by Jeffry R. Fisher

Political pundits, especially conservative and libertarian ones, frequently use the word "radical", both in print and on the air. I am happy when they use it to intensify the meaning of another word like "Marxist", but it grates on me when used like a flail as an unqualified noun, as if all radicals must be Marxists. Here's why:

"Radical", literally "by the root", is a strategic inclination that can be aimed in *many* directions. Most are bad, but some would be good. F'rinstance: Dismantling whole unconstitutional cabinet level departments would be good... and radical.

If "radical" is repeated alone, often, and always in negative contexts, then the word will become demonized, casting a pejorative pall over a few but important good radical ideas. Someday, if we who love liberty ever attain the kind of position that the Marxists have right now, then *we* will be the radicals... but we will be radicals for liberty, not statism, as we dismantle the levers of power that we would want never again to fall into others' hands.

Therefore, go ahead and demonize Marxism, socialism and even euphemisms like progressivism, but please don't demonize "radical", because that's a term that we patriots want to reserve for our own use whenever the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed

Indeed, I would like to see a pundit do an entire show on "Being Radical for Liberty", listing some of the radical changes to "the system" (e.g. repealing the 16th amendment and the income tax, repealing the 17th amendment, eliminating departments of education, labor etc). After that, we can carry the theme forward, telling people that if they want change, and if they want to be radical, then these liberating changes, and not the Marxists' authoritarian programs, are what they should demand.

Copyright 2003-2009 by Jeffry R. Fisher: Permission is granted to reproduce this article in whole, but only in combination with attribution, the original title, the original URL, and this copyright notice.
Jeffry R. Fisher is the founder and president of Propagate Ltd, which is liberating digital content as LiberateIP.com.