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Do Social Movements Need an Extreme Edge?

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 05:50 pm
The idea has been put forth in many, many discussions here, that people who wish to effect change should be less "in your face." Gay people don't help their cause by wearing black leather ensembles and making out in Gay Pride parades. Black people would be listened to more if they just toned down the rhetoric already. What is with those silly environmentalists living in trees?

Do you think an extreme edge is necessary to effect change? Or that the movement that is calm and reasonable at all times is the one that will have greater success?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,079 • Replies: 28
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 06:03 pm
Extremes need to be countered by extremes. History and sociology substantiate that.

First one extreme, then the other, eventually balance.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 06:23 pm
I don't know of any substantial social change that didn't come in large part because of conflict. And I ain't talkin' about polite tea talk.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 06:26 pm
the dialectic, be it Hegalian or Marxist demonstrate change occuring via thesis-antithesis. moderation appears to not effect significant changes.
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BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 06:50 pm
It's been put forth the Martin Luther King enjoyed the effectiveness he did because Malcolm X was so frightening an alternative.

I'd add that extreme is such a subjective and fleeting concept; I can think back to when Punk music first came out and the short haircuts and multiple earrings were considered extreme... of course it became less so when I started seeing the same haircuts on middle aged mothers.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:09 pm
MLK was making his mark long before the average American had heard of Malcolm X.
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BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:14 pm
I imagine J. Edgar had both men in his sights for quite sometime.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:16 pm
There probably is a need to get a significant change in a short period of time.

Dyslexia said:
Quote:
moderation appears to not effect significant changes.


I'm not sure if that's the same thing as "no change" though or just "no apparent change". If things change slowly enough the changes seem to go unnoticed.

Extremism, I think, has it's time and place. If used at the wrong time/place it can blow up in your face and hurt your cause more than it helps. Using extremism and using it effectively and are two different beasts.
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BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:18 pm
I'll throw in with that.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:37 pm
I think the moderators here are doing a fine job!

Perhaps the need for civilized discussion versus extreme action
depend on the context?



Latvia's independence came (relatively) without great insult, violence, or
turmoil, but issues like environmental destruction are not so clear, or the
people are a bit more shepherded and blind.

Slap me on the side of the head if I'm wrong, but when most people
really just don't get the issue, I hope we can trust a few determined souls
to make things right.

As long as they are actually right, of course, and I'll be the judge of that. :wink:
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Dux
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 08:05 pm
Extreme actions sometimes do change what they intended to, sometimes they don't (more than moderate actions, that's for sure), but they shock society & they get the attention that their cause needs.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 08:29 pm
Dr. King was incredibly extreme for his time and his location. The very idea of a black man sitting at an all white lunch counter in Alabama in 1962, a black woman daring to register to vote in Mississippi in 1963?? Lord have mercy, you want to talk extreme??!!
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 08:32 pm
To clarify an earlier comment I think an extreme is often needed to counter an extreme.

fishin makes a valid point, extremity needs to be used wisely. I can think of many extreme movements that fail due to the extreme positions.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:02 pm
Yes. It's been proven over and over; Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., are excellent examples. c.i.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:09 pm
i would venture to say that both MLK and Gandhi were extreme for their time in history.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:11 pm
That's what it takes. You can't change the world being a wuss.
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BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:14 pm
What about extreme wusses?
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:23 pm
They change nothing.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:28 pm
they change their pants
0 Replies
 
BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:29 pm
only after being instructed.
0 Replies
 
 

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