The Best from "Quillette"

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BeardFisher-King

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« on: October 30, 2018, 08:22:24 pm »
"Quillette is a platform for free thought. We respect ideas, even dangerous ones. We also believe that free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress. Quillette aims to provide a platform for this exchange."

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Here's an article on the Jordan Peterson phenomenon, largely focussed on the animosity towards JP from the Left.

https://quillette.com/2018/05/22/jordan-peterson-failure-left/?fbclid=IwAR1rVi1aSETD4aR6022qbyV93i2k8FHk245TQVKB9toctqh1_f8Tek80GG4
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 02:02:34 am »
The comment by Jack B Nimble gets into some of my issues with Peterson, though I doubt he and I are cut from the same cloth exactly either.

When I dig into Peterson I find myself nodding sometimes in agreement, and cringing at the silliness in other cases...That said it is hard to pin down exactly what Peterson has said and what has been misconstrued about what he has said. Extending him charity - by which I mean trying to be factual without ascribing motives - I'd say while I guess our politics differ he's not wrong in a "meta" sense, that the Ground of democracy is rooted in Myth - specifically for the West this is a Judeo-Christian Mythos, though as the Greeks and others have shown this isn't necessary.

However an attempt to grind away at the Mythos that the Ground has so long relied on hurts liberalism as much as, if not arguably more, than conservatism as those two poles are defined in American politics. The rights of the historically marginalized were furthered through the idea of a "right" as transcendent/universal.

p.s. Quilette's claim to "free thought" does amuse me, unless I missed the parapsychology and intelligent design stuff they've published...
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 02:13:15 am by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 02:03:35 pm »
The comment by Jack B Nimble gets into some of my issues with Peterson, though I doubt he and I are cut from the same cloth exactly either.

Well, that guy's post really doesn't seem to offer much, except a seemingly spurious notion that the word "predator" didn't exist until 1920, or, even if that were true, that this preclude our premodern ancestors from having cognitive categories of things that want to eat/kill them?  Peterson's point is that the idea of "dragons" is as real as any other thought.  In this sense, "dragon" is as real as any other mental representation of anything at all.  The fact is that you, anyone, as a creature capable only of interaction with the world through the means of mental representation, necessarily exist because mental representations are real.  If they were not, you couldn't be conscious at all and I don't see how you would consciously ever do anything.

He links to an article which does raise some good points, but ultimately falls into the same trap.  For example:

Quote
Peterson extolls classic Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as upholding primordial gender roles, but objects to Frozen for violating those norms. “It might be objected (as it was, with Disney’s more recent and deeply propagandistic Frozen) that a woman does not need a man to rescue her,” Peterson writes in 12 Rules of Life. “That may be true, and it may not. It may be that only the woman who wants (or has) a child needs a man to rescue her—or at least to support and aid her. In any case, it is certain that a woman needs consciousness to be rescued, and, as noted above, consciousness is symbolically masculine and has been since the beginning of time (in the guise of both order and of the Logos, the mediating principle).”

The argument here is that Frozen is propaganda because it violates mythical tropes that have existed since “the beginning of time.” But are myths really so unwavering and static?

Even the quoted portion of Peterson's book flatly states "That may be true, and it may not" yet, the article just plows right along, as if Peterson (in expressing his opinion that Frozen is akin to propaganda) said this was an absolute fact.  Instead, what Peterson goes on to say is that archetypally speaking, women need men.  This is plain to see every day.  The same goes for men needing women.  It's rather easy to frame that as being misogynistic, if one chooses to do so.  But then we are going to have to define existance as misogynistic, by the very nature of biology, being that a women needs a man to have a child at all.  I don't see where this reductionist thinking brings us though.  That is Peterson's point, really.  That we can, "liberally" choose than women should not need men at all, but where does that put us as a society comprised of men and women then?  This is where Peterson, conservative leaning, is concerned with liberalism going "too far."  And it's a valid question to ask, can liberalism go too far?

