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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2004 :  21:59:48  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
In an earlier post, I debated between using "capitalist" and "free market" to describe a particular situation. Now I understand that the two terms don't reflect exactly the same thing, but on a borad scale, the idea of supply and demande is inferred, which was my point.

Nevertheless, I opted for the latter since, in my opinion, the former had obtained over time a rather negative connotation. Capitalists and capitalism have not recently been portrayed as good things, but as an example of the flaws in Western economcies. The term 'free market' however, seems to have escaped this-- for now.

Thinking about this led me to wonder about what other words have been co-opted by various socio-economic-politico ideas in a positive or negative way.

Srpinging to mind are some obvious choices: liberal, elite, French, European, activist-- these are some of the code word Conservatives have used to demonize Democrats and liberals. Are the others? And what about how the Left portrays the Right? "Capitalist" is one example-- what are some others?

Moreover, how do people not so willing to be duped by media-saavy campaign managers express important issues without falling back on party code language?

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2004 :  23:50:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

In an earlier post, I debated between using "capitalist" and "free market" to describe a particular situation. Now I understand that the two terms don't reflect exactly the same thing, but on a borad scale, the idea of supply and demande is inferred, which was my point.

Nevertheless, I opted for the latter since, in my opinion, the former had obtained over time a rather negative connotation.

See, in my mind "free market" is still a loaded term. To me it means no government regulation. Which might sound good at first, until one recalls the painful lessons America learned under a pure Laissez Faire style economy. No polution laws, monopolies, no product safety comission and let the consumer be damned.

Eh, maybe it's just me though.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 11/19/2004 23:50:36
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2004 :  07:04:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Thinking of 'free market' I think near-slave workers on a factory. But that's just a reflex.

Don't forget the dreaded 'communist' label.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2004 :  08:53:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert
See, in my mind "free market" is still a loaded term. To me it means no government regulation. Which might sound good at first, until one recalls the painful lessons America learned under a pure Laissez Faire style economy. No polution laws, monopolies, no product safety comission and let the consumer be damned.
True-- that is certainly what some conservatives want. But I never got the sense that is was as negative as capitalist. Perhaps sometimes, it's just personal perception that dictates how we use a word.

Still, in his (in)famous memo that helped the Right take over, Gingrich argued that "langauage is . . . a key mechanism of control . . ." to which end he provided a list of words Republicans should use to "to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party," including:
quote:
decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)... destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... traitors... radical... incompetent... permissive attitudes... impose... self-serving... greed... ideological... insecure... anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs... welfare... corrupt... selfish... status quo... taxes... spend(ing)... cheat... steal... abuse of power... machine... bosses... obsolete... criminal rights... red tape... patronage


For those he was writing to, he listed words "to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for," including:
quote:
change... opportunity... legacy... challenge... control... truth... moral... courage... reform... prosperity... crusade... movement... children... family... compete... active(ly)... we/us/our... candid(ly)... humane... pristine... provide...

liberty... principle(d)... unique... duty... care(ing)... tough... listen... learn... help... lead... vision... success... citizen... mobilize... light... dream... freedom...

peace... rights... pioneer... proud/pride... building... preserve... pro-(issue): flag, children, environment... reform... workfare... strength... choice/choose... fair... protect... confident... incentive... hard work... initiative... common sense... passionate


Notice how many of them have now become part of the political discourse!



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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2004 :  13:10:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
Frontline recently aired a segment called The Persuaders dealing with advertising and marketing. One segment dealt with a consultant named Frank Luntz, who specializes in determining which words or phrases people react positively or negatively to, so that his clients can maximize the manipulation value of their message.

quote:
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: Luntz has sold his corporate and political clients the idea that a few carefully chosen words can make all the difference. But he's not just looking for any words. Luntz's quarry are those words that grab our guts and move us to act on an emotional level.

...

FRANK LUNTZ: 80 percent of our life is emotion and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think. How you think is on the outside, how you feel is on the inside, so that's what I need to understand.

...

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: But watching Luntz work, I couldn't help wondering: Do the words he's found help the public see the issue more clearly, or do they disguise it? Is Luntz listening to us so his clients can give us what we want, or so he can figure out how to make us want what they have to sell?

...

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: Journalist Nicholas Lemann wrote a profile of Luntz in The New Yorker magazine called "The Word Lab." He described how Luntz once turned public opinion simply by replacing the name "estate tax" with the more emotionally charged "death tax."

NICHOLAS LEMANN: As far as I can tell, in the entire developed world, every single country had an estate tax, and it was completely uncontroversial all over the world. And it is clearly the case that this construction, this rhetorical construction of calling it the "death tax," took it from the realm of something everybody was for in a just unquestioned way into something that most people seem to be against and is on its way to being eliminated.

FRANK LUNTZ: Look, for years, political people and lawyers – who, by the way are the worst communicators – used the phrase "estate tax." And for years, they couldn't eliminate it. The public wouldn't support it because the word "estate" sounds wealthy. Someone like me comes around and realizes that it's not an estate tax, it's a death tax because you're taxed at death. And suddenly, something that isn't viable achieves the support of 75 percent of the American people. It's the same tax, but nobody really knows what an estate is, but they certainly know what it means to be taxed when you die. I'd argue that is a clarification, it's not an obfuscation.

...

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: Luntz has admonished Republican politicians to talk about "tax relief" instead of "tax cuts," and to replace the "war in Iraq" with the "war on terror." He once told his party to speak of "climate change," not "global warming."

FRANK LUNTZ: What is the difference? It is climate change. Some people call it global warming, some people call it climate change. What is the difference?

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: It apparently made enough difference to Republicans that they began to use "climate change" almost exclusively.

Sen. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): –cause global – cause climate change.

SPENCER ABRAHAM, Secretary of Energy: –the President's global climate change initiative–

Vice Pres. DICK CHENEY: –climate change research–

Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH: –and we must address the issue of global climate change.




Fascinating, and more than a little disturbing.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2004 :  13:37:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Thanks for the link, R.Wreck. Indeed, I think that Luntz is the worst thing to happen to American politics in decades. Anyone who claims to be a sekptic and who desires that more Americans use their "intellect" over their "emotions" should be distressed not just that Luntz is in a position to prey on Americans' emotions, but that he's having so much sucess with it!
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2004 :  17:02:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
quote:
Cuneiformist wrote:

Indeed, I think that Luntz is the worst thing to happen to American politics in decades. Anyone who claims to be a sekptic and who desires that more Americans use their "intellect" over their "emotions" should be distressed not just that Luntz is in a position to prey on Americans' emotions, but that he's having so much sucess with it!



If they show that Frontline again in your area, its worth the 90 minutes. The creepy thing about Luntz when you see and hear him operate is that he seems to give no thought to what his research is used for. (I wanted to say that he seems to have no moral compass, but "moral" seems to have turned into another code word. Maybe scruples is what he lacks) Its just gee-whiz isn't this neat I found a way to measure people's reactions to stuff and someone can use that to spin their image however they desire. I got the feeling that if Charlie Manson had the scratch to hire Luntz, he (Manson that is) would no longer be a nutball homocidal maniac, but rather a cutting-edge paradigm busting population control specialist.

The rest of the show was very good also. They had some good insights into how marketers are searching for ever new ways to get your attention, and thus your $$$, some successful, some not (like the bunch of doofuses trying to market Song Airlines while seemingly withholding the fact that "Song" is (was?) in fact actually an airline).

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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