Category Archives: Jordan Peterson
With the opening of two heavily hyped Star Wars: Galaxys Edge lands, the Force continues to be strong at Mickeys theme parks on both coasts. The Dec. 5 debut of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneys Hollywood Studios, part of Walt Disney World in Florida, rounded out the initial phase of the revolutionary land in grand style. It just may be the most sophisticated and arguably, the best attraction that Disneys merry band of Imagineers has yet developed. Rise is scheduled to open on Jan. 17 at the Disneyland version of Galaxys Edge in California.
But its not going to beall lightsabers and droids all the time. There are a ton of other new attractions, shows, updates, dining experiences, and more coming to Disneyland and, especially, Walt Disney World in 2020.
We are creating an idealistic Disney bubble so that guests can feel like they are in a magical place, says Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney parks, experiences, and products, about everything that is on the way.
Disney World:Rise of the Resistance puts riders in the middle of an epic 'Star Wars' battle
With Goofy serving as the engineer of a train ride that (in typical theme park fashion) will go horribly wrong, passengers will be transported into Mickeys cartoon realm when they ride Mickey & Minnies Runaway Railway.(Photo: Disney)
Who wouldnt want to be in a Mickey short cartoon? asks Kevin Rafferty, show writer and creative directorfor Walt Disney Imagineering. Thats his pitch for Mickey & Minnies Runaway Railway, which is scheduled to open March 4 at Disneys Hollywood Studios. Based on the wacky and highly stylized look and feel of the new Mickey Mouse series, the attraction the first ride-through experience to feature the beloved icon will incorporate the shorts offbeat humor and cadence while adhering to cartoon logic and physics, according to Rafferty.
With Goofy serving as the engineer of a train ride that (in typical theme park fashion) will go horribly wrong, passengers will be transported into Mickeys cartoon realm.
We have a winner, Chapek enthuses and predicts that Runaway Railway will be the sleeper hit of the year. A veteran Imagineer who has worked on many of the parks most popular attractions, Rafferty says that the Mickey ride is his favorite.
Youll also be able to catch an original cartoon in the style of the Disney Channel series at the new Mickey Shorts Theater. It will open in March at the Studios park as well.
Remys Ratatouille Adventure is based on Pixars Ratatouille and will take passengers through Gusteaus restaurant where they will experience culinary calamities from the perspective of Remy, a rat who aspires to be a gourmet chef.(Photo: Disney)
Epcot is undergoing a major transformation that will introduce new lands, welcome new additions, and update components of Disney Worlds second theme park. Trackless vehicles will be featured in Remys Ratatouille Adventure, which is scheduled to open at the France pavilion in the summer. Like a similar attraction at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, it will be based on Pixars Ratatouille and will take passengers through Gusteaus restaurant where they will experience culinary calamities from the perspective of Remy, a rat who aspires to be a gourmet chef.
Epcot's new HarmonioUS is the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park.(Photo: Disney)
The longstanding nighttime presentation, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, closed in 2019 and ceded the World Showcase Lagoon spotlight to Epcot Forever, a temporary show now playing that pays homage to the parks history. It will be replaced in 2020 by HarmonioUS, which Chapek touts as the largest-scale evening show that Disney has ever developed. Floating fountains and set pieces, a barrage of lights and lasers, and, of course, booming and blazing pyrotechnics will be choreographed to classic Disney songs as performed by a global array of musicians.
Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts, will coach would-be chanteuses in Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, coming to the France pavilion.(Photo: WALT DISNEY PICTURES)
Curtains will rise on a trio of new Epcot films, all scheduled to debut on Jan. 17. You could put your warbling to the test and be the guest of Mrs. Potts herself, Angela Lansbury, as she coaches would-be chanteuses in Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, coming to the France pavilion.
Comic actors and frequent collaborators (as well as Canucks) Eugene Levy and Catherine OHara will co-host Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360, the new in-the-round movie opening at the Canada pavilion. In-theater effects will punctuate Awesome Planet, a film to be shown at The Land pavilion that will celebrate the awesome place we call home.
Since most of us cant resist the lure of our mobile phones, we may as well use them in pursuit of fun during our Disney World visits. Epcot will introduce the latest version of its high-tech scavenger hunt, Disneys Duck Tales World Showcase Adventure. Using the Play Disney Parks mobile app, you and your buddies could join Donald and the gang for an interactive mission throughout the park.
Visitors will board a space elevator that will whisk them 220 miles above the Earth to Space 220 where they will enjoy a meal while gazing at the cosmos through expansive windows.(Photo: Disney)
An out-of-this-world dining experience awaits at Space 220, coming to Epcot this winter. Visitors will board a space elevator that will whisk them 220 miles above the Earth to a space station where they will enjoy a meal while gazing at the cosmos through expansive windows. Heres hoping Tang-infused martinis will be on the menu.
Back on terra firma, the France pavilion will welcome the new restaurant, La Crperie de Paris, featuring both sweet and savory versions of the yummy pancakes. Regal Eagle Smokehouse, opening this winter at Epcots American Adventure, will be serving barbeque and craft beers with the Muppets' Sam the Eagle ashost. Over at Disneys Hollywood Studios, more smoked delicacies will be available at the new Roundup Rodeo BBQ table-service restaurant coming to the parks Toy Story Land.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is a new table-service restaurant coming to Toy Story Land in 2020.(Photo: Disney)
Cirque du Soleils tent-like theater at Disney Springs, the shopping, dining, and entertainment district at Disney World, has been dark since the long-running show, La Nouba, closed at the end of 2017. But it will spring to life on April 17 when the avant-garde troupe opens Drawn to Life. Created in collaboration with Disney, the production will feature the studios animated movies and characters.
The Magic Happens parade, debuting Feb. 28, will feature characters from Disney and Pixar films such as Frozen, Sleeping Beauty, Moana, and Coco.(Photo: Disney)
Disney parks love a parade, and beginning Feb. 28, the Magic Happens procession will step off at Disneyland. Mickey Mouse and his buddies will be at the helm, and other floats will feature characters from Disney and Pixar films such as Frozen, Sleeping Beauty, Moana, and Coco.
This parade celebrates the way magic affects both the characters in the stories and the guests who are watching, says Jordan Peterson, show director. Magic Happens is like a love letter to those special transformative moments.
Marvel, a key branch of the Disney empire, will establish more of a presence at the U.S. parks with the opening of the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park, part of Californias Disneyland Resort, in 2020.(Photo: Disney/Marvel)
Marvel, a key branch of the Disney empire, will establish more of a presence at the U.S. parks with the opening of the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park, part of Californias Disneyland Resort, in 2020.
The highlight of the new land will be an interactive attraction featuring Spider-Man. Recruits aboard Web-Slinger vehicles will help Spidey collect Spider-Bots, pesky surveillance devices developed by the nefarious Otto Octavius, otherwise known as Doctor Doc Ock Octopus.
The Web-Slinger technology is extraordinary, Chapek says, because it enables guests to act like Spider-Man. I think it is going to blow everyone away.