Not only that part, but the article goes on:
Quote
Blake re-wrote the Bible, just as Frozen re-wrote the Disney princess by making the traditional witch figure (the magic-powered Elsa) into a heroine. That’s the way culture works. Myths are not just handed down in unchanging fashion; they are repurposed, tweaked, and sometimes inverted. Contra Peterson, witches aren’t real. More importantly, the cultural meaning of witches changes over time (as with the feminist effort to reclaim witches as heroines).

Well, I think the author of the article of off the rails now.  One, Elsa is not the hero in Frozen.  She nearly kills everyone, including her own sister who was only trying to save her.  It's Anna, who is the hero.  Anna who saves everyone.  So, yes, Frozen is an "inversion" of sorts, but not of what this person is trying to say at all.  Anna does have a "feminist" role as hero, but what Peterson is trying to get at (not in a well articulated way though) is that this role is actually somewhat antithetical to femininity.  Note that I say, "somewhat" though.  Because Anna does, in the end, display something that could be construed as "feminine virtue" in her sisterly love.  But it is through the method of taking the "traditionalist masculine" role.  That is to say, Anna isn't really a paragon on feminine virtue, but rather, is a woman who willfully takes on the masculine role.

There isn't anything wrong with that, per se, but Peterson's concern (I think) is that if we take the line that women should "heroically" be more masculine, then what do we say to men?  Be hyper-masculine?  Or are we saying that men should then be more feminine?  Why is the masculine role to be aspired to and the feminine one not?  This is the violence to femininity that feminists rightly decry.  Yet, a "feminine" hero, like say the new Wonder Woman movie, does not really show her embody much by way of feminine virtue, rather, she is just a female who displays masculine virtue.

Not only this part, but this small bit also goes directly against the very idea the author posited earlier.  "Witches aren't real" but then goes on to describe how the idea is pervasive enough to be included into mainstream movies, have femanists want to reclaim it, and have it be representative of "heroines."  You can't have it both ways, unfortunately.  Either the idea isn't real, then we can dispense with it all together, or it is and it can be re-purposed.

When I dig into Peterson I find myself nodding sometimes in agreement, and cringing at the silliness in other cases...That said it is hard to pin down exactly what Peterson has said and what has been misconstrued about what he has said. Extending him charity - by which I mean trying to be factual without ascribing motives - I'd say while I guess our politics differ he's not wrong in a "meta" sense, that the Ground of democracy is rooted in Myth - specifically for the West this is a Judeo-Christian Mythos, though as the Greeks and others have shown this isn't necessary.

If you can, read Peterson's Maps of Meaning.  It's far better than him trying to apply what he talks about in there to politics.  And I think it's more Peterson's point that it is less that democracy is rooted in Judeo-Christian Mythos, but rather that Western culture itself is.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2018, 06:33:51 pm »
The comment by Jack B Nimble gets into some of my issues with Peterson, though I doubt he and I are cut from the same cloth exactly either.

Well, that guy's post really doesn't seem to offer much, except a seemingly spurious notion that the word "predator" didn't exist until 1920, or, even if that were true, that this preclude our premodern ancestors from having cognitive categories of things that want to eat/kill them?  Peterson's point is that the idea of "dragons" is as real as any other thought.  In this sense, "dragon" is as real as any other mental representation of anything at all.  The fact is that you, anyone, as a creature capable only of interaction with the world through the means of mental representation, necessarily exist because mental representations are real.  If they were not, you couldn't be conscious at all and I don't see how you would consciously ever do anything.

He links to an article which does raise some good points, but ultimately falls into the same trap.  For example:

Quote
Peterson extolls classic Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as upholding primordial gender roles, but objects to Frozen for violating those norms. “It might be objected (as it was, with Disney’s more recent and deeply propagandistic Frozen) that a woman does not need a man to rescue her,” Peterson writes in 12 Rules of Life. “That may be true, and it may not. It may be that only the woman who wants (or has) a child needs a man to rescue her—or at least to support and aid her. In any case, it is certain that a woman needs consciousness to be rescued, and, as noted above, consciousness is symbolically masculine and has been since the beginning of time (in the guise of both order and of the Logos, the mediating principle).”

