Reformism

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(from L. reformare, redo or remake). A current or approach that seeks to carry out social, political and religious reforms. This political current proposes the modernization of society, not through revolutions but through reform and gradual change. It considers a continuing process of social reforms as the least painful method of change. R. promotes social progress, while rejecting violence and civil war. N.H. agrees with this movement in placing value on reforms and the rejection of extremism, but points out the historical narrowness of r., which ascribes absolute value to legal forms and has its entire reason for being in democratic societies, yet at the same time lacks any effective approach to dealing with totalitarianism, despotism, colonialism, or imperialism. R. also tends to underestimate the value of initiatives and movements that come from the base and their non-violent forms of struggle such as civil disobedience and civil resistance.