• Agustino
    11.3k


    In this lecture, Jordan Peterson argues that the leftist control over cultural and educational institutions in the West has led to the widespread belief in identity politics, White oppression, Patriarchy, conflict between the have's and have not's. These beliefs are pernicious and act towards breaking our social unity.

    So please have a listen to the lecture when you have some time, and post your thoughts.

    Personally, I agree with Peterson, and it is something that I have been saying for 2-3 years or so. I think we all have disadvantages and handicaps - it's nobody's fault. We have to become stronger and learn to deal with it. As the Buddhists say, life is suffering - there is no escape from that. I think this is the point that many of the leftist radicals don't get - suffering cannot be eliminated completely, and seeking to eliminate it completely, merely makes it worse. Instead, we should train people to be psychologically stronger, much like Nietzsche's Zarathustra, who can say "di capo!" every time.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Life is tough for most people except for those with lots of money.René Descartes
    I disagree. Life is tough for everyone, even for the billionaires. Money may get you the best doctors and the best services, but apart from that, you still get old, you still get sick, your wife still leaves you for the guy with more muscles than you, your friends still betray you (perhaps moreso than before), people are more likely to steal from you, you still suffer defeat and humiliation, etc.

    Money doesn't protect one from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ;)
  • Maw
    1.5k
    Identity politics have been part of American politics for decades. It is not a recent phenomenon. The identity movements have contributed to civil rights for black Americans, secured voting rights and reproductive rights for women, the right to marry for gay Americans, not to mention worker rights and protections, etc. Further, the idea that identity politics is exclusively and uniformly a left-wing phenomenon is mistaken on two accounts, 1) identity politics also a right-wing strategy too, from the Southern Strategy to Breitbart and Fox News, and in fact, many forms of left-wing identity movements are formed because of right-wing opposition. 2) "The Left" is not in uniformed agreement on the importance or focus on identity politics. Notable democratic politicians, for example, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, etc. clearly don't consider politics to be reducible to identity. Other left-leaning intellectuals, most notably Mark Lilla, have recently voiced their opposition towards identity-focused politics. 'Identity Politics' is more of a boogeyman, similar to that of "cultural Marxism". It is simply not as ubiquitous as some right-wingers, such as Peterson, claim. It is not going to destroy the fabric of society.

    Yeah, Augustino, life arguably consists of suffering. But there are undeniable examples of gratuitous forms of suffering that have been mitigated or eliminated in time, thanks, in part, to the very identitarian movements which you and Peterson denounce.
  • MindForged
    763
    Marxist Lie of White Privilege???

    Apparently the left-wing political ideologies are this brute mush that are the same thing and composed of people who assume and argue the same things. Useful way to (mis)construe your opponents, maybe I should start doing likewise.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    reproductive rights for womenMaw
    What about securing the right to life of newborn babies, has that been taken care of by identity politics? Or only issues of those groups who have a loud mouth are taken care of?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Useful way to (mis)construe your opponents, maybe I should start doing likewise.MindForged
    Ironical that Peterson said you should take your opponents at their strongest and not strawman in the video.
  • Benkei
    2k
    I'll watch it after you've demonstrated how Marx' theories on social and economic structures and how these should change to benefit all people fit into identity politics and the idea of white privilege. It's prima facie incoherent from what I've read of Marx.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I'll watch it after you've demonstrated how Marx' theories on social and economic structures and how these should change to benefit all people fit into identity politics and the idea of white privilege. It's prima facie incoherent from what I've read of Marx.Benkei
    I chose the title based on the title of the video, which is the subject of this thread.

    With regards to Marx's theories, Peterson takes the underlying fault to be the fact that he pits the proletariat against the bourgeois, making one into the oppressed and the other into the oppressor. This sort of language is precisely what allows all faults and sufferings of the world to be cast at the feet of the oppressors - they are responsible, that's why the world is bad. Whereas Peterson's point is that life is suffering, and we are not responsible for that - it's just the nature of life.

    So Marxism ends up in totalitarianism because it thinks there is a way to end the suffering present in the world, and throws all its resources towards achieving this ideal state. However, this is actually impossible to achieve, and trying to achieve it merely leads to worse suffering.
  • Benkei
    2k
    I'll just wait until you've discovered the inherent contradictions in what you just wrote.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Will be faster if you just point out what you disagree with, that's how a discussion usually goes.
  • MindForged
    763
    With regards to Marx's theories, Peterson takes the underlying fault to be the fact that he pits the proletariat against the bourgeois, making one into the oppressed and the other into the oppressor. This sort of language is precisely what allows all faults and sufferings of the world to be cast at the feet of the oppressors - they are responsible, that's why the world is bad. Whereas Peterson's point is that life is suffering, and we are not responsible for that - it's just the nature of life.