The argument here is that Frozen is propaganda because it violates mythical tropes that have existed since “the beginning of time.” But are myths really so unwavering and static?

Even the quoted portion of Peterson's book flatly states "That may be true, and it may not" yet, the article just plows right along, as if Peterson (in expressing his opinion that Frozen is akin to propaganda) said this was an absolute fact.  Instead, what Peterson goes on to say is that archetypally speaking, women need men.  This is plain to see every day.  The same goes for men needing women.  It's rather easy to frame that as being misogynistic, if one chooses to do so.  But then we are going to have to define existance as misogynistic, by the very nature of biology, being that a women needs a man to have a child at all.  I don't see where this reductionist thinking brings us though.  That is Peterson's point, really.  That we can, "liberally" choose than women should not need men at all, but where does that put us as a society comprised of men and women then?  This is where Peterson, conservative leaning, is concerned with liberalism going "too far."  And it's a valid question to ask, can liberalism go too far?

Not only that part, but the article goes on:
Quote
Blake re-wrote the Bible, just as Frozen re-wrote the Disney princess by making the traditional witch figure (the magic-powered Elsa) into a heroine. That’s the way culture works. Myths are not just handed down in unchanging fashion; they are repurposed, tweaked, and sometimes inverted. Contra Peterson, witches aren’t real. More importantly, the cultural meaning of witches changes over time (as with the feminist effort to reclaim witches as heroines).

Well, I think the author of the article of off the rails now.  One, Elsa is not the hero in Frozen.  She nearly kills everyone, including her own sister who was only trying to save her.  It's Anna, who is the hero.  Anna who saves everyone.  So, yes, Frozen is an "inversion" of sorts, but not of what this person is trying to say at all.  Anna does have a "feminist" role as hero, but what Peterson is trying to get at (not in a well articulated way though) is that this role is actually somewhat antithetical to femininity.  Note that I say, "somewhat" though.  Because Anna does, in the end, display something that could be construed as "feminine virtue" in her sisterly love.  But it is through the method of taking the "traditionalist masculine" role.  That is to say, Anna isn't really a paragon on feminine virtue, but rather, is a woman who willfully takes on the masculine role.

There isn't anything wrong with that, per se, but Peterson's concern (I think) is that if we take the line that women should "heroically" be more masculine, then what do we say to men?  Be hyper-masculine?  Or are we saying that men should then be more feminine?  Why is the masculine role to be aspired to and the feminine one not?  This is the violence to femininity that feminists rightly decry.  Yet, a "feminine" hero, like say the new Wonder Woman movie, does not really show her embody much by way of feminine virtue, rather, she is just a female who displays masculine virtue.

Not only this part, but this small bit also goes directly against the very idea the author posited earlier.  "Witches aren't real" but then goes on to describe how the idea is pervasive enough to be included into mainstream movies, have femanists want to reclaim it, and have it be representative of "heroines."  You can't have it both ways, unfortunately.  Either the idea isn't real, then we can dispense with it all together, or it is and it can be re-purposed.

When I dig into Peterson I find myself nodding sometimes in agreement, and cringing at the silliness in other cases...That said it is hard to pin down exactly what Peterson has said and what has been misconstrued about what he has said. Extending him charity - by which I mean trying to be factual without ascribing motives - I'd say while I guess our politics differ he's not wrong in a "meta" sense, that the Ground of democracy is rooted in Myth - specifically for the West this is a Judeo-Christian Mythos, though as the Greeks and others have shown this isn't necessary.

If you can, read Peterson's Maps of Meaning.  It's far better than him trying to apply what he talks about in there to politics.  And I think it's more Peterson's point that it is less that democracy is rooted in Judeo-Christian Mythos, but rather that Western culture itself is.

