The problem with tolerance
I have heard this sentence in the title a lot of times. And I mean a lot. I used to say it in my twenties too. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and thought about it. Year after year the rot in it crystallized more and more and at one point I noticed how thin and fragile our current “liberal” society is. Just by reflecting on this sentence.
The osteoporosis of liberalism is tolerance. It effectively created this restoration movement, a movement we’re witnessing agape.
The problem with tolerance is that it implies ownership. It is, as if, when you allow the others to coexist you are renting them the existence space you own. Then come the requests, the price for the rent.
Tolerance happens when normal becomes moral.
On the other hand acceptance is when morality breaks free from the grip of normality. Wide morality, encompassing morality, universal morality they can only thrive in the absence of normality.
“I have nothing against gays, I just don’t like their culture” …
At yoga classes. Yes, some yoga is a far more deep practice than the social identification device it became in the US or Western Europe. There is a sense of spiritual achievement and this inner growth gives one the right to judge the evolution of others.
At work. People have meaning in their life when at work. We ain’t got no time for these folk dressed in pink. But I am too hip to be an open homophobe, so I am a closeted homophobe instead.
On the street. Random people trying to make sense of identity politics in chats while walking their dog, of course in a “gay safe” space discussing gays.
In the family. Oh, the worst, the place where the closet is set on fire when you know that if they ever had a gay family member they wouldn’t throw them out of the house, but never look at them the same again.
Basically the normal people require guarantees that their tolerance is not taken for granted, just like the landlord reminds you that you do not own the place. Disliking a culture, not acknowledging your separation from it, disliking it, is a form of aggression, a kind of domination attempt.
Which is another problem of tolerance, it is based on power.
Power is an action, not a state. Power can only be exercised or executed. For tolerance to work power must be executed. That is the tolerant execute their power and the tolerable exercise their power. The difference is that execution is immediate while exercise is not.
The normal people will always remind the “others” that they have the executive power. And when, in this case, the “gay culture” is frowned upon it is just a simple way to explain: you are guests, we are the hosts.
Acceptance is when morality breaks free from the grip of normality.
Yet, acceptance takes time to be implemented and the liberalism of the past thirty years was in such a hurry, as if the future was just around the corner, as if liberal equal societies where two steps ahead. This was so wrong.
Every liberal conquest was introduced through tolerance, and, for some of these conquests, time cultivated acceptance. Anything. Women voting? Tolerated first, accepted later. And this works very well until you lose patience and don’t wait for acceptance to settle in and cause people to run out of tolerance.
Tolerance, by default, is temporary and aggressive.
When you say: “I have nothing against gays, I just don’t like their culture” there are some steps to consider. First “I” explains that you think to hold any default right, that it is a personal option to tolerate. Then “have nothing against X” is completely different than “am supporting X”, by defining ignorance on a subject as the solution for moral impartiality. Then another “I”, just to make it clear who is in charge, “just don’t like X”. “Just” minimizes the importance of the subject, excluding your ignorance from peer judgement, which you fear. The final “don’t like” puts the nail in the coffin for tolerance, simply being by the book passive aggressiveness.
I picked this because I’ve had this line of thought. My idea was that, hey everyone is free to do as they like sexually, but just don’t do that drag thing parading through the city. Or, why do gay people tend to effeminate everything. Or similar swiping generalizations. But with time I worked on releasing myself from the burden of tolerance. I’ve noticed other people did it too. But the shedding of the burden was done in different ways.
Because tolerance is a burden. It is a weight you carry around. Just like west europeans carry the weight of tolerating hordes of muslim refugees.
Tolerance is shed in two ways: acceptance or radicalization. We’ll see in time what this species overall is capable of, because acceptance is the liberal way and radicalisation is the conservative way. And that is funny because there are conservative subjects liberals are tolerant about but on which they tend to radicalize.
The reason for which this article exists is this: stop being proud to be tolerant (being “woke” is also the same thing), stop touting tolerance as if it is anything other than a lease on existence granted by the de facto normality, normality which is a giant accident for which people are willing to die for or to kill for.