Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,
Some phrases are endowed with immediately recognizable symbolism. When we hear them, we instantly know who and what the phrases are referring to, and can even gain a greater depth of understanding to a particular situation just by applying them. They cause us to step outside our environment and look at it in an entirely different way. They might make us laugh, they might make us cry, but we are not indifferent to these affecting words.
Throughout history there have always been people who were right, and usually a “majority” that were wrong, on any single issue. Defenders of institutionalized ignorance argue constantly that truth is “relative”, and that they should not be criticized for having their own “opinions”. They use this relativism as a cover for their unwillingness to admit a lack of knowledge. I would ask them if they believe that they are always right? That they have nothing to learn? If the truth is “relative”, if morality and principle are “gray”, then who in their mind has ever been wrong? It would seem that the only people they view as absolutely amiss are those who confront the establishment. Those that question the system they are so addicted to.
What they fail to understand is that their “opinions” were never theirs to hold. What they believe has merely been conditioned into them. They are willing to embrace the system no matter how unjust, because their entire identity is predicated on its continued existence. We do not admonish people necessarily because they are unaware (all of us were unaware at one time or another), but we do admonish them for denying the blatant facts in order to avoid admitting that they are wrong, and that they have perhaps been duped by the establishment. So, what do we call those people who remain willfully ignorant (or comfortably oblivious) in the face of the facts and follow along with the herd (the mainstream) to the detriment of the truth?
We call them sheeple…
The term “sheeple” has quickly become a word that defines an era. It is not just a tool for ridicule, though it does indeed seem to hurt the feelings of the ignorant and unaware, which to my mind, is a good thing (If they can feel shame over their factual inadequacies, then perhaps one day they can be redeemed). No, there is much more going on here…
When one is surrounded by blatant absurdity and total loss; loss of freedom, loss of compassion, loss of humanity, that person needs a way to describe the horror. A way to shed light on the dark insanity of it. A way to remove the barriers of confusion and build a clear path to reason. He needs to quantify the threat, so that he can move beyond it, and towards understanding.
In our modern age, we are absolutely stricken with an epidemic of willful idiocy that bears no rational excuse. A century ago, such behavior in a culture could have been chocked up to a bottleneck in the flow of concrete information. But today, mankind has a veritable buffet of data at his fingertips at any given moment. The fact of a thing, the truth of a thing, can be arrived at with a mere modicum of effort and a remedial passion for learning. We can plead “lack of access” no longer. The only obstacle left is us…
Yes, our government and our society have become corrupt to the core. Yes, the traditional sources of information in the mainstream media are utterly useless and dishonest. Yes, our public educational system is completely federalized, and our schools have been warped into lemming factories where young minds are bled dry of all creative power and individuality. Yes, the system we are born into is designed to make us stupid. However, the establishment has not yet been able to extinguish our ability to walk away. We ALL have a choice: to be taught by others, or, to learn for ourselves.
At the end of the day, sheeple are sheeple not because they have to be, but because they want to be…
It is the greatest and most exploitable weakness of man; our willingness to sacrifice anything in order to avoid admitting we know nothing. This is the philosophical slum of the common “sheeple”. It is pathetic, and it is ugly, and it is a rampant plague upon the world in the year of 2013.
The time is coming, very soon I believe, when the sub-populous of sheeple will be used as cannon fodder to institute change in America on an unprecedented scale. It has happened many times throughout history. The establishment, seeking unlimited power, brandishes the dimmer subsections of the citizenry like a political Louisville Slugger, swinging them about wildly in an attempt to smash the ideological enemies of the state. Often, the sheeple are oblivious to the fact that they are being used as a weapon against liberty, and against truth. They only know that they must participate to “survive”, even if that survival ends up being a hollow and meaningless life.
Now more than ever it is important for the Liberty Movement to understand and identify who these people are, and what makes them tick. Time grows short, and it is easy for us to become mired in the haze of a glassy-eyed herd. Sheeple can be saved from themselves, but only if they can be made to recognize these particular behaviors as part and parcel of their own folly…
Some sheeple are not ignorant because they are unintelligent. Rather, they are ignorant because they refuse to expend any energy in discovering the facts of their world. They have become used to the idea of being “taught”, rather than going out to learn for themselves. It is easier to be told what to think than it is to develop one’s own world view. Sheeple often state that they “just want to be left alone”, and “don’t want to think about the troubles of the world”, yet nearly all of them at the same time want to feel as though they have an effect on the future. They want the benefits of a sound and balanced society but don’t want to put in the work to make such a society possible. They want “other people” to make the system work, and “other people” are certainly willing to take advantage of sheeple inaction. Tyranny cannot exist unless people willingly hand over their personal responsibilities to the system. Sheeple make oligarchy and dictatorship possible.
Arrogance Without Merit
I have met many people in my life that are not fully aware of how their world works or why terrible things happen to them. This by itself is not necessarily bad. If one is able to accept that he needs to learn more, then he has far surpassed most of society in the strength of his character. Unfortunately, sheeple do not share this attitude. They not only lack remedial knowledge on most issues, they are also unwilling to admit it, and, even viciously attack those who DO have substantial information.
