Friday, January 27, 2012

Respect, or fear?

The State believes it has respect. Maybe in some ignorant corners that might be true. It is more likely that what it really has- where it thinks it sees respect- is fear.

Fear is not respect. Fear, if controlled, leads a person to watch for the enemy to lose focus for a split second, which provides an opportunity to blow him away. Fear often looks like respect to the bad guy. He would be wrong but he won't realize it until it's too late.

And once the fearful begin to strike back, those who have no fear, but have been waiting for the time to be right, will join.



  1. Good post. It has long been my assessment that fear IS a legitimate component of respect. The other component is love. No one fears a Cocker Spaniel, and no one loves the State.

  2. I don't have any respect for something I fear. But perhaps other people have a different experience.

    I respect those who have earned it by showing intelligence, kindness, expertise, wisdom, or some other worthy trait. I fear things that are dangerous and unpredictable. The two are, in my experience, mutually exclusive.

    But, perhaps our definitions of "respect" don't line up. I'll check the dictionary to see if I am off-base when I visualize respect.

  3. Reading a few different online definitions of "respect" I see nothing that fear has any place in. I see things like "honor", "esteem", "sense of the worth or excellence", "quality or ability", etc. All positive traits. Nothing there that suggests fear.

    What is your take on it? Could you explain a bit more?


  5. I completely understand your position, Kent, and I would be remiss to disagree too strongly. It's sort of a visceral thing with me, I guess.
    I really have a hard time finding a way to respect a man who is in no way dangerous. It may be unusual to consider "dangerous" as a positive personal trait, but I do indeed consider it thus, with the caveat that the danger posed must not be to the innocent.
    It may also be a product of years of observation and interaction with , ummmm..."inner-city youths" who ended up incarcerated. If they smelled weakness, competence didn't matter. Sorta like with dogs, maybe.

  6. And thanks, PB for that link. Very interesting take on "The Prince". I was unaware of the translation issue.

  7. In the case of those who attack if they smell weakness...
    I think genuine respect would stop the attack, but so would fear. Perhaps they are incapable of having respect, but I doubt it. It might be hard to find in their world. Fear might be easier, but I think respect would be more permanent.
    Maybe fear would confer short-term "safety", but only respect would last for the long haul.

    I understand what you're saying: "I really have a hard time finding a way to respect a man who is in no way dangerous". But, I don't fear this dangerous person because I don't attack him to trigger the danger. If he is dangerous to those who are innocent, I don't respect him, even if I do fear him. Instead I will avoid him or understand that I might have to kill him.

    "Dangerous" is like "violence". I don't consider violence to always be a negative. "Dangerous" can be good- if used correctly. Never against the innocent, and never to initiate force.

  8. Why is fear a negative? I have two dogs-a German Shepard and a Pitbull mix, I don't fear either because I know them- buut,were I to come across either type as a stranger, I would fear them. Also, I do keep it somewhere in the back of my mind that either of my dogs could hurt or kill me-and certainly anyone else-in an instant. They are both quite dangerous-the fear is rational. It is also a good thing. Does it equate to respect, I think that it does in some sense.

    Perhaps a better example; I've spent a lot of time on boats. I fear large lakes and the Ocean-they can quite easily kill me-and unlike a dog, they are mindless, and I really have no defense. I also love them-exactly for that unpredictability. Is that respect? I think it is, and I've often heard the term used for open water.

    I also fear the state, I find it generally repulsive, but I don't openly defy least not on any of the big stuff. Perhaps that is respect? Perhaps there is no difference.