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The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority (2016) (medium.com)
262 points by plainOldText 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 214 comments



Paradox of Tolerance : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

> The paradox of tolerance was described by Karl Popper in 1945. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Popper came to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.


> 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.

He is meaning that there should be intolerance to violent intolerance, not to any intolerance.

That is my interpretation at least, and I find it very disingenuous to omit that part.


Pretty much every intolerance worth opposing harnesses very violent elements in it's base while maintaining a veneer of civility.

Look at religious motivated systemic violence against LGBT people in the US. Our current executive has waved a rainbow flag a time or two, but our vice president has personally funded things that look like camps and penned legislation that let's police ignore and LGBT person being beaten on the street. Neither of these things are particularly unfair characterizations.

So yeah, you're right. It's just that intolerance naturally leads to violence rather quickly in humans.


That's terrible! I can't seem to find a source of the vice president being connected to legislation allowing police to ignore LGBT people being beaten. Can you give me the link to one?

Also, what do you mean by camps? Forced orientation changing?


Sure, it's the tortured story of Indiana's so-called RFRA act that Pence presided over. It includes several problematic sections.

Section 9 opened the door for this interpretation of the build by pointing out that private contractors often work for the city and state, and specifically protecting the right to object to interacting with LGBT people if "[their] exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened".

This leads to an awkward situation where a private contractor doing police, fire, or (most likely) emergency services work for a company with a religious charter is likely protected in doing so.

What's most interesting about the RFRA (and the bills Pence helped pen but never made it to a vote in House and Senate) is the "overriding" clause, allowing for a explicit defense in state court against people who discriminated, and making it harder for those suing to press for (perhaps in 2015, more strict).

This made the law stronger than prior related RFRA acts of other states and at pre-existing federal law.

The text of the law is available publicly and about a billion perspectives on the law are available online. Give that you almost certainly didn't search for it on google, please let me refer you to "mike pence RFRA Indiana". You can find lots of pro and con to suit your taste.


RFRAs don't allow first responders to refuse to do their jobs -- the life of another is a compelling state interest, and there's no narrower way to accommodate that interest than to require first responders to respond. Merely claiming a religious burden is only one element of the test. I've never heard of any religious emergency service personnel even suggesting they have a religious objection to 'interacting' with LGBT people in emergency situations -- but even if you could, the Indiana RFRA law wouldn't have allowed that.


I mean, RFRAs have enabled other prior absurd outcomes, especially in health care. I've read a lot of interpretations of this law that suggest that this would have to be tested in court.

There is this curious not of the "obligation" of a first responder, but as we are seeing in Florida it's not clear any such obligation exists or can be realistically enforced.


Police don't have to take a bullet for anyone, but the EMT that refuses to help LGBT people on the scene of an accident will be sued into oblivion. RFRAs don't change any aspect of either situation, and we've had 20 years of federal RFRA caselaw that says it's pretty settled.

Despite what you may have read from activists, there exists no sizable group of Americans who want to use their religion, or would allow others to use their religion, to deprive LGBT people police, fire, or medical treatment in an emergency. No more, I'd venture, than there are LGBT people who would do so to religious people.

There are reasons to criticize religious beliefs or second guess RFRA expansion, but this shows the problem of encouraging a policy of intolerance toward perceived intolerance. It's often prejudice based on fearmongering, even (or especially) in the age of the internet.


You need to reexamine this specific rfra. It is different from other examples and was widely criticized for that difference.


You are grossly misinterpreting how this is applied in the real world. Wake me up when a first responder refuses to help someone because they are LGBTQ


> While running for Congress, Indiana governor Mike Pence called for state funding for "institutions" working to enable people to "change their sexual behavior."

https://www.snopes.com/mike-pence-supported-gay-conversion-t...


From the link:

  Mike Pence once supported the use of federal funding to treat people "seeking to change their sexual behavior."
That seems like a great thing to fund. Looks like our current vice president seems interested in helping those who seek help.


Just in case anyone is reading this comment and they think that "conversion therapy" isn't equivalent to torturing individuals I suggest the following op-ed from the NYT about a man who suffered through the process:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/24/opinion/gay-conversion-th...


Except the reality is that the clients of those straightening camps are often the parents of gay kids, not adults.

There is plenty of data on this.


Yeah, I see where you're coming from, but it seems this therapy is forced upon children (another commenter linked an article who experienced this at age 14). That seems wrong to me, and at the very, very least not something we should be funding at the federal level.

In fact, there could be some parallels here to federal funding for abortions. Many conservatives feel this procedure is morally wrong as strongly as others might feel about gay conversion therapy. I can see why they would be similarly upset about federal funding for clinics that perform them, although I don't necessarily agree with their final position.


Sounds like a false equivalence re: abortion.

There is science behind viability of a fetus for example that is used to determine guidelines and there is science behind behavioral therapy that disagrees with sexual conversion therapy.

On one side, you have people at least attempting science and rational thought, on the other side you literal magic thinking (religion) as the rationale, the two are not equal.


They're certainly not like for like, and the principles behind what make them acceptable or not are totally different. I don't expect to convince anyone of anything except that, whatever side of the aisle you fall upon, please try to have a little more empathy for those on the other.


Not that I think "gay conversion" is effective (maybe at the margins), but as society we do seem to beleive that others sexual orientations can be changed via incarceration.


Pretty sure the orientation is not the problem, it is the victimization of minors, which is an action -- not a thought or a feeling.


I think it's less "changing their sexual orientation" and more "keeping them away from those who can't defend themselves."


Why can't both things be bad?


I am replying to myself since I am fascinated by the other three responses. None of them are responding to what I actually wrote and all of them are responding to what they think I wrote. All of them are wrong in guessing what I think I wrote.


Perhaps all intolerant groups harness violence, but it is clearly not a required element. They could easily substitute it with social stigmatization, and achieve a similar effect. Many religious people today will disown a son or daughter for coming out as gay. Were there no legislation stopping this, I imagine the same people would refuse to allow gay people into their businesses. If we were able to guarantee that all violence would be punished, the intolerant groups would quickly adapt while remaining intolerant.


that would still be preferable


If we could only distinguish the intolerant as soon as we saw them. Maybe we should make them wear some sort of badge that would allow people on the streets to curse and abuse against them. That will turn out great!


