Whilst some programs within The Matrix demonstrate consciousness, it's unlikely that the machines within 'the desert of the real' possess the same level of autonomy.
Considering communication and electronic correspondence appear to be an integral part of their very design (the squids and drills behave in synchronicity, mutually working towards the same goals simultaneously) it is unlikely that they each possess an independent rationalizing consciousness, which leans towards Jason Rob's 'hive' mentality, although they actually exhibit something closer to flock behavior, like Starlings:
Surprising as it may be, flocks of birds are never led by a single individual. Even in the case of flocks of geese, which appear to have a leader, the movement of the flock is actually governed collectively by all of the flock members. But the remarkable thing about starling flocks is their fluidity of motion. As the researchers put it, “the group respond[s] as one” and “cannot be divided into independent subparts.”
When one starling changes direction or speed, each of the other birds
in the flock responds to the change, and they do so nearly
simultaneously regardless of the size of the flock. In essence,
information moves across the flock very quickly and with nearly no
degradation. The researchers describe it as a high signal-to-noise
The programs, which appear to be more sentient, seem to largely eschew a political system: except those who achieve a Cartesian level of consciousness and challenge 'the programming'.
In consideration of the fact that any resistance is met with deletion, and this deletion is swift and efficient, there is little to suggest any kind of mass exodus or political unrest within the wider machine society: we see refugee's who seek to hide within the matrix, but given the scale of the machine population it can be deduced that this is rare.
The Deus Ex Machina is both a conduit for communication and a central processor: being both an ambassador and Head of State for the Machine population, but speaking as a collective.
There is little to suggest any ambivalence between the Deus Ex Machina and the wider population, which would indicate it serves as a figure-head more than anything else.
If we accept that the Machines are working towards a mutually accepted goal, and under threat of 'deletion' by a figure-head operating outside their level of consciousness but widely considered to be a benevolent egalitarian, I would suggest hesitantly that the machines operate under...
An argument could be made, I feel, for a Plutocracy: as some machines seem to serve a higher purpose than others and 'obsolete' programs are quickly disregarded in relationship to their functional relevance, but I feel this may be a more minor and less common occurrence.
I do, however, look forward to other people's perceptions that may differ to my own.