The description of a ‘paranoiac‘ given in the article appears to be little different from how I see people who are members of ideological groups.
For instance die-hard socialists I know want nationalisation at any cost. I’ve asked some whether they would accept a compromise – that the state can fund capitalists can be allowed to go to a private physician of their choice, while socialists can be allowed to go to a state-provided energy firm of their choice. They are against the private sector so much that theyâ€™d give up the chance of a state option in home fuel that doesnâ€™t exist at present.
I think the truth is that they know at the end of the day they would go to the cheapest energy provider as we all would, and they don’t want to have to make that choice.
Equally I’ve suggested to monarchists and republicans that we have a compromise. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are constituted as independent republics and are members of a British Confederation with the Queen merely a figurehead.
The die-hard Welsh nationalist republicans would rather Wales be part of England as it is now than have a compromise of the monarchy being kept.
So this article’s penultimate point of ‘Encountering someone who actually knows the answer to these questions will exert a gravitational effect‘ – appears to me to be true of most ideological people, who see arguing for their worldview more as a lifestyle choice than part of the political process of change and accommodation of others into our belief systems.