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A political belief-clique is one which holds certain fixed beliefs regarding public policy. These cliques seem to form in response to one or more perceived threats (whether real or not), and the beliefs – often having nothing at all to do with any evidence or rational goal – usually can be traced, often via quite tattered chains of association, to those threats.

The "American conservative" or "Republican" belief-clique, for example, coalesced around fears of loss of white, male, Protestant privilege. The 1950s "cold war" against communism was, in this regard, an expression of fear that alternatives to the established order of capitalism might become popular (as indeed they have).