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David Myatt - Understanding and Rejecting Extremism

David Myatt - Understanding and Rejecting Extremism

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Part One: Towards Understanding Extremism – Notes From Personal Experience.
Part Two: A Learning From Grief.
Part Three: A Rejection of Extremism Perhaps Explained.
Part One: Towards Understanding Extremism – Notes From Personal Experience.
Part Two: A Learning From Grief.
Part Three: A Rejection of Extremism Perhaps Explained.

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Published by: sliddell_3 on May 08, 2013
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09/27/2013

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Understanding and Rejecting Extremism A Very Strange Peregrination
Contents
Preface.Part One. Towards Understanding Extremism - Some Notes From Personal ExperiencePart Two. A Learning From Grief Part Three. A Rejection of Extremism Perhaps Explained Appendix. Usage of Terms
°°°
Preface
 The first, and by far the shortest, part of this work contains some of myreflexions on, and some of my conclusions concerning, my forty years as apractical extremist and my forty years of practical experience of extremismand of other extremists; a practical experience that began in 1968 andranged from fascism, and the racism of National-Socialism, to radical Islam,and which practical experience included founding and leading a politicalorganization; producing propaganda, organizing activities anddemonstrations, some of which ended in violence; speaking in public andparticipating in marches, demonstrations, and brawls; formulating extremistideology; imprisonment for racist and other violence; participating in andrecruiting for paramilitary activities; inciting hatred, violence and prejudice;engaging in criminal activities to fund extremist causes; encouraging andsupporting terrorism; and so on.My conclusions regarding extremism resulted from some years of moral,personal, and philosophical questioning and reflexion; a questioning whosegenesis was a personal tragedy in 2006, and which questioning led me a few years later to reject all forms of extremism and develope my ownweltanschauung - the philosophy of pathei-mathos - based on the virtues of empathy, compassion, and humility.I make no claim concerning the originality, or concerning the correctness or
David Myatt - Understanding and Rejecting Extremism1
 
the value or the importance of my conclusions about extremism. They are just my personal, and fallible, conclusions which - given my extremist past -may interest, or be of some use to, some people; and, being such personalconclusions, they are neither presented in an academic way nor arecomparisons made with the work and the conclusions (academic orotherwise) of others about extremism.Part two consists of transcriptions of some handwritten letters sent to along standing friend following that tragedy in 2006. Since such personalcorrespondence is usually far more revealing - of personal views,motivations, and feelings - than some essay or other in which one pontificatesabout this or that, some readers may find this part more interesting andinsightful than either part one or part three.The third part consists of personal replies sent to individuals I did notpersonally know but who contacted me, between 2011 and 2012 and usuallyby e-mail, with questions about my extremist past, my 'numinous way', andmy philosophy of pathei-mathos. These replies may thus serve to place intoperspective my rejection of all forms of extremism and as well as elucidatethe development of my weltanschauung from that 'numinous way' to thephilosophy of pathei-mathos.For publication, I have occasionally added some footnotes to suchpersonal correspondence and replies, usually to provide a reference and/or atranslation of some quotation. I have outlined in an Appendix how I understand and use certain terms,since (i) my particular usage of some common terms may differ from howthey are ordinarily used or how they have been previously defined and usedin some academic and other works relating to extremism and its causes, and(ii) I occasionally employ certain terms developed for or used by myphilosophy of pathei-mathos (such as separation-of-otherness, abstractions,and masculous).David Myatt2013°°°
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Part OneTowards Understanding ExtremismSome Notes From Personal Experience
Harshness, Hatred, and The Separation-of-Otherness
Some four years of reflexion concerning my forty years of experience haveinclined me to consider that the genesis of extremism, and the making of extremists, may well be and may well involve three inter-related things:harshness, hatred, and what I term the-separation-of-otherness.Thus, in my view, an extremist in active pursuit of some objective, usually of a political or a religious nature, manifests a certain personal harshness, acertain propensity toward impersonal hatred, and makes not only a cleardistinction between 'them' and 'us' but also between (i) some vision of orsome belief in a particular past and (ii) the state of things now and how it isbelieved things will be, or should be, the immediate future. All of whichpredispose a person toward, or which can be used (by agitators, ideologues,fanatics, propagandists, leaders) to incite people toward, violence and -sometimes - toward terrorism.The extremist therefore identifies with a particular category which is givencertain characteristics or which is believed to be based on certaincharacteristics, and which category is invariably regarded - instinctively orotherwise - as either having a special (or even God-given) destiny or as beingbetter than or superior to 'the others'. In case of racism, for example, thecategory is what is believed to be one's own particular ethnic group; in thecase of radical nationalism, one's own particular country, land, or nation; inthe case of radical Islam, of having the authentic interpretation andbelonging with those who do adhere to that interpretation.There thus exists, or developes, or there is cultivated, a distinct and aprideful sense of identity, dependant upon the belief - instinctive, orformulated in some manifesto, tract, doctrine, ideology, or dogma - that whatexists now (society, or 'our way of life', for example) is under threat, andeither (i) has deviated from a posited or some believed in ideal or idealizedcommunity/society/way of life that is said to have existed in the past or (ii)can and should move toward that new community/society/way of lifedemanded by the ideology, manifesto, tract, doctrine, dogma, ideologue, or
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