« Under-generalized | Main | Anarchy in the blogosphere »

The Magic of Framing

By Al Schumann on Sunday October 17, 2010 05:30 AM

The answer to Enlightenment-loving progressive woes won't be found in psychology, better marketing or firmer asseveration of values. The notional environmental values are widely shared. Already. They got that way without the Lakoffian framing and the analyst's couch. The transition from values to national policy has been a dismal failure. This, in spite of a general acceptance. That acceptance takes the form of generous volunteering, individual initiative, group initiative, local policy, charitable giving and willingness to accept additional expense. Yet policy doesn't follow. How could that be?

I'm a bit reluctant to invoke the Enlightenment, given the kicking the poor thing has taken, but there's a reason for this failure. It's a knowable thing. There's a process of inquiry. The components of the failure can be studied. They could, theoretically, be remedied too.

It might reward to take a look at elite progressives' conduct. Do they actually support the values in any real sense? Does their marketing translate into actions consistent with the expressed values? Is the political leadership accountable to the mass of voters? Do the voters have a ready means of requiring compliance from their leaders? Does the second tier leadership spend its energy on frivolous backbiting? For example, when the corporate code orange enthusiasts start shrieking, does the second tier join the chorus? Further examples are readily available.

To the belabor the point a little, progressive "defenders" of the Enlightenment might wish to use some of its tools.

Comments (10)

Al Schumann:

As a Progressive Psychology Today footnote,

Researchers discover people inconsistent, confused.

New study demonstrates reason is often the handmaiden of desire.

Suffering Causes Depression: The Hermeneutics of Sorrow.


reason is often the handmaiden of desire

and reasonable advice
the handmaiden of conformity

Wouldn't they risk the real chance of winning, then - and risk even more the ire of their sponsors, who want nothing if not the marketing rights to the Enlightenment, as a commodity to sell, to impose, as well?

Al Schumann:


And how! Small "e" enlightenments are a sure path to the uncertainties of intellectual adulthood and, worse, a distressing measure of integrity. It would all be downhill for them from there. I think they'll stick to increasingly competitive hackdom instead and get picked off in their ones and twos by hungrier hacks.


What delights me, in an unkind way, is the hacks' achievement of reducing the Enlightenment to a flood of constipated epiphanies and rebranding proposals. Every electoral cycle brings an Augean deluge.

The Enlightenment? Corporations buried that in 1898.

This is a marketing operation, pure and simple. We have no parties. We have brands, Mac and PC, Pepsi and Coke, D and R. What they say to attract buyers is entirely meaningless, as is plain to see.

The pwogosphere is merely in-store product demo staff. They (and especially the Ivy League ones among them) wouldn't know or care about the Enlightenment if it ate their arms and legs.

It's market totalitarianism, competitively administered, profit-seeking dictatorship, baby. The Enlightenment is a secret half-memory, half-dream among the Winston Smiths. It ain't nothing out in the "real," table-defending world. Big brothers do what big brothers gotta do.

Meanwhile, a quiz:

Q: Which Congressbot says this in its re-election advertisements, and which brand is this Congressbot?:

“I’m (?????), and I’m working in Congress so people with good ideas can grow and expand [ed: interesting contrast here!] their businesses. That’s why the tax breaks I passed help entrepreneurs create high tech jobs.”


To the belabor the point a little, progressive "defenders" of the Enlightenment might wish to use some of its tools.
But, in all likelihood, doing that would be neither fun nor profitable, and also it would not gain you expanded access to really hot late-shift strippers -- thus defeating the entire purpose of going into politics in the first place.



" it would not gain you expanded access to really hot late-shift strippers"

but then you can drink from
the " Augean deluge"


Monbiot: We should argue for the policies we want not on the grounds of expediency but on the grounds that they are empathetic and kind; and against others on the grounds that they are selfish and cruel. In asserting our values we become the change we want to see.

And because we are 'intrinsics' it won't matter too much to us when we fail to have any effect. It's all good.

Al Schumann:

The intrinsics shall rise above the vulgar dichotomies of strippers/no strippers and efficacy/fecklessness.

I would be very happy if the Intrinsics decided that their traduced principles strategy was immediately and effectively self-defeating, and therefore something that Should Not Be Pursued. But as Jack pointed out, the self-defeating aspect is so consistent and reflexive that it is, itself, most accurately seen as the guiding principle. It runs through the infotainment/perception management industry. Everything else is window dressing.

A class will defend and aggrandize itself with the tools at hand. When advancement of an agenda is too difficult or too disruptive to manage securely, balking it is a safer bet. They can always plead well-meaning incompetence and express soulful regret when the debacle arrives.


(blam SPLAT)

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Sunday October 17, 2010 05:30 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Under-generalized.

The next post in this blog is Anarchy in the blogosphere.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31