The Reason Extremists are so Extreme

I had an epiphany reading something on Twitter about why people on the far left and the far right are generally so extreme and hateful to each other.

Much love.

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Danae

    New reader and first time commenter here! Nice video… spot on in my experience. :)

  • April Galamin

    You are sure right about the “bubble”.

    I think many extremist groups do their best to have a separate society from the rest of us. In their eyes, we, on the outside are the “world”.
    (which in fundamentalist Christianity the “world” is NOT a good thing)
    In some ways, these extremists might mingle with us, possibly through a job or school, but for the most part I think they often try to live the “be ye separate” teaching. You are correct as you mentioned, the different “worlds” that enables them to continue their thinking because they’ve built up a wall from anything that really challenges their way of seeing things differently. Nothing must contradict or challenge the sacred dogma or worldview.

    Just my .02 :)

  • Brandon Sipes

    Of course, this is only a part of the story, but a good one. Read “The Big Sort” by Bill Bishop.

  • Jonathon Stalls

    So friggin true Andrew. It reminds me of a recent blog post I wrote:

    Carry on…


  • Vanessa

    I am reminded of a thought by George Orwell reflecting on a concept he calls “Doublethink”, which means: “…the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

    Over the years I have come to believe that those who live at an extreme, whatever it may be, is actually the same as the one who lives at the opposite extreme. Their passionate hatred for the other, lies in the reality that they are one in the same (though manifesting differently).

    While the exterior argument, issue, etc. may not look the same, they are, perhaps, quite compatible in their interior worlds.