The End of Tolerance?

The issue that bothers me most these days can best be rendered by a book title: The Open Society and its Enemies (by Sir Charles Popper). I've actually started a renewed attempt at reading this somewhat tiring, but nonetheless challenging book, seeing whether it might grant the same insights in today's confrontation with totalitarian fundamentalism as it did during WWII.

It appears that the emergence of islamistic fundamentalists within European societies endangers a value which we fought hard for: tolerance. The US seems to have made its choice by reverting to potentially similarly fundamentalist christianism, but I have a feeling we may be doing better than that over here. It's some blog discussions, among other things, that lead me to think so: Lyssa has started a heated debate when confronted with a Burka wearing woman in Hamburg while the Weltwoche journalist Richard Herzinger discusses multi-culturalism. Btw, all these linked blogs are in German.

My own cogitations haven't led to anything articulate, yet. But I like Uwe Justus Wenzel's closing remarks on tolerance I linked to above. Here's the translation: "Tolerance is proof of confidence and of the ideal of an open society which doesn't shy away from conflicts. It bears witness to the ability to say Yes and No. Tolerance is for strong minded people - that is, hopefully, not bad news."

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