Youll also be able to order oversized and miniaturized food items at Pym Test Kitchen, courtesy of the Pym Particles developed by Ant-Man and The Wasp. Other over-muscled comic book heroes from Black Panther, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxyand Doctor Strange will take up residence at the Avengers Campus.
Walt Disney once said, Disneyland will never be completed ... as long as there is imagination left in the world. With everything that is planned for 2020, his ethos would seem to pervade all of the Disney parks. But Walts clarion call for expansion and renewal even applies to his parks original attractions.
Sixty-five years after it debuted, Snow Whites Scary Adventures is getting a makeover. When it reopens this year, the classic dark ride will be spiffed up inside and out and feature new technology such as laser projections and LED black lighting as well as new scenes such as the princess waking from her deep slumber.
From July 1993 to June 1998, Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals. Two former Ph.D. students, Shelley Carson, a psychologist and teacher from Harvard, and author Gregg Hurwitz recalled that Peterson's lectures were already highly admired by the students. In July 1998, he returned to Canada and eventually became a full professor at the University of Toronto.
Peterson's areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacology, abnormal, neuro, clinical, personality, social, industrial and organizational, religious, ideological, political, and creativity psychology. Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers and has been cited almost 8,000 times as of mid-2017.
For most of his career, Peterson had an active clinical practice, seeing about 20 people a week. He had been active on social media, and in September 2016 he released a series of videos in which he criticized Bill C-16. As a result of new projects, he decided to put the clinical practice on hold in 2017 and temporarily stopped teaching as of 2018.
In June 2018, Peterson debated with Sam Harris at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver while moderated by Bret Weinstein, and again in July at the 3Arena in Dublin and The O2 Arena in London while moderated by Douglas Murray, over the topic of religion and God. In April 2019, Peterson debated professor Slavoj iek at the Sony Centre in Toronto over happiness under capitalism versus Marxism.
In 1999 Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory about how people construct meaning, form beliefs and make narratives using ideas from various fields including mythology, religion, literature, philosophy and psychology in accordance to the modern scientific understanding of how the brain functions.
According to Peterson, his main goal was to examine why both individuals and groups participate in social conflict, explore the reasoning and motivation individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification) that eventually results in killing and pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide. He considers that an "analysis of the world's religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality". Jungian archetypes play an important role in the book.
In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on Peterson's book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.
In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson's second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work contains abstract ethical principles about life, in a more accessible style than Maps of Meaning.To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour. As part of the tour, Peterson was interviewed in the UK by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News which generated considerable attention, as well as popularity for the book. The book topped bestselling lists in Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom. As of January 2019, Peterson is working on a sequel to 12 Rules for Life.
In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures ("Personality and Its Transformations", "Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief") and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 1.8 million subscribers and his videos have received more than 65 million views as of August 2018. In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received on the crowdfunding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017, more than $50,000 by July 2017, and over $80,000 by May 2018. In December 2018, Peterson decided to delete his Patreon account after Patreon's bans of political personalities who were violating Patreon's terms of service regarding hate speech.
Peterson has appeared on many podcasts, conversational series, as well other online shows. In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has included academic guests such as Camille Paglia, Martin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker. On his YouTube channel he has interviewed Stephen Hicks, Richard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. In March 2019, the podcast joined the Westwood One network with Peterson's daughter as a co-host on some episodes. Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.
In May 2017, Peterson began The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories, a series of live theatre lectures, also published as podcasts, in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Book of Genesis as patterns of behavior ostensibly vital for personal, social and cultural stability.
In March 2019, Peterson had his invitation of a visiting fellowship at Cambridge University rescinded. He had previously said that the fellowship would give him "the opportunity to talk to religious experts of all types for a couple of months", and that the new lectures would have been on Book of Exodus. A spokesperson for the University said that there was "no place" for anyone who could not uphold the "inclusive environment" of the university. After a week, the vice-chancellor Stephen Toope explained that it was due to a photograph with a man wearing an Islamophobic shirt. The Cambridge student union released a statement of relief, considering the invitation "a political act to ... legitimise figures such as Peterson" and that his work and views are not "representative of the student body". Peterson called the decision a "deeply unfortunate ... error of judgement" and expressed regret that the Divinity Faculty had submitted to an "ill-informed, ignorant and ideologically-addled mob".
In 2005, Peterson and his colleagues set up a for-profit company to provide and produce a writing therapy program with a series of online writing exercises. Titled the Self Authoring Suite, it includes the Past Authoring Program (a guided autobiography); two Present Authoring Programs which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well as since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Peterson's co-authored 2015 study showed significant reduction in ethnic and gender-group differences in performance, especially among ethnic minority male students. According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.
Peterson has characterized himself as a "classic British liberal", and as a "traditionalist". He has stated that he is commonly mistaken to be right wing, as, for example, The New York Times has described Peterson as "conservative-leaning", and The Washington Post has described him as "conservative". Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Yoram Hazony stated, "The startling success of his elevated arguments for the importance of order has made him the most significant conservative thinker to appear in the English-speaking world in a generation." Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs opines that Peterson has been seen "as everything from a fascist apologist to an Enlightenment liberal, because his vacuous words are a kind of Rorschach test onto which countless interpretations can be projected." Prominent libertarian socialist intellectual Noam Chomsky has agreed with Robinson's criticism, although he described Peterson as "far on the right".
Peterson's critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernism, postmodern feminism, white privilege, cultural appropriation, and environmentalism.
Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson's opponents had "underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society's institutions", while in The Spectator, Tim Lott stated Peterson became "an outspoken critic of mainstream academia". Peterson's social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: "few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won".
According to his studyconducted with one of his students, Christine Brophyof the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: "PC-egalitarianism" and "PC-authoritarianism", which is a manifestation of "offense sensitivity". Jason McBride claims Peterson places classical liberals in the first type, and places so-called social justice warriors, who he says "weaponize compassion", in the second. The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.
Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe. According to Peterson, he watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s. In his view the humanities have become corrupt and less reliant on science. Instead of "intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation". From his own experience as a professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated about and unaware of the mass exterminations and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that "instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power".
Peterson says that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s have built upon and extended certain core tenets of Marxism and communism while simultaneously appearing to disavow both ideologies. He says that it is difficult to understand contemporary Western society without considering the influence of a strain of postmodernist thought that migrated from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He states that certain academics in the humanities:
... started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name.... The people who hold this doctrinethis radical, postmodern, communitarian doctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramountthey've got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well.
Peterson's perspective on the influence of postmodernism on North American humanities departments has been compared to Cultural Marxist conspiracy theories.
Peterson says that "disciplines like women's studies should be defunded" and advises freshman students to avoid subjects like sociology, anthropology, English literature, ethnic studies, and racial studies, as well as other fields of study he believes are corrupted by the neo-Marxist ideology. He says that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations, cult-like behaviour, safe-spaces, and radical left-wing political activism for students. Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses artificial intelligence to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as "it might add excessively to current polarization".
