Profound insights seem to become untrue when they are accepted by everyone. The essence gets buried under interpretations that support baser minds and motivations.
This happens at the higher levels of society — where individuals may benefit from exploiting others or forcing things on the population that they would not readily accept — and, often, at the lower levels of society, where routines based around consuming — especially entertainment — make self-reflection, self-development, and self-defence against mass consumerism appear undesirable.
In such circumstances, the dissenter is the one who grasps the essence of the insight that lies beneath its popular though twisted expression.
In contrast, mad ideas seem to become true only once they have been repeated enough and, more importantly, have reached a point where they are routinely explained through complex theories, and have become inseparable to morality.
Here, the dissenter may see that the belief — which has become a system of belief — is mad, but, unable to see how he can affect or bring down the system, he may find himself overwhelmed by it. All great systems, after all, draw in the masses, either — as is most common — as believers, or as rebels against it.
Yet, the forces of every epoch may seem, at some point, unbreakable, since the rebel against the system forces himself to merely react against it. If it believes A, he believes the opposite of A. If the system believes Z, he defines himself as an opponent o Z.
In this way, the system, without even making a move, comes to define not just what a believer will think, but what an opponent will, as well.
Rather than opposing A — existing as, in a sense, A-minus — the opponent can offer B, C, D, etc., which the populace has never heard. Rather than be consumed into a false choice that does not represent him, he can simply remember what interests him, what he believes in, and who he is. Generally, that it does not fit perfectly into any particular movement is no bad thing.
It is the nature of modernity that every belief, new and passionately held by society, is already in a state of collapse, waiting to be superseded by the next new conviction, and then the next one, and so on.
We should remain aware of the fact that political and moral convictions — though seen as absolutely unquestionable — are trends like any other, arising like, for example, one youth culture or fad emerges in response to, and to replace, another. If we must believe A today, and those who do not are deemed evil by society, society will move on at some point, and will denounce A itself, having found something new to be hysterical about.
Refusing to be sucked into the hysteria of the moment will mean familiarizing oneself with different ways of life, and imagining a different future, and a better self, in line with it. It also means a certain detachment — reacting neither exactly in favor nor exactly against the system.
Read, contemplate opposing views, expose yourself to different thinkers and texts — ancient and modern — and remember how much older is human history, cultures, tribes, and civilizations than the forces of the epoch.