Talk:Radical centrism

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Talk:Radical_middle/archive1

origin of term[edit]

I suspect that there is a (satiric) use of the term from as early as 1963. I seem to remember a piece in Monocle magazine imagining a centrist equivalent of the John Birch Society that wanted to allow only Cambodia (then radically neutralist under Prince Norodom Sihanouk) and Switzerland to remain in the U.N., etc. Does anyone even know of a library that would have a run of Monocle? -- Jmabel 17:47, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC) ...So I asked a librarian. There is apparently no collection of these within several hundred miles of me, so I am not the one to research this. The librarian did, however, give me a list of where Monocle can be found, which I will place on Talk:Monocle. Is there anyone -- maybe at Yale, or in Los Angeles, or in New York, or even at U. Va. or BYU, who would be willing to follow this up? I promise you, it will be reasonably fun reading... -- Jmabel 18:34, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)

There's a very similar term in a Jules Feiffer strip that must date back to about that time. Hope I can find it in my almost complete collection. Dandrake 20:09, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)
Hold Me!, Random House paperback published 1962, strips with copyright dates 1960 - 1962. No page reference because the book has no page numbers, but it's about 2/3 of the way through, and anyway it's worth reading the whole thing. Dandrake 04:13, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)
Great research, thanks! Drernie 17:54, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I don't have any evidence, but I suspect the term comes from Danish politics, where the party Radikale Venstre (literally radical left or radical liberalists) which have been and still is a social liberal center party for more than 100 years. The party was founded on the cultural radicalism, and the modern breakthrough, which is exactly what this "Radical center" concept describes, but which was formalized in Denmark in the 1890s. Carewolf (talk) 15:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Lee Teng-hui[edit]

Perhaps Lee Teng-hui would be a good example of a non-Western politician of the Radical Centre. (Anonymously added 13:02:48 by User:209.87.250.38, moved to bottom of page and given a section header by Jmabel 21:35, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC))

communitarianism?[edit]

I don't know if communitarianism can be cited here. It's exactly like listing libertarianism; they take elements from liberalism and conservatism, but separate elements. (Juan wrote this and didn't sign...)

Certainly in the U.S. (and I don't know much about this outside the U.S.) "radical middle" politics are often communitarian. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:39, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
More importantly, various radical middle organizations cite Etzioni as an inspiration, so there's an ideological connection.Drernie 14:09, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I think what you're referring to is the 'Responsive Communitarianism' minisection added. -- OK, jmabel, I just learned how to sign Juan Ponderas 15:15, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Recent edit by Drernie[edit]

I was a little hesitant to revert, since your edit seemed well thought out and well intended, but point-by-point I disagreed w it. I think a focus on absolute truth (and thus a rejection of moral relativism) is a vital component of the radical middle politics, as are civil rights (such as gun rights) and referendums. Finally, since there is no central radical middle organization, I'm not sure what the benefit of specifying the diversity of sources for these opinions. Isn't the radical middle an adjective, rather than a noun? Isn't it a term used to refer to various trends and politicians, rather than some sort of nascent political party, or smattering of groups? Glad to discuss, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 09:04, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Sam, thanks for commenting. In short, I believe it is appropriate to consider the radical middle a single grass roots movement. While there is no central organization, the various groups who use the term increasingly link to and endorse each other, creating a coherent sense of community. In other words, while it started as an adjective, it has become more of a noun. As such, I think it is both possible and helpful to identify common characteristics. In the radical middle literature, I haven't seen any particular emphasis on 'civil rights' and 'referenda' -- at least by those names; the former smacks more of liberalism, and the latter of populism, neither of which is broadly accepted by those in the radical middle. And, ironically, the only radical middle group I've seen talking about 'absolute truth' is my own RadicalCentrism.org, which I felt made it too idiosycratic for Wikipedia.
Does that make sense? Given all that, I'd like to add my changes back, but I'll wait for your response in case your seeing something I don't.Drernie 17:22, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Wow, sorry I took so long! By civil rights I ment gun rights, and other such necessities ;) The term "civil rights" is widely misunderstood to be a synonym for "affirmative action", which I feel is innappropriate. As far as referenda, I always thought of the radical middle as populist. Also, since we both seem to think absolute truth is a characteristic of the radical middle, I see no reason to censor based solely on your organization. Speaking of which, i should look into you! Cheers, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 12:43, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Let me put my section back, but tweak it slightly to address your concerns. Tell me what you think.Drernie 21:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ross Perot and the Reform Party[edit]

I edited to include Ross Perot because his candidacy everywhere was talked about as appealing to the 'radical middle' (in the press even). He said he was a social moderate and fiscal conservative, but his general tone was of centrism--which is why for years after 'swing voters'/centrist voters/independents were called 'Perot voters'. On most issues he came to compromises between Democrats and Republicans with hard solutions. For instance he said both tax cuts and tax increases were needed. He also felt that partisanship and gridlock between the parties caused most problems, including incessant debates on social issues like abortion. But he promoted issues that appealed to the center (that weren't just plain 'centrist' but pro-active positions that at that time hadn't been talked about much before) like balanced budgets, campaign finance reform, referendums, term limits, fair trade, etc.

