Peterson on how culture wars are fought with some advice of my own

I went along to hear Jordan Peterson speak last night, and went early since I did have it in my mind that our own ANTIFA types might show up. I suppose it was this story that spooked me. This happened in Kingston, Ontario on the Monday of the same week he spoke in Melbourne on the Thursday.

A woman in eastern Ontario is facing numerous charges after taking part in a protest against a lecture by a controversial Toronto professor.

Police say a 38-year-old woman was arrested near Queen’s University in Kingston Monday evening. . . .

Officials say officers searched her backpack and found a weapon — a metal wire with handles commonly known as a garrotte.

But as it happened, no demos and a very very pleasant night. I won’t discuss anything of what he said during his presentation since he has a couple more to give, but will say he received the loudest applause I have ever heard for anyone, both when he came in and when he finished up. A wonderful evening of reflective thought.

What I will reprint however, as best I can, is his answer to the question that was asked by the lad sitting next to us, who is a trainee teacher, dismayed to the farthest extent about the cultural Marxism he finds at every turn. So his question (one of only five among the around 100 who were still queuing up when the Q&A ended) was how to push back when surrounded by ideological enemies. This, to the best of my recollection and according to my notes, was how he replied.

You are in a war.

If you go along with them you are going to lose.

If you try suicidal forms of resistance you are also going to lose.

The question is how do you fight “ideological possession”*?

You pay attention looking for alternatives and ways to oppose what you see.

But do not make any unnecessary enemies.

If you are going to move forward you need to make a plan and think strategically.

Don’t burn yourself up early. Play for the long run. Do it intelligently and move forward step by step.

You have to always think about what the people you are fighting can take away from you.

And while all that is right, the bit that is missing is a recognition of the crucial importance to help your friends. I am amazed and no little angered by the lack of mutual support for those who take largely the same side but have some difference which becomes all it requires for all too many to separate themselves and declare a fundamental discontinuity between their views and yours.

To take what ought to be a trivial example but is not, Donald Trump deciding for a variety of reasons to place tariffs on aluminium and steel. As it happens, his reasons are sound and sensible – starting from the imperative of ensuring that basic requirements for its war industries, along with shoring up electoral support in potential swing states. But even if you don’t like this particular policy, why join his and our enemies in building an anti-Trump case?

The left never ever on any issue allows the slightest deviance from its core policy front. There are no end of issues for which there is exactly one answer permitted. On our side, it is one thing to explore an issue and wonder about the pros and cons. It is quite another to be subject to some kind of reflex reaction – ideological possession if you will – which does nothing other than help tear down the side you need to succeed if we are not going to be swamped by the next turn of the election cycle.

*Ideological possession = Rote and unthinking answers to genuine social questions. Or as described by someone unnamed somewhere else on a comment on a Peterson video:

“The noise made by a person that has been so fanatically indoctrinated into an ideology that they’re able, quite without conscious thought, to generate a constant stream of sterile, inoffensive, thoroughly orthodox and politically correct platitudes that are almost (but not quite) wholly removed from real meaning and (by design) totally devoid of any visceral human feeling.”

Here are examples from that same Peterson presentation at Queens – but first turn the volume down.

Many of these are apparently students studying at the university.

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