Category Archives: Jordan Peterson

Understanding the Viciousness of Jordan Peterson’s Critics – Merion West

McManus and Hamilton have each written exceedingly unfair reviews of Jim Prosers recent bookSavage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization.

Jean-Paul Sartre, the French philosopher and playwright, wrote the script for a screenplay, which would later be turned into a play entitled LEngrenage (in English, In the Mesh). The name of the main character is Jean Aguerra, and the play opens with the scene of a sign installed in a suburb, which reads:Jean Aguerra, the tyrant.

In the Mesh, in all, is a very insightful play, though it is one of Sartres lesser-known works. It is about a wealthy city that has oil fields and all of the necessities for a blossoming economy, as well as a a productive and satisfied society. Still, the city hands its government over to one tyrant after another. Jean Aguerra, the latest in the chain of the citys leaders, is a bright and thoughtful intellectual, who truly desires what is best for his city and its people. However, he ends up following precisely the same path as each of the tyrants that preceded him.

Jean Aguerra hopes to eradicate poverty, and he also believes that each person should have the same degree of privilege as every other person. For him, the ideal of equality of outcome is so obvious and intuitive that he has a hard time imagining how anyone could possibly oppose that objective. However, as soon as Jean Aguerra establishes his government, he realizes that the other members of his team do not perfectly share his worldview. Even his closest allies have aspects of their own agenda that they hope to implement in the city. And, over time, corruption and mismanagement arise, which, in turn, undermines the unity of his government, giving rise to lies and schemes that permeate each level of the administration. However, Jean Aguerra remains rigid in his worldview, believing inveterately that the other members of his government are clandestine enemies seeking to destroy his masterplan for equality and prosperity.

In response, Jean Aguerra begins to order mass imprisonments, tortures, and killings. He hopes that when all of his enemies are gone that his fantasy for a perfect society will finally be reachedand that his people will, as a result, be happy and grateful. Yet, before long he is, himself, brought to be executed by a firing squad by a band of revolutionaries. Only five years prior, he was the leader of a group of revolutionaries who had executed the previous tyrant, and, within a short time, he had become what he had once existed to replace. The play suggests that this cycle will repeat ad infinitum, as each band of revolutionaries, over time, becomes the very evil that it had once existed to defeat.

The play, thus, shares some elements withThe Myth of Sisyphus, the 1942 philosophical essay written by Sartres friend and later rival Albert Camus. However, in the case of In the Mesh, there is the additional dimension. The play also examines what happens to those who box themselves into a corner with a certain ideology; no matter how grand or noble their intentionsbefore longtheir single-mindedness leads down the path towards tyranny.

Matt McManus and Conrad Hamilton repeatedly in their writings assert that the Left, as they see it, is all that is great and high. For them, the problems of our society can be explained by tyranny that comes from the Right. They incessantly critique Jordan Petersonor anyone else for that matterwho even slightly brings up ideas that contradict their views of what makes for a just society. McManus and Hamiltons critiques, most of the time, are nothing short of relentless. And there is no one they attack more unfairly than Jordan Peterson. As Tony Senatore, Fred Hammon, and others have argued in Merion West, Jordan Peterson is someone who truly helps people; he is not just a conservative ideologue. Yet, McManus and Hamilton even continue their endless criticisms of Jordan Peterson as the man fights for his life, dealing with the most serious and trying of health problems.

Most recently, McManus and Hamilton have each written exceedingly unfair reviews of Jim Prosers recent bookSavage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization. For the value that Peterson brings, look no further than Prosers own recent words about his subject:

I was in a very bad period of personal suffering, having lost my wife to cancer just prior to beginning the writing of the book. So, I was very deep into my own personal suffering, and I appreciated the advice to accept suffering as a gateway to finding a deeper meaning in my life, rather than just re-living the mindless and random catastrophes of the past. Rather than accepting it as just a random lot in existence, I actually found a deeper meaning to it that would propel me to a life of greater understanding and greater compassion.

