Respect, Disrespect, and Freedom
Guest Post by David Bloch
Respect may take many forms. Some forms of respect are healthy and some are unhealthy. A healthy form of respect is when one shows respect in order to bestow honor, for example in acknowledging someone’s courage, character, or intelligence. Self-respect is the highest form of healthy respect. An unhealthy form of respect occurs when one shows respect due to fear, for example when one is intimidated by a superior force.
Respect is something that must be earned. There is confusion by many, however, when a dishonorable person occupies an otherwise respectful office. In this case many people wrongly transfer the respect accorded to the office to the person occupying the office who has not earned the respect. They say, “Although I don’t respect the particular person occupying the office, I do respect the office and therefore I must show respect to the person occupying the office.” That thought process is entirely illogical and very dangerous to freedom.
Disrespect is an essential requirement for maintaining and protecting one’s freedoms. If a person in a powerful office threatens ones’ freedoms, then that office holder should not be respected; on the contrary, he should be disrespected. What is at stake is something extremely important – freedom, which, when lost is very difficult to get back. In defending freedom, one should not be polite and show respect to those who are attempting to take away that freedom. The proper response to any freedom stealer should be hard, sharp, and necessarily disrespectful. It is the healthy thing to do. Anyone who truly possesses self-respect simply cannot do anything less.
David E. Bloch is the author of The Elite Idolaters. His book won Honorable Mention in Readers Views 2012 book awards program in the Societal Issues category.