How the Left redefined History: Voltaire, hailed as apostle of tolerance was not tolerant at all

How the Left redefine History: Voltaire, hailed as apostle of tolerance was not tolerant at all

The elites that controls the media, the universities, and the publishing houses write history. They retell how we are to understand the past, redefining perspectives.

How the Left redefine history: Since the Marxist groups began dominating the narrative in the West, history has been rewritten to fit a specific agenda: To demonize traditional values, precisely the ideals that made the West a world leading civilization.

How the Left redefine history: Herbert Marcuse and the New Left' strategy to silence the Majority: Hanne Herland Report
Hanne Nabintu Herland is a historian of comparative religions, bestselling author and founder of The Herland Report.

The French philosopher François-Marie Arouet Voltaire,(1694-1778)  who lived at the time of the French Revolution has been hailed as the secular “apostle of tolerance.”

Yet, his values were the exact opposite of tolerant, setting the tone for what was later to come:

The hypocritical leftwing proclamation of “tolerance and diversity”, yet in reality representing the very opposite:

Tolerance only for the leftwing groups and a remarkably tough stance against conservatives and those who wanted to keep the traditional, historical values that once made the West such a great civilization.

The current New Left trend of speaking with a “double tongue” – hailing freedom of expression, democracy, and tolerance, yet using it to repress the groups that disagree with them – this was seen already in the work of Voltaire.

He became famous for stating the importance of tolerance, saying: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

The sentence has been immensely admired in the West, quoted millions of times as a reflection of a leading “secular Western ideal” at the dawn of atheism.


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How the Left redefined History: The Herland Report is a Scandinavian news site, TV channel on YouTube and Podcasts reaching millions yearly. Founded by historian and author, Hanne Nabintu Herland, it is a great place to watch interviews and read the work of leading intellectuals, thought leaders, authors and activists from across the political spectrum.


How the Left redefined History:  Yet, Voltaire spoke highly of tolerance, yet practiced the very opposite. He was famous for his immense hatred towards the Christian Church and the religious traditions in his time.

His writings are filled with the very opposite of the respect for the majority view in society or the right to differ in opinion.

For example, “Christianity is the most ridiculous and the most absurd bloody religion that has ever infected the world” or “Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances.

It is the parent of all fanaticism and civil disorder. It is the enemy of mankind.” Yet, his disturbance and discontent with life are apparent in yet another quote: “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life.”

This was the beginning of the revolt against the very values that made the West a great civilization hailed by men like Voltaire who proclaimed: “The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.” He died in 1787, a few years before the 1789 revolution in France.




How the Left redefine history: Precisely the demand for tolerance has been portrayed as a secular ideal yet was but a copy of the Christian view of humanity, based on the belief that all peoples, regardless of class, gender or race, have a fundamental human value. Voltaire did not develop this altruistic ideal in a vacuum, but rather, it derived from Christian philosophy.

Many of the angry philosophers who had such a grudge towards the philosophies of Jesus Christ reflect more than anything lack of knowledge of the very faith they criticized.

Voltaire says: “The Bible. That is what fools have written, what imbeciles command, what rogues teach, and what young children are taught to learn by heart.”

So, the very values that Voltaire detests are the very same he professes to pursue. He voices the need for tolerance – itself a religious principle demonstrated by Jesus during his life.

Whoever would read The Bible, and especially the first four books of the New Testament, would find in it the fabulous stories of how Jesus demonstrated tolerance, respect for the weak, empathy with the dying, kindness to the unwanted, all values that Voltaire hated?

It was Christian theology in the Middle Ages and Spanish scholasticism that formed the basis of what we today call human rights, as we have seen. Even before that, Athenian democracy spoke of the need for public debates and arenas in which intellectuals could discuss morality, politics, and social issues in a civil manner.

Yet, Voltaire’s writings are permeated with a reeking dislike of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He does not seem to have a shred of respect for religious freedom.

It went on to the degree that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, upon Voltaire’s death, allegedly burst out, saying that “the arch-scoundrel Voltaire has finally kicked the bucket.”

It may be argued that Voltaire was one of the founding fathers of the mannerless intolerant and totalitarian lack of respect for those who have other world views than the liberal Left, making him one of the grand hypocrites of his time.

How the Left redefined History:  In Liberal Fascism, commentator Jonah Goldberg illustrates in a compelling way how the establishment in the US has been willing to go to immoral lengths in order to remove people whose politics they dislike. The French Revolution was a totalitarian revolution that played the populist card to the hilt, he says.

Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who has been working in the media for over thirty years, tells her sad story in Stonewalled of the decline in investigative journalism and truth-telling in America. She points to the multi-billion-dollar corporations that aligned with the government have almost complete control, pushing for a massive surveillance of citizens, journalists, and dissidents alike.

She examines the unseen influences of political figures, special interests, and corporations that manipulate the images you see every day, whether on social media, the news, or many other outlets.

She strongly advises the public to start viewing the news outlets as TV commercials, saying she has never seen a tougher clampdown on the freedom of the press. People need to start thinking: “Why is that story airing? Who pushed it? What special interest might be behind it?” and “Am I getting the full story?”

Mary Catharine Ham speaks of this in End Discussion, stating that a growing number of Americans are sensing an insidious strain of self-censorship on topics that break with the New Left news outlets.

They find themselves shutting up and not risking the social harassment of “being the enemy of the system.” The radical enforcers who instantly attack anyone who voices opinions or views that are not in line with the establishment are everywhere. At parties, family gatherings, in universities, and all over the media. Wherever they are, people feel the fear.

Ham states that it is not a trait of free societies that debates in which a variety of views presented are forcefully quashed.

This fear of speaking up is actively pushed by leftist radicals who seek to raise the cost of speaking publicly, hoping that slandering others will cause those who have other opinions in society to be silenced. It is a highly undemocratic, authoritarian behaviour that seeks to quash free speech, under the pretext of hailing it. And Voltaire started out by helping this trend to prosper.


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The level of censorship in social media and search engines is all-time high. Do like thousands of others, subscribe to The Herland Report newsletter here!

Hanne Nabintu Herland is a historian of religions and bestselling author. She is the founder of The Herland Report Scandinavian news site, TV channel on YouTube and Podcasts which have millions of readers/viewers yearly. This is a great place to watch interviews with leading intellectuals, thought leaders from across the political spectrum. Herland’s books include Alarm, Respect, Det Nye Babylon (2018), Tyranni (2020) and in English – The Culture War. How the West lost its Greatness (2017)Trump. The Battle for America (2020) as well as  New Left Tyranny. The Authoritarian Destruction of Our Way of Life (2020), available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, across the USA and in 60 countries world-wide. New Left Tyranny shows how the neo-Marxist New Left turned their back on historical Western principles and became a destructive authoritarian force.

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