also worth posting some of zizeks reading of the matrix. there's more good stuff in the full text, like agent smith being The Jew
>Therein resides the correct insight of The Matrix: in its juxtaposition of the two aspects of perversion - on the one hand, reduction of reality to a virtual domain regulated by arbitrary rules that can be suspended; on the other hand, the concealed truth of this freedom, the reduction of the subject to an utter instrumentalized passivity. And the ultimate proof of the decline in quality of the following installments of the Matrix trilogy is that this central aspect is left totally unexploited: a true revolution would have boon a change-in how humans and the Matrix itself relate to jouissance and its appropriation. What about, say, individuals sabotaging the Matrix by refusing to secrete jouissance?
>One of the great achievements of the second genre is the charmingly vulgar Conviene far bene l'amore (1974, directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile), whose fundamental premise was that when, in a near future, the world run out of energy, doctor Nobile, a young brilliant Italian scientist, remembers Wilhelm Reich and makes a discovery that a tremendous amount of energy is released by a human body during the sexual act - on condition that the couple is not in love. So, in the interest of humanity's survival, the Church is convinced to invert its stance: love is sinful, and sex is OK only if done without love. So we get people confessing to their priest: "Sorry, father, I've sinned, I fell in love with my wife!" To generate energy, couples are ordered twice a week to make love in large collective hills, controlled by a supervisor who admonishes them: "The couple in the second row to the left, move faster!" The similarity with The Matrix cannot but strike the eye. The truth of both films is that, in today's late capitalism, politics is more and more the politics of jouissance, concerned with ways of soliciting or controlling and regulating jouissance (abortion, gay marriages, divorce-).
> A supplementary twist is provided by the very end of the movie, when Neo magically stops the bad squid-like machines attacking the humans by merely raising his hand - how was he able to accomplish this in "the desert of the real," NOT within the Matrix where, of course, he can do wonders, freeze the flow of time, defy the laws of gravity, etc.? Does this unexplained inconsistency point towards the solution that "all there is is generated by the Matrix,'' that there is No ultimate reality? Although such " postmodern" temptation to find an easy way out of the confusions by proclaiming that all there is, is the infinite series of virtual realities mirroring themselves in each other is to be rejected, there is a correct insight in this complication of the simple and straight division between the "real reality" and the Matrix-generated universe: even if the struggle takes place in the "real reality", the key fight is to be won in the Matrix, which is why one should (re)enter its virtual fictional universe. If the struggle wore to take place solely in the "desert of the real," it would have been another boring dystopia about the remnants of humanity fighting evil machines.
>To put it in the terms of the good old Marxist couple infrastructure-superstructure: one should take into account the irreducible duality of, on the one hand, the I objective" material socio-economic processes taking place in reality as well as, on the other hand, the politico-ideological process proper. What if the domain of politics is inherently -sterile," a theatre of shadows, but nonetheless crucial in transforming reality? So, although economy is the real site and politics a theater of shadows, the main fight is to be fought in politics and ideology. Take the disintegration of the Communist power in the last years of 1980s: although the main event was the actual loss of state power by the Communists, the crucial break occurred at a different level - in those magic moments when, although normally Communists were still in power, people all of a sudden lost their fear and no longer took the threat seriously; so, even if "real" battles with the police continued, everyone somehow new that "the game is over". The title The Matrix Reloaded, is thus quite appropriate: if part 1 was dominated by the impetus to exit the Matrix, to liberate oneself from its hold, part 2 makes it clear that the battle has to be won WITHIN the Matrix, that one has to return to it.
> Perhaps, however - and this would be the only way to (partially, at least) redeem Revolutions - there is a sobering message in this very failure of the conclusion of the Matrix series. There is no final solution on the horizon today, Capital is here to stay, and all we can hope for is a temporary truce. That is to say, undoubtedly worse that this deadlock would have been a pseudo-Deleuzian celebration of the successful revolt of the multitude.