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Review The Little Blue Book

The Little Blue Book
The Little Blue Book

The Little Blue Book by George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wheling

“Traditional American democracy has brought beauty to the world.  The idea of citizens caring about each other and taking responsibility not only for themselves but also for their fellow citizens has a moral beauty.  The mission of government is to protect and empower all equally through the use of the public realm, defined as resources for the betterment of life provided by all. That is also beautiful. It has made for civilized and humane private lives and prosperous private enterprise”.

That paragraph opens the sixth chapter of The Little Blue Book by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling.  But while the book is touted as a guide to thinking and talking Democratic it is more of an explanation of how people can persuade and influence others by understanding the theory of the mind.  While the emphasis is on empathy and caring for others the Lakoff and Wheling stress the need for doing it from a moral perspective.  In other words, it needs to be done on a very ethical and emotional plane to be effective. Read the rest of this entry

Persuasion, Psychos, and Empathy

Empathy is what sets human beings apart from all other creatures.  Whales may have bigger brains and mosquitoes may be more prolific but no other creatures are able to put themselves in the shoes of others and experience how they might feel.  Empathy is basic to effective persuasion.

Neuroscience has proven this to be true in recent years through the use of the fMRI (The functional Magnetic Resonance  Imaging  technology).  Human beings are born, with very rare exceptions, with the mirror neurons in the brain that enable us to experience, at an emotional level, the hopes, fears and emotional reactions of others.  That results in caring about the experiences of others and that has profound social and political outcomes. Read the rest of this entry