The False Choice of Participation

In any given society, among the greatest of crimes and taboos is simply non-participation in the group’s sanctioned practices and customs.  This is a reality to which the extrovert remains oblivious and one which the introvert is never allowed to forget.

We typically think of transgression in terms of something one does.  The crime of the introvert, however, is no single act.  It is the overall failure to adopt the group approved talk, walk, behavior, and beliefs.  It is a crime unlike any other crime, because it is not an action.  In a sense oneself is the crime.  In a word it is to be, ‘Incorrect.’

Different cultures and ethnicities are understood to be born into a different tradition.  Some differences are expected from those born into clearly different circumstances.  Most importantly, they are often in part shielded from the mass society by their less massive society.

Those who have diverged since birth in their personality, values, and preferences are not outwardly different and cannot be outwardly different.  The mass society that claims them by accident of birth will punish or reward them according to their degree of adherence to its values and rules. There is no central intelligence or bureacracy that punishes, there is no need.  There are millions of informal enforcers daily doing their work merely by holding and acting upon the common values with which they have been imbued.

A great many introverted people would likely be more social or socialize more out in the open if they did not live in fear of social censure.  One key reason that introverts do not “get out more” and one which most extroverts do not begin to understand is:  A life lived mostly away from the seething public sphere is safety from being revealed as Incorrect.

Introverts commonly describe themselves as being exhausted from social outings.  In no small part this condition exists because:  when the Correct are at their most relaxed, the Incorrect are most on guard.  One is thus recharged, the other drained.

Zygmunt blogs on introvert culture and community at Kingdom of Introversion.  The False Choice of Participation appears here by permission.

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on 12/2/10 in featured, Politics | No Comments | Read More

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