David Thompson
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May 03, 2018

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David

I quite like this too:

A psychology professor at the University of Toronto named William Cunningham… described feeling nervous before attending one of [Peterson’s] lectures. “I was expecting to be surrounded by fascist skinheads. And there are, like, nuns in the audience.”

Counter-culture, baby.

R. Sherman

Maybe it’s a measure of the left’s influence and dysfunction.

I'm not sure how dysfunctional it really is, though some if the loudest denouncers of Peterson certainly qualify as dysfunctional. Rather, for the Leftist elites, demonizing the traits which Peterson defends leads to weak, compliant cogs in the machine of state, willing serfs, if you will. In that respect Peterson's detractors are functioning quite well.

David

demonizing the traits which Peterson defends leads to weak, compliant cogs in the machine of state,

At which point, this blog’s unofficial mascot comes to mind. Because single-motherhood and chronic dependency on the state, on the coerced forbearance of others, is Laurie’s definition of power, liberation and “personal autonomy.”

Rob

While I admire him personally and support him, I bought his book and after a chapter or two thought it was awful.

Rob
Free speech is an essential value; perfect equality inevitably conflicts with individual freedom; one should be cautious before attempting to reengineer social institutions that appear to be working; men and women are, in certain quantifiable respects, different. His life advice concerns the necessity to defer gratification, face up to the trials of life with equanimity, take responsibility for one’s own choices, and struggle against the temptation to grow resentful.

You can see why Progressives and Statists (but I repeat myself) would see a problem in each one of those.

David

I bought his book and after a chapter or two thought it was awful.

I’ve only read passages, but my impression is that Peterson is an able speaker but not a gifted writer.

Ten

"Peterson is an apologist for a set of beliefs that we once took for granted but now require an articulate defence"

Taking them for granted lost them and directly produced the era in which when lost they could not be recovered except by poor facsimiles issued by codependent, counter-signalling, passive cultural traditionalists, traditionalists whose only job was constructing a reasonably resilient edifice to the originalism they inherited.

And Peterson isn't even structuralism's best voice, which plays to the connection between him this ostensible right. He's a last ditch mouthpiece with a good idea, probably the only one left and certainly the only one with an arc of contemporary influence.

In a sense, it's the west come down to one intellectual goalie.

How such traditional values came to be portrayed as a danger adjacent to Nazism is one of the puzzles of our time.

That's hardly one of the puzzles of our time. Deconstructionism has been bedrock collectivist dysfunction for a century and a half.

Maybe it’s a measure of the left’s influence and dysfunction.

As well as the right’s apathy and dysfunction.

David

As well as the right’s apathy and dysfunction.

Well, yes. I suppose one pretty much implies the other.

Ray

"This blog's unofficial mascot"

I was hoping for the filthy ape picture. I still miss that.

David

I was hoping for the filthy ape picture.

I denounce myself.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...Free speech is an essential value...

Maybe not, after all, free speech and free thought go together, and free thought is only for white people.

Don't bother to read the whole rambling mess, it boils down to that somehow this is bad:

Kanye and conservatives have embraced the term “free thought” as a way to explain that black people aren’t required to all think alike. That blackness is not bound by the Democratic Party, progressivism and perpetual victimhood.
R. Sherman

Taking them for granted lost them and directly produced the era in which when lost they could not be recovered except by poor facsimiles issued by . . . traditionalists whose only job was constructing a reasonably resilient edifice to the originalism they inherited.

I need to tease the following idea in my head a little longer, but it seems what was lost is the belief that "virtue is its own reward." That is, one should be virtuous because it is the right thing to do, not because it will lead to material benefits, though in the aggregate, the practice of virtue leads to better outcomes than not. Outcomes are not the point. The continued practice is the point, whether one receives accolades or rewards, or toils in obscurity.

jabrwok

Outcomes are not the point. The continued practice is the point, whether one receives accolades or rewards, or toils in obscurity.

