Herbert Marcuse’s Progressive Legacy of Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, Hate and Mendacity
The Free Dictionary defines ‘tolerance‘ as follows.
tol·er·ance1. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.
That’s what tolerance used to mean, before Orwellian progressives performed their cunning linguistic tricks on it. Now the class-obsessed left has divided tolerance into two classes: partisan (good) and repressive (bad). The dirty secret is that both their meanings are identical and neither one is real tolerance.
|Marcuse was part of the Frankfurt School, aka Institute for Social Research, that was founded at the University of Frankfurt am Main, moved first to Geneva, and then to Columbia University in NYC. ISR was the fountainhead for the post-modern Marxist pseudoscience of sociology, along with all the various “studies” curricula. The ISR/Frankfurt School was intimately involved in 20th century efforts to reverse the meaning of language and abandon standards of objective truth.|
It all started with Herbert Marcuse, the Marxist theoretician, who decried “repressive tolerance” that doesn’t take sides (or maybe it takes the side of tradition. This is confused in the essay.) and advocated its replacement with “partisan tolerance” that takes sides against the status quo, which means taking sides against anyone who isn’t a partisan “victim,” or even better an actual outlaw.
From the introduction to Marcuse’s 1965 essay (emphasis mine):
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.
Marcuse reaches his conclusions by purposefully misreading Locke and by assuming his own conclusions (e.g. he literally accepts as a postulate that the status quo ante is ‘evil’). But this is not the place to indulge in a long argument against Marcuse. Any reader with a lick of common sense who reads Marcuse’s essay will realize it is packed full of learned lies and rhetorical and subliminal trickery. The takeaway of his argument is the conclusion that all things that have been outlawed or suppressed by society, including murder, rape, and robbery, and all matter of perversion and anti-social behavior, are good things that should be accepted, while every single traditional value or person must be rejected militantly.
To him, tradition is the enemy.
Let us take a minute to think about tradition.
In modern society we appreciate science and the scientific or empirical method. Through experiments, the scientist makes changes in things and observes them to see what happens. He formulates hypotheses and theories in response to physical facts. When a new process is discovered, formalized, and replicated by other scientists then it becomes a generally accepted scientific theory, and is also accepted by all manner of engineers and inventors as a formula to do something useful.
Not only does science work that way, so does tradition. People start from a beginning point, and over years, decades, centuries, and millennia they experiment with different ways of doing things. When they find a way to achieve better results, better facts, the improved way spreads to others. The origin of some innovations may be obscured in folkways, but the more obscure their origins the more you can trust that they were empirically tested and retested over time by people, not invented by rulers and priests who have always written down their commandments. Eventually survival-enhancing best practices beat out the alternatives. Over macro-scale time, except where overridden by a tyrant’s fiat, a society’s tradition becomes the repository of all the best practices empirically formulated by the members of society.
The common law is a tradition.
Tradition is, quite literally, the true science of sociology. The freer the society, the better the science in society’s traditions. The less free, the worse.
Tolerance is a best practice of a free society. The whole point of tolerance is that it lets groups of free people live with each other even when they disagree, without one group needing to defeat the other and place them into subservience. But in Marcuse’s formulation the purpose of tolerance is to enforce the beliefs of the group in charge, and to punish conflicting beliefs of their subjects. Marcuse’s formulation assumes an unfree society, with one annointed aristocracy ruling over another, lesser class of serfs. And his answer is to reverse the formulation so that the serf class becomes militantly intolerant toward the aristocracy and revolts against it.
Partisan Tolerance explicitly inverts every single moral and social good in American and Western European culture and society.
The Peaceniks are Revolting
What happens when one group of people, in a free society without class barriers or defenses against revolution, unilaterally decides to revolt against the whole system? Well, either they fail or succeed. We lived through this process in the USA with the violent, millenarian upheavals of the 1960s and their peace-mongering pipe-dream of creating a heaven on earth where there is no more war and the lion lays down in peace with the lamb. Unfortunately, in the real world the lion lunched on the lamb, the tiger mauled his trainer, the environmentalist’s lawsuits shuttered the factories and put all the factory laborers out of work, millions of innocents were murdered by the “peaceful” communists in Cambodia and Vietnam, welfare for poor families created a plague of drugs and violence, and the violent revolutionaries of the 1960s failed to overthrow American society. So SDS and the Weathermen and their drug-addled cronies put away their guns and bombs, went to grad school like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn did, and burrowed into the universities and colleges where they began to indoctrinate college students whose brains had been turned into receptive mush by the infantilizing, prison-like, government monopoly schools and their guild-like teacher’s unions. Others went into entertainment, law, social work, the environmental movement, and government. And finally there were those, like Bill and Hillary Clinton, who went into the Democratic Party for the 1968 Democratic convention and took the party over in time for McGovern’s doomed 1972 run.
