Sunday, June 05, 2011

Respectism and The Endeavour for a Respectul Society

espectism is the belief that a respectful society is a pragmatic necessity for survival.

A respectful society is defined as a society based on individual and institutional respect for self, others and place.

When we talk about containing pollution or genocide or nuclear weapons, it is surprising that we have not recognized the central truth: We are the problem.

At this late date, too few have recognized the most basic political issue: We have got to get along better, or we will kill ourselves off.

There is a failure of respect among the human beings that connects the big fist hitting the child next door to the bomb that goes off in the crowd on the other side of the world.

Until the truth about the universal failure of basic respect is recognized and addressed by enough of us, we will never be able to solve the perilous riddle of how to survive our weapons and our waste.

Not everyone is ready to believe that a more respectful society is essential to our survival.

Throughout history, there have been selfish and mean leaders, those who have willingly followed them, and those who have said we will never change.

For a more respectful society to exist, those of us who believe basic respect should be extended to all human beings, and to our fragile home under the sky, will want to do the following.

First, individual and institutional respect for self, others and place will have to be relentlessly advertised.

Second, the abusive must be respectfully kept from power, and the personality types of those who rule through fear, abuse, exploitation of prejudice and distortion of principles must be commonly recognized in order to assist with that endeavour.

Third, fair dealing, based on listening dialogue and honest negotiation, must be promoted as the mechanism for creating a respectful society in public and private relationships including leadership, governance, economic exchange and the meeting of basic human needs.

Fourth, the success of a respectful society must be measured in the decrease of all acts and threats of violence and involuntary detention including those needed for true self-defense of the individual or society, as well as the decrease of hunger, homelessness and other unattended basic human needs.

Fifth, the principles of a respectful society must be kept simple and clear enough for young children to learn, adults to believe and the weak to own as well as the powerful, so that respectism is never confused with authoritarianism, or made the enemy of liberty and equality.

If a respectful society seems like an idealistic fantasy, please answer this question: "How will we survive without changing our behavior towards one another?"

No one knows exactly how we will create a respectful society anymore than the inventors of the first flying machine could have imagined a space shuttle.

We must start performing countless experiments in respect, if we are to survive.

We should start now.

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