Tolerance


So where is ideology? When we are dealing with a problem which is undoubtedly real, the ideological designation-perception introduces its invisible mystification. For example, tolerance designates a real problem – when I criticize it, I am, as a rule, asked: “But how can you be in favor of intolerance towards foreigners, of misogyny, of homophobia?” Therein resides the catch: of course I am not against tolerance per se: what I oppose is the (contemporary and automatic) perception of racism as a problem of intolerance. Why are so many peoblems today perceived as problems of intolerance, rather than as problems of inequality, exploitation, or injustice? Why is the proposed remedy tolerance, rather than emancipation, political struggle, or even armed struggle? The source of this culturalization is defeat, the failure of directly political solutions such as the social-democratic welfare state or various socialist projects: “tolerance” has become their post-political ersatz.

Slavoj Žižek, Living in the End Times

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