The Reform Party was based on this platform and was radically centrist--members even called themselves 'centrist'. People in the party felt there were definite issues that needed to be solved, and the two major parties had to be challenged to solve them, with the creation of a new party. Today, many might say the party has a chink in this line of thought, because after Pat Buchanan and his supporters entered the party in the 2000 election, hard stances on immigration started to enter party platforms.

Which is somewhat right---but even still it doesn't compromise on the idea. I read Noam Chomsky once wrote that in America the groups on the fringes of politics--like Nader on the left, Buchanan on the right, and Perot in the center, agreed substantially on their significant issues--and he proposed that they joined together in a pretzel to form the 'radical middle'. A radical 'centrist' is an uneasy concept, since politics always changes and what will be moderate will change. The idea here though is that there is a growing set of issues that is not shared by left or right parties (fair trade, government reform, balanced budgets), but appeals to the center. That those who support these issues also carry different baggage of their own, tied to left-right positions, like Buchanan with abortion or immigration, or Nader with other issues, should be expected.

If you're talking about John McCain, he plays to many of these positions (but is still free trade). But he's usually still what you might call a 'sensible' centrist and usually falls on the right, where he is. I was in the Reform Party (i think my analysis is accurate so don't bring up the bias), and many members hated McCain because he was a 'false reformer'---for instance his McCain-Feingold act made it even harder for third parties, while not doing anything substantial for reform. The sentiment was that he was just taking advantage of the issues for his public image. If you even listen to his speeches on reform he gives no substance just uses the phrase 'special interests' liberally.

From what I know about UK politics, Tony Blair looks more like Clintonesque centrism (which is purely political) than anything else.

These issues I listed don't specifically have to define the 'radical middle', it could be different issues. The point is, that there may be a set of issues or way of thinking, not dealt with by the left-right parties, that appeal to that part of the public that considers themselves centrist, moderate, or pragmatic. And this is what defines 'radical middle' movements. (This is different than 'populism' in that populism doesn't rely on a middle. Libertarians also differ from left-right but don't consider themselves moderate)

What is called 'sensible middle' isn't necessarily a real contrast to 'radical middle'---they aren't opposites. The difference is, when you consider yourself part of the radical middle you are distinguishing yourself from the left and right as a new way of thinking. So 'radical middle' policies can also be moderate in the classical sense. Other centrists rely on the left and the right to define their issues and just negotiate them for politics. Usually they stay within left or right parties, and still maintain most of the ideologies of these parties, and just use centrism to help come to political compromises. The radical middle defines themselves against the left-right and tries to arrive at a new way of thinking about politics. The main and perhaps only difference between the 'radical centrists' and 'sensible' centrists is that 'radical centrists' have -partisanized-.

Thats what the Perot movement was about, it was about -partisanizing the center- (making it the 'radical middle'). This of course can be problematic. I wrote about some of the problems with this in my edits to the Reform Party USA article. There were many high-profile politicians interested in the Reform Party, but most backed away at the threat of political suicide.

By the way, do a google search for "perot 'radical middle'" and you'll see all of the references. There are also many articles, if I can find them. And they dwarf references to Dean or Schwarzenegger as the radical middle because in American politics Perot is really the 'grandfather' of this movement. So its strange to see Perot hadn't been mentioned in the article, with so much focus on Dean. And Dean, in some ways has been centrist, especially as governor where he fought for balanced budgets--but during the campaign he was talking like a liberal partisan.