> It's just that intolerance naturally leads to violence rather quickly in humans.

I understand this but at the same time, you become the monster as well.


How does the song go? "A salvageable hypocrisy is better than brutal truth?"


I dont think its hipocrisy at all, i think its the same reasoning the most intolerant people could use to justify whatever they do.


Well this is that paradoxical requirement about intolerance of intolerance being a requirement for a tolerant society.


Being intolerant to violent intolerance is not enough. Tolerating minority disenfranchisement also leads to the death of tolerance.


What do you call disenfranchisement?


Denying people the right to vote.

This can take many forms. Virtually the entire citizenry can be denied the right to vote, as in autocracy. Poll taxes disenfranchise the poor. The combination of felony disenfranchisement and racial disparities in enforcement of criminal laws yields a situation where racial minorities are disenfranchised as a group.

Other shenanigans can limit people's choices, such as the restriction of candidates in Iran. Of course the first-past-the-post system used in the US also restricts choice in some ways... But "disenfranchisement", I'd say, specifically pertains to denying people the right to vote.


Are you talking about the application of force to prevent someone from voting? Because that is violence..


Ironically, I usually see Karl Poppler's Paradox of Tolerance used to justify exactly what he's warning against.


That's actually the logical conclusion of "no tolerance for intolerance". Actual intolerance will re-emerge while using that as a slogan.

I honestly don't see any other conclusion while divisive identity politics is the culture. Every election and debate is just subtext for making sure your people are in power to protect your people.


It's a paradox. The point is that tolerance cannot be limitless. That doesn't mean that intolerance won't prevail, it just means that those who strive for tolerance need not achieve perfection.

There will forever be a balance to be struck, and it's natural to have disagreements about it.


Let me rephrase. Assuming the tolerance maximizers are completely successful, the next wave of ugly intolerance will be wrapped in a veneer of "no tolerance for intolerance".

I think the thing to strive for is a more perfect due process. I'm concerned people are instead looking for a more perfect way to label and shun transgressors. And they use hate and fear of intolerance as a key justification.

So how do we stop that? Or, rather, why haven't we had any luck so far?


I think the only answer is one which leaves everyone unsatisfied: Some ideas will be treated as transgressions; not all transgressions will be punished.


Identity politics is all the rage now, but i do believe the libertarians found the way out of this paradox. Its the use of force and coercion that draws a clear line on what kind of intolerance is intolerable.

The rest is just distasteful.


A clear but ultimately arbitrary line, and to boot one where you've sort of shoehorned all the hard work into the definition of 'coercion' (or 'violence' depending on your brand of libertarianism).


Its a smaller problem for sure.


Is it smaller? I don't think that's the case.


While Popper's description of it is popular, it seems Godel realized this as well (as per the article) - while this was after Popper's (1945) I'm not sure Gödel knew about it

According to Wikipedia: "On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they acted as witnesses. Gödel had confided in them that he had discovered an inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution that could allow the U.S. to become a dictatorship"


And then, the story has it that the judge presiding over Gödel's citizenship ceremony remarked how fortunate it was that the U.S. was not a dictatorship, which in turn prompted Gödel to want to explain the inconsistency he found, but Einstein cut him off... and one successful citizenship oath later Gödel became a U.S. citizen.


Gödel also believed his refrigerator was emitting poison gas.


That's a bit dismissive. Goedel was correct about making the US a dictatorship. The fact that the amending clause allows unlimited amendment (particularly of the amending clause itself) means a series of malicious amendments could irrevocably change the constitution to that of a dictatorship and forbid returning to a democracy. Now maybe people would just give up on the constitution at that point, but in terms of the overall legal system he's dead right.

[edit: for more information please see: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2010183 ]


I've always thought it was more likely over article 2 section 3, which allows the President to adjourn both houses of Congress indefinitely under certain circumstances. If one was expecting to be impeached, for example, a little procedural hiccup on the timetable of adjournment would be sufficient to suspend legislative business altogether.


Let's hope that his insights won't be put to the test.


When we get to that level of a flaw, it is nice to remember that technically our own hollowed constitution is simply an illegal overwrite of the Articles of Confederation.


Back then, wouldn't it have been? I think they used ammonia as a coolant initially.


Freon, from Wikipedia:

> They are stable, nonflammable, moderately toxic gases or liquids which have typically been used as refrigerants and as aerosol propellants.

Edit: why am I getting downvoted for this...?


I'm not sure. I think you're right, from this timeline: http://www.greatachievements.org/?id=3854

Freon was invented in 1928, and started mass production a few years later: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freon

By 1935, 8 million refrigerators had been sold using Freon as their refrigerant: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-freon-4072212

His refrigerator comment was some time before 1953: https://plus.maths.org/content/goumldel-and-limits-logic though another source places it around Einstein's death in 1955:[1]

... ahhh, the wiki hole is deep today. :)

[Edited to fix: date of refrigerator comment upper bounded by 1953, not in 1953]. So it's possible he formed the opinion pre-freon, but it seems more likely that it was during the Freon era.

[1] https://books.google.com/books?id=iWy1AAAAQBAJ&pg=PA332&lpg=...


Ammonia and other nasty chemicals remained in use well after then. For example, apparently GE sold their Monitor Top-style fridges with sulphur dioxide or methyl formate as the refrigerant until at least 1936 and they stayed in use for decades after they were discontinued.


My parents had one of those and used it until the early 2000's as their "garage beer fridge". They sold it for a substantial amount to a collector when they moved. Dad was a chemical engineer and I'm not sure he knew how toxic the refrigerant it contained was - he probably would have gotten rid of it sooner if he'd known.


To be fair CFCs are toxic to humans, but only once they escape to the upper atmosphere to decrease the LD50 of sunlight. Of course in 1953, there was no way Erdos could have known that.


What's the LD50 of sunlight, and how exactly does Erdős enter into the equation?


Ugh I meant Godel. All of these mathematicians get me confused. Because of his incompleteness theorem, I'll have to leave your other question unanswered.


Fun fact: Gödel's Erdős number is 3.

https://oakland.edu/enp/erdpaths/


Still not a reason to downvote a comment that just clarified its parent.


“back then”


... yes? Freon was used widely as far back as 1935. Invented in late 20's.


