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View Diary: Book Review: George Lakoff's "Whose Freedom?" (185 comments)

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  •  A cynical abuse (4+ / 0-)

     Of words like "freedom" and "morality" does not equate to a different concept of what, say, freedom actually is; it is simply an exercise in propaganda.   Don't think that spinmeisters like Lee Atwater or Karl Rove are sincere believers with a slightly different way of looking at things.  They lie and twist meanings with a clear idea of what they are doing; their "different concept" simply comes down to a total lack of shame.

    •  It's Certainly True (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, Allogenes
      that Atwatter and Rove are deeply duplicitous dudes.  But that doesn't exhaust the totallity of what's going on with rightwing concepts.

      Rather, an understanding of rightwing cognition--from multiple sources--can help enormously in explaining why such duplicity is far more pervasive and deeply rooted on the right.

      One example is that Strict Father morality revolves around a fight between good and evil.  Such a worldview readily devolves to excusing any sort of bad behavior in the name of serving "the greater good."  Thus, lying for Jesus (despite the Ninth Commandment) is the easiest thing in the world.

      Another example is the multiple forms of cognitive failure that are over-represented among rightwing authoritarians (RWAs).  As a result, Robert Altemeyer (who discovered RWA) pointed out that it was only natural that dishonest politicians would gravitate to the right.  That's where the easiest marks are.

    •  Explanation? (0+ / 0-)

      Lakoff's view is that liberals and conservatives sincerely mean different things by "freedom" and "liberty" and that those words do not have a clear, unambiguous meaning like, say, the term "sodium bicarbonate".  An alternative liberal view might be that we know what freedom is; the other side is distorting and lying.

      The alternative liberal view, though, doesn't provide much of an explanation. It would suggest big bunches of conservatives are going around carefully thinking about how to lie about freedom and liberty. That's not too believable. Adept and massive lying is strenuous.

      After all, it's probably more useful to think of conservatism as a malignant syndrome than as a motley collection of abherrent opinions and prejudices.

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