Tolerance Issues In The Context Of History And Modernity


The twenty-first century is characterized both by the rapid development of digital technologies, and by the active saturation of the spoken language with all new words. The term "tolerance" ten years ago was well known only to linguists and sociologists. And today this word is mentioned in the media dozens of times a day. And not always in a positive way. Physical The concept of “tolerance” is broader in meaning than just “tolerance, tolerant attitude”. This is a kind of ethical doctrine of the present. People living in an era of cosmopolitanism, erasing economic and other boundaries, need a new philosophy, an open and understanding community. Nevertheless, today for Russian citizens, tolerance is an alien concept. Other moods prevail: anger against the country's leadership, hatred of emigrants, the disabled, etc. In sociology, this is tolerance for a different worldview, traditions, rules of behavior. Separately, it is noted that acceptance, understanding, tolerance towards other people's habits and worldview does not mean indifference or change in one's own principles. This is a recognition for other people of the right to live according to their own convictions. “The most dangerous of intolerances is precisely the one that is born in the absence of any ideology as a result of elementary impulses,” writes Umberto Eco in his essay on ethics. "Therefore, she can neither be criticized nor restrained by rational arguments." And there is a lot of such intolerance in our state - both at the state level and at the personal level.

Keywords: Tolerance, youth, modern society, history, nationality, conflicts


The problem of tolerance is one of the most urgent, acute and controversial problems of our time.

From the explanatory psychological dictionary of M. I. Dyachenko, we note that tolerance is an understanding of the naturalness and inevitability of differences between people, a willingness to respect these differences, as well as recognition of the rights and freedoms of each person, the ability to coexist with other people, to enter into non-violent forms of interaction with them (readiness and ability to conversation) (as cited in Lukin & Yakunin, 2018).

Tolerance is not so much an intervention as the ability of a person to go beyond their world, to accept that other world that is so different from their own in many features-national, cultural.

The idea of tolerance goes back to the history of philosophical thought. So for Nietzsche (2005), the problem of life and will is always connected with personal and national self-assertion, that is, it is the fate of people that concerns Him, and not the play of cosmic elements (will and representation), as it was with A. Schopenhauer. “...The womb of being does not speak to man except in the voice of man,” says Nietzsche (2005, p. 100).

Nietzsche (2005) cannot be called a singer of democracy. However, the lack of democracy in this case is not the same as intolerance. The point is that the character of Nietzsche calls for the weak and lowly in a person, tries in every possible way to pull a person out of the crowd, to make him better - both on the individual and on the generic levels. He hates the modern state, but does not call for its overthrow, hoping not for rebellion, but for the gradual overcoming of their shortcomings by people themselves, for a constant effort of will leading to internal rebirth. These shortcomings themselves, in the daily struggle with them, turn from a heavy burden into a source of strength, and their overcoming becomes a true happiness. Joys grow out of passions," the philosopher believes and further notes: "...from your poisons you have brewed your own balm" (Nietzsche, 2005, p. 110).

Heroism and the desire for the strong in the soul contains the grain of tolerance in the philosophy of F. Nietzsche. It is up to everyone to decide whether to be in a crowd of idle people or with a few aristocrats of the spirit. But being tolerant doesn't mean giving up your own position. This means accepting and understanding someone else's position, without trying to violently deal with its adherents (Nietzsche, 2005).

According to Nietzsche (2005), everyone can (and must) become a hero. And a hero is always tolerant of another hero.

Problem Statement

The topic of tolerance is also raised by other philosophers. G. Simmel addresses the topic of individuality, which persists in life, inevitably attracted to the need to understand the relationship between different individuals, sharply raised the problem of the Other, including the problem of tolerant attitude to the Other.

If you want to understand something about the world, study different views of it. An adequate understanding requires studying the life experience, the biography of the "author" of the worldview, clarifying his life values and drawing up a complete picture of his spiritual experience. Worldview is understood by a philosopher as a certain life position based on a particular life experience and the universal element of life, which seems to be embedded under a variety of worldviews. Life, therefore, is an eternal struggle of worldviews (Spijkers & Loopmans, 2018).

Research Questions

The interpretation of the concept of "value orientations" is multi-meaning, it is a capacious and important concept for life. One of the most significant values (in any of the existing systems) is human health. For example, in the well-known system of values of M. Rokeach, health ranks 3rd among terminal values. It is important to note that according to the results of studies described in the literature on the value orientations of both adults and students, health occupies a leading place.

Consideration of the health problems of students can also be included in the axiological context, namely, to consider the values of health in the field of students ' thinking, to identify their motivation for a healthy lifestyle, paying attention to the characteristics of their life in modern, changed conditions. There is reason to assume that social transformations can become one of the factors of changes in the value orientations of modern students. These conditions create a new context for the study of health problems, identifying their place in the system of values of students.

Students are a part of young people who represent the future intelligentsia of society, its intellectual potential, which will influence the formation of value orientations of social communities. Thus, the study of this group is socially significant. But the approach to research should be differentiated, since students of different universities (different specialties) will be involved in different industry groups or areas of activity, and represent technical or creative intelligentsia.