And overlapped with ammonia for quite some time.


Yes, his mental health was complicated. Doesn't negate his theoretical contributions though.


The problem is in 2018, everyone intolerant person claims the only thing they're intolerant of is intolerance. Conservatives complain about liberal intolerance and vice-versa. We've moved from plain level-0 intolerance to meta-intolerance.


This is fairly insightful. Some of it can we written off as bad-faith knowing abuses of rhetorical tactics.

But the situations that don't fall into this group are more troubling as they can involve sincere and passionate advocates of civil society acting in ways that undermine that very thing.


Besides having the word tolerance in both, I don’t see how this comment relates to the article.

In Taleb’s article, he describes how the market accommodates the minority intolerance to the extent that is most economical — that is, where the “majority” doesn’t care either way. In this way, the ability of the tolerant to be tolerant is not being seized or destroyed, because the tolerant are not actually “tolerating” anything, since that word implies a level of discomfort that the customers are not experiencing.


Are you sure that's what he's saying? It's a Taleb piece so I can't blame anyone for not knowing just what the fuck it is he's on about this time, but he concludes a section with the sentence "The West is currently in the process of committing suicide."

I think Taleb wants it both ways, or every possible way, in this discursive essay. If you find yourself nodding along to the idea that we can get along just fine with people who have restrictive preferences so long as those preferences are compatible with our own, Taleb is happy to have you land there. But if you go into a piece that discussed Islam hoping to find the bit about how our tolerance of religion is destroying Western Civ, he's got you covered too.

I want to say that I find it ironic that he zeroes in on Halal food when, as a sort of general rule, Kosher food tends to be Halal and not the other way around. But I don't know if it's ironic, because Taleb is so adept at armoring his essays against any kind of critical analysis or, for that matter, basic comprehension. Maybe the fact that Muslims are more "tolerant" of different butchering practices than Jewish people but still it's the Muslims that threaten democracy is part of his whole point. 23 skidoo!


It’s almost Taoist... he says nothing and everything, satisfying everyone and no one... at great length. Economics is perfect for him.


Somewhat related is the phenomenon where if fir example you know you'll have vegetarians and meatatarians, you can get away with serving vegetarian food and for the most part everyone will eat. If on the other hand you serve an omnivorous meal the vegetarians will not eat.


That's a bit silly. Why would a meatatarian eat anything except meat? They would be an omnivore if they did.

What you're really saying is that either:

a. The meatatarians are actually omnivores, and just mislabeled. b. The meatatarians are _occasionally_ omnivores, out of preference.

Bending dietary preferences when there is social pressure ("they served me this food, being morally good to me personally means I should eat it" or "I'm on a diet, but everyone else is eating cake so I should too") is not all that surprising, especially if the reason you are excluding one type of food is because of _preference_.

But when you exclude a certain type of food out of health needs (allergic, lactose intolerance, etc) nobody will bat an eye. If a vegetarian refuses to eat meat for their own mental / moral health, I would argue it should be treated the same.


May I add that a vegetarian may refuse to eat meat for the heath of the planet as well. It takes so much water to raise animals, and they produce so much methane. This is at lease especially true in the US where we eat so much meat, and hardly any of it is wild game


Aristotle wrote that all matter is composed of 5 elements

Popper wrote that society must be intolerant of intolerance

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/purdue-online-writing-lab-...


Sorry?


It's silly, shouldn't be considered the correct viewpoint, but a great soundbite and a nice principle from a very intelligent man. Waters down life.

Interolance gets vetted out with prosperity but it's not necessarily the requirement to achieving it as history has shown.

I'm not sure how to respond to the bit claiming that societies are destroyed by intolerance - did Popper own any history books? Is China doomed to fail today?

I wasn't expecting any up votes, but please tolerate my viewpoints!


please tolerate my viewpoints!

How could we? You presented none in your original post.

Interolance gets vetted out with prosperity but it's not necessarily the requirement to achieving it as history has shown (...) the bit claiming that societies are destroyed by intolerance

I don't see where Popper said anything about prosperity or destruction of society as a whole.


What an overlong and rambling article. Over the years I've found the big trick in writing is to know what to leave out. This is hard to get right but TFA could really do with some editing, it would probably be a stronger article at 1/4 the size that it is.


I can't help but feel that if Taleb put a little more effort into fleshing out his arguments I'd enjoy his writing a lot more.

In most of what I've read from him, it always feels like he's more concerned with trying to make the reader feel smug about understanding his writing than actually trying to communicate anything meaningful. In this article, he has an aside where he complains that Agricultural Companies are running a smear campaign against him and are "idiots" and "naive".

He seems to acknowledge that clearly there is some bound on this "minority rule" argument, but doesn't bother to further explore this, and instead goes on and writes as though no bound exists, or if it does, only exists when it benefits his argument.


You took the words from my mouth. While there is a valid and logical point here, his own asides and proselytising style provide avenues to undermine his argument.

For instance, in many Muslim majority or even major minority countries, you do not have a universally halal food industry - most supermarkets are divided into "stuff (probably halal)" halal, and haram.

If he halved the time and volume he puts into making himself/his readers feel clever, he'd be far more convincing.

I know this because it's something I feel into for years, and still do on my first draft of much that I write.


Yeah. I lived in a city that's close to 20 percent Muslim for a while and ate at a few halal-only takeaways, but even there they were very much in the minority. (There was a fairly good place that not only served only 100% halal food, but also closed during the day during Ramadan, but that's because it was a non-chain outlet owned and run by observant Muslims.) Similarly, at least one of the major chains of budget supermarkets around here has loose peanuts and other nuts and just puts a warning in the window expecting anyone with a nut allergy to shop elsewhere. Most of the disabled people I know would probably have more than a few sharp things to say about his argument that they'd automatically be accommodated everywhere too.


This is so true that me and 'jacquesm actually agree on it.

I think there's an Emperor's New Clothes thing happening with Taleb. Apparently, his technical writing is important and impactful. But his popular writing is prolix, repetitive, smug, and sometimes ill-reasoned.


This clip, one of the most impressive word salads you'll hear from a public intellectual, will confirm your impression beyond all doubt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H11t5zBd3fU&t=25s


Wow. That's actually an incredible example of how to bullshit your way into fame. Do you think he believes his own nonsense?