Is this due to an inferiority complex? Possibly. They are so invested in the mainstream world view as presented by media entities and government that they take it as gospel. They live the mainstream ideal, but, secretly, they harbor doubts. They know that they do not have the capacity to defend the system if confronted by an intelligent and well-versed opponent, and so, they develop a demeanor of arrogance and contempt for those who question it. This uppity manner is a defense mechanism meant to hide the weakness of their arguments. Combined with Ad hominem attacks, distraction, and physical threats, sheeple try to ward off critics so they do not have to engage in a legitimate debate they know they will lose.
Always Worried What The “Majority” Thinks
Sheeple are steeped in the realm of the mainstream. So much so that they have become nothing but a cog in the machine of the collective mind (or hive mind). Their entire existence is predicated on blind faith in the system. If the system is proven to be flawed, then THEY are proven to be flawed by extension. They will ignore all reason and defend the system wildly, as if trapped by some cult, because their fragile identity is dependent upon the continued prosperity of the establishment.
Sheeple are in most cases motivated by nothing but fear. In their early years they likely either caved to the force of peer pressure and learned to diminish their personal pain by constantly conforming to the majority view. Or, they sought inclusion in the majority very early on and became addicted to the power that the collective is able to wield over others. In either case, they never actually questioned whether or not the “majority” was right in its behavior. Instead, they decided at some point in their life that the majority is ALWAYS right simply because it is the majority.
Never Questions The Professional Class
Sheeple are easily impressed by anyone with a nice suit, uniform, lab coat, or an embossed diploma or title. They see and revere the costume, regardless of the man inside it. For sheeple, titles and positions of arbitrary authority make the opinions of a man more than opinion; his opinions suddenly become law.
While a Liberty Movement activist looks for the legitimacy within the individual professional, the sheeple places all faith within the institution that professional represents. His personal character is of no consequence to them, and the idea that he may have no clue what he is talking about does not occur to them.
Obsession With The State
Because the average sheeple hasn’t the slightest inkling of how to be independent or self sufficient, they attach their survival to the success of the state. They see the word of the state as sacrosanct, and have no concept of government by the people. They will sing the praises of democratic elections and the will of the public in general participation, but, when the state goes against that will and does what it pleases, they will seek to rationalize this criminality.
For them, government as a construct might be fallible (or not), but this fallibility does not change the finality of state authority. The government is not to be interfered with and certainly not to be opposed. To stand against the state is to stand against law, and the law, in their minds, is god. Questions of morality are irrelevant. They have become so far detached from their conscience that there is nothing left but a pitch black void, waiting to be filled with the demands of oligarchy.
When confronted by men who are willing to fight and die to interfere with the abuse of state authority, they respond with shock and revulsion. How could anyone possibly stand against the will of the mainstream and its government champions? How dare they defy the establishment!
Blind Commitment To The False Left/Right Paradigm
When confronted, sheeple almost always move immediately to meaningless party labels. They will attack you as a “Democrat”. They will attack you as a “Republican”. But their presumptions of what makes a Democrat or a Republican are entirely skewed and inaccurate. This is, of course, not really a problem for them.
They will not acknowledge the vast similarities of corruption between both major parties because this does not serve their interests. They do not WANT to know what Liberalism is versus Neo-Liberalism. They do not WANT to know what true Conservatism is versus Neo-Conservatism. They only want an easy way to dismiss you and the information you present without having to think. The false left/right paradigm makes this possible.
Sheeple are highly predictable two-dimensional creatures. When confronted with their own failings, they will follow a pre-programmed list of responses meant to divert and confuse discussion.
They will claim that “everyone thinks they are smarter than everyone else”, and that really, the “truth is relative”. History does not support this twisted view, however. There are always moments in which some people are morally and intellectually correct, while many others are dangerously misguided. Some people make decisions that lead to chaos and destruction while others make decisions that lead to prosperity and creation. The truth, the cold hard truth, is NOT relative. It is unyielding, it is uncompromising, and it is final. To be successful as human beings requires us to be on the right side of truth more often than we are not. To assume that the truth is “malleable” to our particular desires of the moment is to always be on the wrong side.
Sheeple rely primarily on character assassination and belligerent disregard for logic in order to derail debate. They do not attack your position so much as they attack you personally. They scoff, they giggle, they taunt like children, but when it’s all over they usually say very little of any substance.
Finally, they will use the weapon of majority opinion as a get out of jail free card, and in most cases this is not a ploy. They really do believe that if the larger percentage of the public accepts a conviction, then that conviction automatically becomes fact. Their goal, therefore, is to constantly ride the wave of majority opinion so that they will always be in a position of “righteousness”. Of course, this way of thinking has in the past led to some of the worst atrocities in recent memory. The collective mind has no concern for individual freedom, including the freedom to live in peace. Physical and psychological violence in the name of conformity is very common in such cultures.
Sheeple are puppets in the game of political reconstruction, and their job is to cheerlead the establishment and to drown out all honest voices. They are generally remorseless as long as they never have to face tangible consequences for their blind support of the system. They seek to strengthen the bars of the prison because the outside world of free thought and expression intimidates and paralyzes them. In an environment where survival is dependent on individual merit and principle, sheeple hold no currency. No capital. This might explain their overt hatred of individualists. For when we in the Liberty Movement seek to unchain and decentralize the world, we indirectly cut the umbilical cord between them and the nanny state. They see our fight for freedom as a threat to their ease of existence, and their very lives. Sadly, their “comfort” is derived entirely from our enslavement.