On Extremism

“Extremist” from freedictionary.com:
One who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm, especially in politics.

“Extremist” from Collins English Dictionary
a person who favours or resorts to immoderate, uncompromising, or fanatical methods or behaviour, esp in being politically radical

“Extremist” from Webster’s Dictionary
a person who goes to extremes, esp. in political matters.

“Extremist” and “extremism” are not really a concepts. It’s just a term thrown around to discredit someone without any context. All it really means is that they are defying the accepted or popular views. For example, being “extremely” healthy would be a good thing, regardless of what the average or popular thoughts were.

Individualism and heroism are destroyed by anti-concepts like “extremism.” While a villain can be thought of as “beyond the norm”, so can a hero. People like Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington and Jesus Christ could also be called extremists, and are now lumped in with Al Capone and Hitler. It is a way to criticize anyone who stands on values.

Extremism places standards on other people rather than on values. Instead of determining the morality of a situation by values, the threat of being called an extremist places the morality of a situation on what other people think. Which people? Not important. People. Average. Normal. Whatever or whoever defines that is unimportant.

When someone is called an extremist, it is an attempt to drop the context.


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