Posturing

The concept of Crony beliefs (described by Kevin Simler) may help us to further make sense of the mindset of the Enablers.

Crony beliefs are beliefs that are used to posture socially and impress others. These beliefs act like cronies – friends who serve authority in a dishonest way. Crony beliefs help people blend in, stick out by showing off uniqueness, suck up to authority figures (e.g., lecturers at a university), display intelligence or kindness, cheerlead ideas with overconfidence, or stand on the moral high ground (come across as more righteous than you). 

When people adopt crony beliefs, they are mainly interested in what strengthens their social identity and belonging rather than in truth. These beliefs have little to do with evidence and much to do with perceptions about what a group expects. Take for example trans-genderism: arguing that transwomen are women will get you into an elite intellectual club of university-educated, progressive, left-leaning, “open-minded” people who are too sophisticated to categorize people by their physiology. 

By contrast, Merit beliefs offer an important value for survival and functioning in the world. Ignoring these beliefs results in bad consequences for you. The key difference between these two types of beliefs – Crony and Merit – is in their commitment to accuracy, evidence, and truth. If Merit beliefs serve to cope with real-life problems, you really want them to be grounded in reality. When they are no longer helpful, you can dump or adjust them. But not so with Crony beliefs.

You can easily identify crony beliefs by their orthodoxy: Ortho = right, Dox = belief. This type of belief is more common to members of cults, religions, political groups, social movements, and conspirators. Any evidence that contradicts their crony beliefs is experienced as a threat to their identity and therefore met with aggression rather than curiosity. Challenge woke people with facts that contradict their tightly held beliefs and you risk an aggressive response. Their answer is the Cancel Culture, along with labeling some sources, such as Rowling’s blog post against trans activists, as “dangerous”. These people don’t like you to mess with their social identity.

Crony beliefs are a modern social disease that is the driving force behind identity politics and woke culture. It is a hallmark of the Enablers who romanticize the struggle of the “oppressed” to fuel their sense of belonging to the righteous cult. They understand very little about politics, history, and conflicts. This combination, with so much passion yet so little knowledge, should be of serious concern to anyone who cares about the future of our democracy.