Recent Coverage Captures The Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse
The events of January 6th captivated the attention of the nation and the globe. I will not discuss them here right now. If, as Zhou Enlai allegedly claimed, it is “too early to say” the full impact of the French Revolution; then it is far to soon to know the impact of January 6th.
This has not, of course, stopped the political pundits of Left and Right from telling us what they think. Perhaps the most consistent narrative that has emerged is one of right-wing outrage at the left-wing media coverage.
Across the social media landscape, right-wing pundits and populists are furious at the “hypocrisy” of the Left praising last summer’s #BLM “protests” while condemning this week’s DC “insurrection.”
But the Left is not being hypocritical when it condemns the Americans who stormed the Capitol Building. It is following its stated doctrine. Repressive tolerance is that doctrine, and it was developed by Herbert Marcuse in a famous article of the same name. I have twice broached the doctrine of repressive tolerance, once in Why Don’t Leftists Condemn the Violence and once in Total and Limited War and Politics. The reaction to January 6th suggests I should discuss the doctrine again.
For a detailed exposition of repressive tolerance, I refer you to my earlier articles. Here, let’s just summarize the doctrine of repressive tolerance in plain English:
- Tolerance is only to be extended to truth.
- Leftism is objectively true, and anything other than leftism is not.
- Therefore tolerance is only to be extended to leftism.
- Anyone who disagrees with this has been indoctrinated. To the extent that the majority of people disagree, that means the majority of people are indoctrinated.
- Since most people are indoctrinated, leftists must break the indoctrination so that they can grasp the truth of leftism.
- To break the indoctrination, leftists must promote left-wing thought and suppress right-wing thought.
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