About the meaning of tolerance

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,

so naturalised

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.


Ossídio reading poetry on Youtube

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