Fundamentalist Christians, facists and other people who have been attacked by anarchists because of their hate towards certain groups of people often complain about “the intolerance of these left-wing extremists”. They claim this tolerance because the people attacking them apparently want them to be tolerant as well. Of course the intelligence service as well as other repression agencies again and again speak of “the intolerance of left-wing extremists”, too. During demonstrations or during other occasions during which anarchists come into the public view, one comes into touch with the accusation of being intolerant. Often people who speak up “peacefully” for a “tolerant, multicultural togetherness” and advocate against hate aginst certain groups of people reproach anarchists with intolerance.
Yes, all these people are right: We are intolerant! And that’s for good reason! The term “tolerance” is shaped by the majority society. This majority society shares certain values, attitudes, traditions and courses of conduct. It perceives diverse societal minorities as being threatening because they advocate different values and traditions. The majority society feels like condemning and segregate these people for this. Or they feel like forcing these people to adapt to the majority or in the worst case they want to annihilate these minorities. Tolerance is now nothing else than the act of suppressing these urgents feelings. Historically, the term of tolerance came into being in order to appeal to people to stop torturing people, burning people or killing them in some other grueseome way just because they believed in a different God or they believed in the same God but in a different way or they did not believe in God at all or had some divergent funky otherworldly images.
I mean, it is kind of nice that at some point of time there were people that did not think all these behaviors as too cool anymore and that they came up with this term in order to teach others not be as “intolerant” anymore. Instead, they should keep others alive, they should “endure” them, should “put up with them”, which is the literal translation of the term “tolerance”. I’m sorry, but for me the term “tolerance” on the one hand is not radical enough and does not get to the heart of it. On the other hand, this term was invented by the majority society for the majority society. The term “tolerance” does not touch the dominant behavior of a majority towards a minority. Tolerance “protects […] an existing system because diverting conceptions are acknowledged but not necessarily adopted”. (Wikipedia: Tolerance). The majority culture has to “endure” these “diversions” and that’s about it.
However, I do not want that people originating from a majority society stop bullying or killing others because these are gay, jewish, chubby or whatever. I want these discriminations to disappear. I want that people don’t even think about frowing at person who is lesbian, asexuell or (being) disabled. I want the notion of a homogenous people’s community sharing values, traditions and attitudes to vanish. Such a notion inheres the exclusion of “dissenters” and the dilenation of other people. For me it is not only about tolerance. For me it is about living diversity without any authorities. Nobody else should make demands to interfere with the life and the decisions of others.
But I want even more. I want any power relations to vanish, any privilegies some people have and others do not to vanish, any suppression of people and any limitatin of their freedom to vanish. Those who stand for such a suppression and who push it forward, who deprive others of their freedom , who exclude them because they do not fit in their concept of a people’s community or in a “natural family” or whatever, those want others to submit to some abstract and absurd construct like God or the state, all these I am going to fight, always. Neither will I “endure” them nor will I “put up with them” because when doing so, I would accept their claims to power and I would let them exercise power. I will always be intolerant towards those people.