Peterson has criticized the use of the term "white privilege", stating that "being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop.... [It's] racist in its extreme". In regard to identity politics, while the "left plays them on behalf of the oppressed, let's say, and the right tends to play them on behalf of nationalism and ethnic pride", he considers them "equally dangerous" and that what should be emphasized instead are individualism and individual responsibility. He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating the concept promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.
On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled "Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law". In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty, saying it fell under compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government's Bill C-16, which proposed to add "gender identity or expression" as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the hate speech laws in Canada.
He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free-speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human-rights laws if he refuses to call a transgender student or faculty member by the individual's preferred pronoun. Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments, paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed "directly or indirectly" as offensive, "whether intentionally or unintentionally". Other academics and lawyers challenged Peterson's interpretation of C-16.
The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty, and labour unions; critics accused Peterson of "helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive" and of "fundamentally mischaracterising" the law. Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention. When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said "it would depend on how they asked me[...] If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no[...] If I could have a conversation like the one we're having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level". Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:
I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words "zhe" and "zher." These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.
I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.
In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.
In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16, from support to opposition, after meeting with Peterson and discussing it. Peterson's analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage. In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16. A media-relations adviser for SSHRC said, "Committees assess only the information contained in the application." In response, The Rebel Media launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson's behalf. The campaign raised C$195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding. In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Canadian Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak about the bill.
In November 2017, Lindsay Shepherd, the teaching assistant in a Wilfrid Laurier University first-year communications course, was censured by her professors for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16 with another professor, during a classroom discussion about pronouns. The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a "toxic climate", being compared to a "speech by Hitler", and being itself in violation of Bill C-16. The censure was later withdrawn and both the professors and the university formally apologized. The events were criticized by Peterson, as well as several newspaper editorial boards and national newspaper columnists as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses. In June 2018, Peterson filed a $1.5-million lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University, arguing that three staff members of the university had maliciously defamed him by making negative comments about him behind closed doors. As of September2018,[update] Wilfried Laurier had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that it was ironic for a purported advocate of free speech to attempt to curtail free speech.
Peterson has argued that there is an ongoing "crisis of masculinity" and "backlash against masculinity" in which the "masculine spirit is under assault". He has argued that feminism and policies such as no-fault divorce have had adverse effects on gender relations and have destabilized society. He has argued that the left characterises the existing societal hierarchy as an "oppressive patriarchy" but "dont want to admit that the current hierarchy might be predicated on competence." Peterson has said that men without partners are likely to become violent, and has noted that male violence is reduced in societies wherein monogamy is a social norm. He has attributed the rise of Donald Trump and far-right European politicians to what he says is a negative reaction to a push to "feminize" men, saying "If men are pushed too hard to feminize they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology." He attracted considerable attention over a 2018 Channel 4 interview where he clashed with interviewer Cathy Newman on the topic of the gender pay gap. Peterson disputed the contention that the disparity was solely due to sexual discrimination.
Peterson doubts the scientific consensus on climate change, saying he is "very skeptical of the models that are used to predict climate change," and that "[y]ou can't trust the data because too much ideology is involved".
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In his book, Twelve Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson ties in the ancient practice of ritual sacrifice to the basic economic practice of delayed gratification.
When engaging in sacrifice, our forefathers began to act out what would be considered a proposition, if it were stated in words: that something better might be attained in the future by giving up something of value in the present. Prosaically, such sacrificeworkis delay of gratification, but thats a very mundane phrase to describe something of such profound significance. The discovery that gratification could be delayed was simultaneously the discovery of time and, with it, causality (at least the causal force of voluntary human action) [p. 164].
While Im not convinced by Petersons secular evolutionary narrative explanation, he is right to see a relationship between the religious ritual of sacrifice and basic economic thinking. In Exodus and Leviticus, sacrifice to God, tribute to God, redemption, and repayment with money all go together. See, for example, Exodus 30:11-16, where silver coins were given to God as a ransom and atonement for the lives of the men of Israel. Or Deuteronomy 14:22-27, where it is acknowledged that one can sell the items that one owes God, bring the money to Gods sanctuary, and buy the things to offer to God. Sacrifice is a kind of investing in the future.
Consider the kind of practical guidance we find in Proverbs:
There are a lot more statements like this in Proverbs. I selected these as a sample because they have something in common, although a few seem to contradict each other. Some emphasize the importance of saving over consuming or over visible spending for the sake of gaining a reputation as a great man. Others question the value of saving compared selling, reminding you that one can profit more than monetarily in the future by gaining goodwill in the community. But they are all about giving up something you want in the present for the sake of a greater blessing in the future.
We have just passed through the Christmas season where we remind one another of the story of the birth of a king. And while the angels and the guiding star obviously point out Jesus royal status, he does not otherwise seem like much of a king. This kings family is ordered about by an emperors decree and the newborn infant is laid to rest in an animal trough. But "an inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end" (Proverbs 20:21 ESV), and Jesus planned to inherit a world of blessing.
The Apostle Paul invokes the example of Jesus when appealing to Christians to help others through their generosity:
"I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:89 ESV)
Paul also writes,
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:37 ESV)
Jesus did more than present an example for humanity to follow but he wasnt less than an example. As he told his disciples,
"You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:4245 ESV)
Investing in the future takes many forms, some seemingly small and others grand. But ultimately, such sacrifice requires faith and a willingness to relinquish what you could enjoy now to gain that and more.
There are many ways Christmas changed the world, but we should not rule out the formation of new culture of giving and investing in people and prosperity where the value of a better future for many outweighed the present pleasures of the few. As Jesus commanded and promised,
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:3738 ESV)
Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.
From 1993 to 1997, Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse, and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals. Afterwards, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a professor at the University of Toronto.
In 1999, Routledge published Peterson's Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory for how we construct meaning, represented by the mythical process of the exploratory hero, and provides an interpretation of religious and mythical models of reality presented in a way that is compatible with modern scientific understanding of how the brain works. It synthesizes ideas drawn from narratives in mythology, religion, literature and philosophy, as well as research from neuropsychology, in "the classic, old-fashioned tradition of social science."
Peterson's primary goal was to examine why individuals, not simply groups, engage in social conflict, and to model the path individuals take that results in atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide. Peterson considers himself a pragmatist, and uses science and neuropsychology to examine and learn from the belief systems of the past and vice versa, but his theory is primarily phenomenological. In the book, he explores the origins of evil, and also posits that an analysis of the world's religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality.
Harvey Shepard, writing in the Religion column of the Montreal Gazette, stated: "To me, the book reflects its author's profound moral sense and vast erudition in areas ranging from clinical psychology to scripture and a good deal of personal soul searching. ... Peterson's vision is both fully informed by current scientific and pragmatic methods, and in important ways deeply conservative and traditional."
In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario. He has also appeared on that network on shows such as Big Ideas, and as a frequent guest and essayist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin since 2008.
