There is a Game one must play whether one decides to play or not. Everyone is apart of this struggle. While playing this game, one will meet those who will try to persuade someone to follow his or her own ideas, and the choice is up to that person to decide to follow such ideals. I am posing the question that is it better to play either by the game’s rules or should one become Neo and alter the game to mold to his or her own liking to succeed? For those that know me, I, Anthony “Caliph Knight” Jackson, have always fought for the Ayn Rand Objective way of being one who is a creator, a catalyst, an independent force that is self-sustaining with bountiful ideas on how to defy the odds to become that creator who creates change, and that self-sustaining force that pushes the boundaries to even surpass the boundaries of the game itself to be the proclaimed winner but I feel some what defeated in my quest to be such a force. I found myself deciding for one to play the game one must bend to established rules set in place and become altruistic in my quest to be a creator, self-sustain-er, and catalyst for change. I will pose the question once again in another way which is it better to play either by the game’s rules or should one become Neo and alter the game to mold to his or her own liking to succeed? The answer is we all conform to the rules of the game neither how nonconformist one think one is nor how willed one is; but to conform while maintaining one’s individuality is the true way to conquer set goals. This will be investigated and explained on what is conformity, what is individuality, and exactly how one must walk that fine line to conform but preserve the self before being lost the mob.
First, everyone conforms. “Resistance is futile” to quote the Borg (look it up on whatever search engine that is your liking Star Trek, The Borg). No matter how it is denied, conformity grabs everyone and pins each person to another until the mob is formed. To define conformity it will mean to have a group of 2 or more persons to combine strength in support of a common idea. In other words, people will gather together if they feel the group which is being joined upholds the similar values as each member. This goes into every aspect of life, your life. Even during this article, one will think, I am an individual and have my own mind, but within that you have conformed to a non-conformist line of thinking which still involves conformity because all you that feels this is wrong or I am wrong within what I am saying will band together to speak ill of what I am writing; what a bunch of conformist. Take a moment and break away to expand your mind around the idea that people conform every day to join a mob to be persuaded into doing the biding of what was set in place long before you decided to come along. There are societal norms. You know the façade of politeness roaming to your neighborhood acting as if you are up-standing citizen but in thinking you are an individual have allowed the mob to persuade you to go against your very nature. For instance, you see someone walking around that looks pitiful and sad. Even though you know this person, lets call him Bob, you don’t really want to know how this person is doing, but out of societal conditioning to be insincerely caring, you ask what is wrong with him. Bob has found out that his wife has just left him and he doesn’t know what he is going to do? He asks for you to hang out with him because he just needs a friend. What is that you do? The most obvious thing would be try to respectfully decline but you don’t, why? It is because you have conformed to the invisible and unspoken contract to living in the society which is to be polite. If you really didn’t care just say, I am sorry Bob but I can’t hang out with you. Society conditions how we are supposed to act versus the way we may want to act shows a great example of how we conform.
Another example of conformity goes to simple gestures really. It goes to human’s pack style nature. It is expected of certain gestures to be responded to when given such as just the mere gesture of saying, “Hello.” One could either say these sayings, “What’s Up,” “Wuzz Up,” “What it do,” “How is it going,” or “What’s happening” to name a few and the person would generally respond the same if familiar to these forms of greetings. For instance, in South Korea, learning to read and write English is for the gifted few. The parents are proud to have their children speak to any English speaking foreigner. The child knows technical English speaking behavior but not dialects so if the child addressed you as “Hello. How are you” and if one was to respond with “Same shizzle different dizzle,” it would completely throw the child for a loop. He or she would not know how to respond. I use this example because even in America we are condition to respond and once a gain it goes to societal acceptance. Would you where a Tuxedo or cutoff T-shirt with cutoff denims to a job interview? No. You would wear a normal suit or shirt and tie and we all know about the tattoo issue; they must be covered. To take it to the extreme would be that during the age of Plato in Greece, being sexually active with young boys was indeed the norm. It was like having your own blow up doll that needed to breathe and eat. He was your apprentice, lover, and friend much like Obi wan and Luke Skywalker. This behavior now is frowned upon because conformity has made it so and not that I disagree with it either because I think this practice was disgusting and overall perverted. My final example would be not less than 75 years ago, to call a black person by the names of Spook, Nigger, Jig-a-boo, slick and colored were all forms of cultural acceptance but once again through change and strength in conformity this was changed. Through time conformity will happen no matter what new society, culture, fad, or traditions arise, people and you will conform.
