That's an old saying about Japan, and it's not supposed to apply to the U.S., but it does. Here I will quote the late Gore Vidal at length:
"One understands of course why the role of the individual in history is instinctively played down by a would-be egalitarian society. We are, quite naturally, afraid of being victimized by reckless adventurers. To avoid this we have created the myth of the ineluctable mass ('other-directedness') which governs all. Science, we are told, is not a matter of individual inquiry but of collective effort. Even the surface storminess of our elections disguises a fundamental indifference to human personality: if not this man, then that one; it's all the same, life will go on. Up to a point there is some virtue in this; and though none can deny that there is a prevailing grayness in our placid land, it is certainly better to be non-ruled by mediocrities than enslaved by Caesars. But to deny the dark nature of human personality in not only fatuous but dangerous. For in our insistence on the surrender of private will ('inner-directedness') to a conception of the human race as some teeming bacteria in the stream of time, unaffected by individual deeds, we have made vulnerable not only the boredom, to that sense of meaninglessness which more than anything else is characteristic of our age, but vulnerable to the first messiah who offers the young and bored some splendid prospect, some Caesarian certainty."
I'll say that according to Pareto's 80/20 Law, 80% of the people in this country are sheep. The other 20% are individuals. More than generally speaking, those 80% sheep are extroverts and the 20% are introverts.
It's even worse than that.
It's men, overwhelmingly, who are the reckless adventurers, be it physically or intellectually. The physical I'm not concerned about here, only the intellectual. And what I and many others have noticed about intellectuals (real ones, not the leftist frauds Thomas Sowell mocked as "the Anointed") is that they tend to be eccentric - at least to the masses.
They also tend to be introverts, the kind who have that hyperfocus that allows them to engage in the concentration necessary to discover/create/invent. Because they are so eccentric and unusual, they tend to be ostracized. Although America is supposed to be an individualistic society (it was far more in the past than today), it's becoming more and more group-oriented (aka fascist). So it's becoming more and more "the nail that sticks up is pounded down."
One of the problems is that about 80% of people are extroverts, i.e., other-directed. They tend to be the destroyers. Politicians, for example (can you think of any politician who isn't an extrovert?). Extroverts gain energy by being around people. As such they are enormously influenced by them.
Introverts, on the other hand, gain energy from being by themselves, and since they aren't particularly dependent on other people, they are far more independent than the group-oriented extroverts. That's why so many introverts are libertarians and extroverts are, well, whatever.
Since introverts have that hyperfocus, along with the independence (and imagination), they tend to be far more creative than extroverts. (As far as I'm concerned, extroverts are incapable of actually thinking - their thoughts are too fuzzy, they can't concentrate and they bounce from subject to subject.) This is why introverts tend to be creators, as compared to the destroying extroverts.
We can use Thomas Jefferson as an example of an introvert, and who was one of Vidal's individuals who had a huge influence on America. Since he was a true individual, it's why the leftists who believe in the Hive or the Borg (which is all of them) hate him and are always trying to destroy his reputation.
The more intellectual and creative of introverts remind me of Aldous Huxley's comment that an intellectual "is someone who has found one thing more interesting than sex."
One thing I've noticed recently about the more intelligent and creative of male introverts is that they are not getting married and having children anymore. Modern women for the most part tend to find them too eccentric, too much of outliers, and to not appreciate or even understand who they are and what they can do. In other words, they are the nail that sticks up and so is pounded down through insults and ostracizing.
I've read some people today who go so far as to claim that introverts (specifically the INTJ) have a lot of Neanderthal ancestry, and extroverts are Cro-Magnon. These people are essentially claiming these two groups are almost different species, and that Neanderthals are the forerunners of today's introverts.
What I find interesting about that assertion is that, if true, modern Cro-Magnons are in the process of destroying themselves. And if species go extinct, good riddance, as long as they are replaced by someone better.
Whatever the reason behind the difference between introverts and extroverts, I do know 80% of extroverts are unwittingly trying to kill off the 20% of introverts. It's the Borg trying to murder or absorb the individualistic introverts.
I don't believe in democracy. Eighty percent Idiots ruling the 20% Smart? Give me a break. It should be the other way around - the introverts ruling the retarded extroverts. Until that happens, the world will be perpetually in a mess.