. Extremist Ideologies
• As noted, an ideology is a set of political beliefs about the nature of people and society. People who are committed to an ideology seek not only to persuade but to recruit others to their belief. In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.
• While not all ideologists are violent in nature, it is characteristic of ideology to be action-oriented and to regard action in terms of a military analogy. How often have you heard words such as struggle, resist, march, victory, and overcome when reading about or talking to ideologists about their beliefs?
a. Nationalism – The policy of asserting that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations. Many nationalist groups take it a step further and believe that their national culture and interests are superior to any other national group.
b. Supremacy – The belief that one’s race or ethnicity is superior to all others and should dominate society. Supremacy, as with racial supremacies in general, has frequently resulted in anti-Black and anti-Semitic violence.
c. Separatism – Setting oneself or others apart based on culture, ethnicity, race, or religion.
d. Anarchism – A political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful, or undesirable. National anarchists appeal to youths in part by avoiding the trappings of skinhead culture—light jackets, shaved heads, and combat boots—in favor of hooded sweatshirts and bandanas. They act the part of stereotypical anarchists as envisioned by most Americans outside of far-left circles: black-clad protesters wreaking havoc at political conventions