Brianshapiro 11:53, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, I appreciate your contributions to the article. I agree that in principle, Perot and the Reform Party are the godfather of the ideas discussed by the radical middle, and deserve a mention. Unfortunately -- though I have no idea why -- the modern Reform Party and the modern Radical Middle movement don't seem to refer to each other at all. All the radical middle stuff I've read over the last year refers back to either British Third Way or New Age politics, never to Perot; conversely the Reform Party doesn't seem to show up at any of the NAF forums or other radical middle venues. It is a strange discontinuity, I agree, so I'd appreciate any insight into why that might be -- unless I'm just missing something.
For the difference between 'sensible' and 'radical' centrists, I would point you to the recently archived diatribe, er, dialogue from this page. Many self-described centrists eschew any sort of 'principled' statement of beliefs, substituting compromise and majority rule as their defining characteristics. We 'radical centrists' delight in writing manifestos and arguing from first principles, not merely majority preference. Perhaps that's what you meant by becoming "partisan", but I suspect it goes deeper than that.
Again, I'm not claiming that these are the right terms; five years ago I'm sure we'd have written a very different article; I'm just trying to describe what I see happening *today*.Drernie 23:00, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Drernie, when I said that the 'radical middle' is not necessarily different in terms of goals than what people have called the 'sensible' middle, is that they also usually agree that solutions to an issue are something that deals with the arguments of both the left and right, and so are a compromise. An important point is that this compromise shouldn't be merely a "political" solution, even though that may be the case, but the real and only solution to the problem, even if only because the political factions represent real concerns and issues.
People who are just 'centrists' usually still adhere somewhat to their parties. Its not that its always without conviction that a middle way is right; though they don't have any real principle they go by to tell them why its right. And often the centrist positions they push don't have any good thought behind them; so they end up being some half-baked position that isn't really a good solution, rather than a real one. I would count Howard Dean as among this group (though I liked Joe Trippi)
I only know about UK politics superficially, so I can't say too much on why its different. But there are differences. Tony Blair who is cited as in the radical middle seems to be supportive of globalization policies, while the Perot here opposed them. 'Sensible' centrists within mainstream parties here like McCain or Dean or Lieberman still come out pro-free trade, but mainly because thats the 'mainstream' position being pushed by the leadership of both parties. The opposite view which held by a large amount of the public and factions within the parties is dismissed (opponents are called 'isolationists' even if they are just against the opposite extreme). McCain and Lieberman sit comfortably within their own camps. McCain as a politician that tries to be mainstream, and he probably wouldn't have picked up on the issue of campaign finance reform if Perot didn't raise it. Issues that appeal to the radical center in the US depend alot on what views are included or excluded in power. I know there are some issues like this in Europe, like on immigration and gay rights, but I don't know how it figures into the politics. It has seemed to me though that in the United States the appeal to a genuine centrism is far more important, in that both the left and right wing are looked down on equally, when I get the sense in Europe one side is always looked down on more than the other. And I think in some ways the radical middle could be considered the 'new liberals' against the status quo (and some 'progressives' look at themselves this way) but I don't think this is that important to define it that way, and it detracts from the issues (in fact i think it distorts the 'progressive' agenda).
Anyway it would be an interesting job to try to rewrite the article to include some of the points I mentioned. And actually it has some interesting parallels to a political mindset in the 19th century best expressed in the French 'juste-milieu' or the 'Era of Good Feelings'/'Great Compromises' in the US. Though I think there are things that set them apart (namely hard principles). Also note the similarity of the Reform Party platform to Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party platform. I am planning on adding an article on the juste-milieu sometime.

Brianshapiro 24:00, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, Much as I appreciate the impact of the Reform Party, and their claim to the term 'radical middle', think that it reflects a slightly different ideology than the 21st movement which has appropriated that name. I think a separte section on "Radical middle and the Reform Party" would be very useful, but we should probably keep that distinct from descriptions of Mark Satin, NAF, and RC.org.
I don't think the article needs tocenter around the Reform Party either. But there is no real recognizable entity called the 'radical middle' even though some people have written books and there is RC.org. In US politics the term first became very popular (though used before) during Perot's candidacy. Now, its not as if Mark Satin or these other groups now own the term or the term recognizably refers to them, they are just using it. I think the best idea is for the article to talk about the idea of a 'radical middle' existing in politics, and how that has built up over the last two decades. And reference Mark Satin, NAF, and RC.org as contemporary advocates. Talking about Perot as a force for this type of politics would be good also, without the need to make a separate section. I think the article would be best to be about the general strain of 'radical middle' politics without being completely about certain groups, and it can talk about this historically as well as other ways. -Brianshapiro
Okay, I've added a bit to try to and work some of this into the article. If you do rewrite it, I ask that you not lose the 'philisophical' sense of radical middle, which seems to inform the Satin-related movement but differ slightly from the Perotian usage.Drernie 17:53, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)


NPOV[edit]

There are many non-NPOV terms and turns of phrase which are used which should be placed in quotes. For example, "Rational environmentalism" is clearly not NPOV (my environmental values are not "irrational"). "As opposed to dogma" is incorrect--dogma is a doctrine which is considered to be absolute truth, and the "Radical Middle" philosophy explicitly asserts truth is absolute via it's doctrine[1], creating an interesting circular definition, but that's besides the point.) I wonder why this paradoxical assertion is even in here. --Ben 07:15, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hi Ben, Thanks for the comments, though I'm puzzled why you added a dispute header rather than simply cleaning up the text. The material derives from a melange of sources, so its hard to keep it consistent. I've tried to fix the two issues you identified, though I would point out:
    • dogma is usually a claim to possess absolute knowledge, not merely asserting the existence of absolute truth (much less objective reality, which is what the article text currently states - my personal manifesto is hardly definitive)
Ah ok I get it.--Ben 03:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • the principles (like enlibra) are intended to reflect what the various groups believe, though I agree the term 'rational' is unnecessarily prejudicial
Anyway, since I feel I've addressed your concerns, I'm removing the dispute header; however, please feel free to identify (or preferably, fix) anything else that appears problematic.Drernie 12:16, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok I'll start making some changes. Just use the history of revisions so you can compare--they'll be small changes scattered throughout. I'll try to be fair, but I still might get some things wrong. I'll probably go through it making changes here and there a couple times. --Ben 03:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Now that I look at it again, I'm afraid I don't understand the point of much of it, and not being in the position to know the point of it, I'm not sure I can change it accurately. Maybe go through one part at a time. The following part, to me, reads like one of those corporate PR brochures with words like paradigm constantly being tossed about. Could you clarify the following:

  • Maximize citizen choice, individual empowerment, and overall human potential

This seems straightforward, though rather vacant and apolitical.

