In the chapter The Second Renaissance Part I of the series The Animatrix, the humans first engage in widespread genocide of the sentient machines due to a machine (B1-66ER) killing its owner in self-defence. The surviving machines then escape into the desert, where they found the city 01.

However, the machines later begin to manufacture goods, which they then use to trade with the human-ruled countries. Due to the large capital flow to the machine, the credit rating of the human nations fall, leading to them declaring nuclear war on the machines.

What is perplexing about the story at this point is why the humans would want to trade with a country that they have recently attempted to genocide? It would be along the lines of Iran getting a trade deficit due to excessive trade with Israel.

Is there some plot device that I am missing in this case? Why would humans want to engage in trade with an entity that they have attempted (but failed) to wipe off the earth? Couldn't they just make trade with 01 illegal instead?

  • 3
    History is littered with attempted genocides. The victims invariably come back and do business with the perpetrators when they realise that it's in their best (business) interests.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:18
  • Iran/Israel Trade worth tens of millions of dollars a year; ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4075900,00.html
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:20
  • 2
    The machines took over production of the iPhone, and since everyone wanted to upgrade every year the human nations had no choice but to import it.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 21:40

3 Answers 3


After the Machines created 01 they improved their AI and used it to start producing advanced products that we are led to believe far exceeded human equivalents. If you listen carefully, a news reporter's voice can be heard saying

No matter what the finance minister and her spokespeople say, the market has spoken...

The implication is that the Machine products were evidently so superior that people wanted to buy them rather than human-produced products, even though they were produced by the hated Machines.

The Second Renaissance Part I also includes an advertisement for a Machine-built airjet which includes a component "patented" by 01. Again, the insertion of this random advertisement is likely intended to imply that the Machine product is superior to all human equivalents (at least when it comes to the patented component).

The narrator tells us this led to the following response from human governments:

The leaders of men, their power waning, refused to cooperate with the fledgling nation, wishing rather that the world be divided.

And the humans did attempt to blockade the Machines:

blockade Source: Youtube

After that, the Machines attempted to join the United Nations but were denied. The humans then attacked 01 with nuclear weapons and started the war.


The machines at 01 are implied to produce technology and engineering of much higher quality than humans alone can produce, in part because they were originally designed for that purpose. Human nations cannot afford to ignore the output of 01, reliant as they are on advanced technologies, so they trade with 01 despite their earlier conflicts.

I will also remind you that humans are extremely good at ignoring past conflicts when it suits their needs. Look at the 1957 Treaty of Rome, where France, Holland, Italy, and (West) Germany agreed to establish a customs-free marketplace among them. This happened even though Italy and Germany had been trying to eat Holland and France alive all the way up to 1945.


Probably the same reason we trade with countries we've been at war with now. We trade with Germany, Italy, Japan, Vietnam, Russia (cold war, no shots fired but still deadly enemies) etc...
It's mutually beneficial for all involved, until it's not...

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