Bob Weissberg, the Happy Warrior of the oppositional Right, has a very good post up on Taki`s Magazine.
Let’s step backwards to the 16th and 17th centuries when Europe was embroiled in savage religious wars unbelievable by today’s standards. Out of this horrific carnage came a set of ideas that offered an escape from seemingly endless sectarian violence. It is the waning of this legacy that encourages repressive political correctness. Undermining this historic inheritance has been the totalitarian left’s conscious aim. Resurrecting this legacy is vital to protect today’s dissenters from the modern version of immolation.
The idea of tolerance back then was central. As understood by John Locke (1632-1704) and others, it was a tripartite concept. There were things that one liked, things one abhorred, and in the middle was tolerance ? what one could put up with, neither liking it nor finding it unbearable.
Bob goes on to show how the ideological Left has systematically erased that middle option. Nowadays "tolerance" has been redefined to be a synonym for "enthusiasm." If you are not full of enthusiasm for something, then you must be full of hate towards it, and are probably plotting violence against it.
The rather simple notion of putting up with things one doesn`t much like seems to have been lost.
With this new definition, you either liked something (tolerance) or disliked it (intolerance), with no middle ground of ambivalence or mixed feeling.
And what`s the solution to all thsat hate? Get rid of the bad thoughts!
Stamping out "bad thinking" to build a hate-free world is unnecessary unless you want to turn anti-hate into a political weapon. Scientific research literature demonstrates that attitudes don`t necessarily lead to actions. Those who insist that "bad thinking" is a precursor to "bad behavior" should ask adolescent males about their sexual fantasies. Billions of people successfully repress "bad thoughts" daily. Human society is impossible without such repression.
That brought to mind Dr. Johnson:
The religious James Beattie once confessed to him that he was "at times troubled with shocking impious thoughts." If he was startled by Johnson`s reply, he could also have been reassured: "If I was to divide my life into three parts, two of them have been filled with such thoughts."
Coincidentally, I have just been watching (on DVD) Bob`s address to the 2012 American Renaissance conference. Nicely done ? not the least bit noxious ? and shows the Happy Warrior at his happiest: I think he averages about a joke a minute.