February 9, 2021 New essay in Tablet Magazine on conformity
Here is a link to a new piece I have in Tablet Magazine. It’s on conformity. I am indebted to Tablet’s editors for helping me get the ideas across.
I hope the piece will encourage some to be a bit more tolerant of ideas that are now considered taboo, and maybe to speak their minds a bit more audaciously too.
As I wrote in that piece, a childhood and early adulthood in that community has taught me a lot about the dangers of conformity. I think it has three important properties: conformity pretends to be virtuous, that it is toxic in high doses, and that high doses are reached when people go along with trends out of ignorance and self interest.
I am so concerned by where things are going. Everywhere I read, I see so much shaming and groupthink and bad faith misrepresentation of the other side. These things have consequences. They might feel benign at first, but it’s a noose and it gets tighter with time. It gets really ugly. I wish the public understood the dangers. Only if enough people resist conformity can the world remain colorful and open. Small acts of courage can amount to bigger things when there are enough of us.
Conforming to Individualism [podcast]