What Does it Mean to Be Radically Centrist
To be radically centrist is to be radically Aristotelian -- for the main jist of his entire philosophy consists in an elaborate exercise in locating the middle ground.
Now before we “moan and groan” about the word philosophy let us remember this: Aristotle is a central figure in the history of the west. He invented logic. He invented biology. And arguably be invented moderation, tolerance, and the middle ground -- or what is sometimes, in politics refered to as “the third way” -- and all of this is all important.
However before we get to that consider Aristotle’s general theory of “vice” and “virtue”. Vice for Aristotle is a deficiency -- which means, in modern language, that vice is something that we just know is missing.
For instance we can see that cowardice is a vice -- obviously there is something missing within a “coward” for us to place this label on him/her/they/them/ze/xir/etc…, so on and so forth.
Now compare a coward to a man of courage -- we can clearly see one is better than another. Nobody says -- in earnest and totally honestly -- that the coward is superior than the courageous man.
That would be a delusion.
Lastly consider -- before we lose track of our conversation -- that there’s a second kind of vice: excess. So when we compare cowardice, courage, and rashness -- rashness which literally means “acting too hastily or without due consideration.” -- we have what I’d call an “illustrative trinity”.
By that I mean this -- we can use these three concepts -- cowardice, courage, and rashness -- can be used and illustrated in a way that makes sense.
So for instance, think about the military. The coward would refuse to fight -- would flee from the battlefront. The courageous man would accept it. And the man acting with rashness would charge into battle without second thought. That’s dangerous.
In other words -- Aristotle will be making a “come-back”. And I’m looking forward to it.