This is one of the very useful social functions of organized religion (especially the Abrahamic faiths IMO). The promise that even if one does not receive accolades or rewards in this life, those rewards are promised in the next, and one's virtuous behavior *is* recognized by an all-seeing deity, and is one's sinful behavior.

WTP

It never ceases to amaze me that people seem surprised that these things have come to pass, that so many seem to be puzzled as to how and why, and that these same amazed people don't seem to realize that large numbers of the otherwise like-minded pretend that these things are not really happening even today.

David

Previously, for those who missed it, Jordan Peterson encounters the intellectual left.

Rob

"I’ve only read passages, but my impression is that Peterson is an able speaker but not a gifted writer."

Yes

Governor Squid

Taking them for granted lost them and directly produced the era in which when lost they could not be recovered except by poor facsimiles...

They are not lost. In tens of millions of homes, parents are teaching their children good manners, and a strong work ethic, and the importance of delayed gratification, discipline, and preparing for the future. These children are going on to find productive work and decent spouses, and they'll continue the cycle, because it leads to success and happiness.

The problem is that we live in an age where successful, happy families aren't considered good entertainment. Instead, we get a parade of dysfunctional shrieking mental midgets, telling us to "follow your bliss" and "stick it to The Man" while their own hollow lives are falling to pieces. And of course that's what sells, because who can resist a good train wreck?

What terrifies me far more than the prospect of people taking our society's foundations for granted is the vast number of parasites taking for granted that their functional neighbors will continue supporting their dysfunctional and destructive behaviors indefinitely. I'm less worried about what happens when decent people stop taking care of themselves and their children, and a lot more worried about what happens when decent people stand up and say that they're finished with toiling every week for the benefit of people who would kick their teeth in, given half a chance.

Half the madness we've seen since Trump was elected is due to people gaining a vague perception of this possibility. This dim awareness among the dependent, facing the possibility that they may have to fend for themselves. The similar realization among the Leftist machinery, wondering what happens when they can't deliver the free goodies required to maintain power. (Watching Cuba and Venezuela and Puerto Rico crash and burn isn't helping matters any.)

I live in the middle of a fairly large metropolitan area, and my own personal nightmare is that the EBT cards stop working one day without my having any advance notice. I console myself with the belief that I'll probably hear about it by eight in the morning, and can hightail it out of town before most of the Left's voter cattle roll out of bed at lunchtime. At least, I hope so.

pst314

a set of beliefs that we once took for granted but now require an articulate defence

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
--George Orwell (but Wikiquote says that a source has not been found)

WTP

The problem is that we live in an age where successful, happy families aren't considered good entertainment. Instead, we get a parade of dysfunctional shrieking mental midgets, telling us to "follow your bliss" and "stick it to The Man" while their own hollow lives are falling to pieces. And of course that's what sells, because who can resist a good train wreck?

It's not just the shrieking mental midgets that are telling us this. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This has been considered a truth for over 100 years now. Many who say to "follow your bliss" or "stick it to The Man" are highly educated, relatively high IQ people in very crucial places in our society. Google Doodles don't write themselves, you know.

I'm less worried about what happens when decent people stop taking care of themselves and their children, and a lot more worried about what happens when decent people stand up and say that they're finished with toiling every week for the benefit of people who would kick their teeth in, given half a chance.

You say this as if the two groups are static. That one is not bleeding significantly into the other. And not in a way that is good for "decent" people. Many of the "decent' people I have known throughout my many years have children that have completely failed to launch. People who were coached by society, by the schools, by their churches even, to believe that discipline is a form of fascism have raised two to three generations now. They're not stupid kids. They're just lazy because no one has sufficiently set and held them to higher expectations. This is one of the places where I think the idea that intelligence is a set, mostly immutable, yet measurable thing is dangerous. But I digress...

The similar realization among the Leftist machinery, wondering what happens when they can't deliver the free goodies required to maintain power.

You're giving them too much credit. If they could critically think ahead to that degree, they wouldn't have become Marxists in the first place. They're basically Malthusian in their understanding of the world. It's quite simple, they don't have because someone else has too much. They are profoundly ignorant of the fact that economics is not a zero-sum game.