So does that make 2 or 3 things that you and jacquesm agree on now?


I'd hope that we agree on a lot more things than that we disagree.


His technical writing isn't that important or impactful.


>What an overlong and rambling article.

It's not an "article". It's a book chapter.


What goes for articles goes for book chapters. Unless of course you get paid by the word you write. Good writing packs punch.


Well, some of us like our non-fiction to be as long as it takes. We don't just go for the Cliff Notes.

And there are other expectations from a short blog read than from a book.


> Well, some of us like our non-fiction to be as long as it takes.

As long as what takes?


Getting the whole of the author's point across, and not just a TL;DR summary of it.


Which would have merit if it weren't for the fact that Nassim Taleb is constantly peddling very elementary stuff and selling it as a kind of underdog insight that no-one has ever heard before and that the establishment is allegedly hiding from us.

Yes, intolerance can crowd out tolerance, normal distributions can break down, tails matter and so forth. Every time I picked up one of his books I felt like I'm reading a really angry stats 101 book with nine out of ten paragraphs being rants about the academia combined with very questionable nutritional and medical advice


The point is: there is no point. It's a load of nonsense with a sentence or two in there that in isolation might make a point drowning in a sea of contradictions and unrelated statements.


I personally disagree. I found it quite well structured and not that long for what it aimed to convey. I actually believe this long format helped cement the main points in reader's mind.


Not this reader, if only because I lost interest halfway.


I don’t blame you if you did, but often times we discover good gems when we push our boundaries a little further.


That might be the case, but it is surely not a virtue of expository or persuasive writing. Generally we want people to make the point plain.


Taleb has been infatuated with his own writing for a long time, and unfortunately the success of the Black Swan (which was decently edited) seems to have disabused him of the idea that he should cut anything from his rambling essays.


He was on Econtalk last year discussing this topic, it may be easier to digest: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2017/08/nassim_nicholas_1.h...


>> What an overlong and rambling article

Not acquainted with NNT's writings, I see. :)


The part about lemonade almost made me quit reading. Why did he describe it that way?


Does anyone have a favorite reader's-digest-condensed-version of Taleb's books?


I find these to be the best "single post summaries". His books are very challenging to read, but I've always found them rewarding once I've finished/absorbed the material. No pain, no gain I suppose!

Antifragile: https://medium.com/thinking-is-hard/live-like-a-hydra-c02337...

Fooled by Randomness: https://www.fs.blog/2015/02/fooled-by-randomness/

The Bed of Procrustes: https://twitter.com/nntaleb

(I've not read Black Swan so cannot offer any recommendations)


Thank you. He does seem to have some good ideas, but boy is there a lot of self-indulgence to wade through; I tried getting into a couple of his books and gave up.


I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought so.

> How Europe will eat Halal — Why you don’t have to smoke in the smoking section — Your food choices on the fall of the Saudi king –How to prevent a friend from working too hard –Omar Sharif ‘s conversion — How to make a market collapse

Each of these would make a great article, but mixing in all these stories and discussions together made this borderline incoherent.

I work as an editor for an online technical publication. If an author ever forwarded a draft like this, I'd have either told them to split it into different articles or cut it down to a fraction of the size.


It's Taleb.

He has a compulsion to ramble in order to display his erudition.


Your presumption of the causality is unsubstantiated. It may be correct, but I don’t think you claim more than correlation (unless somewhere he has admitted as such, if which case I’m clearly wrong)

You get style points for humor though. :)


> unless somewhere he has admitted as such

Even then, people make false confessions all the time.


True. I was trying to keep my comment short and to the point. But yes, you are correct.


It found it very easy to read, but I concede that for leaders in useless HN points it might be hard to grasp.


As Voltaire said: "The secret to being a bore is to tell everything."


Ironically, your point would be made just as well had you skipped your first sentence.


no it wouldn't. kicking off talking about your personal experience with writing and the sense of style you've developed isn't better than kicking off by stating your point. imagine this comment with the, "no it wouldn't", removed. kind of starting in the middle, right?


> What an overlong and rambling article.

Welcome to Medium


Can a small minority push too aggressively and embolden a silent majority (or substantially larger plurality) to unify against them and feel justified in resistance? This feels like one of the major themes of the current political climate in the US and parts of EU.


One thing that comes to mind is when muslims raised concerns about Switzerland's flag.[0]

This is a different sort of case than described in the article, but pushback here is inevitable.

[0]: https://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/schweiz/weg-mit-dem-kreuz-sec...


I'd like to know more about that. It seems to blundering terrible as a tactic that it almost makes me think it's a false flag operation.


They allege it was a joke: https://www.thelocal.ch/20110928/1324


Now it all makes more sense. How sadly typical of the current climate.


[flagged]


Maybe. Maybe not. Everyone agrees the Rohingya genocide is “wrong” but no one is willing to lift a finger about it. Even the Pope himself felt he had to tread lightly regarding the matter on his recent visit to Burma/Myanmar.


Sadly this often happens with genocide :(

Myanmar is particularly embarrasing because the west spent decades trying to end the military dictatorship and transfer power to the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but it's turned to genocide almost immediately.


Not sure why you got downvotes, but this is exactly where such situations can lead (not always, but definitely happened in the past).


> "Not sure why you got downvotes"

I suspect because they went straight to an extreme position: not all examples of such behavior are genocide, and leading with that strongly tends to derail conversation. Yes, genocide may be a result of that, but so can a lot of other undesirable behaviors that stop far short of it.

If you have a substantive, supporting comment, as you do, please do add it, but leave off the "Not sure why you got downvotes". It doesn't add anything to the discussion and is against the guidelines.


But it’s not inflammatory. The response was “yes it can” which I think is totally valid.

In fact, I’d go one step further and say that maybe the problem is that we don’t spend enough time studying how situations lead to genocide, and therefore we kinda suck at preventing it.

Just my two cents, but that was my rationale for supporting the paren’t statement.


It sounds like we're largely agreeing, and that larger conversation is the one we should be having.

The only quibble I have (and likely those that down voted share it), is that the full comment is "Yes, it can, and then it is called 'genocide'." There's no nuance there. "can" does convey possibility, but that's removed in the second clause.


