  • 105. NOTES AND REFERENCES (1) Cf. ZIZEK, Slajov (2002). Matrix: ou os dois lados da perversão, in IRWIN, William org. (2002). Matrix: Bem-vindo ao deserto do real. São Paulo: Madras, 2003. (2) Cf. FRANCO, Augusto (2009). Você é o inimigo. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/ augustodefranco/voc-o-inimigo-3900733 (3) The idea of a social field - like a force field (means by which a force communicates its influence) - was suggested in 2007 and published in the book Novas Visões (2008), to describe the effect of the social network topology on people (such as in a physical field it is possible to determine the intensity and direction of the force at each point). In a distributed topology, the social field would keep the same properties in all directions. A centralized topology introduces an anisotropy (favoring certain directions or conditioning the flow to pass through them to the detriment of other possible directions). This anisotropy - introduced by the hierarchy (i.e., by the 105
  • 106. centralization) - is then seen as a deformation in the social field. In general it is described as a field forced to be vertical (privileging the vertical direction or paths of ascent and descent). In the presence of hierarchical organizations, the social field suffers a deformation, not only inside of it, but also in its surroundings. The concept (or picture) has no analytical purposes, but intends to demonstrate something (or illustrate): people in a deformed social field tend to behave in a manner consistent with the available paths, regardless of their individual characteristics: for example, in a vertical field, one tends to privilege the vertical direction, disputing with others the possible paths of ascension (competition), instead of establishing horizontal relations with them (collaboration). This view is consistent with the hypothesis that collaboration is an attribute of how humans organizing themselves and not a function of their individual distinctive characteristics (like their principles, visions and values​​). Cf FRANCO, Augusto (2008). School Networks: New views on society, development, internet, politics, and world glocalization. Curitiba: School-of-Networks, 2008. 106
  • 107. (4) Cf. THOMPSON, William Irwin org. (1987). Gaia: uma teoria do conhecimento. São Paulo: Gaia-Global, 1990. (5) BARAN, Paul (1964). On distributed communications: I. Introduction to distributed communications networks. (Memorandum RM-3420-PR August 1964). Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 1964. (6) The degree of distribution (or centralization) of a network depends on the number of connections (a function of the number of nodes), on the number of nodes disconnected with the elimination of the most connected node and on the number of connections eliminated by removing the more connected node. Cf FRANCO, Augusto (2009): The power of social networks. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/ augustodefranco/o-poder-nas-redes-sociais-2a- versao (7) In the fictional universe of Star Trek (The Next Generation), the Borgs are a "race" of alien cyborgs, humanoids of various species assimilated and improved with the injection of nanoprobes and application of cybernetic implants that alter their anatomy and their biochemical functioning, expanding 107
  • 108. their mental and physical abilities. When they find their prey - any members of other civilizations, which they are always hunting - the Borgs recite, with some variations, the following litany: "We are the Borgs. Existence as you know is over. We will add your biological and technological qualities to ours. Resistance is futile." There is no such thing as a Borg social network, with some significant degree of distribution, because there is no Borg-person. Transformed into replaceable individuals, the Borgs are replicated in series by a structure highly centralized in their queen (yes, the system is an absolute monarchy), the only one who can think freely (if that is possible without talking to other people). Their brains are wired to a collective mind (the Borg Collective) controlled by a central hub (Unimatrix A). The stated goal of the Borg people (which can only be called people at that particular original meaning of the Latin word 'populus' = "contingent of troops") is "to improve all the species bringing order to chaos." A possible interpretation of the metaphor is: somehow anyone turned into a replaceable part of a centralized organization (hierarchical), is - to some extent - a Borg. Note from the book FRANCO, Augusto (2011). Fluzz: vida humana e convivência social nos novos 108