In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures ("Personality and Its Transformations", "Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief") and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 600,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 35 million views as of January 2018. He has also appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, The Gavin McInnes Show, Steven Crowder's Louder with Crowder, Dave Rubin's The Rubin Report, Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Radio, h3h3Productions's H3 Podcast, Sam Harris's Waking Up podcast, Gad Saad's The Saad Truth series and other online shows. In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 37 episodes as of January 10, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille Paglia, Martin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker, while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen Hicks, Richard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto.
Peterson with his colleagues Robert O. Pihl, Daniel Higgins, and Michaela Schippers produced a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite. It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The Self Authoring Programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Pennebaker demonstrated that writing about traumatic or uncertain events and situations improved mental and physical health, while Latham demonstrated that personal planning exercises help make people more productive. According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.
In May 2017 he started new project, titled "The psychological significance of the Biblical stories", a series of live theatre lectures in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behaviour vital for both personal, social and cultural stability.
His upcoming book "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos" will be released on January 23rd, 2018. It was released in the UK on January 16th. Dr. Peterson is currently on tour throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
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A rare, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of Jordan Peterson, the academic and best-selling author who captured the world's attention with his criticisms of political correctness and his life-changing philosophy on discovering personal meaning. Christened as the most influential public intellectual in the western world, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson skyrocketed to fame after he published a controversial viral video series entitled "Professor Against Political Correctness" in 2016. Within 2 years, he sold over 3 million copies of his self-help book, 12 Rules For Life, and became simultaneously branded by some as an academic rockstar selling out theatres around the world, and by others as a dangerous threat to progressive society. THE RISE OF JORDAN PETERSON intimately traces the transformative period of Peterson's life while visiting rare moments with his family, friends and foes who share their own versions of the Jordan Peterson story.
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The specialized, personalized report you will receive after completing the understandmyself.com process will help you understand your personality in great detail, and aid you substantially in your understanding of others. It will help you determine what jobs suit you and why, what sort of people you are likely to find compatible (and incompatible), where your strengths and weaknesses lie and, perhaps most importantly, just how profound the differences between individuals actually are. It isnt only that we differ in our opinions. We differ in how we perceive the world, how we filter our facts, and how we arrange our goals and actions. Appreciation for the genuine differences between people can help you orient yourself in the world, and appreciate the truly diverse viewpoints necessary to make the complex systems of society function, as well as increasing your comprehension of the singular and unique combination of basic traits and subsidiary aspects that characterize you, personally.
Over the last fifty years, specialists in the measurement of personality (a field known as psychometrics) have been applying advanced statistical techniques such as factor analysis to study the language people use to understand themselves and each other. According to the lexical hypothesis the primary guiding idea behind such work each and every human language contains a relatively complete description of the important similarities and differences between individuals. Language has encapsulated such description because human beings are exceptionally social, and need to understand each other to cooperate effectively and avoid conflict.
Most of the work done to understand personality has been conducted on the adjectives that people use to describe each other (words such as happy, sad, nice, hard-working, and creative). Psychometric specialists have given extensive lists of such adjectivessometimes as single words, sometimes as phrases, and sometimes as sentencesto many thousands of people, and used statistical techniques referred to earlier to determine how the words group together. People who are likely to describe themselves as sad, for example, are also more likely to describe themselves as fearful, anxious, uncertain and volatile, and less likely to describe themselves as cool, collected, calm and stable. The same applies in other domains: people who are nice are compassionate, empathic, caring and soft, while their polar opposites are hard, competitive, blunt and tough. Five such dimensions of variation (the Big Five) have been identified, cross-culturally. The two just described correspond to neuroticism and agreeableness, respectively. The three remaining dimensions include extraversion, which is a measure of sociability; conscientiousness, a measure of dutifulness and reliability; and openness to experience, a measure of creativity and interest in ideas. The understandmyself.com process, based on a personality scale known as the Big Five Aspects scale (developed by Dr. Colin DeYoung, Dr. Lena Quilty, and Dr. Jordan B Peterson in Dr. Peterson's lab) extends the Big Five description, breaking down each of the five traits into two higher-resolution aspects.
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Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019.
HAVING inThe Strange Death of Europe(2017) braved opprobrium by contemplating the implications of mass immigration and the expansion of Islam, Douglas Murray now tackles the dangers from within western democracies posed by certain divisive philosophies and policies concerning sex, race and gender. Those intellectuals, writers and satirists who challenge the heated orthodoxies from which many commentators and institutions run scared, display physical courage which I salute, in part because Im unsure whether I possess it myself. Murray is a vulnerably public intellectual, willing like Jordan Peterson to speak everywhere and anywhere, and I expect he has received many threats. Though he does not say so, the need in an intellectual for physical courage is a symptom of the current madness Murray diagnoses in the West, particularly in North America and the United Kingdom, between which he moves for evidence with easy familiarity.
ReadingThe Madness of Crowdswith its broad array of case-studies has confirmed me in my suspicion that in the West we are between dispensations, by which I mean political and cultural systems. We know our past (though there are forces that would erase it or change it out of all countenance) but discern only the outline of the new slouching towards us. The following observation about another time (and which Murray might well have quoted) has been ascribed to Antonio Gramsci: The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. Murrays is an elementary and reader-friendly but acute epidemiology of our current situation.Yeats, of course, was the laureate of dangerous between-times and his metaphors of predicament are unforgettable: the falcon soaring beyond the falconers control; the gyre, with its centrifugal force perning from a stable centre (the falconers gauntlet in the previous metaphor), in hazardous suspension, and about to pivot and reverse, moving between hatred and desire and conceiving the world as catastrophic. Murray identifies catastrophism in the sentiments of the social justice warriors and the Grievance Studies that nowadays dominates the Humanities schools, at least in North American universities. To point this out is to run the risk of practising ones own catastrophism, but it is almost orthodoxy now that constitutional democracy is under strain in the United States and the United Kingdom, with Brexit in the latter nation putting its parliamentary form to the test.
Murray has enough on his plate to expose the demands and dogma concerning, in their current guise, the four vexing issues of gay rights and gay identity, women in society, race relations, and transsexuality, and he is acutely aware of the larger political and geopolitical surround, some of which he accounted for inThe Strange Death of Europe. The premise that connects both works is the collapse of our grand cultural narratives with nothing to replace them with as yet. The western literary canon is only one grand narrative, unmentioned by Murray, that is being superseded in North American departments of English by courses designed in content and tendency to redress the sins of patriarchy and colonialism.The curriculum spirals outwardly, culturally and geographically, F R Leaviss common pursuit splintering. Academic merit grows less competitive by individual expertise than by occupation of a reparative field of speciality; the curriculum is now the exposure through literature of contemporary and historical injustice.
