Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Extremism Or Militancy?

Are we now fighting extremism or militancy? I rather think that we are worried about militancy rather than extremism.

There are extremists and they can be passive too. There are moderates and they can militant too.

But extremists cover both ends of the spectrum - the ultra right and the ultra left. This is exactly what happened recently in Paris - the militant reaction of the ultra right to the militancy of the ultra left.

All perfectionists are also extremists - they strive to the best of the best, at all costs, often regardless of their own lives. When we teach our children to the best, we are teaching them miltancy - and we think it is for good, and often it is. But the greatest geniuses of the world of the physical science created for the human race the weapons of mass destruction as well as the weapons of destruction by remote control - starting with the bow and arrow, the blowpipe and the gun.

At home, we have the call to "arms" of the moderates and hence the rise of the militancy of the moderates. Moderates are now bombarding the media with their messages of moderation, and presumably to the destruction of extremism of all kinds.

The great distinguishing factor in all human lives and activities is ethics - the knowledge of right and wrong. In  the progression of the genes of the human race, right is the preservation of the human race and the wrong is the destruction of the human race.

But in war, there has been wars against mother nature - the control and subjugation of the natural elements - so that human beings are at peace to procreate, multiply and live long lives. All animals are considered wild and need to be tame. We are friends with domesticated animals and enemies with the wild.

The greatest battle is always people against people. So long as the ego comes in and distinction is pronounced, the battle begins. All those who are not with us are against us. We fight against the enemies. In battles, one side is enemy of the other side.

The fight among human communities are often, if not always, economic warfare. The survival of the fittest. Those who are lacking in brawn must use their wits and supplemented with weapons and tricks. This is militancy, pure and simple.

The way out of all these troubles is adaptation and resourcefulness, which is often achieved by co-operation. The challenge is to do the greatest good for the greatest number. Failure to adapt and be resourceful means death to oneself, and the only way to survive in such a situation is to kill the other side for the means to survival or to steal.

The only great path to walk in this world is ethics and morality, which means helping each other to find happiness in this world. Moral values play an important role in all decent communities. Good morals and good values are being promoted by all enlightened communities. Those who promote good morals are usually those who do not worry about material well-being. They learn to adapt and be resourceful.

What is usually considered "bad" is the systematic attempt at the destruction of communities whose way of life is not similar to ours.

The ultimate right is individual right which is at a higher level than communal right. The ultimate statement on individual right is by John Stuart Mill: Every individual has the right to live his or her life in the best way that he or she sees fit, so long as he or she does not prevent others from doing the same.

It is understanding and wisdom, not just tolerance. It is not outright militancy, or physical or verbal coercion. It is simply live and let live. What is so hard about this?


walla said...

If adaptation and resourcefulness are the keys to resolve conflict through cooperation, we should then ask ourselves which one position can achieve it the fastest.

First thoughts say the answer would have to be the moderates. After all, by definition an extremist is already at a corner so that the ultimate extremist is someone who cannot adapt or be more resourceful because he is already at the edge and can only move back in one direction towards being a moderate.

Meanwhile the moderate has two for either extremist's option. The moderate can bidirectionally move towards the position of either extremist.

The problem is what do we do with someone who chooses to be moderate about his moderation.

Does he become naturally more extremist over time or does he use rational thinking to decide on a position to adopt based on the nature of the situation presented to him?

It is a sign of the times that the world seems to have gotten more complex.

Or is it? In the case of the Parisian massacre, the cartoonists lampooned everyone because they were doing a business that involved questioning everything. Their assumption was that since they lampooned everyone, no one should take it out on them. As cartoonists, their daily diet was biting hilarity bordering on sceptical cynicism.

Unfortunately for them, some people did take it out on them. And it was because these people were already entrenched in what they had chosen to be their ultimate edge.

They had a choice to ignore the slight. They chose to kill instead.

Therein lies the difference. One party equilibrated all to be the same. The other supremacized one aspect to be above question - even by those whom they knew did not believe in that supremacy.

This type of conflicting views is akin to the difference between the absolute and the relative which is akin to the difference between the extremist and the moderate.

The extremist is beyond reason, seeing only a final solution. The endlosung of extermination. The moderate is more calculating, always looking for what's next.

Whatever one's belief at the start of this century, the biggest question not asked enough, and answered, is simply, "what's next?"

You get to see that a lot in some places. There's one where even forty-seven percent of the population choose to be blind but that's because they don't want to ask and answer what's next.

walla said...

That place in question will soon experience a tsunami of price increases.

Go to a shop that sells medicine. Standard retail practice has always been to jack up the price tag and then give a discount when asked, this to win over new customers. Now, the unsolicited warning given is that once the GST is implemented, there will be absolutely no discount. Who can even say that once the day comes, the tagged prices themselves wouldn't have been jacked up the night before hand in order to earn more profit because of unforeseeable circumstances?

And some still talk about the GST as merely replacing S&ST. Had too much mushroom lately, haven't they?

So, what's next? What's next is to ask one simple question. If economic woes are what everyone will face save those who can fly to Indianapolis for creme brulee, what have race and religion got to do with finding the solution for those woes?

Which begs the next question: if the economic woes are due to a particular set of R&R, how can a solution be found from the cause of the problem?

Therefore, one cannot be faulted for thinking those who want to militate towards such sets of mandates are merely trying to win their own, personal, last-ditch reprieve from the One for all the bad things they have been doing onto others.

But what next is the result? How different is it to destroy cooperation, goodwill and progressive thinking from using guns and bullets on those who merely doodle with pencils?

walla said...