Be responsible. Don’t stay in the Underworld!

He starts off at the 1:32 mark by telling CBC’s Wendy Mesley 

MESLEY:  What are the forces that have made you so popular? 

PETERSON: I tell archetypal stories.  Being fed a diet of rights and impulsive freedoms for 50 years, but rights aren’t as useful for establishing what’s meaningful in your life as responsibility.  The responsibility you take on for your career, the responsibility you take on for your education, the responsibility you take on for your family and the broader community . . . .

From the 7:23 mark forward Peterson is at his best . . . .

Don’t stay in the Underworld!  That’s who I am talking to. 

That’s what I am trying to do.  I am trying to call them forth as individuals out of the chaos that they are ensconced in.

What do you think should happen in this polarized world?  If you’re dealing with people you think are attracted by a pathological ideology? What do you think you should do with them?  What I do with them is say, “Look, why don’t you make yourself into an individual and get the hell away from the ideology?  And so a lot of these kids are lost in the underworld, let’s say, in nihilism and they turned to these ideological solutions because they don’t know what else to do and they’re angry.  It’s like I have something better for them to do—Grow the hell up!  and sort yourself out as an individual, and that’s exactly why I made this particular tweet.  And I get letters from people all the time who say, “Look, you know I was moving toward the fringes and I am not doing that any more.  I see why it’s wrong.”

So you’ve become this huge sensation?  Are you a prophet? 

Well, I don’t know where I go.  We’re in a new world really because of the reach of social media. And so I have this immense multimedia platform.    


“PC substitutes for ethics. We’ve reject[ed] the great teachers of the past and those inherited religious teachings that remain relevant for our existence”

An excerpt from the transcripts of Gottfried’s presentation follows:

As late as the early 1980s I believed that the GOP was committed to loosening the government’s grip on our lives and earnings; I also nursed the illusion that something called “the conservative movement” would help in this process. The ease with which the neoconservative master class took over and proceeded to purge the Old Right, or that part of the Right that resisted them, removed any lingering sympathy I had felt for “the movement.” Almost overnight, I noticed the list of conservative heroes changed, from such figures as John C. Calhoun, Robert A. Taft, and Calvin Coolidge, to Martin Luther King, Sidney Hook, and even Leon Trotsky. While I had once wanted to believe that the American Right, like John Randolph, “loved liberty but hated equality,” conservatives were now urged to view “equality as the essential conservative principle.”

After Murray’s untimely death I accorded him an honored place in my studies about the managerial state. His examination of the alliance of American public administration with crony capitalism and military expansionists infused my work on multiculturalism and political correctness. Murray’s perceptions also helped explain the rise of Cultural Marxism as the new civil religion in both the US and Western Europe. In these societies, the administrative state furthers its control by enforcing ideological orthodoxy. And the state in question is not the relatively restrained bourgeois Victorian state of the nineteenth century, but something the tentacles of which reach into every social, educational and commercial activity.

This brings me to the core of my argument: The most publicized critics of multiculturalism, whether neoconservatives or “cultural conservatives,” ignore with equal disregard the contemporary state’s role in generating and sustaining the object of their criticism. Allow me to list some of the standard explanations given for the spread of Political Correctness. First on my list, because it may come closest to the truth, is the “cultural conservative” lament, which stresses that our long established values are in free-fall. PC now substitutes for ethics because of our ignorance and moral blindness. We reject the great teachers of the past and those inherited religious teachings that remain relevant for our collective existence, and this has resulted in cultural and social chaos.

Another explanation for the rise of PC treats academic culture as a uniquely corrupted part of an otherwise exemplary America. Perhaps most conspicuously it has been David Horowitz of neocon fame who has popularized this argument. According to Horowitz, our democratic government is sound and our country in every way “exceptional.” But universities have become “totalitarian islands in a sea of freedom.” The government must therefore intervene and make universities conform to the standard of freedom that exists elsewhere. We also hear complaints about the spoiled generation that has now taken over, about pampered little monsters who are running wild. Or this variation on the same theme: “the young carry with them popular culture, and together they’re corrupting our entire society.” Presumably, the self-indulgent young, and their transmission of popular cultural values, are the principal reasons that PC is thriving.

