Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Song of the Sheep - such sweet dependence

I suppose I could pontificate on the recent elections - making the usual tribal noises about what a good result it was for Dave, expressing delighted shock at Labour's Scottish mauling and suppressing a gentle snigger at the poor showing of the Liberal Democrats. Oh yes, and skipping around going 'weeee' at the defeat of the awful proposal to introduce an 'alternative vote' system for electing MPs.

But no. I think I'll talk about sheep instead. Or rather about how we cluster and clump out of instinct. How when told something is a 'bestseller', we are more inclined to buy and why addressing you personally - even in a clunky Reader's Digest style - makes you like me more. It is in this flock tendency that the roots of collectivism lie - we don't like to be left out, to feel that others may find us odd or strange. To reject or resist collectivism seems un-natural, painful even as we expose ourselves to the pointing finger of the crowd.

It is odd therefore that so many sheep-like collectivists consider themselves to be outsiders, radicals, challengers to the orthodox. When in truth, the very opposite is true - the self-proclaimed promoters of the alternative are the promoters of dependence. Of a life dominated by sheep cake rather than climbing the hill. So much of the anger we see is the rage of the child finally forced to stand on his own feet - a cry against the terror of independence.

Rather than placing our boots on the land, lifting our heads and crying liberty, we opt for the comforting thought that some benign authority watches over us. And we rail against those who choose another path - either made possible by wealth or created by the great spirit of the contrary. We say to these people that they are greedy, or selfish, or inconsiderate. We criticise such independence - pointing our fingers and telling them that they are rejecting god or killing the planet or condemning through their independence some other human to a life of misery.

However I'm with one poet who said:

I never did, I never did,
I never did like "Now take care, dear!"
I never did, I never did,
I never did want "Hold-my-hand";
I never did, I never did,
I never did think much of "Not up there, dear!"
It's no good saying it.
They don't understand.

1 comment:

Frosty said...

Wise words, thank you.