Thursday, May 2, 2013

conformity is selfish

In the face of relentless social pressure, young humans become more selfish, not less. In order to adapt their behavior to meet strict group demands, they learn to see themselves through the eyes of the group and suppress any threatened behaviors because group exlusion is abandonment/death. Group complaints and compliments both reveal expectations. The obsessive, heightened self-watching that results is heightened selfishness. Conformist behavior can be summarized as "self-preservation by self-obsession." The demand for selflessness reveals the selfishness of the demander, who will mask the parochial selfishness of his demands with appeals to universal truth.

In the face of adult expectations, the young have two basic reponses available to them, resistance or submission. To submit is to join the ranks of the selfish. To resist is to make oneself a punching bag. Simply not understanding is a third possibility, I guess, but it hasn't worked out well for bison and whales and apes. In other words, if you can't serve, the humans will likely try to destroy you.

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