“Sheep must think – if they think at all – that the farmer works for them. He feeds them, shears them, protects them. All seems well, now and forever. Until that day when most of the lambs are herded into trucks and driven away…“Only at this point of real and immediate crisis does the consciousness of sheep expand to contemplate the wider picture. Nevertheless, there is no serious resistance. They are now so conditioned that, despite their fears, the sheep walk meekly to their deaths….Of course, we humans are more sophisticated than sheep are we not?”
The Consciousness of Sheep is about a predicament that humanity faces. Most obviously, The Consciousness of Sheep is about our in-built psychological inability to see (let alone understand) the broader picture. Just like sheep, we are programmed to follow rather than think for ourselves… even when this course leads straight to the slaughter house. But The Consciousness of Sheep is also about our current economic malaise and the abject failure of the political elites and the economists that advise them to come up with an approach that improves living conditions for all of humanity.
The Consciousness of Sheep is the story of how our economic collapse is the result of a debt-based economy that depends upon exponential growth rapidly colliding with the environmental and resource limits of a finite planet. It is also the story of how the various experts – each sat in their own professional silo – have failed to see the whole picture, and have missed the predicament we are now in.
We cannot know how the collapse of the global economy is going to unfold. Nor can we know how rapidly it will occur. There are those who envisage some kind of cataclysm or rapture in which everything falls apart within days. While this is possible, my own view is that the collapse will be much more protracted and, indeed, that we have been living through its early stages for the best part of a decade. None of us knows exactly what will come next. All we can say with certainty is that the civilisation our children and grandchildren are going to live in will be very different to – and significantly less materialistic than – the one we grew up in. Whether they will thank us for that legacy is a moot point. Much will depend upon how those of us alive today respond to collapse. If we can let go our own petty self-interest, our children and grandchildren may thank us. But if we continue to behave as though we have a personal entitlement to consume and pollute the planet solely for our own immediate and transitory benefit, then in future ours will be seen as the most evil and corrupt generation ever to have lived.