The Paradox of Tolerance: should intolerance be tolerated?

Okay, since you asked, “How about Trump voters? Are you tolerant of them?”, I can now answer, I do not think there should be a law against Trump voters.

That Straw Man factory of yours is really pumping them out today!


And guess what the law says in respect to private citizens in terms of the former statement? We can do just about anything we like to whomever says such things short of any kind of violence. So I want this to be absolutely clear for you. The law isn’t what I’m discussing. I’m discussing society outside of law. We have a right and an obligation as private citizens to make such people who believe that minorities don’t have a right to exist peacefully as uncomfortable as possible. Whether or not you agree to this is really the question. And if you think private citizens shouldn’t exercise their right to make bigots as uncomfortable as possible then you have to explain exactly why (what’s your theory here).


As I said upthread:

Not wanting hate speech to be spread around = not authoritarian.
Not allowing hate speech in your home or business = not authoritarian.
Using the power of the law to disallow hate speech = authoritarian.

To you, are “right wing populists” and “Nazis” effectively the same thing??


Neoliberals and classical liberals are advocates of economic/market liberalism (in the sense of a lack of regulation on the behaviour of capitalists) – actually political conservatives in the current American and European context.

I’ll cop to being a Keynesian proponent of mixed economies like those in Scandinavia or Canada that include strong and sustainable capitalist elements, but these days in the U.S. that economic position makes me not the political liberal I self-identify as but rather a crazed “sohalist.”


Provided they do not initiate the use of force, I am fine with that.


If we are taking about those who have advocated just that, it’s one thing. If you are talking about people whom you think might possibly think that, it’s a big something else.

No, I’m not tolerant of them. It’s the right of anyone to not associate or give comfort to those who oppose them in society. Our society is built roughly on the idea of free association. If I don’t want to associate with Trump voters and if that personally offends them then that’s tough cookies. I’ve seen folks fight over college football teams worse than over voting for a particular political candidate, yet I don’t see any sport magazines with hot takes about “how about you tolerate your friend who likes Da Bears!”


It doesn’t matter whether they actually think that or I’ve assumed based on previous encounters. It’s an immutable right of private citizens and you should advocate for that right to be respected. The sword of free association cuts both ways.


My take on this is pretty straightforward.

Violence and speech are not interchangeable terms.

Speech is to be answered with speech.

Violence may be answered with violence.

Anyone. left or right, who follows these guidelines may do as they please as far as I am concerned.

1 Like

There is no such thing as unlimited tolerance, so the only remaining question is how much tolerance is allowed, and the answer is always “until the system that grants tolerance itself is in danger”.

It was a nice horse, a hard working horse, but it’s dead now and I shan’t whip it any more.

1 Like

There’s several problems with this but I do agree with you that speech isn’t physical violence. But that I do think that speech can create environments or act as justifications for violence (emotive and rational). Which means I think as private citizens that defending such speech which condones harm against minorities should be privately censored. Yes, I said privately censored. No one is owed a platform in the private sphere and to fret over whether or not hosting /pol/-clones is going to lead to some chilling of speech is irrelevant as such rights to privately censor are respected both in law and in social norms. Conservatives are being hypocritical here since they constantly demand platforms to allow either themselves or others to speak while demanding property rights (which would preclude the former) on the other. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.


Why not? They’re just totally non-racist Real Americans™ expressing their economic grievances with the Coastal Elites. Why else would they have voted for a grifting NYC billionaire who constantly assures them that he’ll bring America back to the days when white entitlement was the norm? It’s not like the president* is calling white supremacists and Confederate revanchists “fine people” (which of course they are: saying anything else about these well-known pacifists would be intolerant).


I do think that publicly owned spaces (such as public university campuses) are not in the “private sphere” but other than that you are absolutely correct.

Harvard I believe is self-funded and the same for many religious colleges and universities. So my point still stands. Also, state universities I think still should have veto rights on all appearances if they can’t fund security or the people appearing refuse to put a bond on their appearance as insurance (that goes for even the likes of Marilyn Manson or whomever is the nominally left shock music artist).


And that’s the heckler’s veto, which I oppose. I think we are agreed in almost every other venue, though.

1 Like

I never really understood the expression “living in someone’s head”. But I think I am living in yours.

It doesn’t matter. The fact is there’s property and lives at risk and the US is built on litigating such situations to death. Unless conservatives are willing to pay for higher taxes to fund public universities then they should refuse any appearance that leads to property damage on and off campus. They’re the ones who have to take the insurance hit and therefore are being forced to subsidize inflammatory jackwagons. I go by the TANSTAAFL metric on this. If you can’t pay then don’t play.


But that makes the argument that what conservative students should do is to threaten liberal speakers with enough mayhem that those speakers get disinvited, too. This is exactly the opposite of what should be…

Even here, although to hear those who decry the Muting script as “censorship” and “bubble-creating” you wouldn’t know it. Not co-incidently those who complain the most also tend to be the most Muted due to their constant bad-faith arguments that offer very little value to the site.

Still, it’s fun watching others knock down their straw-man arguments.

In Galt’s Gulch you can. Heck, in that government-free paradise you don’t even need to grow the wheat to make the cake.


Again, that’s wishful thinking in the current funding environment. If you want free speech then actually fund the universities such that they can afford security guards. Concerts often have to pay through the nose to get some venues because they have to pay for security just in case some drunken douches get out of hand. You can’t fool around with public engagements. I really wish there were some pixie dust we could sprinkle on this problem but the fact remains security costs MONEY. And it’s money conservatives refuse to allocate. If they want a secure environment which speakers won’t get lynched then they need to cough up the cash in the federal or state legislatures rather than waggling their fingers anytime people do the violent things that people naturally do. Live in the world as it is and not as you wish to be is my point.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.