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

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  •  I Don't Think This Is Systemic Causation (8+ / 0-)
    This is really just their standard double-standard.  If they really understood things in a systematic way, then they would at least feel an obligation to explain their contradictions.  But obviously, they don't.

    I think that maybe the most helpful way to start thinking about this is in terms of psychopathy--which is not to say that everyone who does this is a psychopath, it's just the illustrative extreme.  The defining work on psychopathy is called The Mask of Sanity--and that's just it.  The psycopath appears normal, even more than normal--they are often sociable and charming. But they lack a moral core.  This, in fact, makes it easier for them to mimic whatever sort of behavior is needed in any situation--they have no moral qualms to inhibit them.

    And so it is when conservatives get caught with their pants down--though not necessary because they have no moral core (though some surely do).  Rather, because they believe they are inherently good, their failings can be forgiven as lapses, their strength restored, and their moral superiority reclaimed.

    The belief in their own goodness comes from their Strict Father foundations.  They are the ones fighting evil in the world.  And it's only natural that evil should have it out for them.  So, when they fall, it's understandable, with Satan and welfare state out to crush them (not to mention George Soros and the liberal media).  But as long as they pick themselves up to fight again, evil will not triumph.  Therefore, they have a moral duty to make excuses for themselves--excuses they would never tolerate on behalf of anyone else.  Those excuses might sound to us like systematic thinking.  But they are really just their own self-excuse put into socially acceptable terms--the same sort of way that a psychopath would say anything to get out of a jam.

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