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Put Up Or Shut Up, Extremist Idealogues!

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posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 08:14 PM
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So you really think having an extreme opinion makes you right? Now is your chance to prove it! Can't prove it? Then you are admitting you're wrong.

I say political extremism is the hallmark of a small mind. Extreme positions have always been fashioned to rally support around ideas that would be indefensible if they were laid out in logical terms.

So instead, it is easier to claim that things are always black and white, when in reality nothing is as simple as that.

Here on ATS and its affiliated forums, I am confronted day in and day out with simplistic, false dichotomies designed by perception managers and focus groups to appeal to people who are ignorant of the fact that reality is never as simple as we want it to be.

But never fear, we'll just mold reality into a form that is simple enough for us to grasp, right?

Children and college students (but I repeat myself) are the most common prey for activists looking to round up useful idiots, because they have not been around long enough to form logical opinions on things -- or long enough to make some money and build up a stake in the status quo, so they are obvious choices to become the dupes of those dark-hearted opportunists who feed upon them.

My thesis is that there are at least two sides to every conflict, and that more often than not, they all make sense. But this is in direct opposition to the political cultists who insist that only their view of the world is correct, and that those who disagree with them are necessarily wrong -- and usually evil.

So here's my challenge: I say that to hold any extreme political position is to inherently embrace a falsehood, that an enlightened position cannot be reconciled with any extreme -- that extremism is itself a symbol of the death of a free mind.

Prove me wrong.




[edit on 12/2/2004 by Majic]




posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 09:34 PM
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"So then, because thou art luke-warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth."


Originally posted by Majic
Prove me wrong.


To prove a moderate wrong one would first have to be right.


Extremists are always half right. Moderates are always all wrong. I'd rather be half right.

Moderates are evil, conciliatory, opportunistic, political parasites standing up for nothing at all. At the end of the day, they accomplish nothing but...the end of the day. Getting through another term or election cycle via the path of least resistance, never willing to raise, rattle or fall on the saber of righteousness. All causes are just but the causeless.

I vomit them from my realm of consideration with the same vigor I do my steadfast ideological opponents, but with opponents there is some satisfaction. Some flavor, even bitter. An understanding, honor among those embattled in a worthy war.

But moderates? The least tolerant of all in their eagerness for tolerance.

Why the irrational bias of "enlightened" moderates against those with bias anyway? What is a moderate but a facilitator between Yin and Yang? The elusive third. All dichotomies have one. It's the defining element. The stabilizing leg. Or superfolous if you prefer.

A random list: Chandler, Tinman, Larry, Holy Ghost.

Movement is not defined in the extremes but the difference. Why don't moderates get that? It's easier to see the forest from the edge I suppose. In the center, there's too many trees.



[edit on 2-12-2004 by RANT]



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by RANT

Why the irrational bias of "enlightened" moderates against those with bias anyway? What is a moderate but a facilitator between Yin and Yang? The elusive third. All dichotomies have one. It's the defining element. The stabilizing leg. Or superfolous if you prefer.


What is a moderate? A person that can't choose a side? Indesicive? Unable, to express his true thoughts and ideas for fear of possibly being ridiculed by someone? Is he afraid he may lose the respect of someone because he thinks differently then him or a certain group?

As you can see I have a certain dislike for moderates.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 10:26 PM
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In the extremes I see the weak seeking shelter in the womb.

Only where I stand, in the no-man's land of uncertainty, is true courage defined.

Cast off the shackles of your self-assurance -- you know you're wrong, why not admit the possibility?

Come on in -- the water's lukewarm!



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 10:39 PM
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Really, what defines an "extreme idealogy" The far-right would consider the far-left "extreme" I think its a matter of personal perspective when it comes to what is "extreme".



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 10:43 PM
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Originally posted by RedOctober90
Really, what defines an "extreme idealogy" The far-right would consider the far-left "extreme" I think its a matter of personal perspective when it comes to what is "extreme".

Excellent! So what does define an extreme viewpoint?

I say it is rather simple: an extreme viewpoint is one that cannot change, even in the face of compelling evidence that it should.

What do you think?



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by LostSailor
As you can see I have a certain dislike for moderates.