Matt McManus and Conrad Hamilton, in the vein of Slavoj iek and other luminaries of the Left, argue for various versions of equality of outcome. A brief look at history reminds us that efforts to pursue that end have had the same result every time throughout history: tyranny, brutality, and suppression. Todays Left, when faced with questions about such miseries, tends to put forward a version of the same argument: But that was not true socialism. Bernie Sanders just articulated that very argument in a recent town hall.

Matt McManus and Conrad Hamilton are, no doubt, smart and well-read men. Yet, they should pay more careful attention to how repressive, totalitarian-inclining governments so often arise in welfare states. They also ought to give a detailed and close readingnot like the job they did with Prosers bookto the 1997 bookThe Black Book of Communism, which chronicles the horrors that have taken place in collectivist states. Page after page (and chapter after chapter) tells the story of how people with enormous powernominally acting in the interest of equality for allbecame horrible little tyrants of their own, from China to Ethiopia. Maybe then McManus and Hamilton would be more open-minded towards thoughtful critics of their aims, such as Jordan Peterson.

The story told in The Black Book of Communism, after all, is the same one as that of Jean Aguerraand the many real life leftists he represents. Dreamworlds belong in fantasy books, where they can entertain and charm their readers. However, in the actual world, sweeping sentimentalities about equality rarely engage with the questions of How? and At What Cost? But, then again, when it comes to many of these leftist schemes, the answers are hardly attractive.

Kambiz Tavana is an Iranian-American journalist and writer.

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Understanding the Viciousness of Jordan Peterson's Critics - Merion West

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Has Mastered The Art Of Waist-Up Dressing – British Vogue

Like many of us, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is having to adapt to the new norm. The model and entrepreneur is currently isolating with her husband Jason and their two-year-old son Jack at their home in Los Angeles and it looks blissful.

And, to the delight of her followers, the model has been sharing her quarantine routine on Instagram and her online blog, RoseInc. On the to-do list: reading The White Album by Joan Didion, and exercising in the home gym she has constructed in her garage. See below for a breakdown of Rosies lockdown techniques that you can try at home.

Read more: Jodie Comer Gives British Vogue The Lowdown On Her Lockdown

Long an expert practitioner of the mirror selfie, Rosie regularly posts snaps of her favourite outfits. With wardrobe staples from the likes of Bottega Veneta, The Row and Jacquemus, we dont blame her for wanting to show them off every once in a while. Her self-isolation style is largely consistent with her streamlined go-to look she recently posted a sultry snap of herself lounging in a Michael Lo Sordo silk shirt and a chunky gold chain necklace, nailing the #WFH waist-up dressing technique in one classic sweep.

Though the model admitted she is a little behind on her usual strict fitness regime, she has been using the Body by Simone app to stream daily workouts. She has also built a home gym in her garage, complete with weights, dumbbells, kettlebells and a yoga mat. And if you dont have weights at home? Try using your toddler: as she wrote on her blog, Jack would work well as our kettlebell!

While in self-isolation, the model has ditched her usual heat styling tools and let her hair dry naturally, which means [she] looks like Hagrid from Harry Potter most days! She is also continuing to be diligent with her skincare routine, and has let her skin breathe by going make-up-free and indulging in face masks. In the past, the model has sworn by the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Mask and the Sulfur Calming Mask from Control Collective.

Read more: 17 Snug Hoodies To Make Working From Home A Cosy Experience

Many of us are trying to avoid overwhelming ourselves with the news cycle. And if youre looking to cut down on screen time, why not sample Rosies reading list? It includes, but is not limited to: includes: The White Album by Joan Didion, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote For Chaos by Jordan Peterson, Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In addition, shes been watching Little Women and Bombshell on TV, and keeping cheerful by listening to podcasts including The Daily and The High Low.

