The Struggle to Live and Let Live
The Psychology, Ethics and Politics of Tolerance, or, Why Discrimination is Preferable to Tolerance
When faced with the intolerance of the imperialist who denigrates and annihilates other ways of life, one answer is the principle of tolerance as advocated by multiculturalism and biculturalism. This asserts that each way of life has its own legitimacy, to be valued on its own terms, and that its differences with other ways of life ought to be tolerated. The concept of figure and ground is a helpful way of conceptualising the practice of tolerance, making room for inclusive, both/and forms of existence. It is an image for the attempt to live and let live, in which differences — mountain and sea — coexist in harmony with each other. Whilst broadly in favour of this world view, I will nevertheless inquire into some of its beliefs and assumptions. Amongst other things, I argue that the “cultural group” is not the straightforward category it is often portrayed as, but always a conflictual, problematic and politicised entity. This in turn problematises the activity of tolerance: what is the psychology of tolerance and how is it informed by the political context? What is taking place within us when we are actively tolerating something? Is tolerance necessarily and always a good thing? Are there occasions when intolerance (and therefore, conflict) is the ethical requirement? In this article I argue that the ideals of “respecting difference”, “inclusivity”, “tolerance” are not only ethical but also always political. In sum, I argue for the virtues of discrimination over those of tolerance.
Ko tētahi whakautu, inā tūpono ki te pēhitanga a te whakahīhi whakaiti, whakamate koiora atu, ko te mātāpono manawa nui taunakitanga a te taurea maha me te taurea takirua. Ko tēnei, he whakatau i te tika o ia koiora, ko tōna uara māna anō e whakatau, ā, ko āna noho rerekē ki ēteahi atu koiora e tika ana kia awhitia. He huarahi āwhina ariā whakawaia manawanuitanga te ariā āhua, ariā papa, kia whai ātea ai te tāua, tātou me ngā momo peka nōhanga. He whakapakoko mō te whakatau kia waiho noa iho te noho, te rerekētanga – maunga moana – e noho āiotanga tahi nei. Ahakoa e whakaae whānui ana ki tēnei tirohanga, ka huri tonu au ki te ui ki ētahi o ana whakapono me ana tohutohu. I tua atu i enei, ka whakapae au kāore i te rite te taumata whakaahuahia o te “rōpū ahurea” engari ia ka noho hei rōpū taupatupatu, whakararuraru, tōrangapū hoki. Koia nei ki raruraru ngā whakahaere whakamanawa nui: he aha te manawa nui o te mātai hinengaro, ā, pēhea ai te whāngai kōrero atu a te hāpori tōrangapū? He aha kei te mau i a tātou inā āta whakamanawa nui ki tētahi mea? He pai anō nei i ngā wā katoa te whakamanawa nui? He wāhanga anō tō te pēhi whakamanawa nui (te mutunga ko te taupatupatu) te huarahi matatika? I tēnei kōrero, e whakapae ana au ehara ana i te matatika anake o ngā mātāpono o te “maruwehinga rerekētanga”, “peke katoanga”, “whakamanawa nui” engari huri noa he tōrangapū anō hoki. Hai whakaoti ka tautohe ahau mō te painga ake o te aukati ki to te whakamanawa nui.