    Oh that's just nonsense. I'm not a Marxist (anymore; we all have our oddities at uni), but the fact that in Marxism the bourgeois are against the proletariat (and thus one the oppressor & the other oppressed) is not mere language, it's intended to make an assertion about the actual state of affairs. Whining about the language of it is exactly the kind of weaseling complaint that conservatives lay at the feet of liberals ("Why don't you just say what it is?")

    And then to justify rejecting this assertion about the relationship between 2 defined classes on the basis that "life is suffering" is pure sophism. The claim in Marxism is not that "all faults and sufferings in the world" are the fault of the bourgeois, but rather that a number of social and economic ills are largely caused and maintained by the bourgeois because it maintains their style of life, and is even necessary for them to live as they do. Claiming that no one is responsible for economic disparities - not even the people (according to Marxists, the bourgeois) who create and guide and maintain the laws and relationships the engender these disparities - is just an attempt to avoid responsibility (somewhat ironic since leftists are often given this charge by those on the right).
  • Benkei
    2k
    I'm on my phone and about to fall asleep. First thing to think about is: Life is suffering, Peterson should just suck it up for being oppressed by cultural Marxists. Fucking pussy.

    Kind of obvious. Good night.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I'm on my phone and about to fall asleep. First thing to think about is: Life is suffering, Peterson should just suck it up for being oppressed by cultural Marxists. Fucking pussy.

    Kind of obvious. Good night.
    Benkei
    He does man, but you know, you get bored, must do something, no? >:O

    Goodnight ;)
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    but the fact that in Marxism the bourgeois are against the proletariat (and thus one the oppressor & the other oppressed) is not mere language, it's intended to make an assertion about the actual state of affairs.MindForged
    Sure, the point is that it's a lie. There is no state of affairs as Marxism describes it.

    The claim in Marxism is not that "all faults and sufferings in the world" are the fault of the bourgeois, but rather that a number of social and economic ills are largely caused and maintained by the bourgeois because it maintains their style of life, and is even necessary for them to live as they do.MindForged
    Yes, the Marxists claim that the bourgeoisie maintain a certain social and economic structure because they are the ones who have power, and since it benefits them, they use their power in that direction. But as Peterson explains in the video, it's not power, but competency, that allows them to be the privileged social class. There is a hierarchy, hierarchies cannot be eliminated, and that hierarchy is based on competency. The bourgeois are at the top because they have shown themselves to be the most competent at taking care of their society. In a way, excluding at the moment corruption, the way to get rich is by selling a lot of goods to a lot of people - which means adding value to the world, giving people what they want.
  • Marchesk
    2.8k
    It is not going to destroy the fabric of society.Maw

    What is the fabric of society that everyone's so worried about destroying?
  • Maw
    1.5k


    Since when do newborn babies lack the right to life? And is that really all you have to say?

    There is a hierarchy, hierarchies cannot be eliminated, and that hierarchy is based on competency. The bourgeois are at the top because they have shown themselves to be the most competent at taking care of their society.Agustino

    Circular and laughably naive, no wonder you readily subscribe to Peterson's vapid "self-help" philosophy.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    From what little I've seen of Jordan Peterson, I don't object to much of what he says. But I think the phrase 'the lie of white privilege' is silly.

    White privilege is simply not having to wonder whether a stranger will suddenly start to abuse you on the bus, just because of what you look like. In the US it is also not having to fear a police officer every time one comes near, that they may stop and search you, or even shoot you, because of what you look like. One would have to live under a rock to think that such a privilege does not exist.

    Where claims about white privilege become silly is when they start to imply that ALL white people are better off than ALL non-whites, and there do seem to be plenty of extremists that say or imply such things. But the fact that the notion of white privilege may be misused by silly people does not imply that the notion itself is flawed.
  • MindForged
    763
    Sure, the point is that it's a lie. There is no state of affairs as Marxism describes it.

    You know, I get into this same kind of silly nonsense when I see a naive Marxist making an argument. Just asserting the thing doesn't make it so. "Well my opposition is just espousing a lie" is not convincing tbh.

    Yes, the Marxists claim that the bourgeoisie maintain a certain social and economic structure because they are the ones who have power, and since it benefits them, they use their power in that direction. But as Peterson explains in the video, it's not power, but competency, that allows them to be the privileged social class. There is a hierarchy, hierarchies cannot be eliminated, and that hierarchy is based on competency. The bourgeois are at the top because they have shown themselves to be the most competent at taking care of their society. In a way, excluding at the moment corruption, the way to get rich is by selling a lot of goods to a lot of people - which means adding value to the world, giving people what they want.

