George Lakoff: ‘Conservatives don’t follow the polls, they want to change them … Liberals do everything wrong’

(via The Guardian) // By Zoe Williams.

You want to defend the right to have an abortion, you want to stop privatisation, you want to protect the natural world – as Lakoff has often written, these are not three separate arguments, they are all part of the same worldview. But that isn’t to say that he considers them equally important, and the urgency of his speech ramps up as he talks about monetising nature. “What we get from nature is remarkable. And then you get the people who want to monetise that. If it’s valuable, what’s the value? What’s it worth? Which is the wrong question to ask, because, first of all, much of its value has to do with what is visceral to you. What does it mean to you if you hear the birds singing, or the birds all die? Second, as soon as you monetise something in nature, a cost-benefit analysis will come in. Nature always loses, because nature goes on for ever.”

It is, plainly, the longstanding failure to protect nature that powers Lakoff’s exasperation with liberals. “They don’t understand their own moral system or the other guy’s, they don’t know what’s at stake, they don’t know about framing, they don’t know about metaphors, they don’t understand the extent to which emotion is rational, they don’t understand how vital emotion is, they try to hide their emotion. They do everything wrong because they’re miseducated. And they’re proud of that miseducation. Oxford philosophy reigns supreme, right? Oxford philosophy is killing the world.

Continue reading at The Guardian.


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