Yeah my problems are in line with the articles though more in spirit than letter, but with Peterson it is hard to know what he said vs what people interpret. I've seen even his admirers give different descriptions of his political views - just yesterday someone told me he was a classic liberal but for myself I see him as a traditionalist conservative or at the least leaning that way.

I find myself thinking this is partly the political climate - whatever Peterson is doesn't align with our usual way of putting people on political compasses. But I think part of this is Peterson having a lack of clarity even as I think some of this is people interpreting him in the least charitable way at every instance. I mean does he actually think women who don't want to be harassed but wear makeup are hypocrites? Or is that a gross misinterpretation from critics?

Part of the problem is the (ironic?) reactionary jump some liberals have made. The man is simply a conservative, I doubt he's much different than David French of the National Review or Edward Feser the Scholastic Christian Apologist. Probably to the left of both, so treating him as an evil buffoon that is hoping to sell a gateway drug to Nazism comes off as ridiculously paranoid.

But where I agree the most with what I think Peterson is getting toward is that the defense against far-right movements is, in fact, an offering of a Political Right that speaks to transcendent values that find their Ground in religion. I may disagree with such people in political matters like gay marriage or trans rights, but I do think pretending there's some New Atheist Ground that can slide in and replace the Mythos that underlies the common ground from MLK Jr. to Gandhi to Sen McCain (pick any other conservative liberals don't hate) is delusional.

As you say the Ground of Western Civilization, or really any civilization that has been brought into accord with democracy, isn't going to be baited & switched with some vague New Atheist attempt to cross the Is-Ought chasm.

I'll try to get into Maps of Meaning, but admittedly might be awhile.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 06:56:04 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 08:29:48 pm »
Yeah my problems are in line with the articles though more in spirit than letter, but with Peterson it is hard to know what he said vs what people interpret. I've seen even his admirers give different descriptions of his political views - just yesterday someone told me he was a classic liberal but for myself I see him as a traditionalist conservative or at the least leaning that way.

Well, I think part of the problem is that he believes that he is necessarily aligned against the far-left.  He really doesn't have much of an issue with "liberalism" in general, but he does believe that liberalism can go too far.  He is more conservative than liberal, but his stance against what he views as "extreme" or "radical" liberalism is what is almost always cited as his views against liberalism in general.  I think this is probably the greatest fault of his general rhetoric, not making that distinction clear.

I find myself thinking this is partly the political climate - whatever Peterson is doesn't align with our usual way of putting people on political compasses. But I think part of this is Peterson having a lack of clarity even as I think some of this is people interpreting him in the least charitable way at every instance. I mean does he actually think women who don't want to be harassed but wear makeup are hypocrites? Or is that a gross misinterpretation from critics?

Correct, I agree, his stances aren't easy to put into a box, because, in general, he has thought about most things and tried to come to a reasonable conclusion (not necessarily the "right or wrong" one though).  As such, he really doesn't fir the bill as a "slate" Conservative, or liberal for that matter.  In that way, he often gets criticized by both sides who see him as not "whatever" enough.  You can see this any time he posts something on social media that could even vaguely be construed as "liberal."  People crawl out of the woodwork to howl how he is kowtowing to liberals by even considering their position, let alone entertaining the idea that they might have a point.

As for that comment about women and make-up, I have my doubts about it, but without reading what was actually said, I don't know what he was trying to say.  I've read/listened to a lot by Peterson, so I really don't think he is a misogynist.  That being said, he, like anyone, does somethings say things that aren't very well thought out.  So, in just googling this "interview" I think he is trying to say that the "issue" of mixed gender workplaces and sexual politics in the workplace are not very "settled" social norms, compared to many of the others we have.  In this sense, it's unclear what make-up is exactly a signifier for, really.  I think he goes a bit far in saying they'd be hypocrites, but his line of thinking is: if women wear make-up, in general, to appear more appealing to men, and if women if women get attention from men but then don't want it, that is hypocritical.  It's sounds logical, but it fails to address the nuances of the situation.  That is, harassment isn't just attention.  And it isn't necessarily so clear that women only wear make-up to attract men.

