Guest Post: Sheeple: Another Look At A Sad Breed

Tyler Durden's picture

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… 

Institutionalized Laziness

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.

Predictable Responses

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.

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hedgeless_horseman's picture



Apple Television = Orwell's Telescreen

Invest in your own enslavement.


Banksters's picture


US media kept Saudi drone base secret for two years The revelation that the US has been operating a drone base in Saudi Arabia was kept secret by American media organisations for two years.



On the front of CNN right now

Meet THe World's fastest Hillbilly


Yes, they will have to reformulate the internet into a CNN endorsed structure.  Mainly because we intend to set a fire to the well regulated group mind.   Propaganda tends to melt under such intense heat.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



"...the camera will be able to automatically detect and track faces..."  


-Apple Television, coming in 2013!


"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face...; was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..."


-Orwell's 1984


AAPL is my shepherd, iShall not think.

NotApplicable's picture

Good article, yet still contains sheeple thinking.

"In our modern age, we are absolutely stricken with an epidemic of willful idiocy that bears no rational excuse."

There absolutely is an excuse, as willful idiocy has been a successful strategy for many, right up until it isn't. It's all about the inertia of comfort gained by herd behavior. House flipping, for example, was seen in the same light. Where's the risk, when all one sees is reward?

Like many people, the author assumes that for behavior to be considered rational, it has to be perfectly rational. Not so. Since no one is omniscient, neither is their ability to rationalize. Instead, it is all based upon the environment at hand, coupled with ones' beliefs.

Small-minded people simply have no reason to alter their patterns, until it's too late.

Freddie's picture

TV and Hollywood are for retard sheep and serfs.  If you watch it then you support all of it.  F TV and F Hollywood!

TWSceptic's picture

Right, because no other brand has this feature already, not even Samsung. If you're going to make up conspiracies, at least know where to start...



WillyGroper's picture



C'mon, give it a break. VZ has put a web cam in their DVR. Next it's the subscription police if you have a party with too many people & watch PPV.

Bandit und Buster's picture

Well it's all going the way of "The Nameless War"...

Lest we think we understand the hidden forces behind the winds of change! 

Read it if you dare.

BLOTTO's picture

I'm mad (and frustrated) at the sheeple, but, not as mad as i am with the global the power of the brainwashing and hoodwinking is thick for the masses to even comprehend.

Which makes me wonder why some of us here are so 'lucky' to be 'in the know.'


Don't under estimate the power of the elite and the tools/gadgets in their arsenal...'they' recruit talented/intelligent people - no doubt.


I'm also mad at the Trolls...most Trolls know something, therefore, they are traitors because instead of spreading knowledge for the good, they fuckin provide disinfo...debunking. Trolls = traitors.


Sheeple, Elite and Trolls..."oh my"...

Good is out number'd 3 to 1...fuck.



centerline's picture

Folks like those here just started questioning things earlier than most.  Many more will follow.  In fact, over the last few years there has been a significant change in the collective attitude.  I notice it here on the net and in the "real world."

Given enough time, I believe a large number (reasonable percentage of the population) could come around.  But, this won't happen in time to change the course we are on.

Perpetual growth is about to meet imposed reality before it meets cold, hard mathematical facts.  The elite know where perpetual growth will lead.  They are not stupid.  Shit, this stuff has been think-tanked, modeled, etc. to death.  

Anyhow, those who get to govern get a quick education in it one way or another.  The are suddenly exposed to the impossible math, the entitled masses, etc.  Once they get a glimpse of how the end game plays out if left to chaos, they most likely sign up immediately for anything else that attempts to institute controls (i.e. police state).  Most of them probably haven't a clue what the bigger picture is all about... but, that is "need to know basis" I am sure.  They just need to know enough to feel like they are part of the elite club.  Most will get thrown under the bus (scapegoats) along with bankers and the Fed when the time comes.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

your perception

a significant change in the collective attitude.  I notice it here on the net and in the "real world."

you notice because you only look for like-minded groups and dismiss the rest.  in reality, nothing changed; same as before

centerline's picture

Umm.  No.  In fact, the idea of confirmation bias is pretty much on par with the sheeple thing.  Duh.

