Saturday, April 17, 2010

Repressive Tolerance

Some people champion tolerance, loudly, as a major virtue, but then do everything they can to stifle others with whom they disagree.

It seems gigantically hypocritical. Because it is.

However, it's worth noting that there's a philosopher who offered a defense of this approach, namely Herbert Marcuse, in his influential 1965 essay, Repressive Tolerance.

He's against the old-fashioned ideal of tolerance. He says it's repressive. But he's in favor of a more advanced kind of tolerance, that is liberating:
You may choose
to block opposite views.

But this is liberation
from toleration.

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