Jordan Peterson | Cambridge Union

(pip linney-barber) #141

Agreed. I’ve regretted my wording on a few posts and perhaps not read other’s posts as closely as i might have (and that seems to pointed out quite swiftly) but i’m comfortable with the level respect being exhibited here, by all posters on this thread.

A good discussion, in my opinion.

(John August) #142

Strange you needed to have that pointed out to you.

(Andrew Downing) #143

I didn’t. @StefanCristian.B did. He’s not from around these parts.

(John August) #144

Yes, I meant @StefanCristian.B - looks like I hit the wrong “reply” button.

(Steven) #145

@JohnAugust well, I knew about PP-AU from a lot of years ago, I didn’t think I needed to check the party’s definitions and principles again :smiley:
I just saw the discuss forum and joined to read a pulse-check from you guys.

Why is it strange?

( Edit: I think I understand what you mean. Sincerely, I was a lazy ass and didn’t check the economic policy from your site before asking, lol. )

(Andrew Downing) #146

Hey @Declan, I feel like I need to be really clear about what I meant by that.
I’m not trying to deny people their identity. That would be fruitless and pointless at the same time.

If you’re thinking about it in the specific context of the horrendous things that happened to the Jewish people during WWII, then consider that Hitlers actions against the Jews was a dreadful action in the politics of hate. That was identity politics at its worst, and we’re still feeling the echoes of that today.

A critical aspect of Dr. Peterson’s life work, that doesn’t come up a lot in the shallow MSM interviews, is that the driving force behind a lot of his research was to understand what caused people to behave the way they did under Hitler, and also in Mao’s China, under Lenin and Stalin, and in the killing fields of Cambodia. It was like an obsession for him. I’m about the same age as him, and I too remember wondering as a teenager if the idiots with thermonuclear weapons were going to just end us all before I could really live my life.

He found his answer.
It wasn’t pretty, and most people don’t want to hear it. Most people want to believe that there’s good people in the world and there’s bad people in the world, and that all we need is for the good people to win, and everything will be fine. Just gotta root out the bad ones. Sound familiar?

The reality is much worse.
The potential to become the people that run a place like Auschwitz is in all of us. You get there one step at a time, just doing the things you’re told to do, to protect or fight for the identity you believe in, until one day there you are in the darkest of places, surrounded by a bunch of other people that did the same.

You might ask yourself:
“Where else is that going on in the world today?”

As a species, we’ve still getting rapidly more powerful, at an ever accelerating pace.
If we’re going to survive, we can’t do it pitching one tribe against another.
If we keep on that way, the worst parts of our nature will destroy us.
Seriously, we’ve been on an absolute knifes edge several times over the last few decades.
It’s mostly just luck that we’re still here.

One tribe.
Everyone in it.


I found Timothy Snyder’s little book “On Tyranny” to be very good. I recommend it to people who feel like they want to do something to stop it from happening again, but don’t know where to start

(Andrew Downing) #148

I promised a response to the “scourge on our civilisation” point.

There are so many things I could put in this list, but these come to mind …

At an Individual Level
Have a listen to Jon Ronson explaining how we routinely destroy innocent peoples lives for fun:

in the name of identity politics.

At an Academic Level

In two cases, they basically just copied chapters from Mein Kampf and substituted “white male” for “jew”. The peer reviewers feedback suggested they weren’t going far enough.
All of their work is available for free download.

It’s worth listening to the authors talk about quite how badly infected academia has become.
Much of the social sciences are no longer in the business of doing science to find truth.
These three hoaxers got hundreds of emails from fellow academics basically saying “Thank you, thank you so much. Somebody had to do that, but please don’t quote me, I can’t lose my job.”.

They’re scared.
If you want to know who the privileged people are, check out who you can’t criticise.

Keep in mind that when we corrupt academia like this, we corrupt the thinking of large swathes of the population too, as the students get churned out.

Look, that’ll do for now.
If you want more, I can certainly find it, but so can you.

(Laura) #149

With regard to Hannah Arendt, it is worth noting that her coverage of the Eichmann trials in Jerusalem for The New Yorker was both extremely controversial among the Jewish community and also the work which catapulted her into fame. Her book Eichmann in Jerusalem coined the phrase banality of evil already in the subtitle. Her observations are of Eichmann as extremely average (ie not a sociopath or fanatic) yet still able to do some of the most horrendous deeds in history, exactly because he could not or would not think for himself, have any thought of his own. The phrase is not meant to excuse his actions in the holocaust or describe them as ordinary.
It’s interesting also that while Eichmann might have had anti-Semitic leanings, Arendt argued that he showed

"no case of insane hatred of Jews, of fanatical anti-Semitism or indoctrination of any kind. He personally never had anything whatever against Jews” (p. 26).

