It’s hardly original to note how much of the modern society is ego-centric. People seek short-term pleasure, they want fame or fortune, be the prettiest, strongest and so on. The usual. However another form of egotism is sheepishness. Conforming to fit in. Trying to bend to the dictates of arbitrary society so find something to believe or just something to like. Be ideological or religious, or merely looking for something in main-stream entertainment you can identify with. Most of it is fake, corporate and hollow. The music, movies, games, books and the rest. They are within the socially acceptable zone, albeit in different parts of it. Whether you are really main-stream and into Lady Gaga, or more artistic and prefer Radiohead, it’s still the same act of conformism even though one is pure main-stream and the other seems somewhat rebellious. There’s nothing particularly wrong about liking any of the entertainment provided for you, but it goes further than that for most people.
People identify with the culture or subculture they like. Identifying with a culture means suppressing the self, forcing it to bow under peer pressure. The self is replaced with an image constructed outside of you. For some people, their subculture is like a religion. For others it is an escape from the false sense of reality they live in, and find unbearable. The ego tells the person to hold onto something, an idea or a group. Without it the ego couldn’t exist. The person shuts himself off from the greater reality which includes everything from financial slavery and war to breakthroughs in consciousness and science. He leaves it to run on its own while encasing himself in the culture the ego prefers. The individual chooses to experience life only within that construct. Every now and then he is pulled out of it into reality and he treats that with fear or hostility.
The point is that the ego does not only tell a person he is the best, brightest and the most handsome. It also tells the person he is average and shouldn’t try to stand out, or that he is complete scum who doesn’t deserve anything good. The ego works in various ways. I think the most common method for enslaving people is to tell people to enjoy mediocrity.