November 04, 2013
After leftist radicals shot and killed a pair of Golden Dawn members in Athens on Friday, news outlets referred to the killers as members of an “extremist“ group. This was odd, as I”ve become conditioned to see that particular scare term used only for people and things deemed to the right of center. I hardly ever hear the word “extremist” used these days to describe communists or violent leftist radicals; that practice went out of fashion around the time Nixon waved goodbye from the White House lawn.
Without bothering to define the term “neo-Nazi,” headline writers made sure to remind everyone that Golden Dawn were neo-Nazis; still, it was strange to see their antagonists described as extremists. That term is usually trotted out to defame neo-Nazis, not the people who shoot them. In Europe you have well-heeled self-described “independent” (yet slavishly globalist) organizations such as Chatham House whose description of “extremism” is myopically fixated on the political right.
But one man’s extremism is another’s common sense. At least to themselves, I suspect that everyone makes perfect sense. I believe that hardly anyone considers his or her beliefs to be anything but entirely sensible. Rare is the individual who considers their beliefs to be extreme. The word “extremist,” therefore, is an exonymic term, meaning one that is almost exclusively applied to others rather than oneself. It is used as a weapon to establish social hierarchy and declare where one stands in the power equation.
As with all political terms, the meaning of “extremist” depends on who’s using it. As a general rule, though, it tends to denote any group or individual who, ironically, isn”t extremely powerful. In practical terms, an “extremist” is any rogue satellite that dares to resist the Death Star’s magnetic pull.
The right to wield the word against marginalized enemies gets passed like a baton as power dynamics shift and new elites emerge. So-called “extremists” launched every political revolution in history. Once they achieved power, they invariably reserved the right to deem themselves the status quo and to pin the “extremist” donkey tail on others.
Christ’s teachings were considered extreme while he roamed the Earth, but then they served to form the bedrock for much of Western Civilization.
It’s highly likely that Britain’s monarchists viewed America’s Founding Fathers as a motley band of upstart extremists.
The Stern Gang and their ilk were extremists until they bombed their way into power and established Israel. The Judeo-military-industrial complex then proceeded to expend great effort, move vast mountains of cash, and waste thousands of human lives in its quest to paint Islamists as extremists.
When MLK was an outsider, he was considered an extremist. Now he’s a patron saint of the political status quo.