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Samizdata quote of the day

As those regimes demonstrated, Peterson’s claim that identity politics is “genocidal in its ultimate expression” is no exaggeration. Hitler’s military invasions and death camps were the ultimate expression of the racialist and nationalist identity politics that spiritually drove Nazism. And Stalin’s weaponized famines and “gulag archipelago” were the ultimate expression of the class warfare identity politics that spiritually drove Soviet communism.

Dan Sanchez, discussing Jordan Peterson

21 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Whether you think Jordan Peterson is right or wrong, he is certainly attacking the ideology of the left and upsetting all of the people who need to be upset.

    The Channel 4 interview especially appeals as he literally leaves the interviewer (who probably thought he was just some mindless bigot) completely speechless.

  • Alisa

    She did not think any such thing, JG. It was a trap , the purpose was to present her as victim of those nasty “AltRight Peterson soldiers” after the interview. Whether it was set up by her personally or by her employers is a separate question.

  • David Roberts

    Perhaps the truth is getting faster at putting its boots on?
    See this:-


  • Mr Ed

    I posted a link the the original interview in the item that follows this. It should be noted that Pinochet, who was appointed by Allende after the Alejandrina Cox incident led to the resignation of Pinochet’s predecessor the wonderfully-named General Prats, was a reaction to Allende and identity politics, and forestalled Chile turning into another Cuba.

    The Left is desperately trying to spin an association between Peterson and trolls, it is not his fault that people are abusive, they are simply taking their lead from the Left.

  • Disparate impact theory asserts that statistical disparities in representation are proof of prejudice and manipulation. Its believers seem also to think that arguing with this is itself evidence of prejudice and manipulation.

    Goebbels argued that the statistical overrepresentation of German Jews as barristers, editors and similar in Weimar Germany was proof of prejudice and manipulation.

    Like many an SJW, Goebbels was apt to exaggerate his statistics, or omit qualifiers, but there was no doubt that the less than 1% of German’s population who were Jewish at that time occupied many many more percent of certain positions. The average Jewish family income was also higher than the average German family income at the time. Etc. Etc.

    It would be very difficult to argue against that aspect of Goebbels’ propaganda while believing disparate impact theory. On the other hand, it might seem difficult to call Trump a Nazi while being furious over his relocation of the embassy in Israel – but people manage.

  • Mr Ed

    Disparate impact theory asserts that statistical disparities in representation are proof of prejudice and manipulation.

    It’s (I simplify) the law in the UK on indirect discrimination that where there is a disparate impact on the basis of a protected characteristic (e.g. sex) by an employer imposing a requirement, that requirement is unlawful unless it is objectively justified, e.g. a height requirement for police officers, a requirement for air traffic controllers to work ‘in the office’ rather than at home (I don’t think anyone has tried that yet, but we’ll see).

    Thus almost any aspect of a job might be ‘discriminatory’ if you find a disparate impact that is related to something to do with a ‘protected characteristic’, and then the employer has to justify that aspect of the job.

    Today we hear (cough.) that a deaf woman who went to a pop concert sued the promoter as they did not provide a sign-language interpreter for the whole concert.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I agree with Alisa, January 24, 2018 at 9:40 am above. It struck me as obvious that here was a woman with an agenda, who was not about to brook any disagreement nor to allow any statement (such as “water is wet”) made by the Opposition/Disfavored to go unchallenged.


    On the other hand, there are people, plenty of people, lots and lots and lots of people, who honestly don’t get what you’re saying the first time you say it. Or the fiftieth. Or the 50,000th. (I, of course, am not one of them.) I think this has to do with a well-entrenched mindset (or fairly solidified mental map of reality, or of Ideas) which requires a great deal of time and mulling, both conscious and sub rosa, to reshape so as to accommodate the unfitting idea. Once (if) one manages to arrange a spot for it, only then can one begin really to examine the idea for soundness. Could this woman be one of those?

    There are also many people who in discussion seem to have the attitude, “I don’t understand and you can’t make me!” I speak from experience on both sides of this particular fence. 😳


    I am not entirely sure whether my absolute favorite interviewer is Brian Lamb (now retired, unfortunately 😥 ) of C-Span or Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge. But for my money Mr. Robinson has perfected the technique of putting the Opposition’s charges and criticisms of his interviewee’s statements and positions to the interviewee as if they were positively self-evidently true and correct — in a thoroughly dispassionate and non-combative manner. The interviewee then answers these points as clearly and succinctly as he can (Richard is particularly good at this). After awhile one realizes that Mr. Robinson is not in any way stating his own views, but rather giving the interviewee a chance to explain himself coolly, rationally, impersonally. His interviews are a real treat.

    It would be nice to think that that was what Mizz Wats’er was trying to do: Just to give Dr. Peterson a chance to explain himself. If so, her technique needs work.

