The Cult of Anti-Individualism
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity. —Bill Vaughan
The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself. —Rita Mae Brown
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. —John F. Kennedy
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
This little essay is the result of a duende or inspiration that suddenly arose in my mind while doing walking meditation out back one evening a few months ago. I already did a half-baked video on the subject as a guest on the Brian Ruhe Show, but am just now getting around to writing a three-quarters-baked essay on it.
When I was a youth, a mere pimply-assed adolescent, the political left in America was considered to be the side of the individualists. It was predominantly the left which welcomed and encouraged free thinkers, oddballs, the intellectual and artistic avant-garde, and of course radicals with wild, fringe ideas. The political right in those days consisted mainly of conservatives, mainstream normies in rural areas and the suburbs, with some rich money-grubbing types in the cities…who were also mainstream normies of a sort, conformists to some kind of European and more or less Christian western traditionalism. (The Buddhists were, and still are, mostly on the left, largely because conservative traditionalism favors the ancestral religious/spiritual tradition, namely Christianity.) So the right wing not so long ago consisted of utterly boringly conformist lookalikes of Ward and June Cleaver. Well, this may not have been the true situation and may be a grotesque oversimplification, but that is the situation that I perceived when I was younger, and no doubt many others did also. That was the stereotype, at least among leftists, of whom I was one, more or less, long ago.
But this stereotype no longer fits the political reality of our current situation, even if it was valid at one time. As a rule, the left no longer represents free spirits and individualists; in fact it has degenerated into little more than a narrow-minded and intolerant cult that has driven free-thinking individualist Independents towards the right—or rather the new left has left them behind as it lurches further and further towards extreme leftism in an out-of-control compulsion to “virtue signal,” with “virtue” essentially being just aspects of spiritually bankrupt neo-Marxism.
Well, all right, so I will allow that there is SOME deviation from total conformity on the new left. But the nonconformity is with regard to peripheral lifestyle issues, literally issues on the periphery of western culture, like sexual deviations, or simple matters of tattoos and artificial hair colors (because it’s in style to have certain types of token free choices). On the other hand, the leftist conformity with regard to mainstream issues like politics and public discourse is becoming narrower and narrower and more and more mandatory, with draconian enforcement by hysterical mobs, on the Internet and sometimes in real life. A person’s life can be destroyed now by cultural Marxist Karens for some slightly politically incorrect statement made decades previously, long before it was even politically incorrect to say it. This mandatory conformity is to a new leftist world view in which the people who created western civilization—arguably the greatest civilization the earth has seen in many respects—are villains, and the civilization itself is viewed as inherently evil, presumably more so than, say, that of Huns, Mongols, Aztecs, or 20th century Marxists.
All this is pretty obvious really, or should be. The inspiration I experienced while walking outside is this next part: The divas of the new left—the glittering “wokerati,” the people who seem so diverse with regard to the bizarre clothes they wear and the other, eh, peripheral lifestyle choices—like the sanctimonious degenerates of the entertainment industry (which includes many professional athletes and most “journalists” at this point), for example the decadents who honored themselves at the recent Academy Awards ceremony (which almost nobody bothered to watch)…these people are emphatically not individualists. They are not free thinkers, if they bother to think at all. They are not even trying to be free-spirited individuals so much as they are slavishly, fearfully, obediently trying to live up to the leftist/globalist conformist cultural ideal, and excel at that conformity. They want to be more conformist, spectacularly so, than their peers, let alone the benighted normies who still respect them. They are terrified of being individuals. It is as though they are trying to personify the Ideal Progressive in Plato’s heaven. They may look more glamorous and sparkly and superficially perfect than most do outwardly, but inwardly they are compelled to ape quasi-religiously whatever political correctness hysteria is in fashion and demanded, like everyone else in their peer group, partly out of fear.
This is all presumably in accord with equity, or a strangely idealized version of it, somewhat like the Caesars of Rome being “first among equals”—the glittering public elite are each trying to be first among equals by being the most perfectly, glamorously, gloriously politically correct of them all. (An odd idea: why shouldn’t we all be President? That would be true equity. Maybe everyone should win an Oscar too, or at least everyone who isn’t a white male.)
True individualists are now on the libertarian or even the fascist right. Individualism allows for excellence, and also class stratification, even if only on a continuum without officially recognized castes or classes. The strong prosper and the weak fall by the wayside, as is natural; and this success of the well-adapted and failure of the ill-adapted is what fuels evolution and the true progress of any living system. True progress is not brought about by predetermined decree, by installed figurehead politicians or hysterical mobs; it is brought about by true diversity and non-equity with regard to ideas and the fulfillment of those ideas.
My concession to leftism at this point is that the weak should not be allowed to fail totally and freeze to death, or starve to death, or die of some easily curable disease, but should be cared for by compassionate people…preferably private charities, not by Big Sister in an authoritarian nanny state. However, if the government supports a person’s life, so that the person is taking more than he or she is giving to the system, then that person should have no right to vote or participate in democratic government (whether they should be allowed to have children is a different matter), because democracy and prosperity die when the non-productive rabble realize they can vote for free stuff, and unscrupulous demagogues encourage them to do just that to serve their own unscrupulous purposes—essentially gaining and maintaining power by tossing handouts to rabble at the expense of the productive, or at least promising to do so.
The Neo-Marxist left, like the old Marxist left, enforces a kind of socialism of thought, a repressive collectivism of ideas. Any true individualist may be a threat to the system because he will think for himself instead of eating with a spoon whatever the corporate globalist establishment propagandists see fit to feed him (to further their own purposes, of course). It is a socialism not only of economics but of belief, with the State intended as the atheistic substitute for God or The Good, and hysterical black activists and Jewish feminists composing the new revealed Gospel. With whiteness of course being the new original sin for which civilization in the west, such as it is, is to be atoned.
It may really have been the left when I was young saying your mind should be free, but now it is certainly the right, due to this astonishing equity of conformity and belief. Equality is fine, but equity is mandatory mediocrity, in body, mind, and spirit.
|the glittery pseudo-individualist look of the new moral supremacists|