John Stuart Mills (1769) identifies ‘Conformity to custom’ as a primary symptom which signifies the fall civilization. It is consistent to all oriental civilizations including the Mesopotamian and Chinese civilization. I believe the same is true with the #Axumite civilization.
Conformity to a Custom kills civilization first by forcing individuals to dislodge their personal interest and seeks ‘Uniformity’ as the substitute to ‘Diversity’. By defining the desirable attributes of a man, the Chinese civilization had set the custom for an ideal man who is considered to have power in the structure, creating a stagnant monotony of culture. While the western Europe, it did not have an indigenous but a paste civilization and exploit it effectively, due to the mere fact of Diversity in every aspect of life.
The fact is, conformity to a custom or culture creates Monotony of human activities or culture, which also makes it Stagnant! Then, such a stagnant monotony of culture kills the sense of individualism and diversity of ideas and the quest- the essence of intellectualism.
Ayn Rand (1972) briefly discussed the issue in today’s culture, arguing that:
Intellectually, people are wearing paste jewelry copied from paste jewelry by artisans who never seen the original gems. Originality is a forgotten exprience. The latest fads withering at birth. The substitutes for daring and vitality are mere camouflage, like too much make-up on the lined face of an aging slut. The symptoms of today’s cultural disease are: conformity, without nothing to conform to – timidity, expressed in a self-shrinking concern with trivia; and a pall of fear without object – a society living under censorship!