Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f—ing gassed. I love Hitler.
~ John Galliano, Hollywood fashion designer
Fascism is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing a totalitarian nationalism, state socialism and often racism. Today’s column investigates Hollywood’s love affair with fascism revealed in the popular movie trilogy “The Matrix,” written and directed by the famed Wachowski brothers.
Liberalism and their useful-idiot propagandists have a monopoly over the fashion industry, pop music, art, Broadway and Hollywood, the latter of which for over a century has taken Plato’s aphorism to nihilistic lengths – “Give me the music [aesthetics] of a nation and I care not who makes its law, I will control its people.”
During 1930s and ’40s the bohemian left was typically held in check by the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings investigating the Hollywood film industry, which led to the blacklisting of hundreds of actors, writers and directors. In the early 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation and the Army-McCarthy hearings scared, exposed and convicted well-placed radical leftists, socialists, progressives, communists and communist sympathizers in the federal government, particularly in the State and Treasury Departments.
Regrettably, the push back from the left and political envy and cowardice from the right lead to McCarthy’s censure by the Senate in 1954 and to the untimely death of this authentic American hero in 1957. Nevertheless, his legacy was vindicated 40 years later by the release of decrypted Soviet cables collectively called the Venona Project in 1995. These documents not only justified McCarthy’s anti-communism hearings, but revealed that Soviet espionage activity in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s was much larger than most scholars and Congress cared to imagine.
With Sen. Joe McCarthy out of the way, fascists, progressives and the radical left had no check and balance against efforts to plunge American society into anarchy and the social revolutions and counterrevolutions of the 1960s and ’70s as a shameless pretext to destroy America’s Judeo-Christian traditions and establish European-style state socialism.
In chapter 10 of Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” the author gives a magnificent historical analysis of Hollywood’s love affair with fascist themes in movies both on the ideological left and the right. On the left, fascist themes are evident in such Hollywood propaganda fare as: “American Beauty,” “Forrest Gump,” “Regarding Henry,” “Dead Poets Society” and “V for Vendetta.” On the right, fascist themes are evident in movies like: “Dirty Harry,” “Braveheart,” “The Last Samurai,” “Gladiator” and “300.”
The film “The Matrix” is an allegory to fascism (with some Platonic, Marxist and Nazi overtones) and depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which reality as understood by most humans is an existential simulated reality created and controlled by legions of sentient machines to appease and suppress the human population, while multitudes of newborn babies are harvested like crops. Their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are ghoulishly used as an energy source to maintain the operation of their machine masters, of which the surviving humanity remains blissfully ignorant. This aspect of the story reminds me of the allegory of Plato’s Cave and the brain-in-a-vat theory.
Neo (Keanu Reeves), like his fellow colleagues, lives a caged, bourgeois, drone-like existence shackled to his computer inside his little cubicle. By serendipity he uses his home computer to hack outside of the Matrix and has a life-changing encounter with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) who believes that Neo is “the One,” a man prophesied by the Oracle to end the war through his limitless control over the Matrix.
Morpheus offers to liberate Neo’s mind from the parasitic and manipulative forces that literally fed on him in exchange for “the truth.” Neo-paganism and Rousseau’s deification of our primitive nature are evident when Neo joins a pagan secret society, Zion, the unplugged humans’ subterranean refuge in the real world that exists in Dionysian glory deep inside the balmy bowels of Mother Earth, totally dedicated to warring against the Matrix and ushering in a new humanist utopia.
Echoing Marxist themes, Neo not only represents his authentic party and class identity, but also defines his status; what Nietzsche calls a New Man, an Übermensch (Superman) whose will to power defies nature, allows him to fly and to bend with his mind the simulation’s laws of physics to stop the sentinels – deadly multi-tentacle robots. Goldberg posits that the Nazi theme of “The Matrix” is “instead of blood-sucking Jews, the enemy is what 19th- and 20th-century New Agers called the Machine, or das System.”
The parasitic, puppet masters of the Matrix are called “agents.” They may look human, but are robots Goldberg describes as “colorless, austere white men dressed in dark business suits; they reject the authenticity of human life for cold logic and mechanistic priorities. … There seem to be few of them, but they’re everywhere, can take human form, and run everything. In short, they are comic-book versions of everything the Nazis said about the Jews.”
The recent Academy Awards saw Hollywood at its most perverse and decadent as legions of untalented, arrogant hack actors, slutty, foul-mouthed women and horrible, forgettable movies assaulted the viewer’s sensibilities. The entire spectacle reminds me of the parable of Jesus, “And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.”
Given a choice I would trade any volume from the great classical works of aesthetics or literature over the entire oeuvre of Hollywood movies going back to the D.W. Griffiths’ 1915 classic, “Birth of a Nation,” the most expensive movie made at the time and the first motion picture made in Hollywood. This propaganda screed rejuvenated the Klu Klux Klan and led to renewed outbreaks of racial terrorism against black people throughout America.
That is the diabolical legacy of Hollywood, which continues unabated to this day.
As long as Hollywood holds the monopoly on movies, culture and aesthetics, American society will remain the victims of the cesspool emanating from this cinematic Tower of Babel.