Jordan Peterson interviewed by Dennis Prager

The idea that Peterson is not one of the best advocates for the side of reason and conservative values is again shown to be absolute suicidal, self-defeating nonsense. If you don’t agree with someone 100% is no reason not to welcome the 90% of what you do agree with. And if you don’t agree with 90% of what Peterson says, you are not a conservative anyway.

When doesn’t the left go too far?

Jordan Peterson: When the left goes too far — the dangerous doctrine of equity

The mantra of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity (DIE) perhaps constitutes the primary identifying factor of the tiny minority of radical collectivist ideologues that nonetheless have come to dominate the humanities and social sciences in Western universities (and, increasingly, the HR departments of corporations). Of these three, equity is the most egregious, self-righteous, historically-ignorant and dangerous. “Equity” is a term designed to signal “equality,” in some manner, and is a term designed to appeal to the natural human tendency toward fairness, but it does not mean the classic equality of the West, which is equality before the law and equality of opportunity.

Equality before the law means that each citizen will be treated fairly by the criminal justice and judicial systems regardless of their status — and that the state recognizes that each individual has an intrinsic value which serves as a limit to state power, and which the polity must respect. There is likely no more fundamental presumption grounding our culture.

Equality of opportunity is a doctrine of openness predicated on the fact that talent is widely distributed although comparatively rare. This should come as no surprise to anyone, given that some people are much better at doing a given task than others and, because of that, it is in everyone’s selfish interest to allow such talent to come to the fore so that we can all benefit. This means that no one should be arbitrarily denied the possibility of their contribution for reasons unrelated to the task at hand. This is also a fundamental principle of Western culture, particularly in its free-market guise.

Equity is a whole different ballgame. It is based on the idea that the only certain measure of “equality” is outcome—educational, social, and occupational. The equity-pushers axiomatically assume that if all positions at every level of hierarchy in every organization are not occupied by a proportion of the population that is precisely equivalent to that proportion in the general population that systematic prejudice (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.) must be at play. This assumption has as its corollary the idea that there are perpetrators (the “privileged,” for current or historical reasons) who are unfair beneficiaries of the system or outright perpetrators of prejudice and who must be identified, limited and punished.

There is simply no excuse for this doctrine.

Whether you read the rest is up to you, but you should.

Jordan Peterson comments on Cambridge University rescinding his invitation for a visiting fellowship

Jordan Peterson: I wish Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity the obscurity it deeply deserves. The sub-head:

I don’t know why the Divinity school has rescinded my visiting fellowship to Cambridge because (and this is particularly appalling) it has not formally notified me of the decision

And this puts it all into perspective:

Since their posting, beginning in May of 2017, these lectures have received about 10 million hits (as well as an equal or greater number of downloads). The first lecture alone — on the first sentence of Genesis — has garnered 3.7 million views just on YouTube, which makes it the most well-received of all the talks I have ever posted online. I have received correspondence in great volume from religious people all over the world, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims alike — and an equally large number from atheists — all telling me that my psychological take on the Genesis material resonated very strongly with their faith, or that it helped them understand for the first time the value of these stories. You can see this for yourself by reading the comments on the YouTube channel, which are remarkably civilized and positive, by social media standards.

Peterson is clearly insulted by his treatment, and says just what is the case, that it is Cambridge that is diminished by its decision.

What a dud university Cambridge has become!

Having been a visiting scholar there myself, I can attest that the finest thing about the place are its buildings. As for its scholars and scholarship, just bear in mind that I was there to do research in the Keynes Archive at King’s where he had written The General Theory. But it is, after all, a university, you know, a place where scholars can meet and discuss issues of all kinds in a calm and reflective manner. Here, then, is a fine modern example of what universities have now become: University of Cambridge Cancels Jordan Peterson’s Visiting Fellowship Because He Is Not ‘Inclusive’. That is, he does not conform to the lock-step far-left views of its academics and students.

Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto psychologist known for criticizing political correctness, announced Monday that he would be a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge’s divinity school.

But on Wednesday, Cambridge’s administration announced that they had rescinded the invitation following a public outcry from students and professors.

“[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles,” a Cambridge spokesperson told The Guardian. “There is no place here for anyone who cannot.”

