Nope, Not Surpirsed by Sheep

Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs
with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are
governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign
their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as
Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing
to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that
government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and
most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.

-– David Hume, “Of The First Principles of Government”

Even Jesus, the God of Western Civilization as the mythology goes, ended up willingly submitting himself to the State for execution, described in absolutely perfect metaphor:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. — Isaiah 53:7

My only quibble would be with Hume’s premise that government and those who govern have anything amounting to what I would call "principles." The concept of ‘principle’ connotes ethics, by which I mean: objective morality; by which: principles corresponding to the nature of man and his requirements for living his life as the individual human being that he is. Government is force, and therefore, there is nothing, NOTHING whatever about it that touches even lightly upon ethics, morality, or principle.

Anyway, I came across this via Beck, who told me to go read this essay by F. A. Hayek, of whom I am generally a big fan. The quote above was from Matt McIntosh.


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