100 thoughts on “George Lakoff: Moral Politics

  1. When I hear the phrase ;'tax relief' I think, 'Hey, a politician is pandering to the masses.'
    The strict father model is crippling our world. Yet another reason that I find Reagan to have been a profoundly evil man.
    This is not improving my opinion of the Rep. party.
    Using academia to do evil. Yeah.
    Mixing religion & politics is never a good idea.
    Orwell was an optimist.
    Conservative principles is an oxymoron.

  2. Lakoff has a lot of the pieces to understand what's going wrong with our culture right now, other important thinkers of our time David Korten, Iain McGilchrist and Deepak Chopra. Check out David Korten's speech Radical Abundance, and Iain's Divided Brain RSA video and Chopra's book The Shadow Effect.

  3. In light of his emphasis on progressive worldviews, "nurturing parent" views of morality and Christianity, and the views Niebuhr inherited but failed to instate in American culture, there's a succinct academic essay here on Social Gospel theology in an anthropological-philosophical context. It's not stuffy but gives a quick tour through some downplayed intellectual perspectives…

  4. I think the speaker is ignorant of the fact that taxation IS an affliction. IT is coercive confiscation of private property, which is ipso facto, an affliction.

  5. Except that Obama had a much lower increase to the deficit compared to Bush, except for 2009 since that year was approved by Bush (his plans -> same deficit increase as the years prior to that). Obama doesn't really blame anyone but the right wing for crippling him from doing anything to make the change he promised to bring. The democratic party is not nearly as corrupt as the right wing, you just don't see the improvements of the democrats because the rep. are blocking their every move.

  6. This is the most biased, liberal jerk-off fest I've ever seen – I can't believe my professor made my class watch this as a fair, balanced explanation for how conservatives and liberals think…inexcusable

  7. He teaches the same subject Chomsky does. It is interesting how liberal professors often teach nonpolitical subjects yet still believe they know more about politics than the next man. If they taught something like sociology, then I would understand their commentating on politics; it is not the same subject, but it is in the same ballpark. Linguistics and PoliSci, on the other hand; it is not the same ballpark. It is not the same team. It is not the same league. It is not even the same sport.

  8. Liberal "morals": Help the lazy; tax the hard working to help said lazy and fund incompetent bureaucracies; don't implement a voucher system so teachers will still donate to our campaigns; reject basic gender differences; ban guns; have civil rights.

  9. I disagree. Language and politics are almost inseparable. Language is how people are manipulated, how ideas are transmitted, how thoughts are given life. (All of this is assuming that you don't live in an anarchic society.) 1984? Newspeak?

  10. He does not teach that. Even then, the only extent he could discuss politics is how words have an effect. He is not doing that. He is simply stating his politics and acting as if he knows better than the next man because he has tenure.

  11. It unpacks the principles of liberal and conservative arguments and morality. In a two-party system, as in the US, this information is indispensable. That is, it's an analysis of the basis of thought behind the two parties governing American politics.

  12. Libertarianism is the justification for spoiled brats who cannot see the social efforts that were required to get US to this point. Now that mystical god fear has been tossed aside by the physicists unraveling the universe, a bleak future for most will be ours unless we can learn to responsibly share the wealth with a new ethic of humanism. Otherwise, a robotic military could be controlled by a small number of neocons that will wipe us from the face of the earth. Can we stop these sociopaths?

  13. This speaker is incredibly one sided. How can anyone seriously say this should be required viewing? Just a wee bit one sided, don't you think?

  14. Makes some good points, but this basically devolves into a narrow critique of conservatives and endorsement of liberals. Notice that he falls into very trap of framing his discussion in the biased manner that he described in the beginning: He uses words like "punishment," "authority" and "pain" when explaining his understanding of conservative family values, yet he uses "responsibility," "nurturing" and "happiness" when describing liberal family values.

    Only reasonable on the surface.

  15. You're missing the point. Of course he's biased and of course he is framing his presentation. That is what he's arguing that democrats should do!

    He's saying there is no "neutral" speech, that a presentation of reality is always bias and framed. He doesn't "fall into a trap" of using words that way – he constructs his presentation like that. If you think that's wrong to do, consider the fact that the only reason you could see he was doing that was because he taught you about the very mechanism

  16. He is open about his partiality and he doesn't impose his views in his analysis and conclusions (only a bit in the way he presents them).

    I.m.o. this is much better than when a speaker unconsciously taints the material he presents with his own world view.

