Simply mock them, because that’s what they will do to you, whether you are aware of it or not. This is going to be an unusual post, even compared to my other editorials. I want to start off by mentioning that I fully intend to translate my previous article (which is not an editorial), but I need to take a break from translation to get something off my chest.
The Patriot Act wasn’t patriotic
The Affordable Care Act wasn’t affordable
Black Lives Matter doesn’t care about black lives
Antifa is not opposed to fascism
Fascism is not right-wing
Liberalism is not left-wing
Critical Race Theory is not anti-racist
Money is not speech
Corporations are not people
And the bible is not the word of god
There, now that I’ve (hopefully) scared off all the ideologues who are so deeply entrenched in their false dichotomies, you and I can have a serious discussion (in other words, feel free to leave a comment or write an entire article in response). I have mentioned the ideological method in passing several times already, though I never explained in detail what it is. I have mentioned that it is based on logical fallacies, cherry-picking especially, but I haven’t gone any further than that. I currently have a draft saved in which I explain it in greater detail, and I fully intend to publish it at some point, but the bottom line is that if you know all the nasty little tricks that narcissists use to get their way, then you already have an intimate knowledge of the ideological method at work. Today, I am going to tell you how to deal with these people.
First of all, it should be stated that if you engage in a serious intellectual debate with anyone, you automatically concede that their position may have merit. Scientists engage in serious intellectual debate all them time. Politicians do not. Political debates are nothing more than a debased form of musical theatre, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like musicals (I prefer ballet and opera, old-fashioned snob that I am). Ideologues do not engage in intellectual debates, they engage in political debates disguised as intellectual debates. If you choose to debate an ideologue, and you should not (at least not in a live setting), you must first be aware that you will not be having an intellectual debate, you will be having a pseudo-intellectual political debate. Vicious ideologues are intellectually dishonest so that they can lure unsuspecting opponents into a trap. Don’t fall for it. Likewise, should you ever challenge an ideologue to a debate and you open with a variation of the line “show me the evidence,” be prepared to be greeted with a cloud of dust as that person flees into the distance. Behind all the bravado is an intellectual coward. Ideologues are not prepared to deal with people who are confident and quick-witted, they are prepared to deal with people who are sheepish and naïve. Knowledge and expertise are irrelevant in a political debate; confidence and wit are everything.
Second, political debates, ideological debates very much included, are debates about what should be, not about what is. Regardless of whether the topic is nominally about what path we should take in the future or not, the ideologue will always invoke some form of moralism. Young-Earth creationists do this as much as communists, and I will continue to compare those two groups specifically, because I know how much they HATE being tarred with the same brush, despite absolutely deserving it. While creationists tend to focus on the past, and are attempting to debunk a scientific theory about something that has been happening for several billion years, they do so on purely moral grounds, arguing that modern society is corrupt because of the Theory of Evolution. Incidentally, both creationists and communists have a skewed, if not outright inaccurate, picture of human history, 20th century history in particular.
Third, many people innocently believe that people who spout inane nonsense on the internet are simply misinformed, and will attempt to correct the nonsense in a matter-of-fact manner. Before you issue a correction, however, it behooves you to look through the person’s comment history, where possible (neither BitChute nor WordPress allow you to do this, the way that LinkedIn and Hive do, as well as Twitter, to a lesser extent), to find out what sort of person you are dealing with. There are a lot of people who are genuinely misinformed, and while no-one likes to be wrong, such an individual will likely respond with something like “really?” and that will be that. Should the person be an ideologue (or a troll), expect a litany of insults to follow. The intellectual level of such insults will vary by platform, with Twitter being the most infantile, and LinkedIn, unfortunately, not far behind. If you find yourself unable to determine what sort of person you are dealing with in a reasonably short amount of time, then you can bait them into telling you: ideologues are pedants, and will jump at any chance to correct one of your mistakes in order to satisfy their need to feel intellectually superior; a common but slight grammatical mistake ought to do the trick, as many of them cannot resist the urge to police the language of others.
Fourth, it is important to remember that ideologues have a certain image that they want to project, an illusion of virtue, that is, in order to present themselves as morally superior to their ideological opponents. The smear merchant cries out in pain as he defames you. The ideologue values purity, and sometimes will feign purity of more than just ideology. What I mean by purity of ideology, incidentally, is that many will claim to have never read (and most really haven’t) the doctrine of an ideology that they find abhorrent, and that they have always believed as they do now. Heresy is unforgivable to these people, even if it is in the past. “The past and future have been erased, there is only an endless present in which the party is always right,” is a line right out of 1984. The obsession with purity, however, does not stop there. Many of them will feign innocence of things that they ought know about, such as the meanings of common colloquialisms that are frequently used in a derogatory manner (“snake oil salesman” is a perfect example). Many of them will claim, falsely or otherwise, that they have never partaken of alcohol, tobacco, premarital sex, or pornography. If they claim the last one specifically, then I am immediately curious how that person would respond if it is suggested that they secretly have a stash of yaoi or futanari hentai – and if you don’t already know what those are, do not type either of those terms into your favourite search engine if you value your sanity.
Fifth, debunking a flawed ideology doesn’t require debating anyone, much less does it require actually winning said debate. The proper way to debunk an ideology is careful cross-examination, and every true ideologue knows this (most midwits don’t, however, which is why they habitually suffer the sort of mental pitfalls that their intellectual masters know to avoid). Should you ever get far enough in a debate with an ideologue to be able to critically examine their claims, this is where the ideologue will resort to goalpost-shifting. Ideologues do not want their ideas scrutinised, because internal inconsistencies are bound to be exposed. At this point, double standards may be invoked. If the entire premise of the ideology is so weak that no part of it stands up to empirical scrutiny, then the ideologue may reveal that they don’t believe in empiricism, but standpoint “theory” or some other philosophy, in which case the argument will become philosophical. Few ideological debates ever get this far, but if the subject is changed enough times, then eventually, the ideologue will find an area that their opponent is weak in, and finally “win” the debate. The point is that unless your opponent is willing to argue philosophy, most ideologies can be debunked simply by pointing out logical fallacies. You don’t need to know too much science to be able to debunk young-Earth creationism, and you don’t need to know too much economics in order to debunk Marxism – in both cases, the ability to point out logical fallacies will be enough to demonstrate that both ideologies are so deeply flawed that nothing worthwhile can be salvaged from either of them.
There you have it, five things to keep in mind if you ever meet an ideologue. I decided to post this in The GAG Files, because ideologues are responsible for keeping the grift going. As long as people take them seriously, they are a threat. Once people see them for the self-serving grifters that they are, they lose all their power.