- From the page: Consider the prevalence of individuals who claim to be "centrist, nonpartisan, and free-thinking" individuals who are not influenced by the petty squabbling that shapes the national conversation. As I (and no doubt most of you) have discovered, most of these people tend to be quite typical in both their argumentation and their worldviews.
At this point you may be asking yourself, "If thinking I'm an independent doesn't necessarily make me an independent, if not fitting the archetype doesn't necessarily make me an independent, what does make a genuinely independent person?" It is in answering this question that we see the importance of the Traditional-Radical divide. Our independence from the influence of these political archetypes is demonstrated by our relative distance from the traditional – the collective mindset discussed above. The more in line an individual's personal mindset is with our collective mindset, the greater the degree to which they resemble these archetypes; even if they do not knowingly and intentionally act out these roles.
Have you ever read a post that sounded like it had been copied, almost verbatim, from somewhere else? Have you ever found yourself arguing the same items over and over again to the point where you know what your opposite is going to say before they say it? Do you ever flip on the TV to see some sort of political demonstration that is so cliché that it is both surreal and humorous? Do you ever feel as though you're lost in a sea of faceless people, each one robotically reciting the arguments you heard before? Do sometimes you feel as though you're not even talking to a person anymore? Do you ever notice that no matter how exquisitely you make your point or how solid your "intellectual checkmate" might be it never actually fazes the opposition? That is the product of these political archetypes and the collective mindset. Our mindset establishes the topic, it determines what is presumed in the conversation, it defines what an acceptable and unacceptable resolution is, and then we act out our appropriate roles accordingly. The discussion is not meant to eradicate either side but rather to deplete the energy of the participants and allow them to vent their social frustrations in a safe, harmless environment. But what happens when a person who does not fit properly into these archetypes participates in a political discussion? What happens when a person, rather than accepting the premises contained in our collective mindset, actually attacks the basis for that discussion as a whole; calling into question the values that serve as the foundation for our culture as a whole? That person, being a true radical, threatens the stability of our society as a whole – spreading disharmony in an otherwise harmonious – despite viciously conflicted – system.