It is impossible to be one's own pope. For some, the moral life becomes an endless, solipistic quest to figure out "what my true self stands for." Many feel they have to reinvent the moral wheel daily, which is the height of arrogance, not to mention utterly exhausting. Still others externalize all of the conscience's furies, directing them against the faults of others or those of social and political systems. Worse, too many simply learn to tune out the conscience's voice, now lowered to a murmur for lack of authoritative supports.
The think-for-yourself culture celebrates all of these groups for their "free minds." Yet we know that most people sway, feather-like, to the prevailing winds of news and social media, fashion and fadism, public and "expert" opinion, P.R. and propaganda. Large corporations, especially, what nothing more than for our minds to be independent—that is, unmoored from absolute, unbendable moral authorities that might challenge corporate agendas. And how much the better for the powers that be if pliant consumers and docile workers fancy themselves rebels and radicals.