Part of the problem is the (ironic?) reactionary jump some liberals have made. The man is simply a conservative, I doubt he's much different than David French of the National Review or Edward Feser the Scholastic Christian Apologist. Probably to the left of both, so treating him as an evil buffoon that is hoping to sell a gateway drug to Nazism comes off as ridiculously paranoid.

Right, that's about the gist of it, I think.

But where I agree the most with what I think Peterson is getting toward is that the defense against far-right movements is, in fact, an offering of a Political Right that speaks to transcendent values that find their Ground in religion. I may disagree with such people in political matters like gay marriage or trans rights, but I do think pretending there's some New Atheist Ground that can slide in and replace the Mythos that underlies the common ground from MLK Jr. to Gandhi to Sen McCain (pick any other conservative liberals don't hate) is delusional.

As you say the Ground of Western Civilization, or really any civilization that has been brought into accord with democracy, isn't going to be baited & switched with some vague New Atheist attempt to cross the Is-Ought chasm.

In theory, yes.  In actual practice, most Conservatives here only invoke religion when it's convenient to do so.  Of course, New Athiests are a whole other prblem, which is what Peterson was "debating" with Harris.  Harris even admits that there are good things bout religion that aren't true in the strict objective sense, but are something like "universal goods."  The idea that we can dispense with these and supplant it all with "The Truth" is farcical at best, even if we could find what that Truth was.

I'll try to get into Maps of Meaning, but admittedly might be awhile.

Well, it's a bit of a tome, but I think you might like it.  Basically, if I understood correctly, it's that we only gain meaning through values and values through focus and focus through heuristics.  So the idea that we can rely on facts alone really isn't going to supplant all those things, because it's not how our minds work.  Something like that.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2018, 09:40:05 pm »
In theory, yes.  In actual practice, most Conservatives here only invoke religion when it's convenient to do so.  Of course, New Athiests are a whole other prblem, which is what Peterson was "debating" with Harris.  Harris even admits that there are good things bout religion that aren't true in the strict objective sense, but are something like "universal goods."  The idea that we can dispense with these and supplant it all with "The Truth" is farcical at best, even if we could find what that Truth was.

I'll try to get into Maps of Meaning, but admittedly might be awhile.

Well, it's a bit of a tome, but I think you might like it.  Basically, if I understood correctly, it's that we only gain meaning through values and values through focus and focus through heuristics.  So the idea that we can rely on facts alone really isn't going to supplant all those things, because it's not how our minds work.  Something like that.

Ah I'd agree that many Conservatives, like many Liberals, are inconsistent in what Principles are applied where and what Authority should be invoked when.

My point was that there is a Ground on which Liberal/Conservative argumentation happens, and that the liberal/libertarian gains that were made in terms on convincing those on the other side of issues (gay rights being the most prominent and recent) came from argumentation on this Ground.

This is why Peterson, despite having conservative views in opposition to my liberal ones, still gets point in my book - because we recognize the Ground of the debate is the acceptance of Transcendent Morality. (Harris, in rejecting Materialism, should explain his criticism of the Ground I refer to b/c it seems he cherry picks his metaphysical absolutes.)

In fact this would also be why Quilette irks me despite the fact I read and enjoy a lot of what's published. They seem to have a very definitive world view -> Atheist + Centrist + Liberal/Libertarian + Materialist. My guess is they're happy to use the dramatic reaction to Peterson by those further left than them but will not entertain the ideas Peterson has that go beyond their own promoted world view.

I've got a few things I want to read about Whitehead/Russell, after some of that is dealt with I will make an honest effort with Maps of Meaning.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 09:41:43 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 09:58:30 pm »
Ah I'd agree that many Conservatives, like many Liberals, are inconsistent in what Principles are applied where and what Authority should be invoked when.

My point was that there is a Ground on which Liberal/Conservative argumentation happens, and that the liberal/libertarian gains that were made in terms on convincing those on the other side of issues (gay rights being the most prominent and recent) came from argumentation on this Ground.