Since you asked.  I have been watching numerous sites for many years.  All sorts of different flavors, angles, attitudes, etc.  I have always been an avid reader of comments sections that follow MSM articles.  Etc. and so on, blah, blah, blah.

The collective attitude HAS changed. It is evident if you look.  It is evident even here at ZH.  This is a key metric I have been watching on purpose and without bias because I believe that it will signal a change in the pace of what is coming.

Freddie's picture

Keep watching O-TV and O-Hollywood you dumb serfs.  Operation Mockingbird in HD.  If people pulled the plug then things might change.

WillyGroper's picture

Freddie------Are you using a fucking computer? OBiggoted OTunnelVisioned

Are you a Hollywood wannabe & got turned down for a part? Fucko shit shit, the same thing over & over is so tiresome.

You assume that anyone who watches any form of entertainment cannot discern the difference between just that & propaganda. WTF do you do, rip the heads off of kittens for entertainment or just repeat yourself ad nauseum?

WillyGroper's picture

Some people are waking up. Had a contractor here yesterday who studied in the ministry. Life altered his chosen vocation. He brought up what's happening & said as much. When he tries to talk to people they think he's crazy. He brought up 3 kids in my suburb that committed suicide within a 2 week period. They were ALL on Ritalin. 

lincolnsteffens's picture

Is it better to be clueless and content or informed and always upset?

Unfortunately, I have no choice in the matter. My personality and belief system wont allow me to accept being controlled by an outside source. As someone who rejects violence as my first choice I am left to immense frustration and anger as I work to inform and alter my connection to aiding the morally bankrupt.

I think I need more fluoride, radiation, aluminum and other mind dulling potions.

Shevva's picture

Just though up a better descriptor.

Sheshple =

(She)ep = Herb mentality.

Mu(sh)room = Kept in the dark and fed shit.

Peo(ple) = people.

13thWarrior's picture

They already have filtered it. Few years ago Bilderberg called all tech leaders to their gathering. After that we started getting news what the companies think is good for sheeple. Then we have SOPA etc. Then there was call to use real names on websites and networks.


Twitter verified shills, LinkedIn Today, Twitter Digests, Facebook promoted feeds, Google personalized search results.

WillyGroper's picture

Use Skype or have a webcam on that computer? It ain't just AAPL.

Corporate was spying on us via webcam in 2010, & probably before then. That's just when I found out. Electrical tape fixed it.  

Hit the wrong button last night on my remote after putting in a DVD to watch. There's facial recognition in my Panasonic streaming DVD player. 

The only way to escape is to tune in & drop out. From your computer to the grid, unless you're willing to live like the unibohmmor, they gotcha by the short hairs. 

SilverIsKing's picture

We all know so many of them.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Actually I have never met Sheeple.  I have met MANY who are confused and willfully ignorant.  To me, "sheeple" is a term that equates all who disagree with us as stupid and only willing to move as a herd.  I see PLENTY of individuality every day, and while they do not buy gold, I do not think of them as low-IQ ruminants.  They may get slaughtered though.

I dislike the term "sheeple", and hope that someone comes along with something less derogatory.

centerline's picture

You need to get out more DCRB!  I see more sheeple than anything else.  Heck, half my family are sheeple.

There is no sense in sugar coating the truth here.  If it walks like a duck, talks like duck...


TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



sheeple       A individual that forfits their right to choose in favor of inclusion in groupthink and what is viewed as popular or elete group. Allowing the influences of different forms of media and group members to hold great sway in the formation of attitudes, behavoir and opinion. To accept the group mentaility and opinion as fact without examination.
Not only to be told what to do, but accepting the paradigm of thought as absolute thereby removing the weight of personal responsibility in the making of decisions. Dictionary


centerline's picture

Yup.  It's a duck.  Errrr... sheeple.  You get the point though!

WillyGroper's picture

Got an email today (right meme) pissing & moaning about the gun grab. Then hailing the Christian principles this country was founded on & the laws being passed for state sovereignity, standing up to TPTB. 

ROFLMAO after confronting him about our Gobbernor & her rabid support of being  ground O for Dr0ne testing. 

CogDis. Priceless.

lincolnsteffens's picture

Having a high IQ and a PhD does not protect you from being one of the sheeple.