  17. The failure in New Orleans was the hubris of believing that the ocean could be checked indefinitely. The disaster did not start with Katrina. It began with the founding of the city and deepened every year as the soil beneath the city compacted and eroded. Katrina was merely the inevitable justice that an indifferent nature dealt.

  18. Amazingly insightful video. The most disturbing thing is how liberals ignore so many of Lakoff's insights. I have pointed out self-defeating messages sent out by MoveOn to leaders only to be told that, yes, they have read/heard Lakoff, but will not change or adjust their basic messages because people "won't understand.". Go figure.

  19. 29:20 "What kind of community is that? It's one where there's cooperation, for cooperation you need trust, honesty and openness. Those are progressive values." He left out force.

  20. 1st -No, morality isn't about helping and harming people – it's about avoiding conflicts between people, the accounting isn't any metaphor, that is what happens in actuality. If you knock my tooth out I get to knock at least 2 of yours (estoppel) or an equivalent from you. Ant this isn't any arbitrary construct, nor custom, nor culture/convention – that is objectively true. Try to deny this "metaphore" and you'll end up in a contradiction on a distance of 2 senteces.

  21. 2nd – taxation IS AN INFLICTION, it's robbery or theft if you don't know about it like inflation tax. It isn't "framing" "mataphorical" "linguistic gimmic", it is what happens. If you do not pay a tax you'll end up extorted even more, or kidnapped or killed if you resist.
    Let me ask you Mr. Lakoff wouldn't a better idea be to pick an exaple that actually is what you're talking about? Sophistry that changes meaning of words by skewing framing the stuff? Like, say 'social justice'?

  22. Nothing social about it – it's at the point of a gun, it's barbarous. Nor nothing just about it: Social justice is not justice (otherwise it wouldn't have social added to it), anything different than justice is injustice.
    Social justice isn't social and isn't justice – that's what I call framing.

  23. 5 statists in one place in a fox TV – agreed, not ballanced at all.
    You're a liberal – you're in favour of me beaten to death if I disagree with you, nice…

  24. 11:30
    You can't understand each other – conservatives and liberals – because none of you actually think. You simply adhere to the position you already have, a confirmation bias makes it impossible for you to critically look at your own stance nor to understand any of the "opposite" side. You're part of the herd, tribal identity puts a vail over your sight – I'm a liberal says so loudly.
    In short "evidence tends to reinforce error" in you
    from: The Fascists That Surround You – Part 1

  25. 14:30
    We have a metaphor (again, that's not a metaphor – it is the actual state of affairs) of nation as a family. You're going to tell me that liberals would want a healthy family with two parents and all is well (actually they'd like a mammy state) whereas conservatives would like a daddy state which is disfuctional (like soviet or red china mammy wasn't).
    How about grow up and stop forcing your religious delusions on others?

    Larken Rose and Stefan Molyneux for reference

  26. I feel your frustration! I have tried to pass on informative articles to people I know, but few really give a damn! That is why I call the American affliction that you are referring to as voluntary or deliberate ignorance! I have heard it said that Americans are the most over-entertained and under-informed people on the planet.

    One of my favorite quotes, "no one ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American people"

    Be well!

  27. haha, that's awesome. did you hear Michael Kimmel talk about this subject? (the venus/mars thing, not the conservative/liberal things…)

  28. I know that it's not you're fault you think like this, which is why I have no grudge against you. The American public schools need to be improved dramatically.

  29. Maybe, to survive in a republican talkshow, you just need to be real smart. When the host asks you "Are you for or against tax relief?" You need to say: I'm all for it. I think the working class (and – why not? – the middle class) desperately needs tax relief. The upper classes need to grant them tax relief (by contributing more themselves).

  30. He seemed surprised that he couldn't understand the conservative rally and also that neither progs nor cons were being rational.how did this intellectual maintain a lifelong interest in politics without realizing this? Its common sense to me….

  31. He seemed surprised that he couldn't understand the conservative rally and also that neither progs nor cons were being rational.how did this intellectual maintain a lifelong interest in politics without realizing this? Its common sense to me….

  32. Matt Whedon obviously didn't really listen to the lecture or did and choses to misrepresent what was said with every one of his comments.

  33. I am currently reading Professor Lakoff's book, Moral Politics. I will pick this book apart like a fried chicken when I read & study back through it – bit by bit. As for now, early on in the reading, the professor is sounding like Vizzini, the character in The Princess Bride who drank the poison while dueling wits with Wesley.

