What is tolerance really?
The development of technology, in addition to all other large-scale changes, has led our world to an ever-increasing pace of globalization. In the last hundred years, quite surprising heterogeneous societies have arisen, where representatives of completely different cultures coexist alongside. And more and more often the question is what is tolerance? Is it good or bad? Often nationalist-oriented political forces appeal to the concept.
What is tolerance as a biological concept
In general, this is the original meaning of the term. By biologists, it is used as a designation for a specific ability of living organisms. Tolerance implies habituation processes. For example, in immunology, this means a state of the body in which, due to some reason, it is not able to produce antibodies for certain antigens. As a rule, this inability is a bad sign, as it often implies the impossibility of resisting alien elements.However, tolerance is necessary in some cases. For example, during pregnancy, the fetus is not rejected by the mother’s body. This is also tolerance. Among environmentalists, the concept of tolerance implies the ability of a living organism to adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions. Also very useful.
What does tolerance mean for society?
The globalization touched upon at the beginning of the article gave rise to an understanding of social tolerance as an exceptionally tolerant attitude towards the representatives of other nations and cultures. This is not entirely true. There are other types of it: political, interclass, gender tolerance, tolerance in relation to sexual minorities, people with disabilities and other social categories. Interestingly, in these areas in the societies of the West there is a quite successful formation of tolerance. However, the same cannot be said about the CIS countries, Russia and, especially, Muslim countries. That is, in fact, in a world that has not fully embraced democratic values.
What is tolerance in the national aspect?
This is without doubt the most exciting form of tolerance in all modern Western societies (including the post-Soviet ones).The fact that the policy of multiculturalism has failed, and the masses of migrants have not joined the European societies, many politicians of the Old World openly say. However, it is important to note that nationalist movements are often consciously or unconsciously, but distortthe concept of tolerance, presenting it not as benevolence and readiness for calm perception of something new. Speaking of what tolerance is, they expose it to blind and uncomplaining obedience to the unfavorable trends that are associated with migration — crime, terrorism, and so on. In fact, tolerance for other (legal) cultural traditions or biological features does not automatically mean tolerance for unjust or simply inappropriate acts of migrants - aggressive propaganda of religion, national gangster groups, just demonstrative defiant behavior, and so on. Of course, there can be no talk of tolerance for such elements. An important counter-argument here is, in fact, the research of scientists dealing with the problems of modern nationalism and nations.Anthony Smith, Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbaum, Ernest Gellner have contradictions in their views, but for them all the nation is an artificially created category by the people themselves. And this means that the problem is more likely that the societies that migrants represent have gone a shorter way of social development and are striving to assert themselves as the Europeans did a hundred years ago. In addition, many migrants face social problems, which additionally cause bitterness. The way out is not isolation, especially since it is not real in the modern world, but drawing these societies into the processes of democratic development, education and economic growth. It is with the solution of social problems, as well as the growth of education and democratic tolerance of these societies themselves that the inter-ethnic problems of our time can be solved.