Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/272

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according to the extent to which he performs it in the mode assigned to him. Even he who may not have performed it at all, or may have performed it most imperfectly, is yet to be respected at least as one who ought to perform it, who can perform it, and who perhaps one day will perform it; and he is to be treated according to this view. So also no one can lay claim to the honour and respect of others upon any other ground than this, and no pretension can justly be made to any value or influence with others, save only in this respect. Thus would the influence of the distinction of Classes in Society upon the conduct of those Classes towards each other be wholly extinguished, and all the Citizens of the State, and at last the whole Human Race, be united in equal and reciprocal esteem, and in a mode of conduct founded upon this esteem; because such conduct would spring from a common source in which all partake in the same manner and in the same degree.