Reorganising the pantry is on Rosies to-do list. She has also been making lots of comfort foods like roast chicken and potatoes or pasta and has been inspired by recipes from Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food to save multiple trips to the shops.

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Has Mastered The Art Of Waist-Up Dressing - British Vogue

Five hours to change your life with Jordan Peterson – Patheos

Life is suffering. It is complex and tragic and difficult.The price we pay for being is suffering.

We should not aim for happiness, because the purpose of life is not happiness. Happiness is done in by the first harsh blow that life deals you. If we make out happiness is the ideal state of being then anyone who experiences pain and suffering and tragedy will feel ashamed and think theres something wrong with them. If your philosophy is shallow and meaningless then when you suffer you will become resentful, hostile and self critical. And then you will become cruel and destructive and be a danger to yourself and others.

Instead we need to sacrifice current pleasures for long term future benefits. We need to believe in a future that is real, and to have confidence we will there be in that future. We then can make choices today that benefit us in the future but cost us today. If you have no future you will descend into anarchy, thats why gangs exist.

Instead of thinking the problems in the world all lie outside us, we need to recognise that the line between good and evil runs inside each of our own hearts. And given how much suffering there is in the world, we should first figure out how to tidy up our own room and beautify it. To fix ourselves and the part of the world we have influence over, and then find ways to reduce suffering not increase it.

So says Jordan Peterson, the Psychologist storming the internet for the last couple of years. The coronavirus crisis surely has helped many of us realise that the world is indeed a broken hurting place. We can be ignorant of the sheer amount of pain that exists in the world if we are comfortable and going about our business. But suddenly our eyes have been opened.

The truth is that many of us have no philosophical undergirding whatsoever on how to handle suffering. Right now many of us have had our lives interrupted. And in many homes the anguish being felt by others is still distant. But it could potentially come and touch you and your loved ones soon. If you have time to spare, why not invest five hours of that time listening to theone of the greatest intellectual thinkers of today. This may bring rewards not. just in the short term but over the rest of your life.

Jordan Peterson is not explicitly describing a specifically Christian outlook on life. But many of his assumptions flow directly from the the Judeo-Christian world view which formed the foundation of Western society for centuries. He weaves it in with insights from some of the great psychologists some of whom theorised and discovered truths many of which underlined and supported those ancient ideas.

Sadly many today have vandalised the very foundations of any real philosophy in the name of freedom concepts about human rights and oppression, and historical snobbery. This video will help you examine your own assumptions about life and thought, and his deep thinking will lead you if you are a Christian to also approach the Bible from a deeper perspective. Many of us are unconsciously and uncritically accepting modern philosophy. Peterson will help you question unhealthy assumptions you didnt even realise you had.

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Five hours to change your life with Jordan Peterson - Patheos

If people stand up in the face of the things they are afraid of, they get stronger – The Indian Express

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: March 27, 2020 7:30:42 am

Canadian author and clinical psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson urged people to stop wasting time and instead utilise it efficiently. Talking about how we tend to waste a lot of time every day, he said in a moving speech, You could ask yourself what would happen if you stop wasting the opportunities that are in front of you. You would be who knows how much more efficient!

He added, Not only do they (people) not do what they should to make things better, they actively attempt to make things worse because they are spiteful or resentful or arrogant or deceitfulIf you can teach people to stand up in the face of the things they are afraid of, they get stronger. And you do not know what the upper limits to that are!

Read| Self-pity keeps you from finding a solution: Psychotherapist Amy Morin

As individuals, what we do for ourselves and the society is not inconsequential. Dr Peterson asserted, The things you do, they are like dropping stones in a pond. The ripples move outward and they affect things in ways that you cannot fully comprehend. It means that the things that you do and you do not do, are far more important than you think.

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If people stand up in the face of the things they are afraid of, they get stronger - The Indian Express

Prof still fighting school’s demand to call he a ‘she’ – OneNewsNow

Despite a judge's ruling against him, a university professor insists his First Amendment rights are being violated if he is forced to state what he doesnt believe.