To the extent that the literary canon carried authority and forged tradition, its rejection is a component of the broader picture of iconoclasm or toppling, be it of institutions, traditions, received wisdom, the old stories, culture heroes of the past, or reason itself. In a dismissive review of Murray in theGuardian, William Davies calls Murrays opinions bizarre fantasies yet it took me almost half as long again to readThe Madness of Crowdsbecause I could frequently move from page to screen to check his evidence. To see authority and liberal reason mocked with the frenzy of social media, Google Bret Weinstein and Evergreen College in order to fact-check via YouTube one of Murrays case-studies. In the 1970s while I was teaching in Vancouver, Evergreen College down the coast in Washington State was a byword for third-level educational liberalism, but the post-liberal event at the college in 2017 is a troubling watch. I was a part-time instructor and doctoral candidate at the University of Oregon between 1965 and 1970 when anti-Vietnam and counter-culture demonstrations were at their most intense, but the Evergreen protests bring to mind not so much the Sixties as Maos cultural revolution with its professor-baiting and worse, and are very much of our here and now.
Murray, for his part, is more concerned with how in the wake of the departing grand narratives and the aftermath of actual religion we have what he calls this new religion of social justice. This crusade is not content with uncovering injustice but must actively pursue it, either by vengefully ransacking history or creatively manufacturing kinds of grievances which, as Murray remarks, were unknown twenty minutes ago. In explanation, he borrows Kenneth Minogues St George in retirement syndrome, a condition that compels the warrior, having slain the dragon, to scour the land looking for still more glorious combat when the need has in fact largely passed. Twenty years ago in his brilliant anatomy apparently unknown to Murray,Humanism Betrayed: Theory, Ideology, and Culture in the Contemporary University(2001), Graham Good noted how in the universities a Soviet-style gap opens up between an ideology of continuing struggle against oppression, and the reality of rapidly diminishing prejudice and growing tolerance. Murray notes the exaggerated affront and performative rage that characterises our era (encouraged and perhaps manufactured by social media), cause and response becoming grossly asymmetrical, and lending a heated melodrama to political and ideological disagreement.
Good and others had before Murray identified in university politics what Good called then the new sectarianism, the divisive categorization of people by race, gender, and sexual preference, before this practice went from gown to town, before it became known as identity politics (the exercise of group power), and before the categories proliferated beyond what obtained in Goods day when transsexuality, for example, was a barely known phenomenon. When Murray claims that The aim of identity politics would appear to be to politicise absolutely everything, this is confirmed by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi who tell their readers: Your identity is inherently political, meaning at most times, so are your actions. (Taking Up Space: The Black Girls Manifesto for Change, quoted in aTLSreview of November 1, 2019). Political identity means group membership (ethnic, racial, sexual, gender-defined), which then in one direction eclipses individuality and in another direction trumps citizenship (with its required loyalty and responsibilities as well as rights) in favour of what Murray calls, perhaps too casually, niche demands. Interestingly, though, individuality is reborn not as unique personality or irreplaceable existence, but exclusively as the self which under certain circumstances, when it is not being offended, can choose with which correct subset of each of the above groups to identify; the self is not perceived to have an identity or existence outside a group. The only freedom here is the choice of category membership which is mandatory. Propositions and claims are judged not on their own rational merits or truth-value but on the acceptability or unacceptability of the proposers or claimants group-membership. It is the speaker who is judged, not the speech. Indeed, in the ailing world Murray is diagnosing, only the manifestly or self-identifying oppressed are allowed to speak at all. The others must be no-platformed.
Murray reminds us of the intricate hierarchy of power and privilege (the alleged drivers of all human endeavour according to the now prevailing orthodoxy) that has been constructed, with white heterosexual males at the top. Murray is white, male and cissexual but he is also gay, and by challenging the use of gay identity needlessly to further group identification, he is admirably practising his own stated rejection of identity politics. In Gay and the chapters devoted to the other three categories, he insists that the issues are more complex than the identity-fanatics realise or admit. We still dont have much or any idea as to why some people are gay is a typical reminder from him. He also reminds us how people and careers can be destroyed through the stupid or vengeful application of identity politics, with Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel laureate, as merely one of several disturbing examples.
He is especially dismissive of intersectionalism, the theory and agenda emanating from the university social sciences: the conviction that the prominent special-interest groups share an interlocking history of oppression, meaning that the dogmas now pronounced operate on an ever-broadening social front. Murray has some compensatory fun pointing out the contradictions and invidious distinctions that arise along that intersectionalist front and the jostling for power and privilege that goes on in the ongoing formation of the new counter-hierarchy. Given the vice of fat-shaming, for example, Is a fat white person equal to a skinny person of colour? William Davies labelsThe Madness of Crowdsa rightwing diatribe (diatribe: A piece of bitter criticism,Concise Oxford Dictionary) but this is rhetorically nonsense. Murray can be mischievously witty but he is always aware of the complexity and nuances of our lives (that, indeed, is his central thesis) and is a devoted anti-essentialist. He also acknowledges the deplorable discrimination that certain groups, including homosexuals and black Americans, have historically endured. Davies, who avoids the inflammable issues, is incensed chiefly because Murray sees todays campus Marxism behind some of our identity politics, which I agree he overeggs.
When the groups establish bulkheads to protect their cultural identity inside societys hull, then we get allegations of cultural appropriation when artists and others raid other compartments. Murray quotes the black MP Dawn Butlers denunciation of Jamie Oliver for publishing a recipe for punchy jerk rice. Your jerk Rice is not ok, she tweeted, This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop (p. 147). (Murray remarks that she is apparently uninterested in Jamies Italian restaurants.)But cultural appropriation is a charge with immense artistic implications. In an unpublished piece of 1993 on multiculturalism, I drew attention to the Director of the powerful Canada Council who proposed the year before that no funds would be available for any literary or artistic project that depicted a culture (read ethnic group or female gender)of which the applicant was not himself a member. The Councils Advisory Committee for Racial Equality in the Arts had decided that cultural appropriation is a serious issue.To the great credit of the (gay) novelist Timothy Findley (Stop. Now.) and other Canadian writers, including the (Trinidad-born) Neil Bissoondath (I reject the idea of cultural appropriation completely), the idea was murdered in its cradle before it matured into a fiat. (Bissoondath, nephew of V.S. Naipaul, then published an attack on multiculturalism:Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada, 1994. He was opposing what he saw as the applied race-consciousness of Canadian multiculturalism.)
Actually, its death was greatly exaggerated and cultural appropriation has returned alive and well in Canada, possibly via feedback from elsewhere in Britain and the United States. The Quebecois theatrical genius Robert Lepage had one production,SLV, cancelled by the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2018 after protests (it featured African-American slave songs sung by a mostly white cast), while later the same year he himself under duress cancelledKanatawhich tells the story of Canada through the prism of relations between whites and the indigenous people but which, though developed in consultation with First Nation representatives, did not have indigenous performers. Allegations of cultural appropriation can vary greatly in their legitimacy and can involve incredibly complex cultural and even political dynamics. Im inclined to agree with Lepage when he said that he made a judgment error in hisKanataproduction, and I have been tempted myself to accuse the KSR productionTitanic Dance(2014), the all new Irish dance show, of cultural appropriation, with British officers, mostly British crew, and Ulster, mostly unionist, shipyard workers depicted by Irish dancers performing to traditional native Irish music: Riverdance nationalism appropriating an Ulster-Scots cultural achievement of genius? At the same time, I applaud Lepage for not surrendering entirely. This astonishing playwright and performer is gay and he said that he is the opposite of offended when he sees a straight man playing a gay man onstage. But appropriation is not nowadays regarded as homage or benign impersonation but as theft.
