Help - Search - Calendar
Full Version: Why are the Dutch so tolerant?
Travel Forum - TravelPod > > The Netherlands
starlagurl
They legalized marijuana and prostitution. Why? What makes them different from the rest of the world?
polydemic
My guess is it comes from their history of once having been a persecuted people. They were Protestants under Catholic rule, when part of the Holy Roman Empire. So after a long hard struggle for independence, they kept the memory of the intolerance they suffered in mind when deciding policies towards one another. They also saw that tolerance brought in a lot more business, making their tiny nation a powerful empire. And taking in refugees from intolerant nations brought them the best & brightest, who contributed to their science, military, arts, & culture. So seeing past examples of intolerance & tolerance, it's a no-brainer to them.
rbisset
It's always going to be around so why not legalise it and make it safer? Plus extra money through tax.
cb_goes_again
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Apr 30 2009, 03:50 PM) *

They legalized marijuana and prostitution.


Hmmm, Dutchie on call here. First off all, the Netherlands has a "non-enforce policy", which is different from legalization and there are strict rules about the amount of drugs you can carry. The big advantage, in my opninion, about this openniss, is that our kids know about drugs. I mean, it's not in a hush-hush atmosphere, because with the non-enforcement, information is given on high schools. It is not allowed to take drugs before you're 18 and kids learn what it can do to your body, for instance when combined with alcohol.

Prostitution is legal if there is a license, it's not like everyone walking the street can work for their money in that way. Even in Amsterdam, more and more windows are getting closed, sadly enough: it's not like every prostitute is being forced into the business, some actually choose the life.

starlagurl
You know what I meant by legalized.

I know there are restrictions, but you can go into any coffee shop and smoke yourself silly. That's a pretty unique culture, for sure.

Just wondering what the cultural reasons for that are. Polydemic sounds like he may be on to something.
melodee50
I don't think the Dutch are necessarily tolerant, I think they are pragmatic. They realize and accept the truths that neither pot smoking or prostitution are horrible or going away. One is called the world's oldest profession and the other is just plain fun.

Instead of declaring war on what is essentially human nature, they have decided to regulate and tax the heck out of both with the resulting lower crime rate, lower rate of STDs, and fewer youth smoking pot.

Pragmatists, I say.
laorfamily
There is avery long history of the Dutch being even minded as a culture. It is even mentioned several times in a book called "The Island in the Middle of the World". An excellent book about the Dutch settlers in Manhattan - before the English came.

Am I the only one who thinks that it is totally idiotic that alcohol is legal but pot isnt?
littlekate
I also think that all this legalization comes rather from pragmatism than from tolerance. Dutchmen were my first interpreting experience, so I have very bright memories of their surprise when they found out that our partner was a German. They asked me very tactfully about our attitude to Germans in connection with the World war II… What, no special attitude? How is it possible such a lot of people killed? I remember a very serious Dutch boss laughing heartily when I mentioned that in this country Stalin killed twice more than Hitler… After that he told that Dutch children are forbidden to study German before they are 13 as a memory of the war. Is it really so? What is about tolerance?
ninaversteeg
QUOTE(littlekate @ Oct 27 2009, 03:51 AM) *

I also think that all this legalization comes rather from pragmatism than from tolerance. Dutchmen were my first interpreting experience, so I have very bright memories of their surprise when they found out that our partner was a German. They asked me very tactfully about our attitude to Germans in connection with the World war II… What, no special attitude? How is it possible such a lot of people killed? I remember a very serious Dutch boss laughing heartily when I mentioned that in this country Stalin killed twice more than Hitler… After that he told that Dutch children are forbidden to study German before they are 13 as a memory of the war. Is it really so? What is about tolerance?


No that is not really so! Everyone is allowed to study German whenever they want. Most people start studying it at age 12 in their first year of middle school.
The Dutch have no issues with Germans or Germany. Sometimes we joke about them taking our bicycles during the war but their is no hatred.
wouterb
QUOTE(polydemic @ Apr 30 2009, 06:50 PM) *

My guess is it comes from their history of once having been a persecuted people. They were Protestants under Catholic rule, when part of the Holy Roman Empire. So after a long hard struggle for independence, they kept the memory of the intolerance they suffered in mind when deciding policies towards one another. They also saw that tolerance brought in a lot more business, making their tiny nation a powerful empire. And taking in refugees from intolerant nations brought them the best & brightest, who contributed to their science, military, arts, & culture. So seeing past examples of intolerance & tolerance, it's a no-brainer to them.



i agree history is the key to this
Being a protestant nation in the 16-17th century (when the rest was catholic) Holland attracted the rich who suffered percussion south of our borders. Not only protestant, but also jews and others. This lead to the influx of money...trade and the rise of the dutch east india company. This lead to a huge empire (indonesia, antilles and even tradingpost in japan, malesia, india etc.) Let 's not forget the boers in South Africa....So a free spirit leads to free enterprise...and this is still a driving force behind a lot of the way we look at the world.

The dutch way of having laws but not enforcing them or having a sort of allowance in somewhat strange and it doesn't really work at points....but we all like to believe it does. The coffeeshop for example can sell you the stuff. But actually they cannot buy it form the growers.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.