Republished from the original Sydney Media Jam blog.
If you can’t even survive an encounter with the need to have your own opinion, are you alive at all? If so, why? If you can’t stand on your own two feet without “peer group approval” why do you bother existing? That’s conformity at its most dictatorial, and it’s everywhere.
Check out mob rule in the States at the moment. A collection of yes-nobodies, agreeing with everything. They even agree to have their own health care slashed to bits, in one of the most expensive countries in the world for health care. Presidential candidates roll over after public denigration of themselves and their families by the Head Yes-Jerk.
Conformity is REAL tyranny. It’s thinly disguised as “everyone does it”, and it’s been a disaster for anyone and anything who’s ever gone along with it. It exists in religions, politics, and those weird little groups of truly insane people who assume their superiority over all others – Because someone else told them they’re superior.
You see it in academia; the ferocious hiding behind ancient theories. In business, the non-existent “corporate ethos”, (aka hate your employees, your customers, and anyone who makes less than you do), is the norm.
It even applies to puberty. Check out the expression “friend zone”, which means a no score, usually for guys. That’s bad – You can’t have a relationship, apparently, without some not-very-surprising ulterior sexual motive. (You fiend, you.)
Behaviourism is an enabler of conformity. “This is normal behaviour”, according to someone. Therefore everything else is abnormal. Friendship is a case in point. At one stage, back in the 90s, I think, every relationship HAD to be sexual, otherwise nobody could think of a motive for friendship.
People assume behavioural norms like corn flakes. Some buffoon in a position of authority is assumed to have all the skills, expertise, and leadership to be in authority. There’s no reason for this assumption. The guy’s a fool, petty, and very small-minded, but somehow attains this mystique, mainly because he’s called a manager, not an office boy.
If earning respect was money, this guy could never afford to blow his own nose. There are millions of them, mismanaging everything around them because they don’t even know their own jobs.
Women get by far the worst of this conformist crap. You’re strong, independent, empowered… And you get told how to act. You get told who to be, even. How to be respected, how to be sexy, how to live the 1950s suburban dream, in fact, with a few new buzzwords. Cue the Flintstones.
Fortunately, most genuinely strong, independent women ignore this crap relentlessly. Otherwise humanity would be even more of a global doormat than it is now.
Arguably, the most damning, and rightly so, expression of conformity at its helpless worst is “Fear of Being Different”. The link is to Harvard Business Review, and it’s a brief, if nauseating, read, even despite the polite phraseology. Check out in particular the “motherhood penalty”; an indictment of a failed culture enforcing failure.
And lastly, because this is a repulsive subject, and doesn’t’ deserve more than acknowledgement of the obvious:
The ultimate conformist is the hypocrite/sycophant. This is a parasitic life form, conforming to EVERYTHING around it. It can’t live without the support of others. It makes money agreeing with everything, even total contradictions. This conformist animal has no personality, no substance, and has usually been that way since day care.
The conformist, in fact, is a total failure as a person, because they can’t be a real person in ANY sense. That’s about as dead as you can get.