OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Today I came across a post by a social commentator named Zuby. He compiled a list titled “20 Things I’ve Learned (Or Had Confirmed) About Humanity During The “Pandemic.”
20 Things I’ve Learned (Or Had Confirmed) About Humanity During The ‘Pandemic’ (THREAD):
1/ Most people would rather be in the majority, than be right.
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) July 5, 2021
The past year and a half have been incredibly enlightening about what our society has become. I’ve contemplated what I’ve learned about who we are now, and the realizations I’ve come to are not encouraging.
Inspired by Zuby’s thoughts, I’ve compiled my own similar list of things I’ve learned about our current society. The following reflects part one of my list.
- Many people would rather be in the perceived majority than be right.
I say “perceived majority” because this last year has also shown me that a very small number of radicals can make so much noise that they can effectively force the hand of an entire society by making that society believe that they represent the voice of the majority. Don’t let the voices of a few angry radicals convince you that their opinion represents the majority. And don’t forego your moral values and convictions in an effort to fit into what you think might be the social majority.
2. The fear of social disapproval is as powerful as the fear of death.
In the beginning of the pandemic, people’s actions were driven by a fear of death from an unknown virus. But once the science and statistics showed that most young and healthy people didn’t need to fear for their lives, that children had essentially no risk at all, and that many of the measures being taken (masks, distancing, lockdowns) were not all that effective against the virus, the logical thing would have been for people to abandon those things and make their own informed decisions about what was best for their health. But fear of social disapproval instead became the reigning motivation behind the behavior of the masses. People wore a mask out of fear of being called out for not wearing one. It was easier to just wear one even if you knew it was useless than to risk getting into an altercation at the store. People socially distanced for fear of being corrected by peers or business owners. Now, people are being vaccinated out of a fear of being called “selfish,” “anti-tax,” or “anti-science” by others in society. Rather than making their own informed decisions, people are living their entire lives around the fear of social disapproval. Essentially, peer pressure. Isn’t that what we try to teach our children to avoid?
5. People who are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” are often well researched and are simply ahead of the mainstream narrative. The mainstream narrative only catches up when it is most politically or socially advantageous. The “conspiracy theorists” are given no apology or explanation for why they were entirely dismissed and discredited, and the public is given no explanation for why the truth was so thoroughly dismissed.
This ties back to people being committed to being wrong rather than admit that they were wrong. We have been effectively conditioned to distrust anything that seems fringe or outside the norm. But what happens when “the norm” is being manipulated by a certain group of thinkers? What happens when “the norm” is whatever that certain group has decided to let the public see? In a free and honest press, “the norm” would be the truth, no matter how “fringe” or damaging to the narrative it might seem. But that’s not how our press works. Our mainstream media manipulates information and decides what people should consider “the norm” and what people should believe are “fringe conspiracy theories” to be mocked and avoided. Even when they’re the truth. Once the truth is truly unavoidable, the mainstream narrative-spinners will be forced to acknowledge it in some manner. And even then, it often becomes a wide-scale gaslighting campaign trying to convince people that either the truth didn’t matter in this situation or that the truth wasn’t actually ever being hidden from them.
And these are just the first five. There’s much, much more.