The Tragedy of the Commons Science 13, December
THIS essay examines the idea of tolerance in our advanced industrial society. The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.
In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period--a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.
The author is fully aware that, at present, no power, no authority, no government exists which would translate liberating tolerance into practice, but he believes that it is the task and duty of the intellectual to recall and preserve historical possibilities which seem to have become utopian possibilities--that it is his task to break the concreteness of oppression in order to open the mental space in which this society can be recognized as what it is and does.
Tolerance is an end in itself. The elimination of violence, and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are preconditions for the creation of a humane society. Such a society does not yet exist; progress toward it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale.
As deterrents against nuclear war, as police action against subversion, as technical aid in the fight against imperialism and communism, as methods of pacification in neo-colonial massacres, violence and suppression are promulgated, practiced, and defended by democratic and authoritarian governments alike, and the people subjected to these governments are educated to sustain such practices as necessary for the preservation of the status quo.
Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery. This sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested.
The political locus of tolerance has changed: Tolerance is turned from an active into a passive state, from practice to non-practice: It is the people who tolerate the government, which in turn tolerates opposition within the framework determined by the constituted authorities.
Tolerance toward that which is radically evil now appears as good because it serves the cohesion of the whole on the road to affluence or more affluence. The toleration of the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda, the release of destructiveness in aggressive driving, the recruitment for and training of special forces, the impotent and benevolent tolerance toward outright deception in merchandizing, waste, and planned obsolescence are not distortions and aberrations, they are the essence of a system which fosters tolerance as a means for perpetuating the struggle for existence and suppressing the alternatives.
The authorities in education, morals, and psychology are vociferous against the increase in juvenile delinquency; they are less vociferous against the proud presentation, in word and deed and pictures, of ever more powerful missiles, rockets, bombs--the mature delinquency of a whole civilization.
According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth--not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation.
Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game. To take a most controversial case: In such a case, freedom of opinion, of assembly, of speech becomes an instrument for absolving servitude.
And yet and only here the dialectical proposition shows its full intent the existence.Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.
THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMON REVISITED by Beryl Crowe () reprinted in MANAGING THE COMMONS by Garrett Hardin and John Baden W.H. Freeman, ; ISBN Religious Influence in Society. by L.
Ron Hubbard. An early 20th-century philosopher spoke of the impending decline of the West. What he failed to predict was that the West would export its culture to the rest of the world and thus grip the entire world in its death throes.
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