Difference Between Moderate and Radical

Moderate vs Radical

Moderate and Radical are two words with a clear difference between them mainly due to their stance in relation to a particular belief or act. For instance, in politics and religion, we find people who have radical ideals in opposition to others who have more moderate ideals. A moderate is someone who holds moderate views. Such a person does not believe in extreme approaches. On the other hand, a radical believes and supports extreme ideals. In this sense, such an individual supports complete social and political reforms. This is the main difference between the two words, moderate and radical. Through this article let us examine the differences between these two words in a more elaborative manner.

Who is a Moderate?

A moderate is someone who has moderate views. Even though he has a direct objective or goal that he needs to achieve, a moderate has a manner of achieving it. It does not include taking extreme measures and violence. A moderate would protest and try to come up with a plan so that he is heard.

Within the political and social arena, a moderate would bring about social or political reforms that include gradual changes that do not lead to anarchy. Also, a moderate respects the social order of the society in which he is a part of. This is why he always makes an attempt to work within this system, rather than to uproot the prevailing social hierarchy completely.

Difference Between Moderate and Radical

A moderate holds moderate ideals

Who is a Radical?

Unlike a moderate who hold moderate views, a radical holds extreme beliefs. Just as a moderate, a radical also has a clear goal, but the manner in which he achieves it can be different to a moderate. This is mainly because a radical is always prepared for extreme measures.

The prevailing social and legal hierarchies have no authority over the radicals. They do not respect the prevailing hierarchy and wish to achieve their goal even through anarchy. Radicals are indifferent to the values, norms and traditional beliefs of the society. They believe in bringing about a radical change.

In politics and also in extreme social reforms, this radical behavior can be seen clearly. The radicals are so focused on bringing about a change that they become blind to the social problems that might arise such as in the case of anarchy or even anomie (a state of normlessness). In most freedom struggles, this situation occurs. The radicals are extremely focused in uprooting the system that they ignore the hierarchy of the society in the aftermath.

Most radicals tend to use violence as a means of achieving their goal. This is where the morality of the radicals begins to come into question. Even though the goal is pure, the manner in which it is achieved may not be moral, proving the fact that radicals are willing to employ extreme measures. This is the main difference between these two words.

 Moderate vs Radical

A radical believes and supports extreme ideals

What is the difference between Moderate and Radical?

• Definitions of Moderate and Radical:

• A moderate is someone who holds moderate views.

• A radical believes and supports extreme ideals. Such an individual supports complete social and political reforms.

• Nature of Ideals:

• A moderate does not have extreme ideals.

• A radical has extreme ideals.

• Nature of Changes:

• A moderate supports gradual changes, but a radical does not.

• A radical supports complete reforms even revolutionary steps, but a moderate does not.

• Violence:

• Radicals use violence, whereas moderates do not.

• Extreme Measures:

• Radicals use extreme measures, but moderates do not.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Gentle smile by Omarukai (CC BY 2.0)
  2. A female protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask by Mettallzoar (CC BY 2.0)