May 08, 2002
The Limits Of Tolerance

Commentary on the assassination of Pim Fortuyn has been shamefully simplistic. He was (and still is) called intolerant because he firmly objected to the intolerance of much of the Muslim immigrant community.

There is a basic paradox here that is rarely discussed, and often not even noticed. Everyone likes to claim the high ground of tolerance and look down on those less tolerant than himself. But the fact is that tolerance of all positions means tolerating some very intolerant people, which allows intolerance to flourish, while not tolerating intolerance can lead to more tolerance over all than a stubborn (or cowardly) refusal to criticize even the most intolerant.

The odd thing is that the severer critics of Fortuyn know this in some part of their minds, since they obviously think it is not necessary to tolerate his position. Nearly everyone refuses to tolerate the intolerant: some just have odd ideas on who falls into that category.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 08, 2002 10:57 PM