Essay No. 292:
Conform And Be Dull: The word conform means to be of the same form. It is rightly said that conformism is the gaoler of intellectual freedom. In a society, where people are made to think in certain common terms, there conformism flourishes.
This happens in case of totalitarian societies, where it is a sin to depart from common way of thinking. A dictator plays havoc with the initiative and dependence of people. He tries to erode the initiative and independence of judgment. He offers conformism as an ideology to the people.
Those who differ with the policies of the dictator have to suffer immensely. Some can be guillotined for their outspokenness. Conformism is thus a means to arrest human independence.it suits totalitarian regimes. People in such regimes are like cogs or machines devoid of independent thinking.
Conformism clamps dullness on man as it aims at wresting resourcefulness, initiative from the people at large. Life under a totalitarian regime is dull as people are made to behave or think alike. Conformism is thus as death-knell to creatively or human initiative.
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A free democratic regime unleashes the creative energies of people for smoothing the way to progress and development. Conformism clogs up the channels of creativity and human initiative. It is a big anti-progress force. Human beings must show dissent to facilitate new channels of thinking, which could open up new vistas to progress.
Conformism is tantamount to treading a beaten path. Traditional societies are given to conformist thinking in terms of religion and customs. If anyone has the cheek to come out with a different rational mode of thinking, he is least tolerated in conformist societies.
He has to face a lot of opposition from the members of societies given to conventional conformist way of thinking. Such societies flounder in the mire of status quo and cannot make headway in any progressive direction of life. When these societies are exposed to new social economic forces, the hold of conformism is loosened.
Hence the best way is to bring these societies within the grip of enlightenment through progressive education and social economic transformation. Conformism promotes dullness, mental sloth and many other vices. It must be avoided as far as possible in human affairs.