This approach allows you to specify the characteristics of student groups, as opposed to simply averaging and extrapolating the results of the study of students as a whole. This should ensure the development of specific mechanisms for influencing students in terms of their specialty and place of residence.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this article is to study the historical aspects of tolerance in Russia.

Research Methods

Our researches were aimed at defining the concept of "tolerance", studying the main interpretations of this concept in historical periodization.


In Russia, the role and place of tolerance in public life are revealed in the works of A. G. Asmolov, V. V. Bakieva, V. V. Boyko, S. K. Bondyreva, V. A. Lektorsky, A. A. Leontiev, V. A. Petrovsky, V. V. Shalinov and others. They reveal it as a social norm, the principle of interpersonal and intergroup relations, the conditions for preserving human diversity and effective interaction between people.

Discussions about tolerance in modern Russia already have their own history. It is only a decade and a half old, but it is quite possible to distinguish several stages.

During the existence of the USSR, what is now called tolerance was unequivocally and decisively condemned by the state ideology as a manifestation of worldview omnivore, capitulation to alien concepts and the lack of militancy in the global struggle of ideas. Every Soviet person was ordered to conduct offensive propaganda of the only true, and therefore all-powerful Marxist doctrine, exposing all worldview concepts that differ from it as anti-scientific, deviating from the truth under the influence of hostile class interests. Intolerance of dissent was thus elevated to normality and valor.

Even the proclamation of glasnost during perestroika did not mean a turn towards tolerance. To those who to this day are inclined to see this as the machinations of" agents of Western influence", it is appropriate to recall that glasnost, in fact, did not mean the appearance of any new, foreign ideas within Russian borders. It just assumed the publication of what has long existed as an unspoken, that is, non-admission to publication (Richter & Kortsch, 2020)

Can we assume that the supporters of "Perestroika" were tolerant, without knowing it? Apparently not. After all, the ultimate goal of the glasnost policy was still thought to be the victory of one worldview over others, and not the coexistence of different ideas.

Soviet ideology, which had existed for many decades in hothouse conditions, in which its victory was predetermined in advance, suffered a severe defeat in the acute competition of ideas-against the background of a severe economic crisis in which the country found itself. The period of "post-perestroika" came, characterized by the increased implantation of the ideology of romantic liberalism with its key slogan "the Market will put everything in its place". In addition, it should be taken into account that the boundless pluralism of the "glasnost" period led to complete ideological disorientation of the population, which had no experience of independently developing a worldview based on various, contradictory data. This has led to a massive disillusionment with ideologies and, in General, to the rejection of serious reading and theoretical thinking in General.

It was in "post-perestroika" Russia, against the background of the spread of ideas of romantic liberalism, that tolerance was promoted very widely - with the most active participation of foreign funds and organizations. However, first of all, it was suggested that tolerance should not be shown to all ideas, but only to liberal ones. Second, the liberalism imported into modern Russia had little in common with real modern liberalism as it exists in the West today.

The accelerated introduction of liberal ideas in Russia after 1991 showed that anarchism was accepted by the masses with pleasure, but there were problems with virtues. To put it simply, the anarchists were not virtuous at all. The preaching of high liberal ideals turned into permissiveness.

Therefore, the practice of real Russian life has forced the people to unequivocally speak out in favor of conservatism. Without questioning the choice made in favour of a market economy, private property and entrepreneurship, the voters voted for a strong state to set the "rules of the game" (Kabir & Sponseller, 2020). Such a state, like Hobbes ' Leviathan, must protect the human right to life and legally acquired property by any means. In order to secure these core values during the transition period, people seem willing to give up some of their liberal rights and freedoms in favor of Leviathan. Additional arguments that led to this decision were terrorism on the world stage and organized crime within the country, as well as the economic consequences of the "orange revolutions", which were inspired by the same liberal-romantic ideals.

In these circumstances, the enthusiasm for tolerance, which is inseparable from the very essence of the ideology of liberalism, has significantly cooled. This concept itself has become much less frequently mentioned by the media. It is not that anyone other than extremists completely denies any tolerance today. But we are increasingly talking about its acceptable limits. At the same time, solid scientific conferences are devoted to the topic "Borders of tolerance", where authoritative researchers try to define such borders rationally, theoretically, in accordance with the empirically given realities of today's life.

Education in the spirit of tolerance and countering extremism depends on an objective and multi-sided consideration of today's realities, on the ability to rely on positive spiritual and social traditions and neutralize negative factors. The nature of legislation on religious issues and the practice of its implementation are also important.

Modern Russian legislation in principle ensures the equality of various religious associations before the law, excludes discrimination on religious grounds, and creates conditions for an environment of tolerance and mutual cooperation among followers of all religious trends. In practice, violations of the spirit and letter of the legislation on freedom of conscience are largely due to that, Russian society (despite all the cardinal ideological, legal, and political changes of recent times) remains at the same level of mass culture, civilization, with the same traditions, including tolerance for administrative arbitrariness. It is appropriate to emphasize that the effectiveness of any law largely depends on the public interest in its implementation, on the perceived need for its application. The absence of such "objective" prerequisites increases the possibility of violations of tolerance, affects the behavior of officials, the activities of local authorities, and interfaith relations. There are frequent cases of preferences of one (usually the most widespread) religion, which leads to infringement of the interests of others, there are arbitrary actions of local administrations, which exacerbates ethnic and religious contradictions, generates illegal excesses.

