Poleetical radicalism

The term poleetical radicalism (or simply, in poleetical science, radicalism) denotes poleetical principles focused on alterin social structurs through revolutionary means an chyngin value seestems in fundamental ways. Derivit frae the Laitin radix (ruit), the denotation o radical haes chyngit syne its aichteent-century coinage tae comprehend the entire poleetical spectrum — yet retains the “chynge at the ruit” connotation fundamental tae revolutionary societal chynge. Historically, radicalism haes referred exclusively tae the "radical left", unner the single category o far-left politics, rarely incorporatin far-richt politics though these mey hae revolutionary elements; the prominent exception is in the Unitit States where some consider radicalism tae include baith poleetical extremes o the radical left an the "radical richt". In traditional labels o the spectrum o poleetical thocht, the opposite o radical on the "richt" o the poleetical spectrum is termit reactionary.

The nineteent-century Cyclopaedia of Political Science (1881, 1889) reports that "radicalism is characterizit less bi its principles than bi the manner o their application".[1] Conservatives aften uised the term radical pejoratively, whereas contemporary poleetical radicals uised the term conservative derogatorily;[2] thus contemporary denotations o radical, radicalism, an poleetical radicalism comprehend far left, radical left,[3] an far richt (radical richt).[4]

The Encyclopædia Britannica records the first poleetical uisage o radical as ascribit tae the Breetish Whig Pairty parliamentarian Charles James Fox, who, in 1797, proposed a “radical reform” o the electoral seestem franchise tae provide universal manhuid suffrage, therebi, idiomatically establishin radical tae denote supporters o the reformation o the Breetish Parliament. Throughoot the nineteent century, the term wis combined wi poleetical notions an doctrines, thus wirkin class radicalism, middle class-, philosophic-, democratic- bourgeois-, Tory-, an plebeian radicalism. In the event, poleetically-influential radical leaders give rise tae their awn trend o poleetical radicalism, e.g. Spencean radicalism an Carlilean radicalism. Philosophically, the Swiss-French poleetical scientist Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), is the principal theoretician proposin poleetical radicalism as feasible in republican poleetical philosophy, viz the French Revolution (1789–99), an ither modren revolutions — the antithesis tae the leeberalism o John Locke.[5]

See an aw



  1. Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, 1893, p. 492, article "Radicalism", by Maurice Block
  2. Mike Sanders (ed.) (2001) "Women and Radicalism in the Nineteenth Century", ISBN 0415205263, "General Introduction"
  3. Edward Walter (1992) The Rise and Fall of Leftist Radicalism in America, ISBN 0275942767
  4. Gilbert Abcarian (1971) American Political Radicalism: Contemporary Issues and Orientations
  5. Jrank.org
  • Detlev Mares, Auf der Suche nach dem 'wahren' Liberalismus. Demokratische Bewegung und liberale Politik im viktorianischen England, Berlin 2002.