Those of you interested in this whole frame analysis thing, or in George Lakoff’s new cult of personality, might find his blog interview at Emboldened. I’m planning on writing a post about Lakoff when my computer access is more consistent, because I’ve been thinking about his (and Mark Johnson’s) theory of concepts, and by extension, his version of frame analysis, from a different perspective lately. I’ll give you a taste of that perspective with a quote from Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man (p. 103 in the Second Edition; all emphasis mine):
The ritual-authoritarian language spreads over the contemporary world, through democratic and non-democratic, capitalist and non-capitalist countries. According to Roland Barthes, it is the language “propre á tous les régimes d’autorité,” and is there today, in the orbit of advanced industrial civilization, a society which is not under an authoritarian regime? As the substance of the various regimes no longer appears in alternative modes of life, it comes to rest in alternative techniques of manipulation and control. Language not only reflects these controls but becomes itself an instrument of control even where it does not transmit orders but information; where it demands, not obedience but choice, not submission but freedom.
This language controls by reducing the linguistic forms and symbols of reflection, abstraction, development, contradiction; by substituting images for concepts. It denies or absorbds the transcendent vocabulary; it does not search for but establishes and imposes truth and falsehood. But this kind of discourse is not terroristic. It seems unwarranted to assume that the recipients believe, or are made to believe, what they are being told. The new touch of the magic-ritual language is that people don’t believe it, or don’t care, and yet act accordingly. One does not “believe” the statement of an operational concept but it justifies itself in action–in getting the job done, in selling and buying, in refusing to listen to others, etc.