On Being Radical

A close friend disappointed me when she said: “No, I don’t see you as radical”. Why had my decades of work against the people-eating short-termism gone unnoticed?

it was easier to swallow When I realised she really meant: “I’m pleased you are not radicalised into something mad and violent”, this provoked some useful questions: what does it really mean to be “radical”, and what kind of radical do I want to be?

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I prefer to be the “Quiet Radical” and even if this appears sometimes weak, or compromised, because it might have more impact in the long run. As an example, a bird-loving friend speaks up to protect the Marsh Harrier, instead of letting it be shot to support the grouse hunting industry. To him such a stand is political: “for” birds and I believe towards social justice. Through such statements his radical values are actually transmitted to me and others.