  34. I think he's lying about that Dan Quayle speech. I've searched his speech transcripts quite a bit and can't find that quote (or anything similar) in any of them.

  35. It's kinda hard to believe that was 7 years ago.  The right's thoroughly despicable disregard for the good of the country has only grown worse and worse over the years, matched in growth by their delusional behavior.  The majority party of both houses has devolved into petty, mean spirited buffoons, dangerous moronic loons.  The rest of the world is dumbfounded, and the press is so compromised they're worthless, worse, really, they're directly contributing to the mess.

  36. I have to disagree with Lakoff on one point: conservatives really are irrational.  He himself uses many examples of conservatives having demonstrably false opinions.

    They're rational in terms of their reasoning process, but the problem is they're operating from insane premises.

  37. Though 10 years old, this is absolutely applicable today, explaining the framework of Republican and Democratic outreach and discourse. But he doesn't go so far a to discuss the fundamental tendency, which almost seems to have a genetic basis, of open versus closed perceptions, empathy versus authoritarianism, etc which seem fundamental to our world views and are almost beyond changing.

  38. As soon as he mentions Fox News and the audience laughs…  I lost interest.  I don't care for Fox News, but I could see immediately which way this "research" was going.

  39. Highly interesting! Even before the disaster of Sandy…yes, he's thinking in terms of how people think, which in itself is a thinking person's subject! So it may follow that those who are simply "framing" rather than seeing the whole picture of the political structure can be bypassed by the implications of which he speaks.

  40. Excellent explanation for our present political world in 2015 and frightens me how difficult it is to change a person's perception of what is morally good or evil, since it is so embedded in our psyche. It frightens me because we seem to be living in a country where fear is being promoted and empathy and compassion is going out the window. We are so divided. We have to continue to live HOPE –it is our only chance for LIFE.

  41. There is no doubt that this is a Liberal video and is specifically aimed at promoting a Liberal point of view. That does not take away the value of what is being said, you just have to sort through the bias to get to the details that can be useful That said, I found one part of the discussion, toward the end, to be less than adequately expanded on. He talked about how he wrote letters to Liberal leaders and they were ignored. He did not examine why that may have been, or at least not to a large degree. In my own opinion, this can be attributed to the fact that the leaders of both sides are ultimately supported by money from the same people. As in our corrupt political system, money always flows in one direction, and conservatives are swimming with the current while Liberals are swimming against it. As such, the current is what would make these leaders ignore his letters. They are not permitted, by their benefactors, to act against their interests. It is the same reason Democrat administrations cannot seem to move the ball very far down the field during a Presidential term. It appears they are trying to move their agenda upstream, yet the Republican administration's agenda seems to be on steroids while they are in office. They BOTH are depending on the same benefactors, and the Republican platform is better aligned with those benefactors.

  42. Immoral man frames the argument himself, as one of arbitrary preference (psychologism) rather than reproductive strategy. We all advocate on behalf of our reproductive strategies. We are forever biased on behalf of our genes. Lakoff is just as biased, as anyone on the other side. The difference is they merely advocate it. He produces pseudoscience to justify his position while casting the opposition as psychological or logical fallacy,

    The work to study on this topic is Jonathan Haidt's. Lakoff is like Chomsky: a very sophisticated liar, which is why both of them work in the field that they do.

  43. the "doing it on your own" / "Sink or swim" republican attitude is not only out of touch with reality, it's a big fat lie. Especially when they tell others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, when the reich wing has stolen everybody's boots. There is NO SUCH THING as a human being who isn't a socialist unless they live away from all other human beings. PERIOD.

  44. This guy is doing the exact "framing" that he talks about in the early part of the lecture and uses that framing to get audience onside so they respond affirmatively with approval of what he says.
    Statements like "if you are not happy and fulfilled in your life you are not going to be empathetic with someone else. You are not going to want someone else to be happier than you are. " What he demonstrates is the internalised framing of some sort of expectation he has of what is his own ''Envy'. This guy assumes that this envy is part and parcel of everyone else's way of thinking.
    He is a sick puppy in this respect.
    Get over it George. Why should you be only happy when your happiness is only when you perceive you have matched or exceeded what you perceive is the happiness of others.

