Family View of Government

Not sure that I can agree with Lakoff’s theory about differing views regarding government and free markets between “liberals” and “conservatives” being largely based on their family history (i.e., authoritarian as opposed to nurturing) as it seems overly simplistic, but there may be an element of truth in it.

More about Lakoff’s metaphoric model and how the two types of families relate to contrasting views of government can be found here.

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8 Comments

Filed under Conservatism, Liberals-Progressives, Psychology, Science

8 responses to “Family View of Government

  1. Pingback: Family View of Government « Red Tory v.3.0 « Family Blog

  2. Gordon S

    Given how little parents are able to affect how their children turn out (with the obvious exception of their genetic donation), it strikes me as highly unlikely.

  3. Pingback: Anurag’s Blog » Family View of Government « Red Tory v.3.0

  4. ATY — Very succinct.

  5. Ti-Guy

    These metaphors just seem like cherished hypotheses that haven’t been tested very well. A lot of parenting is a mix of both authoritarianism and nurturing.

    This is my hypothesis; American right wingers are irrational lunatics and the reaction to them is quite often irrational and loony. I’ve quite often had the feeling that I’m descending into madness whenever I attempt to understand a right winger’s world view.

    The only sane American liberals I can think of are the ones who have given up trying to *explain* them and simply see them for what they are: insane. That’s not very “nurturing,” but we’re not dealing with children here.

  6. Okhropir rumiani

    I believe this was mentioned in the Emmanuel Todd book you recommended, although if I remember, he didn’t break it down into liberals and conservatives but to different ethnic cultures.

  7. Ti-Guy

    Verbose pomposity alert…

    I’ve had major misgivings about social science research since grad school; it relies far too often on self-reporting and is restricted by ethical considerations that don’t permit the researcher to make observations of completely natural, unguarded behaviour. I’ve developed a real knee-jerk reaction to any social scientist (and that includes economists, political scientists, socio-linguists etc.) making any assertions about human nature with any degree of certainty, especially coming from any academic of the generation of social scientists Lakoff is part of.

    I’m really convinced a lot people’s behaviour is a far more utilitarian, reactionary and devoid of self-reflection than what these people are suggesting and more inclined to agree with John Ralston Saul’s observations that we’re really dealing with an unconscious civilisation. It’s something you notice when you live in more traditional, non-Western cultures (or deal with people at home who come from such cultures), where people pay a lot more attention to and reflect on what they and others are doing. You get that impression just by talking to them and notice how much more interesting and genuine they are when they talk about themselves and their lives than Westerners, who seem to only talk about their jobs, their children, their *stuff*, their vacations, etc. etc. and who seem almost hostile toward anyone who’d like to talk about something more substantive.

    I just get the impression these academics and other commentators are trying to articulate more meaning here than what there is (which is practically none at all). That would explain how startled they seem to be at how groups of people are behaving, especially when making decisions in the aggregate.

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