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Jordan Peterson on identity politics

With blogging (as with life in general), there is often a tug-of-war between doing it soon, and doing it right. This posting is strictly a case of me doing it soon. And what I am doing soon is saying: watch this. It’s psychology academic Jordan Peterson, denouncing (the word “bloody” occurs quite a lot) the legal imposition upon Canada of identity politics (excused by, among others, some of his fellow academic psychologists), and all the chaos that this misuse of law is going to and is starting to cause.

The video goes on for the best part of two hours, and I have so far only watched twenty minutes of it. Like I say, doing it soon. But I already know that this is the kind of thing, and the kind of man, that many Samizdata-readers will want to see, and at the very least to learn about, perhaps by other and quicker means. The phrase “individual freedom” gets quite a few mentions, along with “bloody”, bloody being the word Peterson uses to describe the ideas which and the people who threaten individual freedom.

See also today’s QOTD here, which points towards the same intellectual territory and the same battles. Before posting this, I checked in the comments there, to see if anybody had made any mention of the above video, or of Jordan Peterson. Had they done so, I’d have had to write this differently. So far: not. I could have appended this link to that comment thread, but I reckon it deserves a bit more prominence.

David Thompson has more to say about this, as does his commentariat. My thanks to him, because this was how I found out about this video, and about this man.

19 comments to Jordan Peterson on identity politics

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I have been raising Peterson (and what he has to say) at my university as an example of the sort of issues that those who warmly embrace both “academic freedom” and identity politics are soon going to have to face.

    I am looking forward to it but may lose my job.

  • Are you familiar with Gad Saad, another Canadian academic who covers some of the same ground as Peterson?

    Here they are talking together: about political correctness and freedom of speech.

  • Alisa

    I could watch Peterson’s videos for hours on end, especially those having little to do with politics – he has fascinating insights into human mind and behavior, but his greatest strength is being able to connect these to philosophy, the main connection being made in the context of moral issues and dilemmas. It seems that his disdain for Political Correctness, Social-Justice Warriors, and his fierce defense of the right to free speech is just a natural outgrowth of the above.

  • Rondo

    This is my favorite video of Jordan Peterson


  • Paul Marks

    In the United States Identity Politics is justified by the legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow – which is a “two wrongs make a right” “argument” that the left came up with.

    Canada does not have this legacy – Identity Politics in Canada is pure ideology (Frankfurt School of Marxism ideology) without any argument to support it. Yet conservative Canadians do not “push back”.

    This was seen as far back as 1965.

    The left (in the shape of the Liberal Party) decided to get rid of the Union Flag – the Red Ensign of Canada under which Canadians had fought so bravely in the World Wars and Korea.

    Think about that for a minute.

    Some libertarians may not care about national flags – but normal people do. Yet Canadians just grumbled and then ACCEPTED that meaningless “Maple Leaf Flag” the left imposed.

    The left took due note.

    The people would not FIGHT – they would grumble, but they would accept just about anything.

    Even urinating on their war dead.

    Americans (or at least some of them) “push back” – Canadians do not. And that is a problem.

    Freedom of speech?

    National identity?

    Real history?

    No Canadians will not fight – not for any of it.

    Go into a Canadian museum – where is all the stuff about the Scots explorers and soldiers and businessmen who created the country?

    Mostly – it is gone.

    Instead there is a fictional history and “multiculturalism”.

    French Canada used to laugh about this – but it is happening to them to now.

    I suspect that Canadians are just too polite to fight – they will fight on battlefields (very bravely), but not political fighting. Not kick someone’s head in down a back ally – or even shout back when someone shouts at them. “If they are prepared to burn you out, you have to be prepared to burn them out” as the saying goes in Ulster – but Ulstermen ended up going to the United States, the more civilised Scots-Scots (not Scots-Irish) ended up in Canada.

    When the left shout them down – they just get sad and walk away. They do not fight back.

    There are “ugly Americans” (although not enough of them in my view) – but there are hardly any “ugly Canadians” i.e. people who will reject the leftist project and fight back for such things as Freedom of Speech.