  • Facilitate greater involvement in the political process (e.g., through referendums)

This seems straightforward.

  • Be of genuine help to those in the developing world

"Genuine" is prejudicial.

  • Emphasize epistemic virtue, so that politics are grounded in objective reality

"Grounded in objective reality" is prejudicial and, as far as I can tell, doesn't follow. Unless Radical Middle philosophy treats epistemic virtues as dogma? (in that epistemic virtues are objective reality and are therefore beyond question?) Which, if so, this should then be mentioned neutrally. This line is very confusing for me.

  • Build character by promoting conscious moral choices

Character of who? The government or country as a whole? Or simply citizens?

  • Expand community by people creating value for each other in reciprocal relationships

"Community" is undefined. "creating value" is undefined. The "relationships" in question are undefined.

  • Possess a foundation of traditional values and Common sense

This isn't a goal in the same sense as the others. Who is "possessing" said foundation is undefined.

  • enlibra, which presents itself as the productive middle approach to environmentalism

This seems ok. Enlibra should be capitalized (change that later). --Ben 03:53, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, Thanks for making the effort. Yet, somehow, it feels to me like you're over-analyzing this. We're trying to capture, in this section, what the movement says about itself, and the types of adjectives and values that they emphasize. I don't see that being an NPOV issue. If it bothers you, I'd just add another explanatory sentence, like: "At the same time, the movement has a relatively little experience at defining exactly what these occasionally lofty goals mean -- and virtually none at implementing them -- so it is difficult to compare them fairly with other movements."
Any explanatory sentence is not going to make it NPOV. This is because it is presented as analysis and observation from a wikipedia writer, which is supposed to be NPOV. The whole thing must either be referenced and quoted or re-written from a NPOV. As an authority on the subject yourself, you could even put it on your site and then quote it here. The way I read the word "genuine" for example, it reads like the wikipedia writer has made a POV judgement on the nature of the goals, rather than observed and documented the goals.--Ben 18:00, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hi Brian, I think we're still talking past each other. These statements are all attempts to describe how radical middle authors describe their goals. It is an NPOV fact that Mark Satin lists "be of genuine help to the developing world" as one of his guiding radical middle principles. If that is not clear, then we need to update the preamble to make it clearer. But NPOV is not served by changing the phrasing to appear less prejudicial. If a Marxists goal is to "release workers from the oppression of capitalism", then we should be able to say that without making a value judgement about the accuracy, fairness, or balance of the statement. Right? Anyone else want to chime in? Drernie 21:03, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Certainly. I would say that this is a very mixed issue. On the one hand, I think Ben would admit he doesn't know alot about Radical middle, and that is probably a source of part of the problem here. On the other hand, the article could do a better job of citing who says what. On the grasping hand ;) Drernie can't very well go around quoting himself in the article, that would be original research. If need be, someone else can quote Drernie's website, but him assuming a narrative stance on an issue where, while an expert, he is almost certainly POV, is not a good idea. Wikipedia is about citing sources, not being the source, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, I think w a few more citations and some understanding of the nature of political science from Ben, we should be ok. Its not like Radical centrism is making any ridiculous claims here, like say... imposing radical egalitarianism and absolute personal freedom simultaneously... ;) (see Libertarian Socialism) Cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 21:45, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
What I see is that the choice of rhetoric betrays a disguised argument in support of the politics and political philosophy. That, to me, is POV.--Ben 17:45, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hi Ben, I think what we're arguing over is "whose" rhetoric?
  • If you think that the article does not accurately and objectively describe what these groups *say about themselves*, based on the sources listed at the bottom, then I'll concede you have a point.
  • If your point is that the article does not clearly label these statements as "self-description" rather than external characterization, then I ask for your help in making that clearer
  • If you simply dislike the fact that these self-descriptions are prejudicial to other groups, then I don't see how that's an NPOV issue. It is an NPOV fact that these groups (including mine) use language like this to describe their goals. What's the problem with that?
I'm all for citing sources, but how do we do that since we can't inline external links? I'll take one more stab to try to make things even clearer.Drernie 20:39, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is actually an acceptable way to, involving footnoting. I've never done it, but I'm planning to start ;) I'll get a link to the applicable page in a moment. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 21:01, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There are several acceptable ways to do this. See Wikipedia:Cite sources. If you need help, ask me. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:57, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Footnotes as well, cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 11:59, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This is replete with NPOV, right from the intro, "Followers of this philosophy claim to improve understanding by simultaneously affirming both sides of apparently contradictory issues..." ~ Reaverdrop 17:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

NPOV Radical middle:How ironic![edit]

Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the neutrality of this article is disputed, considering that this article is about the radical middle? BTW, I was a Perotite in 1992 and 1996, and followed the American Reform Party after Buchannon hijacked the main Reform Party. Arch O. La 08:02, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

merger w Third way?[edit]

Not something I recommend, see Talk:Third way. Cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 22:41, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm at a loss for words...[edit]

...to discuss the following, from the article:

Followers of the philosophy often consider the wave-particle duality of physics, the Christian doctrine of Jesus as both God and Man, the federalist balance between national and state authority in the United States Constitution, and the Golden Mean of Aristotle to be representative of the beliefs of the philosophy.