The public mood, shared by the overwhelming majority of the Russian population, is characterized by a loyal attitude to people of other faiths and beliefs, a readiness for tolerance, goodwill, and cooperation in various spheres – from everyday life to politics. Unlike some religious leaders, the majority of the population (more than 70%) does not agree with the idea of exclusivity, the only truth of a particular religion, especially with statements against other religions.

Tolerant international education is a multi-faceted process. Here, addressing every aspect of the problem requires serious attention and tact. It, in particular, involves the exact use of the names of ethnic groups and state-territorial entities (for example, Tatarstan, not Tartary, Bashkortostan, not Bashkiria), the exclusion of any prejudice against any ethnic group, reasoned criticism of some widespread stereotypes, prejudices and myths, even incorrect interpretations of terms, for example, such as "ethnic crime". Debunking such myths and showing that criminal groups are usually made up of representatives of different nationalities is an important prerequisite for fostering tolerance (Hong-Xoan & Earl, 2019).

Such myths include the exceptional threat of "Islamic extremism" in Russia. First, the desire to hide behind religious ideas to justify their illegal actions in the world is observed in many countries where various religions are widespread. So, in Ulster or Croatia, adherents of Christian confessions were opposed and are opposed. And the most important thing is that Islam as a religion cannot be extremist. Another thing is the spread of radicalism among the Muslim youth of Russia, the separatists ' bid to use Islam to justify extremism and terrorism (Elias & Mansouri, 2020). However, the reasons for the spread of these ideas among young people do not lie in Islam, but rather in the living conditions of followers of this religion in a particular region of the country. According to research among Muslim youth often higher unemployment, lower living standards, they have great difficulties in adapting to modern realities, including and paternalistic Muslim traditions; Patriarchal educate the Islamic youth more painful than the followers of other religions is undergoing a crisis of traditional values and lifestyle.


We would like to hope that this indicates the formation and development of the ideology of conservatism in Russia, and not a return to the old, totalitarian order, although the temptation to resort to recipes from the time of their youth is too great for many current leaders.

Even this brief historical digression alone makes it clear that tolerance cannot be an eternal abstract value or a categorical imperative that must be followed "automatically", regardless of the concrete historical situation (R'boul, 2018). Tolerance has a history, but abstractions do not have a history. The history of the Western world shows that at a certain stage of its existence, a certain tolerance, as a "non-violent existence of discord", simply did not exist. Then the demand for tolerance arose in the context of well-defined historical realities. Once it emerged, it did not leave the ethics of the Western world, but the content of the concept of "tolerance" changed from century to century.

In the monograph "Philosophical and linguo-culturological problems of tolerance: a collective monograph" Kupina and Khomyakov (2003) note that at the present stage the word "tolerance" has become widely used in society, its use reflects the severity of the problem of interpersonal and social interaction of members of society.

No matter how tolerance is understood today, it is obvious that it acts as a condition for preserving diversity, as a basis for democratic consent. Historically and, in essence, it is an alternative to violence in conflicts caused by the opposite of worldview positions, that is, it is a non-violent way to resolve them. Tolerance makes possible cooperation between individuals who hold incompatible beliefs and beliefs. The problem of tolerance in the context of ethnic, social, political, and religious differences, in a pluralistic society, is becoming a major problem that requires interdisciplinary research (Afanasieva & Bukrieieva, 2019).

Having mechanically overcome the fetters of communal existence, when, in the words of N. Berdyaev (1915), we basked in the "warmth of the collective", the mass Russian consciousness did not absorb the values of individuality, personal choice and personal responsibility. Having got used to consider only what" looks like me"as" good", the Russian faced social heterogeneity (from national to material), as a situation of value chaos. On the one hand, the permitted demonstration of their own socio-cultural self-identification has intensified the activities of cultural and national autonomies, religious organizations, parties, etc. On the other hand, there is an active demonstration of non - recognition of any subject's right to a different version of socio-cultural identification. This happens sometimes in very ugly and dangerous forms: from zealous nationalism to the claim to a "better religion".

Actually, the question of tolerance is mainly a question of how, with absolute differences in statuses, preferences, and views, people can establish a collective life. Tolerance is a kind of bridge that connects the personal and the public, similarities and differences. Only the interaction of dissimilarities makes it possible to comprehend the universal benefits and fill in the personal vision of the problem situation by each participant in this process. This is the criterion of tolerance, adequate to the present.


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21 June 2021

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Lutsenko, E. L., Koroleva, I., Chugunova, N. J., & Karakuleva, L. I. (2021). Tolerance Issues In The Context Of History And Modernity. In N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), Amurcon 2020: International Scientific Conference, vol 111. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 594-600). European Publisher.