Category Archives: intolerance

Pitiless monster

Had it not been, writes Dalrymple,

for the cataclysmic First World War, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov would have remained as he should have remained: an obscure, exiled scribbler of dull, intolerant, and hate-filled political pamphlets, with no chance to put his fathomless misanthropy into practice.

He adds:

No man was ever more a stranger to pity.

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Canting humbugs in their hundreds of thousands

Hard feelings in the East Indies

The sentencing of the Christian governor of Jakarta to two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy might, writes Dalrymple,

seem like a throwback to medieval intolerance,

but, he says,

it is more than that. It is a reminder that the suppression of the freedom of others is more fun than the exercise of freedom.

The Muslim masses who demanded the prosecution of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama

enjoyed their virtuous anger,

which is

among the pleasures that their religion does not deny them.

Islamic humbug

Dalrymple notes that although intellectually primitive, the condemnation and sentencing of Ahok, as he is known,

was in one respect modern. One of the judges said that punishment was justified because the governor had hurt the feelings of Muslims—which must have been as delicate as those of Western students who need safe spaces and teddy-bears to hug if they hear something that contradicts their preconceptions.

The desire not to have one’s feelings hurt

has been erected into a right increasingly enforceable at law. Not everyone’s feelings are treated with the solicitude that we show a nice fluffy colourful species of animal that is on the verge of extinction. But treating people’s feelings with this solicitude tends not only to preserve them but to cause them to flourish.

Dalrymple avers that

we have a duty to control our indignation, for most of the time it will be liberally admixed with humbug.

He does not expect his message to be heard in Jakarta,

to judge from the pictures of those hundreds of thousands of canting humbugs in the city’s streets.

The collectivist rot in Britain

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 07.54.19An infantilised people

Its sense of irony, writes Dalrymple, once protected the British population

from infatuation with utopian dreams and unrealistic expectations.

But the English are sadly changed.

A sense of irony is the first victim of utopian dreams. The British tolerance of eccentricity has also evaporated; uniformity is what they want now, and are prepared informally to impose. They tolerate no deviation in taste or appearance from themselves.

The pressure to conform

to the canons of (lack of) popular taste has never been stronger. Those without interest in soccer hardly dare mention it in public. A dispiriting uniformity of character, deeply shallow, has settled over a land once richer in eccentrics than any other. No more Edward Lears for us: we prefer notoriety to oddity now.

The English are no longer sturdily independent as individuals, either. They now

feel no shame or even unease at accepting government handouts. (40% of them receive such handouts.)

Many Britons

see no difference between work and parasitism.

They are left with

very little of importance to decide for themselves, even in their private spheres.

The State

  • educates them (at least nominally)
  • provides for them in old age
  • frees them of the need to save money (doing so is in many cases made uneconomic)
  • treats them when they are ill
  • houses them if they cannot afford housing

Their choices

concern only sex and shopping.

No wonder, says Dalrymple, that the British

have changed in character, their sturdy independence replaced with passivity, querulousness, or even, at the lower reaches of society, a sullen resentment that not enough has been or is being done for them. For those at the bottom, such money as they receive is pocket money, reserved for the satisfaction of whims. They are infantilised. If they behave irresponsibly it is because both the rewards for behaving responsibly and the penalties for behaving irresponsibly have vanished.

Such people

come to live in a limbo in which there is nothing much to hope or strive for and nothing much to fear or lose. Private property and consumerism coexist with collectivism, and freedom for many people means little more than choice among goods. The free market, as Hayek did not foresee, has flourished alongside collectivism.

If we had only listened to Honeyford

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.25.58If we had done so, we should not have sown what we are reaping

Ray Honeyford, who was headmaster of a ghetto school in Bradford in the early 1980s, knew, writes Dalrymple, that

the official multiculturalist educational policies that he was expected to implement would sooner or later lead to social disaster.

When he exposed the folly of these policies,

the advocates of ‘diversity’, who maintain that all cultures are equal but that opinions other than their own are forbidden, mounted a vicious and vituperative campaign against him. He was branded a near-murderous racist and drummed out of his job.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.26.28His ideas were

logical, sensible, and coherent. He argued that Islamic immigrants needed to be integrated fully into British society. He did not believe that the cultural identity necessary to prevent the balkanisation of our cities into warring ethnic and religious factions implied a deadening cultural or religious uniformity. On the contrary.

He

enunciated painful truths that were tangential to his central argument: for example, that Pakistan (the country of origin of most of the immigrants in his area) had been unable throughout its history to develop either democratic institutions or a culture of tolerance.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.25.16The ghetto school, called Drummond Middle, was a

piece of high-Victorian public architecture, grand without being overbearing, and conveying implicit aesthetic and moral lessons to its pupils, however humble the homes from which they came. The collapse of the cultural confidence that had produced such a school building was soon complete: after Honeyford’s departure, the school quickly received an Urdu name and was burned down beyond repair by an arsonist.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.26.14Honeyford brought his troubles down upon him when he published an article exposing the follies of multicultural education in the Salisbury Review. The Review’s name

hardly ever appears without the qualification that it is rabidly right-wing, implying that no intellectual engagement with the ideas expressed in it is ever necessary—only the kind of opposition appropriate to dealing with brownshirts and blackshirts.

An unremitting campaign gathered steam,

under the leadership of local politicians and pressure groups, some of which sprang up expressly to get him fired. He received death threats. A few small children learned from their parents to chant ‘Ray-cist! Ray-cist!’ at him and to hold up denunciatory placards, some with a skull and crossbones. The Bradford Education Authority considered the possibility of a court order against the demonstrators, but it decided that such an order would inflame passions. Thus political extremists learned a valuable lesson: intimidation pays.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.25.44Honeyford was

mild-mannered and unexcitable. He was a believer in the virtues of plain speaking—formerly a tradition in the north of England. He thought that different opinions might be tolerated, not having grasped that the purpose of those who argue for cultural diversity is to impose ideological uniformity.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 22.25.28He believed in the redemptive power of education and in

the duty of schools to give the children of immigrants the same educational opportunities as everyone else. His only regret about the affair was that it drastically shortened his teaching career. It is a tribute to the power of Orwellian language that a man who believed these things should successfully have been labeled a racist.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 22.30.23

Age of the puritanical libertines

These chauvinists, who uphold cottaging, for instance, as one of the highest goods and an absolutely fundamental and basic human right,

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 23.52.55

Britain’s most celebrated cottaging expert (left). He was to discontinue his practices, which were in any case thoroughly hushed up

want to send to Coventry all those who think that the removal of restraints on conduct is not necessarily a good thing. It brands them ipso facto bigots (as, of course, some but not all of them will be), and is prepared to punish them, so far as is possible, for holding the wrong opinions. Thus are created what one might call microclimates of totalitarianism in which people live in fear: fear of losing their jobs, fear of social ostracism for having said or even thought the wrong thing.

The problem lies

in the human heart — in its lust for power and thirst for domination, in its pride in its own goodness.

Tolerance

is a habit of the heart that is acquired by self-restraint and not merely through a set of political arrangements. If we are not tolerant of those with whom we disagree, we are not tolerant.