How Does the Red and Blue Pill Work in Today’s Society?
Shôn Ellerton, Jan 17, 2023
Made famous by The Matrix, how does the analogy of the red pill and the blue pill work in today’s society?
It’s time to talk about blue pills and red pills. One might have come across these terms at some point in a conversation or across an article or during a podcast, especially during the last three years of the pandemic and the rise of dangerously imbalanced and tyrannical world leaders with a lust for power. Taking the blue pill. Taking the red pill. What does it mean?
It all started with The Matrix
It all started with the sci-fi adventure classic from 1999, The Matrix, one of the most exciting blockbusters in its genre. A young overly curious computer hacker called Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, finds himself approached by a master hacker called Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne. Morpheus extends his arms out and offers to Neo, a blue pill and a red pill, asking him which one he would like to take. He explains that taking the blue pill will make him forget this little encounter and return blissfully but ignorantly into the normal world, where life, as we know it, continues its course. However, taking the red pill will throw Neo into the workings of what goes behind the scenes of the normal life we live in. He warns him that it is an arduous journey, but all will be revealed. After a little hesitancy, Neo decides to ingest the red pill. Taking the blue pill wouldn’t leave much of a story, would it?
Not long after taking the red pill, Neo is aware that he has entered a very strange world where the laws of physics can be broken and controlled, at least in his mind. For those taking the blue pill, the world as it is experienced is perceived as being real. By taking the blue pill, one’s mind cannot distinguish what is real or unreal. The mind of someone taking the blue pill is locked into the world in which it is pre-programmed with. There is no access to what lies beyond including any knowledge what controls the world from behind the scenes. In essence, those who take the blue pill are prisoners and trapped, unaware that there is a superior intelligence manipulating the puppet strings. The superior beings, in this case, are strange looking aliens flying around in weird looking machines harvesting row after endless row of human bodies wired up to the great machine known as The Matrix. Those taking the red pill detach themselves from the Matrix and become explorers in the alien world of true reality. Not long after does Neo realise that he is not very welcome wandering around behind the scenes and is thereafter chased by unsmiling men in black suits whilst in the Matrix. Knowing that this world is made up and not real, Neo is taught to adapt how to dodge their bullets by seemingly defying the law of physics within this blue-pilled world, much like being in a lucid dream, to believe that it is not real. Failing to do so, would cause death in his actual body because the brain would interpret this as an actual death and would shut down the body. Something like that, but in all, it’s a great movie.
Parallels of the blue and red pill today
Parallels may be drawn from the movie to our reality. Those who take the red pill are those who are inquisitive and feel that it is not enough to rely on what they hear, see or believe. Those who take the blue pill are content and happy in their everyday lives and take what they read and hear on mainstream news as verbatim. The blue-pilled amongst us do not take kindly to those on the fringe or ascribe to ideas and philosophies which sit outside the Overton Window, a philosophical construct positing that anything that sits on either side of it should not be accepted by consensus. The blue-pilled are, essentially, middle-of-the-road and mainstream. Those controlling the Matrix are, of course, the wealthy and powerful, which represents a very small percentage in terms of population in our society. The men in black suits represents the establishment and it is their mission to drum the general narrative into the blue pilled. Renegades and outliers, like those taking the red pill, are, of course, not welcome and pose a threat to the establishment, as well as those of the wealthy and the influential who wield the strings. Unlike the movie, they are not chased around by whizzing bullets but rather, the establishment is called upon to divide and conquer by seeding hate into opposing groups of people, filter and distort information to fit the needs of the establishment, and to silence those who voice alternative views not supported by the underlying narrative. The ultimate example in recent history is, of course, the regime of Xi Jinping’s China and, to a lesser extent, the Democratic Party of the United States.
