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"We seek out the taciturn."
-- Spoon, "The Way We Get By"

"When my feelings are hurt so easily, that is the price I pay to appreciate the beauty they're busy killing"
-- The Field Mice, "Sensitive"

The introvertariat is the oppressed underclass in an extravertocracy. It is a meager comfort to introverts that the extravert hegemony does not actively persecute introverts individually. It is, very much like modern racism in America, an institutional oppression. (The manners of extravertocratic oppression is the subject of a different node). However, what this means is that the inwardly turned, while not given their due, are at least gladly ignored and avoided by most extraverts, who are happy enough to not have to deal with such unworthy little beings. Maybe this is so because we don't pose a threat to the hegemony, and the minute we claim our deserts they will come down on us hard, but in any case it is by and large so. Thus, under the surface of hegemonic society and away in its dark corners, networks and communities of ultrasensitive introverts have been able to grow with impunity, constituting in turn a mini-society, a subculture, with its own norms and rules tailored and tolerant to the life of the inwardly turned. Contacts are formed, institutions founded, traditions established, and cultural edifices constructed. A small fraction of this matter emerges and is noticed, sometimes with disgust sometimes with praise, by the culture at large, but for the most part, these communities remain for their own benefit. Of course, these communities all have their own unique focus and characteristics and the accommodation of introversion is just one quality.

"Hand me my nose ring, show me the mosh pit, we can be happy underground."
-- Ben Folds Five, "Underground"

"And once again, you'll pretend to know me well, my friends. And once again I'll pretend to know the way through the empty space, through the secret places of the heart."
-- The Smashing Pumpkins, "We Only Come Out at Night"

Stumbling across other, more experienced people with similar orientation toward life and discovering communities of such people can be a tremendous boon and a great source of comfort to a young wallflower, who is trying to figure out how to live as an introvert in a society designed by and for extraverts. Not only for the freshly-uncloseted introvert, but also for the long-suffering introvert, struggling under cruelty and unfairness, do these communities and individuals provide critical support in crucial times. You see, it's a very cold world out there for an ultrasensitive introvert in an alien environment, and the only way sometimes to perserve uprightness and hope is to lean on the sympathetic. It is the moral duty, therefore, of introverts to remain open-hearted, engaged, and sympathetic, to band together with their fellows, and to reach out to other introverts to give support, be it advice, an encouraging word, or just a quiet space for them to figure it out for themselves (as sensitive introverts are very good at doing usually). It is certainly the sort of comportment I've benefited from in others and the ideal I try to live up to in myself.

"Oceans won't freeze, so loosen your heart. Underestimated, undefeated in this love, we will always be a light"
-- Stars, "Ageless Beauty"

"But I know she's like me, so I let it ride. She's dwelling in that quiet space left behind, where only peace can answer why, and you abide that birds must fly"
-- Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, "Timorous Me"

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