The Matrix and the Individualist-Politically-Correct Machine

Alvin Mayorga


There is no mind-body problem. There is no such thing as a brain in a vat. There is no solipsism. No Platonism. No such thing as an autonomous-transcendental “mind” that, a priori, distinctly supplies the final narrative of some-things it calls “objects” and their role in a larger story, i.e., “reality,” which it reads as a reflected image emanating from its “outside.” We do not live in an illusory realm. Metaphysics is a joke. Epistemology is laughable. Cartesian doubt is an outdated bore. It is time we discard this nonsense for good!


Thinking about the film “The Matrix” can be very exciting, fascinating, and illuminating if one does not contaminate it with the mind-body problem or with Cartesian dualism, which unfortunately, is precisely what is done by many philosophers since the film was released. 

The Matrix is not about the mind-body problem, it is rather about the realization that there is in fact a reality that is certain, but one which is being covered up by something or someone. Morpheus himself tells us: “the Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”. This truthof which he speaks is precisely how the World is; it is common sense reality, it is common sense certainty, and it is the social norm which permeates our existence.

The Matrix covers up this reality, this common-sensecertainty, and provides its alternative vision of the world which it passes for “truth”. Yet, this “vision” or “illusion” is merely a blindfold that is only possible precisely because there is in fact a real World in the first place; a real World that is somehow now a threat to it. The Matrix represents control and misinformation. 

Today, I see a Matrix. I see the manipulation and control of the politically-correct machine. I see the exacerbated, sick—anti-norm and anti-common sense—individualism that is a threat to our very existence as the beings that we are: the individualist-politically-correct liberal machine is busy at work! And it never rests. Its “blindfold” is trying to cover up reality; trying to cover up who and how we are.

Being is forsaken. We are meant to see the norm which permeates our Being as a threat. The World is overlooked and obscured. The World: social and biological construction, the norm that structures our Being and which shapes our identity, and the socially meaningful organized referential-whole on the basis of which entities like us make our existence intelligible. The common-sense notion of the World and the importance of the social norm are being covered up.

The individualist-politically-correct machine attempts to make us resent the absurdity of existence and the paradoxically harsh, yet beautiful, reality of our everyday lives. The possibility of authenticity and the aesthetic expression by which we can create our individual essences is blocked from view. Instead, now we have a ridiculous individualist spectacle that somehowhas been presented as being more important than the vital influence of the social norm and more important than our biological construction that together shape our behavior and society itself. The individualist-politically-correct machine tells us: “you can do whatever the f*** you want, you can be whatever the f*** you want… challenge your oppressors!”

It does this while it itself is the very embodiment of control, oppression, misinformation, and ultimately…destruction, i.e. the destruction of Being! 

Nonetheless, the resistance is here! Ready to overcome Cartesian dualism. Ready to fight the individualist-politically-correct machine. Ready to uphold Being and the art of existing as the beings which we are. Ready to defend reality!


We are not minds, we are not subjects, and we do not have a multiple self. Primarily, we are, and subsequently, we think! Cartesianism is flawed! Ontological pluralism is fundamentally wrong! We have a unified self which is unfolding through time: the past is our historical development, our present the undertaking of history, and the future what we cannot help but mutually create. We do not first start as individual subjects set apart from society as if society were somehow alien and a threat to us, but rather, we are society! The individualist-politically-correct machine wants to make us all feel like oppressed victims—but guess what?! We are all both victims and victimizers. We are all the oppressed and the oppressors! We are the norm. We are society. We are reality. Common sense beckons us…and we ought to heed the call.

March 2019

On the Tired Platitudes of Philosophical Apologia

[….] I make no apologies. I’m here because I’m mad for the phrase; for an orgasmic panorama of ink and vellum in textual montage–pleasures shared among curators, archivists, and bibliophiles; a lust for the rare; and a mad-love fire for the intoxication of intertextual play.

