Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guest Post: Becoming Radical

/// James Wesley Nichols is back with some great stuff. I'm totally on board! ///

From the time I was in high school I'd pay attention to the news and criticize the government, television, business and society in general. I was probably a lot harder to be friends with than I am even now. Mom always warned me not to be radical. For some reason "radical" has become a dirty word, I guess. But back then I mostly aligned myself with the Democrats, who only seemed slightly left of the status quo. Now it has become increasingly clear that the Democratic Party in practice actually lies far to the right of average working voters* like me.

Mom said I shouldn't be "radical," but I disagree. Radical change is what we need.

Here's how dictionary.com defines "radical:"

RAD·I·CAL

 [rad-i-kuhl]  Show IPA
adjective
1.
of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2.
thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.
3.
favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4.
forming a basis or foundation.
5.
existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.

Since radicalism is change at the root, then as radicals we are devoted to changing ourselves and our society at the fundamental level. That means we need to become conscious of and understand society and its infrastructures, identify and imagine new institutions and social structures and begin organizing and making our dreams real. To change things from the ground up. It's a life-long process.

Anyone can learn, anyone can change, anyone can imagine and dream of a better world or even a better personal life, and those things are radical when they are acted upon.

* I'm actually not a voter. But more on that later. In the meantime, enjoy this Howard Zinn quote: "If the gods had intended people to vote, they would have given us candidates."

5 comments:

  1. I find the word radical overused in all the wrong ways. Thank you for reminding us of the definition.

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  2. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It's the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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