there have been many now
led in error
who have confused commitment to principle
with indiscriminate universality
claiming that to uphold a principle like tolerance
is to make an infinite invitation
free of judgement and discord
to all things, irrespective of their own nature and conduct
whether or not they, themselves, equal purveyors of the same conditions
which hath “tolerantly” invited them forth.
However, if sheer openness were a meaningful and satisfactory form of commitment here
surely the principle of tolerance would itself not meaningfully have to exist
for the claim is that, everything left as it is, there is, all in all, nothing capable of undermining it.
But a principle –
when it is a principle –
does not exist for reasons merely as qualified
as those that would promote its inexistence,
nor is a commitment to it the same as belief
without the accompaniment of appropriate action.
In fact, a principle is a principle if and only if its ends do not yet fully exist
and the bringing about of that existence
which is the principle of all principles
is neither a matter of indifference nor divorce.
Tolerance will never properly pullulate
if not as determined to identify the opposites which threaten it
as it is to drafting the most eclectic invitation possible;
indeed, all considered, are these two determinations not one and the same?
More than a simple attitude,
Tolerance is a commitment
like all commitments
whose strength of conviction must be matched by that of its work
and which, precisely in this, cannot but help
always-dangerously, veering into paradox
whilst taking all the care possible not to come into violation
of its own principle.
That is, the paradox of opening and closure:
for things to be generally open
some possibilities have to be particularly “closed”.
Yet, not being tolerant of intolerance –
contrary to the expectations of those erroneous –
is not the same as intolerance itself
whereas intolerance does not want to know
tolerance needs to know the intolerant, most of all
and this is really the crux of its work:
where intolerance does not want to meet
tolerance must build towards every meeting
and where the former is the general outcome of “accidental” occlusion
the latter should be so attentive as to avoid any such thing.
And the full complexity of what this involves:
not to become intolerant
but neither tolerating intolerance in itself
so, not just readjusting the parameters of inclusion
but indefinitely working towards their obsolescence, altogether
without renewed resorts to exclusion
without ever needing to write another invitation as such.
In all of this, it is easy to see whence the errors on these matters stem
for the vision required for a project of tolerance comes hard
and still unclear whether its end, beyond paradox, ultimately works
but certainly never brought nearer, sooner,
if this confusion between
an attitude of distance
and an actual ethic of condition-setting
is not formally resolved
(yes, sometimes, tolerance must mean abstention, passivity
but even that would be embedded in a deeper activity overall:
an endless encounter with the question of invitation
whose problematic contours must be confronted again and again).
And so, to briefly take one step back from the deficit of answers,
if only for the possible introduction of this whole thing
raising the advent of its full size to greater awareness
then just in that, in deliverance of sight of vision itself
(because the struggle for tolerance is
in many ways
the challenge of learning how “to accept” the unknown)
are the conditions already much better established
towards the welcoming of that time when, yes, finally,
tolerance need not be a principle at all,
but it is not yet
now is the time to (re)discover the means to this end.