This is why Peterson, despite having conservative views in opposition to my liberal ones, still gets point in my book - because we recognize the Ground of the debate is the acceptance of Transcendent Morality. (Harris, in rejecting Materialism, should explain his criticism of the Ground I refer to b/c it seems he cherry picks his metaphysical absolutes.)

Well, I too am a good bit more liberal than conservative.  I like Peterson for a number of reasons, but his politics are not really foremost there though.  I do think he tends to be right in asserting that it is possible for the left, for liberalism, to go too far.  And I agree with him that it isn't at all clear how far is too far.  It's generally pretty clear when conservatism goes too far though.

In fact this would also be why Quilette irks me despite the fact I read and enjoy a lot of what's published. They seem to have a very definitive world view -> Atheist + Centrist + Liberal/Libertarian + Materialist. My guess is they're happy to use the dramatic reaction to Peterson by those further left than them but will not entertain the ideas Peterson has that go beyond their own promoted world view.

Well, like pretty much everything else, Quilette is composed of people and people are heavily biased, even when they are aware they are biased.

I've got a few things I want to read about Whitehead/Russell, after some of that is dealt with I will make an honest effort with Maps of Meaning.

If you want, when you take a crack at it, make a thread.  I was making my way through it, but got sidetracked by work and real-life stuff.  I think we'd probably be able to mutually makes heads or tails of most of it, if either of us got confused.
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 10:08:05 pm »
Well, I too am a good bit more liberal than conservative.  I like Peterson for a number of reasons, but his politics are not really foremost there though.  I do think he tends to be right in asserting that it is possible for the left, for liberalism, to go too far.  And I agree with him that it isn't at all clear how far is too far.  It's generally pretty clear when conservatism goes too far though.


Ah yeah I personally barely care at all about Peterson's claims about Postmodernism, Cultural Marxism, etc.

I do think he does play a valuable role though - better the conservative that wants to protect women than the misogynist who would tape them in a bathroom or worse, even though I'd agree with Steinem that pedestals are prisons just like any other small enclosed space.

I think liberals underestimate the incredible societal value Judeo-Christian religiosity has in preserving the Ground that liberalism has made its gains on. Our conservatives, for example, aren't throwing gays off roof tops.
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 10:24:57 pm »
Ah yeah I personally barely care at all about Peterson's claims about Postmodernism, Cultural Marxism, etc.

I do think he does play a valuable role though - better the conservative that wants to protect women than the misogynist who would tape them in a bathroom or worse, even though I'd agree with Steinem that pedestals are prisons just like any other small enclosed space.

Well, I do think that some of his point on post-modernism is salient, in the sense that moral relativism can be taken too far if there is no limit.  What that limit is or should be though is up in the air.

I think liberals underestimate the incredible societal value Judeo-Christian religiosity has in preserving the Ground that liberalism has made its gains on. Our conservatives, for example, aren't throwing gays off roof tops.

Well, the radical left has no real idea of boundaries at all.  So, in their mind, basically, if some liberalism is good, more must be better, and so there simply cannot be a limit.  While that's a nice idea, it isn't at all practical for the real world.  Naturally too, those same sort of people are the same people who cannot see the ground they stand on, because they imagine it beneath them, morally.  As if they could be anywhere else...
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 10:32:46 pm »
Ah yeah I personally barely care at all about Peterson's claims about Postmodernism, Cultural Marxism, etc.

I do think he does play a valuable role though - better the conservative that wants to protect women than the misogynist who would tape them in a bathroom or worse, even though I'd agree with Steinem that pedestals are prisons just like any other small enclosed space.

Well, I do think that some of his point on post-modernism is salient, in the sense that moral relativism can be taken too far if there is no limit.  What that limit is or should be though is up in the air.

I think liberals underestimate the incredible societal value Judeo-Christian religiosity has in preserving the Ground that liberalism has made its gains on. Our conservatives, for example, aren't throwing gays off roof tops.