Second, some will become an individual. The reason why I said some is due to the weak-willed lumps of flesh walking around taking up space, breathing and using up precious resources that those who have obtained a sense of self, meaning “I,” will not rise above the individual who thinks and acts on their own behalf. Those that achieve this are not easily led automatons, who are told what music and CD’s are hot to buy and are not influenced by societal norms and acceptances that plague those who conform. These are those individuals who may not receive the credit for creating and starting trends that the automatons follow but are merely emulated within actions. An individual is someone who stands out from the flock and able to think, act, move upon one’s own behalf without having to be told how high to jump because they just do it. This individual lives up to the one’s own standards of living and in pursuit of happiness for his or herself. It is not done based on what magazines they have read. Not on the society saying “You are too fat or skinny” and definitely not seeking praise for doing the right thing and relish in the fact that it is the right thing to do. Ayn Rand would use this example as the ideal man, but do the political (societal) correctness, I will say ideal person. This person will create with an original swagger and stand against those that threaten to apply conformative pressure to join to have those that could not create by their own mind and hands to thrive off the individual’s work. Ayn Rand wrote in The Fountainhead that an idea belongs to solely to the creator not anyone else. The initiator or creator which is the individual has such ideas and give them to the world but still is the sole ownership of that creator. Think of it this way, why is there copyrights and other laws prohibiting others from taking ones’ creativity and calling it their own because that idea is an extension of the individual itself. No one shall stake claim to someone else’s property. That is an act of thievery which in the conformed society’s pack states that is wrong because the mob was created by individuals that want a place for individuals to perform and thrive an now we live in a society where being unique, different is looked down upon. Being apart of the mob is now what has cast this one great nation into the degradation it now faces. Individualism has been replaced with mobbism, brown-nosery, that achieves nothing but a pat on the back for what the creativeness of the individual. For example, Vanilla Ice sampled the rock legend group, Queen, song “Under Pressure” and fought tooth and nail that it was different. Ice’s explained that his producers added an extra note to make it different from the original when it was just a bad loop job. Granted, we all jammed the song, “Ice Ice Baby” but musically the originality was stolen from Queen. Another music example is that in the beginning of most musicians, rappers, or artist lose their creativeness to appeal to the mob to try to maintain a certain stature, but what had the adoration of the fan was the individuality of the artist until it became corrupted by the corporate swine that has killed every genre of music that ever existed.
Another way a true individual rise from the ashes of conformity is by just being a beacon for oneself. To live as one see fit and to make one self happy is the true way to be an individual. Even in the Bible, Jesus mentioned that it shall be you who shall seek salvation and the individual will find it. The individual live by a different set of rules and possess a different view of the world than the conformer. The conformer is bounded by what is good for the group where the individual thinks of one self and produces jubilation that it is only special to the individual. The necessity of conformity or the necessary rules society are mere guidelines to the individual whether positive or negative. All the negative influences provide fuel for the individual’s hunger to succeed. You know the sayings, “you wont ever be anything,” “You wont ever make it,” and “You a better chance of making it through hell with gasoline soaked underwear on than achieving success,” which these are sayings by the control of conformity trying to corral the few that can truly taste freedom. The individual with a freed mind is the creator that creates and builds empires. Years ago, the phrase “Made in America” meant it was the best. It carried authority before it was diminished by the onslaught of conformity (globalization). Having American pride was the ideal to make this country the best but now with diplomacy and relationships with other countries or shall I say conforming to this global civilization has slowing picked apart the best things about this country. All that is left with this country are fat, lazy, hypocrites who love Wal-Mart. To possess pride and ethics about what one does was what made being an American great. If you look at the action heroes, to be an individual is what they stand for. There is John “The Duke” Wayne, Rocky, Marion Cobretti, Steven Segal, Daniel Laruso, Howard Roarke, Will Hunting, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and that is just to name a few all have this I walk to my beat and live myself attitude. The essences of being individual is represented each the names and the old American ideal.
