An Associated Press news report told of 1,900 sheep following one another over a cliff in Turkey, resulting in the deaths of 450. The sheep had been grazing when, without explanation, some members of the herd began leaping from the cliff. The others followed the lead, providing an example of “sheepish” behavior.
What a fitting metaphor for the herd-oriented behavior of humans. Political systems – along with various corporate interests that have produced the homogeneous corporate-state – have succeeded in getting people to organize themselves into opposing herds. These multitudes are placed under the leadership of persons who function like “Judas goats,” a term derived from the meat-packing industry. Judas goats are trained to lead sheep to the slaughterhouse, slipping safely away as the others are led to the butcher. Political leaders take their flocks to the deadly precipice, depart to the safety of their bunkers, and allow herd instincts to play out their deadly course. With the help of the media, Bush, Blair, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al., perform the Judas goat function quite well, rousing the herds into a “let’s you and him fight” mindset without occasioning the loss of their own blood. You will not see any of these smug, arrogant creatures in the front lines of battle: that is the purpose served by the “masses” (i.e., the “herds”).
With its newly-concocted perpetual war upon an unseen enemy – combined with greatly expanded police powers – the established order seeks to force free men and women back into the herd upon which its violent control over life depends. That we may take our places in the serried ranks set out for us by the state so that we remain subservient to the state, is the purpose underlying the present “war on terror.” As with the sheep in Turkey, the consequence will be that we will follow one another over cliffs leading to our mutual destruction. In the tapestry of human history, it is but the latest expression of the state’s continuing war against life.
Another excellent article by Butler Shaffer!