Conformity is the new god in leftist-run America
On Friday, June 5, Aleksandar Katai, a midfield soccer player for the L.A. Galaxy, was fired because of statements that his wife made against the rioting and looting following the death of George Floyd. He apologized for her statements, but he was fired anyway. On Thursday, June 18, Melissa Rolfe, the H.R. director at Equity Prime Mortgage in Atlanta, Georgia, was fired. Apparently she was fired for the crime of being Officer Garret Rolfe's stepmother. Garrett Rolfe was the officer who allegedly shot and killed Rayshard Brooks.
There has been a disturbing development to reject people who do not bow down to the positions of the left. They are fired from their jobs, humiliated, silenced, or pressured to apologize for stating their views. All that is bad enough. Now people are being crucified for the actions and views of their relatives. This is wrong, immoral, and unjust.
People are pressuring others to conform, and the people who are pressured are not standing up for themselves or their loved ones. This is happening because of the inability of most people to think independently. They value conformity and social acceptance more than truth. When did this mental and social dysfunctionality begin?
It is during childhood that a person's foundation for his thought process is established. He has two basic choices. Will he pursue the facts of reality or the social acceptance of others? Choosing popularity instead of reality leads to the mob mentality we are seeing today. The educational approach that is used in schools is highly influential in the choice the child makes.
The approach that has been used in the majority of schools is progressive education. Progressive education is based on the ideas of John Dewey (1849–1952), a social determinist who did not believe in free will and thought that the child's social life forms the basis of his development: "I believe that the social life of the child is the basis of concentration, or correlation, in all his training or growth." Unless there was some social benefit, Dewey viewed the individual pursuit of knowledge as a negative objective and even discouraged it. He did not think objective truth exists: "Quest for certainty that is universal, applying to everything, is a compensatory perversion." Instead, he thought truth is whatever the group believes. Therefore, the school should revolve around social activities rather than learning objective facts.
Because progressive education is a socially based system, peer pressure is often used as a disciplinary measure. Peer pressure is the process whereby a group of people attempt to coerce others to conform to some standard or ideology. Those pressured feel that they must conform in order to be liked or respected. It can be done by one group pressuring outside individuals or by making a group or a few members responsible for what each individual within the group does.
Seeking social acceptance, rather than the facts of reality, is the result of peer pressure and can have a lasting negative impact on a child's life. Because he does not develop his own mind independently, he relies on what other people say is true. He is so dependent on other people that he has no authentic thoughts or convictions of his own, sometimes not even his own likes and dislikes. His priority in life is to be approved by others. Seeking approval is so prevalent that he can become meek and obedient (a people-pleaser), become obsessed with the desire to be admired, or end up trying to control others. A socially based education sets up a child to be a second-hander as an adult. Ayn Rand identified and defined the second-hander as "one who regards the consciousness of other men as superior to his own and to the facts of reality. It is to a [second-hander] that the moral appraisal of himself by others is a primary concern which supersedes truth, facts, reason, logic."
This is the real social injustice — a system of education that generates dependency on others. It is the second-handers pandering to the left. They are unsure of the facts of reality and therefore are unable to withstand the pressure to conform. They are psychologically weak. They are so fearful of social rejection that they are unable to oppose irrationality and to stand up for what is right — that is, if they even know what is right.
Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator and authored Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child's Success and Happiness, Effective Discipline the Montessori Way, and Your Life Belongs to You. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970.