Jordan Peterson | Cambridge Union


(Andrew Downing) #41

I don’t think I’ve actually seen him talk about sex before marriage as such, and I’ve watched quite a few of his talks. He does suggest taking sex more seriously than just as entertainment. Probably sensible. We went a bit wacky for a while, what with the pill and all, but sex and other intimate relations are also the basis of our pair bonding and our family structures do seem a little flaky this last few decades.

Meanwhile, try talking to a few young men.
Virtually none of them have a damned clue what they should do with their lives, and they have no idea what would make the community at large proud of them, and yet they crave that as young men have forever, but there’s nothing.


(Steven) #42

So far I see mainly Distributist / Georgist economic principles in your Economic Platform.
That’s not radical, but a capitalist would consider it radical, or a communist would still call you a capitalist due to the fact that you still maintain the free market.

It’s just common sense, personally what I see as common sense is not really radical. To have respect for all, no matter the differences between humans, is not something radical. Or to have universal basic income, or full-employment together with chances - that’s not really economically radical at all.


(Andrew Downing) #43

Here’s the problem. It was founded in that sense, and so even when it’s turned around and faced the other way, people still see it like that. If you define groups based on historical divisions and prejudice, and then want to project them forward or backwards, that old baggage comes with it.

MLK would be spinning in his grave if he could see the shit that’s going down today.
This is not what he intended, and he said so.


(Steven) #44

And still, they offer themselves into voluntary actions in hopes of gaining a purpose. I’ve seen what you say, and so far that’s correct: a grand majority of young peeps even at my age do not have purpose or something to be really proud of. But that’s the effect of extreme capitalism, and lack of education.

Peterson doesn’t have a concrete objective solution to that else then tell peeps to start reading. [Alright, I give you this. This is one traditional thing that somehow got lost along the way]


(Laura) #45

“Identity politics” is not a clearly defined thing.
I know that there are some problematic things going on under the banner of anti-discrimination, I have witnessed a few myself directly, including unjust court cases and ill-founded claims of antisemitism being splashed across headlines where the accused human rights defender was helpless.

But painting all social justice advocacy with one brush and dismissing it all as being based on hate is neither fair nor helpful.


(Andrew Downing) #46

How about we just do justice as best we can, based on individuals lived experience?
Then finally, maybe we can break the cycle.


(Laura) #47

yea, it’s a start, as long as we don’t turn a blind eye to common experiences when there is discrimination based on group traits.


(Steven) #48

That’s idealistic, but not all think like this.
Btw, to note on identity politics, as @LMK said: it’s not clearly defined. But clearly there are identity oppressors. But if we’re not discriminating people based on differences [differences which are also defined by the general definition of identity politics], we’re fine.


#49

A deep, echoing voice comes into my head. You must choose. Jordan Peterson or antifaaaaa! Choooooooooooose!

But before you do, listen to this four hour youtube conversation and read Dostoyevsky.

So silly.


(Steven) #50

ROFL. Dostoyevsky is awesome, but not really contemporary :stuck_out_tongue:


(Andrew Downing) #51

Not so much a choice as a symptom.


(pip linney-barber) #52

Maps of Meaning is unfalsifiable bullshit, tendentiously researched, poorly written, weighed down by the use of endless repetition and full of dark misogynist and mystical undertones. It was published in 1999 and had Peterson not had a tantrum about LGBTQ rights he would have remained an obscure Jungian psychologist who was fun to watch in the lecture theatre.

He is not harmless. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to give misogyny, traditional values and conservatism a quasi religious, mystical, psychological and theoretical foundation. He is Ayn Rand of the YouTube age. Interestingly, like her, he also doesnt actually write much, in an academic sense (not including his papers on clinical psychology for which he has zero fame). She of course was a novelist whereas Peterson-two-books-in-20-years is a YouTube star. Both are facile philosophical thinkers and neither are taken seriously in academic philosophy. Peterson is charlatan, a conman, a bigot in fancy clothes leading an army of frustrated and moaning men terrified at the prospect of losing their patriarchal privileges.

All that’s easy to say, so i’ll try to explain how i’ve come to this conclusion.

In Maps of Meaning Peterson is making the claim that mythology, archetypal characters and stories reveal a deep hardwired truth about the human condition and through a rehash of Jung’s unfalsifiable notion of the collective unconscious, these deep realities are manifested throughout time and culture. He draws on a vast array of myth to support his claim and what emerges, most significantly, is a basic dichotomy between the hero archetype, which he depicts as male and the bringer of order and the female archetype, depicted as the bringer of chaos.

