Ideological loyalty

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Ideological loyalty is the idea of being loyal to a particular belief, even in the face of evidence which clearly shows it to be an inaccurate model of reality. It is the cause of ideological protectionism, and is often expressed as cliquian signalling.

It is at the core of the idea of religious faith.

A community of individuals who are loyal to a particular set of beliefs is known as a belief-clique.


While I am not aware of any formal studies of ideological loyalty, my observations suggest that it is caused by conflating beliefs with people – or, more specifically, conflating the beliefs regarded as immutable by a particular group of people and the members of that group. Betrayal of any of those beliefs – e.g. by sincerely questioning or critiquing it – becomes equivalent to betrayal of the group and its members.

The ideological loyalist thus acquires an intense emotional attachment to a particular set of beliefs, and is neither able to, nor interested in, updating their beliefs on certain subjects to match the available evidence.