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In its most fundamental sense, respect may be defined as an interrelation among individual human beings in which they reciprocally honor each other's freedom of choice about participation in the value processes of the world community and its component parts. The central demand amidst all the rising common demands of peoples about the world today for the better clarification and securing of human rights would appear to be that of the individual for respect in this sense. The culminating achievement for a community that aspires to honor these demands and better to secure human rights may be described as that of a public and civic order in which individuals are subjected to the least possible coercion, from either public or private sources, in the making of their choices about participation in the community's various value processes.

In previous studies we have explored the increasing protection that the global community seeks to afford individuals in their claims for a fundamental freedom of choice, for an effective equality of opportunity, and for distinctive recognition of pre-eminent contribution to common interest. The tremendous emphasis that our contemporary society gives to the honoring of claims by individuals for these particular respect outcomes cannot, however, be permitted to blind us to the fact that every claim by individuals must be evaluated, by authoritative decision-makers and others, in terms of the aggregate common interest.

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