There is also this anti-egalitarian critique that I myself have been known to belabor, to wit, PC is the latest variation on the ideal of universal equality. Although once integrated into orthodox Christianity in a benign form, this poisonous obsession is now running riot. But since some of you have already heard me ranting against equality, I won’t rehash my peeves, at least not this afternoon. Finally, we come to this oft heard an assessment of PC that issues from its least concerned critics. Here attention is drawn to the essential decency of those impulses from whence the ideology arose. Neoconservatives and their dependents maintain that we’ve simply gone a bit too far trying to be just. But we can easily address this by adopting a new government policy. For example, it’s possible to help victims of past discrimination, without engaging in “reverse discrimination,” or we can practice equity feminism instead of gender feminism or affirmative recruitment instead of affirmative action. Curiously those who minimize the social effects of Political Correctness at home often rage against it when the subject turns to foreign policy. Thus the failure to be more confrontational in dealing with a worldwide Islamicist threat or with the figure whom George Will describes as a “thug and war criminal” Russian president Vladimir Putin is attributed to an epidemic of Political Correctness.

The full transcript is here

“perceptions of more racial microaggressions were associated with lower self-esteem, lower feelings of competence for daily life, more depressive symptoms and more stress”

from The College Fix

Intersectionality centers on the belief that the lived experience of members of marginalized groups is a better guide to society than previous societal norms established by the bourgeoisie, Sommers said. She cited an article that said the theory was “in crisis” because it was too broad: Every person in the world has a different lived experience and a different perspective.

The darker side of this is that those pushing intersectionality believe they have a right to silence opposing views, she said, just as the Bolsheviks and Marxists in Russia did.

The dark side of promoting self-esteem

There’s a funny side to intersectionality, according to Christina Hoff Sommers.

When the American Enterprise Institute scholar and “Factual Feminist” went to a feminist conference in the early years of the theory, the attendees split up by race, ethnicity, religion and other categories during a breakout session.

Eventually the attendees all began to bicker and quarrel over oppression. Some Jewish women wanted to be proud of being Jewish, while others were trying to “break free” of it.

Sommers eventually bonded with a group of lesbians who were just smoking cigarettes, because it was the only way they were able to connect.

She shared this lighthearted story at the Cato Institute Tuesday night in the midst of a stinging rebuke of intersectionality, which originated in the 1980s and came straight out of Marxism and the self-esteem movement.

Flemming Rose, the Danish journalist and Cato scholar who put a target on his back in 2005 by publishing cartoon depictions of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, also spoke on the panel discussion about the Marxist origins of hate-speech legislation.

The Soviet Union’s Marxist tactics of censorship have morphed into measures that criminalize “hate speech” in every western country except the United States, said Rose, adding that Josef Stalin advocated for the international basis for these laws.

Sommers implored think tanks and campus speakers to “keep sanity alive” by getting involved in more grassroots education efforts and giving more lectures on college campuses warning about the dangers of intersectionality.

The connection between Bolshevism and intersectionality

Sommers said that the term intersectionality was coined by law professor Kimberle Crenshaw, who currently teaches at both UCLA and Columbia, and the original focus was on black women.

Though Crenshaw specifically focused on the intersection of racism and sexism, intersectionality has expanded to other marginalized categories, according to Sommers, who cited a gender-studies textbook currently in use that shows a roadmap of all the different marginalized intersectional groups.

Faculty who push the theory of intersectionality are teaching students that America is a “matrix of oppression,” Sommers told the attendees. The latest trend is for those self-identified marginalized groups to come together to fight all injustices at once, she said, citing student activists at Evergreen State College as an example.

Intersectionality centers on the belief that the lived experience of members of marginalized groups is a better guide to society than previous societal norms established by the bourgeoisie, Sommers said. She cited an article that said the theory was “in crisis” because it was too broad: Every person in the world has a different lived experience and a different perspective.

The darker side of this is that those pushing intersectionality believe they have a right to silence opposing views, she said, just as the Bolsheviks and Marxists in Russia did.

‘Campus fanaticism will go unchallenged’

Soviet justification for censorship was centered around the classic communist talking point of the bourgeoisie, according to Rose, the Danish journalist. The people were told that the majority of the press was owned by the wealthy classes and they were trying to “poison people’s minds.”

The U.S. is unique in not adopting measures seen all over Europe and Canada that criminalize supposedly hateful speech, Rose said. The attempt to shut down “fake news” is not a recent phenomenon, he added, saying that justification was the primary force behind the Soviet criminal codes that forbade criticism of the Communist Party.

Rose also observed that while colleges want everyone to have different skin colors, sexual orientations, religion and gender identity, they are strangely averse to different ideas. This confuses him because different experiences naturally foster different ideas.

Sommers said she was glad that those pushing the theory of intersectionality don’t have the power to put people in jail like the Bolsheviks did, because they would probably put her in prison for not agreeing with them.

