The Tyranny of Conformity

"Conformity" implies a very interesting notion! It’s one of those concepts that can serve many topics and make them seem flawed and perfect, both at the same time! "Conformity" keeps provoking controversy and divisiveness. There are lectures that speak about "Conformity Controversy" where the argument is that: conforming to personal values holds merit — but social conformity, well, complicated!

Those who benefit most from normalcy and routine are naturally the most interested in stagnation, and they always try to seek allies in the traditional and established arrangements. Sometimes conformity is because of lack of courage. Many people suppress their ideas, hopes, and dreams because they’re afraid to stand out and draw attention to themselves. Conformity always includes a threat of punishment if you fail to fit in, whether it comes from ridicule, being ignored by others, or direct confrontation.

In today’s society, mainstream and pop culture are the forces of conformity. These elements vehemently spread and defend the notion of "more is better" — whether "more" means more money, greater power, or better social status. Being who and what you are is the most natural thing there is. To suppress it, whether through fear, yielding to social norms, or lack of confidence in your own ability always leads to trouble. That’s why millions of people today lead lives of frustration and desperation. They denied who they are in the hope that they would be rewarded by conforming to cushy social routines. Unexpectedly, their reward was mediocrity, depression and a nagging sense of hopelessness.

In such environment, a subgroup of conformists rebel out here and there – and want to be different. They call themselves non-conformists but they are just maladjusted to status quo. Outstanding thinkers and intellectuals are alike in two things: they’re usually non-conformists on an epic scale, and they display a deep trust in the basic goodness, intelligence, and capacity for development of their fellow human beings.

In my view, conformity implies a fundamental mistrust of others. I believe there’s a more fundamental power behind the urgency with which authoritarian popularity seeks to suppress individuality. That power is lack of trust.

" … For as long as humans have existed, non-conformists have had a rough time! Society seems to need and fear non-conformists in equal measure. The forces of the status quo have always been strong. So when society forces you into a bland or acceptable mold, you naturally turn elsewhere to find an outlet to maintain your own uniqueness. For a very tiny group, that’s what matters most! Only those with the courage openly to live their dreams can ever hope to find lasting satisfaction with their lives. After all, mediocrity and inner frustration are the true price of conforming … "

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