Karl Popper on the Limits of Tolerance

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

– Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4.

“I have insisted that we must be tolerant. But I also believe that this tolerance has its limits. We must not trust those anti-humanitarian religions which not only preach destruction but act accordingly. For if we tolerate them, then we become ourselves responsible for their deeds.”

— Karl Popper. After the Open Society.

No True Islamic State

I listen to public radio quite regularly for some excellent programs such as Fresh Air, This American Life from WBEZ Chicago, the Commonwealth Club of California, and many many more. I love public radio but as I am not a news junkie, I avoid news programs. However, at the top of the hour, many programs throw in a 4-minute long news update from NPR (National Public Radio produced in Washington DC), or the BBC in some cases. What I have noticed in these news bits is the mealy-mouthed equivocation when it comes to referring to the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS, and ISIL. In the news, they never call it “the Islamic State” but qualify it as “the self-proclaimed Islamic state.” Why they indulge in this silly idiocy is revealing.
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Why the terrorists killed the satirists of Charlie Hebdo

The article title in Businessweek is “Why People Kill People Over Satire.” But the URL reads “Why the terrorists killed the satirists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.” Curious, isn’t it? The article title generalizes too much, watering down the particular. Sure, Islamic terrorists are terrorists, and certainly terrorists are people. So one can substitute use the general “people” instead of the particular “Islamic terrorists.” The title of the article is overly general, the URL is somewhere along the middle, and the particularized question that needs answering is “Why do only Islamic terrorists kill people over satire these days?”
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Islam Poses an Existential Threat

The phrase “Islamic terrorism” is actually one word too long since almost all modern-day terrorism is Islamic and the adjective is entirely superfluous. Why Islam specializes in this form of warfare is not hard to understand — because violence and aggression is ultimately the only weapon left to those who don’t have any other means of engaging with others. This engagement has become so tiresomely commonplace that we have come to accept it as a normal feature of modern life. It is hard to imagine but there was a time when you didn’t have to surrender your bottle of water or take off your shoes before boarding a flight. Now you have to surrender not just liquids but also your dignity under the intrusion of full-body scanners as we go about such mundane and innocuous activities as taking a flight.
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Geert Wilders: “War Has Been Declared against Us”

Well, what do you know! Amazing things are happening around the world. One of the more positive developments has been that of the Islamic State (formerly known as the ISIS) showing up and demonstrating to the world what “peace” means in the “Religion of Peace.(™)” They are the poster boys of Islam, arguing against the left-lib-tards (that’s the short form for “leftist liberal retards”) who keep on insisting that Islam is a religion of peace.
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AAP’s Prashant Bhushan’s Extraordinary Claim

An extraordinary claim made despite all the contrary evidence, just as contrary to all evidence, Islamic terror is dismissed with the facile statement that “terrorism has no religion.”

In India, Hindu sponsored terrorism is at its peak. As long as these Hindu terrorists exist, Kashmiris are not safe in any corner of this country. -- Prashant Bhushan, Aam Aadmi Party
In India, Hindu sponsored terrorism is at its peak. As long as these Hindu terrorists exist, Kashmiris are not safe in any corner of this country. — Prashant Bhushan, Aam Aadmi Party

The English translation says,

“In India, Hindu sponsored terrorism is at its peak. As long as these Hindu terrorists exist, Kashmiris are not safe in any corner of this country.

Prashant Bhushan, Aam Aadmi Party”

AAP is Arvind Kejriwal’s political party. Bhushan is endorsing what Raul Vinci aka Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party claimed — that the greatest threat to India is from “Hindu” terrorism. That’s not the surprising bit. The surprising bit is that some Hindus will certainly vote for AAP. This is part of the big pattern: Hindus acting against their own long-term interests. As long as this goes on, the future is bleak for Hindus — and for India.

On Ideas & Ideologies

I mainly criticize ideas and ideologies because ideas fundamentally affect human welfare. Most of the time my focus is on ideologies and not people. That distinction is worth keeping in mind. If ever someone misconstrues my criticism of an ideology with animosity against a group or a person, it reveals at best a reading comprehension problem and at worst guilt associated with a hidden prejudice of the reader against the group I am accused of opposing.
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