I’ve come to believe that, in spite of the inferred violence inherent in the term, giving in to radicalization is a passive act of intellectual suicide, one in which the individual gives up the freedom and the right to think for themselves.
I went looking for a definition that would make sense to me and found that the term radicalization is defined by the Wikipedia encyclopedia as “a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.”
I’m slowly beginning to understand why any move to adopt extreme points of view is attractive to so many people in today’s world. Ours is not an easy world to live in, and its an even tougher place to try to grow up in.
The fertile ground for radicalization begins where entitlement and empowerment collide with the harsh realities of the demands levied by society that must be paid with the brutal currency of our lost innocence.
Who knows what really comes next when we try to take our place in the world? Entitlement and empowerment aren’t solutions, but merely complications on the road to personal fulfilment. Subscribing to extreme political, social or religious ideals is an easy way out; you don’t have to think for yourself, the big decisions are being made for you, and you know exactly what your personal road to hell is, and what it’s paved with.
Starting down that road means abandoning certain personal freedoms, but you’re also gaining the freedom from having to think for yourself, the freedom from having to make decisions that have consequence and that really matter in the broader scheme of things.
The world becomes very simplified.
The leaders who are the standard bearers of the doctrines you follow do everything for you, and when it comes time for you to make a contribution, you will be shown what that contribution needs to be.
The sad part is that you’ve already given and lost the most important pieces of yourself.