by Jeff Shantz
In the present period few terms or ideas have been as slandered, distorted, diminished, or degraded as radical or radicalism. This is perhaps not too surprising given that this is a period of expanding struggles against state and capital, oppression and exploitation, in numerous global contexts. In such contexts, the issue of radicalism, of effective means to overcome power (or stifle resistance) become pressing. The stakes are high, possibilities for real alternatives being posed and opposed. In such contexts activists and academics must not only adequately understand radicalism, but defend (and advance) radical approaches to social change and social justice.
The first known use of the term radical is in the 14th century, 1350–1400; Middle English coming from Late Latin rādīcālis, having roots. It is also defined as being very different from the usual or traditional. The term radical simply means of or going to the roots or origin.… Read the rest