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September 24, 2013 / Congau

Extremism Endangers Laziness

Save us from the extremists. They are menacing our society. Their existence is a threat to us and they are dangerous. That, in fact, can be concluded from the very definition of extremism. They want something different, and accordingly they want to abolish what already exists. The idea of elimination and destruction is thus an intrinsic part of their way of thought.

But who are they? Of course they don’t exist independently, but only in a relative sense. They are the others; those who are not like us; those who don’t belong to our majority.

It all depends in what context we place the extremists. Tear them out of our society and send them to another one and they may no longer be extremists. An American left wing relocated to Europe could find a seat in an established party, and a European right wing might feel safer in America. What makes them radical is their failure to adapt to the society in which they live. They believe in something different than the majority.

Or maybe it suffices to say that they believe in something? For the majority, what do they believe in? In the comfortable political center, you need no belief. You settle down lazily and avoid drawing attention to yourself, and for your own sleepy peace of mind you imagine that you belong to your society by nature.

We, the mainstream, are chameleons, and we have no belief. We would rather prefer not to think and that’s why we detest the extremists. They are trying to disturb our peace. They upset us. They want to change us and destroy us.

But the world is in fact changing, and our society is changing too. We see it and we accept it. We are not trying to resist that change, far from it, we, ourselves, are changing. The change may be slower than what the extremists are advocating, but it is still fast. Just a few years ago we looked at things differently and without noticing it we have moved. The fashion is changing and we dress differently. Even our personal taste is changing. What was good and beautiful yesterday may not be so today, because it’s no longer in vogue.

We don’t perceive the change when we ourselves are changing simultaneously. But the extremist wants to pull us against the stream and that we cannot condone. An extremist is someone who is different from us at any given time.

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