Tolerance is…

“Tolerance is a strange but indispensable civic virtue. It requires people to accept and live calmly with individuals and practices of which they disapprove.

Some take it for spineless laxity in the face of what ought to be fought or forbidden.

Others see it as a demeaning fraud that spares prohibition but withholds approval.

The tolerant themselves are not immune to its tricks and subtleties.

It takes little for them to shout intolerantly at each other about how far toleration should go.

Defending toleration is not like protecting a jewel. It takes fixity of aim but also a feel for the changing context, persistence with a task that never ends and readiness to start again.

Toleration does gradually spread. It can also suddenly vanish.” (The Economist, 2019, p.76).


The Economist. (2019) Intellectual History: Live and Let Live. The Economist. 18 May 2019, pp.76.

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