Take No Prisoners

10 Once Radical Ideas we now take for Granted

Recently someone told me I was a radical. With the minor qualification that ‘radical’ is not the same as crazy, I take this as a compliment. The existential threats humanity faces, and the fundamental problems with our social systems cannot possibly be solved by incremental thinking. Without radicals, we’re screwed.

Want evidence do I have? Well, here are 10 ideas that were once considered radical. I think it’s pretty clear that these don’t seem very radical anymore.

10. Children should be required to attend school.

9. Ulcers are caused by bacteria, not stress.

8. The world is round.

7. Doctors should wash their hands before delivering babies.

6. Governments should be elected by the people they govern.

5. The earth revolves around the sun.

4. AC electricity.

3. People should not be killed for changing their religion.

2. Blacks are people.

1. Women are people.

A vast number of ideas that were once radical are now commonplace. Therefore, it seems likely that many ideas that will seem commonplace in the future, are currently considered radical.

So yes, I’m a radical.