I typically agree with conservatives on this. I know we're all having a bit of of fun here and mostly playing extremists against Majic's Moderate Extremism, but there's something to this from a a logical standpoint.

Abortion for example. I understand why some want it all outlawed. And I understand why some want it legal on demand in any situation.

I don't understnd how it's okay sometimes, and not others. Same with about any issue like that. Stem cell research, some religion in government or what have you.

Middle grounds in ethics aren't ethical. Sometimes pragmatism is indefenisble. I don't care if it's popular. It's outside any belief system, yet drawing on facets from all. It's self contradictory. It's just annoying really. Standing firmly on a slippery slope that goes both ways saying let's all meet in the middle half way toward something you each fundamentally despise, and if you aren't willing to do so you're ignorant. The devils. They want everyone equally miserable.

I don't want to get along with moral authoritarians trying to convert me damnit. I want to make them watch Will & Grace, wear belly shirts and do medicinal marijuana.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 11:44 PM
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Face it, the only argument that matters right now in contemporary politics is freedom verses tyranny. Liberal values verses totalitarianism is a hallmark in the Scowcroft Commission Report from April 1983. While the focus was a contrast to the now former Soviet Union, we need today to focus upon our own country and what it is becoming.

The direction and flow of what is happening is a quantum increase towards totalitarianism. Just try to go to the airport these days without the possibility of harassment from untrained procedural morons. Senator Edward Kennedy discovered he was on the list recently, and it took teeth nails and determination to get him off the list.

That is why what was once the rockbed argument from any side, what each basically agreed, namely freedom, is now the only issue that matters the absolute most.

That is why I am abandoning all positions from the left, the right, the center, and that of socialism. When either side simply implements its own brand of tyranny, and from the centrist position as well, the line in the sand has been drawn. No further!



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:28 AM
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Majic, you seem so assured that your views are right, yet show nothing to back it up?

Extreme ideaologies arent those that cannot be changed, but those that are far from the moderate view, be it left, right, up, or down.

I agree with Rant that its the extremeists that show courage to express their opinions when they know that few others will agree. It is those that sit in the middle with the masses that show weakness, following like sheep. From the middle it is easy to jump either way, depending on what suits your needs. Personally i respect an extreme conservative more than i do a moderate.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:33 AM
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The term extreme has become overused and ended up a very impotent statement.

People on both sides are guilty of this as each one makes a habit of calling anyone who disagrees with them a ___ wing extremist.

Sounds great in the rhetoric but what does it really do for us besides alienate people against each other.

Political debate, which once was a healthy process to arrive at the best solution for everyone has devolved into two highly polarized sides each considering the other "extremist" loony bins.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 07:55 AM
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There is noone with more potential than a militant extreemist with a moderate mask.
Just look at Senator McCarthy.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 08:15 AM
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Well, I guess using a title like you did, you probably expected the pummeling you got. While I agree that making a decision is important and have never agreed with fence sitting, I think in some sense being a "moderate" politically may not be all bad.

Our motto at ats is deny ignorance yet most of what exteme supporters of political ideologies promote is just that a good deal of the time. We have been witness to so many cases on both sides of the coin between liberals and conservatives to their staunch supporters ignoring, masking, arguing away, or all out lying about the distastful aspect of said parties. If to be a moderate means never making a decsion and never getting behind any cause then I must disagree with it but if it means always looking at the truth no matter which way the wind blows and making the decision about each issue based on fact instead of some ignorant blind loyalty, then I agree with it.

My personal opinion about politics in general is no secret around here. Some might call me a moderate but I prefer the term "Nobody's Fool" or just plain "Fed UP" because I think they both accuratly portray someone who will not accept and promote something they know in the heart of hearts is flawed.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by RedOctober90
Really, what defines an "extreme idealogy" The far-right would consider the far-left "extreme" I think its a matter of personal perspective when it comes to what is "extreme".


yessir...what immediately came to my mind was that singular event known
as "The Donner Pass, & Donner Party"...

as i understand it, the stranded wagon train, voted to commit cannibalism,
so as to remain alive.
That would be an 'extreme ideology'?
? were there moderates...who voted NO? and did everyone eventually engage in the necessary practice?

i'm reminded of that adage....EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE EXTREME (extraordinary) MEASURES....

i guess philosophical rhetoric is an aspect of politics...which underscores
myown analysis that an appropriate tagline would be
deny Hubris instead of deny Apathy....imho



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
So instead, it is easier to claim that things are always black and white, when in reality nothing is as simple as that.


how delightfully condescending of you...



