A Proud Intellectual: A Tale of Strange Conformism

Conformism is a weird and tragic beast.

“It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.” ~Einstein

I wrote this story out of frustration. I tried to discuss the current situation with some of my goodhearted, well-educated friends. You probably know the conversation… yeah, that one. It made me (first scream, and then) wonder about conformism, courage, and the mystery of life.

Conformism is a weird and tragic beast.

A part of me is compassionate, a part of me is mad, and a part of me just wants to cry into the skies about why human destiny is so strange.

I know conformism! As a kid in Moscow, I was an aspiring conformist. I was in need of love, and I was trying to earn it with obeying the rules and pleasing the adults. It was a lonely time. The adults were broken—but they had the power. Praise for performance was the only currency of love I knew. Then, as a teenager, I rebelled against everything—which felt amazing—but it seems like my rebellion was making those around me sad. Out of guilt and fear, I tried obedience again, so as not to be an a**hole. But then life showed me the face of the machine and put me through a very cruel experience that cleared up my head. After that, I couldn’t become compliant even if I wanted to, my thinking just didn’t bend that way.

So my theory is that when aspiring conformists—who look for love in any form—grow up without seeing the face of the machine, they remain compliant. The establishment rewards the act of betraying one’s inner child—and because it promotes self-betrayal through formal education, academics can become messenger viruses of spiritual defeat and blinding pride.

After all, an abstract thinker is a “leader.” And a peasant is, well, a peasant.

So this story is my frustrated inner peasant’s dive into what seems to be the collective psyche of a proud intellectual.

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Wear your mask.
Social distance.
Don’t dare ask.
Stop resistance.

This is a fact.
I am Science.
Instincts: Hijacked.
Need: Compliance.

I am a Systemic Thinker and a member of the educated class, no humble peasant. I am important.

The peasants, they do things with their hands, it’s sweet—but I have received an important education in important things, and the fact that I don’t trust anything irrational only proves that I am important. And smart.

I am smart because I am fluent in the language of the echo chamber of those who are important! Therefore, my role is to lead and guide the peasants. It’s a useful role.

On the inside, I like to feel important, it’s existential. I like to matter! I prefer it when the world is described in a way that amplifies my cognitive design and makes my language more important than the language of the peasants.

Overall, the abstract and the systemic are better methods than the so called “instincts.”

If instincts were important, the world would be irrational, and I would have no way to claim that I understand it or am qualified to lead. I would have to develop the feeling of being accountable to the Big Mystery, to be humble, to pray to the things I don’t understand, to be in a place of vulnerability… what a horrible world this would be. I have a gift of logical analysis, I am trained and certified! So I’d rather they just let me write the definitions. I am good at that.

Only the things I accept exist. Everything else is imaginary, and only silly people believe in imaginary things.

And yes, I co-own the superior language of the important people—because I am qualified. The peasants, they are not as logical as me, and they don’t have the training or the intellectual capacity to get it. So they should simply follow. Their so called “instincts” are constantly misleading them away from my rational, clean vision of the world—because they are not as qualified to think—and their refusal to cooperate with my methodology and systemic vision is extremely annoying. Poor things though, they should really read less fake news.

Don’t talk to me about your theories and hunches. I am not sure about them, and therefore, they are not important.

Except … at night … when I am naked, I cry and try to find the missing piece … and then I wake up—and the world makes sense again.

And I recite:

Wear your mask.
Social distance.
Don’t dare ask.
Stop resistance.

I am your brain.
I am science.
Get on the train.
Need: compliance.

I’ll end this story with an open question.

What if the proud intellectual is a child of yesterday who wasn’t understood, and his attempts to be superior are simply cries for love and recognition—stifled by a cocktail of thinking habits? What if we “see” the children of today and acknowledge their spiritual sovereignty and importance of their gifts? Will it make the future sweeter?

What an ambitious thought in a world where we are conditioned to subconsciously treat other people as potential biohazards…

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