Radicalism

Definition of Radicalism, History, Characteristics, Causes of Radicalism

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What does radicalism actually mean? In simple terms, the notion of radicalism is an understanding that requires extreme changes or changes to a system of society to its roots.

Radicalism is one of the social problems that haunts people’s lives in  the world. The existence of globalization is one of the triggers for the emergence of radicalism understanding or ideology, both in social and political life.

Currently, radicalism is often associated with the concepts of terrorism and extremism. In fact, there are many definitions of radicalism, depending on the context discussed.

Definition of Radicalism

The word radicalism comes from the Latin word radix which means root. This term is intended for the basics, the fundamental principles, the subject matter, and the essence of various phenomena.

there are three meanings of radicalism. First, radicalism is a radical sect or understanding in politics, second, radicalism is a school or understanding that requires drastic social and political changes, and third, radicalism is a political school that has an extreme attitude.

Meanwhile, according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, radicalism is the behavior or opinion of people who want or like extreme changes in the government or political system.

In the socio-political concept, radicalism is an ideology that wants change, replacement, and penetration of a community system to its roots.

the term radical does not always have a negative meaning but can also have a positive meaning, depending on the context of space and time behind the use of the term. So, basically, radicalism refers to the political doctrine adopted by certain parties who support individual and collective freedom.

According to experts, the notion of radicalism is an ideology (idea or idea) and an understanding that wants to make changes to the social and political system by using violent/extreme means.

The essence of acts of radicalism are the attitudes and actions of a particular person or group that uses extreme and even violent means in bringing about the desired change.

Radical groups generally want these changes in a short time and drastically which is often contrary to the prevailing social system.

Radicalism is often associated with terrorism because radical groups can use any means to achieve their wishes, including terrorizing those who disagree with them.

Although many associate radicalism with certain religions, fundamentally radicalism is a political issue and not a religious teaching.

History of Radicalism

Radicalism has existed since time immemorial because the “seeds” are already in humans. According to the Encyclopedia Britanica, the term radicalism was first recognized after Charles James Fox described the notion in 1797.

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At that time, Charles James Fox called for “Radical Reforms” in the system of government in Great Britain (England). These reforms were used to explain the movement in favor of a parliamentary revolution in the country. In the end the ideology of radicalism began to develop and then mingled with the ideology of liberalism.

In France prior to 1848, the use of the term radical referred to those who supported universal or republican suffrage. Entering the 19th century, the term radicalism changed its meaning to humans who can control the social environment with collective action.

Meanwhile in America, the definition of radicalism is political extremism in any form. Communism is considered a radical left, and fascism is considered a radical right. American youth movements that denounced traditional social and political values ​​at the time were called radicals.

Radicalism is often associated with certain religions, especially Islam. One example can be seen from the existence of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) group which wants to change the world order by means of violence and terror by bringing/mentioning symbols of the Islamic religion in their every action.

The actions of ISIS and the support of a small number of Muslims against ISIS were then considered a true form of radicalism. This in the end makes some people of the world think ISIS is a picture of Islamic teachings. However, of course this is not true because most Muslims actually condemn the heinous acts carried out by the ISIS group.

Characteristics of Radicalism

Radicalism is very easy to recognize. This is because in general, adherents of this ideology want to be known and want more support from people. That is why radicalism always uses extreme means.

The following are the characteristics of radicalism:

  1. Radicalism is a response to current conditions, the response is then manifested in the form of evaluation, rejection, and even hard resistance.
  2. Making constant resistance efforts and demanding the desired drastic changes occur.
  3. People who embrace radicalism usually have strong beliefs about the program they want to run.
  4. Adherents of radicalism do not hesitate to use violent means in realizing their wishes.
  5. Adherents of radicalism have the assumption that all parties who have different views with him are guilty.

Factors Causing Radicalism

Referring to the definition of radicalism above, this understanding can occur due to several factors, including:

  1. Thinking Factor.  Radicalism can develop because of the idea that everything must be returned to religion, even if in a rigid and violent way.
  2. Economic Factors . Economic problems also play a role in making radicalism appear in various countries. It is human nature to survive, and when pressed by economic problems, humans can do anything, including terrorizing other humans.
  3. Political Factors . Some people think that a state leader only sided with certain parties, resulting in the emergence of community groups that seem to want to uphold justice. These groups can be from social, religious, or political groups. Instead of upholding justice, these groups often make things worse.
  4. Social Factors . Still closely related to economic factors. Some of the weak economic class people are generally narrow-minded so it is easy to believe in radical figures because they are considered to be able to bring drastic changes to their lives.
  5. Psychological Factors. Bitter events in one’s life can also be a factor causing radicalism. Economic problems, family problems, love problems, hatred and revenge, all of these have the potential to make someone a radical.
  6. Education Factor . Wrong education is a factor causing the emergence of radicals in various places, especially religious education. Educators who give teachings in the wrong way can cause radicalism in a person.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Radicalism

Don’t get me wrong, since the beginning of this article, it has been stated that radicalism is a misunderstanding and many consider it heretical. However, in radicalism there are also advantages.

1. Advantages

  • Adherents of radicalism have a clear goal and are very sure of that goal.
  • Adherents of radicalism have great loyalty and fighting spirit in realizing their goals.

2. Weaknesses

  • Adherents of radicalism cannot see the real reality because they think that all opposing opinions are wrong.
  • They generally use violence and other negative methods in an effort to achieve their goals.
  • Adherents of radicalism consider all parties who have different views with him are enemies who must be eliminated.
  • Adherents of radicalism do not care about human rights (Human Rights).

This is a brief explanation of the meaning of radicalism, the history of radicalism, the characteristics of radicalism, and the causes of radicalism in various places. Hopefully this article is useful and adds to your insight.


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