Conformist revolution

It is incredibly difficult for any one person to faithfully understand any other one person.

Things get harder for any group of people to agree on anything near a faithful understanding of one person, not least of which this entails the persons in the group understanding one another enough to agree.

It becomes easier if a group only attempts to understand the commonalities of persons in another group, which, of course means that the most elusive aspects that make persons within the group real persons, and not abstractions of people. This is how people are conceived in the public realm: impersonally.


Existentialists spoke of people who wanted precisely to avoid faithful understandings of themselves, who wanted to deal with themselves impersonally. They perform the public abstraction of their self.


In stable times conformists act out compliance. In stultifyingly stable times rebellion is a difficult, daring, necessary — and rare — act of defiant individuality.

In decadent times, the paradox of the conformist rebel appears. The conformist rebel imitates rebellious rebels from the past, and finds easy acceptance for doing so — receiving approval from authorities and peers, or even pats on the head or given special status, treats or rewards. The self-dissatisfied, self-alienated collectivity is trying to lose itself in its collective performance. When each player does their part the whole story feels like reality itself to all absorbed in the performance. When someone refuses to play along, the immersive illusion is threatened. One person bravely standing up to a majority that sees itself as taking a brave stand raises the question of who is courageous? Who is speaking their conscience and who is just going along with what everyone knows and how things are?


If it is easy, it is not rebellion.

If there is no shame or doubt, there is nothing to be proud of.

If you are thanked, you are not doing the thankless work of independent thought.

2 thoughts on “Conformist revolution

  1. Excellently said! “If you are thanked, you are not doing the thankless work of independent thought.” If corporations are backing you, you have to understand, you are not thinking independently….

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