    Again, that's interesting and all, but have you never considered possible objections to your view? Just off the top of my head from what you said there, I can think of a few:

    -How do you know the hierarchy is based on competency? Most people stay within their income bracket (and near where there parents were). So it could be that nearly everyone is incompetent, but it seems more likely that those who held power (whether political or economic) in the past has a strong relationship with who has it in the future. I'll just let you know that white people did not eliminate nepotism, not from politics nor in economics.

    -Even if it is in fact the case that hierarchies cannot be eliminated, that does not entail that no specific hierarchy cannot be eliminated. Nor does competency need to entail privilege unless you are just something like social Darwinist ("those who succeed are the ones who are competent" seems to fit the bill)


    -So wait, you do acknowledge the existence of the Bourgeoisie??? Marxists define (it's not the full definition) that as the class which by whatever means necessary perpetuates their ownership of the means of production.

    -Oh, lol, so we just exclude corruption? Hm, I guess when businesses (all of the most successful of which) sprinkle campaign donations on dozens of politicians we can just exclude that as counting against the idea of them being competent (otherwise they needn't manipulate the political process to their benefit by using their money).

    You're just positing a naive and even ad hoc view. Counter-examples to your assertions are dismissed by fiat. As I said before, pure sophistry.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    Didn't Marx hold that advances in production, technology, and so on would result in new kinds of thinking? That seems to have been, and is the case. Birth control, gay liberation, women's liberation, black power, chicano power, white power, disability liberation, trans-sexual therapy, ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, pro-life, Antifacissimo, and so on and so forth, are the result of those advances. Better communication technology, new medicines (birth control pills, morning after pills), surgical procedures, a de-industrializing economy, global trade, scientific advances, and plain old political organizing made all kinds of changes possible--and they happened.

    Can some vague "Left" claim credit for all of this? No. The suffrage movement is about as old as Marxism. The women's movement never needed leftist guidance. They had their own thought-leaders. The modern gay rights movement started partly as a result of large number of gay men and women being evicted from the armed forces at 3 different port bases during and after WWII: L.A., San Francisco, and New York. The navy created the concentrations of gay people who starting developing a gay culture.

    Racial Minorities didn't need the left to tell them they were oppressed, either. They learned that directly from life. I don't think disability activists were ever characterized as leftists: they were just tired of not being able to live in a society which made zero accommodations for the large number of disabled people.

    It isn't clear to me exactly where transsexualism came from. You know, the first one (on record anyway) was Christine Jorgensen who had sex remodeling surgery in 1951 in Denmark. CJ grew up in the Bronx in New York--not a hotbed of radical ideology at the time.

    The left didn't invent all the trans nonsense. It bubbled up among transsexuals, and the POMO left found it particularly attractive. given their own weird posturing.

    Somehow, I don't think most members of "the left" who you consider to be behind all these identity schemes would recognize a communist or a socialist if their lives depended on it. It's a strange kind of Marxism, if you ask me -- perverse.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    It isn't the case that Marx focussed on conflict between haves and have nots: He focussed on the conflict between producers and owners -- the working class and the bourgeoisie. The WRONG that Marx identified wasn't that some people had more than others, it was that those who produce all wealth (the workers) do not benefit proportionately, and that those who benefit DISPROPORTIONATELY (the bourgeoisie) do no work at all. EDIT: They perform work putting things together, but once assembled, they hire people to make sure it stays put together.

    Another thing we have to take into account about Peterson is his milieu: Peterson is a college professor. College campus are exactly the kind of place where one would expect ideological excess because on campus are thousands of students (well... hundreds, anyway) who are anxious to try on radical new theories in a relatively safe environment (they are, after all, paying customers).

    The wannabe radicals may be right, wrong, or not even wrong, but they can't, don't, and won't affect society very much. Once they get out of college and get hired to work in a large corporation, they will find they are not allowed anywhere close to the levers of power. If they attempt college stunts at work they are likely to get fired.

    Peterson has perhaps been overly influenced by what happens on his (and other) campuses. It's a very lively but unrepresentative school playground.

    EDIT: I should not minimize the spread of POMO-type thinking. The Obama administration issued a directive to schools which bent over backwards to kiss the ground beneath its feet that trans students could use whichever toilet they identified with, whichever locker room they identified with, and that to protect their privacy, parents should not be notified of the decision in a given school. The Trump administration withdrew the directive. So, I approve of at least one act of the Trump administration.
  • MindForged
    763
    It has been rather interesting the last several years watching all this hullabaloo about the end of America (or of freedom in America) because of political movements on college campuses and how that points to a spreading rot in society (naturally this can only apply to left-wing ideologues). Or something like that.

