"The shepherd always tries
to persuade the sheep
that their interests
and his own
are the same."
[Marie-Henri Beyle] (1783-1842) French writer
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Reader comments about this quote:
This quote is true.One could also substitute the words "elected" for "shepard" and "constituants" for "sheep"......One more thing.In the words of a great writer,Kevin Shearer,..."Real Eyes Realize Real Lies".In other words..."the eyes of Truth cannot be fooled".
 -- Me Again     
    In the Socialist/Fascist, Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative, democracy/slave-master philosophical applications of today, the government is the shepherd and the sheep are everyone else. (replacing antiquity's oppressive church - patron relationship) In the Representative Republic outlined by Constitutional limits, their existed a federation of shepherds.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    The analogy of shepherds to elected officials is hardly a good one as a shepherd is not selected by his sheep, nor can he be removed by them. I don't think many shepherds are concerned about convincing their sheep of any common interrests either. That's what elected officials do to maintain their positions.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  • 3
    Jack, stated well
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Me Again has it right ... "The ELECTED always tries to persuade the CONSTITUENTS that their interests and his own are the same." Is it easier for you to comprehend as a direct quote instead of an analogy?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Joe, in the de facto circumstances we find our selves, your statements are exactly right. It is under original intent that the Constitution was written, trying to prevent the existence of sheep.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    I read a book years ago that posited the theory that animal domestication is an evolutionary path that benefits the animals. The sheep and their young are protected, fed, cared for when they are sick and are therefore more likely to survive to pass on their genes to the next generation. The only price they have to pay is submitting to a yearly shearing and sacrificing one of their fellows to the roasting spit occasionally. There seems to me that there are two varieties of human beings in this world: domesticated and wild. Most of us are somewhat domesticated, but some of us have a wild streak that just can't be tamed.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 1
    Who said anything about electing the shepherd? It doesn't matter how he/she got the position, the fact is that once the official has become a shepherd, he/she never stops trying to convince the 'sheeple' that his/her interests are the same as the sheep. It isn't long that we hear the people yelling "bomb 'em, bomb 'em!" while the shepherd cashes in at the bank.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    The quote talks about shepherds & sheep, not elected "leaders" and voters... and there are lots of other examples of leaders & their "flock" where this quote just doesn't hold up...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Is Stendahl referring sarcastically to Christian pastors? That is a common passtime of the uninformed cynic. The shepherds alluded to in the Christian Scriptures are charged with taking care of the flock. Certain specific examples are given of the type of care expected. Those false shepherds who do otherwise are also pointed out and condemned. And the advent of false shepherds and false prophets is foretold. No where is it claimed either that all Christians or all pastors are what they should be or do exactly as they should do. To the contrary, the judgment of the false or unfaithful is foretold. But this does not stop cynics and atheists from spewing half-truths and sarcastic sophism.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    'sheeple'...now that's funny....
     -- EGL, LA     
    I don't think I like the proposition that we are sheep needing to be domesticated by wolves in shepherds clothing . The only thing approaching that would be the trust and need for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
    Let the Shepherd's cause be Liberty and Freedom. There is only One Shepherd ! be careful how you build ! as also, only one Reverend. No man, can take that point unto themselves. it is reserved !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
    No one above has correctly paraphrased this quote.

    The people and corrupt leaders both have their own interests i.e. the masses want to live in freedom, ability to move up the social ladder etc. Corrupt politicians also have their own interests, namely, centralize power and hoard money.

    What this quote means is that people in power try and convince the masses that what is good for them (people in control) is also good for the people. 

    For example, Egypt is moving their capital away from Cairo. People in power stated their reasoning as trying to depopulate Cairo. This may occur, but this is not the main reason why they are moving the capital. It is so that it will be harder to form protests and hold politicians accountable.
     -- bob, bob     
    Sorry. My inability to speak fluent sheep dialect has left me unequipped to properly respond to this quote. 
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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