Ideas give birth to moods, and moods lead to ideas, but ideas and moods are not interchangeable. If one wants to find out why people think the way they do, the distinction has to be kept in mind.
“Mike71” commenting on “No Taxation Without Decision” objects that: “Patrice, the one value, so little discussed above, is that of tolerance, allowing each individual to believe in any faith of their choice, or none at all. In the Libertarian ethic and tradition, becoming more widespread in the U.S., as well as abroad, the concept is that one should be able to do what they may, to the extent that it does not interfere with the rights of others.”
I have never said anything else. Moreover, making an ideology of “Liberty” (“Libertas” in Latin) is not new. Ever heard of: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité?
Notice that Liberté comes first, indeed. Including the liberty to caricature.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 defined Liberty in Article 4 as follows:
“Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.”
Discours sur l’organisation des gardes nationales, Article XVI.
“On their chests will be engraved these words: FRENCH PEOPLE, & below: LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY. The same words are inscribed on flags which bear the three colors of the nation.”
(French: XVI. Elles porteront sur leur poitrine ces mots gravés : LE PEUPLE FRANÇAIS, & au-dessous : LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ. Les mêmes mots seront inscrits sur leurs drapeaux, qui porteront les trois couleurs de la nation.)
Rome, for centuries was more libertarian (except for the slaves, oops) than any regime since (there were private companies catching slaves, as in the Nineteenth Century USA, but even some that tortured and executed slaves for you).
Actually the Franks took control, and re-founded the decaying Roman State, starting in 400CE. “Frank” means “Free”. The main ideological effort of the Franks was to augment Freedom. Freedom fries did not start in 2003. Under the theocratic, Christian fanatical, fascist and plutocratic late Roman empire, Libertas was getting squeezed in all ways: individuals, Catholics or not, could be killed legally relatively easily, if they committed “blasphemy” against “Catholicism”, professions and social status tended to be inherited very rigidly, local democracy had disappeared, banditry and terror ruled (in part because the Catholics who ruled had replaced Roman law by Christian law)
The Franks threw the whole thing overboard: it was freedom everything. Except in military matters, where Roman military law was imposed ferociously (replacing the German anything-goes, we are all partners in crime). This is embodied by the famous story of the Vase de Soissons.
The rule of Liberty means the rule of tolerance. In particular, religious tolerance. The Franks re-established the rights of the Jews in the Sixth Century. In 1789 CE, 12 centuries later, the French Revolutionaries re-established again the rights of the Jews (which had been confiscated in the meantime by blood drenched monsters such as the fanatical “Saint” Louis).
Saint Louis was the first to claim he was tolerant, and good to the little guy. He just wanted to kill so bad miscreants such as Jews and the vaguely defined “Unbelievers” (“Incroyants”).
So, yes, of course, everybody worships “tolerance”, and “respect”. Actually that’s one of the preferred lines of Islamist fanatics, who always insist that Islam is all about “respect” and “tolerance” (they can find quotes to support that, in the Sacred texts, of course). But you see, “tolerance” is not a system of thoughts. It is a mood.
Systems of Thoughts, such as Christianism, Islamism, Stalinism, Maoism, erroneously named so-called “Liberalism”, “Capitalism” (whatever that means), Representative Democracy, etc. can all be criticized specifically.
In faulty systems of thoughts, one can point at specific lies. Lies by counterfactualism (outright lying), or by profound omission, or outright ignorance.
With system of moods, it’s a different matter entirely. Take so-called “Islamophobia”: fear of Islam. How could such a mood be found to be faulty on a single statement? Moods are pretty impervious to logic. Phobias, when too acute, are just medical conditions.
Nobody, really is against “tolerance”. Nobody is against “democracy”, either. The Nazis used to joke they had “total democracy”. Don’t laugh: Hitler won referenda.
In the real world, there is force. Force is what rules reality. It’s a matter of physics, not history or wishful thinking. Physics is mostly about the description of forces in action.
Take an example: Israel. Israel and the context around it, is a ticking time bomb. A lot of potential energy is accumulated, getting ready to be unleashed with great force.
Israel knows well that some of its enemies will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Israel. Half a dozen thermonuclear warheads well targeted (one on Haifa, three on the greater Tel Aviv, one on Jerusalem) would annihilate Israel, killing more Jews than the Nazis did.
And guess what? The Israelis know this. What to do? Wait placidly like sheep for extermination. It was tried last time, with the Nazis. It did not work too well: most European Jews were exterminated.
So the Israelis may well strike first.
Potentially, one is talking about tens of million killed, if not hundreds of millions.
In light of such realities, the realities of force, “tolerance” is deeply irrelevant.
(This is how Putin has always reasoned, force, and it has worked for him, as far as he is concerned. Similarly Obama used the force of deception to get where he is, and, just like Putin, he is happy like a clam.)
A mood such as tolerance is little in comparison to the moods the survivalist instinct leads to.
Freedom in the service of survival means to be free to annihilate the enemy. And tolerance means, in that vital context, to be ready to tolerate the infliction of evil. On others.
Dream states and wishful thinking are refreshing. However, when in action in the defense of one’s dear life, the brain switches to a completely different mode.
I have been there.
Once I was crossing a near vertical ice gully in flimsy rock climbing shoes. The belay was in the gully itself, protected by a rock. The anchors were not good, but the best I could do. As I was past the middle of the pitch, digging steps cautiously, I saw a giant rock avalanche coming. I ran (first impossible feat).
The some rocks hit the ropes, I was yanked off, and started to fall down the kilometer high gully. It was certain death. However, unbelievably, I was able to wedge myself between rock and ice. If I were into superstition, I would believe god personally intervened.
More prosaically, I believe that all my motor neurons got simultaneously activated, and inhuman strength was deployed with inhuman precision.
The brain, pushed into survival mode, is capable of unbelievable feats. And the first unbelievable feat, is how easily conventional morality, so-called humanism, ceases to be a factor.
Humanity exists, because of love. Otherwise there would be no children. And humanity also exists, because of its Dark Side. That is why humanity is so special. Humanity’s violent, omnipotent side: the Jewish god is in its image.
Are we ready to fight Putin to death? Or are we ready to live under the system of thoughts and moods the Russian dictator is generating, day after day? This is the sort of question, and the answers it led to, that has shaped human ethology for millions of years.
Want Liberty? Sell weapons to Ukraine. Do not repeat what was done in 1936, when France promised weapons to the Spanish Republic, and then backed-of, under British and American pressure.
The rest of the story? Mayhem in Spain, millions assassinated. Mayhem in Europe, 70 millions killed, most of them assassinated.
Liberty, or Death: that is not just the lesson of 1789, but also the lesson of Auschwitz.