My colleague Daniel has great post up about why he considers himself a liberal, why that political definition represents him and his values. And I was going to do the same… except I don’t always consider myself a liberal. I think I would more accurately call myself a radical.
I had a relevant discussion with someone on Monday night, while talking about our relationship with existing social structures—and specifically the institution of marriage. He said he wants to see the institution expanded to include same-sex couples. I said I want to tear the fucking thing down. To me, this is representative of what radicalism is, whether a right-wing or a left-wing radicalism. It’s about rebuilding society from the bottom up, and constantly asking questions about its most fundamental aspects. It’s about not being satisfied.
Perhaps this is just a handy excuse, but I don’t think that the fact that I’m not out in the streets every day, that I’m not a member of a communist organization or any other “revolutionary” group, renders me less a radical. I think it’s more about the questions I’m asking, and my personal utopia. About a general resistance to compromise (to which I suppose you can ascribe either a good or a bad connotation).
Well, anyway. I certainly don’t think liberal is a dirty word, but I do think I’m a little “too extreme” to use it.