"Followers (plural)... often..." and then this rather idiosyncratic statement? This is manifesto material, not encyclopedia material. Does this come from somewhere? In that case, cite. If not, let's lose this. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Jmabel, if you can figure out how to trim this article enough to satisfy "neutrality", please do. Its probably better to have a simpler article; there's enough references now that people who want examples can find them. Thanks.Drernie 20:10, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Comments on Howard Dean references[edit]

With Dean being the DNC Chair now, and with the retoric that he has been espousing lately, I really don't think that he is a good figure to associate with the Radical Middle. With his blatant attacks on the Republican party, and the convenient spin that he puts on issues, I think that it confidently puts him in with the Democrats. Just read his Comments as DNC chair.

I'm beginning to identify with the Radical Centrists, but I really don't want to be associated with Howard Dean. --69.245.48.182 05:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, especially since no other part of the article refers to Howard Dean in any way. I'm removing it... if someone wants to put it back, please connect it in a relevant way to the rest of the article. Jhortman 07:29, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The Progressive calls Dean a Centrist, and up until he became the main focus of the anti-war movement, a number of Democrats I knew who were familiar with him considered him to be too "right-wing" on most issues. So it depends on one's perspective I think. Most people heard of him after he became the focus of the anti-war movement, and hence with his supporters, who were all too often unbearably self-righteous.
This because "liberal" and "conservative" are nebulous categories and arbitrary sets of beliefs. Completely nonsensical dichotomy. While "radical centrism" purports to recognize this, it sets up a false dichotomy of its own (their version of populism vs. normal bipartisan centrism vs. everyone else). I'm an independent, and agree with 1-2/3 of the issues raised by Perot, as well as most "prgressive Democrats," "traditional conservatives," and "moderate Republicans." I'm a radical, but not a centrist, and have never been mistaken for one (though I've been mistaken for almost every other ideology imaginable). Certainly not a "radical centrist," I disagree with or at least seriously question most of those proposals listed. Each person has their own ideas, and attempts to create clean dichotomous spectrums are destined to fail when put into practice, no matter what the dimensions. ~Luke --71.192.116.43 01:22, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Remove Dispute Header?[edit]

Can we at last remove the dispute header? I've tried my best to remove the source of the original complaint, and Jmabel has done his part. I'm not sure what else can be done. Would anyone object to my removing it? If so, can please tell me what needs chaning (or better yet, change it yourself?).Drernie 23:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm going to go ahead and remove it. If anyone wants to put it back, please first try to rewrite the article yourself, or at least make detailed suggestions for what needs to be changed.Drernie 18:57, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Why I removed the "logo"[edit]

I removed Image:Radical Center Emblem.svg. 3rdman restored a link to it. I removed the link. The following is the message I left on 3rdman's user talk page: - Jmabel | Talk 21:15, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect, you seem to be misunderstanding as to what Wikipedia is and what Wikipedia is not. Wikipedia is not a soapbox for propaganda or advertising. And Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, which is to say "notability first, mention in the encyclopedia later". I have no opinion either way on your project of getting this political current to adopt a logo, but Wikipedia is not an appropriate vehicle through which to do that. If, as I gather, this is your personal proposal, and it has not been widely adopted, then it has no place in an encyclopedia, nor linked from an encyclopedia. If you doubt me, take this matter either to the Village Pump or another appropriate forum and I'm sure you will be told the same. If anything, I am stretching the rules not to remove the image altogether, because I think its fine for use on your own user page, but I'm willing to guess that many people would question even that. - Jmabel | Talk 21:10, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

While you're at it, I'd venture European Bull, while very nice graphically speaking, suffers the same fate... —Nightstallion (?) 13:05, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

{{Centrist Party}}

I removed this segment[edit]

"

At its inception fascism was described as an "extremism of the center" by its opponents. Indeed corporatist economic policies and rejection of socialism as well as finance capitalism are common to both radical centrism and fascism

"

Mainly do to lack of information, or general perspective. I wouldn't mind if a criticism section was made with more information, longer than a sentece and with a balanced perspetive. I though decided to remove this section which served no genuine purpose. The title "Relationship with Fascism" is also rather misleading and almost purposefully provactive to begin with. 68.43.20.186 6:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.43.20.186 (talk)

Is that insignificant enough to not be listed where it is in Fascism? A core tenet of Fascism is the Third Way, which I think is sufficiently related to radical centrism. 75.85.32.224 (talk) 22:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

footnote 2[edit]

Partido Popular Democrático is the former name of Partido Social Democrata. You want to refer to the CDS Partido do Centro Democrático e Social, now Partido Popular. http://portal.cds.pt/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.140.67.194 (talk) 02:39, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Spelling[edit]

Is this article about the American Radical Center, or the British Radical Centre? Dbfirs 19:55, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Centre*[edit]

The correct spelling is centre, is there anyway to change this? --Matt Downey (talk) 18:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Wtrite a letter to dictionary editors advising them that they are wrong. TFD (talk) 17:32, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

There is nothing new in the concept of "Radical Center" or "Third Way". It was what Mussolini and the Italian Fascist used to describe Fascism, after they split from the Socialists. Ditto National Socialism, not "Marxist Socialism, nor Capitalism. Anyone espousing this bears watching, closely. 108.241.120.20 (talk) 02:54, 15 October 2012 (UTC)


Notes on the February 2013 revision[edit]

In collaboration with Dr. Ernie, the original author of this article, I have revised, updated, and expanded it to bring it closer to Wikipedia's guidelines (the Manual of Style and its offshoots) and closer to the standard of excellence set by some other Wikipedia articles on political philosophies.