    Canada needs not one Jordan Peterson – it needs many thousands of them.

    Canada needs “Rednecks”.

    Where are they?

  • Myno

    I just want to say Thank You for pointing this out. I had not run across this before, and he is simply wonderful.

  • Flubber

    Re: Rondo

    That conversation between Joe Rogan and Jordan P. is one of my favourites as well. It doesn’t half get deep though!

  • Alisa

    Paul, for the most part the identity politics discussed by Peterson and that are relevant in the Canadian context are those of gender, and have nothing to do with race.

  • bob sykes

    The Progressives’ incessant vilification and demonization of Whites, especially White men, is a major cause of White Nationalism. The Democrat Party is a full-blown racialist party, and the Republican Party is drifting in that direction. For now, because they are a large majority in the US, American Whites can still enjoy the pleasures of ideological politics. But once the White majority disappears, Whites will also embrace identitarian politics out of self-defense and survival.

    Oh, Brave New World! What a Hell we are entering!

  • Bupo

    Thanks for the links Brian. We’ve been thinking similar things for a number of years but didn’t have the words or evidence to be able to articulate what Peterson says so well (except the ‘bloodys’).

  • Tedd

    When the left shout them down – they just get sad and walk away. They do not fight back.

    Very true, I’m afraid, and I’m as guilty of it as any other Canadian. We’ve had it very good for a very long time in Canada (not counting the descendants of those who were here before colonization). We’ve never really had to fight for anything at home, yet. Notwithstanding (inside joke) some government excesses, the fact is that even left-leaning governments have governed pretty well here, compared to their counterparts in other countries. Whether it’s mythical Canadian “niceness” or some other factor, potentially horrible legislation hasn’t tended to result in actually horrible outcomes all that often.

    When you say, “How are you,” to a Canadian you will most likely get the reply, “Not bad.” I suspect, when it comes to our reaction to these kinds of policies our overall reaction is, “Not bad enough.” Yet.

  • Paul Marks

    Alisa – I know what Jordan Peterson talks about.

    It does not matter if it is race, gender, sexual orientation, disability (or whatever) – “the issue is never the issue” (Saul Alinsky).

    It is Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff – it is not relevant what the “victim group of the day” is.

  • Paul Marks

    For those specifically interested in the use of feminism by the left – “Computing Forever” makes some little films over on “YouTube” on the matter.

    The pink hats and the dancing and the complaining about problems that do not exist – or rather very much exist in the Islamic world (which the left-feminists have allied with) but not in the West that the pink hat people choose to complain about.

    Of course left-feminism actually depends on MEN.

    And not just the 240 MILLION Dollars that Mr George Soros has put in to it over the last few years.

    It is not really a financial matter – it is a physical violence matter.

    Say a pink hat wearer came up to me and said “you are going to X from now on”.

    Well that might be annoying – but it would not actually hurt me (as I would ignore them – and just carry on as before).

    But if they got a six foot police man over to tell me to do X from now on (or get thrown in prison) then that does hurt me.

    That is the real meaning of Miss Emma Watson’s (and the Prime Minister of Canada’s) “He for She” campaign.

    In the end left-feminism (not other sorts of feminism – specifically left-feminism) depends on men beating up other men for the leftist cause.

    Without that it collapses like a house-of-cards.

  • But I already know that this is the kind of thing, and the kind of man, that many Samizdata-readers will want to see,

    I’d rather read it. I can read commentary like this a lot more quickly, and using a lot less bandwidth, than sitting through a two-hour video.

  • Alisa

    I’m like you Ted – but I found Peterson to be an exception to that rule.

  • Raymond

    I watched the whole thing. I’d never heard of him, but now I’m a fan. We need more guys like this on our team.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I wonder if Canadians are too reactionary? They always seem to be reacting against the American position! Now that USoA has gone right, their reaction is to go left, just to prove that Canada is different to the Americans!

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    …just to prove that Canada is different to the Americans!

    That reminds me of an old joke:

    What’s the difference between Americans and Canadians?

    Americans don’t care about the difference between Americans and Canadians.