I live in the middle of a fairly large metropolitan area, and my own personal nightmare is that the EBT cards stop working one day without my having any advance notice

Come up into the mountains of Appalachia sometime. That nightmare is even more scary up here/there. And that is my SHTF retreat zone.

Ten

They are not lost. In tens of millions of homes, parents are teaching their children good manners, and a strong work ethic, and the importance of delayed gratification, discipline, and preparing for the future.

{Etc.}

There's much missing from that formulation. Redefining permanently lost structural principles as traditional private home life is both inadequate and proves the point that most of the west doesn't know what they are. They are not private life lived in relative cultural and social seclusion, passively. If they are not even remotely maintained in all of the west's fundamental institutions, they are most assuredly lost.

Peterson is the temporary exception. If he weren't he wouldn't be the champion he is. He's the vicarious one-man restoration, the author whose YouTube clips constitute the only pushback, more or less, the right can passively lob at the left and with it, its own lost cause.

Peterson addresses the natural aftermath of a lost war.

By now the list of rightist myths and fallacies - the stuff that constitutes just a different statism cutting across all levels of life - is enough to fill a book, a course, a curriculum. My point is that the modern right is ostensible, codependent, fractured, largely cultural, and therefore pretty much exclusively socially consumed. That's not structuralism. There is no structural right, which is odd for the home team who - in the US - had the rules already committed to a national contract and gifted to it.

Playing by their rules is plenty enough of a failure, and anybody should be able to easily spot thirty fundamental examples of the right earnestly doing that as a matter of course. Not knowing the difference is pathological. Just denying that phenomenon is terminal and the right I'm aware is no less instinctive and defensive when it feels attacked then its hated, binary left.

Think the left projects a lot? The right gave away a nation and if you point out the facts of that colossal sloth and capitulation you're prevented from all the important conversations about which Hollywooder said what on Tweeter and the threat of electric cars and kale and which thugs kneeled for which anthems.

The temporary reprieve currently in the US is an accident, won't be repeated, and absolutely won't constitute a lasting influence. It was dumb luck. From there nobody knows enough or cares enough to resurrect the width, breadth, or underpinnings of classical western liberalism intellectually, legally, structurally and only then culturally, which would normally be its natural course. That's not a restoration, it's an omen.

Hal

I need to tease the following idea in my head a little longer, but it seems what was lost is the belief that "virtue is its own reward." That is, one should be virtuous because it is the right thing to do, not because it will lead to material benefits, though in the aggregate, the practice of virtue leads to better outcomes than not. Outcomes are not the point. The continued practice is the point, whether one receives accolades or rewards, or toils in obscurity.

Bingo.

I will do what is needed, or not, because it works best for me, and the same for everyone else.

I do not need some church of empty faith to tell me what to do, I have my own personal religious practice that I practice myself.

I don't bother with the example of some posturing idiot, I seek out and do the operational and logistical math by and for myself, while granting that I will also get feedback from others to test both the math and the feedback.

I work with and around others because there are matters that I and other can not do alone, where on a large scale that is why we all have a government to do the heavy lifting, why we all are quite happy to pay enough taxes.

. . . telling us to "follow your bliss"

Of course, working for myself, assessing for myself, not relying on the posturing of idiots is, basically by definition, following my bliss . . .


Maybe it’s a measure of the left’s influence and dysfunction.

As well as the right’s apathy and dysfunction.

With the left's demand of and focus on My Identity!!, that does give assorted individuals the situational adrenaline to keep grabbing for Me!! Me!! Me!!

With the right's demand of and focus on The Faith!! that doesn't really give a lot of inspiration for anyone, what with vacuous pointing to "Duh Glories Of Duh Past", followed by merely another round of kvetching . . .

. . . . and the ongoing advantage of being conservative instead of merely right wing or merely left wing is indeed situations such as twice electing the quite conservative rather than left wing Obama, followed by the quite conservative rather than right wing Trump . . .

