On extremism — both left and right

When I got this from YouTube, there were people there commenting, “This is crap — all those groups ARE evil.”  Cleese’s point is not that every person in every one of these groups is angelic, his point is that that isn’t the point.  His point is precisely that targeting this or that group is a way for us to avoid looking closely at ourselves.  This video, funny as it is, speaks volumes about basic human nature and gets to what I believe is humanity’s core problem.

What do you think?  Does Cleese have a point here?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. A request for me to defend some of my comments does not obligate me to do so.

  • The point you’re making is political and will no doubt be completely hailed by those of the same political persuasion as you. But the point of the video is that extremism is a perpetual identification of evil in things and people outside of one’s self, whatever those things may be. Ask any terrorist when he’ll stop doing what he does and he’ll tell you, “when THEY (Israel, America, infidels, traces of happiness and freedom, etc.) are gone. He justifies any and everything on this basis. Michael Douglas’ movie Falling Down is a great example of this slide into seeing evil in everyone else and therefore justifying evil in one’s self merely as “a response” to that external evil. When it happens in politics, it’s merely a more subdued form of the same phenomena we see in terrorism, and that tears marriages apart between individuals. It can all be summed up in the sentence, “I am not the problem — you are the problem.”

  • Bryan

    Extremism is a matter of perspective. What people consider “extreme right” today was actually the norm decades ago. Strong military, low taxes, anti-abortion, religious freedom, traditional education, tough on crime, etc. The country has moved so radically to the left that many people consider these “extreme”. Many of the great democrat Presidents like FDR and JFK would be considered right wing in today’s political climate.

    The “extreme left” is a new frontier – it pushes this country in a direction it has never gone, and are in many cases contrary to the values this country was founded upon.

  • I am an extreme moderate. In fact my only prejudice is against those that are extreme. While I am totally sold out to Christ; I find I can not stand religious people.
    I love and am concerned about those that are living in sin, but I hate the sin. Nazi Germany was one of the most effective societies in all of history. They convinced the world that all sorts of evil came from the Jews, and that the “Master Race” was the answer to all the ills.