Friday, February 07, 2014

Quote of the day

"Since [the publication of George Lakoff's Moral Politics in 1996], the left has cleaved moderately well to established principles around the politics of the individual – women are equal, racism is wrong, homophobia is wrong. But everything else: a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, the essential dignity of all humans, even if they're foreign people or young people, education as a public good, the natural world as a treasure rather than an instrument of our convenience, the existence of motives besides profit, the pointlessness and poison of privatisation, the profundity, worth and purpose of pooling resources … this stuff is an embarrassment to centre-left parties, even when they're in government, let alone when they're in opposition. When unions reference these ideas, they are dismissed as dinosaurs."

Zoe Williams, in an interview piece with American philosopher Lakoff. The argument that the Left continually compromises and cedes ground, while the Right holds firm and thereby drags everything rightwards along the spectrum, seems to me a valid perspective on UK politics since New Labour came to power the year after Moral Politics was published.

(Thanks to Adam for the link.)

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