My single-minded aim is to give existence to fantasy.
– Claes Oldenburg
Ideological thought is unfalsifiable, due to the immense need for ideological preservation. Any thought that goes against the narrative is almost immediately reshaped into something that does. This usually means that an obtuse, unprovable explanation is given. I call this “Bigfoot logic”.
Imagine you are at a camp site and go away from the tent to go fishing. You come back to your tent destroyed and items broken. What could be the explanation? An animal attack might be logical and sensible. A thief or a bad wind storm might also make sense. The conspiracy theorist’s explanation: Bigfoot! This of course is not provable because there is no solid evidence for Bigfoot’s existence. There was no way of knowing what hit your campsite. A regular animal attack would be provable as it is logical, and footprints and bite marks would be present. But declaring Bigfoot would mean that the conspiracy theorist is correct, and reinforce the narrative.
As an example, Stanford’s rate of sexual assault were low. What could be the reasoning for this? The logical explanation might be that sexual assault is just not committed. Perhaps the sexual assault awareness programs are effective (never mind that the actually are not). What is their answer? The rates must be fixed! The university is clearly covering up the mass amount of rape! Women are reporting less frequently! These are of course, unprovable accusations. If the university was investigated for cover ups and they were found to have done so, it proves the narrative. If the investigation is inconclusive, then it is simply the university covering itself up again. There is no hard way to prove that students are reporting less frequently (and no, self-report surveys have massive problems, not to mention all of the issues that the 1 in 5 studies have on their own). If they do report less often, then the narrative is reinforced. If they do not report less often, it is still a cover up or they are still scared of reporting. There is no way out of the narrative.
Another great example is the one Gad Saad uses. A student wore a hijab for 2 weeks to seek out islamophobia and bigotry on campus. It turns out everyone was kind and accepting. The obvious conclusion is that everyone is not a bigot. The actual answer? It is just the students trying to make up for the fact that they really are bigoted! Not only is there no way out, there is no way to prove that the students are closet bigots, outside of secretly monitoring them.
Now, there is also no way to prove that students are always tolerant and accepting. But “proving” a theory is not necessarily the key point. A simple, straightforward, and logical example is all that should be considered. Assuming the unlikely does not work. An explanation that a normal person would accept should be enough. Ideologues are not normal people, as they are beholden to their narratives.