Thursday, November 2, 2017

A key player in the transgender "wars"

The Spectator in Britain has a very interesting article about Prof. Jordan Peterson, one of the seminal figure in the conflict over transgender issues.  Here's an excerpt.

At the University of Toronto, after receiving two written warnings, [Peterson] has been in danger of losing his job following his announcement that he would refuse to use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty who don’t identify with their biological gender, to the fury of radical transgender activists. The use of such pronouns is mandatory under a recently instituted Canadian law, Bill C-16. Peterson rejects the injunction on free speech grounds. ‘I’m not going to cede linguistic territory to post-modernist neo-Marxists,’ he says. He has expressed the view that he might use the preferred gender pronoun of a particular person, if asked by that individual, rather than having the decision foisted on him by the state.

. . .

Free speech is a core value for him — the core value — and one that is becoming increasingly pressing ... That elements of the left have begun to label free speech as somehow a ‘right-wing’ value is particularly rattling (although such censorious thinking has a long history in radical left ideology).

‘If I can’t say what I think, then I don’t get to think, and if I can’t think then I can’t orient myself in the world, and if I can’t do that, then I’m going to fall into a pit and take everyone else with me,’ Peterson says.

Peterson has been saddled by some of his critics with the label ‘alt-right’, which he views as a ridiculous slander. He describes himself as a ‘classic British liberal’ who makes those on both the left and right uncomfortable. He supports socialised health care and the liberalisation of drug use, and is libertarian on most social issues.

‘Alt-right’ is certainly one of the most inaccurate pigeonholes you could imagine cramming him into. His heroes include Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, Orwell and Solzhenitsyn. He is a Christian, but more on the pattern of existential Christians such as Søren Kierkegaard or Paul Tillich than anything to be found in the Midwest Bible belt.

Peterson’s thought-crime is that he disagrees with the view of transgender activists that gender is a social construct and has no grounding in biology (although he is not opposed to transgender rights in general). So why does his right to free speech trump a transgender activist’s right not to be offended? Why not just keep his thoughts to himself?

‘Because thoughts aren’t like that,’ he says. ‘People mostly think by talking. Not only do they think by talking, but they correct their thoughts by talking. If you deprive people of the right to think, then you doom them to suffering. You doom their stupidity of its right to die. You should allow your thoughts to be cast away into the fire — instead of you.’

. . .

‘The humanities in the universities have become almost incomprehensibly shallow and corrupt in multiple ways,’ he says. ‘They don’t rely on science because they are not scientifically educated. This is true particularly in sociology, where they mask their complete ignorance of science by claiming that science is just another mode of knowing and that it’s only privileged within the structure of the oppressive Eurocentric patriarchy. It’s appalling. We’re not having an intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation.

‘Students, instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from them by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power.’

There's much more at the link.

I've been reading about Prof. Peterson since YouTube and Google tried to shut down his accounts, apparently because of his political incorrectness.  They were restored after a public outcry, but if the left considers him dangerous enough to try to silence him, I think he's probably worth listening to.  His YouTube channel contains a lot of material, particularly the 70-odd videos in a series he titles "Professor against Political Correctness".  Recommended.

As one example, here's Prof. Peterson in February 2017, speaking about postmodernism, the philosophy that underlies most current liberal and progressive thought.  A transcript of his talk may be found here.

Wisdom indeed!



Anonymous said...

The good professor is of course right to disassociate himself from "alt-right", a toxic brand if ever there was one.

"Classical liberal", "conservative", "conservatarian" (mix of conservative and libertarian) -- there is no shortage of reasonable descriptors available.

The boorish, nasty people flapping their gums "cuck this", "cuck that" are a temporary phenomenon. Ignore them until they fade away.

Midknight said...

I highly, HIGHLY recommend his podcast.

All of them.

Of particular interest are his "maps of meaning" lectures starting around EP9, and his current series stepping through teh bible.