StandardDeviant's picture

Well said, DCRB.

I despise the term, and automatically hit -1 for any ZH comment which uses it (with the exception of this article, to avoid repetitive strain injuries).

And you've gotta love those who condescendingly berate everyone else for being wilfully misled by the MSM (CIA, CFR, reptilians, etc.); while they, they know the Truth, they know how the world really works, 'cause they read it on some guy's blog.  FFS...

insanelysane's picture

I really wanted to read this article but it was long and has a lot of big words on it and then something came on about American Idol and then the Kardashitians and then

wandstrasse's picture

and then the good beer needs to be drunk by someone before it gets bad...

20834A's picture

Careful. When you trash the majority of people, you are setting yourself up as an elite, though not a power elite. I certainly know sheeple who fit this description. But I know even more who are drowning in the detritus of daily living- work, housekeeping, changing diapers, fixing the sink, etc. These folks know that things are wrong. They even recognize the theater of left/right, democrat/republican. But they feel helpless to effect a change. Lack of time, funds, and fear of TPTB inhibit them. They literally don't know what to do to be a causitive agent for change, or even what steps they should take to protect themselves. My heart bleeds for them, because they live under a cloud of doom. My mission is to collect as much knowledge of everything from gov't and economic trends to how to raise a couple of chickens and share it in realistic ways. My hope is that when we're closer to the point of no return, they'll be aware enough to realize it, and have the tools to deal with it. The one tenet that I most try to impress on peopl/sheeple: The ends NEVER justify the means. 

devo's picture

I think they're just positive people, and we're all negative.

Bad Attitude's picture

Sheeple are just delusional. Most sheeple know they believe a lie, but are terrified of the truth.

WillyGroper's picture

From what I see, most people can't begin to articulate just what is wrong. Then when they finally get it, it's an almost unbearable shock that their whole life has been a big fat indoctrinated lie.  

There's hope. News print media is going tits up. Many people have found alternative sources. Margins on CATV are shrinking, not only because of shitty content but it's pretty hard to pay for it when you don't have a job. Dish offered a friend the same programming that he was paying $80 for $20 to keep him from disconnecting. $0 beats $20. 

Skyprince's picture

I always tell them I'm not at all negative...I look forward to this sucker crashing so that the rebuilding can begin.  That will be exciting.  In the long run, I'm optimistic.  Of course...most look at me like a deer in the headlights.


centerline's picture

Not trying to pee in your cheerios here.  But, Rome did not rebuild.  Going into a post-industrial, lower EROEI future is more likely than not going to be very painful, destructive and prolonged.  If it is quick, it will be monumentally deadly as well.

(edit:  up vote from me for the optimism.)

Bandit und Buster's picture

A major characteristic of sheeple to me is their UNWILLINGNESS to seek answers/truth to much beyound "where's the beer?, hey, who's playing today?" ... Head-in-the-sand and they get pissed if you try to open their eyes.

 They hate to read anything that doesn't have a picture of a car or a naked body attached to it. 

The work of the synagogue of satan continues to keep them entertained and drugged.  Little different from the French or Russian bloody revolutions.  The sheeple played along.

Banksters's picture



Obey your conscience



Contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything. You cannot conquer a free man; The most you can do is kill him. 


- Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On, 1940





Thich Quang Duc



hyperbole2000's picture

Better dead than red (correction: better dead than a collective worshiping sheeple)

jimmytorpedo's picture

No water can put out this fire.

This fire.

This fire.

This fire.

, is burning and pull your own weight,...

Ride Natty Ride!

Bob, from the album Survival

Definitiely not a sheeple, he saw it 30 years ago

wandstrasse's picture

do not underestimate hundreds of millions of sheeple with roaring petrodollar printing presses...

smartstrike's picture

The odious middle class.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Is there still a 'middle class' left?   seems like it's disappearing rather rapidly.

AchtungAffen's picture

For how many things you call others "sheeple" I can find ten for each to call you sheeple too...

Clowns on Acid's picture

No you can't. Try critical thinking....for a change.

AchtungAffen's picture

Oh, I do. That's why I can think about what this guy writes critically; instead of falling for catch-phrases or special terms that evoke emotional responses rather than rational ones.