August 20, 2002
"Mindless rebellion is just another kind of slavery"

Is the anti-conformist really more of an individual than the conformist? I think not. The anti-conformist prides himself on not being a slave of trends. But instead, he is a slave to anti-trends: he must not do whatever is currently popular. Thus, he is little different than a conformist, he cannot think for himself.

This does not means we should not be skeptical of mainstream ideas or behaviors, or that the principled rejection of them is uniformly bad. Instead I only wish to point out that the uninformed rejection of ideas because of their source can be counterproductive to one's aims. Overuse of the word "never," it may get you into trouble by taking away important options.

A common manifestation of this problem is overcompensation: the parent, eg, who says "I'll never be like my parents!" and in the process is far worse. We may now have a president who tries a bit too hard to not be like his dad, distorting his policy decisions. Or think of the nihilistic Berkeley activists, who would seem to oppose anything anyone with power would attempt to implement, regardless of their merits.

Being able to make your own judgements highly desirable -- I will write more on this later. Just be careful: rejecting the judgements of others does not necessarily mean that you have judged for yourself.

Posted by ethan at August 20, 2002 10:47 PM
Comments

This should be required reading for all Berkely students on the run-away train named "Protest". In other words, "I agree, dude."

Posted by: AO on August 20, 2002 6:52 AM

Commenting on comments about mindless rebellion is just another form of commenting, really. That is to say, therewith, that the unreflected presupposition of meritless retort will never stand on its own two legs. Chip and a putt, really.

Posted by: CWRW on August 31, 2002 9:06 AM

Stop everything and start writing
bogus poetry.

Closer inspection revealing
Time's granules announcing
Distinctly, shrieking. Wordless,
Moon, neon-lapped
River urging
Fear unreasonable;
They faithfully slip
Away in elaborate
Dance.

Posted by: Grasshopper on September 24, 2002 9:02 AM

i agree to an extent, but i, being a TRUE anti conforminst do not conform to trends or antitrends i do whatever i like and dont care what others think.

Posted by: andrew on January 18, 2003 5:35 PM

Sorry, but I think you're full of crap. Anti-conformist are not uninformed thinkers, they are informed thinkers. Until you wonder off of the usual 'American' road, you are the one who is uninformed. Try studying another language or culture. Then you'll start thinking for yourself.

Posted by: Miles on January 30, 2003 5:40 AM

The only true way of becoming an anti-conformist is to indulge your mind in things that you find strange and disturbing. Make yourself the most bizarre person you can possibly be. Make a monster out of yourself... only then will you know what your mind is truly capable of, and how small and insignificant everything else seems once you have subjected yourself to the kind of shock that I am talking about. I have started from complete silence. Anything else that could make an impact on me, even if it was an impact that I didnt like. Do things for the sake of experience. Laugh at ultra-violence. Hit yourself in the face if you have to, and if it doesn't work, then hit yourself again. Be unpredictable, enigmatic... be everything that you thought was reserved for those strange thoughts that haunt you sometimes... the ones that you so desperately try to get rid of. Last of all, dont be afraid of people... I know I am and that is why I will never be as powerful as someone who can laugh in anothers face.

Posted by: Jacob on February 6, 2003 8:47 PM

i don't know what's wrong with jacob above, but my thoughts are that there are two kinds of people that don't conform:

A) the "anti-conformist" who does whatever the opposite of whatever everyone else is doing ( not a true individual ) ,

B) one who doesn't label themself as anything like "conformist" , "anti-conformist"..etc... instead, that person makes informed choices on each aspect of life that the mainstream tends to follow and decides whether he agrees and will follow those same ideas or he doesn't agree and will chose to follow something different. A true individual is not an "anti-conformist", but instead is "just himself" reguardless of what others might or might not do/think.

Posted by: joe on June 16, 2003 8:59 PM

The mind is an ENORMOUS connections of nuerons and we should connect ..expand ..connect. Calling yourself an anit-conformist is bad labeling. I like to use it against the grain in times of need though. We should all indulge in a little anti-conformity time to time. Don't grow sheep hair will ya,.

Also, mainstream trends suck ,but they are good too. Its a positive collector for us real creative individuals who make the real things institutionalize.

Posted by: eric on July 8, 2003 5:16 PM
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