    Personally, I stick with my original impression. Although the best math prof I ever had, a crusty older gentleman in my upper-undergraduate/first-year-graduate Foundations of Analysis class, had a nasty habit of calling upon students to present a thorough explanation and proof of some abstruse theorem. The Victim of the Day went to the board and Presented, under close and harassing questioning by Dr. Perlis. When the hour of mine own execution arrived, there were moments when I thought that immediate suicide might be the best course going forward, but then I thought, Dammit, focus! What this jerk thinks of you is completely beside the point!

    Boy, did I ever wrong the man! At the end of the hour, he announced to the entire class that he had purposely done his level best to derail and destroy me, but to no avail. :>)))))))

    Somehow, I don’t get the feeling that that was Mizz Wats’er’s [Newman’s. Cathy Newman’s.] intent at all.

  • Julie near Chicago (January 24, 2018 at 7:39 pm), the maths professor you describe was (quite independently, no doubt) using the technique of Oxford tutorials. Every week of term for three years, the Oxford undergrad brings their essay on a given subject to the tutorial and tries to defend their analysis against the attempts of the tutor (who knows much more about the subject and should understand it much better) to tear their thesis to pieces.

    Those who survive hopefully acquire a much deeper understanding than if the tutorial had been a safe space where they never heard any offensive criticism. A more debatable good is that Oxford graduates are often very skilled at BSing on any subject.

  • Alisa

    Julie, actually my impression is more complex than that. I watched the interview a fairly short time after it was aired, and Newman struck me as one of those people you refer to: the ones who genuinely do not get it – not because they are thick (she is not), but because they were not taught to think outside the “metacontext”. Peterson’s “gotcha” moment seemed to be the point where Newman suddenly recognized just that shortcoming of hers, and it actually made her pause, and hopefully (later) think.

    Another important point was where after the event, she tweeted a very gentleman-like message to Peterson congratulating him on a ‘fight well-fought’ or something along those lines. All of this actually made me like her, at least as far as a doctrinaire leftist goes.

    But then it all went wrong: Channel 4 claimed* that Newman was threatened, that security experts/police(?) got involved, etc. This changed my view of the whole event, and arose my suspicion as I described above.

    The curious part here is that as far as I can tell, Newman herself never publicly complained about any such threats, and in fact has not been heard from on the subject at all since that tweet. I would appreciate if someone could correct me on this.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, thank you very, very much for your info. My opinion of Ms. Newman is now raised several notches, at least provisionally, and it may surprise some folks to know that I actually enjoy having good, or at least improved, opinions of people. So, you’ve created a bright spot in my day. :>)

    It’s also gratifying to get more accurate information (even when it is discombobulating — the duration of which condition, one always hopes, will be brief).

    Hence the two “verys.”

    I’ll have to watch the interview again — for the third time! ;>))

    . . .

    Niall, that would be the Oxfordian rather than the Socratic Method, I guess. *g*

    Actually, it strikes me now that it is the sort of thing one is likely to face during the oral defense of one’s doctoral thesis. Thesis committees are not notorious for being comprised entirely of pushovers. At least not in math and the physical sciences! And part of a thesis committee’s job should be to detect and call out B.S. during Orals. Anyway, the experience was good preparation for Orals (had they occurred), as well as for certain other discomfiting situations in Life.

    A few years later, I was a graduate student and a T.A. (Teaching Assistant) attempting to guide classes through the rigours of calculus. I did try hard to avoid making a jerk of myself in my Position of Power, but a couple of times a student who showed up at my office exhibited signs of being embarrassed by his failure to understand. And I found myself saying, “Don’t worry about what I think of you. As a matter of fact I don’t think you’re stupid or in any way sub-par, but you mustn’t care about that. Your job is just to focus on the problem, and the heck with what I think of you.”

    The students seemed to relax and apply this advice. Thank you, Dr. Perlis.

  • Alisa

    I actually enjoy having good, or at least improved, opinions of people.

    Same here, very much so. At times it makes me feel somewhat naive after more info becomes available on a specific person, but I guess that’s the price one has to pay in order to not sink into despair of humanity earlier than absolutely necessary 🙂

  • bobby b

    Confucius said:

    “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

    This is essentially Prof. Peterson’s thesis. He’s a great Jungian hero-builder in that he sees the betterment of society as something that will – and can only – spring from our betterment of ourselves.

    He’s a very uplifting speaker in one sense – he makes people want to be better – but he grates on those who derive their own sense of value from their status as victims. To think that bettering oneself can be an answer when your problems all stem from how unfairly the world has treated you is not happily accepted.

  • Alisa

    This video is nearly 2-hours-long, but worth it for two reasons: the first part (about half an hour) is Peterson’s take on the C4 interview and its aftermath, and the rest is a great introduction to the man and his thinking for those not yet familiar.

    Plus, what bobby said.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Alt Right” (or “alternative right”) argue that the only answer to the “Identity Politics” of the left is an “Identity Politics” of the right. The aim of the left being “White genocide” (now admitted, indeed boasted of, by leftist academics) – and the response of the “Alt Right” being to embrace racial politics just from the other side.