President Obama: I considered him a solid president whose steady hand and personality were a good fit for bringing the U.S. economy back from the brink. I especially appreciated getting past the “first black president” mental barrier, which was huge for our national psychology and brand. . . . I now think President Trump is the appropriate personality to add jet fuel to an already-solid economy and to shake up our foreign adversaries with his legendary unpredictability. You need the right president for the right situation. I think voters got it right with both presidents.

. . . and with that one can quite cheerfully ignore the howling denials from the ineffectual left and right wings and quite continue on with being virtuous because it is the right thing to do, . . . The continued practice is the point, whether one receives accolades or rewards, or toils in obscurity.

Ten

I can think of no better example of not knowing the subject, Hal, than Adams on Obama. Well, other than Adams on Obama on the economy, such as one or the other refer to it.

Wait. Adams on Obama on the economy and how, and I quote, the voters got it right.

Talk about proving the point; Judas Maude that's some ignorance.

Hal

Wait. Adams on Obama on the economy and how, and I quote, the voters got it right.

Correct . . .

Talk about proving the point; Judas Maude that's some ignorance.

Details? Not just yammering about it, actual numbers?

Hal

Oh, and Pogonip had a comment the other day.

Elderly Guadalcanal veteran seeks same:

https://m.facebook.com/SaugertiesAmLePo72/posts/1702779786423749

And, Word got around.

WWII Marine Gets His Dying Wish: To Meet Up With A Fellow Guadalcanal Veteran.

And

WII Marine's final wish granted with meeting fellow vet

as well . . .

Ten

Details?

Of what somehow escaped nine in ten rightists?

Not just yammering about it

But no defensiveness there.

actual numbers?

Numbers of what, Hal? So was Baraq an "economic conservative" by any measure? Careful; trick question.

Folks typically think this is an argument. It's not even a pop quiz anymore.

Spiny Norman

postimg.org

(I wonder if our host would care to post another of those newfangled "open thread" things so these two can continue their flame war on their own.)

Governor Squid

If they are not even remotely maintained in all of the west's fundamental institutions, they are most assuredly lost.

I maintain that the fundamental institution of the free West is the private household, and that looking to the Legislature or the University or cable television or social media for guidance is in large part what brought us to the current state of affairs.

I agree with you that the "decent folk" are losing, in terms of numbers and in terms of influence. Every year, there are more people riding in the wagon and fewer pulling them along. My assertion remains that the "pullers" are going to get fed up and stop pulling, and that recent political events are an early indication of this.

Yes, I'll readily admit that people have been predicting the revolt of the productive for generations now, and it has not yet come to pass. People also predicted the housing bubble would pop long before it did, and yet one day they became catastrophically correct. When the day comes, it will be an extraordinary surprise for everyone; most because they never saw it coming, and a few because they thought it should have happened ages ago.

David

I wonder if our host would care to post another of those newfangled “open thread” things so these two can continue their flame war on their own.

Sorry, I can’t hear you over this large glass of red.

Ten

I maintain that the fundamental institution of the free West is the private household, and that looking to the Legislature or the University or cable television or social media for guidance is in large part what brought us to the current state of affairs.

As vague as that is, at least nobody here has claimed otherwise.

In the case of culture as it coordinated substantially with structuralism and its institutions and with their rampant corruption therefore the right's complicity and incompetence, "guidance" is a red herring. Nobody suggested the establishment should guide anything; obviously there it should stand down. That's the whole point.

But it won't and the right won't stop it.

So too this "private household" when increasingly it's neither free or as much a household as the state's source of energy at the same time as it has conformed to institutional corruption. Put another way, how has it pushed back? What restorative effect does it have, this past, passive ideal you maintain?

Neither matters. They're nice appeals but as appeals their best function by now is propping up some vestigial pride and sentimentality.

Daniel Ream

I live in the middle of a fairly large metropolitan area, and my own personal nightmare is that the EBT cards stop working one day without my having any advance notice.

IIRC, that's happened once or twice - the system that reloads the EBT cards glitched and didn't come through for several hours - and there were riots.

