To Tolerate or Not… To Tolerate


It is often said that we should tolerate other people’s opinions and I agree that should be so; however, I question whether that tolerance can be extended to open and public expressions of hate and intolerance. I guess what I am asking here is

“Is tolerant to tolerate the intolerant?”

Allow me to quote Karl Popper:

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.**

In an effort to illustrate let me use what I hope is a wildly insane scenario:

Would it be acceptable to stand idly by and watch a large strong man dominate and intimidate a weak person? Perhaps, a woman? a child? or, a disabled person? And if we do stand idly by watching this are we simply being tolerant? And if that is tolerance then where will the abuse of the vulnerable by intolerant persons end?

More specifically, should we as a society tolerate the public display, even on private property but still a public display for all to see of symbols of absolute hate: say the NAZI Swastika♠︎. That is, should displays that are clearly intended to intimidate others and promote the emboldening of those who would like to become openly intolerant of their neighbors… should this be passively tolerated because “We are a tolerant people,” or because “We have to allow others to have the same rights as we do.”

While I agree that we should respect the rights of others that should not be extended to granting them rights to intimidate others because such intimidation is prima facie-on he face of it-an outright attempt to take away the rights from others through fear and intimidation: rights that they demand for themselves at the expense of others. I decidedly do not believe that tolerating the intolerant is tolerant. I believe it is a form of complicity with their intolerance.

Is there a danger of becoming that which we fight if we resist intolerance? Sure, of course there is always dangers in any action of conscience. We must always act out of love and concern for the vulnerable for they cannot act for themselves. This resisting without becoming that which we resist is always a struggle we must ever fight. But in cases of tolerating the open display of pure symbols of hate and intolerance such as the NAZI Swastika displayed in a fully public forum (whether that forum is one’s own front yard) I contend that not to openly struggle to counter this open display of hate and intimidation is to become complicit with it. 

Martin Niemöller is famous for having said: 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It is my contention that to tolerate such symbols of hate as the NAZI flag is to assist in laying the ground for “Their coming for…” whomever. Today in America it is the “Mexicans” and the “Muslims” who will it be next? You? or maybe even me? And where will we be if we tolerate their open displays of intolerance? Could that end up being an American Auschwitz or a Treblinka perhaps? Yes, I do believe these are real, very real threats to what has become the “ideal” of America.

In the 1987 (some 30 years ago) the Fairness Doctrine (which guaranteed that if a broadcast medium presented a controversial opinion then they would have to provide, cost-free, time to an opponent of that controversial opinion.) An entire generation has now been birthed and matured into the fullness of adulthood (many who now have teenagers of their own) who were not even alive when hate speech, á la Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart/Steve Bannon, The Drudge Report and many others, became tacitly legalized in this “land of the free and home of the brave.” This type of speech, that those of this ilk, could never have become the rule instead of the exception except for the doctrine that “we must tolerate the opinions of others” except for the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine which had served this nation well for some 50+ years prior to that repeal by inhibiting open displays of hate and intolerance. Now within 30 years after removing the constraints on such hate speech and displays of intolerance we have an administration that is clearly molesting large segments of our society with impunity.

This level of tolerance has gotten us the Donald J. Trump presidency and people openly displaying NAZI hate symbols in the full view of all to see.

When, I ask, does tolerance of the intolerant become intolerant itself? I submit that it is as soon as we begin to tolerate the open displays of intolerance.

Or as appropriated from a friend:

The only thing tolerance cannot tolerate is intolerance. If intolerance is allowed, it destroys any tolerance that may exist.

♠︎      If you are not sure of what this symbol represents check out such
works as:

      Hannah Arendt’s
               The Origins of Totalitarianism
      available online at:
      George L. Mosse’s
               The Nationalization of the Masses
               Nazism: A History and Comparative of National Socialism
** Philosopher Karl Popper defined the paradox in 1945 in The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. 1 (in note 4 to Chapter 7).

Roger Willis Mills II

Empathy: The Ultimate Art Form

Can we help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves? Give a look see and see what you think.

Victoria NeuroNotes

minds connectionHello everyone.  Hope you are skiing through the holidays without too many mishaps.   I thought I’d share one of my favorite RSA Animate videos.

The RSA Action and Research Center is a 258 year-old charity devoted to creating social progress and spreading world-changing ideas.  Enriching society through ideas and action

Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves.

lightbulb_a  Check out George Orwell’s empathy experiment (see below).

