Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

George Lakoff interviewed on Firedoglake’s Book Salon

George Lakoff, author of the New York Times Bestseller Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, and the new The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain, participated in Firedoglake’s Book Salon interview on Sunday.

From the article:

For years it’s been said that we live in a “sound-bite” society. The ever-shrinking attention span of Americans – and the cost of time in the media – means we must say what we have to say in a few seconds. That’s the conventional wisdom.

But Lakoff’s discussion of the structure of frames and simple and complex narratives may revise this conventional thinking. We need to get the words right, but we need to tell our stories as well. The 6-second sound bite is embedded in and carried along by cultural narratives that extend far beyond the brief sound bite.

Conservatives tarred up the word “liberal” by telling stories about how liberals wanted to take money from those who earned it and give it to those who refused to work. That’s a story. Embedded in such a story, “liberal” became stigmatized.

This gets to one of Lakoff’s most important points in the The Political Mind Western liberal political science and practice is still holding tight to the Enlightenment view of human rationality and reason that was new in the age of America’s founding. It’s not new anymore. It’s not correct, either. Humans are not universal reasoning machines who will always reach the right, true and just decision if given the unvarnished facts. Instead, we’re emotional creatures of habits and desires who don’t always know what’s really in our interests. There’s nothing the matter with Kansas that’s not the matter with all of us. We’re human, that’s all.

But while conservatives have been busy telling emotional stories that hook our imaginations, progressives (especially those more conservative progressives whom Lakoff labels “neo-liberals”) give us lists of facts and statistics, assuming we’ll reason from these facts to the right conclusions.

Not only is this not effective, it prevents full and honest expression of the values behind progressive policy goals. We don’t talk of empathy or with empathy, we talk about unemployment statistics. We don’t talk about social responsibility, we talk about insurance company actuarial tables. And we don’t change many minds or hearts.

And that’s what Lakoff wants to help us do.

Read the full interview here.


Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More

Slack and Taut: Defining a System’s Resilience

A resilient future (or a resilient present, for that matter) needs to be slack, not taut. What do we mean? Core to the concept of a Lean Economy is understanding the need to move toward a “slack” market rather than one that is “taut.” When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left […] Read More

What’s a Carbon Sink?

World leaders met in Marrakech this month as part of COP22, to discuss the next steps to reducing global climate emissions. One of the solutions being discussed is carbon farming. Author Eric Toensmeier participated in COP22, in part, because he literally wrote a book on it. First off – what is carbon farming? It’s a […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com