Nicholas Meriwether, who teaches philosophy at Shawnee State University, sued the school after he was reprimanded and warned about further corrective action after he refused to call a transgender girl a biological male with a feminine title and feminine pronouns.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the professor, is filing an appeal on behalf of Meriwether after his lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Susan J. Dlott.

We, of course, believe the magistrate got the law wrong, ADF attorney Travis Barham says, and we intend to explain why."

Meriwethers legal battle began in January when he referred to the transgender female as sir during a classroom discussion, which angered the student who demanded he be recognized as female. When the professor refused, the student promised to get him fired and filed a complaint with the university.

Meriwether filed a lawsuit against the university after it concluded he had created a hostile environment for the student and threatened further action against him.

According to Barham, the professor risks suspension or even firing if he keeps refusing to bow to the students demands.

The professors refusal mirrors the plight of Jordan Peterson, the Canadian professor who became Enemy No. 1 of LGBT activists (see video below) when he publicly opposed a human rights law in his country that criminalized "misgendering" people, including his students.

Peterson has stated he might call students by their preferred pronoun but warned about Canada's Orwellian-like demand that punished people for refusing to do so. That is not outlawing so-called "hate speech" but also telling you, with the threat of punishment, what you must say, he argues.

"We keep reminding folks that this case is not just about a pronoun. It's about endorsing an ideology, Barham warns. The university's trying to force Dr. Meriwether to endorse and affirm a transgender way of looking at the world."

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Prof still fighting school's demand to call he a 'she' - OneNewsNow

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? – The Guardian

Welcome to this weeks blogpost. Heres our roundup of your comments and photos from the last week.

Lousie Erdrichs Last Report On The Miracles At Little No Horse seems pertinent to NicolaVintageReads:

The cold deepened and the illness flourished. At all hours the desperate came calling. Mary Kashpaw broke the trail, tramped before the priest in her bearpaw snowshoes, twice the size of ordinary snowshoes and reinforced with moose gut and the unforgiving sinews of cows.

Seems pertinent to re read Lousie Erdrichs Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse where Spanish Flu hits the reservation in 1918 and Mary Kashpaw and Father Damien Modeste trudge through the snow to help the sick and dying. Great writing can be uplifting in troubled times.

Tom Hollands Dynasty has fascinated BaddHamster:

Im again reminded of how so many of the values that we were taught are Christian, and still are by the likes of Jordan Peterson etc., are actually directly descended from Roman ideas of virtue, particularly in the area of sexual morality. It strikes me that traditional Roman thinking on the topic was every bit as confused as that of any Pope that came afterwards. Of course, it makes perfect sense given the Christian churches are direct descendents of the Roman empire, but its no less fascinating all the same.

Ive just read Borgess Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, says LeatherCol:

I was very rewarded. I think most by the peculiar impact his brevity has, and - even in translation - his use of language. I read somewhere (here....?) that Borgess writing is devoid of simile. It is as if each word is specifically chosen for its direct use to tell the single story he wants to right. It isnt only what he says about reading changing identical text, its the surrounding edifice of the story he constructs that feels so deep in so few pages. I particularly disliked the unreliable narrator for his high Catholic antisemitism and anti-Protestantism, and had such a strong image of what he looked like, what his study looked like. Im sure its a story that will continue to make me think in its wake.

Warsaw Diary 1978-81 by Kazimerz Brandys has been a great find, says AbsoluteBeginner76:

Brandys comments on his first impressions of Warsaw in 1932, he writes of the city as an Englishman of London or a Frenchman of Paris, the majestic capital, its boulevards and culture. As I had never regarded Warsaw as a special city, this was fascinating to read, I felt myself drawn into another culture and a view on the world.

