The Limits of Toleration

I’m very late with this but want to comment on it nonetheless. One of the things it took me a very long time to realize is that people can become addicted not only to substances but to… behavior and reactions from other people. This is why when the boundaries of tolerance begin expanding, it seems to create increased unhappiness. Many people assume identities as much to provoke reactions in other people as to express themselves. Lots of people are, in essence, addicted to disapproval and if you express tolerance for their latest foolishness it just provokes them to adopt even more outlandish behaviors so they can get the hostility that they crave.

Note in this incredibly stupid example that the grave error committed by the racist knitter was…. being excited and happy about the chance to go to India. For the author a white person expressing interest in India is a grave insult. This is clearly an unstable personality that wants and needs white disapproval of India so she can savor the sweet, sweet feeling of self-righteous anger. Absent real colonial discourse and repression she has to latch on to preople expressing the wrong positive emotions or expressing the right emotions in the wrong way.

This raises the question of what the knitter could have said that wouldn’t anger the vox writer…. Maybe expressing solidarity with the brave resisters of colonialism (after all it only ended just over 70 years ago…).

It’s also an another example of how diversity is a generally rotten idea. You can maintain diversity only by maintaining strict walls between groups and the easiest way to do that is to be generally unpleasant to outsiders and no fun to be around.

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