Originating from Walter Lippman's commentating on mass culture, the 'bewildered herd' is the masses that are tamed through propaganda and mass media in order that the machine of democracy is kept properly oiled.

The bewildered masses must be subdued, tamed, and injected with the popular opinion of the upper class of politicians, heads of corporations, and all others belonging to the elite class of intellectuals and wealthy, in order to govern a nation and circumvent any defect in democracy.
The single function of the bewildered masses is to be spectators, not participants, in a democratic nation.
The bewildered masses give their power to a benevolent overlord who makes decisions (apparently) for the good of them all.
by chjangounchained October 19, 2016