What's a sheeple?

Daniel Davies d_squared_2002 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Oct 24 02:40:02 PDT 2000

Matt (who has not yet self-identified as a transhuman) wrote>>

>I never said anything about
>libertarians being the deconditioned

OK, then, who are? I've read a couple of those Robert Anton Wilson books, but somehow speed-read past the bit where he gives a theory that amounts to much more than "how jolly it is to be me". So far, all I can extract from your "sheeple" riffs is that people who don't understand their computers, or who find Microsoft products convenient, are them. I'm assuming they're the same as the "robots" below:

>What would you choose to represent the people who
>seem to be walking
>around in a sleep, who:

>Work as slaves for a meager wage that they...
>...spend wastefully in mass consumption of useless
>...but the wage isn't enough so they...
>...drown themselves in debt
>Watch 6 hours of tv a day
>Feed their children filth from McDonalds
>Walk by a homeless person and not see the:
> misery of his existence
> threat he poses to their lifestyle
>Suck on booze and tobacco, but...
>...think hashish and LSD and psilocybin are evil

The first three of those seem a bit off -- "meagre" is the only wage on offer if you're not a computer genius like you or a well-spoken spiv like me. Plus there's really not that much to consume other than "useless goods", TV is all you can put up with when you're tired and, despite all the things which are wrong with McDonalds as a company, the food is not particularly bad for children when compared to the typical Western diet. Your final point seems to be a matter of taste.

Which leaves the one about the homeless person, which I'd like to hear more about.

In any case, I think you're completely maligning the robot-people. In a bad week, I'm one; a fair few friends of mine are all the time. They lead lives which are often full of the most surprising secret interests, and which are usually in their own way rather wonderful.

I think that you share with most of the lefties on this list a distaste for the private sphere which always scares me. No, hold on all, I know that from a political point of view you're a passionate defender of the private sphere from interference (and so are MOTLOTL). But you've got an aesthetic dislike of people who actually decide to use that privacy to not be involved in anything very important, to have trivial hobbies, to allow the state to carry out their charity work for them through the income tax and to never really give any thought to active engagement with anything outside their small social groups unless there's a war on.

That's my personal, homespun political philosophy, and pretty small and pathetic-looking it is too. It's not generalisable, and it's not defensible from an ethical standpoint; morally, I think that wider obligations are indeed compelling. But moral defensibility is, IMO, a much less important property of political theories than it is commonly supposed to be; providing the conditions for people to get on with living the good life is much more important. I don't, in general, care for ideas which involve persuading the "sheeple" to do anything which they haven't themselves decided to do, and the same general preference for truth over falsehood which led me to Marxist political economy tells me that it's just wrong to suggest that the lives of the sheeple are in any way worth less than those who would presume to change them.

hey ho hum. In forty-five minutes, I resign from my job, so getting work done is not exactly a priority, as the above should have made abundantly clear.


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