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This guy is such a wannabe. Not everyone with a Ph.D. has the respect of their peers. Have been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies last few nights, because although they are not Halloween-specific, are rather in a spooky mood. So, who does not feel JP would fit right into the Davey Jones locker crew? I mean, he has exhibited a rather weird fixation on crustaceans, no?

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religion is fine. religious people can be a big problem. Jordan's book was OK till toward the end he started the godspeak. the most important part of American exceptionalism is the idea of keeping religion out of government. The danger is all those trying to misuse their religion for power, thus wanting it to be part of government.

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Jordan Peterson proves something that comedy writers at the BBC have known for a VERY long time when it comes to Americans....and that is that a large chunk of them will believe the stupidest most asinine sh*t if you dress it up in intellectual whore paint OR you purposely say idiotic things in a super scary way to stampede them...which is Fox Lifestyle's playbook.

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Oct 9, 2022·edited Oct 10, 2022

Re Ruby Ridge, the US Marshal, W F Degan, and S Weaver both died in the same outdoors shootout. Maybe Degan was shot and died before Weaver, but exact order isn't relevant in shootouts. FWIW, R Weaver and his friend K Harris were acquitted of all charges arising from the Ruby Ridge stand-off, which may be due to popular sentiment/jury nullification, but it does bolster the argument that, in British terminology, Ruby Ridge was one of the biggest cock-ups in US federal law enforcement history. In US terminology, anything the USMS or FBI could have f*cked up they did.

Ruby Ridge is a very bad example for the radicalization of Americans because federal law enforcement went out of its way to provide evidence of dangerous incompetence in prosecution of evil intent.

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Quote for the week…“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” - James Baldwin

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founding

As one of my teachers once said, "Much can be accomplished with a small amount of intelligence and a great deal of brute force."

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Ganz’s story reminds me that the Mormon Church (at least at one time) believed that Native Americans were literally descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Until they did genetic testing that showed that wasn’t true. Maybe those that Ganz was writing about should do the same testing if they also believe that they are descendants of lost Israeli tribes. Not that it would make any difference.

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RegularCars is awesome!

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Jordan Peterson is more to be pitied than censured.

His original interest was how societies become authoritarian and totalitarian. His creativity is evident from his ability to find connections between disparate fields, like evolutionary biology and religion. His book, Twelve Rules for Life, contains practical advice, supported by deep insights about human nature. (My favorite: “Don't compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday”.) Before the pandemic, Peterson lectured to packed audiences, eager to hear an original perspective on psychology, philosophy and, sometimes, politics. And he was one of the first intellectuals to publicly call out the concepts behind the ideology that will not name itself, more specifically, the framework that sees society exclusively through the lens of power hierarchies, in which social categories exist for the purpose of oppression.

But in the past few years, Peterson lost his way. He certainly made some missteps. Perhaps it was the stress of always being in the public eye (a situation he not only accepted, but sought). Perhaps the incessant criticism to which he was subjected took its toll. Perhaps it was the cognitive dissonance of telling people to be responsible for their own lives, while being hooked on benzodiazepines.

In any case, he emerged from this trial embittered and diminished. He seems to have decided that he had to choose a side, and it was going to be the Right. It’s a real shame, because the Left previously had to take his ideas seriously. Now he’s given them a justification to dismiss him.

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I agree. Peterson's affect has become so blunted in its general contrivance as he has pursued social media relevance in a progressively deeper rabbit hole of narcissistic nonsense. In a previous career we had to watch out for the clinicians and on line staff working with the criminally sociopathic that they didn't become seduced by their charm and become exploited to engage in a rash and self-destructive act. I fear that a similar dynamic is at play. He seems to have tied himself into a furrow-browed knot of nonsense pursuing contrarian relevance in a sphere where your integrity has no worth once they've moved on the next thing. Walk away, get healthy, be quiet and reclaim a life of dignity - you've paid a high price already.

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Oct 9, 2022Liked by Jonathan V. Last

So I'm listening to the car channel while i'm typing and it's pretty out there. But i kinda like it. I also find the crazy in this world just plain crazy - but maybe that's because of Octoberfest. Mostly, I like JVL's essays because sometimes they make me feel great and if they don't, I exit. However, the most important thing is when there is any doubt, there is no doubt. Just ask Gwen. Love Ya, JVL. PS - I'm old

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Peterson has always been garbage. He has had consistently misogynistic, homophobic, and authoritarian undertones in his work from the beginning. While I'm not convinced he's a Nazi or fascist himself, he shouldn't be surprised his constant talk about modernism and western society being "degenerate" attracts people with those ideologies.

Even his position on "self-improvement" is perfectly calibrated to defend the status quo. He'd rather his acolytes lose themselves in a labyrinth of Jungian psycho-jargon and ignore the social injustices around them. If we could only wait for perfect people to challenge an unjust status quo, we'd never make any progress.

