Roland Dürre
Saturday December 22nd, 2018

TOLERANCE and CONFORMISM.

Hans Bonfigt wrote a comment about my article on “Old White Men“ (Alte weiße Männer). To be sure, you can disagree about what he writes. However, for me, his article was an important impulse.

This picture was taken on October, 3rd, 2012 in the forest restaurant. I am wearing the cap I just imported from China (this is also my Twitter calling card picture).

When he said that “we tolerate everything except intolerance”, he really hit home. As I understood Hans, the important question in his article was: who exactly is allowed to define tolerance (or fascism, racism, colonialism)?

I believe there is an answer to this question. Let us first take a closer look at the terms:

Intolerance is the opposite of tolerance (Toleranz). Tolerance (forbearance) is a virtue, consequently, intolerance (the opposite of tolerance) is an anti-virtue, the opposite of a virtue.

”Fascism“, “Racism“, “Colonialism“ (Faschismus, Rassismus, Kolonialismus) are not virtues. They are systemic concepts of the world that describe ideologies and governments.

Ethically, “tolerance” is easy to define. If you want to judge if a statement or an attitude is tolerant or intolerant, you have to do a personal and independent weighing, following “ethically responsible values”. “Ethically responsible” means that the values you autonomously found must be in accord with the global community, for instance with the UNO Convention or the “Golden Rule” (Goldenen Regel).

Social systems depend on CLARITY. That is true both for enterprises (social systems with an economic goal) and parties (social systems with a political task). The problem is: what happens if the clarity becomes the collectively shared concept?

That is exactly what we want. We find it nice if the enterprise where we work or the party we give our vote emanates a “collective clarity“. “Collective clarity” is conformity. It is the small (subversive) sister of clarity. And conformity is a nice basis for “fascism”, “racism”, “colonialism” – just as it is also a good basis for “slavery” and “fiefdom”. That makes everything a little complicated.

I think we want to be careful. We need to see to it that the VALUES of our CLARITY are in accord with the world-wide consensus of values. That is also true for tolerance. And if and when the time comes that the world’s conformity will bring forth a world-wide fascism (no matter what kind of fascism), then the only thing that will probably help is resignation or resistance. Which will then trigger the interesting (ethical) question if such a resistance must be non-violent or if violence is the only way to make such a resistance a success.

Once in a while, I get the impression that this world-wide conformity is what we already have in the economic dimension.

Consumptionism and capitalism have spread throughout the world like a religion. Some also call it a predator capitalism that, by using its weapons marketing, lobbyism and corruption, has already conquered the world. And here, too, we again have the tricky situation that we must decide if non-violent resistance is enough.

I am convinced that the only way to counteract the upcoming world-wide conformity is diversity and variety.

Many thanks to Hans Bonfigt, who inspired me by sending his ideas.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “TOLERANCE and CONFORMISM.”

  1. Hans Bonfigt (Saturday December 22nd, 2018)

    Hallo Roland,

    m.E. kommt es vor allem darauf an, “zu welchem Zweck” etwas festgelegt werden darf.

    Für eine öffentliche Schule müssen sicherlich andere Regeln gelten wie für ein Unternehmen oder einen Privatmann.

    Und in der Meta-Ebene:
    Was macht man, wenn einem das nicht paßt?

    Ist es legitim, einen genehmigten “NPD” – Auflauf in Köln per Blockade zu verhindern?

    Also, wenn man seinerzeit den Neumarkt einen Tag vorher mit Schweinegülle geflutet hätte, das wäre schon recht lustig gewesen.
    Aber die schrägen Vögel mit Gewalt an der Ausübung elementarer Rechte hindern?

    Die Krönung war zum Schluß, daß sich der oberpeinliche Fitz Schramma, seinerzeitiger OB von Köln, ganz im Sinne seiner Vorgänger aus den 30er Jahren äußerte: Diese Leute wollen wir hier nicht haben!

    Aber das wirklich hinterletzte war, daß keiner merkte, welcher Verrat hier an der Demokratie begangen wurde.

    Naja, Rheinländer, mit ihrer Kölsch-Antilopenpisse, die qua Genfer Konvention (Chemiewaffen) verboten sein müßte.

    Die Treib- und Hetzjagden, die momentan gegen alle veranstaltet werden, die gegen den zusammengestoppelten “Wertekanon” der “Allianz der Anständigen” veranstaltet werden, führen uns direkt in den Terrorstaat.

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