Red Pill Blues
Some notes for any newcomers to so-called “Red Pill” sites.
It seems the term “Red Pill” is well past the point of liquefaction by now.
The term was borrowed from The Matrix to describe “waking up” and realizing much of one’s beliefs and assumptions were wrong. In the Androsphere, it’s long since mutated into shorthand for A Quick Fix Of Truth.
In the movie, all the Red Pill ever did for anyone was incontrovertibly show them that everything they had been taught was wrong. That’s it. No magic knowledge, no automatic grasp of Reality As it Really Is. Much screen time was spent showing Neo after his unplugging, asking questions and being taught what was real.
Many people who “take the red pill” simply trade out one set of canned phrases and buzzwords for a new set of memes and buzzwords. It’s akin to realizing that there’s no Apollo carrying the Sun across the sky in his chariot, and being told that the Sun revolves around the Earth. A growing amount of what passes for “Red Pill wisdom” is based on a pre-packaged set of assumptions derived solely from surface observations.
Much like “taking the Red Pill” does not replace old (erroneous) knowledge with new, it doesn’t undo the cumulative effects of years of Blue Pill thinking. Just because someone knows what’s wrong doesn’t mean he knows what’s right. Referencing the movie again, after Neo was freed he still thought and reasoned the same as before. He had to unlearn all his previous habits and gradually replace them with new ones.
Another example around these parts would be Men’s Rights Activists claim society is unfairly tilted against men. I don’t follow MRA sites too closely, so I can’t say how many of their claims are correct or not, but they do seem to raise several good points. However, even if they are 100% correct in identifying problems, they are still rooting their solutions in the prevailing framework of group identity and entitlement.
Despite their intentions, the general result is that MRAs aren’t campaigning for justice for all so much as pushing for their group to get identical treatment as other groups. They’re switching one effect for a different one, but it stems from the same cause – still stuck in the same victim mentality as those they fight.
To be fair, not too many people have come to “Red Pill” sites in the past without already having questioned some or most of their beliefs. However, as the androsphere has been growing and getting steadily increasing exposure, more people are tripping over it and thinking “Hey, this sounds good” and claiming to have switched to the Red Pill as easily as changing one’s socks. These, as I noted recently, are generally the ones looking for a purpose, who have no direction in their lives and are searching for someone to give them a readymade one. They accept small, easy-to-swallow fragments of the so-called Red Pill, already heavily diluted by careless parroting into a copy of a copy of a copy – with all the errors and artifacts that creep in – fitting relatively neatly into the pre-existing Blue Pill framework that they’ve been indoctrinated into for years, and that’s the end of it.
The analogy Dalrock has used (I don’t know if he originated it or merely ran with it) was of the sunglasses in They Live. This works better because even after discovering much of what one knows is wrong, one still has to go forth and discern what is right. Much like Roddy Piper trying to navigate the city and constantly finding new things that were previously hidden, a “red pill” person has to continually keep peeling back the layers to find truth.
That, and the idea of glasses helping one see better is pretty fitting.