Surely, feminists who complain about trivial problems in elevators annoy me. Some say that the existence of belligerent feminists and atheists support the idea that the annoying offsprings of these two movements must not be tolerated. I disagree.
One way of measuring the success of a movement is by observing how their most extreme advocates are treated. If there cannot exist a marxist party without murder and uproar, then there is no left wing. I am not proposing a full on embrace of every ideology. Instead, I’m claiming that one should not deem the existence of such radicals as an omen of disaster. Isn’t it good that one could express an opinion without a landslide of threats? There is a difference between adoring the existence of radicals and wishing for their dominance. There is a difference between adoring radicals who spout insanity and those who perform violence. As long as the radicals do not practice violence, as long as they do not uphold the majority, one should see their existence as a call for celebration.
Many Asian parents share the desire to elevate their children’s socio-economic status. Yet, they frown at the sight of first world problems, such as gender confusion, anorexia, obesity, material concerns, and depression. They may seem trivial and silly, but so is your hypocrisy: You threw them into the first world. Did you truly not expect to see any first world problems? It’s often the superb glory of mankind when children cry over TV shows rather than hunger and pain. I’m grateful that I’ve faced starvation, imminent death, loneliness, misery, abuse, and disillusionment. I truly am. Given that I do not drown in them anymore, my experiences serve as a tool of empathy and guidance. I wish more would experience some useful suffering from time to time. However, most do not come back so unscathed. I presume that many Asian parents chose the first world for its first world benefits. Some of these benefits may be ugly and destructive for the entire species, but some act as the north star that brings us closer to the Good. In order to reap the benefit of the Good, we must tolerate some amount of wicked hedonism. This doesn’t mean one should abandon temperance and criticism, but rather acknowledge that criticism is not necessarily a wish for extermination. If we truly long for tolerance and the disappearance of totalitarianism, our wishes for our enemies must change: Temper must mirror temperance. If we truly wish to reap the benefits of some movements or systems, we must be fine with some dirt on our hands. The factor by which one rejects an ideology must not be whether dirt exists or not. It must be whether we have the capacity to moderate the filth or not; it must be whether the dirt contains germs that could wipe out the entire species or not. Kids sometimes dirty and rip their pants. That doesn’t make me disagree with the existence of tag.