I’ll respect your opinion as long as your opinion doesn’t disrespect anybody’s existence.


This brings up something I’ve said before, but should be said again.

The modern concept of “respect” needs to be wiped from the memory of the species.

The word “respect” derives from Latin, and literally means “look back on” or “to view again”. Originally the phrase implied that a person’s words and actions were WORTHY of being regarded a second time instead of being excluded outright. This state of being, this acquisition of “respect” was had by tremendous virtue, heroism, piety, or social standing (gained by participation in the government). To grant someone respect meant that they had moved you to deference.

In other words, they earned themselves a second glance.

In the modern framework, respect has come to mean a kind of armistice, a mutual agreement to coexist and do nothing. Everyone “deserves” respect. Everyone’s opinion is respected, regardless of merit.

I reject this utterly.

I respect no man’s opinion. I respect no one’s way of life, unless it demonstrates quality and substance. At best, I tolerate their existence. I agree to allow them to continue existing, so long as they do it far away from me.

Respect is earned. It isn’t something you’re granted. It isn’t a default position. It isn’t a strategic ploy. It isn’t something to be bought, sold, and traded. All of that is just tolerance.

By reworking that one word, humans are working a curious kind of magic. Every man demands that his opinion be regarded as best, or at least that he be allowed to think it is best, and so everyone else must “respect” it, and leave their hands off. In exchange for that, he “respects” others and allows them to think their opinion superior or untouchable.

This is a vile condition. A petty, stupid condition that renders all opinions equal, regardless of their impact on the world. I don’t happen to believe that all men deserve respect as soon as they appear in the world.

I am sorry. I respect very few people, and they are people who have earned it by demonstrating incredible skill, wisdom, insight, poise, and strength. Everyone else has my commitment to withhold judgement for a first glimpse, and my consent to tolerate them as they tolerate me. Everyone else has my vow that I will be open, skeptical, willing to learn, and eager to progress.

But I’m afraid if your opinion is a disgusting one, it is fair game.

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