I have made the following major changes:

  • As it stood, the article listed only two references, and one of those was bogus (the current Economist website was given for an Econmist article from 1969); the other carried a WOT "Warning!" tag. The article now lists over 140 references.
  • The introductory section now summarizes the rest of the article.
  • Folowing the intro., every contestible sttement is now accurately sourced. I was able to find sources for some of the statements in the original article. All other unsourced statement have been eliminated. (A banner urging editors to source their statments had been atop this article for over two years.)
  • I have added a short section on analogous political philosophies in the non-English-speaking world.
  • I have addd a lengthy section presenting criticisms of radical centrism as a political philosophy and as a strategy.
  • I have added 13 "notes" in a new "Notes" section, to keep from cluttering the text with interesting but non-essential information.
  • I have added eight great pictures!, all from Wikimedia Commons.

Despite these major changres, the article still reflects much of the work that Dr. Ernie and those who cam after him put into it:

  • It still begins with definitions.
  • It still treats the early-21st-century introductory texts as the key parameter-setting texts.
  • It still focuses on actions as well as on theory.
  • It still maintains an unusually substantial resources section.

My revision also picks up on two suggestions from commentators on this talk page:

  • Following Sam Spade, it now includes a sub-section distinuishing radical centrism from the Third Way.
  • Following Brianshapiro, it now includes a sub-section discussing radical centrists' feelings abut Ross Perot.

I hope you will like what I've done. And because of the historical approach of the aricle, I think you wil find it easier to add to over time. - Babel41 (talk) 21:22, 16 February 2013 (UTC)


A detail in the "Strategy" section[edit]

I appreciate all your good work on the article, Babel41, but what does "a restive grassroots" mean? Is grassroots even a noun? I don't think so, and Wiktionary doesn't either. Bishonen | talk 17:19, 24 February 2013 (UTC).

Thanks for acknowledging my work, Bishonen. And you are right, I got too "elegant" for my own good there. I have replaced the phrase with "local and nonprofit activism." That is hopefully not only more understandable, but says more precisely what Avlon and Miller were driving at. Babel41 (talk) 06:22, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Am getting a printout of the site blown-up on a xerix machine this week, the better to catch the sorts of typos you were noting on my history page. - Babel41 (talk) 19:42, 26 February 2013 (UTC)


Notes on the May 2013 cuts to the "External links" section[edit]

As you may have noticed, a senior Wikipedia editor recently placed a disapproving banner over this article's "External links" section. It stated, in bold print, that the links "may not follow Wikipedi's policies or guidelines" and spoke of "excessive or inappropriate external links." It included the image of a whisk broom!

I contacted the editor (see User Talk:Temporaluser) and he referred me to Wikipedia's External links policy page, WP:EL. Its introduction unambiguously sttates, "It is not Wikipedia's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic" [italics in original]. A subsequent passage reiterates, "Links in the 'External links' section should be kept to a minimum" (section 1, item #3).

Until today, our article did include a "lengthy or comprehensive list of external links." I have now reduced it to a healthy minimum (and eliminated the banner!). Hopefull, my cuts wil not seem arbitrary. The fourth section of Wikipedia's External links policy page - "Links normally to be avoided" - tells which links we should hava avoided, and I followed it assiduously in making the cuts:

  • Organizations sub-section: Organiztions listed simply because they are mentioned in the article, and not because their sites wre used as sources for the article, should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #19). Therefore, Americans Elect, Future 500, and Liberal Democrats (Britain) have been eliminated.
  • Organizations sub-section: Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #13). Therefore, Citizen Ethics Network, Earth Institute, Independent Voting, RSA: 21st Century Enlightenment, and Third Way: Fresh Thinking have been eliminated.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Eliminated Bloggingheads.tv and Civil Politics for the reason given in paragraph immediately above.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Blogs whose authors fail to meet Wikipedia's notability criteria should be avoided (see WP:EL sectioon 4, item #11). Therefore, Booker Rising, Citizen Jane Politics, and Radical Centrism have been eliminated.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Chats and discussion forums or groups should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #10). Therefore, Rise of the Center and Village Square have been eliminated.
  • Manifestos sub-section: Three of the eight - by Klein, Miller, and Satin - were not stand-alone manifestos but articles. Moreover, the Klein and Miller articles are linked in the text, and the Satin article is linked at his Opinion weblog (which is listed). So those three articles were eliminated from the External links section.
  • Audio and video sub-section: Tapes with potential copyright issues should be avaided (see WP:EL section 4.6.1, "Linking to user-submited video sites"). Therefore, all 11 audio and video tapes have been eliminated. (This is not as great a loss as it may seem, as all these tapes come up via YouTube or Google searches under the relevant person's name.)

