Full Definition of RADICAL
1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue
2 : of or relating to the origin : fundamental
3 a : very different from the usual or traditional : extreme
b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
c : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change
d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs 4 slang : excellent, cool
— rad·i·cal·ness noun
Origin of RADICAL
Middle English, from Late Latin radicalis, from Latin radic-, radix root —
First Known Use: 14th century
Labels being labels cannot fully describe the contents behind them, especially political labels for folks. Labels often divide people from each other when we want to use words to help unite people, without ignoring basic differences.
I myself am a straight up hard-core liberated radical in a reactionary world. I advocate and support revolution as a basic solution for our social problems, not mere surface reforms. The big difference between radicals and liberals is that a true radical will understand the urgent need for revolution, but a mere liberal is not willing to go all the way. I respect liberals, especially those who are open-minded and willing to consider the opinions of radicals. A liberal will support certain social reforms in society but will not support any real substantial change such as a fundamental revolution in power relationships or property relations in society between the -1% vs. the +99% or the ‘haves’ vs. the ‘have-nots’.
We still live in a class society whose two main classes are the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. These two main classes are classes at constant war with each other because they have conflicting social-economic interests. The existence of one opposes the existence of the other. Despite any New Age distraction we are not all one people, though we are one human family, yet it is a family with great divisions among it that threaten its continued existence as a species. In fact, the human family is an endangered species facing extinction.
We need to stick to the basics of survival for us to get down to the radical roots of what needs to be done in our general situation in terms of our working together in global solidarity, dismantling the Empire and fighting for an authentic global democracy based upon our basic humane rights. All along the way we must keep in mind our basic survival needs as human beings: good food, proper clothing, decent shelter, medical care and quality education.
Many activists forget about the basic survival needs of the people in their understanding of politics in general. Many poor people cannot afford to have a computer at home with Internet access, thus, online activists tend to think the general population is more aware of what’s going on than they actually are. Thus, we should not confuse our individual consciousness with the present mass consciousness of the people.
There is a great digital-computer disconnect in the world and this is more obvious in so-called Third World countries. The truth is there is only one world. Many oppressed poor communities in the United States exist now in Third World-like living conditions. Google the facts and figures for yourself. Those of us in industrialized countries tend to forget that our relative wealth is the result of the centuries-old gross exploitation of the so-called Third World of Latin America, Africa, Asia and other undeveloped countries.
Many of us want to see a strong #Radical Movement in the U.S.A., but it will take a long hard time to bring one into being here. In general, we are dealing with a passive apathetic population in the U.S.A. that is trying to stay alive, not rock a sinking ship and lack faith in their own innate capacity to bring about fundamental change in this society. Many know that no matter how bad life can be in the U.S.A. we are better off than the hungry homeless masses in other foreign countries.
We here in the U.S.A. cannot do it alone with a divided Left-wing sectarian movement such as we have now that is divorced from the larger Global Liberation Matrix. We use the term ‘movement’ too loosely when our situation is more of diverse pockets of activists who are separated and scattered out around the country without a strong United Front working together in harmony as a coordinated movement. Get real!
We will have to link up with all authentic radicals in the world who see the need for basic reforms, yet know that surface reforms are not enough. The people of the world require Global Liberation, not the band-aids of reform as we bleed to death. Once again, we need to exhaust legal peaceful methods of resistance, relate to the people’s present level of mass consciousness and understand what protracted war is today. We must wage class-based struggles that the masses can easily understand, such as in the arena of electoral politics, before we can advance to sterner methods of struggle. This is why it is called a ‘struggle’. It is not easy and we should not lie to people about the real hardships we face in order to bring about any kind of relevant revolution.
It is the people themselves who must learn from their own direct experiences the practical necessity and logical possibility of revolution. It is the role of leadership to help guide the people, but only the awakened masses of people can make the revolution. At most we are just helpers.
We can discuss and debate our ideology (a system of ideas and ideals) until doomsday. I myself envision an intercommunal egalitarianism based upon democratic centralism on a global scale, in fact, a democratic globalism. Even democracy only on a local regional level can be democracy for the majority and tyranny for the minority.
We need to come together based upon a common humane rights agenda, settle any petty ideological differences and move forward in the Liberation process if we are ever to win final victory before possible extinction.
Liberation is a dynamic living process, not a fixed set of frozen conclusions. We must be flexible, do actual analyses of actual conditions, use creative imagination and have a bold vision for the future. For sure, we cannot advance onward if we are afraid of constructive criticism and fail to engage in creative self-criticism.
Be unafraid. Lose your fear. Get for real and get radical. Do not be naive. We are trying to topple the greatest strongest Empire in human history. In a valid revolution one wins or one dies, which beats losing and dying.
Those of us who struggle to topple the Evil Empire with its vast array of armies, spies and technology are up against the Beast. We will have to take the bull by the horns and ride it until its neck breaks!