This article presents the speech delivered by George Lakoff at the Conference on Spiritual Activism in July 2005. If you want the 500-page version, there is the book, Moral Politics in the strict father version, you need a strict father because there is evil in the world, and you got to stand up to it and defeat it. Because there is competition in the world, there will always be winners and losers, and you've got to be a winner. In this view, children are assumed to be born bad, in the sense that they just do what they want to do, not what is right. There is an absolute right and an absolute wrong, and the only way that children can be made moral, in the strict father tradition, is through punishment--punishment painful enough to give them an incentive to do right, not wrong. And if they are punished sufficiently, they will get that incentive and discipline themselves. They will get internal discipline to do what is right, to do what the strict father says, because he will be teaching them right from wrong. And if they do that, there will be a secondary effect: they will be able to pursue their self-interest to become prosperous. Prosperity and morality are linked from that point of view.
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