    I REJECT this – for I will not murder innocent individuals, or allow others to do so. “Then you condemn your own race to death – as the left will not give up their side of Identity Politics” – fair enough, better death than dishonour, and to murder innocent individuals is the worst form of dishonour.

  • damaged justice

    Paul: Enjoy playing the role of the Washington Generals. Enjoy the death of yourself and your posterity. I intend to live, and to win.

  • I intend to live, and to win

    And if you think you can do that by embracing racial politics rather than demanding a return to melting pot assimilationism, then you are deluded (but perhaps that’s not what you think at all, so I may be wronging you), because the constituency for insisting this is all about race amongst white people is even smaller than ‘libertarians’, and that’s really saying something. I do not share Paul’s view that all is lost, not by a long shot, but if we do not get back to turning ‘them’ into ‘us’ culturally, then we are indeed screwed.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . but if we do not get back to turning ‘them’ into ‘us’ culturally, then we are indeed screwed.”

    And to put a happy perspective on it all, I doubt we’re screwed at all.

    In my area of Minnesota (also known as Little Somalia) you now see mixed groups of people instead of the common-for-years knots of Somalis here, Ethiopians there, whites over yonder. Somalis appear to be surprisingly entrepreneurial, and (once they have money) the very opposite of progressive.

    The Mexican population (quite large, as we are at heart an agricultural area) is also mixing well. Mexican businesses are opening up all over, they are taking part in local politics with a surprisingly conservative bent, and social circles are becoming mixed.

    Aside from the Islamic basket-cases, things seem to be going well. If we can slow or stop immigration for a bit, that will further help the assimilation process. In my area, at least, we seem to have this beat.

    But one more huge influx will set us back years.

  • Thailover

    “On the other hand, there are people, plenty of people, lots and lots and lots of people, who honestly don’t get what you’re saying the first time you say it. Or the fiftieth. Or the 50,000th. (I, of course, am not one of them.) I think this has to do with a well-entrenched mindset (or fairly solidified mental map of reality, or of Ideas) which requires a great deal of time and mulling, both conscious and sub rosa, to reshape so as to accommodate the unfitting idea.”

    There are 3 kinds of Leftists.
    1. The unintelligent herd mentality useful idiots. ANTIFA types. They’re violent, emotionally frazzled cultists who repeat The Narrative and are too dumb to understand the refutations, so they respond to logical and empirical refutations with an even louder rendition of The Narrative. Cognitive dissonance sometimes causes them to scream and buckle under exposure to opposing ideas and even posed questions expressed calmly. All nonbelievers are “literally racist”, even if the charge makes absolutely no sense in context.

    2. The consciousless “leaders” (i.e. rulers) who repeat ideas they know are false and falsified. (See any Obama speech about the gender wage gap as an example.) These are “end justifies the means” type monsters. These are the people who became Nazis when the wind blows north by northwest…or because it’s Thursday.

    3. Leftists who are not Leftists at all, but rather globalists. ‘People behind the curtain and who are not household names. ‘People like George Soros (household name exception), who said he didn’t regret working with the Nazis because if it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else. Someone who expressed zero guilt over causing the Asian Crisis, blaming the Thai banking system and it’s weaknesses that “allowed” him to topple several Asian economies and caused untold innocents to suffer and starve, all to gain seveal more billion dollars that he didn’t need. People like the current Crypto-Marxist Pope who endorses Argentina’s socialism, even as it crashes and burns and again, people suffer.

  • Thailover

    Paul Marks, what you wrote used to not be true, as the Alt Right used to include civic nationalists with “conservative” views as well as ethno-nathionalists, but after “Charlottesville”, the “Alt Lite” culled themselves from the Alt Right, with the blessings of the ethno-nationalists. There was pressure within “the movement” before between these two groups, but now the charge of “right wing racists” fairly well applies to Alt Right where it was an unfair blanket term used before. They went from “Its’ OK to be white” to actively advocating for a “white ethno-state”. As “The Wizard” (as I call him) Styx Hexenhammer pointed out in an online debate with Richard Spencer, such a white nationalist nation could not come about without violence by the state. Spencer himself admitted this was so.

  • Thailover

    Perry, “melting pot assimilationism” deserves some fleshing out.
    No, this does not mean all cultures must melt into a single alloy of a single identity, with a single view and single norm (cue vision of the ranting pig-faced Leader in the Twilight Zone episode Eye of the Beholder), but it does mean that “western values” must be understood to be superior for demonstrable reasons to that of being savages. And by savages, I mean where a majority of people sanction the state (theocratic or not) violating rights of the individual. ‘Savage vs Civilization.

    Consider Asian Americans, who have plenty of “China-towns” or “Korea Towns” around, but understand that “western values”, especially in the case of western democracy (meaning of course a limited democratic republic focusing on individual rights) live and breath harmoniously among “westerners”.

    There is plenty of room for cultural identity along with a peaceful co-existence with other civilized peoples.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Just as “There is plenty of room for individual identity along with a peaceful co-existence with other civilized people” … or so one hopes.