If one listens to the corporate media and/or ‘political mainstream’ — which one should never of course do — one might find that s/he is an extremist. If one is for peace, like Jesus of Nazareth; s/he might be an extremist. If one is for racial and economic justice, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; s/he is probably an extreme radical. If one is for an economic bill of rights in this country, like the longest tenured president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt — to bring us more in touch with other civilized countries — s/he is almost undoubtedly against the free market and undeniably considered to be a recalcitrant Marxist agitator. This person in question is clearly just another one of the lunatic fringe in our society — probably a McVeigh or William Ayers sort, and far to the left of the ‘exceedingly liberal’ Obama.
If one thinks that there are no ‘U.S. interests’, at least altruistic ones, in a great deal of the regions of the world that the United States meddles in, s/he is unequivocally considered to be an extreme individual. If one supports the human rights of the Palestinians, not only is s/he undeniably an extreme sort of ‘unhinged’ bomb throwing radical, but an anti-Semite as well — at least considered as such by some of the knee-jerk supporters of the government of Israel. I’m sorry to say this, but in a society where peace, egalitarianism, respect for the rights of self-determination of other sovereign peoples, and the recognition that a particular oppressed group are human beings is considered to be extremism; then I’ll side with ‘extremism’ each and every time.
A different kind of extremism seems to have seized the body politic of the United States of America — as the recently retired Paul Craig Roberts has uncovered — and un-extreme thoughts and opinions seem to have virtually no access to the frighteningly narrow ‘marketplace of ideas’. It’s almost as if there exists a sort of Berlin Wall, on freedom of thought and opinion in this country; particularly if anyone thinks that the non-state and corporate sponsored thoughts and opinions, have even one slice of hope of making it into the aforementioned severely limited political discussion.
As much as I hate to give Ronald Reagan any kudos, he must not have known that the Berlin Wall would actually fall just two short years after his famous speech that he gave in Germany. If their Berlin Wall could fall, in that sort of authoritarian and inflexible society, perhaps it is possible that ours could fall too; perhaps it is possible for lighting to strike the same barrier to human initiative more than once, and to bring about the downfall of the same outmoded obstruction.