You Didn’t Think That. Somebody Thought That For You.

Black3 has been making the point that the “progressives” and their titular leader, President Obama, have been following a pattern developed by Alinsky and others…last night after I got home from Barcelona, I read this post by Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection (a very fine blog) regarding how the method of communication dovetails perfectly with the theories of George Lakoff, the Berkeley linguistics professor that  Black3 wrote about on July 9th:

This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley.  Like Warren, Lakoff was one of the academics who helped frame how the Occupy Wall Street movement presented itself.  Lakoff’s writings andtheories seek to transform progressive politics and he is a frequent speaker on how progressives can reframe the political debate.

Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by focusing on the role of government in enabling individual success, a narrative in which no person became successful on his or her own:

Nobody makes a dollar in this country in business without using the common wealth…. The idea that there’s a self-made man, that’s there’s a self-made millionaire is false, it is absolutely false, and that is the thing that Obama missed…. Without this you don’t have those roads, you don’t have that internet, you don’t have the banking system, etc.

Read how Lakoff framed the issue in a publication several years ago, then listen to the Obama and Warren speeches, they are not identical but very close substantively and linguistically (emphasis mine):

There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! They wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers  have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

The Professor has been hot on the heels of Liz “Fauxcahontas” Warren, the self proclaimed mommy sow of the OWS “movement”, and her claims to be part Native American. We captured Fauxcahontas’ version of a “you didn’t build this” rant in September of last year. He has comparative video at the link above of the speeches.

The sole purpose of this narrative is to create a false history where individuals have never been successful without the collective, that America has always been a collectivist nation – so what’s wrong with a little more sweet, sweet collectivism? Lakoff’s hypothesis is that it is the message that matters – not the facts – and all it will take  for “progressive” ideas to succeed is for “progressives” to simply ignore ideas from the other side of the political spectrum – don’t engage or otherwise recognize that there is even another position, just keep talking as if there are no dissenting voices. You can see that in practice when Obama talks about how “successful” his economic programs are – no matter how bad the data is, the policies are always “working”… except that they aren’t.

Obama didn’t think this. Somebody thought that for him.

23 thoughts on “You Didn’t Think That. Somebody Thought That For You.

  1. Utah, I know you don’t always check the comments on other posts, so since you hadn’t replied to my correction of your misstatement about Alinsky, I thought I’d put it here, too, just to make you’d be sure to get it:

    “So you were with him when he wrote that and can testify in court”

    Of course not, and neither were you. Unlike you, apparently, I recognize humor. Now you’re sounding as inane as a couple of your acolytes here, Utah. Are you playing to the base?

    “At any rate, this Lucifer issue is a distraction.”

    Perhaps–though Joe saw fit to include it in three separate posts yesterday, and conservatives such as TV twit Monica Crowley keep repeating the lie. This seemed like a logical place to try to correct it.

    “The only thing Alinsky seemed committed to was agitation.”

    That I can buy. Early on, he try to fire up the poor. Later it was the middle class (which is why some compare him to a Tea Partier).

    “I doubt that the statement about Lucifer had any significance to him other than a method to agitate people who adhere to religious beliefs.”

    That could very well be true. Not having been there, of course, I couldn’t swear to it in court.

    “On the point of left or right, you must concede because you are clearly in error”

    You’re the one who seems to be “clearly in error”–please point oint out to me where I made a claim in this regard. I merely quoted the opinions of two very conservative writers from Forbes magazine.

    And I’m sure you’ll tell Joe, “you must concede because you are clearly in error” because of this post that is obviously much more “in error” than anything I’ve written: https://therionorteline.com/2012/07/18/be-seated-bleted-in-and-with-adult-beverage-in-hand-before-reading/

    Yeah, sure.

    • I’ll have to get to this later, Professor – but I’ll take your equivocation that I have to call out Joe as an acknowledgement that I won the point. I’m happy to address the point but just now, I’m off to oppress third world countries so that we can take their natural resources in order that we may generate electricity with fossil fuels to charge the batteries in your Prius.

      In the interest of time (I’ve been travelling around being all colonialist and imperialistic that week and haven’t been totally keeping up), please direct me to the Forbes articles – I don’t doubt that Alinsky’s tactics were admired – I think that it was Bill Buckley who called him a “near genius of organizing” – or something akin to that.

      • “I’ll take your equivocation that I have to call out Joe as an acknowledgement that I won the point.”

        If you have to claim an “equivocation” that happened only in your own mind as a “win,” then I feel for you. 😉

    • I didn’t respond yesterday as I was doing drive-by posting from airports in France, Spain and the UK.

      First of all, I won’t get drawn into the debate over opinions versus facts. There can be no end to debate over opinions and that is a lot of what is happening here.

      I do agree and conceded that there is no evidence that the Communist Party ever had these specific goals written down on a sheet of paper but in reading through the material cited here from the FBI (http://academic.lexisnexis.com/documents/upa_cis/10834_CPUSAFBIDDELib.pdf), I can certainly see how such a list could be considered plausible.

      …but it is true that there is no evidence that I can find that this is an actual list from the Communists and to declare that it is would be an error.