> studying how situations lead to genocide

Pushy minority situations? The thought isn't very constructive. It's one of those odd positions that accepts the premises of people who do very bad things, but decries their lack of restraint, discipline, or compassion.


Not all examples are genocide, but situation tends to boil up to it quickly.

When the minority doesn't like you and you don't like said minority, what would you do? Modern law doesn't have anything that would decrease friction between two groups. I would say that maybe zoning laws do more for that than any other laws.

People tend to underestimate how close they are to genocide. "They are just very bad people", they think when they hear of it, "we are just angels compared to them, and we're incapable of genocide". Bad news that: they aren't that bad, you aren't that good, take your shining armour off, and yes you're never very far.


And one of the reasons they boil up quickly is that people stop engaging in nuanced debate and engaging each other, instead resorting to cheap rhetoric that triggers baser emotions. You've got good stuff here. I encourage you to lead with this rather than the other.

Edit to add: FWIW, that's one of the reasons I take the time to respond to questions like "don't know why...", beyond just pointing out that it's against the guidelines. It takes a little bit of extra effort to take some time to imagine why a reasonable person may have done so and it's important that we do so. And even if I'm wrong (I can't read minds), I've exercised that same behavior I'm trying to encourage.

We have to encourage people to maintain good faith arguments with each other. Discussions on HN are a great example of this: so many ask "why can't we talk about X" and so many of times when a discussion starts about X it devolves when people stop discussing in good faith. The only way we can have those discussions is to remember that other reasonable people may disagree with you. Applying a little effort to thinking about why that may be, and (asking for confirmation if needed) engenders better discourse.


I'm not sure actually.

It boils up because people engage in debate instead of doing two things:

* Taking issues to a vote.

* Respecting boundaries of other people.

Debate implies you can change other person's opinion. However, it often tries to talk your way to measures that would never float in a fair voting, or that violate already existing personal or property boundaries.

After a few rounds of debate you're supposed to take it to poll booth. Instead it often turns into name-calling and shouting "nazi" at each other. That kind of discussion should be avoided.


> Modern law doesn't have anything that would decrease friction between two groups

This is where human rights law and anti-hate speech law comes from. Verbal exchanges can make a situation tense, but cutting down the opportunities for escalation allows a peace to be built.

It's also necessary to keep weapons out of politics. Anyone forming a political militia is one incident away from being a terrorist group or death squad. One of the key elements of peace in Northern Ireland was the disarming of the Republican side - and the corresponding de-militarisation of the police.


Anti-hate speech laws can lead to similar effect: first you ban most obvious things, like death threats or racism. Then someone comes up with the idea of banning any criticism of abortion, because it might hurt feelings of women who had it. Then you ban Christmas trees in public schools, because it might hurt feelings of Muslims - the anti-hate laws become more and more prohibitive. Basically, it's a variation of the same problem that I would call: "the most intolerant lawmaker wins".


Then you ban Christmas trees in public schools, because it might hurt feelings of Muslims

Here’s the thing tho’: a good observant Muslim knows perfectly well what a religious holiday is, and recognises Christianity as a fellow Abrahamic religion, and is no more offended by Christmas than if you wished him or her Eid Mubarak.

The only people offended by Christmas are white left-wing atheists, and it is deeply problematic, and racist, how they use Muslims as a scapegoat.


> Then someone comes up with the idea of banning any criticism of abortion, because it might hurt feelings of women who had it. Then you ban Christmas trees in public schools, because it might hurt feelings of Muslims

None of those has actually happened, nor is likely to actually make it through any functioning legal system.

(If you're going hunting for examples of the Christmas tree ban, check your news sources very carefully)


Both of those happened: first is a part of "Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union", soon to be required to be implemented by all member states. Second is already happening in the UK, although, I admit, it's not a law, it's case by case basis (by school principals).


You're going to have to give a reliable citation for both of these, especially given the current position on abortion in the Republic of Ireland, and the second one sounds like Daily Mail / Express misleading story.


I don't know of a ban against "_any_ criticism of abortion" or why the "Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union" is supposedly to blame, but they may be thinking of cases like this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-41577129

Also, there apparently was a school head who banned students from putting up Christmas trees, but he was banned from teaching after that:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/school-head-who-banned...


It's also necessary to keep weapons out of politics.

That's generally impossible, because at least one side always has them, by virtue of controlling the State and its institutions of violence.

"They have their laws, codes, decrees

edicts and ordinances

They have the prisons and the fortresses

(not to mention the juvies)

They have jailers and judges

who are paid good money and are ready for anything"

Brecht -- The Mother (excerpt of a song)


> This is where human rights law and anti-hate speech law comes from.

How many genocides did the latter ever prevent? If anything, they'll make genocides much more sudden. You can bully the majority into submission but it's going to backfire.

Regarding human rights, I just don't see them working in the century of XXI.


> How many genocides did the latter ever prevent

Ah, an impossible-to-prove counterfactual. Better to ask what role hate speech has played in making genoicdes happen, such as in Rwanda (and arguably Myanmar)


Zoning laws? Perhaps something similar to a system used in South Africa? Didn't seem to decrease friction if you ask me or anyone who has heard of apartheid...


I have talked to a few people recently who migrated from SA to perth Australia.

Considered one of them was telling me stories about white farmers being killed over the last few years and him not feeling safe anymore in the country (hence why he moved to Australia).

I'm not saying apartheid was perfect, just or a morale state. What I would say though is I think it's far too early to say post apartheid was a complete success and didn't end up going down a similar route as zimbabwe.


Apartheid was not a success either though. And sure post-apartheid isn't pretty yet, but we don't/can't know what SA would look like today if there had never been apartheid.

I don't think anything in South African history would point to segregation being a solution to any social, economic, or political problems.


On the other side of the coin I don't see complete integration as the solution either, unless you race mix the entire country for centuries there is going to be racial conflict it seems in SA.

When it comes to segregation, I don't see why it in itself is bad. Apartheid was a problem because you had a white ruling class oppressing blacks and the problem we are now seeing is the opposite, a black ruling class oppressing whites.

If we were able to split the state in two, couldn't we at least stem some of the racial conflicts? Much harder to opress groups that don't exist within the country.


