TAIB just came across this blog which provides a thoughtful analysis of how TOK essays are assessed. He calls it "TOKism or TOKenism". We believe that this examiner's (we are assuming a "senior moderator" is an IB examiner) observations are proof positive that our reader's question: What happens if the student writes something the examiner doesn't politically agree with? is a legitimate fear.
The problem I've faced is that a lot of the output I've seen is neither sound nor easily understood; or if one, not the other. I have no idea why some people can't help their students to do both. The ability to guide students in this is the difference between what I call TOKism and TOKenism. The former is the belief and capacity a teacher has in transmitting a love for knowledge that includes respect for truth and clarity in its presentation; the latter is the lip-service a person pays in acknowledging its importance while actually requiring things like aesthetic or moral prettiness in what the student offers.
I say this because I've seen for myself (having been a senior moderator), and heard from many witnesses and victims, the odd things that TOKenists look at when they claim to be assessing students' work in TOK. Not a few seem to be looking at literary merit and the ability to mount an argument, regardless of how clear or fair that argument is. Worse, some are looking at the quality of style of presentation rather than the content and structure of the presentation itself. I remember one panelist actually remarking, "Well it may be a good argument, very clear, but I just don't like the way he said it."
I guess that in a sense, the ideals of TOK teaching are somewhat injured by that kind of approach. Good clear arguments, covering the process of how somebody knows something and how that person can justify the claim of knowledge, are all that is needed. The introductory definitions must frame the arguments that follow, and the concluding statements must summarise those arguments while being closely derived from them. If this answers the question posed, then that is all that is required, in the main.
The rubrics do indeed award points for other more specific and technical qualities in the essay and presentation. But style never comes into it, and neither does the moral or social approval of the moderator or supervisor.