The issues on inspection are usually complex, but the unacknowledged simple ground rule is that white male culture can be appropriated by anyone. (This includes crossing class and national lines: no one accused me of cultural appropriation when as a hippie grad student I sang American dustbowl ballads on stage.) I do not recallHamilton, for example, being accused of cultural appropriation. But white males must not in turn appropriate. Women may take white male roles (but not male roles of colour?), but not vice versa unless the appropriation is to demonstrate approved transgressive gender-bending. The appropriation is permitted only when it reverses what is perceived to be the simplistic power structure in society.Yet this is not spelled out so that most of us are confused overall, despite the cast-iron micro-certainties in appropriation charges. Even those individuals such as Lepage who have promoted the interests of the historically discriminated against, are deemed complicit, by simple virtue of group identity, irrespective of their beneficence and sympathy.
Alleging cultural appropriation is a binary response (You are not us!) to what is regarded as a white power binary and in pursuit of a non-binary society. The binary response can invert even the best of intentions. Murray cites a Duke University professor who believes that to be racially colour-blind is to be racist. He also cites the American multicultural educationalist, Professor Robin DiAngelo, who told her Boston audience that white people who see people as individuals rather than as people of one colour or another are dangerous. White people who are not expressly racist are just covering their own white fragility, a phrase of DiAngelos introduced in a 2011 paper we must look for outside Murray. DiAngelo specialises in Whiteness Studies, and Murray reminds us that whereas Black Studies promotes black culture, Whiteness Studies exists to investigate what has been called in one university course The Problem of Whiteness. This has its judicial dimension. Evidence or defence is neither here nor there. Indeed, the sympathetic gathering of evidence from those who are, or believe themselves to be, oppressed can itself be oppression, a form of epistemic exploitation in Nora Berenstains bizarre coinage in a 2016 paper of that title.
It may be that absurdity emerges almost out of desperation from the complex, fraught, even incendiary history of race relations in the United States, which Murray is very brave to don light protective gear and venture into. We should perhaps keep in mind the differences between the US and the UK when it comes to race (this is not to minimise any race problem in the UK). But much of what passes as progressive thought on US campuses can still strike one as out ofCatch-22.The reader will find some of Murrays chapter Trans utterly bewildering. Much of it can be checked online, including on YouTube. There is the eminent professor and MD of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital who promotes best practice for transgender youth (among other group identities) and who replied to the worry that three- or four-year-olds surely could not understand their own gender and thus were not candidates for medical intervention: To say three- and four-year-olds dont understand gender doesnt give our kids a lot of credit! There is a leader in the field of gender dysphoria in Los Angeles who has steered 1,100 children into medical care for their dysphoria. She believes that the childs opinion is worth more than psychiatric testing and that children thinking about their own gender based on their body is proof of our fallacious notion of the bodys importance to gender; the body, in one of her self-admiring metaphors, is just like the foil packet around a pop tart.
What lies behind such thought is groupthink, the refusal to countenance the unique. But those groups defined by sex or race, say identities we previously thought of as essential, incontrovertible, a matter of hardware in Murrays term are, it is claimed, merely social constructs or cultural artefacts, a matter (like the body itself) of software. Much of the Theory in departments of English in the 1980s was devoted to the painstaking demonstration that language was writing the author (who had died in any case, according to Barthes), not the other way round, and whose works concealed discreditable meanings of which he was unaware but still culpable. The author was no longer a free agent but a captive wrongdoer. In this interpretation, Theory could ally itself with anti-colonialism and anti-patriarchy, agendas that now rule the academic roost, Theory having been discarded as too complex to serve as admissible incriminating evidence. Culture in control of everything (upending the previous idea that human beings created culture), including our bodies, has underpinned the Trans activist movement. This has resulted in a war between activist Trans people and the Trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), radical because they deny that males who have transitioned to females are women. This at the moment is a trial of strength about ownership and definition but also about thewilling occupationof the category Woman since both believe that it is a category worth fighting for, it in turn being an exclusionary category that defines its individual inhabitants. Again, Murray is courageous for stepping in his chapter Trans into this minefield, a governing metaphor in his account of our agonistic and unhappy culture.
The battle is a battle over choice of captivity. The carceral vision of culture culture as constraint, culture as submission to control, a definition that Good attributes to Michel Foucault is being applied before our eyes and might explain both the strange retributive instinct of our time, as Murray terms it, and the growing urge in society to police our culture and its expressions, at its crudest shutting down by shouting down, as in the experience of Bret Weinstein. Money doesnt talk, it swears, sang Bob Dylan many years ago, and just so Twitter and other social media which are doing nothing if not policing by ill-mannered and aggressive vigilantism, dogmas law-enforcement agency of choice. Murray notes how the wall between private and public space has fallen, which is having a censoring effect. But even the mainstream media have begun to police our affairs, BBC news interviews, for example, becoming interrogations, the interviewers not wishing to listen and hear but instead voice-over their own (actually, the BBCs) woke W1 opinions. When during a recent interview Andrew Marr accused the listening Home Secretary Priti Patel of laughing he was obviously misreading her customary sunny demeanour it reminded me of Orwells face-crime. The policing of our culture is well under way on our campuses which are increasingly seen by administration as communities that require endless data collection and reports, perpetual oversight (which is rapidly becoming surveillance), administrative intervention, and faculty re-education. Bret Weinstein revealed to Congress the Evergreen Presidents solution to faculty who wouldnt toe the PC line (the new order, as Weinstein calls it): We bring em in, train em and if it doesnt take, sanction em.
And if we are not at the point of face-crime yet, we are certainly already in the world of thought-crime. A Humberside docker was recently contacted by police about a tweeted limerick making fun of transgendered women; a woman was the author and the docker had merely re-tweeted it; however, the police had tracked down the docker through his workplace, fingered thirty of his tweets and decided that re-tweeting the limerick constituted a hate incident. When the docker protested that there was no victim here (though the police bizarrely described the complainant as such), the officer replied: We need to check your thinking (Daily Telegraph, 24 January, 2019).We need to check your thinking!A single complaint constitutes proof that a hate incident has occurred, only one step away from a hate crime and court appearance.
Murray rightly makes much of the dizzying speed with which our culture has changed. I checked my copy of Arthur MarwicksCulture in Britain since 1945(1991): it has no entries for immigration, political correctness, multiculturalism, transsexuality or Islam. The overheated metabolism of our culture has caused vertigo in many of us. Murray takes his title fromExtraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds(1841) by Charles Mackay, and all five of the adjectives and nouns in that Victorian title are applicable to our own day. Murray was obviously attracted not by the trivial fads in Mackays book but by the bigger harmful delusions underpinning the South Sea Bubble, the Crusades or witch mania. Murray does wonder if historians of the future will look back to 2019 and wonder What were they thinking? One reading of Mackay would suggest that our cultural predicament is no cause for despair, that it is a case ofplus a change, plus cest la mme chose. But the effect of the Crusades in England are closer to the kind of effects were are now experiencing, if less systemic.