I did not enjoy making these decisions. I am not a General Sherman type, and I regret that the fruis of many hours of my research work and other contributors' research work have now been eliminated. But Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with rules, and I know that many of us are trying to create the foundations of an article about Radical centrism that the Wikipedia community will feel good about building upon for decades to come. I hope you will take my incursions here in that spirit. - Babel41 (talk) 22:06, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Why I altered the sentence on The Economist[edit]

Hi 87.79.133.132. You added this sentence to the sub-section on "Think Tanks and Mass Mecia":

"U.K-based The Economist also decribes itself as radical centrist".[citation]

The problem is that the description you refer to is not from The Economist. It is a from a blog by one person on The Economist 's website. Thus it does not necessarily speak for the magazine as a whole, as the anonymous "leaders" in the magazine do. It represents one person's (J.C.'s) considered opinion., however well-placed he might be.

Under these circumstances, I think it is unwise to take this one blog post as a definitive expression of the magazine's political persprctive, as your sentence does. I have altered the passage to read:

"In September 2013, an essay on The Economist 's website described that British-based newsmagazine as "neither right nor left, but ... coming instead from what we like to call the radical centre".[citation]

I have entered that passage as a separate paragraph (since the prior paragraph concerns U.S.-based media) and have altered your citation to make it consistent with the rest of those in this article.

I hope you can live with my alteration. The blog post is, I think, substanial enough to describe as an "essay," but your formulation is an overreach.

Best, - Babel41 (talk) 06:34, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I have now had a chance to look at "True Progressivism," an article briefly referenced in the blog post. I found that it provides a much sounder basis for stating that The Economist has positioned itself at the radical center (e.g., it is from the magazine itself and is in fact a "leader," aka editorial). I haave therefore revised the passage above so that it begins with a quote from the editorial. I think it's worth devoting this amount of space to The Economist because of its prestige and influence in the word. Thanks again to you, 87.79.133.132. - Babel41 (talk) 21:37, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Removal of two items from "See also" section[edit]

Dear 98.91.11.174, - I appreciate your attempt to add "Left-right politics" and "Libertarianism" to the "See also" section. However, the Radical Centrism page has gotten in trouble for listing too many items (see "Notes on the May 2013 Cuts" two entries above) - it had long been a notorious "clothes horse" of an article - and we are now committed to keeping our lists trim by adhering to Wikipedia's (admittedly extensive) rules.

One Wikipedia rule is that items listed in "See also" should not duplicate those in the Navigational boxes; see WP:SEEALSO. At the bottom of the article, you will see two such boxes, "Political Spectrum" and "Political Ideologies." The Left-Right article simply fleshes out the ground covered by the Political Spectrum navigational box (which is itself only tangentially connected to the actual content of our article). Libertarianism is already linked in the Political Ideoogies box, which lists many other ideologies that have affinities with the energing Radical centrist political philosophy. - Babel41 (talk) 03:38, 29 September 2013 (UTC)


Explaining changes to introduction of this article[edit]

Recently (October and November 2013), Wikipedians changed four passages in the introduction to this article. I have decided to restore or rewrite those passages, for the following reasons:

CHANGE #1

In paragraph three, the first sentence originally read:

Most radical centrists borrow what they see as good ideas from left, right, and everywhere else they may be found, often melding them together.[citing Olson]

It was changed to become the beginning fragment of the first sentence, as follows:

Most radical centrists combine ideas from both leftism, rightism, and elsewhere,[citing Olson] ...

This fragment is briefer and breezier than the original sentence. However, that does not necessarily make it better. The introduction to a Wikipedia article is supposed to adequately introduce the content of the main body of the article. It is also supposed to accurately represent the cited source (if there is a one). The original sentence performs both tasks better than the sentence fragment.

The article emphasizes that radical centrism is becoming a new political philosophy or ideology – that it is not not just a series of ad hoc combinations of other ideologies' ideas. The original sentence conveys that idea far better than the fragment.

In addition, the original sentence better represents the source's (Olson's) text. Olson has been involved in radical centrist projects since the 1970s; he is probably as knowledgeable about the subject as anyone alive. In his article, a 2,000-word feature review in the World Future Society's flagship publication, he makes this central point (in the section entitled "Is '‘Radical Middle' an Oxymoron?"):

"The most important departure from politics-as-usual ... is a commitment to finding a higher common ground that integrates best insights from both the left and the right. The radical middle is willing to borrow from neoliberals, neoconservatives, neopopulists, transformationalists, and anyone else with useful ideas – and blend the ideas together in an inclusive process of creative problem-solving."

I believe the original sentence better represents Olson's point here. It is less breezy than the sentence fragment. Bu it is perfectly clear, and it more precisely captures Olson's content and nuance. Moreover, it better prepares the reader for the main body of the Wikipedia article. I have therefore restored the original sentence.

