Well, everyone IS a pragmatist, to one degree or another.
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:09am

However, it's one of those labels most often used to describe the extremes as in someone who is a "great negotiator" or compromiser, who is known for being able to bring two opposing forces to a compromise, especially in business situations, where they represent one side. They also excel as diplomats.

The idealogue is the typical label of the people who will go after their ideals without any willingness to compromise. Zealots, if you will. They see the world in black and white, with clear winners and losers. One gets the whole pie, the other gets none. Many of them will still make pragmatic choices, but typically only when absolutely necessary, especially when they are backed up against forces too great to continue fighting. They typically split off into 2 camps: those who will either pragmatically choose to live to fight another day, even if that means NO pie or they'll be the uncompromising, extremist, zealots who'll fight for the whole pie all the way till the end, some even unto death "for the cause", even if compromising for half the pie or escaping intact with no pie would have been better choices. They see anything less than a full glass as failure, so would rather die with nothing than "fail" their ideals.

The idealist is the label of the people who have lofty goals and beliefs that they aspire to reach in having everyone have a whole pie or "envisioning great things" However, they are not ZEALOTS and will recognize the need for compromise long before they are backed into a corner, yet will still maintain high hopes for a happy ending where their ideals are met. They have a degree of pragmatism, but it's far less than their idealism. They may not expect to get the whole pie, but they will tirelessly work towards gaining it. They see the glass half full while hoping for a full glass, and they are okay with that as long as they can keep marching forward toward their ideals. They require their glass to be at least half full to feel comfortable.

The pragmatist is the willing negotiator of compromise when it's clear that some pie is better than no pie at all. Sometimes viewed as willing to "sell out" their "ideals", when their true goal is to make gains wherever they can, while preserving their ability to function well and "get along". They are less driving ideals than simply making progress, slow & steady. Of course they have ideals, but their desire for preservation of current assets while maintaining the ability to go forward with everyone getting something they want allows them to occasionally allow their glass to dip below half full, knowing that it will refill at some point. They don't "watch" the volume in their glass that carefully. It ebbs and flows and they are fine with that.

Everyone has ideals. Everyone has morals and ethics. Everyone has a breaking point. But most have different degrees of those things. Thus, most of us are combinations of those and other "labels", making us all individuals.

Most of us are some degree of idealist or pragmatist. One is a visionary and the other a realist. The world needs BOTH. What we don't need are the extremes.