Tove Ditlevsens Childhood has been a successful first foray into Danish literature Veufveuve:

In marked contrast with the glacial pace at which I read The End I have just read, its marvellous. Taut prose, the wonderfully vivid presence of the narrator (and thus the author), and an economical but very rich evocation of a time and a place, the working class Copenhagen neighbourhood of Vesterbro in the 1920s.

Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautin has impressed jimitron5000:

The main character (Charley) is really put through the wringer in this one. The writing is simple and beautiful, the content quite brutal.

Ive been reading Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs by Camilla Townsend, says tommydog:

What most of us know about the Aztec is probably little more than they performed human sacrifices, had some big pyramids, and were quickly conquered by Cortez. The Aztecs were a fairly new power in central Mexico and were very conscious of their own relatively recent arrival from what is probably now the present day American southwest, and their status as disdained and impoverished newcomers until recently. They had books written in glyphs that folded out like accordions. They built what some of the conquistadores said was the most beautiful city theyd ever seen in the middle of lake with sumptuous gardens, markets and even a zoo. There were complex political rivalries between prominent families exacerbated by lots of polygamy and sons from multiple mothers whose social status depended more on that of their mother when they all had the same father. When they finally fell to Cortez it was a brutal war followed by ravages from smallpox

The author has apparently learnt the Aztec language made her own translations of surviving records. She writes beautifully and it is an interesting but fairly short book at just over 200 pages.

Castle to Castle by Celine has given Long_Shanks something to laugh about:

Celines poetic misanthropic rants have brought the joy of reading back into my life! The first 100 pages have been rants about those who have wronged him after his fall from grace. He then moves on to chronicle his experience holed up in a castle in Sigmaringen, Germany with members of the Vichy French government towards the end of WW2 as the Allied forces are advancing. Only a talent like Celine can take a dark time in history and turn it into something hilariously brilliant.

Finally, forgive an unusual sign-off. A lot of us will be going into isolation over the next few weeks and these are highly unusual times. Looking on the bright side, well be able to get some good reading done and have plenty to share. Lets also continue to make this a place where we can support each other and cheer each other up. And, talking of feeling better, Ive been stocking up on Terry Pratchett books and there are hours and hours of Bruce Springsteen bootlegs I havent yet heard ... Art is one of the things that will keep us going. So keep sharing those recommendations.

If youre on Instagram, now you can share your reads with us: simply tag your posts with the hashtag #GuardianBooks, and well include a selection in this blog. Happy reading!

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Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? - The Guardian

Patrick Peterson: Cardinals ‘all in’ this year and ‘not done’ – Cards Wire

The Arizona Cardinals have made two big offseason moves so far. They have agreed to a trade for receiver DeAndre Hopkins and have agreed to a three-year deal with defensive lineman Jordan Phillips.

Those are two great beginning moves and it has cornerback Patrick Peterson excited.

Check out what he told former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden, who now works as an analyst for CBS Sports.

Im going to meet you in Tampa, he said. And why? Thats where the Super is, right. He is excited about the upcoming season and believes the Cardinals might content.

Were all in and were not done.

Peterson apparently is excited about the direction the Cardinals are going in this offseason.

The Cardinals have been quiet since the trade and report of the deal for Phillips. If Peterson is to be believed, we should expect more offseason noise.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wires Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

Ep. 261

Ep. 260

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Patrick Peterson: Cardinals 'all in' this year and 'not done' - Cards Wire

What Happened to Jordan Peterson? – The New Republic

So far, there is no evidence that Peterson displayed any of the so-called aberrant behaviors that define addiction. Butagain, all we have to go on is reports from his daughter, whose family has astrong financial incentive to spin away any suggestion that the man who madehis name engaging in a kind of intellectual Spartan cosplay is hopelesslyaddicted to a sedative. In fact, Mikhaila has jokingly alluded to how bad anaddiction diagnosis would be for her fathers lucrative self-help brand, whichpurports to rid adherents of weakness through grit and self-sacrifice. Wefigured we should let people know [the facts] before some tabloid finds out andpublishes [that] Jordan Peterson, self help guru, is on meth or something,Mikhaila said in a video update after Peterson checked himself into rehab inthe U.S.