What are the origins of Murrays diagnosed madness? I wish to suggest a few. Among the wellsprings and tributaries is certainly the government-imposed cultural revolution called multiculturalism that was conceived and implemented for internal reasons in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, and championed by Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Like so much of what Murray discusses, no apparent knowledge of culture and cultural dynamics drove the revolutionary policy of hastily welcoming a high volume of untraditional and unfamiliar cultures. Many Canadians, forcefully discouraged from discussing, much less complaining about, the changes wrought in their neighbourhoods, country and society, grew proportionally estranged from their own governing. According to their government, difference was to be celebrated and was more important than social cohesion, which in fact was never mentioned as a social virtue or desideratum. Before long, what we might call the Diversity Paradox kicked in. Multiculturalism was to enrich the country but in fact culture as Geertz understood it inThe Interpretation of Cultures(1973), inviting ethnographic thick description of the whole, became compartmentalised. The Canadian culture shared foundationally through history, communal memory, and values has become noticeably thinner. When Trudeaufilschants Diversity is our strength! he is disguising reality by a self-mesmerising rallying cry. (The American political scientist Robert Putnam has analysed the circumstances under which shared social capital is depleted among strangers and unfamiliar neighbours, and has been attacked for doing so.) All this was later repeated in Europe, and this estrangement from government is now visible in the US and UK where populism at one level the peoples attempt, surely, to retrieve cohesion is the recent reaction. Multiculturalisms imperative of diversity became the model for the other walks of life that Murray is here dissecting.
Murray also identifies postmodernism in the universities as either wellspring of, or tributary to, our unhappiness, though Goods is a more informed and acute analysis of this movements assault on liberalism, humanism, individualism, realism and science and to which one could add history itself all of which are at present disabled from curing our society of its illness.
A possible third tributary: I remember a Canadian colleague remarking to me in the early 1990s with some puzzlement how some forms of Soviet social control had been imported into the West, now that the Evil Empire had crumbled. I recently astonished myself by listing examples of what he referred to, several of which occur in Murray. One of the master ideas is that of political correctness, an early Marxist-Leninist term, used now by its enemies in the West but without a doubt identifying a present reality. The social and cultural engineering which seems more blatant and unapologetic in our time was also essential practice under communism. The public apologies that are increasingly demanded for words, actions or policies of the past or present, and the public shaming that is now commonplace, resemble such events in the Soviet Union, and we may not be far from that systems show trials. Then we might think of no-platforming, censorship, and re-writing of the past, the airbrushing of individuals out of history so that they become unpersons, the proscription of free speech, propaganda masquerading as news, mandatory cultural re-education, and science corrupted less by propaganda than by denial or dismissal. I dont know if our current pale imitation of Soviet or Maoist society is a case of inheritance or correlative evolution. But we do seem to be candidates for some Yeatsian anxiety about a collapsing centre and a dark awakening, to which Douglas Murray has fearlessly contributed some provocative case-studies in justification.
An earlier version of this essay appeared in the Dublin Review of Books.
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Jordan Peterson finds an unlikely readership in China, even after censors stripped away entire sections of his book – The Globe and Mail
Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor turned influential YouTube philosopher, at home in Toronto, May 2, 2018.
MARK SOMMERFELD/The New York Times News Service
The censors have gouged out Jordan Petersons criticism of Mao Zedong and Communism, but his latest book has nonetheless arrived in China where it has established a foothold on the countrys bestseller lists after its publication in Mandarin this fall.
Mr. Peterson, the controversial Canadian psychologist whose work has been favoured by right-leaning groups, does not make for an obvious fit in China. In 12 Rules for Life, he peppers his writing with biblical references and faults China and other countries for using Marxist ideology to devastating effect, subjecting people to oppression rivalling that still operative in North Korea, the last classic communist holdout and Mao Zedong of perpetrating bottomless horrors.
But Mr. Peterson has nonetheless found an audience in the worlds most populous country where, long before the local release of 12 Rules in late November, volunteers had translated more than 100 of his videos and published reviews of his writing.
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Some in China have found in Mr. Peterson a coveted riposte to what they see as a preachy and, for Beijing, hostile form of Western liberalism, one embodied by people such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Others say Mr. Peterson offers answers amid a broader search for significance in a country whose rapid embrace of a market economy has elevated living standards but, for many, failed to satisfy deeper desires.
People feel their lives are meaningless, said Ma Mengjie, who has worked with a small group of others to translate into Chinese Mr. Petersons videos, interviews and academic courses. She compared Western rejection of Christianity with the Cultural Revolution in China, a turbulent societywide break from the past that has left a sense of being unmoored.
Lack of direction has become a new problem, she said.
Enter Mr. Peterson, who urges people to reconstruct your value systems so you recognize the hierarchy of the things you want to pursue in life and you place meaning and balance, instead of pleasure and happiness, at the top of that hierarchy, said Steve Shi, the books Chinese translator.
Mr. Shi, a therapist in China, studied under Mr. Peterson at the University of Toronto. But Mr. Peterson, he says, speaks as easily to a modern Chinese audience a generation of office workers on smartphones as to Western readers. Materialism and consumerism is very pervasive. And people are very tired and exhausted, working and pursuing what is supposed to be fancy and expensive for them.
People in China have long been loathe to seek help for mental-health issues. Last year, 7.5 million people graduated from Chinese colleges and universities, but fewer than 20,000 with psychology-related degrees. But there are signs of change.
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Sales of self-help books, for example, are expanding, from 3.3 per cent of all 2015 book-spending to 6 per cent in the first 10 months of this year, according to OpenBook, the primary source for Chinese book sales statistics. This year, some of the most popular titles in the genre have included The Emotional Quotient Lesson of Kevin Tsai: Live for Yourself for One Time, written by a Taiwanese television host; Good Loneliness by Fudan University psychologist Chen Guo; and a book on willpower based on a Stanford course by U.S. health psychologist Kelly McGonigal.
Where pseudo-science titles were more popular in the past, the quality of psychology books is getting better and better, said Ji Yang, chief editor at Cheers Publishing, which brought 12 Rules to China. It has aimed the book at 22- to 40-year-olds who are turning to psychology, Ms. Ji said, to help them change to better habits, attain more skills and therefore realize personal growth.
I see it as a result of fierce competition in our society, she said. People want to improve themselves.
Some elements of Mr. Petersons writing were considered unacceptable for a Chinese audience. Censors stripped away entire sections of the book in which he criticizes authoritarian Communism. In the original 12 Rules, Mr. Peterson writes: It is deceit that produces the terrible suffering of mankind: the death camps of the Nazis; the torture chambers and genocides of Stalin and that even greater monster, Mao. Those sections have been stripped from the Chinese edition, as are many biblical references as well as mentions of Chinas one-child policy, sex-selective abortions, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet horrors and even the killing of Chinese people by Genghis Khan.
