Jordan Peterson on Identity Politics, Race Protests: "Drop Your Cult-Like Affiliations" And Sort Out Your Own Life First

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During this week's edition of his Summer 2017 lecture series on "The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories," Canadian psychology professor and free speech advocate Dr. Jordan Peterson responds to a question from an audience member about the racial conflict which took place last week in Charlottesville, VA.

Dr. Peterson is the author of 'Maps Of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief,' which explores the role mythology plays in our lives, and considers why and how humans assign value to particular narratives.

Peterson characterized the several hundred neo-Nazi protesters in Virginia last weekend as a manifestation of a new form of right wing identity politics, which is rising in order to oppose similar group identities on the political left.

Dr. Peterson warns that if white Americans (and Westerners in general) descend into their own version of identity politics in order to compete with such groups, "that's not victory," even if they win.

He said: "I understand why the identity politics that has been practiced so assiduously and so devastatingly by the left has been co-opted by the right... [But] I don't think that the caucasians should revert to being 'white.' I think that is a bad idea. It is a dangerous idea, and it is coming fast. And I don't like to see that."

"If you play the game of your enemies, and you win, you win their game. You don't win... You just become the most sucessful exponent of their pathology," he warned. "How is that a good thing?"

He added: "I think the whole group identity thing is seriously pathological."

"We're making your group identity the most important thing about you. I think that is reprehensible. It is devastating. It is genocidal in its ultimate expression. I think it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it. We shouldn't be playing that game. So what is the alternative?"

Brief transcript:

JORDAN PETERSON: Having the right degenerate into identity politics does not seem to be a positive solution. One of the things I would say is: I understand why the identity politics that has been practiced so assiduously and so devastatingly by the left has been co-opted by the right. I understand that.

But here's what I would say to the people on the right, who are playing that game:

If you play the game of your enemies, and you win, you win their game. You don't win. That's not victory. You just become the most sucessful exponent of their pathology. How is that a good thing?

It is a bad thing.

So what does that leave people as an alternative? Well, I don't think that the caucasians should revert to being white. I think that is a bad idea. It is a dangerous idea, and it is coming fast. And I don't like to see that.

I think the whole group identity thing is seriously pathological.

I think we've made big mistakes in Canada. I understand why, at least to some degree, in that respect, and large mistakes are being made across the Western world.

Where we're making your group identity the most important thing about you. I think that is reprehensible. It is devastating. It is genocidal in its ultimate expression. I think it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it. We shouldn't be playing that game. So what is the alternative?


Dr. Peterson suggests an alternative to identity politics: "Put your life together... Pick up your responsibilities, sort yourself out, fix up your family, and then you can be a force for good. If enough people do that, the ideological mess will disappear. That is the way you show people the right path forward... Drop your cult-like affiliation. Step out of the shadows, the demonic shadows -- your ideological possessions -- and step forward as a fully developed person into the light. Do it by example. That's your best bet"

Transcript:

JORDAN PETERSON: I've thought for a long time about running for political office. Since I was like 12, really, for a long time.

I have always decided against it because it seems like the proper level of analysis with regards to the solution of the problem we are facing isn't political.

That is why I think it is a mistake when what I am doing gets politicize, either by me or others. I think the way that you deal with this is to put yourself together. I really believe that. Because I think individual people... have unbelievable power...

So what you need to do is aim high, put yourself together, and stay away from the ideologues. Because they are hiding. They're hiding behind a wall because they are not able to come out and fight on their own behalf. So the way forward through the ideological mess is -- and...

That is the lesson of Western culture: We place the individual at the place of paramount importance... [and] make the group identity emerge only when necessary, and secondarily, if ever.

And so you can do that... Now... Tomorrow... Just put your life together... And you won't hurt anyone while doing that. Pick up your responsibilities, sort yourself out, fix up your family, alright? And then you can be a force for good in the culture. If enough people do that, the ideological mess will just evaporate -- disappear.

That is the way you show people the right path forward. Tell people we would like it so much if they could thrive as an individual. Drop your cult-like affiliation. Step out of the shadows, the demonic shadows -- your ideological possessions, and step forward as a fully developed person into the light. Do it by example. That's your best bet, man.



Short video clip via Bite-Sized Philosophy channel on YouTube. You can watch the full original lecture titled "The Great Sacrifice: Abraham and Isaac" below via Dr. Jordan Peterson on YouTube:

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