What do you think: did IBM, who came up with, provided and maintained the punch-card equipment which was designed for and made the Nazi genocide so efficient, did they personally have anything against Jews?

(Mark) #150

I do hope you’ve all watched this one.


Thanks for clarifying. I just wanted to know what a scourge on civilisation looked like.

(Andrew Downing) #152

Oh dear, “Alexander Chicken Schnitzel” got me. Lol

I thought Tom Ballard did quite well:

(pip linney-barber) #153

Here was I worried about trump and the rise of the demagogues, corporate tax evasion and economic inequality, mass unemployment through technological disruption, the destruction of the eco system, mass extinction and climate change. All this when the real scourge of civilisation is what’s being produced at faculties of critical theory.

I feel like such a fool.

(Andrew Downing) #154

Dude, you argue like a troll.

Firstly, it’s not like we can only have one scourge. We have plenty of problems to fix.

Secondly, and most importantly, when the institutions that we rely on to study the world and give us trustworthy answers are compromised, then we’re hosed in relation to all those other things you listed.

(pip linney-barber) #155

Abortion is clearly wrong. I don’t think anyone debates that. You wouldn’t recommend that someone you love have one

From some ridiculous sermon on Jesus and the bible.

My question. Is it Pirate Policy, Andrew, to view abortion as morally wrong or will it be at some point in the future?

(I ask because you stated that PPAU has a lot in common with Jordan Creeperson in your post)

(John August) #156

To both @PLB and @AndrewDowning -

There’s more problems in the world than worrying about what one academic way-to-buggery over there is saying. But, equally, it is what’s being discussed on this thread. If this is not an issue for you, maybe talk about something else over there.

I think Jordan Peterson has properly identified over-reach and censorship by the left in academia. However, that does not mean that any of his other observations are thereby correct. It only means he has identified over-reach by the left. Nothing more.

Can we pick and choose amongst his observations? Accept some things as bad, and others as good? Or, do we want to make some sort of overall assessment, that he says enough bad things that we should dismiss any good things he is saying, or see that he says enough good things that we can just accept what he is and ignore the bad things he is saying?

To me, that seems to be the crux of the disagreement: are we saying we can look at the good in spite of the bad, or that the bad means we should look no further?

(pip linney-barber) #157

I think the bad dangerously outweighs anything that might be deemed good and in addition i’d question the ‘good’ in his identification of ‘left over-reach.’ I’m not even sure what that means, presumedly post-modern influence on political discourse at a tertiary level within the faculty of arts?

Of course John, you are right in regard to our problems, i did actually make that point a couple of posts ago. My concern, and why i decided to enter the thread, is that association with Peterson by party members who support his views will not end well. The types of folk that love Peterson tend to congregate on an island a long long way away from the PPAU policy document. His demographic is identical to a large chunk of Trump’s and Abbott’s. If you’re going with that you’re doomed, in my opinion.

I couldnt give two fucks about what someone thinks of him in private but i’ll object to him being waved around on a political forum that i’m a member of.

(John August) #158

Hummm … you can disagree that people feel as they do about him, but object ? That’s a bridge too far for me. By all means express yourself. But to presume about what others should do and think?

(pip linney-barber) #159

Perhaps ‘disagree’ would have been a better choice of words. I retract ‘object.’ I want my view of him on record, is all, and i do object to his view, but yes, i’m not meaning to imply that i object to someone defending him.

(Andrew Downing) #160

Pip, how did you get to be 50yo and still see things as so black and white?

Our policy is that abortion should be legal.

I agree with that and I think Peterson does too, but he’s saying that nobody should ever want to be in a position where they need one. It’s not a decision to take lightly, but it should always be a personal decision, not a state decision. It’s weighing one bad thing against others to make a decision.


"Should everything wrong be illegal?’ That’s a tough question. Everything that’s wrong isn’t illegal. Then there’s the additional complication of the difference let’s say in gravity regarding the problem in relationship to men and women. And we don’t know how to deal with that.”

The man’s a psychologist, and you keep interpreting his comments like they are political. He takes great care to say exactly what he means, but you always want to infer something else lurking behind.

I have no idea how you’re connecting anything biblical to this. The article you linked said nothing about that.