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 02:02 PM
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I have to agree with Majic. The world is not bipolar, black and white, good and evil. True evil does happen, but often evil is in the eye of the beholder. For example, the U.S. supported Pinochet because he "saved" Chile from socialism and provided stability. He was also a monster to his people.

Same thing with Saddam. He was good enough for the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq war. That didn't stop him from committing the atrocities the U.S. is condemning now.

So that's one thing. The other thing is, if the world is really that black and white, what of those who define themselves as foreign-policy and fiscal conservatives, but social liberals? Isn't being a moderate exercising your intellectual powers to decide what's important to *you* in different lines of thought, rather than adopting the entire system as a whole and gobbling it up? I mean no disrespect to those who have come to extreme positions out of intellectual exercise (however, I have met a lot of people, for example, who were for the death penalty because their friends were and it was the "in" thing to do in their circle).

I'm a moderate because I feel I've lived, read, studied and experienced enough to decide for myself what I feel my outlook on the world should be. I'm a social liberal, but I'm also a fiscal conservative. I borrow from both systems, depending on what's important to ME and my moral code. I'm a moderate also because I know that things are always more complicated than they seem, and I seek to understand before I judge.

For example, if I were to apply a simplistic grid to the situation in Africa, I'd say "Well, they're lazy bums, they don't want to work." Having been there, I can see that A) people there are caught in a circle where they can't send their kids to school because they need them to cultivate the land and try to scrounge a living; the kids don't get an education, and end up as poor farmers themselves; B) I've read about the history of Africa, and how some of the ravages on the continent were caused by the white man - especially in Congo, and the present Hutu-Tutsi area; C) I know that Western countries do good and harm at the same time - they help promote education and health care, but they also use the WTO to keep the African countries from adopting protectionist policies. So I can neither entirely condemn nor commend, because things are more complicated than they seem.

Being a moderate doesn't mean being indecisive. I have strong beliefs in social justice. I also have a strong belief in fiscal conservatism. I believe the UN should be reformed, but I also believe that the US shouldn't have free reign across the globe.

But the gist of it, I try to THINK before I form an opinion on something. And I allow my opinion to change if new data becomes available. As Victor Hugo said, "The worst thing you can say about a man is that in ten years his ideas haven't changed."



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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Sir, it appears to me that you have taken moderation to the extreme.

XAOS



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 06:52 PM
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Is the world black and white?

Well, no. Many people can distinguish many other colors than those two; however, we must notice that all those colors are different than each other. Black is not White is not Gray is not Blue, and so on. This brings us to logic, which the entire world is understood on.

Symbolically: A ^ ~A => C, or something can not be true and false at the same time in the same respect. What importance does this have to us? We have people in here that champion moderatism to be the stance of issues in such a way that correlates to one's subjective moral values. Let us be intellectually honest, and note: If one's subjective moral values cause one to believe something is both truth and false at the same time, then their moral values represent an absurdity.

Consider the moderate that believes abortion should be legal because women fundamentally have a choice about what to do with their bodies, but at the same time believes suicide should be illegal for women. Both cases involve the woman fundamentally having a choice about her body, but yet even in the same respect of arguments, such a stance of the issues represents an underlying absurdity: somewhere deep down, that moderate has a contradiction in their beliefs.

We can now move on to what one may consider a rational moderate. Suppose we have a moderate whose stance on the issues are not self defeating. Unfournatly, defacto, that moderate must have a clear position between issues so that they are not in conflict. The arbitrary relativism is gone, and suddenly they can argue about most issues with specific premises. To their doom, though, moderatism is nearly lost while pointing out things in black and white.

Can we conclude that the rational moderate can not be a moderate? I would say yes. By implication, it would also mean that every moderate that is really a moderate must be irrational. In reality, holding a premise true and using sound deductive logic causes conclusions that can not be contradictory.

