“Far from squelching substantive discussion and debate, etiquette is what makes them possible.” […]

“Admittedly, it does tell people when to keep their mouths shut and what they should not say. Is that what people mean by repressive?

“Without such rules, there are no exchanges of ideas, only exchanges of set positions and insults. People who disagree rapidly move from talking over one another to shouting one another down, and from expressing their opinions on the matter at hand to expressing their opinions of the intelligence and morality of those who disagree with them. It is only by adhering to strict etiquette that any controversy can truly be aired, whether it is at a legislature governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, a courtroom governed by the judge’s sense of decorum or a dinner party governed by social etiquette.”

— Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

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