The movie The Matrix, written and directed by The Wachowski brothers, can be seen as the ultimate Marxist metaphor. Its basic premise is that the world as we know it is fake; it is a “computer simulated dreamworld”, mimicking our own world of the late 90s, called the Matrix. In charge of the Matrix itself is a seemingly malevolent sentient machine species. Even worse, the sole purpose of this simulation is to control humanity, which has been enslaved inside the simulation for several hundreds of years. It was a matter of survival for the Machines, as the humans in the days before the Matrix attempted to destroy the Machines by blocking their power source – the sun. So, in order for their species to continue “living” humanity was enslaved within the Matrix and their bioelectric energies were harvested and used to power the Machine civilization. Clearly if Karl Marx heard this story he would fall in love with it, assuming that he could stomach both the violence in the movie and Keanu Reeves’ acting*.
Many aspects of the plot of The Matrix have clear correspondence to elements of Marx’s Social Conflict theory. According to Marxist criticisms of Capitalism, there are two major social classes, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie, or the elite, are the wealthy people, the business owners, and the politicians. They are the people in charge. This elite class controls the Proletariat. The Proletariat, or non-elite, is the working class. They make up the workforce