“Radical” Stirrings from the Voice of the Lost Center
egg_theorem over on Flickr, a student at U. Mass with a mind that skips circles around my own, offers these thoughts on centrist “radicalism”…
In significant conflict, the center/moderate contingents are most often eliminated in the process of polarization that occurs in the process of that conflict. That is, the LEFT and the RIGHT polarize, and those who compromise between the two are either eliminated or co-opted by one of the poles. This is all on an ideological/political level, of course. It’s only in physical conflict that folks actually die – but without physical conflict the effect is the same.
So, I think radicalism has its greatest potential as a part of that inevitiable process of polarization, as a medium for progressive propaganda, behavioral contagions, horizontal mimetics, and so forth. The only problem with radicalism is that because it is not recognized as legitimate by the “legitimate” powers that be, people don’t see radicalism on the net as anything legitimate or important specifically because the centralized government and economic bohemoths make it SEEM like it’s not important.
So radicalism can have potential, certainly in terms of creating mutual communicative spaces between those who already agree — but the potential for reclaiming others is more particular. What I really mean to say here is that radicalism can work, but it cannot SEEM radical if it is to be effective.
Now here’s the mind twister…
Typically, “radicals” do what if they do not wish to appear radical? Ah… yes! Very good! They moderate their views. Perfect! Easy enough….easy… hey, uh, look, I’m a little dumb here when it comes to finding my way around. I don’t even know the way to San Jose. So, could somebody out there do me a favor and remind me again, please, which way I go from the Center to become more moderate?
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