The Despotism of Custom

by expoƒunction

Prevailing attitudes quickly become entrenched and appear to carry the weight of authority, when in fact they are entirely contingent and based on very little reason or evidence.

The rules which obtain among themselves appear to them self-evident and self-justifying. This all but universal illusion is one of the examples of the magical influence of custom …

1.6

“I do not mean that they choose what is customary, in preference to what suits their own inclination. It does not occur to them to have any inclination, except for what is customary. Thus the mind itself is bowed to the yoke …”

3.6

John Stuart Mill
On Liberty, 1859