> When the minority doesn't like you

> and you don't like said minority

The first of these factors is not particularly contributory to genocides, or at least the mechanism is mysterious. It reminds me of how people describe US racial problems as "blacks and whites disliking and distrusting each other." A desire for symmetry in genocides is a particularly egregious case, though.


I assume the downvotes are because it describes genocides as cases when the victims were too pushy and the majority were forced to defend themselves, something which you seem to agree with. It was a very common rationalization in at least one major genocide: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pushy+jew&t=lm&ia=web


I'm going to assume by that link you're saying this is a common rationalization of the Holocaust? Do you have a source for this?

I learned in history classes growing up that conditions in Germany were bleak so the Jewish minority was used as a scapegoat. I've never heard an explanation for the Holocaust that differs greatly from this so I'm curious as to the historical and factual legitimacy behind your seemingly ridiculous claim. Care to back it up?


I personally agree with both of you. The german situation was bleak but I think it would be a misreading of history to think it was that hitler went after the jews simply because the germans were poor.

It seems pretty obvious that they were targeted partly because of their wealth and power across european society. To imagine the jews not being persecuted if they had little money or power is possible, but would require major rewrites of hitler rhetoric and their reasons for going after the jews over other races in particular.


Sure, but saying the Holocaust occurred because the Jewish minority was "too pushy" in the views of the majority is not the same as saying they were a wealthy and powerful elite... Maybe I read the tone wrong but it seemed like more of an antisemitic comment than I'm used to.


So it looks like people want to know less about genocides and how both sides feel during it.

The assumption here is that you are armed best with rigor and lack of knowledge.

Guess what, it's not helping. You don't have to blame the victim, but you have to understand the criminal's motivation. This way you can at least gauge it against your own.


An interesting bit:

Clearly can democracy –by definition the majority — tolerate enemies? The question is as follows: “ Would you agree to deny the freedom of speech to every political party that has in its charter the banning the freedom of speech?” Let’s go one step further, “Should a society that has elected to be tolerant be intolerant about intolerance?”

To which he later concludes:

We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.

So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.


> The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.

This one of those lines that, when it appears in an article, you know there's an error somewhere in the preceding thousand lines of argument, as surely as if it were a proof that 1 == 0.

> an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy

I'm more worried about intolerant minorities of privileged people who are currently in power destroying democracy, not least because they actually have the power.


The argument might be junk, but if you reject it solely because it points toward a conclusion that contradicts your pre-existing biases... I think you've left the path of wisdom.


I don't think it's wisdom to spend your time on seriously considering every bad take you ever hear.


True, but nobody said it was wise.


It isn't necessary or desirable to prohibit the ban-speech party from speaking. This is my primary objection to political philosophies that favor minmaxing statistics with policy, over principles. I object in the extreme to the idea that if A->B->C->D->E->F->G->Hitler, then society has a duty to prohibit A at the expense of liberal principles. Start with banning G, if you absolutely must. Speech doesn't directly cause victory. It only seems that way if you're very afraid of something.


> Speech doesn't directly cause victory. It only seems that way if you're very afraid of something.

People are afraid of democracy. They suspect that people on the whole are easy enough to manipulate that catastrophe is possible.

They can't say that without seeming, well, undemocratic. So they try to ban dangerous speech instead.


> “Should a society that has elected to be tolerant be intolerant about intolerance?”

This is something philosophy has actually done well to detail. It's the paradox of tolerance, and I think the answer absolutely has to be yes. For those looking for easy surface level gotcha's, that seems like a problem. Dig deeper, and it's logically consistent with the belief of tolerance, for if one allows intolerance, their tolerance loses all value.


It definitely makes sense -- any worldview (such as one that elevates tolerance as a virtue) has to build in safeguards that protect it against existential threats, or else it won't be a worldview that persists into the future for very long.

The issue I'm grappling with that the solution to the "paradox of tolerance" (that it is OK to be intolerant of intolerance) is that it is good at defending against erosion of tolerance from external forces, but opens it up to erosion from internal forces.

If the societal rules are "we choose to be tolerant except in the case of existential threats, in which case we nuke it from orbit", then the incentive becomes to paint mild disagreements into existential threats. Allowing Muslims to immigrate becomes "threat of sharia-law caliphate in 25 years." Allowing a traditional Christian prayer in schools becomes "establishing a repressive theocracy." Advocating right-wing policies becomes "normalizing fascism" and advocating left-wing policies becomes "bringing us one step closer to gulags." Is there any escape from the polarization? Can a society with tolerance as a base-level goal remain stable against this sort of internal pressure to shred it?


You hit the nail on the head regarding the poisoned incentives. The most effective weapon against militant intolerance is education, not silence. Education to differentiate facts from lies, discourse from dialectics, logic from fallacy, etc.


The problem that opens up is the definition of intolerance. Are direct claims against the rights of others to believe something intolerant? Yes, they probably are. What about speaking against groups of people (in a broad sense, calling out some perceived problem with their behavior)? Well, sometimes that's intolerant, sometimes something needs to be said (maybe that group is the Inner Party and they're taking too much). What about speech that doesn't directly disparage anybody, but that makes certain people feel incredibly uncomfortable and unwelcome? Well, that can be exclusionary, but everything makes someone uncomfortable. (some Christians might not want you bringing evolution in to schools (which they perceive as just another competing ideology), and some trans people might not enjoy being picked apart in critical gender discussions everywhere they go. The reader might agree with one of those two but probably not both.)

So, as you can see, it's really a microcosm of the idea that "we should support good and ban evil."


Agreed. I think the solution is to really pluck at those grey areas, as of course it's easy to work in black and white. To generalize, I think the general best course is to first understand why the intolerance exists, its validity, and then address it from there in ways still consistent with tolerance. Easier said than done of course, but I'm not intending to write a philosophical dissertation here fully.

As a reminder that many who likely support this view need, you should be intolerant of intolerance, not people who hold intolerant beliefs or practice intolerance.


> ...not people who hold intolerant beliefs or practice intolerance.

The problem is that we've done a splendid job blurring the lines between identities, beliefs, speech, and behavior. We have no ground rules for how to be intolerant of some things without seeming intolerant of the people that care deeply about those things.


But we now we need a framework for defining what good and evil are. Some people defer this to their religion, while others take other philosophical avenues. Nietzsche’s perspectivism comes to mind here.


