Hardly a day passes without seeing or hearing the terms 'extremism' or 'extremists.' Used today to describe political views and attitudes, or methods in political action, the terms today are linked to particular images, and hold specific implications charged with prejudice, half-truths, and presumption. This paper asks: Is the term extremism useful to understand the ideas, views, or practices of those who are labeled as such? Are there common traits among those labeled as extremist that renders this label a useful concept in the classification of the ideas of political groups and their objectives and methods? Or, is 'extremist' simply an expression of a negative attitude agreed to by those with a specific view with the aim of ostracizing specific groups? It then poses an even larger and more critical question: How do groups of people reach the point of burning bridges with existing reality in order to carry out a fight using violent methods? The paper argues that analyzing ideology per se to reach an answer to this question is futile, be this ideology nationalistic, religious, classist, or otherwise.