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The primary concern of most people (usually implicit) is status... at least as long as there are no survival problems. This ties back into Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Conservatism, as we understand it these days, is basically a product of the French Revolution (basically Edmund Burke's response to the Revolution is sort of considered the Ur-document of conservatism).

People (particularly self-identified conservatives) like to describe/define conservatism as:

A rejection of the optimistic view that human beings can be morally improved through political and social change;

Given that, the role of political/cultural organizations is to curb the base impulses/acts/nature of humanity--to provide discipline;

Given the distrust of human nature--and the concurrent distrust of government and large organizations (as they can be co-opted and used to satiate base human nature), there is a preference for traditional, organic, time-tested structures. Better the evil that you know than a new evil.

The central objective then is not really the improvement of society, but the maintenance of order and discipline in society, preferably with as little change as possible or very gradual change (if there must be change).

It is not a particularly attractive structure (at least to me, even though I agree with the parts about human nature). It IS a set of ideas that meshes well with the natural inclinations and beliefs of a great many people... IOW, it is a "common sense" ideology/philosophy (and not a particularly deep one).

Of course, the problem with the whole thing is that it strives for stasis--the maintenance of the existing status quo. While it is capable of recognizing existing evils, it is not concerned with (and perhaps actually afraid of) trying to remediate them--as that will have (to the conservative) potentially existential results.

This is closely tied in to the concern over status (status on a number of levels, political, economic, cultural). This is invariably (these days) NOT explicit--especially as this runs counter to concepts/beliefs in meritocracy and larger social justice that exist.

The maintenance of the status quo is necessarily the maintenance of existing power, economic. cultural, and justice relationships.

This is why conservatism invariably breaks down into various forms and degrees of racism, sexism, and cultural superiority structures. Why you get the KKK, Birch Society, Proud Boys, etc.

And loss of status is, in effect, existential as status and status structures are components of identity. It is an assault on the very self.

In addition, when frustrated (IOW, when substantive change occurs) conservatism quickly shifts to reaction. As the old order has been damaged or destroyed (or is being destroyed), it is necessary to force a return. If the frustration continues, reaction becomes violent.

We are seeing this now.

The authoritarian and the oppressive is built in to conservatism. They are key components. They are necessary to the maintenance of order. This is why conservatives see themselves as more concerned with and more "correct" as labeling themselves as the party of law and order because they are talking about a very particular law and particular order. Non-traditional law and order don't count as that is actually an assault, in and of itself, on "real" law and "real" order.

The details and rhetoric of the conservative will be specific to context--a British conservative and a US conservative will have similar, but different details and rhetoric (as they are both rooted in congruent/similar historical traditions). A Chinese conservative will have a more variant set of details and rhetoric.

In the American model of conservatism, most of the words do not really mean what a non-conservative might think. There are a lot of what one might call caveats or additional considerations. The confusion between what a conservative means by words like liberty, freedom, law & order provides cover or allowance for practices that are actually hostile to what non-conservatives see as liberty, freedom, etc. Progressive freedom is, to a conservative nothing more than license.

It is, in a sense, another language--there is a peripheral awareness of this but it is often ignored or downplayed. The recent article (Amanda Carpenter's Astronaut and the Alien) about the "debate" between a MAGAt candidate and a Democratic Party candidate highlights this.. though that is an extreme example.

In the end, it essentially breaks down into a struggle between those that wish to rise--and those that fear and oppose that rise in favor of maintaining their own status and power. The lines of division become confused because the rise and opposition to it are not limited to a single dimension (economic, cultural, racial, gender)--thus someone who is economically disadvantaged will join in the struggle against change if other aspects of their status are endangered, if they perceive the larger and correct (and safer) order is endangered.

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Oct 8, 2022Liked by Jonathan V. Last

I have so many thoughts about this column! (That's a credit to JVL) :)

First, in regards to Peterson's comments about KBJ responses to Blackburn, the word "degenerate" has become a bit of a signifier--at least for me- (much like "decadent") for certain writers, pundits with a conservative, traditionalist and, most importantly, authoritarian bent who place an unwarranted importance on history-particularly classical history (Fall of Rome etc) and analogies to current political events. I'm just throwing it out there, but using the terms "degenerate" or "decadent" regarding a society or groups in a society tells me a lot about the speaker/writer. Yeah, it's a red flag for me.

In regard to the association of the Volkisch with German Romanticism and Naziism--Please don't ascribe Naziism to the early German Romantics. It's really unfair to the early German Romantics and is generally a conflation of populism with Romanticism. Yes. Romanticism was a reaction against the Enlightenment clockwork universe and their advancement of the individual, the imagination, the importance of nature and non-duality are concepts (perhaps even truths) we still hold.

I don't doubt that ideas from German Romanticism were appropriated and misused by Nazis and the general public in Germany, but blaming the Jena set etc for the Third Reich is en par with blaming the writers of the US Constitution for MAGAism. Yes. There is a correlation but not causation.

