Radicalism

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(from L. radix, root). Movement that seeks profound reform in the political, scientific, moral and religious order, and is opposed to the position of relativists. Historically, radical parties appeared in the political life of European and American countries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, occupying the left flank within the democratic movement, and regarding liberals as the right flank. Radicals supported the republican principles of universal suffrage, secular education, advanced social legislation and other human rights. Radicals have taken part in numerous political revolutions, forming political alliances with socialists and actively participating in the struggle against fascism and totalitarianism in general, and working for the modernization of society. In contemporary political studies, the term r. is used to stress a propensity to use political force in vigorous extra-legal actions, and a distinction is made between r. of the right (Fascism, fundamentalism) and r. of the left (anarchism, Communism).