13 thoughts on “I think a lot of people have lost respect”

  1. Actually, I think a lot of people do respect the individualist/nonconformist. They just don’t want to be close enough to form part of the target.

        • Do you think I should respect your life? Rhetorical question, because you seem to be out of shape over the word ‘respect.’ It’s just a word like any other word and can be misinterpreted by fools to mean whatever they want it to mean.

            • Treat other people how one would like to be treated; Do good, do no harm.

              Enlightened self-interest, or as I sign my emails:

              Enjoy your life. Make it count for something. And do no harm.

              But I’m fundamentally a behaviouralist, as in actions speak louder than words.

              • That is indeed how one respects other people. But I think the question was why any given community deserves respect. Why?

        • Try replacing “community” with “tribe”.

          Individualism is a recent development in sapiens and far from universal. Also its not guaranteed to endure.

          Tolerance of deviance is not a native trait of the naked ape. Violence is.

          In most tribes lack of conformity has lead to the stock, the pillory, various forms of public shaming…
          …shunning, exile, and hemlock cocktails.

          Do remember that survival has rarely been guaranteed and often put at risk by divergence. It is only recently that (mostly western) societies have grown wealthy enough to tolerate diversity and freeriders.

          There is an old crude joke about a bad boy who dies and ends up in the nether realm which he is discover is a sea of excrement, with millions standing on tiptoe up to their chins in the sea. As a boat takes him out and throws him overboard, a zillion voices scream in chorus: “Don’t. Make. Waves.”

          Tolerance and individualism require constant defense precisely because default sapiens behavior is intolerance and forced compliance. And if we ever make it offworld and start building new societies, compliance will be life and death yet again.

          We’ve been living in priviledged, abnormal times. The default is just reasserting itself.

          • I agree the tribe often needed comformity to survive. The survival of the twenty folks huddled around a fire was always precarious. And the instinct to make others conform survives the small group and informs the much larger group’s desire for that conformity. Conformity becomes an end in itself.

            I’ve often speculated that the bias against homosexuals has its roots far in the past. That small group needed new members. Everyone had to pitch in. Reproduce and take care of the next generation. Given the primal instinct to take the best care of one’s own, conformity was vital.

            • Spinsters and chidless wives were always frowned upon and young widows valued. For the same reasons large families made economic sense in pre-technical times. Manpower was a survival aid. As were extended families growing into clans and tribes. Those that did it survived, those that didn’t faded. The original DARWIN AWARD.

              And yes, dynastic thinking is our nature. Each generation is cared for by their forebears and expects to be supported by their descendants. Those that didn’t conform were seen as freeriders, not contributing to future needs. It is no accident all surviving religions have similar prohibitions or that child abuse is abhorent even to the most hardened lawbreakers.

              Today we tribalize along different lines but we still carry the caves within.

    • In a social sense, conformity is a toll paid to community standards — a cost. But we value the greasing of the community relationships both for themselves and for the larger purposes that community might serve.

      Of course, there are limits… The conventional: Family 1st/Friends 2nd/Local Communities 3rd always stands in juxtaposition to our individual standards, and if those start to differ significantly from the value of Family or Friends or the “larger purposes” that are part of the Community, then radical separation can happen. And must — it’s an unsustainable situation. In smaller communities, you either changed the association, parted from the association, or were destroyed by the association.

      That’s why tampering with the social glue from both selfish and community directions is so very corrosive. And when done deliberately to cause dissolution, it’s downright evil.

      • Karen Myers – Also: The individual hopes to derive necessary protection from the group by paying the “toll”, i.e. conforming to the group. Which is obviously impossible in many cases, and less obviously impossible in other cases, and possible but extremely damaging in other cases, and… in the end the group is left with an empty ideology that serves pretty much no one at all. So it disbands, or implodes, or whatever… and the whole silly cycle starts again.

Comments are closed.