Persons who pay any attention will notice that I have changed the name of this blog again. I really do not want to explain why I decided that its most recent name simply will not work. Perhaps that is self evident. I do want to say a few words about the new name however. I am aware that there has been an ongoing tendency (not movement) of political thought for a decade or more called “Radical Centrism” or the politics of the “Radical Center.” This intellectual tendency (it does not seem to be taking on any of the fuller aspects of a movement) is lead by several scholars and writers probably the most prominent of which are Michael Lind and Ted Halstead. The New America Foundation founded by Lind is probably the most important institution embodying this intellectual tendency today. I have read some of Michael Lind’s writings such his The Radical Center: the Future of American Politics and several of his articles posted within the New America Foundation site. I am sympathetic to many of his ideas. However I also disagree with many of the positions of persons such as Michael Lind and other radical centrists. Thus the reason I have decided to call this blog “Toward a Radical Center” is not because I feel that I am part of a some sort of ongoing Radical Center movement based on Lind’s or any one elses ideas.
There are two reasons why I have decided to name this blog Toward a Radical Center. The first is that over the years I have come to feel deeply alienated from the politics of both the American Right and Left. While I might agree with some of the ideas of the American Right, in general I find its political philosophy and the vast majority of the causes it supports to be repugnant and grossly unjust to all that are not of the rich and powerful. Regarding the American Left? While in general I support many of its social democratic domestic policies, I strongly dislike its cultural radicalism, its thinly disguised contempt for religion, and its rejection of many traditional values. I believe that its pacifistic and so-called ant-imperialist foreign policy positions,which have doomed millions of people in places such as Darfur and Syria to perpetual bloodshed and repression to be both hypocritical and morally grotesque. Therefore I am not a person of the Left or Right.
What about the Middle or Center? Well if one stands metaphorically within a center political position between those of both the right and left one is not obligated to support positions coming out of either camp. Neither is one compelled to reject those positions coming from either the right or left for reasons of a certain political correctness which emanates from both sides. In fact one can support all good ideas and reject all bad ideas from what ever ideological source. What else can be said about a polical center? The center in the political sense is in most cases interpreted as being a sort of middle ground between right and left. It is often seen as a compromising ground. No doubt often that is not a bad place to be. However a Center Politics does not and should not restrict itself to positions of passionless compromise and reasonableness. The term “radical” is also a part of the term “Radical Center” for a reason. The original philosophical meaning of “to be radical” is the go the root of a problem, a situation, or reality. Certain political movements have attempted to do this often less successively than not. Early forms of socialism such as Marxism and the Associational Socialism of Jean Pierre Proudhon attempted to do this. The modern day Distributist movement / tendency formulated by the early 20 century writers G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc is such an effort. The current Pope Francis thinks radically based on his understanding of Roman Catholic social thought. It seems to me that the nature of a Radical Center politics would be to attempt to embrace a striving to think less shallowly and more radically about the nature of this world
Finally I think that the concept of the Radical Center also has religious connotations. Of course the radical secularists and atheists of the world dismiss all religion as being delusional. Obvious in their minds to talk about religion as being in any way to be going to the roots of the matter is pretentious. What can I say. As stated in my prior post I identify with an independent form of a religious faith called De’anism. Within this faith Thea / God is seen as being in the Still Center of all of reality. The implication to me therefore is that Thea / God should be at the center of politics. Thus politics is not only the personal but the religious. Thea is the Center. Ultimately it is what she speaks into the heart and the mind which shows what must be done.