The destructive hierarchy of modern individualism

Stefan Delipoglou

As humans, we naturally view ideologies that don’t coincide with our own as false. Though common sense would dictate that discrimination against groups of differing traditions is wrong, history does little to support this. If someone were to leave society for an extended period of time and adopt habits that are uncommon to us, we are naturally bound to find fault with this. However, does this necessarily make it wrong?

Christopher Knight, who lived in isolation for 27 years, was arrested for stealing food from nearby summer camps, seemingly for the sole purpose of survival. Knight pleaded guilty to burglary/theft in an effort to stay out of jail, yet he still received mandatory mental health counseling.

Why is it that society has deemed this individual sick? If a singular “thing,” be it philosophy, person or practice doesn’t conform to society, then we do what we can to toss them in the trash. The court decided that this individual needed to be rehabilitated “to ensure a successful return to the community.” Not unlike immigrants in a foreign country, they have experienced the stares, condescending laughs and subsequent mocking from the native speakers of a misunderstood language. However, they are not alone in being judged by the majority. Even within our own culture, we face the same mocking and jeering as certain stigma we are trained to look down on.

America has always been stiff-necked towards individuals and to maintain this, leaders of today are targeting the nation’s youth to prevent them from diversifying. As seen in the music industry, musical talent has stagnated, as repetitive and similar songs fill the ears of the youth. Through this, the newer generation has identified a sort of societal nirvana, a place we should all aspire to reach. The outcasts, unfortunately, are looked down upon. For those who are unable to reach this place – be it money, mentality or looks – this is an unfair reality that they feel cannot be stopped.

In reality, it can be stopped, yet people are too afraid to take the initiative to change something, especially when facing a challenge alone. The curse of our society is the uncanny ability to force others into a corner or hierarchy, and while doing so, we become too busy to notice our own feet walking towards the same corner.

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