“So much for the tolerant left!” My Position On The Matter

“So much for the tolerant left!” cries the far-right. I am intolerant, yes! But of what? I am intolerant of intolerance on the basis of race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. In a word, I am intolerant of bigotry. “You are a dogmatist!” I am a dogmatist, yes! I am irrevocably convinced of the equality of black and white people, of men and women, of the fact that rape is bad, and I want society to be also. Do you mean that I am not ‘liberal’ and that I do not wish to give bigots a platform? To this crime I plead guilty, I do not wish to give Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups a platform. No, I wish to deprive them of that.

“If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened, neither in Germany, nor in Italy, nor anywhere else. Those who recognized its threat at the time and tried to stop it were, I assume, also called “a mob”. Regrettably too many ‘fair-minded’ people didn’t either try, or want to stop it, and, as I witnessed myself during the war, accommodated themselves when it took over … People who witnessed fascism at its height are dying out, but the ideology is still here, and its apologists are working hard at a comeback. Past experience should teach us that fascism must be stopped before it takes hold again of too many minds, and becomes useful once again to some powerful interests.”

— Franz Frison, Holocaust survivor

 I care infinitely more about the rights of black people, of women, of jews, and of all other oppressed minorities to exist freely and without enduring bigoted attacks by reactionaries than I do for giving someone who would commit genocide a platform. Am I a liberal? Not in the least, I openly declare that I fully intend to deprive such people of a platform, of their ability to organize and rally.

Do I mean that I am intolerant of conservatives? I do not like their views in the least, in fact I despise their views. I myself may not like their views, but I will not try to make society itself, or the state deprive them of their right to organize, debate, rally and petition freely. Conservatives do not wish to burn people alive, to send them to concentration camps. They do not wish to kill people for things they cannot help. Will I discourage it and in every way oppose all reactionary sentiments? Absolutely. But will I, in a stable democratic republic, deprive those people, conservatives, of the right to the free battle of opinions? Will I rape the human conscience and dogmatically force people to take up my views at the barrel of a gun like a fascist? No, I will not do that.

But when it comes to fascists, to Nazis and white supremacists, yes, I most certainly will deprive them of their right to organize, rally, run for office and have a platform. The state must draw a line as not to rape the human conscience, but to deprive fascists of having a platform. Does this mean I support this policy in times of revolution or civil war? Absolutely not. But as a general rule, for a stable society in which the foundation of the people’s republic is founded, I think this absolutely applies. Am I as an individual intolerant of conservatism? It is absolutely opposed to everything I for, but I do not wish the state to deprive people of the right to the free battle of opinions within reason.