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Militancy is the state of being militant. The term "militant state" colloquially refers to any individual which holds an aggressive posture in support of an ideology or cause. More precisely, a person or group which is in a psychologically militant state is in a physically aggressive posture. A militant view can constitutes an extremist's position or have an inherent implication of intolerance. The work and support of militants can, though, occur within the limits of international law and civil disobedience.
The various movements that seek to apply militancy as a solution, or who use militancy to rationalize their solutions for issues in the modern world seldom share common tactics. The characteristics of a militant who is aggressive and violent to promote a political philosophy in the name of a movement (and sometimes have an extreme solution for their goal) include the following shared traits:
- employing force or violence directly, either in offense or in defense
- justifying the use of force using the ideological rhetoric of their particular group
Persons described as militants — either individuals or groups (composed of multiple individuals) — have usually enrolled and trained to serve in a particular cause. Militants may fill their ranks either by volunteering, enlistment or by conscription.
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