Ehh, I have found that people who argue in favor of this idea are generally the MOST intolerant of the bunch, and just want a righteous excuse to engage in their intolerance.

People who are tolerant generally don't go looking around for excuses to be horrible to other people.

An apt quote comes to mind: "The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience"


Not tolerating intolerance is not a license to be horrible to other people. I suspect this is a bad application of the philosophical idea, as with just about every other idea once it hits practical use. The challenge is synthesizing the idea into something consistent with the original idea yet simple enough to be effective in practice.

My guess is that many people in favor aren't actually consistent themselves.


> Not tolerating intolerance is not a license to be horrible to other people.

And yet thats usually what people mean. People arguing in favor of this idea generally use it to justify whatever their anti-human rights opinion of the day is.

Whether that is sending people to jail for speech, or banning certain political parties, or vigilante style assaults of people at protests, it is just simplified down to "an excuse to not feel back about being horrible to the 'enemy'", whoever that 'enemy' is, while ignoring all previously agreed upon rules of engagement in society (otherwise known as human rights).

Whenever any of this stuff happens, and it is targeted against a sufficiently unpopular 'enemy', I always seem a mass of people linking to that paradox of tolerance wikipedia page.


Again, improper use of an idea for justification of other ideas does not invalidate the original idea. I'm not siding with those cases, which, pending details, all seem like improper ways of dealing with intolerance.


Very enlightening, but I think the points about non-GMO/organic food are a bad example. The non-GMO/organic movement is a rejection of technologies which improve yields. Distribution costs might have lowered, but supply forces will almost always keep these foods substantially higher in price because yields are lower.


Are yields really low, or is that just an excuse huge conglomerates like Monsanto that wants to "DRM" seeds use, when they don't care about yields at all?

And are they giving a subpar product + patents/copyrights + DRM, and selling it with the same high prices as to make yields irrelevant (when upselling 10x and 100x what you buy produce for, the original yield is an insignificant factor to the price).


I mean, if they weren't low then why would farms pay money for the more expensive seeds?

Farms aren't mom and pop shops anymore. Even the small ones are major, multi-million dollar businesses. This is big company VS big company.

And if those mult-million dollar businesses believe that they can get better crops by paying Monsanto, well I think I'll trust their expert opinion on it.

If these products are so sub-par, why would the competing, large corporations buy them?


>I mean, if they weren't low then why would farms pay money for the more expensive seeds?

Because they have more assurance of their crop not falling prey to some disease. But even a 100% increase chance of a good yield is nothing (while it means the world to farmers) if the final price is many times what they sell for.


It's important to keep in mind that the author of this piece is anti-GMO, so the slant in this case is to paint non-GMO foods in a more positive light.

And I agree, in general the rejection of GMOs is born out of a fear of technology.


The basic argument is interesting but has important preconditions: the majority needs to be tolerant (the change doesn't cost them much). In the case of kosher drinks, it's almost completely invisible.

When people actually have a preference (such as how a drink tastes) we find that the market provides a lot of variety despite the cost. Consider the shelves of your average convenience store.

Applied to religion, changes are far from costless and we often see persistent disputes. And anyone making large-scale predictions needs to account for how incredibly successful and persistent western culture and products are. This doesn't seem to be due to intolerance.


> we find that the market provides a lot of variety despite the cost

You can have anything you like so long as it's manufactured by Coke.


Most supermakets have Coke, Pepsi, and a white-label manufacturer with their brand on it.


You can order anything you want online these days. We're in golden age for microbrews. I see a dozen varieties of hipster ginger beverages in the Whole Foods refrigerator.


The flip side: An intolerant majority. There are good reasons to avoid leaving whether minorities get civil rights to the whim of the majority, and to instead enshrine such rights in a constitution.


Constitutions aren't magic spells, they still rely on people actively choosing to honor them.


Someone said it's surprising that all three branches of the U.S. government are actively trying to shirk their duties. The President blames Congress for inaction. Congress makes vague and overly complicated bills that mostly enables the executive branch to do actual rulemaking. The Supreme Court, as a rule, tries to be as narrow and impactless as possible.

The founders assumed each branch would compete for power. They didn't expect them to actively push responsibility on to other people. It seems like that's why we have a healthy and growing bureaucratic state these days.


> The founders assumed each branch would compete for power.

They do. Part of that competition is trying to pass blame for things to the other branches, including blame for inaction that the people in office want but the electorate does not, since blame = reduced public support = reduced effective power.

> They didn't expect them to actively push responsibility on to other people.

They probably did, since the framers had plenty of experience with elected politicians (often being such themselves) and blame passing among such politicians is as old as electoral politics (and blame-shifting among politicians more generally is pretty much universal in history, too.)


Too true. And certainly the US constitution used to enshrine slavery.

But the more difficult it is to take away the rights of the minority (particularly the right to vote), the better.


When the time comes, they'll just ignore the Constitution or at least relieve it of its meaning.

The path to a healthy government has to include rule of law. I think the slippery slope we are on is very dangerous. When people decide ignoring the Constitution is easier and just as legitimate as amending it, it is the beginning of the end. I think we already passed that point and I'm not sure how we can recover.


Maybe in the western cultures, but I've been hearing variations of the "nail that sticks out gets hammered down" from my korean family for a long time.


That sentiment comes from the Confucianism, Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism which shaped Korea. I think that sits alongside with the points the article is making.

Similar to the McDonalds in Milan example in the article, Korea has LotteMart everywhere, and people do sometimes eat there instead of a local joint.

Koreans also study English just like other countries. The annual 수능 exam taken by students is considered to be extremely important for college applications. It has a section on English.


I don't think it's an old phenomenon for Western cultures either. Kafka's novels and stories, for example, are all about the outcasts being pushed away and ostracised from society.


Dutch equivalents: 'High trees will catch the wind' and 'if you raise your head above the cutting line it will get chopped off'.


The kinds of minority mentioned in the article aren't the vocal kind (that might get hammered down). They are simply a selective pressure.


I remember reading an article somewhere discussing the difference between the US saying of "The squeaky wheel gets the grease," and the East-Asian (I think specifically focused on Japan in that article) saying of "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down."