  45. this means Katrina was an inside job. They knew that the hurricanes were caused by the oil companies and then the government paid the corporations to fix the place for the survivors. The real Harp, weather control. Conservatives also think that climate change is not man made, yet their conspiracies say that people control the climate with HARP.

  46. Orwellian language: When a so called liberal talks about needing more government intervention and a so called conservative complains about threatened freedoms mentioned in the constitution. OR, when a progressive talks about democracy, yet does not think that one tyrant is better than 300+ million tyrants after the first so called democratic vote. But hey, most trolls here are undergrads, and probably rest on their laurels of attending a famous west coast college. Face it kids, there is no conversation worth having outside of philosophy. Lakoff's endless string of if…then… conditionals and generalizations do not sway the critical mind, merely bores it to death. Lakoff is a cure for insomnia<<<—- METAPHOR

  47. Thanks for sharing. I agree in principal about the causes that create the two different thoughts that determine political views. However I don't feet that the analysis gets to the deepest depths of what causes the origin of the two rationales. Psychologists know that the two most powerful human motivations are love and fear I believe that it is the failure of the conservative mind to overcome their fear that leads to their immorality. Their whole subconscious is fear based . 90 percent of every decision they make is out of fear. This fear limits their ability to think beyond their own nose. Out of fear comes hate , the fear to change ,bigotry ,the need to control. I should add that these are the same character flaws arising out of fear and hate that can lead to crime. In fact I would venture to say that when these values that are supposed to work, create prosperity and happiness , but doesn't that when this conflict arises within a person of a conservative mindset overcome problems thrown at them in life that the result is often an act of crime. Loving is working with God. If we fear God who needs satan

  48. There will never be "Moral Politics". Statism relies on legitimized aggression. All forms of Statism violate the non-aggression principal, they are all morally illegitimate.

  49. It used to drive me crazy when people – especially liberals – would without a clue used the opponent's language/terms!!!

  50. The only problem with Conservative ideology is attaching it to anything Jesus taught. If conservatives used Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" as a hand book it would fit their argument. If Jesus was for anything, he was for the welfare of his brothers, where as Conservative ideology is for self interest. The obvious reasoning for this is that using Jesus as a symbol for their self interest is more effective for enrollment. Enrollment always equals more dollars and clout for self interest policy promotion which is not egalitarian as was Jesus. Millions of folks across the country calling them selves Christians practice Darwinism, but dismiss or demonize the theory behind it, while claiming to be Christ like which is anything but self centered. If there is a right and wrong its not the ideology you choose, it is labeling it with an opposite terminology . Another words when you by a container of OJ, and you pour from it into a glass, you expect OJ to fill your glass and not Milk !

  51. Politics is organized law making. Laws can be defined only divinely OR arbitrarily. Any secular way of making laws, whether it be majority rule, dictatorship or a non-religious monarchy, is the arbitrary imposition of the will of some on others, with no moral footing. If politics has a moral meaning, it has to be rooted in divine law, and the now "taboo" faith.

  52. Re-watching this Nov 28, 2016, it's clear the failure of Clintonism-Obamaism was very much a failure to attend to and engage with Lakoff's ideas and rhetorical suggestions

  53. That explains why I am so confused about modern politics… I have Asperger's syndrome. I struggle with the notion of metaphor; even more with collective identity; instead I have trained myself in understanding and analysing the rationality of decisions – a very Cartesian approach.

  54. A master bullshitter. Circular logic, neverending "if then" statements, massive assumptions based on complex words that the audience pats themselves on the backs for (not) understanding

  55. just a thought; 'nature protection' n nurture relating to this… n referal to addresses? ..as (?) .. im sure ther…ehm… sensible attendence intent content signified dignified w exchange valuables? … i mean, … so what does it mean to an ending depending up on … where does self interest come if placed alL folLowing order? …

  56. Read Lakoff's analysis carefully.
    How could anyone be surprised by Lakoff's assertion that the current catastrophe in communication (maximal example: our current President and his bizarre choice of modes for 'speaking" to his constituency) is best addressed by an examination of how the only mechanism we have available to us to effectively transport and transfer our ideas – language – has become so devalued. Sorry to sound so stuffy but this comes from someone who witnessed the last hurrah of oratory when, in 1959, I heard Hubert H. Humphrey rock the Senate chamber with both his wisdom and his style. More than any time in history (I might suggest) we need diliberative, thorough and unambiguous discourse coming from our leaders.

