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>From: "Jerry Mitchell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: Extremism
>Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 12:58:09 -0500
> >Extremism is an abstract general concept, it is true, but one that while
>only gaining particular meaning from association >with a particular cause or
>issue, nevertheless is used to describe one's stance relative to that cause
>or any cause in >particular, i.e. at one 'extreme' end or the other of the
>spectrum of points of view regarding the cause or issue. The >opposite of
>extremism may or may not be mainstreamism, depending upon how the spectrum
>is weighted, but it is always opposed >to moderation, the golden mean, or
>the middle way.
>When asked to moderate your ideas... who is served and who is hurt? I would
>suggest the "correct" view is hurt from moving off its opinion and the
>"incorrect" view gains legitimacy. If extremism is "bad" then "moderatism"
>certainly hurts correct viewpoints by muffling them.
Moderation cannot help but to help whoever frees their mind enough to embrace it. Notice that there are only two extreme positions for each issue, yet an infinitely nuanced spectrum of moderate positions which a person may choose to assume as reflecting the way they actually feel about the components of an issue after giving them a good deal of deep clear thought.
If extremism is "bad", then the movement from it to moderation cannot help but be "good", by definition, since it is the correlative opposite of extremism. I cannot offhand think of a single particular issue upon which it is empirically practicable and good to completely enforce the agenda of either extreme position; can you? When extreme ideas are moderated, the former holders of them are helped, at least to the degree that they resume independently assessing each component of their positions, rather than assuming them in a thoughtless, knee-jerk, herd-following, sheeple fashion; it is only the population of extremists that is hurt (by losing a memebotically zombic member).
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