By Darren Mulloy
This booklet makes use of the military stream as a way to envision the complicated dating that exists among America's mainstream and extremist political tradition. It focuses really on how the military circulate makes use of key features of yank heritage to justify its extremist politics and actions. Drawing upon either extremist literature and interviews with major figures within the stream, this ebook is a strong exploration of America's household extremist hobbies.
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Extra info for American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement (Routledge Studies in Extremism and Democracy)
A critique: towards an alternative approach As with many, if not all, political concepts, extremism is difficult to define. It is a relativistic term, dependent upon the time and the setting in which it is employed. S. in the 1950s and 1960s or the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Middle East during the 1990s offer obvious examples). It is relativistic because it requires a “mainstream” to give it meaning. If extremism represents going to or beyond the “limits,” as it is commonly held to, then those “limits”—whatever they are— have to be agreed upon by someone or some other group.
Even a cursory perusal of militia movement publications reveals accounts of the Boston Tea Party or the battle of Lexington and Concord sitting alongside reproduced images of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, while seemingly endless quotations from the nation’s Founding Fathers compete for space with heroic tales of the adventures of frontiersmen like Davy Crockett and his Tennessee Militia. Links to important “Historic Documents,” including the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, are a common feature of militia websites.
Not coincidentally, of course, they are also central to the ideology of Americanism. It is hoped that more will be learnt about both. James Aho’s idea of a “dialectic of heroism” offers a useful heuristic to assist with this alternative approach. ”46 The usefulness of Aho’s dialectic lies in its applicability to mainstream political movements as much as to extremist groups. As we have seen, the intentionally pejorative “paranoid style” leaves little space for any kind of dialogue between the object of the label and those applying it.
American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement (Routledge Studies in Extremism and Democracy) by Darren Mulloy