Content > Thoughts >

Socialism: The Real Red Pill

Not that counterfeit right-wing stuff

There’s been a lot of chatter in the media lately about pills, particularly red and blue ones. Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump recently drew the ire of Lilly Wachowski for using the film reference on a social media post.

In case you’re unaware, the reference is from the movie The Matrix, which Wachowski co-created. Essentially, the blue pill represents blissful ignorance while the red pill represents learning the truth—however painful that might be.

More recently, the notion of the red pill has been appropriated by right-wing interests and internet culture as the article linked above explains:

However, the phrase “take the red pill” has taken on a new meaning in internet subculture, and it usually refers to conservative political beliefs. It can now mean shifting one’s political alignment to the right, and it’s often used in internet forums related to President Donald Trump or men’s rights groups.

This appropriation of the reference in championing right-wing causes seems to be what Wachowski takes issue with. Personally, I’ve seen this ‘red pill’ reference everywhere lately, mostly on media items promoting libertarian, capitalist, or right-wing views. For example, I saw this comment in response to this video equating taxation with theft, and likening it to ‘forced charity’:

I’ve used this logic in so many arguments. It really is eye opening for some people.

I think the problem is, most people don’t think about government as force. Because it’s so indirect. It’s very well camouflaged force, so people can swallow that pill. But pointing out to people how it is the same as stealing from someone yourself fundamentally, is like exposing them to the Matrix for the first time. Overwhelming, and they wonder if they should have taken the blue pill.

Of course, this video (and the comment) is just another example of framing the argument which I’ve written about, along with the ‘taxation is theft’ trope in my series on private property.

I’ve heard about counterfeit versions of a popular ‘blue pill’ containing printer ink, rat poison, and drywall. Unfortunately, these people must have found some fake red ones too from sketchy websites and spammy Emails. They must be chock full of counterfeit truth and lies, mass-produced in the bourgeoisie (pill) press.

Luckily, there’s a remedy. Stop taking fake red pills, and instead take the genuine product. Socialism is the real red pill. Just like in The Matrix, the truth of our current reality is disturbing and ugly. The real red pill will help you see this. It might cause some cognitive dissonance and pain to realize you’ve been duped into believing capitalism was the best way, or even the only way. You might be frightened or skeptical due to what you’ve been told about the horrors of communism.

These are all potential side effects of the real red pill. Unpleasant as these might be, the real red pill of Socialism is the only alternative to the barbarism that lies ahead for humanity on its present course—a fate with unimaginable pain and suffering that not even the most blissful blue pill will be able to numb.