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Radical Centrism


The Problem

There is problem in society when it comes to politics or trying to come to solutions for the issues that we are dealing with in our countries or the world in general. And yes, that is the underlying premise. To believe that there are no problems when it comes to politics, how we think of it, and our lack of willingness to work together toward both ideal and practical solutions would be very a very disingenuous idea. People seem to be pretty hellbent on the idea that one side of the political spectrum or the political party they follow has all of the answers.

Of course, that is only a percentage of the world's population. It would actually seem that a large portion of people agree that there is no one person or organization that can be right on everything. But in practice, a majority of people still choose to try to belong to one tribe (their political platform of choice). The idea that we must have labels or that we require to have an ideology that provides a general description of our values is one that plagues society more and more as time goes on.

Radical Centrism

Now, one might see what this article is about and think to call me a hypocrite due to my previous presentation of distaste for the idea of requiring a generalization to describe your set of values. I would agree if I was advocating for readers to begin calling themselves radical centrists. But that is not what I intend to do. I do intend to shed light on what radical centrism is and why I believe the idea is the step in the right direction that we should take. As a disclaimer: I do not refer and do not plan to start referring to myself as a radical centrist. It is the only idea that I have ever come across that comes close to describing the way that I prefer to think.

As for what radical centrism is, there seems to be a little bit of disagreement. However, the general idea of radical centrism is that no single party or platform has the answer, no matter where they originate from on the political spectrum, whether on the political right, the political left, or the political center. Further, that the solutions to our problems in society must come about by examining the best solutions available, no matter who proposes them, and to implement those solutions in hopes of a more genuinely good future. The "radical" part means that in order to bring about practical change, many reforms will have to be made within the government in order to make these changes possible (and no, this doesn't include abolishing important checks and balances). The "centrism" part means to be willing to compromise and find middleground between different ideas or proposed solutions, as well as not requiring any dangerously extreme measures to be taken to bring about a more practical government.

An answer in the myriad of proposed solutions.

An answer in the myriad of proposed solutions.

Be Wary

The idea of radical centrism is not infallible. Many might try to call it the "perfect ideology," which it is not. There are genuine criticisms for the idea, such as the thought that radical centrism sounds good as a theory, but would not actually work in practice. There's also the thought that radical centrism attempts to demonize all other political ideologies by taking the role of being the only, truly reasonable line of thought to subscribe to. These are valid concerns that should be addressed.

Also, let's not forget about the realistic expectation that there are some who may see the idea as a threat to their politically-filtered opinions that they refuse to change their minds about, lest they be seen as weak-minded individuals that lack conviction.

Virtually all ideologues, of any variety, are fearful and insecure, which is why they are drawn to ideologies that promise prefabricated answers for all circumstances.

— Jane Jacobs

A Call to Action

Now, I have already explained that I'm wary of labels and that I don't feel comfortable calling myself a radical centrist, let alone anything else. But I have also already explained why I believe it is the step people in the world should take within their countries in order to shape more practically ideal societies. I plan on advocating for it in my own country, the Unites States, and I plan on becoming someone who can bring about the kind of genuine change that the idea of radical centrism describes.

I believe people all over the world should work to create more practical governments that continue to work well within their own culture, values, and landscape. Not only should this create a better future for all citizens of their respective countries in the world, but it should also aid in the cooperation of nations and promote collaboration, empathy, and kindness between the different people that inhabit the world. Not only that, but to also continue fostering peace among different nations and to encourage the preservation of the world in order to ensure the potential for happiness throughout future generations.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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