Philby, Burgess, Blunt and Maclean, all no doubt in high esteem among staff and students today, but Peterson, among the greatest scholars of our generation, is not even welcome to spend time on campus where others might seek out his views, debate what he says, and deepen their own understanding.

MORE HERE: From The Spectator: Cambridge’s shameful decision to rescind Jordan Peterson’s visiting fellowship.

Jordan Peterson discusses the Nazis in comparison with communists

How does one make the moral distinction, he asks, between the Nazis and the comms with the speaker actually using the term “socialism”? The video shows his answer. But here’s a hint about his answer: I really really like what he says.

Which brings to mind this quote from John Stuart Mill which I ran across today:

Apart from the peculiar tenets of individual thinkers, there is also in the world at large an increasing inclination to stretch unduly the powers of society over the individual, both by the force of opinion and even by that of legislation. And as the tendency of all the changes taking place in the world is to strengthen society, and diminish the power of the individual, this encroachment is not one of the evils which tend spontaneously to disappear, but on the contrary, to grow more and more formidable. This disposition of mankind, whether as rulers or as fellow-citizens, to impose their own opinions and inclinations as a rule of conduct on others, is so energetically supported by some of the best and by some of the worst feelings incident to human nature, that it is hardly ever kept under restraint by anything but want of power; and as the power is not declining, but growing, unless a stronger barrier of moral conviction can be raised against the mischief, we must expect, in the present circumstances of the world, to see it increase.

He wrote that 150 years ago. Just think how much more applicable and terrifying all that is today. If you haven’t read On Liberty, you really should.

Jordan Peterson would have voted for Hillary!

What a dunce! This is from Caroline Overington in The Oz, yesterday:

In an hour-long interview, he tackles a range of topics, including the rise of Trump, which he characterises more as the fall of Clinton. (Had Peterson been an American, he says he would have “held his nose and voted for her”.)

I did look high and low for quite a long time to see what I could discover on his attitude to the American President and nowhere could I find a thing until yesterday. This is an unforced error. He was on Q&A the day before and managed to not answer a question on whether he believed in G-d since, as I see it, he does not want to be pigeonholed as basing his arguments on a Christian platform. I understand why he is wary of such associations, since it makes him an easier target for the left. I suppose in its own way, aligning his political views with Hillary also makes him less vulnerable to attack from the left.

But all that aside, he did not have to answer. Lots of ways to have evaded the question, but he chose not to. And we are not in the middle of 2016 with the election before us, and an unknown untried potentially loose cannon is running for President. We are instead more than two years into the soundest, most sensible presidency of my lifetime, going against a wall of stupidity, that I would have thought would align Peterson with the President’s agenda. Not so, it seems. What a complete goose. Anti-Marxist but pro-Hillary. Truly disgusting and dispiriting. A reminder just how wary you have to be about everyone’s political judgement.

Our modern Solzhenitsyn

The different voice that Jordan Peterson provides to the array of criticism of the socialist utopias so many seem to believe an actual possibility, in spite of the universal and disastrous failures every such experiment has created, is that he brings a psychological dimension to the arguments that are an important and in his hands devastating addition to the economic and philosophical arguments that have been more traditional. His has been amongst the most important additions to the criticisms of the left that may have arisen in the present generation. His ability to explain has been recognised in that he has been asked to write The Gulag Archipelago: A New Foreword for the fiftieth anniversary edition commemorating its first publication in 1968. It is a long intro which is worth the time it takes to read it through.

Why, for example, is it still acceptable—and in polite company—to profess the philosophy of a Communist or, if not that, to at least admire the work of Marx? Why is it still acceptable to regard the Marxist doctrine as essentially accurate in its diagnosis of the hypothetical evils of the free-market, democratic West; to still consider that doctrine “progressive,” and fit for the compassionate and proper thinking person? Twenty-five million dead through internal repression in the Soviet Union (according to The Black Book of Communism). Sixty million dead in Mao’s China (and an all-too-likely return to autocratic oppression in that country in the near future). The horrors of Cambodia’s Killing Fields, with their two million corpses. The barely animate body politic of Cuba, where people struggle even now to feed themselves. Venezuela, where it has now been made illegal to attribute a child’s death in hospital to starvation. No political experiment has ever been tried so widely, with so many disparate people, in so many different countries (with such different histories) and failed so absolutely and so catastrophically. Is it mere ignorance (albeit of the most inexcusable kind) that allows today’s Marxists to flaunt their continued allegiance—to present it as compassion and care? Or is it, instead, envy of the successful, in near-infinite proportions? Or something akin to hatred for mankind itself? How much proof do we need? Why do we still avert our eyes from the truth?

