The essence of
extremism is the
lust for the most, such as infinite power, being the richest (wo)man in the world, the greatest happiness, the
highest status, the most reverence, and so on and so forth.
Extremism's motto and fundamental principle is The most is the best.
As an ideology of maximization it creates, or responds to, an urge whose
sole bounds (if any) are those of the most positive or of the most
What has been said of the acquisitive urge applies to the urge of the
maximizer too: it 'tends to increase in infinity'.
If ultimate, it involves, indeed, the greatest alienation possible from
Two of the pillars of extremism are
the highness-catenary and
the negativity-negatoriness misassociations. When
'e is only
able to define neutrality in terms of neither nor or
not polar, and when 'e cannot dissociate negatory phrases in
'er language from negativity
and what is bad, the extremist will try
to get away from neutrality as far as possible.
And when 'e is only able to define the good in terms of high and
superior, and when 'e cannot dissociate this
normative highness from
factual-modal forms of highness,
the extremist will try to get higher and higher in factual and modal
respects as well; that is, until the wax of 'er wings melts in the heat of
the infinitely bright light coming from that destination 'e will never
A concrete example is the lust for power.
The extremist always wants more and more of it for the sake of power itself.
If 'e is a
'er supreme ideal is that of one all-mighty god that rules over the whole
universe; if 'e is an atheist political totalitarian, it is that of one
all-mighty party that rules over all peoples.
exist power —the most power, to
be precise— is an end or ideal in itself.
The acquisitive urge of the extremist is closely related to
this potence fetishism. It is the urge for property, not as a
means to something nonextreme but as an ultimate end; and it is
not just the urge for some property but for more and more of it.
A special case of this urge is a perpetual greed for money,
not for money as a means to something nonextreme but, again,
as an ultimate end, as something 'e can never have enough of.
Perhaps, the extremist will justify 'er interest in money or
property by referring to another end, and by explaining that
property is only a means to it. But then, the other end itself
is, in turn, an
extremist end, such
as more and more freedom (in the sense of available options) for the
sake of freedom as freedom; or more and more happiness ad infinitum for
the sake of happiness as happiness (like in positive utilitarianism or
eudaimonism). Unfortunately, as the
x-ist becomes increasingly estranged
from proper goals and objectives 'e only becomes increasingly unhappy, and
as 'er positive freedom grows it only becomes harder and harder for
'im to fill it out and to
remain continually satisfied.
In the spatiotemporal field extremism is the striving for the
highest, the biggest, the farthest and the fastest. Extremists
love to participate in competitions for such things as the
tallest building (or self-supporting structure) in the world;
they love weapons which can reach further and destroy more than
any other weapon ever could; and they love to build on cars,
trains and planes to make them run or fly faster than ever
before, not for some nonextreme reason, but because speed has
become an end in itself for them.
When trying to jump as high or as far as possible, or when trying to ride
or swim as fast as possible, or when trying to score as many goals as
possible, is good for the bodily health of human beings, extremists turn
the means, also here, into ends in themselves.
And once height, distance, speed and winning the race or match have become
ends in themselves, they will do everything to attain these ends, however
detrimental to their own or other people's health this may be.
Games or events which originally were meant to be sportive
have thus degenerated into extremist, nationalist and sexually
Being the first and seeing countrymen
or -women become the first, then seems to be the sole thing
that counts, whatever pushing, drugging and intimidation may be
needed to attain this goal.
(So far as the exclusivist degeneration of sports is concerned, the
equivalent with regard to the arts is that people do not admire works of
art for their own qualities anymore, but only for the price tags or
nationalities attached to them, if not for the ideologies they are
Also with respect to matters of sexuality and family affairs extremism is
the striving for the most and the fastest.
Particularly when human beings have just been freed from the shackles of
puritanism and hypocritical religion, but are still under the spell of the
old ideology's lust for the most, fucking as early and as much as possible,
or with as many different partners as possible, becomes something good for
its own sake.
The tradition which required that human beings would have as little sex as
possible, and of one variety only, has then merely been replaced by a new
fashion in extremism, namely that they must have as much sex as possible
and of the greatest variety possible.
At the same time it should be added to this that the potent ideologues who
attempted, and often managed, to restrain sexuality as much as they could
on the one hand, did not refrain from stimulating married men and women to
produce as many children as possible on the other — as many,
regardless of the woman's wishes, regardless of the environment, and
without any intrinsic notion of equality or natural equilibrium
Extremism is not just a nonneutralist attitude; it is the most
unneutralistic attitude there is.