    I find it's often instructive to see who are the thought leaders for these kinds of things; pretty much always people benefiting from it directly (book sales, talks, cachet in their movement etc.) or indirectly (attention). It doesn't mean they don't believe it, and it doesn't mean what they're saying is false. What it means is you should treat what they say for what it's worth: inherently suspect.
  • Maw
    1.5k
    It's amazing how, in 2018, people think Marxism is viable threat to American society. I vividly remember in 2010 how in vogue reading Marx was. Who would have thought within the decade, nationalism, white supremacy, Nazism, right-wing populism and other nefarious political movements would have emerged instead.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    This sort of language is precisely what allows all faults and sufferings of the world to be cast at the feet of the oppressors - they are responsible, that's why the world is bad. Whereas Peterson's point is that life is suffering, and we are not responsible for that - it's just the nature of life.Agustino

    Can you expand on this?
  • StreetlightX
    4.1k
    I think this actually cuts both ways. That for some, Marxism is ever more threatening, I think can be attributed to a correlative rise in interest and appreciation of Marxist thought - or at least impulses. In 2010, who would have thought that a self-labelled socialist could run for president in the US? It was, if my memory of the mood is right, completely unthinkable. This not to speak of the popularity of Corbyn in the UK. The popularity of Peterson in some manner rides the coattails of this reaction: it's a response to a renewed threat that is indeed real. It's reactionary in every sense of the word.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    In 2010, who would have thought that a self-labelled socialist could run for president in the US?StreetlightX

    In an election filled to the brim with weird and unexplainable phenomenon, that might have been the weirdest.
  • Maw
    1.5k


    Perhaps, but Sanders (arguably more social democrat than socialist, despite the self-epithet) nevertheless lost the Democratic candidacy to the decidedly non-Marxist, non-socialist Clinton, who herself lost the presidency to a racist populist with no political experience whatsoever. So the delusion that "Marxism is ever more threatening", now, is still an enigma to me. Regardless, what the right-wing fears isn't Marxism per say, but a sort of Stalinist/Maoist state-lead economic militarization, as Peterson suggests in the video, and the idea that this is feasible threat within America is eye-rollingly laughable.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    Peterson is a good talker, have to hand that to him. He does a good job of supporting his points, pretty much.

    I do have difficulty connecting Karl Marx, the man of the 19th century, to spawning post-modernism, or that Karl Marx is responsible for Lenin's, Stalin's, Mao's, Pol Pot's, or the North Korean's horrible acts. In his name, yes, really really bad things were done. But other people managed to do very, very bad things without Marx -- like slavery and genocide in the western hemisphere before Marx was even born.

    Also, the US led the way in nuclear terrorism. Given the relatively loose control that was actually exercised over the many thousands of atomic and thermonuclear bombs (never mind the alleged sole authority of the POTUS to use them) it is miraculous that a totally ruinous nuclear war didn't happen by accident. Of course, it's not too late to have that war, since we have enough atomic weapons ready to launch (but far fewer than before the nuclear reduction treaties) to bring about a nuclear winter. Can't blame that on Marx.

    I could use more knowledge on just how POMO did come about. The topic is about as attractive as figuring out exactly how a fat berg stuffed up the London sewers, but if anybody has a suggestion for a BRIEF discussion of POMO's history, please post it.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    Regardless, what the right-wing fears isn't Marxism per say, but a sort of Stalinist/Maoist state-lead economic militarization, as Peterson suggests in the video, and the idea that this is feasible threat within America is eye-rollingly laughable.Maw

    The idea itself is but a red-herring. Its object is to legitimize the Right again against a myriad of progressive issues. Funnily enough, and contra their polarizing titles, there is not necessarily that much left that does not divides only artificially the american Left and Right. Nothing that you could lay at the feet of the original Liberal - Conservative ideological war. There is thus the need to legitimize the apparently conservative effort against - what? New pronouns? Trans People going to some bathroom over the other? Feminism? Jesus. Peterson and his ilk sure didn't stop to think for a second that little defines a person's character as much as who they decide to fight...

    The War of Ideas. It has such a nice ring to it. But which fucking War of Ideas??? There's been no such real War, no struggle on the political intellectual plane in the last 30 years. POMO is insanely fringe. Depending on the Uni you are in, you can do any form of studies without ever having to encounter it. The idea that Litterature departments have somehow managed to infect the Western world with acute marxism would be funny if it was not shared by so many. Now it is just sad.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    I could use more knowledge on just how POMO did come about.Bitter Crank

    Jean Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition (1979) is the 1st text using the term, but Pomo will ark backwards to Nietzsche, Heidegger and Lacan. French Pomo's side, the poststructuralists, became especially ensensed after 1968's student riots in Paris, and also added Marx to the pantheon.

    Lyotard's text is fairly amenable. “I define postmodern as incredulity toward meta-narratives,” (Lyotard 1984 [1979], xxiv)
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