I want to emphasise that I adore Socrates, and I kind of perceive him as a personal “mentor”. However, if you were a citizen of Athens some 2,500 years ago, chances are you wouldn’t agree with me.
Socrates in fact, asked so many difficult questions, and pointed out so much hypocrisy in Athens and Ancient Greek, that his own neighbours eventually started campaigning against him, to have him put to death, for simply being “an asshole”. Socrates of course, was given a choice between being expelled from the state of Athens, or drink a cup of lethal poison. Socrates choice the latter. Of course, the verdict didn’t explicitly say “asshole”, but rather that he was “blaspheming towards the Gods”, but for all practical concerns, Socrates was put to death because he was considered an “asshole”. And the rest is history.
When confronted with an “asshole”, ask yourself the following; “Why does this person make me feel bad?” Maybe it’s because he is conveying “inconvenient truths?”
Society needs “assholes”. To use an analogy, society needs mechanisms to get rid of bad ideas and “poisonous behaviour”. Without the occasional “asshole”, this process becomes impossible. This is why the quality of societies are measured according to how they treat their assholes. Simply because, after a “good dump”, the body (society) gets rid of lots of poisonous and dangerous “shit”, that would otherwise result in a constipated digestion system. Without allowing people like Socrates to freely speak, this process becomes impossible, and the very fabric of society itself becomes “sick”.