The fight by The Establishment
Today’s establishment has a wide variety of weapons to suppress those taking the red pill. A very effective weapon has been the dissemination by the media, controlled by the establishment, to portray those taking the red pill as being QAnon supporters, white supremacists, Trump supporters, anti-vaxxers, TERFs, fascists, or any highly derogatory term of the day designed to stamp out or silence those who dare to question the establishment. Most recently, of course, were the multitudes of highly trained doctors and specialists scattered around the world who dared contradict the advice of, predominantly, western government health bodies as to measures of how to handle the pandemic, including vaccines, lockdowns, school and business closures, and the wearing of face masks. It is not unreasonable to distrust the advice given by any government health body when thousands and thousands of trained physicians and medical specialists across the world have produced data to support alternative views, many of which are being revealed as truth rather than fringe conspiracy. Those firmly on the blue pill will never view this as truth unless the establishment says it so, even if the data to prove them is solid. Many know of Anthony Fauci’s God-like status, at least, until recently when it’s dawned upon the nations during his court testimonies that his antics have not been entirely ascetic or ethical.
The biggest weapon against dissidence towards the establishment is instilling ignorance to the masses by distraction. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, hits of soma, a mind-influencing and addictive drug were handed out to the masses as a form of escapism from reality. Those addicted to and taking the soma are today’s blue-pillers. Those who do not take the soma probably keep their secret to themselves knowing that the establishment would not take kindly to abstainers which might lead to questioning minds and unrest. We have soma already. It is in the form of entertainment, including social media, gaming, watching but not playing sport, Netflix, and, worst of all, the emergence of virtual reality. There is nothing wrong in partaking in a little of all the above; however, if one is totally immersed 24/7 in virtual reality, or spends all their time watching sport, or plays video games all day, how is it possible to learn anything else? How is it possible to curate a mind gasping for knowledge?
As an example, many might have remembered the so-called Capitol Insurrection on January 6th, 2021. However, it recently came to light that something in the figure of around 14,000 hours of CCTV coverage has not been made publicly available. Some new footage has been released which paints a starkly different story than what has been made out by mainstream media during the last two years. The classic blue piller would never have delved further into the matter after the event being satisfied that what was said in the news is the truth; that of a violent riot, rather than what is now revealed to be a peaceful gathering of people in the Senate wing taking photographs and wandering around the place. Without the probing curiosity of the red pillers, and Kevin McCarthy, the establishment, in this case, the Democratic National Committee, would forever hail that day as the worst day in American history and not feel any remorse for the wrongful over-lengthy incarcerations of some of those who were present. The establishment succeeded. Most average men and women in the United States do perceive Jan 6th as the worst day in American history. It’s amazing but also very frightening considering that only five people died. One being shot, the other three of natural causes, and the other by a drug overdose. To put that in perspective, the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 in which 97 people were crushed due to overcrowding in the heated atmosphere of a soccer match in England made far less of a dent in international news.
Once a red-piller, always a red-piller
Once taking the red pill, it is impossible to turn back. For me, personally, I’ve felt that I’ve always taken the red pill. I don’t like following crowds simply because it may feel like the right thing to do. On a dance floor, I seldom enjoy the antics of letting loose and dancing, but rather focus on the surroundings. The sound system, the wires, the structure with its catwalks, the amusement of watching the stupidity of young men showing off to scantily clad women. Some sport I enjoy watching in terms of technical prowess and skill but cheering and shouting for a team to win is a totally alien concept to me and I don’t understand the fuss of it. Going to such places like Disneyland as a child, I was more interested in finding the location of the so-called underground train services which service the staff rather than the rides themselves. In a similar way to Neo’s experience in the Matrix, I feel there must be more and have a desire to probe deeper below the surface, even if it may lead to a few rabbit holes, as experienced by Alice.
The red-pilled tend to be more adventurous, rebellious and daring, sometimes, to the point of getting into danger. I, too, exemplified this behaviour in terms of undertaking challenges which were simply terribly dangerous. As a teenager back in Colorado, I lied to my mother that I was just going out to do a little light hiking and to sleep overnight in a tent. I drove out a hundred and fifty miles to the remote Sangre de Cristo range, donned on snowshoes and a hefty rucksack, and made for the summit of the Crestone Needle, a jagged and steep peak more than 14,000 feet in elevation, alone, in the dead of winter. Also, the pursuit of taboo knowledge especially holds an allure to those swallowing the red pill. It is too tantalising for those on the red pill to be barred from accessing forbidden knowledge. On the other end of the spectrum, those on the blue pill are almost happy in their blissfully ignorant world of not knowing the knowledge. They’ll even expound the belief that others should not have it as well. Unless it’s the establishment of course.
