... we are spinning ever deeper into a maelstrom of homogeneity to a bottom-place where individualists might be considered a bit unstable or even...dangerous. –Thomas F. Monteleone, in the afterward to “Yesterday’s Child”

There’s a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any over-large concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause. –PJ O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect). –Mark Twain, Notebook

When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion. –CP Snow, Science and Government

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. –Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

Conformity is that jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. –John F. Kennedy, in an address to the UN General Assembly, September 25, 1961

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. –Eric Hoffer, Passionate State of Mind

... imitation is suicide ... –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Laws of imitation; I call them: laws of fear. –André Gide, L’immoraliste Ménalque

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority. –Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love

Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent. –Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader First Series

The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. –Rita Mae Brown, Bingo

Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves. –Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Why do we need to denigrate people’s quirks? It’s very interesting that we’ve all become so conditioned to make each other small. –Anne Hathaway, in an interview in the July 2008 issue of Self

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. –Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, More Unkempt Thoughts

Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world—and never will. –Mark Twain, in an 1884 speech in Hartford, CT

It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself. –Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

Imitation lies at the root of most human actions. A respectable person is one who conforms to custom. People are called good when they do as others do. –Anatole France, Crainquebille

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely trying to be normal. –Albert Camus

But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom: the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. –Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

As for conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I don’t think much of that. –Henry David Thoreau, Excursions

One who walks in another’s tracks leaves no footprints. –proverb

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. –Raymond Hull

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. –Colin Wilson

A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. –Albert Einstein

The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity. –Thomas Szasz

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does, or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps. –HL Mencken

What a tiresome place America would be if freedom meant we all had to think alike or be the same color or wear the same gray flannel suit! That road leads to the conformity of the graveyard! –(?)

Copying everyone else all the time, the monkey one day cut his throat. –Zulu proverb

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. –JK Galbraith

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature. –George Bernard Shaw

Just because something is tradition doesn’t make it right. –Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

What we call human nature in actuality is human habit. –Jewel Kilcher

To fall into habit is to begin to cease to be. –Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life

If you keep doing things like you’ve always done them, what you’ll get is what you’ve already got. –(?)

Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom. –George Bernard Shaw

No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors. –William Faulkner

The most damaging phrase in the language is: “It’s always been done that way.” –Grace Hopper

Habit rules the unreflecting herd. –William Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Sonnets

If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it. –SI Hayakawa

Men get opinions as boys learn to spell,
By reiteration chiefly.
–Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Aurora Leigh”

People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. –Soren Kierkegaard

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. –Joseph Joubert