I don't consider this my opinion; I consider it a fact. A lot of good practical wisdom about life is in the Bible, especially the Gospels. Forget the "religion" in it. That's not what I mean. What I mean is that you can find out a lot about human nature if you just think about what is written in the Bible. Put it this way: it wouldn't have lasted for thousands of years unless it was of immense practical value.
Let's consider the well-known fact that Jesus called Himself the "Good Shepherd" and referred to His "flock" and His "sheep." That almost sounds like an insult. If you look at it in a certain way, it is. On the other hand, most people are sheep. So it's not really an insult; it's just a statement of fact about human nature.
Another fact is that He called Himself the "Good Shepherd." That means there must be Bad Shepherds. And there certainly are. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot more Bad Shepherds than there are good ones, and it's been that way throughout history.
Hitler was a Bad Shepherd, as was Mao and Stalin. Yet today some still support them, and in their day it was millions.
Wilfredo Pareto, whom I consider one of the few essential political philosophers to read, wrote that most leaders - political leaders, I must emphasize - are either Foxes who use fraud, or Lions who use force. He also referred to the masses of people as "Sheep." Those Foxes and Lions can only be the Bad Shepherds, ones that the Sheep often obediently follow.
If the Sheep didn't obediently follow Bad Shepherds, how then, I submit, did we end up with the battle of Stalingrad, in which an estimated one million to two million people were killed in the worst battle in the history of mankind?
If people aren't Sheep following Bad Shepherds like Stalin and Hitler, how did we end up with the 20th Century, in which historians estimate anywhere from 177,000,000 to 200,000,000 people died in various wars?
If most people aren't Sheep, and most political leaders either Foxes or Lions, how did so many people get conned into marching to their deaths?
Americans like to pride themselves they aren't Sheep, but they are. Here we are a nation of almost 300 million people, and we're involved in two wars plotted and designed by about 25 people who have gained political power.
If some 25 or so people can lead that many people, with only a very small percentage protesting, if that is not conclusive proof that the overwhelming majority of people are Sheep, then nothing can be.
Traditionally, throughout history, about ten percent of the people, the ones who have gained political power, have used that power to appropriate (steal) about two-thirds of the wealth. Usually societies end up with about 20 percent of the people with 80 percent of the wealth. Pareto called that the 20/80 law, which is another reason everyone should read him.
These people always set themselves up as political, economic, intellectual and moral "elites" (I use the term "elites" neutrally). They then attempt to impose their will and their visions on the masses of people, by force and by fraud. The most well-known observer of this phenomena is Antonio Gramsci, who although a Marxist certainly was right on the mark with what he noticed.
Of course, it's obvious that if 20 percent of the people - the Lions and Foxes - end up with 80 percent of the wealth, this means the remaining 80 percent have to share that 20 percent of the wealth that is left. Not very much, is it? And the Sheep always put up with this until things become unbearable.
Wouldn't you say there exists the possibility that the Foxes and Lions want people to be Sheep? Horace Mann wrote in 1848: “If one class possesses all the wealth and the education, while the residue of society is ignorant and poor, it matters not by what name the relation between them may be called; the latter, in fact and in truth, will be the servile dependents and subjects of the former.”
Perhaps such an observation is why Jesus referred to the political, economic, intellectual and self-styled moral "elites" of His time as "sons of Satan" and as vipers who would steal the last pennies of widows and orphans.
If I had to describe politics in one sentence, I say it's Bad Shepherds leading the Sheep to their deaths. The only way that so many people look to the government to take care of them is because they can't tell the difference between Good and Bad Shepherds. They can't tell shepherds from wolves - or from Foxes and Lions - until it's too late.
It appears to be an instinct for most people to follow leaders, just as sheep do. John D. MacDonald, the late mystery writer, in his novel, The Green Ripper, wrote that people are "herd animals, social and imitative." He's right; we're herd animals, like sheep or dogs, and almost all of us play follow the leader, even if that leader leads his flock right over a cliff. They, unbelievably, do so willingly.
I've come to the conclusion the masses of people don't really think. They feel. They memorize bad ideas and try to imitate them. That's why they don't really follow principles, as John Thomas Cripps pointed out. They follow leaders, no matter how bad of shepherds they are.
The Sheep fall for the most simplistic of propaganda techniques - I'm good, nay, great! And those who disagree with me are evil.
The Sheep, as always, are for the taking, by the wolves and the Foxes and the Lions. They never know it, though, until they become dinner. Then, of all things, they act surprised.
It is another reason why dictators tend to be against religion especially Christianity. Christian missionaries are killed in North Korea all the time.
