The Paretto Principle states that "For many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes", which is valid in many realms. Versions include "Twenty percent of any group do 80% of the work", and "Twenty percent of customers (or sales force) produce 80% of business activity."
However, in modern times, the numbers have shifted.
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The American Revolution of 1775 to 1783 was not a popular war. The active revolutionary colonists on one side were about 25% of the population; the Tories on the other side wanted King George to prevail. The sheeple in the middle tried to avoid engagement with either side: they had crops to raise and kine to tend and commodities were scarce and whale oil for their lamps cost too darnn much. They would rather just be left alone.
In politics, one side is progressive, which means to work for the betterment of all. On the other side are the regressives and the repressives. Each side is roughly one quarter, and the fifty percent in the middle are the sheeple.
The sheeple do whatever they are told to do, by advertising or by community pressure, and generally have a tough life, one with too much work to do and never enough time.
The warmongers are on one side. Warmongers start wars because that is their reason for existence. On the other side are the peacemakers; their work is to stop wars. The sheeple in the middle take the brunt of military carnage, including cannon-fodder funerals in the heartland and in the barrio.
The top fourth of taxpayers own 90% of everything. The bottom quarter non-taxpayers all own nothing. The Middle Class 40% below the Wealthy Class are losing net worth, working harder and are paid with a shrunken dollar, while their benefits disappear like mountaintops in West Virginia.
Religious fanatics are on one side, and individuals who value Reason are on the other. The sheeple in the middle live in a soap opera of their own making.
Dogmatists are on one side, those who believe in and obey some magical system. But the situation is worsened because they also require that everybody obey their brand of subservience. The other side are free spirits, exercising Free Will, high on the Maslow Pyramid, acting for the good of all, based in their basic trust of the goodness in themselves (if not of the opposing dogmatists).
The sheeple in the middle careen from false solution to false solution, hoping for rest or respite, and seldom see marvelous happenings as their future. They struggle to survive, never having the sense that they are 'over the hump', and end their lives having missed out on just about everything.
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The progressives are too nice for their own good, thinking that if they just try a little harder, they can tip the balance of the Class War in favor of a better life. But the sheeple are in the middle, a mass of unconscious prey to the machinations of the regressive side.
The sheeple surrender control to whoever makes them afraid, which is the regressive side the fascists, the fundamentalists, the racists, the fearmongers of all stripes, and their propaganda networks bombarding young and old 24/7 with hate, fear, and sleaze.
The regressives know well and use the moves of Machiavelli, the tactics of Hitler and Goebbels, and the recent strategies of Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, and Karl 'T*rdblossom' Rove.
The future of America, and the World, will be determined by whether the sheeple are blinded by fear for fear's sake, or whether some new paradigm can be instilled in the culture, where ¬in the meek sheeple actually find a backbone and stand up to the machinery designed to make them afraid.
Whoever is making you afraid, for whatever purpose or agenda, the fact that they want to make you afraid, that they work hard to make you afraid, should instead make you angry.
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The Paretto Principle has its uses, but does not apply to grand scheme-y things such as the Perpetual Class War, nor the Battle Between Good and Evil.
The Principle of Two Quartersis officially stated thus:
"In any conflict, the side that is for progress is about 25% of the population; the side that opposes progress is about 25% of the population; and in the middle are the sheeple."