Radicals are often mistaken by American conservatives for liberals. The difference is that liberals are still invested in the political status quo, and seek only to fine-tune the system so that it reflects their bourgeois values. Radicals — at least those of the anarchist or communist left — seek to tear the system down and replace it with one that they believe would allow for real egalitarianism.
Many conservatives fail to see this nuance, and thus tend to lump people like Michael Moore — a bourgeois liberal — in with Marxists. The opposite of a radical is a reactionary, a person who wants to actively repeal and remove liberal reforms and changes.
 Examples in history
- John Brown, Harriet Tubman, and other abolitionists in the antebellum period of American history
- Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks before the October Revolution in Russia
- Mao Zedong, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, and other communist thinkers
- Maximilien de Robespierre and other key figures in the radical phase of the French Revolution
- The New Left self-identified as radical, putting forth a left critique against the prevailing post-World War II liberal consensus
 In Math
It's a number to a fractional power such as or .