Young blue pillers
For children taking the blue pill at an early age, the danger is not of the world of the possibly dangerous road of adventure and daring, but of the danger of being cocooned in a safety bubble with little or no knowledge of what goes on in the wider world and how to live in it. Last night, my son and I were watching a documentary about infinity. One of the scientists reminisced that, as a ten-year-old child, how he looked up at the stars and contemplated if it went on for eternity. Meanwhile, down the road, one of my son’s group of friends were watching full-grown men light up farts on TikTok. I have less concern with adults choosing to spend lots of time with gaming, social media, watching sports and binge-watching Netflix, but with children, there has been a big problem afoot. The experiment is revealing itself in those young men and women who have virtually no real knowledge of the outside world being succumbed to being totally immersed in the online world of social media, chat groups and gaming. Most of them are highly insecure, closed in and locked in their bedrooms, and made easily upset by having their feelings hurt or by things they don’t want to hear. Enter the world of the snowflake and the incel, products of the iGeneration.
Organised religion and cults are breeding grounds for blue pillers
As for conformity and religion, this sits very comfortable with the blue pilled. We must not confuse spirituality with religion here, of course. Those on the red pill are quite comfortable with spirituality but not with any organised religion, cult, or sect. Contrary to what some people believe, it is practically impossible for anyone swallowing the red pill to be a member of a cult because any leader elevated to such a position of total power, which every cult must have, is immediately cast as being a target of suspicion. The exception to the rule, of course, are those few at the top of the cult including the leader, who most certainly would be a red piller. Forbidden knowledge as epitomised by the Adam and Eve is such a perfect example of blue-pilled conformance. As for the red-pilled, they would be condemned to spend eternity in Hell by God for attempting to foil the establishment by knowing something which only the most senior of the order, the seraphim, are allowed to be privy to. The value of temptation is only a sideline and a distraction to this story in my view.
The elite are secretly red pillers
I don’t believe there is a so-called New Order establishment, however, there is an organised chaos surrounding the idea of protecting the wealthy and powerful from the rise of the common man. It’s been like that since the dawn of man. Only the very select few can accumulate the lion’s share of global wealth and those in power have many ways to keep it as such. Those who swallowed the red pill are a direct threat to this shroud of protection. But what about those who hold power or those who are extremely wealthy and have influence? Let’s exclude those who obtained wealth via hereditary means or through a lottery. Are they red pilled or blue pilled? It’s an interesting question, but I think the answer is clear. I suspect, in general, they are red pilled as they have the knowledge of how the internal machinations work which create their wealth and power. The only difference is that they keep it quiet, except, for perhaps, Elon Musk, to name a famous example, who seems to have no fear in being dogpiled by his affluent and powerful contemporaries.
To sum. Society needs both red and blue pillers
Finally, it needs to be said that we, as a society, cannot thrive with a population made up of only red pillers. Can you imagine if everyone questioned or challenged the establishment? Nothing would be built or achieved. It would be total chaos. However, society could not progress or function if entirely made up of blue pillers either. It would be like one endless committee meeting with no tangible result. Think of it this way. In the animal kingdom, there are R-Types and K-Types. The R-Types are those animals which breed prolifically, like deer or rabbits. There is safety in numbers and to follow the crowd is the safest course of action. However, K-Type animals, like elephants and lions, must outwit the R-Types to survive. In their case, there is no safety in numbers. The R-Types are larger in number and represent the blue pilled in society, whereas the K-Types are smaller in number and represent the red pilled. To balance society, we need a mix of blue and red pillers but not in equal proportion. I’d love to see some real research on this, but I would guess that something like a ratio of 90 percent blue pillers to 10 percent red pillers might be a good balance. There would be just enough red pillers to challenge the establishment if it goes astray. For example, just enough to prevent the onset of tyranny in a nation state. Just enough to progress science and technology by introducing ideas which, to a blue piller, would be dismissed as fringe fodder.
Now for all the blue pillers amongst you, considering the analogy of the Matrix with today’s society. Do you still support Neo and his quest for knowledge?