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How I Overcame Fear Using Mental Training Techniques

Approximately 56% of Americans surveyed believe in the devil, 53% believe in hell and 43% believe in hell as a place of suffering and punishment. In an interview in New York Magazine, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he stated that he believed in the devil (Satan).
“You do?”
“Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”
“Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …”
“If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.”
“Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?”
Scalia’s reply:
“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

Victoria NeuroNotes

These Neuroscience Techniques Are Also Used In Navy Seals Training

Warning:  Explicit Content — Suicide

Amygdala_smallI spend a lot of time reading blogs where believers are becoming aware of the lack of credibility in their holy books but have an extremely difficult time with fear because of their indoctrinated beliefs about eternal hell.

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On Moderate Republicans

In relation to a post I made on FB Ravitch: Democrats Helped Pave the Way for Privatization Crusader Betsy DeVos from The Real News Network a my friend, Mr. “A”, responded to thusly:

Mr. A: There are a tiny number of historically traditional Dimocraps left (definitely not left). Now there are, only neo-lib and neo-con fascists and fascists don’t need no damn educations!!! Fascists need big military machines and high tech weaponry, in the hands of emotionally abused high school grads. These soldiers only need 40k per year, decent benefits and amphetamines and statutory permission to maim and kill.
Me: Catchy, Mr “A”, catchy. In support consider that before he finally retired Arlen Specter of Penn. (once as anti-a-democrat as could be) not only appealed to the DNC for acceptance he was fully embraced by them.
Mr. A: Arlen Specter was a decent moderate, that got chewed up and spit out by the neo-machine.
Me: At what point did Specter become a moderate? After the Neo-conservatives took over the right wing of the party?
Mr. A: Bout then — compared to those around him — he always worked at being bi-partisan and he was considered to be a moderate Repugnican by fellow legislators.
Me: The Democrats with whom he worked thus allowing him to be considered “bi-partisan” were by that time looking almost identical to the so-called “moderate Republicans of just one generation earlier. This would seem to indicate that the political spectrum had already shifted so far rightward that this shift allowed formerly “high reactionaries” like Specter to be viewed as moderates.
Mr. A: True enough but I witnessed Specter during committee proceeding exhibit reason and moderation but you are right: in the world I was born in Specter’s political sensibilities fall right around Goldwater, or in some telling respects, Hillary Clinton —-
Me: Excellent insight, Mr. A, not many I deal with ever arrive at that understanding. They are so caught up in the false dichotomy of Democrat vs. Republican that I sometimes wonder if they can see the nose on their faces. And I’m not sure exactly how much hyperbole is involved in this statement.

My final reply is as follows if Mr. A will forgive my presumption to use this conversation for this purpose.

So true. Isn’t truly telling that the political sensibilities of Barry Goldwater mesh with those of Hillary Clinton? That seems almost incongruous, doesn’t it? But, that is just how far the Democratic Party has shifted politically rightward in abandoning the American working class, and (for those interested) the American Middle Class. The Democratic Party of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s are so far right on the total political spectrum that they make Richard Nixon the last LIBERAL President the US of A has had.

And nearly all my Democratic friends sit around shaking their collective heads wondering how a Trump presidency could have ever even been possible.

This is so much so that I can’t even blame the people who voted for Mr. T for what he is doing. It is the New Democrats of the “Democratic Leadership Council” (which by the way was funded by the Koch Brothers: that’s right, those Koch Brothers, Charles and David Koch) who brought Bill Clinton to the fore in the early 1990s who I blame and, that’s right, all the Democrats of that and surrounding decades who SOLD OUT the America I grew up in. Those Democrats who because they hated African Americans enough they were willing to turn the FDR New Deal Democratic Party into the Al Smith Democratic Party and abandoned the “Solid South” into Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” Al Smith, who would have been right at home in Reagan’s White House, was a “fiscal conservative” who would have continued the same economic policies as Harding, Coolidge and Hoover which had brought the US and the entire world to its knees and set the stage for the ultra nationalistic fascist dictatorships that a decade later virtually destroyed the entire world in their global conflagration of territorial conquest, national and racial genocide.

Now imagine this: Bill did the bidding of his Koch masters (I’m not real sure that the pun is not intended) and repealed the last vestiges of the Banking Act of 1933, aka, The Glass-Steagall Act which had protected the average American from the worst excesses of Wall Street abuses and within 10 years guess what happened? yet again?

Yes, a global financial crisis and guess what is accompanying this glorious feat, yet again? I have a feeling you know at least the rudiments of this.

