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>From: "Jerry Mitchell" <email@example.com>
>Subject: RE: Extremism
>Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 15:25:05 -0500
>Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> >One of the greatest ironies about this whole extremism structure is that it
>is exactly the extremist sheeple on both sides of an issue who accuse the
>independent and balanced thinkers of being either sheeple or followers of
>the other herd, simply because they won't run with their own.
Actually, I wrote this in reply to Harvey Newstrom's post.
>Are we starting to see why the word is meaningless? The truth of an idea
>isn't related to the number of people that believe it. That is effectively
>putting the cart before the horse. ;)
I made no mention as to how MANY people are or are not extreme with regards to a particular position, just that if there are more than one of them, they must by definition agree in every detail, and are even a priori committed to agreement upon details they have not yet considered, if extremism is taken to the absolute that the term implies. It is hard to see how extremism can ever be absolutely true, if practical difficulties make any extreme agenda unimplementable in its entirety, for pragmatism asserts that the true is what works. Extreme positions are never composed solely of a single idea, but instead also include a indefinitely huge collection of empirical consequences of the idea's implementation, some of which will be impracticable. The status of an idea, as to whether it is extreme or not is defined by whether or not there is room for differences on both sides of it (moderation) or only one (extremism). The very fact that there is this structure of correlative opp!
osition between the terms bestows meaning upon both of them.
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