atx crypto club



Anon Ymous

Tue Mar 31 18:41:18 2020
<8f79fcda> In a 1965 essay titled “Repressive Tolerance,” Marcuse argued that tolerance and free speech confer benefits on society only under special conditions that almost never exist: absolute equality. He believed that when power differentials between groups exist, tolerance only empowers the already powerful and makes it easier for them to dominate institutions like education, the media, and most channels of communication. Indiscriminate tolerance is “repressive,” he argued; it blocks the political agenda and suppresses the voices of the less powerful.
If indiscriminate tolerance is unfair, then what is needed is a form of tolerance that discriminates. A truly “liberating tolerance,” claimed Marcuse, is one that favors the weak and restrains the strong. Who are the weak and the strong? For Marcuse, writing in 1965, the weak was the political left and the strong was the political right. Even though the Democrats controlled Washington at that time, Marcuse associated the right with the business community, the military, and other vested interests that he saw as wielding power, hoarding wealth, and working to block social change.52 The left referred to students, intellectuals, and minorities of all kinds. For Marcuse, there was no moral equivalence between the two sides. In his view, the right pushed for war; the left stood for peace; the right was the party of “hate,” the left the party of “humanity.”53
Someone who accepts this framing—that the right is powerful (and therefore oppressive) while the left is weak (and therefore oppressed)—might be receptive to the argument that indiscriminate tolerance is bad. In its place, liberating tolerance, Marcuse explained, “would mean intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left.”54
Marcuse recognized that what he was advocating seemed to violate both the spirit of democracy and the liberal tradition of nondiscrimination, but he argued that when the majority of a society is being repressed, it is justifiable to use “repression and indoctrination” to allow the “subversive majority” to achieve the power that it deserves. In a chilling passage that foreshadows events on some campuses today, Marcuse argued that true democracy might require denying basic rights to people who advocate for conservative causes, or for policies he viewed as aggressive or discriminatory, and that true freedom of thought might require professors to indoctrinate their students:he ways should not be blocked [by] 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. Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions which, by their very methods and concepts, serve to enclose the mind within the established universe of discourse and behavior.55
The end goal of a Marcusean revolution is not equality but a reversal of power. Marcuse offered this vision in 1965:
It should be evident by now that the exercise of civil rights by those who don’t have them presupposes the withdrawal of civil rights from those who prevent their exercise, and that liberation of the Damned of the Earth presupposes suppression not only of their old but also of their new masters.56
The coddling of the american mind

Back to top