  • Golden Dawn (Greek Nazis, not Neo nazis, but actual nazis as they openly use Nazi insignia, salutes etc.) secured 7% of the vote in the September 2015 election, and it now has 18 MPs, making it the third biggest force in Greek politics. BTW, there is an interesting history with Nazi/fascist rule in post war Greece, for instance the first battle of the “Cold War” was in Athens 1944 not Berlin with the active support Great Britain and Winston Churchill.
  • Far-right party ELAM entered parliament for the first time in May 2016 elections, securing two seats from voters stung by the island’s acute financial crisis in 2013. Affiliated to Golden Dawn,
  • Marine Le Pen’s National Front, The FN has two seats in the French National Assembly (parliament) and in 2014 won the French European Parliament election, taking 25% of the vote.
  • VMRO-DPMNE (Macedonia)
  • Freedom Party-FPOe Party (Austria)
  • Danish People’s Party, Its 21% of the vote was a record for the party, and now the ruling coalition depends on DPP support in parliament.
  • the Finns Party (previously the “True Finns”)
  • the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party
  • Far-right Jobbik is the third strongest party in Hungary
  • The ultra-nationalist People’s Party-Our Slovakia of Marian Kotleba entered parliament for the first time this year, winning 14 seats. Mr Kotleba has previously dressed in a uniform modelled on the Hlinka Guard, the militia of the 1939-45 Nazi-sponsored Slovak State.
  • The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) have challenged the traditional dominance of Sweden’s Social Democrats, a party associated with generous social welfare and tolerance of minorities.
  • The SD argues for strict immigration controls, opposing multiculturalism.
  • In 2014 the SD became the third-largest party, winning 13% in the general election. But they are shunned by other parties in parliament.
  • This of course does not mention the Neo-nazis of the Ukraine or the Nationalists of Nigel Farage’s National Front in the UK.

Nor have I mentioned the personality of the day Donald John Trump.

Nearly all of which parties have surged in popularity since the crisis of 2007/8 which hit Europe more like 2010.

Now none of this requires a financial crisis to occur but it nearly always seems to be preceded by one unless the economic crisis follows the coup t’etat of a fascist dictatorship like what followed Iran after the CIA coup in 1953, the CIA’s Guatemalan coup in 1954, the CIA orchestrated Chilean coup on “9/11” 1973 or in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, etc, etc.

One might argue that the US economic policy of financialization began under Mr. Reagan, or Mr. Carter or even under Mr. Nixon when he took the US off the Gold Standard Aug. 13 1971, but  there can be no doubt that the seeds of the current crisis were if not sown under Bill Clinton they certainly were watered and richly fertilized under his Wall Street tutelage.

On Illegal Immigration


Actually there wasn’t a problem with illegal immigrants until the border was “closed” in 1965. Prior to that seasonal workers would cross the border work the season return home in the villages they had been born in, live with their wives, raise their children, comfort their parents and celebrate life with their cousins and life-long friends. However, with the closing of the border in 1965 these men had a decision to make: they could either return to their home villages south of the border and risk not being able to cross next season to earn enough money to feed, house and clothe their families or they could remain in the US and become “illegal” immigrants so they would be able to continue feeding, housing and clothing their families.

U.S. Agents Take Undocumented Immigrants Into Custody Near Tex-Mex Border

(Perhaps I am wrong, but I think most of us would do what we felt we had to do to provide for our children and indigent parents so let’s, please, continue to simply consider this information for the moment.) Once these men decided to remain in the US to avoid the risk of not being able to secure enough income to provide for their families it shouldn’t be a terribly great surprise that they would then start missing their families. This would naturally lead them to send for their wives and children much as we might. Prior to these sets of circumstances there was no “illegal immigration” problem in the US. Of course this only deals with the “Mexican” problem but, if I don’t misunderstand, that is the largest part of the immigration issue today.


We can think none of this is “proper” but we should not simply assume that these “illegals” are simply trying to flaunt our laws. I can speak for non but myself, but It seems to me that What Jesus Would Do is not to cast the hopeless aside and leave them in the ditch to rot as the Pharisee and the Sadducee did.


The real solution is not closing the border which has never worked. Not with the Great Wall in China nor Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England nor any barrier erected that would ensure the misery of others. While it may not be the intention of any American to inflict misery upon others the economic policies followed by our government in support of TransNational Corporations are indeed inflicting such misery upon others that those who are thus suffering are risking life and limb to escape that misery as would (I think) you and I.

Roger Willis Mills, II

The West needs a New Deal – BBC2 Newsnight

Having dismissed their poverty as a personality defect and their zero hour contracts as efficiency improvements, the Deep Establishment now looks on in despair as a Nationalist International triumphs. Two are its handmaidens:

Involuntary under-employment – the bitter price of austerity
And involuntary migration – the bitter fruit of concentrating decent jobs in small areas. People do not move to London for the theatre scene or to Britain for the climate; they move because they must!

Yanis Varoufakis

This video, prepared by and for BBC Newsnight, foreshadows DiEM25’s European New Deal – which will be made available in full during February. The script follows:

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