Oh! Here's a link to a really great book about the Jena Set:https://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Rebels-First-Romantics-Invention/dp/0525657118

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JVL, I'm clearly in the camp that believes Jordan Peterson is off his rocker, but I also think it's unfair to argue that he's ALWAYS been crazy.

Like it or not, he's a tenured professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. That may not mean a lot to Americans but U of T is consistently rated as one of the top 3 universities in Canada, and is in the top quartile of universities in the world. It has increadibly high academic standards--it's not a university where a normal crackpot gets to teach, much less get tenure.

What people tend not to realize is that his very public fight against "wokeism" has absolutely nothing to do with his academic pursuits (he teaches clinical psychology) and is also relatively recent vis-a-vis his entire career.

Also, I have on occassion listented to his podcast and unlike say, Tucker Carlson it's not consistently nutty (in fact he's had respected academics such as Jonathan Haidt on the pod, and it actually took me three episodes to figure out that it was THE Jordan Peterson hosting the show).

However, Peterson IS consistently a nut case in one forum: television interviews. Does he actually believe the melodramatic & sexist crap he says on TV? I have no idea.

What I do know is that it's been IMMENSELY profitable for him. At one point it was estimated that Peterson was getting around $2 million a year from his Patreon contributors (on top of a $200k salary from the university).

He's also clearly experiencing mental health issues. He's sure against the "fragility" of wokeism but he's also the first to engage in a victimhood narrative when his feelings are hurt.

And why is he also so pro-Russia? Well this may assist with that question as well (TL; DR his feelings were hurt when employees of publishing companies protested publishing his follow-up book to 12 Rules, ultimately resulting in him waking up restrained in a Russian hospital bed. Don't ask me how or why any person of means would choose a Russian hospital over a Canadian hospital).

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/jordan-peterson-recalls-waking-from-coma-confused-tethered-and-surrounded-by-people-speaking-a-foreign-language

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founding

Peter Navarro is a nut job and he was a professor at UC Irvine. Sometimes you get the nutters at the finest universities. Navarro and Peterson are crybaby narcissists on top of being nutty.

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I get the general sentiment but UC Irvine isn't in the same league. It's rated line #86 globally (Univeristy of Toronto is ranked #23).

Also, academically from what I understand his views in the field of economics were always considered fringe (he's one of the few economists that advocate strongly for tarrifs, for example).

What is certainly very concerning is that such a nut job graduated Tufs on a full ride, and then got both an MA and PhD in economics from Harvard. Certainly doesn't reflect well on those academic institutions.

Jordan Peterson on the other hand, has had his PhD since 1991 (in clinical psychology with an emphasis on familial alcoholism, which is NOT what he comments on) but did not become a nut job on the conservative medial circle until two decades later.

That being said he does come from Alberta which is Canada's Alabama, which has surely played a role in his wacky version of conservatism.

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There have been many brilliant men throughout history who saw no problem burning enemies at the stake or in a gas chamber. You CAN be brilliant, well-educated and evil. The problem is the people who follow them and do their bidding are also evil AND stupid.

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E.g. James Watson of DNA fame who has a long history of sexist & racist remarks.

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I first heard of Jordan Peterson when he was on Sam Harris’ podcast, and after his ridiculous one hour word salad trying to heming & hawing about the definition of “truth, I knew not to take him seriously. His book seems to have decent advice, but no better than any other self-help book I’ve seen.

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OK, but some people really do have embarrassing "loser problems" like ostomies that they're expected to self-manage. They likely can't and shouldn't expect professionals to do all the management for them.

While I loathe the self-help genre for the Prosperity-Gospel nonsense it tends to spew, lack of humility about anecdotal success, and so on, it's understandable there's a need for advice on how to self-manage problems, a need that does not require breathtaking prose or even great intelligence, just people with the same problem willing to compile tips -- hopefully honest, well-researched tips rather than bonkers ones -- on what may be helpful.

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Oct 8, 2022·edited Oct 8, 2022

It's probably true that self-help based on specific knowledge about a specific problem has a more limited potential audience than the sort of "Forer effect" self-help whose personal vibe comes from its vagueness.

Reading "Ostomy Not the Boss of Me" without having to deal with at least one ostomy in your personal or professional life would be weird.

But "Achakralypse Now: Biblical Chakra-Cleansing for Boardroom Success" might have more takers. Like, I hope it wouldn't. But it probably would.

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I love the Regular Car Reviews, especially the irreverence of the guy doing them. I watched some of his videos before buying my last car but it's still fun to watch even if I'm not going to buy the car in question. The Motel 6 lines were classic.

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I don't know about "volkisch," but it's a little odd that Peterson, who's staked his reputation on inculcating quasi-stoic masculine principles in irresponsible young people, should throw in with Putin just when the Russians are fleeing like Josh Hawley from the Ukrainians (and, indeed, from their own country's military draft).

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