Tolerating the Intolerable
2014-06-14 0:00



The new left’s doctrine of “repressive tolerance”

It has long been observed that advocates of tolerance can be quite intolerant when it comes to those who do not share their beliefs. But I stumbled upon these quotations from Herbert Marcuse, hailed as “the Father of the New Left,” who was the author of “Repressive Tolerance” (1965). He teaches that the establishment of a “liberating tolerance” will require the repression of certain people and points of view.

“Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

“Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.”

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