Historically, moderates do not change the world. Sitting in the middle does not give you a first hand view to revolutions or innovations. America's founding fathers were nothing close to moderates, nor were the figure heads behind the French revolution. Freedom for many people is the result of extreme idealogues, as well as the death. Lenin and Stalin were not moderates, but in the same light, nor was Julius Ceaser. In this world's history, to be moderate is to be stagnant -- wasting away until there is someone with the rhetoric to unite or disband human loyalities.

--Radardog



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 07:09 PM
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Social change takes a long time. You can change the "superstructure", to use Marxian terms - the style of government, the law system - but it may take a long while until the "infrastructure" - the core beliefs of the people - change too. I'd say that extremists cause the great upheavals - like revolution - but that it's moderates who are better placed to make the mentalities evolve.

For example... feminism. Consider: in the 60's, 70's and 80's - and even now - you've had militant feminists who spoke at rallies, burned bras and demanded equal rights. That's all fine and well. BUT... you've also had countless numbers of women who do not necessarily endorse the entire feminist discourse, but move the cause ahead in very concrete ways - by becoming lawyers, doctors, politicians... and soldiers. By deciding to study in fields (again, Law is one) where men still rule and machism abounds. But by being confronted with these women, the workplace - and society as a whole - is changing. We're getting used to see female Senators, female judges or female army officers. Each generation that passes erodes the old ways of thinking. Lower salaries for women doing the same work as men was commonplace in the 60's. By the 80's, it had become surprising when it happened. By now... at least in my corner of the universe... it's inadmissible.

And that work was done by moderates.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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Otts,

Even with respect to infrastructure, moderates sit on the heels of the extremists. Only with the spoken outrage of the extremists is any social issue allowed to be exposed. Moderates, on the other hand, only take advantage of the leveled land laid before them. They seek the rewards of the battles they did not fight, and look to prohibit future battles to take place.

Women to be the exact equal of men is an extremist position, and as such, women in the positions you listed are actually just the results of the extremists hard fought battles. While they won the right to be professionals with (hopefully) the same pay, plenty of individuals who did not fight with them took advantage of the situation. Had civil rights changed much without a man like King marching through the streets? It did not seem to be going very far before hand.

In this analogy, the moderates mere leeches, not taking a hard lined position in order to be confortable with the outcome of any social battle. If you do not have your heart into civil rights, then what do you lose if King lost? If you do not have your heart in the feminist movement, then what do you have to lose if women stay servants? They wait until the firing has stopped and suddenly proclaim, "You know, I kind of like this." Sadly, many of them do not realize this, and are ungrateful to the people who got them there.

In short, the moderate position is unoriginal, unmotivating, and historically insignificant. Why would anyone in their right mind hold it without contempt?

-Radardog



posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 12:55 PM
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Moderates don't fight hard battles? They're the women - or Afro-Americans - fighting every day to be accepted and respected in jobs for who they are as individuals, not as members of a race or gender. Extremists may give speeches and go to rallies, but the moderates, in this example, are those who get up every morning to go to a job where the fight for recognition of their skills is uphill, and they have to prove themselves over and over again.

Moderates may not speak or shout or protest, but they act.

As for ideological moderates... if you can't allow your mind to be changed by new situations and new date, you're not holding true to your principles, you're just being absurdly stubborn. Life is not a straight line, and those who treat it as such risk finding out, late in life, that by following that straight line they diverged from the principle they were defending and ended up miles away from it.

Let's look at the Catholic example (no, I'm not a practicing Catholic, I just know the history well). Some Catholics have remained true to pre-Vatican II dogma - the infallibility of the Pope, masses in Latin, "subversive" books consigned to the Index. As the 60's and 70's went by, they felt they needed to remain true to the core principle of the Catholic church... but now they find the Church has deserted them, and their own moral rigidity has left them alone in the desert. John XXIII was a moderate who saw what extremists couldn't see - that if the Church didn't change and become more attuned to social changes, it was in great danger of becoming obsolete. BUT... at the same time, he stayed true to the base principles of Christ - love one another, practice forgiveness. By doing away with extreme conservative positions, he may have reinforced those principles.

Speaking of principles... I reiterate my position. I am a moderate, and I'm proud to be one. I have base principles, but I don't take the ideas I associate to those principles as gospel. If my ideas or beliefs no longer serve my base principles, then I have the courage to change those ideas.



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