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Why Should You Care?One of the big selling points that democracies exhibit is that they are “tolerant” systems. By tolerant we mean that they make an effort to accommodate different thinking and behavior than the one of the majority. This willingness to “accommodate” different people is used to capture the high moral ground and to single out and demonize other countries which are not so “flexible” and “understanding”. Yet, we cannot avoid to observe the blatant contradiction in terms that this position exhibits. Stay with us.

THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY

Let’s begin by stating that a democracy is, by definition, a tyranny. Just because typically we don’t have a tyrant to point a finger at, this does not mean we are not in a tyranny. We are. Democracies operate on the “will of the people” which translates as the “will of the majority” which in term translates as the “will of the representatives” which translates as the self-interest of a small group of people with power. Basically, a democracy is an oligarchy.

Within this environment there is a valid question that we must ask: What exactly does it mean to be “tolerant”?

Let’s consider this. All laws are created by a tiny group of people who represent themselves. These laws are applicable equally to everybody, whether this person wants it or not. Furthermore, all regulations actually governing said laws are created by un-elected “officials” (i.e. apparatchiks) whose sole purpose is to justify their jobs by creating more bureaucracy.

And so we have one layer of rules that we must all follow. But if we are different for whatever reason and our behavior or way of thinking does not abide by those rules, we are punished… unless we have sufficient votes to add exceptions to those rules. Who hasn’t heard about “Special Interest Groups” or “Lobbyists” or “Political Activists” or “Political Pressure Groups” and so on. Basically, if you are big enough and you make sufficient noise, you get your exception.

From those truths it is obvious that the so-called “tolerance” is nothing more than exceptions to arbitrary rules applied to all of us.

Although it is true that over time and if sufficient groups rebel, those exceptions become widespread (for example equality under the law for all races), this does not make our definition invalid. These are still exceptions under the law.

We can thus define “tolerance” in democracy as:

Exceptions to arbitrary rules imposed to us by tyrannical oligarchs.

TOLERANCE AND INTOLERANCE IN DEMOCRACIES

Democracies (i.e. politicians) make extensive use of gut-feeling and feel-good feelings we have when we are told that we are “tolerant”. When we ask where, we are directed to the many religions, races, colours, cultures and so on that inhabit our “beloved” democratic country.

See? We are told.

We allow everybody in here.

Well… not exactly everybody…but more or less everybody…

Well… not exactly more or less everybody but the adequately-behaved everybody…

Well… not exactly the adequately-behaved everybody but the ones with the “right” culture…

Well... not exactly the ones with the “right” culture but the ones with the “right” attitude…

Well…

You get the idea. The bottom line is that oligarchical democracies only tolerate those who either:

  1. Are of the same (right) mindset
  2. Do not interfere with those with the right mindset

Think about it! Typically all religions are welcomed… unless they are “sects”. The funny thing is that all current religions began as “sects”. Typically drugs are allowed (tobacco and alcohol), but the vast majority of them are not, regardless of the fact that a drug is a drug is a drug. Typically we allow all languages, but we expect people to speak the “language of the land”. In some countries there are limits to how many children you may have. In other countries, couples are ostracized for not having sufficient children. In many countries public schools are mandatory and private ones are not recognized. And so on.

The bottom line is that the concepts of tolerance and intolerance make no sense within democracies. Either there is tolerance or there isn’t. A definition of tolerance reads “the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with”. This definition does not include “escape hatches” or “back doors”. Either we accept people with differences or we do not. We don’t get to choose.

However, democracies operate in a different manner. Oligarchs choose what to tolerate and what not based on subjective and personal points of view. They choose all the time, thus they do not create tolerant systems. They may be more tolerant than others, but that’s it.

TOLERANCE AND INTOLERANCE IN LIBERTARIAN SYSTEMS

Contrast that with Libertarian systems. In these systems you are typically allow to do whatever you want in any way you want as long as you do not interact with other peoples’ properties without a previous agreement. Libertarian societies are tolerant by definition because they limit nothing in terms of opinions or behaviors. There is no pre-limitation or assumption or point of view or dictum that forces you to act or think in a specific manner. All that Libertarian societies demand is that you do whatever you want with your property only. Period. In return, everybody else will respect your property in the same manner.

This respect for property is not arbitrary; it is the most basic agreement that we can have in order to coexist. It is a biological imperative for survival. It is as low as we can go and not fight ourselves into extinction. Yes, it is that important.

Strangely enough, in Libertarian societies tolerance and intolerance are equally permitted. The question is not what are you and how do you think, the question is, “are you interacting with my property without my permission?”. Libertarians societies allow the most pacifist of beliefs and the most ultra-violent points of view. Libertarian societies allow the worst religious fanaticism and the most contemplative philosophies. Libertarians societies do not judge you by what you are or do, they only judge you by what you do with other peoples’ properties. Period

CONCLUSION

Democracies are in reality a center of intolerances wrapped as “permissive societies” and “tolerant” points of view. Libertarian systems on the other hand could not care less about tolerance or intolerance because these concepts are simply not applicable because nothing is forbidden. The only applicable rule is the one that assures mutual coexistence.

And now you have to ask yourself a question. Do you really, really, really want to live in a “tolerant” society? Thought so.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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