  57. The right in the US "frames" things much better than the left. The reason women are about to lose reproductive rights is because the left has allowed the right to frame this issue for the last four decades. Women were allowed to exercise this right because they framed the issue prior to Roe v. Wade.

  58. What this man did was to shed light on the power of language and what gives it meaning. It’s rooted on unconscious material, which we are unaware of by defitition, but always subject to. When democrats learn to harness the power of their unconscious material, understand its meaning, learn to translate into language, and use their intellect to tie it to history, politics, social context and relationships, and then execute grounded on that material, the world will benefit from politics that align witht the deper forces of nature and the psyche.

    Until then, we will continue to be led astray, subject to the corruptive power of dualistic thinking and narrow-minded politics.

  59. The whole beating your child or punishing them totally ignores basic human nature. The rebellious nature within all of us. Let alone rewarding good behavior is far more effective than disciplining bad

  60. Since you sink or swim by yourself. What happens if you need an operation – Or in an accident and need help?? Do you fix that problem by yourself like the rest of the things you believe in? (Was it because you were bad? No. The book of Job proved that good people can have bad things happen to them. ) Conservative thinking is warped at best.

  61. The monist position is self-contradictory: we must possess rational minds in order to show the brain determines the mind. Has the brain "determined" it's own self-discovery? That is an absurdity.

  62. I am a registered Republican, I vote straight ticket Republican, I have every book by Lakoff and Mark Johnson. I have read every one cover to cover and a number of them more than once. I fear the enlightenment democrats more than the strict father republicans. Give me a Lakoffian progressive and I would be happy to vote for them.

  63. And W admitted himself that you have to keep inundating the public with the rhetoric to convince, although I don't think he used the word, 'rhetoric'.

  64. Conservatives can see themselves as moral all they want, but it's a meaningless delusion rooted in unexamined fear. Their morality exists in a vacuum decoupled from the complexity of reality, as if the Earth is an infinite banquet they can feast from without consequence.

    If these people either can not see the connections and interdependence of things or refuse to as a matter of psychological defense mechanism, then what are we to say of both their intelligence and the existential risks they impose on civilization and Earth systems more generally?

    Authority is the laws of thermodynamics, complex systems, and chaos. Conservatives ignore real authority and create a bubble within which they pretend to rule, meanwhile externalizing the conequences of their behavior onto the rest of society and the planet.

    These are the least responsible and hence most immoral people of all, and it is rooted in their fear-based ignorance.

    Intolerance and punishment is also their game. Maybe it's time to throw it back in their faces. Then again, that's what climate change is for. It's the punishment this conservative-driven world deserves. This is by their own logic.

  65. This moral obligation to have your own house in order before assisting others seems to underpin a lot of Jordan Peterson's new book but I concede I haven't read it.

  66. Where does Donald Trump fit on the Strict-Father Nurturing-Parents spectrum? How does one reconcile the election of an amoral "grab'em by the p~~sy" alternative-facts sort with Strict-Father morality? Right now, Trump is the ultimate expression of Ayn Rand's Strict-Father as "Father of America", the ultimate authority. . . . Very scary trend as an exemplar for US Morality. For Trump, it is me me me and everyone else is prey . . . . no sense of empathy or compassion.

  67. At 52:30 the problem with in the Democratic party and their sponsors is that they themselves agree with a lot of the economic and public policy of the Republicans and conservatives. It is possible that from their donors they were forbidden to say anything that was proposed here to be said. Democrats seldom discuss civics in the 1950 sense of the word. Even something business like it benefit the economy if we address issues like Katrina quickly was not said. All the kids at the Ivy League schools are taught some form of neoliberal ideology so that you essentially have Republicans neoliberals and Democratic neoliberals, in fact you have white neoliberals and black neoliberals, straight neoliberals and gay neoliberals, feminist neoliberals and anti-feminist neoliberals, etc. Is this a great country or what?

  68. Does anyone know if Lakoff has ever tried to apply his analysis of Democrats and Republicans to left wing anti-capitalists who are conservative in the social-cohesion frame (against individualism) and liberal in the progressive nurturing frame? He doesn't seem to have much to say about political ideologies like Anarchism or socialism or any of its variants.

  69. This lecture, along with Lakoff's works, are absolutely essential to deciphering modern politics and more. Profound and universal. Terrifying. I look forward to using this information.

  70. One thing Lakoff seems to miss is that, while progressive policy may well have good intentions, they seldom have positive outcomes, especially in the long term.

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