Political correctness arose from these people. Originally something of a cynical joke about the uniformity enforcing effects of political power, then sold to us as a kind of little white lie to paper over hurt feelings, it quickly became a way of enforcing partisan tolerance. In other words, political correctness is a lie that replaces the truth with a partisan political lie in order to gain a partisan political advantage. Why doesn’t the press call someone caught red-handed in a plane full of people while lighting himself on fire in a fumbled attempt to set off a bomb a terrorist, but calls him an alleged terrorist instead?–Political correctness. Why can’t you call an aggressive pan-handling bum who urinates on the sidewalk and cusses at every passer-by crazy? Why does every infringement of your freedom and the freedom of your children seem to be “for the children”? Why is abortion called a woman’s issue, or a reproductive rights issue, or free choice, rather than homicide, dismemberment and disposal of defenseless children in the womb? Why did Congress pass a hate crimes law in 2009 that protects dangerous perverts like pedophiles and bestialists from “hate speech” and provides punishments for those who call them the wrong words, while with-holding this privileged status from members of the military who face identically hateful mistreatment? Why do progressives wear fashionable portraits of despicable tyrants and mass murderers such as Arafat, Che and Mao on their tee shirts while claiming these monsters somehow stood for freedom? Political correctness and Partisan Tolerance are the reasons.
The truth is that Partisan Tolerance and Political Correctness are nothing more than Lies in a web of lies promoted by revolutionary communists, socialists, fascists, Democrats, and other progressives. The source of these lies is as old as humanity: he is the Father of Lies, the Lord of the Flies, Beelzebub, the Serpent.
Is that all?
Partisan Tolerance does not stop at Political Correctness, or even Multiculturalism, though that is where we most often see it. It is truly perverse. In the progressives’ Newspeak dictionary, freedom means total government control of everyone, justice means treating privileged minorities better than non-preferred groups, property is not the means by which individuals suffice for themselves and escape bondage to others but the means of oppression, equal treatment before the law is replaced with legally-enforced equal misery for all, those who create great products and employ vast numbers of people are treated like criminals and perverts, and the most fundamental right of all, the right to life, can be invalidated by another’s right to privacy or convenience.
Here are a few more examples…
- Some critical theorists (this means communist in the progressive secret code) justify censorship of the arts based on the Marcusean idea of partisan tolerance.
- We have an explanation for why according to Democrats, any argument by a black person always beats an argument by a white person, as long as the black person is a Democrat. In other words, racism is a good thing according to partisan tolerance. If the black person is not a Democrat, like Clarence Thomas or Condoleezza Rice, s/he is not authentically black, is even worse than a white person with the same views, and must be demonized and personally destroyed by all “good” progressives.
- We have a response to a court decision in Belgium that declares that suppression or oppression of majority views is not legally objectionable. This is exactly the same structure as existed in apartheid South Africa: The minority oppressed the majority. In other words, apartheid is allowable as long as it is not against the wrong majority.
- We have the example of San Francisco, where law abiding, productive citizens are oppressed by the official bureaucracy while the same bureaucracy refuses to enforce laws against criminals and those who can claim the privileges of “victim” status. Are you an illegal alien and a criminal? You will get treated with kid gloves, while a businessman who wants to turn a profit so he can grow his company and employ more people is taxed to the brink of failure.
- We have all the ways that Progressives lie, mislead and cheat to get out of losing arguments.
Is partisan tolerance simple hypocrisy? I would argue it is worse. It is not simply stupid hypocrisy. It is an organized LIE that turns the categories of truth and lie on their heads, makes words meaningless, and prevents understanding between people. It is an attack on language and understanding and against reason and the intelligence of everyone in society, whether they pay attention to this or not. It is the willful infliction of the chaos at the Tower of Babel on the whole world, in order to bring us to a perfect, pre-linguistic, communist paradise that never existed and is fundamentally inhumane. It is the Lie.
It is the Lie, and all too many Democrats believe in the Lie as hard as they can. They cannot see it is a lie, because they have trained themselves to not see anything for what it is, but only see what fits into their preconceived, partisan politically correct categories.
What’s this mean for us?
One of our jobs as responsible, clear seeing adults is to recognize political correctness and partisan tolerance wherever we see them, identify them by name as a LIE, reject them forcefully, and ridicule and demolish the arguments of any and everyone who advances these destructive memes. We have to make it personal. We have to hurt their feelings.
And maybe that’s the hardest part. Because we are nice. Because we don’t want to turn into mirror images of the hateful, horrible douchebags who are the attack dogs of the Democratic Party.
But even though this is not a fighting war, this is none-the-less a civil war for the culture and soul of America and to maintain the last best hope for real freedom in the rest of the world.
The alternative to struggle and victory is surrender and loss. The result for those in an America where we lose will be, as George Orwell so eloquently wrote:
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
That’s what is at stake. Life in a world where everyone is forced to believe lies or pretend to, where right and wrong are turned upside down, where none but the political aristocracy are free in any meaningful sense of the word, and where a single terrible tyrant holds the lives of all in his all-powerful, all-corrupt fist. Though we often say that socialism and tyranny don’t work, the dirty secret is that once freedom has been thrown on the trash heap they do work. They have worked for most of human history, when men and women were not free but were slaves of their kings and emperors. Most people are miserable in these societies, but such societies are stable and aside from occasional violent revolts, pogroms, wars, and oppressions, life goes on. That is how socialism, fascism, monarchism, and other forms of tyranny function, by forcing the vast mass of people into equal misery.
How many generations will it take to restore freedom if we go down that road? And will we die in the transitional struggles, waste away in jails, or will we die, old and full of regrets, as slaves who through our forbearance sold our fellows and descendants into slavery?
Militantly opposing the LIE of partisan tolerance, all the lies of progressive Newspeak, is not the only thing we must do. But it is something we all must do. Because truth will set us free, as long as we are able to know it when we see it.