Perhaps we simply lack sophistication. Perhaps we just can’t understand. Perhaps our tendency toward compassion is so powerfully necessary in the intimacy of our families and friendships that we cannot contemplate its limitations, its inability to scale, and its propensity to mutate into hatred of the oppressor, rather than allegiance with the oppressed. Perhaps we cannot comprehend the limitations and dangers of the utopian vision given our definite need to contemplate and to strive for a better tomorrow. We certainly don’t seem to imagine, for example, that the hypothesis of some state of future perfection—for example, the truly egalitarian and permanent brotherhood of man—can be used to justify any and all sacrifices whatsoever (the pristine and heavenly end making all conceivable means not only acceptable but morally required). There is simply no price too great to pay in pursuit of the ultimate utopia. (This is particularly true if it is someone else who foots the bill.) And it is clearly the case that we require a future toward which to orient ourselves—to provide meaning in our life, psychologically speaking. It is for that reason we see the same need expressed collectively, on a much larger scale, in the Judeo-Christian vision of the Promised Land, and the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. And it is also clearly the case that sacrifice is necessary to bring that desired end state into being. That’s the discovery of the future itself: the necessity to forego instantaneous gratification in the present, to delay, to bargain with fate so that the future can be better; twinned with the necessity to let go, to burn off, to separate wheat from chaff, and to sacrifice what is presently unworthy, so that tomorrow can be better than today. But limits need to be placed around who or what is deemed dispensable.

And when you’ve read the intro you can then watch this.

You have never seen him so angry.

AND THEN THIS: This is Jordan Peterson’s video intro to the book. He states right at the start that writing this introduction is the greatest honour that has been bestowed upon him.

Conquest’s Second Law of Politics and the Heterodox Academy

That’s not necessarily true, Lindsay? And what’s not necessarily true? “That all perspectives in a university are valid.”

But let me work back from where I was to how I found this video. It was in an article on Jordan Peterson fires new salvo against Wilfrid Laurier in already fiery academic freedom battle. The core of the story was:

The fervent debate over academic freedom involving Jordan Peterson is rekindled for a new school year with Peterson saying in court documents that Wilfrid Laurier University’s contention he benefited from the controversy is like saying “those who survived the Holocaust should be grateful to their oppressors for teaching them survival skills.”

Peterson filed fresh legal documents Tuesday, including another lawsuit against the Ontario university — his second in three months — claiming Laurier further defamed him in its public defence against his June claim.

Not hard to believe he was defamed, but let me note where I found this article. It was from The New York Times: Attack of the Right-Wing Snowflakes subtitled, “Angry men go to court to silence their critics”.

The Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, sometimes seen as a free speech warrior, has twice sued Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University for defamation, part of a controversy that arose after a teaching assistant there was chastised for showing a video of Peterson in class. He has also threatened to sue Kate Manne, a writer and assistant professor at Cornell, for calling his work misogynist. The failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sued four women who accused him of sexual abuse.

Defamation is an illegal form of speech. You cannot say anything you like about anyone else. And it is wondrous that Roy Moore ends up, not just in the same story but in the same para, as if these accusations were not highly defamatory if they were untrue. But where did I find this NYT article? It came from The Heterodox Weekly Bulletin where that same quote is found as the lead-in. Heterodox Academy was, I thought, to defend free thought and free speech against those who would shut it down if they could, such as organisations like the NYT. It is Jordan Peterson whose views need protecting, not the NYT nor Wilfred Laurier University. All of which reminded me of Conquest’s Second Law of Politics:

Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

Quoting a New York Times article contra Jordan Peterson makes me think the Heterodox Academy is well on its way.