The Emancipation Trend


I’ve never spent as much time using dating applications as during the coronavirus quarantine. Those applications are incredibly powerful for discovering really quickly the interests of the people around you. What fascinates me is the number of profiles that are interested in feminism, anti-capitalism, challenging norms, all forms of authority/conformism, etc. Profiles that crave to break norms, to think outside categories, to explore limits, to emancipate themselves, to adopt critical thinking, free will, lucidity or independence are following a perfectly regular trend. As if they all agreed to think differently.

In the term “progressive trend”, “progressive” is not the problem. On the contrary, I am delighted to see so many people questioning themselves, wishing to break away from the norms, to become emancipated. What troubles me is the similarity of the descriptions claiming to be progressive. These striking similarities reveal the deterministic nature of the trend, reminding me of social determinism.

Social determinism is a sociological concept according to which human behavior is the result of social coercion that is exerted on individuals, most of the time without them being aware of it. As a result, the individual does not choose its action, it is forced to carry it out under the weight of society; it is not really free to act as he wishes. - Wikipedia reworded

Rare are the people who bring new progressive ideas, many are just followers. Not realizing that one is a follower then becomes dangerous.

Imagine being the writer of a physics exam in which you ask the question “What color is the ocean?”. A student answers “blue”. The answer is correct and you decide to give all the points to its exam. Later, as you pass the student again, you realize that it thought the ocean was blue because of the reflection of the sky on the surface of the water. This is false, in reality the blue color is the result of the absorption and diffusion of white light in the water. The situation becomes very embarrassing because you realize that the student was right for the wrong reasons. It wouldn’t have been this bad if the review had stopped there. After all, maybe it is better for the student to believe in a blue-coloured ocean, even for the wrong reasons. It becomes problematic when at the next exam the student can’t pass. Stuck, it won’t be able to think any further without catching up. It would have been better to realize the student’s mistake from the beginning.

Apply this example to our original problem: is it better for a person to support progressive views, even for the wrong reasons?