In my previous editorial, I explained precisely what the ideological method is. However, it is important to note that not everyone who uses the ideological method is an ideologue. Most are just repeating the lies that they’ve been taught to regurgitate. They are the useful idiots, and while some are true believers, most know better, but remain dishonest because they stand to benefit from their continued sycophancy.
To begin, only two of the terms in the title are mutually exclusive: brainlet and midwit. “Brainlet” is a colloquialism for someone who is quite stupid, usually with a two-digit IQ. A midwit, by contrast, has an IQ between 110 and 125, though not all people in that IQ range are midwits. Midwits are intellectually dishonest individuals who are perfect examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and most show the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They are typically popular, straight-A students in public school, and in homeschooling circles, are derisively referred to as “pleasantly gifted.” Brainlets who use the ideological method do so because they have been told to. Midwits engage in intellectual dishonesty of their own volition, because they wish to avoid any possibility of being wrong. Unlike the brainlet, who is obedient because they know no other choice, the midwit necessarily has a vested interest in propping up flawed ideologies: the protection of their ego.
In the context of an ideological argument, midwits will use every dirty trick that true ideologues use, so distinguishing between the two is damn near impossible in such a setting. However, midwits generally aren’t creative enough to come up with their own ideology, and instead must adopt the ideology of another that has egotistical appeal, usually some derivative of Hegelianism. For this reason, midwits revel in their own sycophancy, whereas true ideologues usually aren’t anyone’s sycophants. The true ideologue, as opposed to the colloquial ideologue (the colloquial definition of “ideologue” includes midwits, and that the definiton that I used when I warned people not to debate ideologues), is creative enough to invent their own ideology, and is probably far too intelligent to qualify as a midwit, though they are typically afflicted with the exact same mental illnesses (personality disorders ARE mental illnesses, despite what the DSM might say). True ideologues usually know at some level that their ideology is flawed, which is precisely why they overwhelmingly reject empiricism. If they can throw out the very basis of rational thought, then they can assert whatever they want, and still be completely correct by their own standards. Midwits, on the other hand, don’t think this far ahead, so they can be easily rebuked simply by pointing out the severe flaws in their argumentation itself.
A true ideologue is, by definition, a true believer of their own bullshit, which is why they must internalise their own apologetics in order to comfortably reinforce their delusions. However, there is another type of person, again usually afflicted with the same personality disorder, and again probably too intelligent to be a midwit, who uses the same methods to propagate an ideology, but they know it’s nonsense: the grifter. “Grift” is the diminutive form of “graft,” which is a practise in botany of splicing two different plants together, usually a male and female of the same species, such that a single plant may produce fruit (not all plants are natural hermaphrodites). Once upon a time, however, the word “graft” had an additional meaning, and that was a con such as a ponzi scheme. A “grafter” was a large-scale con artist or corrupt politician, whereas a “grifter” was a small-scale con artist, as one might describe a sleazy used car salesman. Since the word “grafter” has since fallen out of favour, “grifter” can now be applied to any con artist or corrupt politician. Like the ideologue and the midwit, the grifter has a vested interest in propagating a flawed ideology, but whereas the ideologue and the midwit do such to satisfy their egos, the grifter does so purely for material gain.
Grifters, by themselves, are not very dangerous. Since they are concerned purely with material gain, they don’t have a vested interest in eliminating competing ideas or relentlessly pursuing the one person that they are unable to con. However, when a grifter decides to propagate someone else’s dangerous ideology for profit, they become a useful idiot for someone who is genuinely dangerous. Funny, I did say that grifters are usually too smart to be midwits, didn’t I? I guess you have to be rather intelligent to be a useful idiot, after all, there are some ideas so stupid that only academics will believe them.
Grifters and ideologues are not mutually exclusive, but instead two extremes on the ends of a sliding scale. One on end, there is the pure grifter, who knows that what they are peddling is total nonsense, but they do it anyway because they have something to gain. On the other, there is the pure ideologue, who truly believes that what they are peddling is true and good, and they feel compelled to confront opposition to it in order to spread the words and satisfy their own conscience. However, it is very difficult to find a person who fits one of these extremes. After all, sometimes it is necessary to convince yourself that the nonsense you’re peddling is true, in order to put on a convincing act. Likewise, no true ideologue has such an unshakable faith in their ideology that they will subject it to meaningful criticism, and every one of them must, by necessity, resort to some measure of intellectual dishonesty in order to promote their ideology. Incidentally, this is precisely why I refer to the slow creep of global tyranny as the “Great Authoritarian Grift,” because even if the people promoting bigger government genuinely believe that it is a good idea, the GAG itself is a power grab that benefits only the political class, and some of them have admitted that in hot mike moments; to them, true believers in the beneficence of big government, midwitted or otherwise, are simply the useful idiots required to brow-beat the rest of us into submission. The GAG is one grift that cannot succeed unless everyone is complicit in it, because, in the words of Jacob Tothe, the subject is not content in his servitude if others are free.
Determining the type of person promoting an ideology requires an evaluation of both their character and their motive. For this, the RAVEN method can be used:
Ability to see
This is a method that I became aware of thanks to The Pholosopher, and she goes into it in detail here. Of course, as with most things, the closer you look, the more complicated it is. Reputation and expertise are relatively easy to determine; vested interest and neutrality are not, as they require some digging into a person’s past behaviour. I’ve already touched on the subject of vested interest here, and perhaps I’ll devote a future article to each letter of the helpful corvid. Thanks to the internet, digging into a person’s past is a lot easier now than it used to be, and if you are deeply entrenched in internet culture, determining whether or not someone is a troll is quite easy. Some people act like trolls in real life, however, and those can be some tough nuts to crack, as far as their motive is concerned. Trolls, incidentally have a vested interest in keeping up their act: they find people’s reactions to be amusing. I’m speaking from experience, by the way, since I like trolling the crypto-tankies (authoritarian collectivists masquerading as left-leaning libertarians) and getting them to show their true colours; it’s easier than you think, by the way, since they will compulsively go after nonexistent bait and thus can be tricked with almost no effort into making a reverse motte-and-bailey argument, all while hilariously accusing their detractors of doing exactly what they are doing.
With all of this said, perhaps now you are sufficiently armed with the necessary knowledge to quickly assess with whom you may end up in an ideological argument online. After all, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but don’t bother debating ideologues, but how would you know if someone is an ideologue without debating them or watching their conduct during a debate with someone else? Well, I never said that it was a quick process. Perhaps some people can form quick assessments of a person’s character, but I can’t, I have little to no social instinct, and must instead make a very careful analysis.
Remember, don’t debate ideologues, because you can’t win, but you can still mock and debunk them behind their backs. The same goes for grifters. Midwits and brainlets are fair game, however. Be nice to the brainlets, because you may actually be able to win them over. Midwits that you victimise, however, will forever be useful enemies to you; they can hold one hell of a grudge, but that can work in your favour, since their detractors will inevitably come across their unhinged bitch-fests about your counterarguments.