Sheeple is a portmanteau created by combining the words "sheep" and "people." A population of sheeple. Someone is considered a sheeple if they take no heed to good information, choose inaction no matter the case, mindlessly follow the example of the masses, or blindly follow authority. If you are a sheeple you are not an individual. The corral gate is open, yet, no sheep will leave, even though there is greener grass outside the fence, even though the crowded interior is covered in feces and urine. It is not that sheeple believe the status quo is always acceptable, it is that they think it is inevitable.
Follow the asshole in front of you, a Herd Mentality:
“Government schools (are) laboratories of social engineering in order to produce “sheeple” who would neither know nor care about, much less challenge, the goal of socialist world government.” (News with Views) There is some partial truth to this. The education system creates someone who is likely to acquiesce to authority, and thus undermines their own human individuality. They believe whatever they hear, whatever they are told, without any consideration to the accuracy. Heck, look at the spawn of the Internet. Unlike print journalism, there is no necessary accurate truths – but even so still blindly followed.
Sheeple is also often used in a religious or political context. If someone pays taxes without regard and/or accepts whatever the government and the mass media tells them, they are one of many sheeple. In religion, the term is applicable to Christians in the sense that followers of the faith consider themselves a flock who follows their shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Obviously, then, the term sheeple is negative, and would be used to degrade an individual or a group of people.
The term was created by right wing conspiracy theorists. “The term sheeple, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 1984, has been used increasingly in the last couple of years due to the enhanced marketing potential afforded by online and satellite channel media. It is often used to describe people who act in direct reaction to saturation advertising, going out and buying the ‘must-have’ fashions and fads of the moment.” (Mac Mill and Dictionary) Although this is the first written form of the word, the description dates back even further.
Plato's Republic has often been called the origin of the “sheeple consciousness.”
We also see the term or at least its definition used to this day. My favorite, all time favorite example, is in a must read book by Terry Goodkind titled Naked Empire. In short, the main character Richard teaches a long ago cut off society how to break their sheeple tendencies. He teaches them how to fight and take control of themselves. But for a more thorough example read the Moneeple story.
Moneeple – or a Monkey story of Sheeple:
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.
Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here.
And that, my friends, is the basis for most federal bureaucracies.” (World News Stand)
This particular example of monkeys gone bad can be applied to the Holocaust. Not everyone back in that time sat and watched as that all took place – but just enough did. Today we can see today’s sheeple in the political context. Barely more than half of eligible voters choose to exercise their right to vote in the United States. Yet most complain and are unhappy with the results of democratic policy. And yet, in the year 2000, when elections were as close as they have ever been in The States, people still sleep. The argument of society is that “Nothing can be done.” Perhaps this is just a corner that a two party system backed a country into, but that is doubtful. The U.S. went through many many parties before only two have been dominant over a long span of time. But the thought still has merit. Regardless, by 2004 about a 5% increase in voter turnout – as high as it has been since 1968, amounts to a 60% voter turnout. 4/10 people in America still don’t think they can make a difference, 4/10 people in America are sheeple.
”The term has also come to be used to describe hoplophobes and other similar persons - people with an illogical fear of weapons, fire, cars, machinery etc, and certain other thing such as men in camouflage or ethnic minorities. In this sense it is used paticularily amongst gun and knife enthusiasts.” (Wikipedia)
You can see a video with the context of sheeple titled: “The Naked Truth: Awaken the sheeple,” by clicking here.
This has been an exercise of pulling the wool over the sheep.