Tabula Escriba - No Lese Majeste

Criticism and mockery have social meaning, showing some level of disrespect, hostility, or disagreement with an idea, style of thinking, group or person. Except in unusual circumstances, it is a liberal norm to respond softly to these. The ability to laugh at oneself or be convinced to change by such things (when appropriate) is a high virtue, but in most other circumstances appropriate responses to this are limited to silence, an expression of displeasure, or insults/criticism/mockery in return. "Harder" responses such as permament shunning, persona non grata status, use of the state or other actors to silence the criticism, or violence are to be avoided.

There are circumstances where responses may be stronger than the soft ones listed above - for example, in most circumstances a guest in another's home (this is meant only literally and should not cover most "analogous" situations such as a child towards their schoolkeeps or a customer in a place of business - these are semi-public spaces) should avoid harsh criticism of their host particularly while being a guest. These actions still may reasonably damage social ties, particularly if excessively malicious.

Liberals by their values may expect to be able to criticise, mock, or insult freely (except insofar as the claims are truth claims and are recognised as libel/slander of living people or organisations which may be prohibited) people (including national or religious leaders), organisations, metaphysical beings (deities and other fictional characters), businesses, etc. This value is primarily theoretical - a task for the state to allow it and for those insulted to bear it appropriately - no comment is made on the propriety of using it.

Pat Gunn (aka Improv) <>