The Boundless Self-Destructive Energy of Sheeple
I wrote this, as I write many things, to help myself understand what looks very much like the manifestation of some sort of mass insanity in America.
But if you look around a bit, you will see that America is not the only country that's acting a little bit crazy. There is insanity everywhere. It's just that American insanity, like everything else American, always manages to attract a ton of attention.
Sheeple…Defined as, "People who behave like sheep".
Sheep are rather high on the mindless scale in the animal world. Thousands of them can be herded by a single dog. They follow each other blindly. And if one could ascribe an human intellectual quality to them, ‘ignorant’ would be one of those words that spring to mind.
There are an ever growing number of human beings who are the same way. Obviously the dogs they are herded by have many different names.
Televangelists. Snake Oil Salesmen. Con Artists Rainmakers. Multi-Level Marketers. Hackers. Scammers. Politicians. Dictators. Despots. Hucksters. Some CEOs. Celebrities. The list goes on.
Early Sheeple... Bred For Slave Labour
All these ne'er do well types of people, exist, and have existed all through history because of the amazing number of sheeple that have always existed.
In the early days, the sheeple were called peasants or rabble, and you really couldn’t blame them for their ignorance. They were never given access to any information that would have lessened their ignorance.
They took their marching orders from whoever was in power. Could have been a local sheriff. A priest. A wealthy landowner. Somebody with a title and a bit of education.
Later, as the industrial revolution got cranking, the sheeple were conscripted to labour in the mills and factories for barely enough to keep them alive. They were only saved from short lives of malnutrition and ignorance by the labour union movement.
Today, we have sheeple of a different colour. Many of our societies are more affluent. Many people are better educated. Many people have opportunities to make something of their lives.
Yet, paradoxically the levels of ignorance among even the most affluent societies is still alarmingly high.
This is the boundless self-destructive energy of sheeple at play.
The ignorance of these people, and make no mistake, in most free and ‘progressive’ societies, they number in the tens of millions, is off the charts.
These people all start off with the potential to become real human beings, like all of us do.
But for one reason or another, they choose a different route. Sometimes it’s out of laziness. Sometimes it’s out of peer pressure. Sometimes, and probably most often, it’s a case of ending up being influenced by something dark and negative.
A couple of current examples come to mind right away:
British Sheeple...The Ones Who Do Not Know On Which Side Their Bread Is Buttered
The first is the controversy surrounding the national referendum in the United Kingdom regarding that country’s exit from the European Union.
This is one of the biggest debacles in recent memory. And the narrow victory of the “Out” faction is a classic example of the aforementioned boundless self-destructive energy of sheeple in the United Kingdom.
The day after the referendum, in which the country, by the narrowest of margins, decided to leave the Union, it was reported that there were a record number of Google searches by British citizens, which made it extremely and painfully obvious that a huge number of the people who voted “Out” had no idea what they were voting on, or even, God help us, what the European Union actually is.
It doesn’t matter which side you are on in this particular issue. What does matter is that the political leaders of Great Britain managed to keep a majority of people in the dark regarding the actual issues. And this was easy for them to do, because…you guessed it, they are sheeple.
And sheeple do not have the capability of going deep into anything.
Trump Sheeple...Angry, Lost and Willing To Follow The Loudest Asshole In The Room
The second example is in the United States where the presidency of that country is being contested.
If you follow the logic I have laid out so far then you can almost read my mind.
The staggering number of sheeple who fell in line behind the racist, misogynist, bigoted, egomaniacal, bullshit laden rhetoric of Donald Trump was simply astonishing.
Media Sheeple...Who All Understand What They're Doing, But Do It Anyway
Equally astonishing are the number of sheeple in the media who actually took Trump seriously and gave him all kind of free news coverage, simply because it captured the eyeballs of the Trump sheeple.
This goes way beyond the concept of being rating sluts. It is immoral behavior to publicize a candidate whose platform is based on bigotry, hatred and division. But, this too, is a prime institutional example of the boundless self-destructive energy of sheeple in both the media and the general public.
While I personally despise Trump, I am familiar enough with him to know that he has always been this way. He is a rich, entitled, spoiled rotten exploiter who has always believed he is God’s gift to women and business alike. So I don’t totally blame him. He's just a sheeple magnet and cheerleader.
The sheeple in the media have to take the majority of the blame for his popularity. Because they know exactly what they are doing. And they all appear to be united in the way that fools who seldom differ inevitably are.
Sheeple And The Real World
The sad thing about sheeple is that in a strange way they actually make the wheels of society go round.
Many of them do the mindless work that needs to be done out there. They are good consumers because they are easily influenced by marketing. They are also easily distracted by mindless movies and television and, most recently, the Internet. And with very few exceptions they don’t really organize against injustices of any kind, so anybody who wants to exploit them is more or less free to do so.
I know this all sounds a bit cynical on my part. But all I am doing, by way of a couple of current examples, is describing what our world has come to, and trying, in my own way, trying to understand it.
A world dominated by sheeple and those who would manipulate them for their own selfish ends, is not the kind of world that any thinking human being really wants to live in.
Fortunately the problem is not completely widespread. But you would be wrong to assume that the number of sheeple is not on the rise. It is and the more of them there are, the more our world can end up feeling like a bad episode of The Walking Dead.
So keep your eyes on your fries, or words to that effect.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer
& mildly opinionated op/ed blogger.
He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting. www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
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