…; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, “Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.”
Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Thomas Cushine (1773)
Our goal as an association is to provide a forum where members can question and discuss the current state of the nation with the objective of separating themselves from the mindless mass of voters who follow and parrot the political talking points of the corporate propaganda media: separating the goats from the sheep.
Politicians love sheep. They are easy to manage, meekly following the herd and the shepherd. They may complain a lot when hungry but quickly turn docile again when fed. They learn to adore the hand that feeds them and will reliably follow the shepherd to be shorn or slaughtered. One seldom thinks of sheep as an animal with profound intellectual capacity, either in the animal husbandry realm or in the realm of metaphor. Sheep and shepherds are familiar metaphors in Christianity because Christians believe that being meek is a virtue and the Good Shepherd will not lead them astray. Life is seldom so benign. Our rulers are not good shepherds for the most part. We need to keep an eye on them and demand their fidelity.
Goats on the other hand are maligned as being stubborn and difficult to handle but they are really just curious and independent, characteristics with which we eagerly identify.
According to the Urban Dictionary, the acronym G.O.A.T now means “greatest of all time.” That is a departure from ancient portrayals of goats.
Expanding on the biblical metaphor about separating the sheep from the goats at an eschatological end-of-times, we reject the notion that wise and foolish virgins or productive and unproductive servants have anything to do with sheep and goats. The Parables are metaphors and the writer of Mattthew (Matthew Chapter 25) used terms that were understood at that time. Separating the wheat from the chaff may have been equally as effective, if the reader were a grain farmer instead of a goatherd.
There is no reason that goats will not be found at the right hand of God, assuming the charity of their good works is not rejected by doctrinal orthodoxy.
What really impresses us about goats is that both males and females have beards. This validates our feelings about equality, although intellectually we know that there is no equality. Each of us is genetically and existentially unique. Imagining otherwise and insisting on a nice sounding concept like “all men are created equal” requires us to accept it as a political truth, not as an objective truth.
John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government claimed that in the state of nature, before the foundation of governments, human beings enjoyed what he called “perfect freedom” to enjoy their persons and properties “as they think fit.” It’s a romantic notion to imagine such a state of nature. Locke went on:
“there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.”
So everybody is equal unless the “lord and master of them all” sets one above the other. Let’s be honest. We do not have to look as far as a “master of them all” to see who sets one above the other. Bullies abound.
Reality dictates that we accept “all men are created equal” as part of the social contract made among ourselves, and among ourselves decide what corollaries to the agreement should be appended.
George Orwell warned in Animal Farm, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
We live in a world where power and wealth have always ruled the masses. The Founding Fathers of the United States gave us a way to separate ourselves from the bondage of power and wealth, but to remain separate requires constant vigilance and devotion to basic principles that are too easily forgotten. To do so also requires self-discipline and avoiding groupthink. But on a personal level, there will always be a bully and we need to learn to deal with it.
Be a goat, not a sheep.