So there I was, scrolling through my RSS feeds, when I ran across a little gem of an article from the Epoch Times — you know, the Trump-besotted newspaper run by a literal cult. I was drawn in by the title “We Live in the Era of the New Conformists.”
The article, by Roger L. Simon, didn’t disappoint.
[T]he left and the semi-left, progressives and liberals, masses of them in our country from the corporate world to the media to the academy to entertainment, are the New Conformists.
Well, not completely new, but conformists beyond doubt. Hardly ever an original thought among them.
A forceful argument! But it seems rather … familar. Where have I heard this before?
Social affirmation abounds in these ideological echo chambers. Friends and acquaintances post the same activist Instagram stories and attend the same protests and demonstrations. They might even have the same unique and quirky tattoo. In the realm of collective values, a peculiar phenomenon has occurred: The radical non-conformists have become the greatest conformers, after all. …
If every person and every institution in one’s orbit reinforces the same orthodoxy, are they truly thinking for themselves? Are they really a radical in any meaningful sense of the word?
Good question. Let’s look for answers in yet another Epoch Times article. In it, Rikki Schlott — wait, that’s the same person we just read — declared that in the contemporary world,
Pressure to conform comes from all social and institutional corners, leaving many feeling like thought criminals going along to get along in an age of conformity. When friends, family, and even livelihoods hang in the balance, it often feels as though one has everything to lose.
The Epoch Times isn’t the only publication devoted to this particular narrative. No, in fact, to borrow a line from art critic Harold Rosenberg, there’s a vast herd of independent minds in the conservative press, calling out their ideological enemies as a bunch of conformity-pushing conformists.
There’s the American Thinker blog decrying sef-described progressives for having
effectively killed creativity, rewarded mediocrity and dumbed down our society to maintain control through mandatory, unquestioning conformity.
The Washington Times weighed in with a piece by talk-radio host Tammy Bruce accusing critics of Republican senator Tim Scott and Caitlyn Jenner of offering an “unhinged reaction” to these
two high-profile people refusing to be compliant and conforming, and instead honoring the power of individualism and the American civil rights movements by daring to be themselves, no matter what the mob may demand. …
[T]he bigoted left … expect conformity and insist all Black people, gay people and transgender people think the same. That is what explicitly destroys the power of the individual, and the left reveals their putrid lie every time they condemn someone who acts on their truth.
There’s an anti-mask rant on LewRockwell.com taking aim at, among other things, “crowded cities” for “pil[ing] the Morons atop one another, engendering even more conformity.”
Townhall.com offers an equally strange rant about the Oscars, declaring that
Freedom and creativity are the enemy of the progressive political philosophy, where conformity is required or else. … That’s what Hollywood is now: a conformity factory.
White nationalist site Counter-Currents fumed that
The phrase “Liberal hivemind” is a familiar one. It is, also, unfortunately, the main clue as to why the Left has such crushing control over Western culture. They not only think identically, but they have also put in place a proxy social credit system that can enforce this conformity.
I could multiply examples almost endlessly but I’ll stop with this last one, in which anti-PC propagandist Roger Kimball offered a dire assessment of the world in a piece with the artlessly unsubtle title “Slow Suicide of the West.” He declares,
If being offended is grounds for interdicting speech then the goal is not tolerance, comrade, but conformity. And it is a short step from that realization to a bureaucracy whose primary aim is the enforcement of that conformity.
Kimball, best known as the author of a book-length polemic called Tenured Radicals, has been making this same argument over and over and over again for decades now.
Back then, instead of lambasting “woke conformists” Kimball and his comrades bashed the so-called “politically correct,” who were always supposedly on the verge of destroying higher education forever.
The words may have changed a little but it’s the same old tune. Get some new material, you conformists!
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