Well, the radical left has no real idea of boundaries at all.  So, in their mind, basically, if some liberalism is good, more must be better, and so there simply cannot be a limit.  While that's a nice idea, it isn't at all practical for the real world.  Naturally too, those same sort of people are the same people who cannot see the ground they stand on, because they imagine it beneath them, morally.  As if they could be anywhere else...

I'm wary of using the term "radical left" b/c it becomes confusing. Is Vox radical left, some of the Quilette readers seem to think so but is that a fair assessment? Where does that leave the "tumblrinas", or the New Agers?

I do agree Post-Modernism is a problem in that it eats at all Grounds but is it really fostering the "radical left"?  It seems to me this group believes in moral absolutes more so than, say, the target Quilette audience. It's just they are the mirror to extreme conservatism?
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 10:46:32 pm »
I'm wary of using the term "radical left" b/c it becomes confusing. Is Vox radical left, some of the Quilette readers seem to think so but is that a fair assessment? Where does that leave the "tumblrinas", or the New Agers?

That's part of the problem though.  How can we identify when liberalism goes too far?  When group identity is more important than personal identity?  Where do we stand to get the proper perspective?  I think the answer has to be somewhere in the middle, but who can be in the middle and then judge?  They'd just be decried as too conservative.  That's the problem when everything is too polar, there is no middle to mitigate extremism on either side.  But it serves both sides to rip anyone in the middle to shreds because the polarity is the source of power.

I do agree Post-Modernism is a problem in that it eats at all Grounds but is it really fostering the "radical left"?  It seems to me this group believes in moral absolutes more so than, say, the target Quilette audience. It's just they are the mirror to extreme conservatism?

Or is extreme conservative the mirror of extreme liberalism?  Well, it's a two way street, I'd think.  If one is going to entrench, the other has to, or give ground.  No one wants to give ground at all.

I think it's fair to be critical of what role post-modernism is playing, but I think you are right to assume it's not the "whole story."  No one thing is, I don't think.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 10:52:58 pm »
I'm wary of using the term "radical left" b/c it becomes confusing. Is Vox radical left, some of the Quilette readers seem to think so but is that a fair assessment? Where does that leave the "tumblrinas", or the New Agers?

That's part of the problem though.  How can we identify when liberalism goes too far?  When group identity is more important than personal identity?  Where do we stand to get the proper perspective?  I think the answer has to be somewhere in the middle, but who can be in the middle and then judge?  They'd just be decried as too conservative.  That's the problem when everything is too polar, there is no middle to mitigate extremism on either side.  But it serves both sides to rip anyone in the middle to shreds because the polarity is the source of power.

I do agree Post-Modernism is a problem in that it eats at all Grounds but is it really fostering the "radical left"?  It seems to me this group believes in moral absolutes more so than, say, the target Quilette audience. It's just they are the mirror to extreme conservatism?

Or is extreme conservative the mirror of extreme liberalism?  Well, it's a two way street, I'd think.  If one is going to entrench, the other has to, or give ground.  No one wants to give ground at all.

I think it's fair to be critical of what role post-modernism is playing, but I think you are right to assume it's not the "whole story."  No one thing is, I don't think.

Yeah, I don't want to make it seem like we're miles apart. We're pretty much aligned it seems, as far as any two people can be without going into policy specifics that I think would be a severe tangent.

I think a lot of us who are liberal but no longer "left enough" struggle how to respond to those left of us who seem happy to drive potential liberals into the arms of the alt-right. It's like watching a suicide pact made just as the Western World seemed to be turning a corner toward what we might temporally define as "90s style Liberalism".

It's amazing how Manicheanism has infected the populace, and on that front I do have a bone to pick with Peterson and some of his rhetoric...
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2018, 11:00:44 pm »
Yeah, I don't want to make it seem like we're miles apart. We're pretty much aligned it seems, as far as any two people can be without going into policy specifics that I think would be a severe tangent.