Peterson is engaged in some quite selective and, lets face it, tendentious research here – basically, he cherry picks. There are multiple mythologies where the gender of the chaos bringer is in fact male and the bringer of order female, which Peterson completely ignores. That should be a very huge red flag, right there. He also ignores the fact that myths have multiple meanings that span time and change and are reinterpreted to fit particular situations. To understand the true meaning of a particular story it would be perfectly reasonable to dip into ancient history, anthropology, maybe archeology and religious history in order to attempt to embed the story into its time and place - to understand the socio-political and religious dynamics of its birthplace. Peterson doesn’t have to worry about doing this because he knows what every myth of any importance is truly about, and that is, to support his grand theory of the collective unconscious through which the cosmic struggle between order and chaos can be accessed.

This is fucking nuts! For starters, prove it! He doesn’t even try because obviously he can’t and that would’ve been fine and cool, you know give a little twist to Jung’s use of myth, nothing wrong with that for people interested in Jungian psychology, go for your life, mate. But then he had a man-tantrum over a pronoun and became famous and that’s when many, myself included, started reading him and came to the conclusion that this psychologist is on the wrong side of the consultation desk. He actually believes this shit?

Yes, it’s possible he does or he’s just making millions off gullible males who either share his conservative views, are scared to death of deconstructing patriarchy or have never before come across mythology, political theory or philosophy and find it all…like…a totally…amazing…tapestry…

Thing is, he truly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Lets consider his great bogeyman, ‘post-modern neo-Marxism.’ This, to Peterson, is the most potent contemporary manifestation of chaos and it’s against this that he calls on his men to fight. We all know what he means here, right? SJWs and identity politics basically and that includes feminism, LGBTI rights and any biologically articulated collective. Apparently, this is a post-modern neo-Marxist deep state conspiracy to overthrow order that can also be blamed for the holocaust and Stalin, and for the way 21st century university students behave.

So what exactly is post-modernism? According to Peterson,

‘Postmodernism is essentially the claim that (1) since there are an innumerable number of ways in which the world can be interpreted and perceived (and those are tightly associated) then (2) no canonical manner of interpretation can be reliably derived.’

Fair enough. It’s tricky to say a hell of a lot more about post modernism in philosophy because it incorporates a wide range of diverse thinkers. Basically, Peterson starts here by plagiarising Jean-francois Lyotard’s definition as ‘incredulity toward meta-narrative.’ But…Marxism is a mother load of meta narrative…so what the fuck are you talking about JP? He manages to link the two this way.

That’s the fundamental claim. An immediate secondary claim (and this is where the Marxism emerges) is something like “since no canonical manner of interpretation can be reliably derived, all interpretation variants are best interpreted as the struggle for different forms of power.”

I’ll let Marxists tear this depiction of their philosophy to pieces and simply point out that according to Peterson’s folksy ideas, all power struggles are therefore Marxist. This would make the struggle for power over policy by multinational corporations, Marxist. It would make white-supremacists seeking an ethno-state, Marxist. It would, and this is fun, make the struggle between the hero male archetype against the female bringer of chaos, Marxist!

But putting that aside, what the fuck is a post modern politics? Foucault is post modern, he’s very left and Sartre was Communist. Richard Rorty is probably the most famous contemporary American post modern philosophy and he hates identity politics, he’s a centrist liberal, if he’s anything. Nietzsche, who Peterson inexplicably likes given his foundational status in post modernity, could be used to defend any political position you care to name. There is no post modern politics! It could be anything.

But wait, the most astonishing thing about Peterson’s thinking and his distaste for post-modernity is that he himself wields post modern devices to justify his half baked fantasies. Peterson holds to a pragmatic theory of truth, for fuck sake! (I refer the reader to the transcript of his first podcast with Sam Harris). Lifted from pragmatists like William James and John Dewy, Peterson argues that truth is that which works. We judge something to be true because it is effective and useful, not because it can be tested or has any other foundation in reality. This is why he equivocates over his own Christianity. Christianity is true, not because any of it actually happened (although it may have), but because it works, the stories of the bible provide deep insight into the human condition, or so he claims. Therefore, they are ‘true.’

It follows that the collective unconscious and its ability to access the deep recesses of ancient eternal wisdom is ‘true’ because here…we still exist as a species?

It’s a muddled load of bullshit on stilts. He has the philosophical sophistication, complete with the deluded self confidence and bravado, of a first year philosophy student (in his first semester, in his first week).