In the time of Hitler, the Nazi party replaced the religious leaders of churches with party approved leaders.
All the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed.
After the Communist Revolution in Cuba, religion was discouraged and the state promoted atheism officially.
Why is this?
Because politics always wants you to choose between the lesser of two evils. It denies and tries to hide the fact that there is a non-evil possibility. The gospels gave methods in order to identify who is a good Shepard or not. It gave power directly to an individual so that through observation, he might be able to tell if this person is really a bad Shepard.
What specific tools did it give us?
-Told us that bad trees cannot bear good fruit, and good trees cannot bear bad fruit
-Then later on, proceeded to list exactly what are the good fruits of the Holy Spirit
-Told us to look at how the leaders acted and to not follow them in certain ways
-At the same time also told us to think about what they were teaching (do what they say if it is still supported via scriptures) and make the decision.
-Established a community with set standards in order that they may empower each other and learn about God's grace together
-Yet at the same time said to kick out those who would violate the standards and use the groups for their own means, guarding the community against those that would co-opt it.
-The concept of an outward Christian was destroyed. Do good deeds in private, pray in private, do not call each other by fancy titles.
-This protected us against the people who claim to be Christians yet do everything on the contrary and work actively to blemish the name of God.
-Established the standard for a good Shepard. The good Shepard gives up his life, the bad Shepard runs away or blames when something goes wrong.
-Set an objective standard from God that cannot be refuted by people, unless they were not Christian.
-Told people how to act towards one another in society.
-This led to petty grudges, coveting, pride, shame, all the issues you talk about on this blog, to disappear.
Indeed there are more, but those are a big bulk of it. Societies that tend to follow the above tend to flourish.
If a man's power is vested in something above, something not seen by eyes, something that is greater than man and all the world, then it is something the politician can never steal. That is why politicians tend to outlaw Christianity and religion, or try to take it over, because even if the politician himself is an atheist, he knows he cannot steal this power that his people have invested in something he cannot see or understand. As a politician you cannot have your sheep fully devoted to you, if your sheep is devoted to an invisible Shepard. This is why politics always despise or try to usurp religion.
All wars are essentially about money and power and who wields it. Period. Only rarely do politics or religions enter into the mix except as a means to motivate the armies. We can probably agree on that much.
As far as being conned - again, I say it for the cheap seats and the stupid kids (Quartermain, call holding on line 2) - up yours, Uncle Bob! HAR HAR HAR! Americans have freedom of the press, they have informed opinion (and, in your case and that of Fred Reed, uninformed opinion) out the wazoo. The American soldier is a volunteer, and today most of them are more capable, educated and informed than you and I are. You can't gull people like that. Go into the sand box and see how those animals actually live, boys. Hell - get off your couch and go used the computer to learn rather than lecture, for once...
A handful of rag heads flew a plane through a sky scraper and killed over 2500 people. They had to die - as did the moslem morons that supported and enabled them. It was that - or bow down to some 7th century savages and endure more and bigger attacks. As for Saddam - that was a little Hitler in the making. We know he had WMD's because we sold them to him, we know he had them because he used them on the Kurds - and he was threatening the same with Isreal. His ambitions for unlawful expansion and ownership of the middle east are a matter of public record. Taking him out SAVED countless more lives. The people that control the wealth and power are of vital importance - except to the pot headed, pot bellied elderly hippies like Fred Reed and the greasy modern day peaceniks. Personally, I prefer not having to worry about moslem mud flaps killing our women and children with impunity, Bob. I would prefer that my lamp shades and soap are not made out of Jews. Yes, I will kill to prevent that. Does that make me a sheep? This sheep will NOT run from a predator, I assure you. I will kill people like that knowing full well what I have done and why I did it, too.
I think it was Heinlein that said that man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal. I have seen the lefties, the pacifists and libertarian turd brains decry the wars in the sandbox from their posh hotels and their comfy arm chairs, and I just shake my head. They will rationalize their craven sheep-like behaviour all day long and go through all kinds of semantic calisthenics to wrap themselves up in a phony air of nobility that only they can take seriously.
I think we both know who the gull is, Bob. And from here on out - stop hanging around Fred Reed! He is a bad influence on you.
Glen, I'm putting you on hold.
Very valid points. When you boil it down to the essence the wolves hate religion - especially Christianity and Biblical Judaism (as opposed toTalmudic Judaism because they believe that there is a power higher than the State and its rulers. That cannot be tolerated.
Good post as usual but it seems that it went over the head of a certain cabesa de caca from Canucksville, (whose name needs not be mentioned though he picked his handle well).
Don't have time or patience to wade through his piled high and deep b.s.
James and RobertW made good points as well.
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