All of us know someone who doesn’t like to hear the word no directed at them; doesn’t like being contradicted; dismisses opposing points of view; sniggers at conspiracy theories. Their thinking, rather than free, supple and inquiring, is defensive and armored. Everybody knows somebody with a bear-trap mind. But as Mickey Spillane once quipped, no is the most important word in any language.
Many people can’t bear the fact that other people think differently than they do. But to paraphrase Alan Watts, if you and I agree on everything, then I no longer know what I think. On the other hand if I never engage others nor let them engage me, then too I am developing neither my thinking nor myself.
An article in defense of Max Stirner.