But who gives a shit. The dude’s making millions from his YouTube channel alone, good on him, right? He is a showman with peculiar idiosyncrasies, reasonably handsome, and very serious to the point of austere and there is definitely something compelling about his stage presence and that works perfectly for the YouTube intellectual, and that’s what he is. I freely admit that in terms of self-promotion, in the right time and place, the man is a fucking genius and his bank account proves it, so why should i care? Because he’s peddling fucking misogyny!

It’s all there in Maps of Meaning, where it would’ve stayed if he hadnt hit the fame rocket. He is advocating for men to take back control - to stand up straight, tidy your room and take responsibility - he advises in his self help guide, which is Maps of Meaning applied. I won’t list all the cringe worthy traditionalist sexism he has spewed forth over the years, it’s all there on the net and it all fits perfectly into his nutty world view. No, he is not being misquoted, nor misrepresented, nor misunderstood. Men bring order and women chaos and men need to take charge. He has a 600 page book to fucking prove it!

As for those who just adore his stance on free speech, this is the man who put forward the idea that he would create a list of all the university courses that taught post-modernism in order to warn parents to not let their kids take the course. Free speech warrior? He changed his mind on that because two thirds of his twitter followers thought it a bad idea! What a principled genius. This is the free speech advocate who has said absolutely zero about Trump’s continual attack on the free press. Free speech my ass, Peterson just wants the right to be a bigot, like so many people who panic over their free speech rights.

What more does he need to say? He’s been saying the same fucking thing for 25 years! You’re getting bored with it? Do you require that he goes even deeper into misogyny and traditional ways? Perhaps women should be stopped from working so the men folk can take back their control? You’re bored with it? You ought to shoot him an email and let him know. He listens to men.


(Steven) #53

Well, everyone has tantrums about something :stuck_out_tongue: , but it seems Jordan Peterson doesn’t have big tantrum to stay around Stephen Fry.

I don’t think he cares, really, he seems like a I don’t really give a fuck, here’s my opinion type of person. He’s not really an activist of any sorts. He’s not activating in any organizations, nor political parties. He just… talks.
I understand that “Ideas are bullet-proof”, but every philosopher, psychologist, historian, etc. has its “contemporary” time, his time with traditionalist mythic values with glorious-males is passing.
He didn’t study biology enough, or he would’ve known that the first human society was matriarchal, or that viking women were stronger and more determined than men, so forth. Most probably he failed at Theory of Evolution class :stuck_out_tongue:

Now, here you’re clearly wrong. I’m not afraid of any of this kind of change, and on the contrary I support it. I always did my history & science class, loved them all the time, and I’m not afraid of teaching my kids equal non-binary education. My whole family does it. We’re all in Math-Physics-IT. And in the same time I must agree to Jordan Peterson on the peace between Left & Right.
He may be a mockery of a human himself, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily presents wrong ideas. Some even regulate their own ideas in time and present new, more inclusive ideas thereafter ( like standing around Stephen Fry & talking about human rights ). If we push to exclude this human, instead of convincing him wrong through Science, we’re the non-humans.
He must be convinced and contradicted, not destroyed or removed, or “droned

He never said such a thing. Especially the part with calling his men to fight. I never saw such thing in any of his points and ideas. Identity politics again can be used very wrong even in the context you’re creating.

He clearly doesn’t understand what’s the struggle for human rights ( not power! ), and considers that as being Marxist. That’s clearly a shame, regrettable. It’s a general shame when you confuse a fight for survival with a fight for power. Stephen Fry is a good example of a fighter for human rights, and he’s clearly not Marxist in any kind of way.

This is the best argument against him, apart from Maps of Meaning where he envisions male takeover.
I need more details on this - particularly on the changing his mind on free speech. This is a big one. where did you find it?


(pip linney-barber) #54

To be fair Stefan, you’re also not much of a Peterson fan from what you’ve written in this thread so my, admittedly, generalised portrayal of Petersonians doesnt really apply here.


(Steven) #55

Truthfully I am not, generally I don’t love too many traditions myself, only tradition I really like is about cloths, black ‘vendetta’ cloths that represented the resistance against imperial oppressors back in the ages of Balcanic repression by the Austro-Hungarians, Russians, Ottomans, so forth. Black devils / assassins they called them, were some sort of patriot guards that represented a minority in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

On Peterson, I only agree with his policy of free speech nowadays, and the policy of peace. If he truly wishes that. I have never seen him talking about traditionalist / mythic values, though. Nowadays, that is.


(pip linney-barber) #56

There’s no problem with nostalgia or learning from history. JP is on a completely different ship. Do you know Deepak Chopra? Peterson is the Deepak of political philosophy. Have a read of Maps. It’s free online. Download it.