J. Lucas II.


§I. How an Ironist Becomes an Aesthetarchon

My POV begins somewhere subsequent to Rorty’s liberal ironism–a self-inaugurating moment of ‘philosopher-as-critic’—which afforded him the wherewithal to subsume a portion of Derrida’s later work under the guise of something he liked to call “private ironism” e.g., with books such as, “Postcard,” “Glas,” etc. These ironists, Proust and Nabokov especially fit this category, turned away from Platonism and classical metaphysics by way of refusing any dialectical stage that would loop back to the Hegelian-like-helix: thesis, antithesis, synthesis: that is, rather than making the same mistakes later Nietzsche, later Heidegger, and early Wittgenstein had, private ironists simply took up their own projects, creating evermore interesting vocabularies–that didn’t so much resolve the older aporias or familiar binary-camp arguments…but such new language-games seemed to obsolesce the old questions, altogether, via supplementing newer and more innovative ways of talking that spawned a whole taxa of different questions. Rather than relapse into The Speculative Turn (our current cultural milieu), Metaphysics, the Absolute, etc., this line of reasoning postulates that there is a time to stop doing traditional philosophy. Here’s where the distinction between Philosophy and Literature, Sophism and Philosophy, for example, ceases to be of any use. However, private projects were never enough for Rorty, and a large part of his concern resided in a democratic liberal utopianism that centered on contingency. He could never allow Nabokovians, or proud aesthetes, to leave Ethics well enough alone, despite his attempt to obsolesce the moral dichotomy between works we label “Public” (socio-political themes and symbols) and those we label “Private” (pursued for enjoyment or self-development). Rorty’s liberalism requires an almost-Nietzschean bias toward self-creation, insofar as Democratic societies thrive from, not merely a K-12 informed citizenry, but a vast amount of experience outside one’s acquisition of local values and native language. Pedagogically, this end makes the inference that there is no separation between personal development and human solidarity – which renders the binary labels untenable, e.g., “private works,” whether one reads them for pure enjoyment or not, opens our POV to Others; consequently, we become more cosmopolitan and therefore more inclined to a political conscience that sees “cruelty as the greatest possible offense,” and human solidarity – our greatest ideal. However, by the last chapter of his most infamous work, “Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity,” my suspicions take hold. See, here’s what happened behind the scenes (if I may infer after years of studying Rorty’s work): If one favors post-Kantian philosophies of “contingency” and/or favors works written by risqué “ironists,” it becomes all-too-easy to see the formulaic potential in connecting the former concepts to “solidarity,” and thus, establishing an ironist Ethics to resolve one’s leftist politics. Certainly, one imagines, it could only be with the fervor of political dogmatism that Rorty would commit the same metaphysical relapse his body of work is geared to illuminate, e.g., Heidegger, after Sein und Zeit, and Wittgenstein prior to the Investigations. My contention is that Rorty is inadvertently tempted back to systematic philosophy, rather than continuing the path of his own heroes in the same edifying-hermeneutic approach he relentlessly praises. And, this is also where Rorty and I part ways: by the end of such a tremendous work, I feel disappointed with having made any sort of prescriptive Ethics from Nabokovian/Nietzschean perspectives, no matter how inclusive liberalism presumes its structural underpinnings to be. The post-Derridean issue of contingency is the climate Meillassoux, Graham Harman, Brassier, Latour, and Garcia are now exploiting (or rather, Absolutizing in a pro-Metaphysical gang under the acronym SR/M) — and to immense commercial success. My position, on the contrary, involves importing more of Nietzsche’s notions of “self-creation” and “giving style to one’s character,” and “aesthetic redemption through singular taste,” where Rorty had emphasized liberal utopian Democracy, i.e., “Liberal Ironism.” For me, even his cosmopolitan “solidarity” is inescapably teleological, i.e., the amenability of democratic institutions only secures an “Ethics” or a “Politics” iff it is demonstrated, via metaphysical self-coronation, to be the ultimate, meta-comparative “best for ALL.” And for Rorty, recall, there are no “final vocabularies” or “hidden secrets” the ironist can hope to find.

[…] there are only little mortal things to be rearranged by being re-described.”

Richard Rorty (CIS, 99)

For my part, I refuse to give “ironism” a genuine substantive “-ism,” e.g., this notion remains consistent only in the event that it refer to a unique object for every utterance-act: the (or indefinite article) ironist. Undoubtedly then, I am weary of today’s philosophico-commercial band-wagon: Speculative Realism/Materialism; Flat Ontology; Object-Oriented-Ontology, and so on. Rather than re-enter ontology via a newly-wrapped first-science, i.e., (post-) cantororian set theory, I opt for a kind of neo-perspectivism and aestheticism (what I believe to be an extension of Nietzsche’s canon that exceeds even Nehamas’ Proustian exegeses) that places “pedagogy” in front of “Truth”: the notion of a capital-w “World” (capable of deciding, independent of humans, the truth-value of sentences purporting to refer to ‘the “World’” as a criterion-specific epistemology; thus, you might say, I’m a ‘P-P-Post-Modernist’; writing my own story that I’ve titled, “Archive Humanitas: from ironist to aesthetarchon,” by way of piracy, anti-apologetic aesthetic appropriation, and palimpsest. Its ends and means are wholly divergent from the reign of New Speculativism and O-O-OHarman-brand philosophy. What I’m after is nuance, idiosyncrasy, and a a turn of phrase altogether different from the history of ‘obvious Western platitudes.’ …If Marxists and Frankfurt Cultural-Theorists think that’s immoral (e.g., a self-indulgent illusion resulting in capitalist complicity)—then, “don’t bother me–I’m sleeping!” Mediocrity is worse than falsity (a maxim preserved from Bloom’s analysis of the great poets and Rorty’s Neo-Pragmatism). The standardization of some novelty (lifted from abnormal science and leveled to mass-acceptance (i.e., normal science)), is the forgotten-procedure which always-already advances our moral currency. Truth, simply is…a moral concept. There is no final vocabulary of Being, Reality, or Goodness; there is innovation and there is the influence of one’s predecessors to worry about. My pursuits are non-epistemic, but unwaveringly tenacious in attempting the employment of new means, methods, and vocabularies conducive for optimum play. This is a manifesto against liberal apologia! …. I make no apologies. I’m here because I’m mad for the phrase; for an orgasmic panorama of ink and vellum in textual montage–pleasures shared among curators, archivists, and bibliophiles; a lust for the rare; and a mad-love fire for the intoxication of intertextual play.


An Interview with J. Lucas II. a.k.a, Aesthetarchon: from pages to images?

Intermission: 3:40-4:13


Russian Formalism, Heideggerian Phenomenology, and Post-Structuralism