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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/13/10

The Extreme Center

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I got the inspiration to write this article from a comment that John Sanchez posted in the OEN "Hell has Frozen Over and I Agree with Ann Coulter" thread on July 7, 2010:

"The analogy of the political spectrum...

"that I subscribe to is arranged on a circle, with the extreme left located at the bottom, and the spectrum proceeding clockwise to the center, located at the top, and continuing to the extreme right at the bottom, where it belongs, cheek by jowl with the extreme left. The extremes do, after all, have a great deal more in common with each other than they do with the center. Further, the center should be understood to be the traditional center, not the Frank Luntz center that is located there only after rotating the circle counterclockwise by about forty five degrees."

My reply was: "Could we call this the 'Extreme Center'?

"I really like your analogy of the political spectrum as a circle with what you call the 'traditional center' at one pole and the 'extreme right' and the 'extreme left' together at the opposite pole, with what you call the 'Frank Luntz center' in the 3-O'clock position to the right of the top. I've often used the term 'militant moderation' to refer to the ideology of what you're calling the 'traditional center', and defined it as similar to the ideologies of many of the world's political parties that call themselves 'social democrats' and also to the political beliefs of many Americans who label themselves as 'progressives' or 'left-wing Democrats'.

"Essentially, this 'radical center' is made up of people who believe that the chief goal of a politico-economic system should be to grant 'liberty and justice for all', and that the best way to achieve this goal is through 'fair and reasonable' checks and balances on all forms of power. This means limiting democracy, plutocracy, theocracy, and political authoritarianism by pitting them one against the other to create that 'level playing field' that is almost as rare in the political-economic world as "common sense" is in most people's daily lives..."

SicMathGuy then posted:

"I learned that politics is a snake with its tail in mouth.

"It's a circle, going from far left all the way around to
far right, with the extreme far left and the extreme far right being
essentially the same.

"In other words, I learned what you said many, many years ago. To me, it's the absolute truth. :-)

I replied:

"I'm writing an article about 'The Extreme Center'

"and as part of the research for it, I came across a very detailed drawing of the political spectrum as a circle with the center at 12-O'clock, the extreme right and left at 6-O'clock, and the various types of "liberals" and "conservatives" scattered out over the "morning" and "afternoon" respectively. Just the diagram alone is an excellent elaboration on our comments here about this subject, and it can be found at: http://thoughtsaloud.com/pages/political_spectrum.htm"

IMO, the circular, clockface-like diagram of the political spectrum probably deserves an article of its own, but for the time being, I'd rather make a more detailed ideological and demographic analysis of the "Extreme Center" concept. A good starting point is to quote some of the captions on the diagram on the "thoughtsaloud.com" site.

Over the 12-O'clock position it says, "FREEDOM: Freethinkers, Independents, Centrists, Moderates, Libertarians, Swing-voters". In the center of the circle is, "Wake up America! Don't be fooled, it's a circle. Don't think left or right, think up or down. The Demopublicans are all heading in the same direction and aimed toward the same destination: TYRANNY." At 6-O'clock is listed: "Totalitarianism, Theocracy, Dictatorship, Communism, Socialism, Fascism: SERFDOM." And at the bottom corner of the chart is: "The further you go, the closer you get to meeting your opponents as fellow serfs in a tyranny. Why not just stay in the upper middle with limited government? Could we at least stay above the equator? Pretty please?"

I assume that the diagram is an illustration for one or more articles on the same site, but I deliberately didn't try to find them, because I'd rather write my own article from scratch, interpreting the captions from my own perspective as a "radical futurist" and "spiritual revolutionary". I have no idea if the person who created the diagram realizes just how "radical" or "extremist" the idea expressed in it really is, but I definitely do. And it appears obvious to me that the people who planned and carried out the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution in the 1600's, as well as the "founding fathers" of the American Revolution of the 1700's discovered these facts the hard way as they went along.

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Let's take the turtle off the fence post. The turtle is the 99% and the fence post is artificial scarcity and a climate of fear. My main activity on the Internet right now is running the "Comparing Beliefs" Forum on the "Innersence" Yuku (more...)
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