Monday, March 4, 2013

The Need for Sober-Minded Radicalism

Sean Ewart

This article is written in response to the March 4, 2013 article titled "The Folly of Sober-Minded Cynicism" on The Atlantic. You should read that article.

Millions of drum circles later...
Let us not forget that on March 20, 2003, despite the largest anti-war protest in the history of humanity, the United States of America invaded Iraq. 

While the protests were certainly not meaningless, they were incapable of stopping the war hawks from assembling their armies and marching to battle under the banner of democracy. 

No drum circle beat louder than the bombs that rocked Bagdad during the “shock and awe” campaign. 

I remember watching the display of artillery strikes on the television that spring. Those shells may not have fallen with my blessing, but they fell regardless of it. 

I do not mean to encourage “powerlessness.” But the fact remains that, if the millions who marched against the war in Iraq ever did have power, they entirely failed to apply it. 

The radicals with their wild hair may well have been right. But tanks rolled into Iraqi neighborhoods regardless. 

And while so-called sensible and serious people were factually wrong in their support for the Iraq War, their sobriety won the day. 

What I mean to say is, no matter how “right” the radicals were, they were never able to muster anything resembling focused action. 

There is nothing wrong with radicalism. There is so much wrong with unserious and nonsensical radicalism. 

What is more “searing” than watching “reasonable” people assemble sober arguments for disaster is watching unreasonable people assemble ridiculous arguments for success, alienating people in the process and failing to achieve anything more than an honorable mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Never forget that masses of people descended on power-centers the world round and failed, entirely, to stop the Iraq War. They were right, yes, but impotent.

Their failure will be repeated unless sober-minded thinking is brought to bear on radicalism.

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