She cited the microaggression-reporting mobile application MicroReport created by Christy Byrd, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Byrd’s research of the app’s users found that “perceptions of more racial microaggressions were associated with lower self-esteem, lower feelings of competence for daily life, more depressive symptoms and more stress,” she said.

Sommers said she wants to find out if intersectionality is being taught in high schools, because this line of thinking has made “serious inroads in our education system.”

“As long as intersectionality is unchallenged,” Sommers said, “campus fanaticism will go unchallenged.”

Nowadays what people call learning is forced on you . . . And everyone is forced to learn the same thing, [on] the same day, at the same speed . . . in class . . . and everyone is different –Isaac Asimov, 1988

This was pretty great.  I liked what he said about mass education.  Instead of having mass education with a curriculum, once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries, be given answers and reference materials, regardless of how silly it seems to everyone else . . . . Nowadays what people call learning is forced on you.  And everyone is forced to learn the same thing, at the same day, at the same speed . . . in class.  And everyone is different . . . for some it goes too fast, for some too slow, for some in the wrong direction.  But give them a chance in addition to school . . . I don’t say we abolish school . . . but in addition to school to follow up their own bent from the start.

What about machines dehumanize learning?

As a matter of fact, it’s just the reverse.  It’s through this machine that we will be able to have for the first time a one-to-one relationship between information source and information consumer. 

What do you mean? 

In the old days, you used to have tutors for children.  The person who could afford it would hire a pedagogue and he would teach the children.   And if he knew his job, he could adapt his teaching to the tastes and the abilities to the students.  But how many people could afford to hire a pedagogue?  Most children went uneducated.  Then we reached the point where it was absolutely necessary to educate everybody.  The only way we could do it was to have one teacher for a great many number of students and in order to organize the situation properly, we gave them a curriculum to teach them.  So how many teachers are good at this?  Like everything else, the number of teachers is far greater than the number of good teachers.  So we either have a one-to-one relationship for the very few, or a one-to-many relationship for the very many.  Now, there’s a one-to-one relationship for the very many.  Everyone can have a teacher in the form of access to the gathered knowledge of the human species. 

. . . through the libraries that are connected to the computer in my . . . 

That’s right. 


Greatest impact on the overall success of an essay? It’s structure.

Fixing problems with STRUCTURE will fix 80% or more of your essay writing problems.

deLaplante goes on to say that . . .

The primary goal of an essay assignment isn’t to write beautiful sentences or even beautiful paragraphs.  The goal is to communicate a main idea, a thesis and to use the essay format to organize the ideas in the most effective way to successfully communicate that main idea.

An essay’s success or failure is primarly a function of the organization and flow of ideas at the highest level of organization.  At the level of the essay taken as a whole, not at the level of individual sentences or individual paragraphs.  The priority of structure in essay writing is familiar with anyone who’s graded papers.  When a student hands in a draft of a paper that is poorly written, it almost always has a mix of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and organizational problems.  If I wanted to I could start by identifying every grammar and stylistic problem.  And I could write a long document with editorial tips on grammar and style issues alone.  But I don’t do any of that.  What I do is make a few comments about the overall organization of the paper and invite the student in to talk about them.  Often, I don’t even bother commenting on the spelling, grammar, and style issues.  Why?  Because that’s not the priority.  That’s not the part that’s most important to the success of the paper.  Even if all the spelling and vocabular and grammar and sentence structure problems are fixed.  If the organizational problems aren’t fixed, I’ll never give this paper a top grade.  No instructor would.  So we as instructors and editors and graders focus on the most important feedback first which is structural.  Once that’s fixed it would make sense to look closer at style and usage issues on a second and third draft.  But even on second and third drafts, most of the constructive feedback your teachers give you will still be feedback about structure: because a) it can take several tries to fix structural problems, and b) it’s only at the structural level where you can move a paper from being merely good to excellent. 

So the takeaway is that not all the skill sets that are important for good writing are equally important.  In essay writing in particular, there is a huge asymmetry.  Strucutral and organizational factors are far more important in determining whether an essay is successful or not than spelling and vocabulary and grammar.  It follows, then that a program of isntruction that aims to improve people’s essay writing should focus on principles of structure and organization t the essay level. 

This principle is largely UNFAMILIAR to students entering college.  Most important principle for successful essay writing is unfamiliar to most students entering college.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t good writers entering college, because there certainly are, but I’m convinced that these students become good writers in spite of their formal training in essay writing rather than because of it.  They’ve picked up their skills through extensive reading and assimilation and modelling rather than through formal instruction.  But that’s something you only see in a fraction of students.