Still, as soon as Petersons initial stint inrehab became public in 2019, threads sprang up in Peterson-related forums aboutwhether his fans should think less of him in light of his struggles with benzodiazepines.He was using a drug to escape the pain of reality, period. Call it whateveryou like, but it doesnt change the facts, wrote the user KingLudwigII on Reddit. In fact, dependence and addiction arehealth issues, not character defects, and if you pressed Peterson on thatpoint, hed probably agree. However, that message is a tough sell to many ofPetersons fans, who are drawn to his macho image and his personal story oftriumph over adversity.

By August or September 2019, Petersonshealth had deteriorated to the point that the family was more worried about himthan his cancer-stricken wife, Mikhaila said in an appearance onRT, the Russian propaganda network aimed at audiences outside of Russia.

There are established ways of treating adependence on benzodiazepines, a class of sedativesincluding Klonopin(clonazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam)used for anxiety,insomnia, and epilepsy. Introduced to the U.S. market in 1960 as an alternative to barbiturates,benzodiazepines can be useful in treating a variety of conditions from panicattacks to muscle spasms. They can be very helpful for short-term andintermittent use, but their benefits tend to wanewhen they are used every day. They can also cause physical dependence within four weeks. If a person whos physicallydependent on benzodiazepines stops taking the drugs suddenly, they can sufferfrom withdrawal symptoms including severe anxiety, agitation, and evenlife-threatening seizures.

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Inside the Treatment of Jordan Peterson – InsideHook

What caused Jordan Peterson to go missing late last year?

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

In a 2018 article inThe New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh wrote about the growing appeal of Canadian author and cultural commentator Jordan Peterson. Peterson, formerly an obscure professor, is now one of the most influential and polarizing public intellectuals in the English-speaking world, Sanneh wrote. Last year, the already-compex story of Petersons life took an unexpected turn, as his daughter Mikhaila Peterson informed the world that Peterson was seeking treatment for a dependency on clonazepam.

Following that, the Petersons traveled to Russia; Mikhaila posted a video stating that the elder Peterson had spent time in a medically-induced coma as part of his treatment. It was a shocking moment, regardless of your thoughts on Petersons work.AtThe New Republic, Lindsay Beyerstein delved into the mystery of Petersons treatment and explored why the narrative surrounding it has become so clouded.

Beyersteins article includes a blend of analysis and research, leading to a disquieting conclusion:

Based on interviews with medical professionals and a close reading of various statements that Mikhaila and Peterson himself have made on podcasts and social media, it is clear that Peterson ended up in Russia after an extended battle to wean himself off clonazepam. And it seems likely that Peterson, a self-proclaimed man of science, succumbed to the lure of a quack treatmentwith devastating consequences.

Beyerstein also notes the contradictory nature of these announcements: Dependency goes against the core tenets of Petersons philosophical brand, she writes. But theres plenty to take away from this about the challenges of addressing and treating both drug dependency and drug addiction all of which Petersons treatment brings into sharp relief.

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Christopher Booker: Groupthink review an uncritical history of political correctness – The Arts Desk

Groupthink, according to Christopher Booker, is one of the most valuable guides to collective human behaviour we have ever been given. But what is it exactly? It begins Bookers final, incomplete and posthumously published work as a descriptor for behaviour dictated by the group mind, the fixations of the human herd, or a collective make-believe. It is, in other words, a worldview with a superficial importance, whose relation to reality is fraught, and serves as an explanation for much of our world today: from identity politics, or the European Union, to the belief, passionately held by an increasing number of people, that the greatest threat facing the planet is man-made global warming.