Ms. Ji shrugged off the deletions. Releasing a book in China requires being responsible to readers, writers and sellers, she said. Our major goal is to make the core parts, the parts that can most benefit readers, available to the public.
Some Chinese readers, meanwhile, have lauded Mr. Peterson as a pioneering voice against the modern tenets of Western liberalism.
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Many Chinese young people hate political correctness, such as the idea of feminism and equality for all, said Wei Jianfeng, a prominent online writer who has praised Mr. Petersons book on social media. Mr. Peterson stands out, telling people that hes tired of these baizuo, too, he said, using a Chinese epithet for people they see as naive foreign liberals. Canadas Prime Minister is high on that list.
Mr. Peterson has become an ambassador for people in China hostile to such thinking, Mr. Wei said. We can totally see Peterson as an opponent of Trudeaus in that sense.
Indeed, Mr. Peterson highlights the ignorance, stupidity and hypocrisy of the so-called progressive activists, who have become more arrogant in recent years, wrote Xu Ruiqi, another online writer with a large following.
Chinese feminists have publicly criticized Mr. Peterson.
For Ms. Ma, however, he has been an inspiration. At 27, she works in an investment company, but on weekends runs a private counselling practice. Her life goals are to accumulate one million yuan $189,000 by the age of 30, write books and become a good psychotherapist.
She credits Mr. Peterson with help on the latter. His mandate to tell the truth or, at least, dont lie has changed her own life and, she says, is helping her change others. In the psycho-therapy process in particular, the healing power of truth is huge, she said. You dont need to say something fake to comfort your patients.
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With reporting by Alexandra Li
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For someone who spent most of his political career cast as agitator-in-chief, Pierre Poilievre is getting a lot more ink than he deserves among those being talked about in Conservative party circles as a potential successor to Andrew Scheer.
Poilievre is not what the party needs right now another Harper-era sycophant from the partys Reform base whos dodgy on same-sex marriage and abortion.
But there was CTV weighing in last week with some holiday filler on how Poilievre is the most likely to succeed Scheer. That story was based on the opinion of one party insider, which should rate as a thin gruel on which to base a conclusion.
To be sure, Poilievre has been one of Parliaments most polarizing figures. Hes earned the nickname Skippy for his exuberance in defending his partys political interests, no matter what. To say its been comical at times would be an understatement. Funny thing is, however, that Poilievre best represents the geist of the current party perhaps better than any of the other names being kicked around to replace Scheer.
And therein lies the dilemma for the Cons. After more than a decade of tacking right under Harper and arguably further right under Scheer the Conservative movement has hit a ceiling. Its appeal to populist sentiment has resulted in the partys base of power reverting to a facsimile of its former Reform wing.
Where to from here?
For some party insiders, the results of the recent federal election suggest a new leader with socially progressive views is enough to unseat Trudeau. For others, nothing short of a wholesale change in direction is needed for the party to win in Ontario and Quebec. So far, the unofficial race to replace Scheer is shaping up to be a dog and pony show.
Suffering from saviour complex
Rona Ambroses name has come up a lot in public opinion polls among Conservatives when theyre asked whod make the best replacement for Scheer. She has practically been anointed party saviour.
There is good reason to like Ambrose. She served ably as interim leader after Harper's departure. She looks good on paper. Shes also the choice of Ontario Conservatives. She scores well with seniors and affluent voters, which are among the party's core constituents.
But if its a break from the past that the party is looking for, then her record as a Harper loyalist poses a problem. It includes a number of questionable votes, including a motion to essentially reopen the abortion debate in 2012.
And who could forget her performance as environment minister, which was nothing short of a disaster? Besides making a mess of Canadas Kyoto obligations, Ambrose is also remembered as part of the climate-change-denying cabal in the Harper government that muzzled scientists. She also served as minister for western economic diversification under Harper, and we're all witnessing the fallout from that failed experimentasenergy sector workerslosing their jobs have nowhere to turn.
And if were being brutally honest, the fact Ambrose is a woman will hurt more than help her chances in a party whose views are mostly dominated these days by white guys angry at"globalists" and elites.
The old guard versus the new
Peter MacKay has been plotting to take over the party ever since he left politics to get married and raise a family. In fact, some would say MacKay has been plotting to reclaim the position he believes is rightfully his since he made that deal with the devil (Stephen Harper) in 2003and the Progressive Conservative party led by MacKay was absorbed by the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada.
Harper went on to serve as PM. And MacKay would occupy a number of important portfolios in successive Conservative governments. But the relationship with Harper was one borne out of necessity rather than a mutual belief that the future of conservatism is populist.
The scion of the MacKay family has got the money to mount a challenge. And he has reportedly assembled a team that includes former PM Brian Mulroney. He seems to have learned a few tricks from Brian when it comes to orchestrating a coup. But MacKay is long past his best-before date. And if its excitement the Cons are looking for, then MacKays not it.
On the outside looking inward
Some pundits argue that what the Cons need is an outsider to break from the partys Harper-era past, but dont bet on it. Ekos Research polled Conservative Party members on their choices and the results were more of the same. Jason Kenney (who says hes not interested), Michelle Rempel (good luck with that) and, yes, Stephen Harper, were among those on the list. This is clearly not a party looking for radical change. The only outsider to speak of was Jordan Peterson, who scores well among the partys young male base.
But more recently, Jean Charest has been mentioned as a possibility. The former PC leader who left federal politics to become a Liberal premier of Quebec, has been exploring a return to the political ring. Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair says its a done deal, and that Charests friends in Toronto are laying the groundwork.
Charest would be quite a leap. Given Western tensions over provincial cost-sharing agreements, there would seem to be little appetite in the current incarnation of the party for a leader from Quebec. And then theres the cloud of corruption hanging over Charest (related to construction contracts) that led to his departure from politics. He could always explain that away to say it was to save Quebec jobs, right?
Now you see em
One minute John Baird was being touted as a dark horse to watch, the next he was gone among the names of serious contenders.
The former Harper cabinet minister was enlisted by the partyto investigate how the Cons made a mess of the election. Then Scheer unexpectedly resigned and it seemed to many Conservatives that the choice to replace him was staring them right in the face in Baird. As Harpers designated attack dog in the House (and before that under Ontario premier Mike Harris), Baird certainly has the chops to go toe-to-toe with Trudeau.
But the reasons for Bairds departure from the party back in 2015 continue to be the subject of much speculation. Was it over the Harper governments opposition to same-sex marriage? Was he jumping ship because the writing was on the wall for the Cons under Harper in the lead-up to the 2015 election? Or did it have to do with his notorious lifestyle choices? There have been more revelations about that last bit recently.
Baird has the bona fides. The smart money would be on him, if his chances havent already been upended by rumblings about his past.
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