(Steven) #57

@AndrewDowning Well, well, well, take a look at this:

" Jordan Peterson, an outspoken and controversial psychology professor at the University of Toronto known for his public refusals to use gender-neutral pronouns, started a new campaign against the perceived excesses of campus liberalism. But amid criticism he abandoned the plan."

‘Free speech’ :stuck_out_tongue: I’d say we gotta make sure we don’t get some devil in the details from this guy. Clearly something’s hidden there that I don’t really like. He may be a advocate of peace, but this part with stopping universities of creating contemporary courses regarding social changes is clearly not my style of “free speech”
I feel he’s more into “Don’t do sexual education to kids” thing if I would dig more :stuck_out_tongue:

@PLB Worry not, I highly value your clear rationale on JP, I didn’t have to search much and I found enough evidence. Thank you


(Andrew Downing) #58

That quote is wildly mis-characterising his position, even if you just listen to the things he says in the video in the same link embedded in the quote.

He’s objecting to two things about C16.

  1. Compelled speech - the law effectively went beyond simply limiting free speech, and into the territory of compelling speech, under threat of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, who basically get to define whatever rules they want without further legislation, and C16 would enforce it. He never objected to using peoples preferred pronouns in individual interactions if he felt that was a genuine request. That being precisely the point - it’s a human interaction with all of its nuances, not something to be compelled by law under threat of state violence against you should you fail to comply.
  2. It encoded into law, definitions about sex, sexual preference, gender, and gender identity that he says are just factually incorrect. As he put it, the biology and psychology research didn’t align with social constructionist ideology, so they did an end-run around it by encoding it into law instead.

That’s it.

He also didn’t just have a whinge about this; he testified to a Canadian Senate enquiry about it here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnIAAkSNtqo
It’s easier to get his actual position here, without all the screaming zealots.

Liberalism extends nicely to acceptance of reality, regardless of historical bias, but when you start compelling people to align with your ideology and your ideology looses touch with reality, it’s not liberalism any more.


(Steven) #59

We’re not referring to the video, we’re referring to his campaign of trying to stop universities in researching gender-neutral pronouns. That’s a attempt at censoring the universities’ excesses [as he called it]. That’s censoring someone else’s free speech, especially when the universities clearly made their intention voted & executed. You can check the article.

Yes, I agree with you on this, and it characterizes itself as fascism - the dominance of the few over the majority.

In my country we had two successful attempts at this in history 1211-1247 when the minority of Catholic christians used the imperial army force to oppress the majority peaceful Orthodox christians, they created two “Acts” as they called them in which the Orthodox christians were expelled from equal rights with the Catholic christians, and expelled them out of the local “parliaments”. What came next was the grand purge and conversion of Orthodox christians in the medieval / post-medieval ages until the Industrial Age.
Second time was when the Soviets came, even though they were 1% of the country’s politicians in numbers, they embedded using their imperial army in our 1948 Constitution as: “Socialism and communism should be respected, and of course, socialists and communists should be respected”. What transpired after is the grand purge of non-socialists and non-communists in the Communist era.

We have it in history, we should start learning from it. Anybody learned about Eastern Europe communist regimes?

As I said, most probably this Peterson skipped Biology / Theory of Evolution class. You know that there are not only 2 sexes, right? I mean… let’s not go into biology. I prefer a Biologist to have a word here. But biology and social constructionism can align easily nowadays, we’re much more open and less traditionalist ( the younger peeps, I mean, no offense @AndrewDowning :smiley: )


(Andrew Downing) #60

“researching gender-neutral pronouns” really?
That’s what you think he objects to?
No. That’s just silly.

He’s objecting to university departments that describe themselves as part of the social sciences, but don’t adhere to even the most basic academic standards. They write papers that just assert hypothesis as conclusion after some discussion, and actually get them peer reviewed and published.

If you want to see how bad this is, take a look at the recent “Grievance Studies” hoax: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievance_Studies_affair
They got special praise (“exemplary scholarship”) for a paper “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon”, in which they suggested that men should be trained like dogs on leashes. It was published.
In two other cases, they basically just copied a chapter from Mein Kampf and substituted “white male” for “jew”. The reviewers feedback suggested they weren’t going far enough.

You can find numerous interviews with the interviewers of your choice on YouTube, but here’s a detailed discussion with the authors on Joe Rogan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZZNvT1vaJg

Dude, seriously?
I have no issue with understanding and accepting the variations of human sex, gender and preferences.
The idea that social conditioning has influence on gender expression is also a no brainer. Of course it does.
The problem comes when “social constructionism” gets adopted as an ideology, and ALL biological influences are ignored. Now they’re just being ignorant.