Squires

Because single-motherhood and chronic dependency on the state, on the coerced forbearance of others, is Laurie’s definition of power, liberation and “personal autonomy.”

Freedom is slavery, wokeling.

Governor Squid

As vague as that is, at least nobody here has claimed otherwise.

Your claim (which I quoted) is that our "structural principles" are permanently lost because they "are not even remotely maintained in all of the West's fundamental institutions."

My claim is that because many families still value and adhere to these principles, and because the family is the most fundamental institution, then these principles will not be permanently lost, even if the conservatives completely fail at defending them in the popular culture and the academy. Some truths, I believe, remain self-evident.

I think we're in agreement that these principles have vanishingly few people left to defend them, and that the Republic is likely to fail because of this. My assertion is that there is a strong correlation between the communities that value these principles and the communities that will survive the collapse, no matter how silent and invisible these communities may be in today media landscape.

If I'm completely missing your point, I ask that you forgive my weak intellect and clumsy reading comprehension, and restate your argument in terms I can understand.

Mark

For those interested, Vox Day is not sure JBP is all he's, ah, cracked up to be:

https://www.periscope.tv/voxday/1YpJkEYrkLZKj
(Plus a couple more after that one)

Also some of his blog posts, starting here:

http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/in-which-i-address-jordan-peterson.html

TL;DR version: JBP is highly intelligent but insane, and has constructed his rules for life to help him function in the real world. Whatever good self-help stuff he puts out there, his actual core philosophy, as seen in his talk with Sam Harris, is 100% nuts, to the point of being downright evil. Expect JBP to crash & burn in public sooner or later as a result.

Ten

You seem to want to have it both ways, Gov., and I'm not sure I can restate the patently obvious another three ways or another six ways and have it finally gel one sunny morning.

1. The right has utterly failed to defend the structural principles - the original, contractual (in the US) obligation laying out the relationship between public and private as well as between the elements within the public government. By now there are scores of factions across various political and social landscapes that instinctively lay out more original constitutional federalism (in the US) than the typical normie right, as they call it. That right is obsolete and worse, it's consistently at cross-purposes to its own ostensible goals. It doesn't know what they are.

2. The malignant, even psychotic left, being a virtually intractable pathology, naturally pounced. For a hundred years it has been given at least as much as it has taken and since it is what it is - as records like this site attest - it absolutely shall not be reasoned with. Despite this the right has a codependent relationship with it; the right enables it and in cases, adopts its causes and co-opts them.

3. Given that all that is public, the idea of a private, post-apocalyptic "community" remnant reclaiming or rebuilding the original structure - the odds of this being infinitesimal - is a quaint, self-reinforcing notion that serves to further isolate and marginalize the right. Likewise, the notion that noble personal fidelity is its own nicely pocketed reward in a context like this is another quaint sentimentality. It further admits the balkanization of these purportedly sacred "conservative" principles and the natural disintegration of their original structure.

The right lost. The least it should do is wise up to how it lost. Of course it won't but it can be depended on to culture signal, defensively cast out any appeal for self-reflection, and go on shrieking about the things it's only partly correct about and wouldn't dream of organizing to prevent.

Too harsh? Heavens. Look at the history and lodge a cogent counter-argument.

David

If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll rattle the spam filter.

Governor Squid

Ten,

On points 1 and 2, we're in agreement. The Left is basically just psychopathic, and the Right is foolishly looking for coexistence -- and approval(!) -- from people who hate everyone and everything, not least themselves.

I think our disconnect is at point 3. You find my desire to keep alive the ideals of the Founders in my heart, my home, and my neighborhood quaint. I find your desire to retake and reshape the apparatus of the State, the universities, and the mass media to be doomed to failure. You'll say that I will be overwhelmed by the numbers of those who would take my wealth and force me to live as they see fit (for my own good, of course). I'll say that your efforts will be co-opted by those with a thirst for power, leaving us no better off than today.

I doubt either of us will convince the other, so how 'bout we enjoy a pitcher of beer and some Hump Fat on crackers?

David

Crackers are extra.

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