Now that the two sides have been properly represented, it is time to revisit the old question: can one be a creator by conforming? The answer is that we all conform which conformity is a bad thing if the fine line is crossed to a mob-like mentality fueled by easily lead automatons; and the other portion is that the conformed group will obtain like minded individuals fueled be the desire to live and pursue his or her own happiness in a conjoined effort and belief within a common purpose. The individual is the creator. There is no difference despite what some think between creator and individual. You can be a creator and an individual but being a creator does not lend itself to being one who comes up with an idea, but can help organize, facilitate and build the foundation to make the idea materialize. Each area is needed within the idea’s formation. Each valid addition with the individualistic honor and pride within one self and work will help accomplish the idea while complementing their skills to the initiator. The initiator is the compelled leader of this faction which as conformed to the idea of completed set goals while making sure the needs the followers are met. Therefore this formation is creating a symbiotic relationship that is accomplishing the greater good. This is how an individual can be a creator while conforming. This is how individuals ban together for a common good. There are examples of this all over in society: Police Force, Fire Fighters, Medical Practice, Science, Religion – oh yes, I said religion, and much more. It took individuals to build this nation and it will take individuals to make it great once more. This also follows suit with the music and entertainment industry and any other organization. Think of this hierarchy in this manner, there is the architect who designs the building, there is the steel works to create the metal beams, the one who lands concrete for the foundation and so on and so on but each of these valuable pieces plays an important role on how the society is made and built.
There is that fine line and a middle ground which must be set and a balance kept. A union such as this will attract those automatons, waste of skin and resources which are detrimental to any pure union. You see in marriages. A good husband cheats on his loving wife and vice versa does this do to the implanting of seeds by a leech that thrives on debilitating the life force of a pure union. These succubuses survive on killing such a proper union and making sure nothing reaches its proper beacon which indirectly becomes a pillar which stands as an example for what to be. As in creating a great CD, there must be the artist with the idea. Then comes the team for designing the album cover, tracks/music, artist with the lyrics, the people that support and promote the artist and the list continues but all these individuals must believe in the artist and do the best possible work help the artist create some different. I feel a true artist should give you goose bumps do the unknown that the artist creates within you which in turn leaves you to wonder what the artist will create next; but once the artist loses his or her luster and thus the artist cease to create and wow the fan then it is all lost. That career is dead. The only thing left is the artist’s pride and hunger to regain that individuality and if not then the artist is truly dead.
In conclusion, there is a game that we must play whether we decide to play or not. Either way it turns out the game will continue and it will be ran by conforming individuals or gathering sheep that that are destined to be sheared. There is a supreme difference in conforming and mobbing. The conforming society is a hierarchy of functional units made up of individual believing in a one particular unit. It shall be confusing because the latter wears an identical façade but are not lead by individuals but sheep whose identity that has been consumed by this hydra. Despite how being an individual is presented, isolationism is not the way to get things done. It is how it begins but not how it shall end. In the end, those that will believe in freedom will join forces to carry on this idea being absorbed into this beautiful beacon which will lead others out of the shadow of doubt into the light of prosperity. I know it was cheesy but then again its almost five in the morning and running on fumes. I am the prime example as well as other who has come to understand this that conformity is a word of slander like calling a liberal a socialist or Plato a child molester. I began my journey upholding the ideas of being “I” before all else and forsake conformity and bypassing those that could help me achieve what I have always wanted; now I understand that those who want to join my crusade was not welcomed. Just as Malcolm X was invited to speak at an all white college and a student asked that how can someone who is not a bigot and sensitive to civil rights move do to help and Malcolm’s response was nothing. It was not until his journey to Mecca where he was enlightened and began to accept the help of whites to get his message across; even if they could not join his new group because there must be black unity before black and white unity. I sit here explain about how I now can see that building something with others that believe big idea or greater good of that idea is the way to broaden the message, to brighten the light, so the ships at see can find their way home to people of like minds and bodies.