The youtube channel includes the videos you specifically mentioned - professor against political correctness" which , and it's followup - put the lie to any who claim he hasn't read or understood the law he is standing against.

VFM #7916 said...

Peterson is always enjoyable to listen to, and he has excellent practical philosophy on the application of interpersonal rights and dynamics.

He will fail, inevitably, in that his reasonable allowance for an alternate point of view will be branded as evil, just as that Alt- worldview and thought is being branded as evil.

Libertarian thought will dry up and blow away as it relies on a hothouse established by those who had Alt- culture and philosophy, and who built a nation as and for a distinct racial group. As that nation fractures, as the culture is enshrined as evil, as miscegenation, failure to breed, and importation of third world people and culture destroy the homogeneous and high trust society, there will not be a hothouse for that kind of thought.

Those that sneer at the appellation of "Cuck" and "Cuckservative" are those that cannot even conserve a bathroom. Their political philosophy is whatever will keep them from being called the 5 words (bigot, racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobe). They will virtue signal how not bad they are and will roll over like a submissive puppy when a Marxist or SJW looks at them.

The Alt-West is inevitable. It's the real Alt-Right, which does not include the #FakeRight Reichtards or NatSoc's, and it fights.

History tends to rhyme quite nicely. Keep in mind that the Alt- will remember, and there will be a casting out of those who did not fight but still want the spoils of victory.

Either that or it won't matter as America will be consigned to the ash heap of history.

LindaG said...

Thanks for the post and the links. Much appreciated.

Unknown said...

I hate to say it, but many of those on the alt-right have some valid points.

It has become clear that many professional conservatives are primarily concerned about conserving their social status.
And many others value the prospect of saying "I told you so" much too highly to ever actually try to stop foolish policies before they're in place.

They're also correct that if a large percentage of the population embraces (toxic, noxious, horrible, despicable) identity politics, everyone else must do so as well, out of simple self-defense.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Are their any transgender animals? Cats, dogs, zebras, lions, wolves, elephants .....?

Or any owners, zookeepers, and wildlife reserve operators psycho enough to create such via exotic veterinarian procedures?

...and would the answer to the above two questions possibly indicate that, indeed, one's sex is NOT a "social construct" but an act of nature after all?

Ferric said...

I knew someone who had a transgender cat. Some toms end up prone to horrible kidney stones resulting in blockages that can potentially kill them. A common practice in cases where the blockages reoccur multiple times it so modify the tom to leave it with a larger, more feminine opening to help pass the stones. It leaves the cat more prone to infections, but those can be more easily treated that a potentially fatal blockage and the resulting buildup of toxins. And if the cat were neutered at a young age... Technically the cat would be trans, though there's no real way of telling how the cat feels about the situation/if it's left suffering from dysphoria.

As for looking to animals, for actual answers, I'd rather not. Gender roles in animals, if there's such a thing, varies from species to species to a remarkable degree. I can give generalizations and anecdotes, and some fun? facts about fish (clown fish are nasty little aquatic monsters that I will never keep, no matter how 'cute' or easy to raise I'm told they are), but other than that there's not much to say. Or too much to say depending on how you look at it.

Though I did get lectured on the internet once for missgendering my citrine goby when I was trying to explain that he was likely male at the time, but as a bidirectional hermaphrodite he'd sort out the whole sex situation if I got a friend for him.

Rolf said...

I just came across Jordan Peterson earlier this year, and he's got some very good things to say, and he typically says them very carefully. Great to listen to and learn from.

1 (anon) - disagree. The alt-right are going to take over, because the "establishment conservatives" haven't conserved a darn thing. They are much more concerned with image than effects. They are far too nice, far to unwilling to give offense to people who have weaponized empathy and concern trolling. The GOPe will be gutted by them, or be destroyed by the left. The left is imploding of it's own internal contradictions, and the typical normie is seeing the leftist masks slipping more and more each day.

VFM - yup, pretty much.

Feric - that's not "trans," that's "neutered".