Independent Thought

Posted on: 2023-06-13

There are very few people who don't see themselves as independent thinkers. There are even fewer people who are. Most people just want to belong, and the most essential elements of belonging are agreeing and conforming. Would-be belongers engage in what's known as preference falsification, pretending to enjoy things they don't, or subscribe to ideas they secretly reject. They go along to get along, because the usual emotional companion to intellectual independence isn't pride or self-confidence. It's loneliness and sometimes crippling self-doubt.

Bret Stephens in The New York Times