Bookers climate scepticism, made patently clear from the books introductory chapter, offers an insight into the partisan nature of the study that's to come. The early stages of Bookers investigation carry us through American and British counterculture, US civil rights activism, and the emergence Second-Wave Feminism earlier iterations of our contemporary groupthink, each operating in pursuit of a shared vision: to see white, male, euro-centricity consigned to the dustbin of history. Such assertions, however, come at the expense of evidence. The conclusion to the book, penned after Bookers death by the political analyst Richard North,states that the majority of its preceding 183 pages have been compiled with the lightest of editing. It shows. Bookers tendency to list rather analyse is repetitive; when he does pause for thought, he is more concerned with the rate of change rather its value, repeatedly noting events that might, for instance, have played out differently only five years earlier.

Other passages are yet more puzzling. During a hashed examination of Darwinism, we catch Booker marvelling at the impossibility by which the evolutionary process eventually produced just one [species] which displays those two absolutely crucial but seemingly contradictory attributes that mark it out from every other form of life. Disappointingly, one of these attributes that [man] developed a brain much larger than that of any other animal is incorrect; the largest brain is found in the sperm whale, the largest brain-to-body mass ratio in the shrew. And, while we find Booker at his most engaging on Europe (perhaps not a surprise North has compiled these mostly from scratch), his logic is often flawed. Bookers discussion of the European Union begins with an attractive though typically under-sourced argument in support of the idea that a United States of Europe was incipient at the first conception of the economic zone. But his timeline leapfrogs blithely over successive decades, or is disrupted by his frequent failure to distinguish so-called groupthink from its broader, and less interesting cousin: bad decision-making.

Riding a wave of extreme examples(of which, he declares, none were untypical)uncritically cited from the Daily Mail and his former employer, the Daily Telegraph, it emerges over Groupthinks course that Bookers supposedly neutral principle of human behaviour is, in fact, a stand-in for a specifically left-wing political correctness. But if this helps to explain Bookers combative stance towards the last seven decades of progressive activism, it cannot prepare us for a set of views that cross, with unmistakable swagger, into downright misogyny and blatant homophobia. During a passage on the 2002 Adoption Act, which legalised adoption for same-sex couples, Booker draws on the example of the 18-month baby girl Elsie, whose death in 2016 came at the hands of her male adoptive parents. Elsies case, Booker argues, was made worse by the fact that the authorities, bowing to the ideological make-believe of the time, entrusted her into the care of her eventual murderers. What he declines to say, though he knowingly implies, is that the fact of the couple being same sex in some way contributed to Elsies death a more than controversial opinion that he nevertheless feels the need to disguise, with intentionally uncertain terms, as one of an unspecified number of basic human realities.

On this evidence, it is a small wonder that, in light of other instances of publisher-censorship in recent weeks, Groupthink has not garnered similar attention. But it may well be that the book is too farcical to cause offence. Bookers contrarian credentials are well-known, and it is hard to account otherwise for how anyone with such concern for objective reality might display such indifference towards the integrity of his own methods. In any case, it begs the question as to what, if anything, is the value of this book? Proponents of Bookers theories would be better served by Canadian "academic" Jordan Peterson, whose more astutely worded pop-science, along with his notorious Channel 4 interview with Cathy Newman in 2018, Booker is keen to both reference and seemingly without knowing contradict in the adjacent pages. Likewise, a scant account of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is equally muddled, Booker doing a considerable injustice to a man and a set of theories he clearly admired.

If there are any lessons to be had, they are, rather, for Bookers opponents. Many on the left would do well to note the willingness, typical of Bookers brand of conspiracism, to utilise any example of leftist scorn or abuseagainst the right relevant or not to the discredit of its arguments, while his case against natural selection, set in opposition to a few half-hearted arguments in favour of intelligent design, make for an impressively sophistic spectacle. Otherwise, this aptly subtitled Study in Self Delusion offers only unsubstantiated polemic. Its crowning achievement is the proof, in Bookers own words, that we cant all be experts in everything. The dustbin awaits.


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Christopher Booker: Groupthink review an uncritical history of political correctness - The Arts Desk