I think a lot of us who are liberal but no longer "left enough" struggle how to respond to those left of us who seem happy to drive potential liberals into the arms of the alt-right. It's like watching a suicide pact made just as the Western World seemed to be turning a corner toward what we might temporally define as "90s style Liberalism".

Well, I honestly think we are almost the same person, except you are actually smart and I just pretend to be.

That's something of the issue though, because even as people who have liberal sensibilities, we have some notion of limits.  Yet, there is no real way to impart to someone who is almost pathologically opposed to limits their necessity.  Then you are just some member of "the patriarchy," "Illuminati, or whatever other nonsense people want to throw in there.

I think Peterson is also minorly correct in that if you play identity politics too much, what you get in the end is not good.

It's amazing how Manicheanism has infected the populace, and on that front I do have a bone to pick with Peterson and some of his rhetoric...

This is an interesting idea, but I have to cut this post a bit short.  Tomorrow, perhaps?
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 11:05:03 pm »
Yeah, I don't want to make it seem like we're miles apart. We're pretty much aligned it seems, as far as any two people can be without going into policy specifics that I think would be a severe tangent.

I think a lot of us who are liberal but no longer "left enough" struggle how to respond to those left of us who seem happy to drive potential liberals into the arms of the alt-right. It's like watching a suicide pact made just as the Western World seemed to be turning a corner toward what we might temporally define as "90s style Liberalism".

Well, I honestly think we are almost the same person, except you are actually smart and I just pretend to be.

That's something of the issue though, because even as people who have liberal sensibilities, we have some notion of limits.  Yet, there is no real way to impart to someone who is almost pathologically opposed to limits their necessity.  Then you are just some member of "the patriarchy," "Illuminati, or whatever other nonsense people want to throw in there.

I think Peterson is also minorly correct in that if you play identity politics too much, what you get in the end is not good.

It's amazing how Manicheanism has infected the populace, and on that front I do have a bone to pick with Peterson and some of his rhetoric...

This is an interesting idea, but I have to cut this post a bit short.  Tomorrow, perhaps?

Heh no you are the smart one! <<insert appropriate emoji>>

But yes, I will look for your post coming at dawn from whatever direction the riders of Rohan came from to relieve Gandalf when he faced the Witch King. <<insert appropriate emoji>>
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 01:59:09 am »
Each side is blind, but each contributes. Conservatives think too linearly, too simplistically and try too hard to maintain consistency across their spheres of reality – laws limit freedom, taxes are bad, assault on those you disagree with is valid behavior, the powerful are legitimate, deny yourself social program assistance though you may really need it, assaulting those who differ in opinion is valid. Liberals think too abstractly, too preachy, too judgmental and too stubborn – people who don’t recycle are part of the problem, the weaker “group” is always on the correct side of truth/justice, forcing/shaming people into better behavior is valid, giving money away soothes suffering. Both suffer from trying to leverage the social layer of society to get what they want – spreading propaganda, boycotting businesses, trials by tv. The extremes are very politically active, which highlights both their weakness ( the fight for power overwhelms their good intentions to help society ) and their strength ( enjoy saturated political participation ). Conservatives are better at understanding how humans really are and are better at driving solutions that work ( or do the least harm, lowest cost, efficiency ). Liberals are better at identifying systemic problems. So, we need both to drive effective solutions which will be embraced by the public. Currently the two sides are in a death match and carelessly sabotage democracy for advantage. The “middle” is not politically active enough to stop it. Examples of a functioning democracy would yield solutions like programs that provide avenues out of poverty in lieu of handout and an amendment that allows States to determine when life begins in exchange for a robust initiative for renewable energy ( dead pregnant women don’t care about the rights to their bodies ). Instead, we have character assassination, non-stop propaganda warfare, political sabotage and a complete disregard for those sporting different cosmologies to ourselves. This destabilization has opened the door for any entity to influence the country as the enemy are other Americans, not foreign aggressives.
May your death be soon, slow and painful