OPINION: The Rules of Nonconforming

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

—Emerson

"There is no more self-righteously, high-mindedly closed a mind than that of a nonconformist," writes 38-year-old Morris Freedman, longtime freelance writer (New Republic, Harper's) and associate professor of English at the University of New Mexico. Freedman's complaint, published in the Phi Beta Kappa American Scholar: nonconformism is getting to be more orthodox than conformism, especially among intellectuals in college communities and in the publishing, advertising and entertainment professions. "The nonconformists are right," says Freedman, when they accuse the majority of mass...

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