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1 SidewaysQuark  Thu, Nov 7, 2013 11:40:37pm
So when is extremism good and when is it bad?

Well, when you can make a reasonable argument that stands the test of time, it’s good, obviously….. :-)

2 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Nov 8, 2013 2:39:48am

To me extremism has more to do with what the people attached to belief are willing to do than with what they believe.

Timothy McVeigh was an extremist. The people responsible for 9/11 were extremists. The Tea Party are extremists for they are working hard to hurt other people (Voter ID, SNAP reduction, etc., ad infinitum).

Beware when you battle monsters,
lest you become a monster.
And as you gaze into the abyss,
the abyss gazes also,
into you.

Frederich Nietzsche

3 HappyWarrior  Fri, Nov 8, 2013 7:44:08am

I think it’s a brilliant question personally. I unfortunately can’t answer it. . Those calling for better labor conditions in the gilded Age. Or the Radical Republicans in Reconstruction who were more progressive on racial matters than the Dixiecrats nearly a century later. So, I think ultimately racicalism is in the eye of the beholder and times. Yesterday’s radical may become today’s moderate or even tomorrow’s conservative. I do think RH makes a lovely point about what separates radicals from the rest of us is what they’re willing to do for their cause of choice.

4 The Ghost of a Flea  Fri, Nov 8, 2013 10:36:43am

It’s not a perfect metric, but my litmus test is that it’s a busted situation when urgency to act means (1) classifying a group of people as non-people, and (2) when empathy for both opponents and bystanders is discouraged.

But then again, I also think that ideology is far less meaningful than it’s generally given credit for.


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