Thanx to Stalin, Anon. Nietzsche, Hank Purcell Jr. Chicago May Day '
THIS essay examines the idea of tolerance in our advanced industrial society. The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing Self imposed isolation essay, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.
In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period--a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice.
Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression. The author is Self imposed isolation essay aware that, at present, no power, no authority, no government exists which would translate liberating tolerance into practice, but he believes that it is the task and duty of the intellectual to recall and preserve historical possibilities which seem to have become utopian possibilities--that it is his task to break the concreteness of oppression in order to open the mental space in which this society can be recognized as what it is and does.
Tolerance is an end in itself. The elimination of violence, and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are preconditions for the creation of a humane society.
Such a society does not yet exist; progress toward it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale. As deterrents against nuclear war, as police action against subversion, as technical aid in the fight against imperialism and communism, as methods of pacification in neo-colonial massacres, violence and suppression are promulgated, practiced, and defended by democratic and authoritarian governments alike, and the people subjected to these governments are educated to sustain such practices as necessary for the preservation of the status quo.
Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery.
This sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested. The political locus of tolerance has changed: Tolerance is turned from an active into a passive state, from practice to non-practice: It is the people who tolerate the government, which in turn tolerates opposition within the framework determined by the constituted authorities.
Tolerance toward that which is radically evil now appears as good because it serves the cohesion of the whole on the road to affluence or more affluence. The toleration of the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda, the release of destructiveness in aggressive driving, the recruitment for and training of special forces, the impotent and benevolent tolerance toward outright deception in merchandizing, waste, and planned obsolescence are not distortions and aberrations, they are the essence of a system which fosters tolerance as a means for perpetuating the struggle for existence and suppressing the alternatives.
The authorities in education, morals, and psychology are vociferous against the increase in juvenile delinquency; they are less vociferous against the proud presentation, in word and deed and pictures, of ever more powerful missiles, rockets, bombs--the mature delinquency of a whole civilization.
According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth--not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation.
Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game. To take a most controversial case: In such a case, freedom of opinion, of assembly, of speech becomes an instrument for absolving servitude.
And yet and only here the dialectical proposition shows its full intent the existence. Generally, the function and value of tolerance depend on the equality prevalent in the society in which tolerance is practiced.
Tolerance itself stands subject to overriding criteria: In other words, tolerance is an end in itself only when it is truly universal, practiced by the rulers as well as by the ruled, by the lords as well as by the peasants, by the sheriffs as well as by their victims.
And such universal tolerance is possible only when no real or alleged enemy requires in the national interest the education and training of people in military violence and destruction. As long as these conditions do not prevail, the conditions of tolerance are 'loaded': In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression police, armed forces, guards of all sorts and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their 'connections'.
These background limitations of tolerance are normally prior to the explicit and judicial limitations as defined by the courts, custom, governments, etc.
Within the framework of such a social structure, tolerance can be safely practiced and proclaimed. It is of two kinds: The tolerance which enlarged the range and content of freedom was always partisan--intolerant toward the protagonists of the repressive status quo. The issue was only the degree and extent of intolerance.
In the firmly established liberal society of England and the United States, freedom of speech and assembly was granted even to the radical enemies of society, provided they did not make the transition from word to deed, from speech to action. Relying on the effective background limitations imposed by its class structure, the society seemed to practice general tolerance.
But liberalist theory had already placed an important condition on tolerance: John Stuart Mill does not only speak of children and minors; he elaborates: There is a sense in which truth is the end of liberty, and liberty must be defined and confined by truth.
Now in what sense can liberty be for the sake of truth? Liberty is self-determination, autonomy--this is almost a tautology, but a tautology which results from a whole series of synthetic judgments. It stipulates the ability to determine one's own life: But the subject of this autonomy is never the contingent, private individual as that which he actually is or happens to be; it is rather the individual as a human being who is capable of being free with the others.
And the problem of making possible such a harmony between every individual liberty and the other is not that of finding a compromise between competitors, or between freedom and law, between general and individual interest, common and private welfare in an established society, but of creating the society in which man is no longer enslaved by institutions which vitiate self-determination from the beginning.Self-Analysis Essay of a Writer - My portfolio absolutely reflects my understanding of persuasive writing.
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Raskolnikov’s self-imposed isolation represents one of the main principles of nihilism, the idea that nothing truly exists causes relationships of any kind to seem futile and meaningless. Because of this, Raskolnikov avoids human interaction of any kind as much as possible.