">'); win.document.writeln(''); win.document.writeln(''); }

The Indefinite Article.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Framing Language

George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics:

"Conservative foundations give large block grants year after year to their think tanks. They say, 'Here's several million dollars, do what you need to do.' And basically, they build infrastructure, they build TV studios, hire intellectuals, set aside money to buy a lot of books to get them on the best-seller lists, hire research assistants for their intellectuals so they do well on TV, and hire agents to put them on TV. They do all of that. Why? Because the conservative moral system, which I analyzed in 'Moral Politics,' has as its highest value preserving and defending the 'strict father' system itself. And that means building infrastructure. As businessmen, they know how to do this very well.

Meanwhile, liberals' conceptual system of the 'nurturant parent' has as its highest value helping individuals who need help. The progressive foundations and donors give their money to a variety of grassroots organizations. They say, 'We're giving you $25,000, but don't waste a penny of it. Make sure it all goes to the cause, don't use it for administration, communication, infrastructure, or career development.' So there's actually a structural reason built into the worldviews that explains why conservatives have done better."

It sounds like Lakoff has everything upside down. It is "strict father" to give somebody some money and say, "do what you need to do," and "nurturant parent" to say, "don't waste a penny of it. . . . don't use it for administration, communication, infrastructure, or career development?" It would seem to me that the terms are mixed up, or at least strict is not used in its common definition.


Post a Comment

<< Home