CHANGE #2

In paragraph three, the next two sentences originally read:

Most support market-based solutions to social problems with strong governmental oversight in the public interest.[citing Miller] There is support for increased global engagement and the growth of an empowered middle class in developing countries.[citing Halstead, ed.]

Those were changed to run onto the sentence fragment described above, as follows:

[[Most radical centrists combine ideas from both leftism, rightism, and elsewhere,[citing Olson]]] market-based solutions to social problems with strong governmental oversight in the public interest,[citing Miller] and greater global engagement, growtrh, and empowerment for middle class in developing countries.[citing Halstead, ed.]

There are three problems with the revised sentence. First, Wikipedia's editors (in their style manual and its offshoots) make it clear that they prefer brief sentences to long, run-on sentences. And you can see why here: the revised sentence is clunky and difficult to follow.

Second, Halstead's anthology (the pertinent source here) does not assert that "most" radical centtists support greater global engagement, etc.; it simply demonstrates that some do.

Finally, the notion of "growth" has been added in here from out of the blue. The body of the article says nothing about economic growth for a reason – there is no consensus among leading radical centrist theorists on that subject. You can discern that from the brief bios in the "Twenty-first Century Overviews" section: Avlon worked for Giuliani and Lind is a champion of Truman (and Hamilton) – all traditional pro-growth types. However, Halstead co-founded Reinventing Progress, a nonprofit that sought to de-emphasize GNP growth, and Satin co-founded the U.S. Green Party, which is even more of a growth skeptic. Anyway, for all these reasons, I have restored the original two sentences.

CHANGE #3

In paragraph three, the last sentence originally read:

Many radical centrists work within the major political parties, but most also support independent and third-party initiatives and candidacies.[citing Avlon]

It was changed to:

Many radical centrists work within the major political parties while also supprting independent and third-party initiatives and candidacies.[citing Avlon]

The reader has done this sentence a service by eliminating the "many" / "most" distinction. There is no basis for it in Avlon's book, and choosing to use the the term "many" rather than "most" is consistent with Avlon's careful presentation of his material. However, "supporting" is a verb and should be in the same verb form as "work." (This might not matter in everyday speech or informal journalism; but Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.) I have therefore redone the sentence as follows:

Many radical centrists work within the major political parties but also support independent or third-party initiatives and candidacies.[citing Avlon]

CHANGE #4

In paragraph four, the second sentence originally read:

One common criticism is that radical centrist policies are only marginally different from left-liberal or progressive-conservative policies.[citing Gary Marx]

It was changed to:

One common criticism is that radical centrist policies are only marginally different from Centere-left or progressive-conservative policies.[citing Gary Marx]

The reader has put their finger on an important point: "left-liberal" is a term that is at best ambiguous to many people, especially outside the U.S. However, replacing that term with "Centre-left" distorts what the source (Gary Marx) and the majority of writers he cites are saying. Their beef with radical centrism is that it's not "Centre-left" enough – that it is merely centrist.

I have therefore corrected both versions above by substituting a more straightforward sentence, as follows:

One common criticism is that radical centrist policies are only marginally different from convenrional centrist policies.[citing Gary Marx]

I hope these changes are understandable and acceptable to the followers of this page. - Babel41 (talk) 22:33, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Isn't it funny ...[edit]

... or isn't it? that this article doesn't share a single word of content witht the German Wiki article linked in the languages bar?

T 2001:4610:A:5E:0:0:0:9915 (talk) 13:24, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Trump, a radical centrist?[edit]

"In 2015, conservative journalist Matthew Continetti argued that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump represents the radical middle."

I think this only confuses people. Coz' we all know he's alt-right, so how the heck will he become centrist? It's like saying Vladimir Lenin is Radical Centrist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 49.148.42.200 (talk) 13:36, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

The purpose of Wikipedia is not to ride herd on people's views. It is to present perspectives from a variety of noteworthy sources on the topic under discussion. See WP:NPOV. Matthew Continetti is a notable conservative journalist (see his Wikipedia bio), and his article is cited as appearing in National Review, the most significant conservative political journal in the U.S. (also with a page on Wikipedia). Thus it is a noteworthy opinion that merits inclusion in an article on radical centrism.
The Wikipedia Radical centrism article does not endorse Continetti's views, it simply mskes readers aware of themt because they are significant. (The Wikipedia article doers not endorse radical centrism, either - it informs people about the topic, not least by including a robust "Criticisms" section full of observations that many radical centrists would disagree with.) If there is a passage in a reputable source (i.e., book or article in a noteworthy periodical) disputing that Trump is a radical centrist, then it should be cited alongside Continetti's piece. But it is not for us, as Wikipedia editors, to suppress Continetti's piece because we do not like it. - Babel41 (talk) 04:25, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, yeah - one more thing. Continetti's article is actually a hit piece on Trump as well as on radical centrism. (National Review does not like either.) Hardly anyone who reads the Wikipedia article will be persuaded by Continetti's reasoning. - Babel41 (talk) 04:25, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The source does not use the term "radical centrism" and there is no evidence he is referring to the same topic. In fact, Clinton comes closer to the paradigm, support of minority rights while upholding traditional power relationships. TFD (talk) 04:49, 17 September 2016 (UTC)