Why the UK’s new extremism definition is still faulty

According to the BBC, the UK government made a new definition of extremism in UK law. To quote the article:

[E]xtremism is “the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance, that aims to:

  1. negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others; or
  2. undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights; or
  3. intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve the results in (1) or (2).”

The purpose of this definition is to silence people who are `extremists’. The BBC does mention that this law may be too broadly used due to this definition being vague, but there is an even more fundamental problem with it: as of right now, the `fundamental rights and freedoms’ of others includes under law the ability for the government and its supporters to plunder the natural world by using the very violence they supposedly abhor!

In other words, the real problem is that all of society (including UK) society is geared towards unsustainability and it can only operate by impinging on the fundamental and universal right of the biosphere to live. We can also say it this way: UK society, like virtually all modern societies, is dependent on destruction and violence itself. And yes, this isn’t just ecological. If the persecution of other human groups happens to be on the UK agenda, then `dissenters’ will also be labeled as extremists.

This definition is another in a long line of legal precedents to say the government is free to mete out violence against whomever it choses, and yet anyone defending themselves is also an extremist. Of course, there may be reasonable cases in which the labelled extremists really should be stopped according to pretty much every moral doctrine. But that does not negate the fact that the secondary function of this general definition is still a powerful tool to stop those who might use violence to stop the destruction carried out by the government.

Edit: I want to ask one more question of my readers. Why does the government even need a new law? If some so-called extremist groups are damaging property, shouldn’t they be treated on an individual basis with exisiting laws?


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