If someone believes in ‘conspiracy theories’, they can describe those who go along with what the mainstream media comes out with as being ‘sheep’. Unlike these people, one will think for themselves.
One is then not just going to go along with what this source sells, they will do their own research. When someone has this view, it is also likely to show that they are fairly certain that they ‘know’ what is going on.
A Better Position
Through being this way, one could even see themselves as being better than those that don’t appear to think for themselves. Therefore, thanks to how they see most of their fellow human beings, they will be able to experience feelings that give them a boost.
Now, in the eyes of another, this person can be seen as being totally deluded and out of touch with reality. As opposed to being in the know, they can be seen as someone who suffers from anxiety, feels powerless and wants to feel special, among other things.
At this point, it would be easy to say that those who question the dominant narrative are the healthy ones and those that don’t listen to what the experts say are not. This is, of course, how those that don’t accept what they are told by the media are often perceived by a lot of the people who do.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the mainstream media doesn’t always tell the truth and neither does the so-called alternative media. The trouble is that as a large part of the citizenry believes that the mainstream is there to inform, it makes it hard for them to accept that this source of information is essentially there to manufacture consent.
A Big Impact
What has undoubtedly played a part in what has allowed this source to maintain its influence for so long is that, from a young age, most people are taught to respect and acquiesce to authority. And this source presents itself as the ultimate authority when it comes to what is taking place in the world.
Thus, even if this source was to come out with something that is not the truth, a lot of people are unlikely to ever find out. The fact that this source has said something is true will be the only thing that matters.
Not Back and White
After someone has been told something by this source, they could come to the conclusion that another person is crazy if they have a different view. They might even call them a ‘conspiracy theorist’.
This person may very well have most, if not all, of the traits that the experts have listed when it comes to the type of person who is most likely to believe in conspiracy theories; then again, this could just be someone who questions what they are told and has done their own research. Nonetheless, through labelling this person as ‘crazy’ or something similar, one can maintain their view of themselves as being a balanced person and there will be no need for them to question anything.
A Grain of Truth
Taking this into account, while it might be going a bit far to say that most human beings are sheep, there are certainly a lot of human beings that are happy to ‘follow the herd’. And, even if someone wouldn’t do this in one context, they could certainly do it in another.
Considering this, it probably wouldn’t be right to say some people are sheep and some people aren’t; it might be more accurate to say that it’s a matter of degree. After all, each human being is multifaceted and different environments can bring out different sides of their nature; no human being is a machine who always behaves in the same way.
The Primary Need
So, the big question is: why would someone have the inclination to blindly accept what they are told and not to think for themselves? Firstly, it has been said that human beings are ‘cognitive misers’, and, when someone goes along with what they are told, they will save energy.
Secondly, as human beings are interdependent it means that someone will need other people in order to survive and so, going along with what other people believe, will be seen as a key part of their survival. Ultimately, someone’s need to survive is far greater than their need to find out whether or not something is true or false.
To go even deeper, in someone’s race memory (genetic memory), they can carry the experiences that their ancestors had. Most likely, they will have had at least one ancestor who was killed for having different views or for speaking out about something.
One only needs to look back on history to see that those who had different views and spoke out against the status quo were rarely rewarded. In general, they were punished in some way or killed.
The Same Old Story
This is something that still takes place in the world today, making it clear that this is not merely a thing of the past and something that humanity has grown out of. As a result of what has taken place in the past, there is the chance that a lot of people who had the ‘critical thinking gene/s’ (if there is such a thing?) were wiped out and were, thereby, unable to pass this onto others.
And a lot of those that did pass it on might have learnt to suppress this side of their nature, to ensure their own survival. Unlike other parts of their nature, this simply didn’t serve them or their ability to pass on their genes.
If it is true that most human beings go along to get along, it is not much of a surprise. Not only have people like this been killed off through the ages or conditioned to reject this side of themselves, questioning the dominant narrative and thinking outside the box is rarely the best survival strategy.
Ergo, just as sheep have been conditioned to follow the herd to avoid being eaten, humanity has gone through a similar process throughout their time on this earth. With this understanding in place, what is going on makes far more sense and there is less need to label those who primarily behave in this way as being ‘weak’, for example.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.