Which is an interesting point as I've wondered what final effects people from community/family oriented societies (like Shame/Honor cultures) will have on independent/self-centered western culture and vis-versa.


Yet Korea has quite a lot of religious diversity.


In Australia we call that Tall Poppy syndrome.


Democracy is not necessarily the majority. It depends on the reference: eligible voters, or actual voters, as well as the participation rate.

The majority "winner" among all eligible voters in most U.S. elections is the non-voter. Voting is not compulsory, and often there are three or more candidates, therefore the winner is usually only getting a plurality of votes from participants. And compared to the eligible citizens, it's really merely a significant minority producing the result.

If you add in the effect of primary elections, where an even smaller number but highly motivated voters participate, contributes to even less involvement thus less majoritarian democracy. Ergo in a general election, the three or four choices you have on a ballot (other than write in) were determined by a process usually involving less than 15% of the eligible voters. [1]

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/10/turnout-was-...


This is actually why social networks inevitably fail; all small splinter groups become the most vocal, dominating discussion, setting narratives. Even if you remove some of the most extremist groups (like Reddit -> Voat), other, more socially accepted, still stay and might be even more dangerous due to their lower profile/higher acceptance/long-term devastating effects that are hard to predict.


Reasonable accommodation often comes down to a cost argument. In almost all the examples the author cites, it costs next to nothing to accommodate these small groups of people.

It is a corporation or a society deciding that it is willing to make a minuscule procedural or behavioral adjustment in order to accommodate a group of people. For those who don't have a peanut allergy or religious dietary restrictions, the difference is barely perceptible.

If you are a government or a corporation that services tens or hundreds of millions of people. You don't make policies or products just for a plurality or majority of individuals-- you try to them compatible for as many people as possible.

This isn't "tyranny of the minority", it is just good design.


This is not really intolerance winning but a standardisation on the most strict.

it's what was missing from things like trans-pacific partnership and other multi-lateral regulatory agreements.

Where there are differences in regulation, pretty much the only sane means of harmonising is to choose the most strict, most onerous regulation, as that will (almost certainly) be a superset of the other regulations (if not you probably are discussing regulation of different things)

At the moment the EU/US seem to be stuck on chlorination of chicken - but one approach to bactericide will be more effective and win out in time.


"A Kosher (or halal) eater will never eat nonkosher (or nonhalal) food , but a nonkosher eater isn’t banned from eating kosher."

I absolutely never buy halal meat and whenever possible try to avoid kosher certified foods. I do try to vote with my wallet and keep religion out of my food as much as physically possible.


Which would have some impact if this was some general belief/rule -- but most non-religious/lightly religious people don't care about that at all, whereas most religious people do care and insist.

Which makes this a personal whim more than something that has any effect to counter the trend.


Even if those religious rules mean the animal has to be treated more humanely than the 'secular' systems of approval?


It's completely untrue that those 'religious rules' mean the animal is treated more humanely.

"UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27324224

The fact that 16% of cattle aren't stunned is completely disgraceful.


I wouldn't assume that it means such, but I wouldn't assume otherwise, either...


From what I've seen it is rather the opposite.


well, certainly anything can be misapplied...


Absolutely. It's purely about the involvement of religion that puts me off. If there was a "Catholic church approved cheese" I'd refuse to buy that too.


Your loss. Monasteries and convents make some awesome foodstuffs, including great beer.


Actually, you might be onto sonething with Catholic Cheese. Wine is even better, you could tell the vintage by the seated pope


The article mentions that, rambling as it is.

Some people refuse to buy halal meat, for various reasons, and that prevents it taking over completely.


In my house we all drink semi skimmed milk even though only 1 member wants it


Congratulations. You just won a reader.


I believe it. The most extraordinary evidence of this is the gay rights movement. They've adopted "Love Wins" as their slogan, but then refuse to even interact with people who may not support them (i.e: Mike Pence). Clearly, they don't believe their own propaganda.


You have made up two stereotypes at once. First that all gay people adopt the slogan "love wins", then that no gay people will interact with Mike Pence. Neither is correct. Further it is so obviously insane that you would cry hypocrisy at people who are loathe to interact with someone who doesn't believe they have the same rights as other human beings, and who has the power to actually make that happen, that you should be ashamed of yourself, for not even being a horrible person in a subtle way.


Second on this. One of the ways that people tend to construct arguments against a group (from my experience in the midwestern US) is to show contradiction in the other side's argument. This would be a legitimate argument if done fairly, but it seems people always take an unfair route by synthesizing across a group using two opposing inner-sects. My father is often guilty of this, he will talk about "liberals" and I have to remind him that it's more than a little ridiculous to merge an entire political party (in the US, basically) into one viewpoint, treating a one-off statement by a high-schooler with the same value as the running candidate.


Too see someone flagging this comment, simply for confronting the gratuitous gay-bashing above is sad.


Check your reading. In the parent it says "gay rights movement", not "gay people".


“Love wins” is not a slogan of the gay right movement. A quick search turned up a bunch of Christian literature. So stop making up arguments.

Mike Pence wants to allow parents to send their children to “conversion therapy”, and your example of hurtful actions is not meeting with him?

I’m happy to meet with him any time that he’s free, but I can’t guarantee that he’ll enjoy it.

And, to quote a recent comment of yours, “Is this relevant to the linked article at all or are you just finding any excuse available to push your politics?”


> It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism. The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.

This is a far-right diatribe. To see it on HN, where most articles mentioning actual minority rights get flagged into oblivion as “too political” is embarrassing. Just look at the top-level comments: you’ve even got the gay-bashes using this chance to pile on a little, well, gay-bashing.

Nobody is closing their eyes to “salafism”. There is no such thing in the US, at least not as a relevant cultural force. The Muslim community is surrounded and infiltrated by three-letter agencies. Yet mentioning such things, or the President’s fascist dog-whistles gets downvoted to #CCCCCC. I happen to live in a country with about 10x as many Muslims as there are in the US, and I have no trouble finding pork or bacon or any other sort of haram food. And if my Heinz ketchup is kosher, which costs about 1/1,000,000 of a cent (see Wikipedia), I have trouble seeing the injustice.

If you think there’s a dictatorship of political correctness you should look up both “dictatorship” and ”political correctness” in a dictionary. Usually dictatorships come with power, so I’d like to return mine.




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