      While I can concede that point, I can maintain my personal opinion that these actions generally follow the direction and intent of the actions of the communist movement as I understand it. As Joe applied it, citing it as he did, my interpretation was that he was more interested in developing a logical tie to the list as published in “The Naked Communist” and “None Dare Call It Treason” than establishing the veracity of the list itself…but again, that is my opinion. I refude to get into parsing words because like the Alinsky “Lucifer quote”, I can judge but the intent of the words based on the history of the man – I have to judge the 50 year old list the same way.

      I’ve never given much credence to Quigley or Skousen – both seemed to me to be two paranoids trying to one-up each other as to who had the least plausible conspiracy theory. I don’t know which was worse, the master conspiracy theorist (Quigley), or the person who tried to take his paranoia up to 11 (Skousen).

      As far as the “misuse” of that quote by “conservatives such as TV twit Monica Crowley”, I stick by my assertion that the definition of “misuse” in this case exists only in your lexicon and as I can find no basis for the supposed humorous intent, I can’t say one way or another. I do think my assessment that I posted yesterday is probably closer to the truth than many given what I have read about Ole Saul:

      “At any rate, this Lucifer issue is a distraction. Your point was that he was more aligned with the right and that is provably false. The greater point is that while not a socialist, Alinsky was, in fact, man of the left and one who rejected dogmatic philosophies, religion included, while paradoxically creating his own. He was once even quoted as saying that he wasn’t a “joiner”, that he didn’t even join the groups he founded. The only thing Alinsky seemed committed to was agitation.

      I doubt that the statement about Lucifer had any significance to him other than a method to agitate people who adhere to religious beliefs. He would have used Satan or Jesus equally if either or both suited his purposes because he believed in neither. It would have been just as easy to credit Jesus or Saint Peter for “organizing” the Christian church…but that wouldn’t have had the desired effect, would it?”

      What I also know is that you require of Joe specific factual citation of his posts, while asking others to recognize Alinsky’s quote as “tongue in cheek humor” without providing the same level of confirmation. I understand that two wrongs don’t make a right but they do make a double standard.

      With the Tea Party comments, there is no shared similarity between Alinsky and the Tea Party movement as the Tea Party wasn’t “organized”, it was a spontaneous outcome generated by people with like views. There was no plan, no process other than to protest the levels of taxing and spending. I see none of Alinsky’s tactics at play here.

      As far as my assertion that you are in error in the matter re: Alinsky aligning with the right wing, I can only infer from the quotes that were supplied that creating that possibility was your intent. Granted, you never appear to have spoken those exact words but as I was not the only one to interpret your comments that way, I would say that by using circumstantial evidence we can determine that making that point was your intent. It is hard to convict without a body but what other reason would one have to illustrate a point with such quotes in such a way?

      So, in summary, I do have to concede that while I find the list Joe posted plausible, it cannot be placed in the hands of a Communist Party USA member and therefore the implication that it was created by Communists is not correct.

      I stand by my point that you were, in fact, trying to tie Alinsky to the political right where no connection exists other than admiration for his skills at organization and motivation.

      • “I do agree and conceded that there is no evidence that the Communist Party ever had these specific goals written down … but it is true that there is no evidence that I can find that this is an actual list from the Communists and to declare that it is would be an error.”

        Thanks. Not so hard, was it? Now if you could get Joe to admit even the simple errors, instead of focusing on inventing “errors” by your political opponents.

        “I don’t know which was worse, the master conspiracy theorist (Quigley), or the person who tried to take his paranoia up to 11 (Skousen).”

        Agreed.

        “I see none of Alinsky’s tactics at play here.”

        You might want to take a closer look, then, especially at some major Tea Party donors. But keep in mind, I was not trying to criticize the Tea Party with my earlier comments. I’ve written both positive and negative things about the movement.

        “I can only infer from the quotes that were supplied that creating that possibility was your intent.”

        Then I’ll apologize for giving that impression. But in fact I don’t feel I know enough about Alinsky (despite Joe’s suggestion that all libs are experts about him) to make such a claim. I simply think that Joe and others have turned the name into a weapon without having a clear understanding of him–or the fact that some conservatives think he has more in common with Tea Partiers than with libs.

        “I stand by my point that you were, in fact, trying to tie Alinsky to the political right where no connection exists other than admiration for his skills at organization and motivation.”

        Your point is incorrect, as just noted. But I understand how you reached your conclusion. Thanks for the lengthy reply.

  2. Well, since we are starting off the thoughts with rhetoric and ad hominem attacks, I suppose I will just join right in there and toss this one out …

    “their titular leader, President Obama” < —- that right there is "t3h funn3h" 😀

    That there is the very best description of Obummer, and is sure to torque off the Obomunists.

  3. Mr. Mac sounds just like every other “Marxist/Socialist/Liberal” professor out there. These folks must all go to the same indoctrination school of fools. The only “Lies” being told are the Marxist/Socialist/Liberal one’s, I know, I lived them in Cuba “that great land of equality idiots on the Left keep talking about, but refuse to move to and live there”. I pray for the day this Republic is cleansed of the cancer called Socialist/Liberalism. It may take a Civil War or a Revolution but one day it will be accomplished.

    • Gee, another drop in who has read almost nothing that I’ve written and who doesn’t even know what he’s responding to (and so is clearly wrong), but who sees a chance to suck up to the big boys on the site. Nice work, Jose.

  4. Pingback: Obama’s Roanoke Moment: Upon Further Review | The Rio Norte Line

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