Altho the old
distinction between quantity and quality is an obscure one
(especially when exploited by
could say (since we have the instruments to clearly explain the
difference) that extremism is the ideology of quantity, whereas
neutralism is the ideology of quality. A but too revealing
symptom of extremism is, for example, the the world's most
sickness. This is a disease cities, countries and other territorial
or social units suffer from which claim to be 'the world's
fastest growing', to have 'the world's foremost or most famous
cultural centers', 'the world's most exciting sights', 'the
world's largest such-and-such' and 'the nation's' or 'the
world's longest so-and-so', and so on and so forth. Obviously,
it is here not the type of urban growth which counts, not the
kind of culture which flourishes, not the sort of buildings
which are constructed. If there are nonextreme goals and
objectives at all, they are entirely immaterial.
But now —it might be objected— if the goal is formulated in
evaluative terms like in the (world's) best, the (world's)
nicest or the (world's) finest, there is nothing against
Doesn't the neutralist 'imself also aspire to what is best or most
neutral? Why then not the best or most neutral in the world?
The correct reply to such an argument is that it makes
use of a terminological trick and confuses original and derivative
Neutralism and extremism refer to
the neutrality and
extremity of an original
catena. Extremity is then what is most positive or, if negativity is
(bi)polar. It is only in this
original context that
most means extreme. The term most neutral cannot refer
to the original catena, because with respect to this catena something just
is, or is not, neutral. It is when the neutrality-difference catena
is considered that something is more or less neutral or
unneutral, and thus also most neutral or most unneutral.
The difference is now that on the extremist account the greatest
positivity, or positivity and negativity, of the original catena is good or
best, whereas on the neutralistic account the neutrality is good or best
(other things being equal).
This difference is not only big; it is plain as well.
Moreover, it should be noticed that the use of evaluative words such as
nice and fine in an extremist way is more symptomatic of
local, national and other forms of
territorialism, and more symptomatic
of contempt of
the principle of truth, than
of extremism itself.
catenical definition of
extreme could easily be marked by a considerable departure from
the neutral, but a traditional definition of extreme is
radical or marked by a considerable departure from the usual or
From the point of view of an original catena this latter definition is
absolutely preposterous, since the usual or traditional may be extreme
itself, for example, extremely inequitable.
It is, then, neutrality which is marked by a considerable departure from
To make any sense at all, the traditional definitions of
extreme and extremism must implicitly refer not to
an original catena but to a positivity-difference, differentiation
or time-differential catena.
(We shall not consider the use of extremism in some sense of
terrorism, for terrorism is, first of all, a serious violation of
rights of personhood.
Extremism may encourage such terrorism, but a particular person could be
an extremist without ever becoming a terrorist, or without ever
The implicit reference to nonoriginal catenas is quite
apparent in definitions of extreme and radical such as
tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits,
conditions or institutions. Those who are opposed to such
extreme changes are not opposed to these changes because they
are extreme or great, nor because they are changes; they want to
leave the situation ('exist' or not) as it is, simply because it
is in their own personal interest, since they benefit themselves
from the inequalities which are existing or traditional. As it
is fallacious to let a differentiation catena have priority over
an original catena, it is those who want to maintain
traditional, extreme or great inequalities and those who want to make
nonextreme inequalities bigger who are the real extremists:
they are the ones who hold views which are as far from being
moderate as possible. Those who want to maintain traditional,
nonextreme or smaller inequalities are lesser unneutralists.
And those who strive for equality in a relevantistic way, however
much this equality may deviate from what is usual or traditional,
are the neutralists.
Some exponents of traditionalism who are afraid of joining
either neutralism or extremism might instead suggest a 'compromise'
between the two. In a similar way this would have to be a
'compromise' between inclusivism and exclusivism. But people who
seriously argue for such a settlement will merely demonstrate
a complete lack of catenical insight. There simply is no
'compromise' between neutralism and extremism, for neutralism
itself is the compromise between negative extremism (or lesser
unneutralism) on the one hand and positive extremism (or lesser
unneutralism) on the other; and there is no 'compromise' between
the need of inclusivity and exclusivist demands, for inclusivity
itself is, as it were, the compromise reached between
abnegational exclusivism on the one
on the other. Those who suggest a so-called 'compromise' between
abnegational exism and neutral-inclusivity are in favor of nothing else
than abnegational exism; and those who suggest a so-called 'compromise'
between aggrandizemental exism and neutral-inclusivity are in favor of
nothing else than aggrandizemental exism. There is no compromise
between neutralism and extremism, because neutralism, as founded on
the norm of neutrality, is itself the compromise.