Quote of the day—Jordan B. Peterson

If you can fight you generally don’t have to. When skillfully integrated, the ability to respond with aggression and violence decreases rather than increases the probability that actual aggression will become necessary. If you say “No!” early in the cycle of oppression and you mean what you say which means you state your refusal in no uncertain terms and stand behind it then the scope for oppression on the part of oppressor will remain properly bounded and limited. Forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence. People who refuse to muster appropriately self protective territorial responses are laid open to exploitation as much as those who genuinely can’t stand up for their own rights because of a more essential inability or a true imbalance in power.

Naïve, harmless people usually guide their perceptions and actions with a few simple axioms: people are basically good; no one really wants to hurt anyone else; the threat (and certainly, the use) of force, physical or otherwise, is wrong. These axioms collapse, or worse, in the presence of individuals who are genuinely malevolent.

Jordan B. Peterson
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
[Daughter Jaime and I share an account on Audible and generally pick books that we are both interested in and then discuss them. This was one of the books she picked that, from the title, I wasn’t particularly interested in. Even after she said that this was a book that she was putting on a list for her son to read when he got older I just didn’t have any interest. But then, I ran out of books on my phone and decided to at least start it rather than immediately go searching for another book.

I am extremely pleased with what I found.

Among other things Peterson is a psychologist. In this book, what he tells us is how our minds work and how to make them work better.

What Peterson says in the quote above works on many scales on many topics. From the personal, to the political, to the international. The grand scope of this would not come as a surprise if you read the chapter. He tells us the knowledge in this quote was learned by animals 100 million years before the arrival of dinosaurs. It is an essential part of all animals today.

Extrapolating only the smallest amount you realize what he says is an argument for the right to keep and bear arms. It is instructive on how to retain our rights.—Joe]


11 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Jordan B. Peterson

  1. I too am reading 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and I also like what he says. I highly recommend it.


    • In particular, he argues that we need rules, limits, and borders. And that good (order) and evil (chaos) both exist and that our behaviors are biologically driven. He is opposed to demands for equality and gender choices. I think that he would call many in the ‘progressive movement’ undisciplined spoiled children.

      • “…we need rules, limits, and borders.”
        Borders, Language and Culture?

        Actually it’s all in the Ten Commandments, which have been referred to as the “Perfect Law of Liberty”. If the Commandments were generally understood, and embraced, there would be maximum liberty in the world. It would solve all of the world’s major problems overnight.

        Therefore, the left hates the Commandments with a screaming passion. They covet, steal, murder, commit adultery, and well, they violate or seek to violate all of them.

        (Be careful which version you read though, because the papacy has re-written them)

        • Yes, the ten commandments are good rules. Peterson’s target audience is progressive or x-progressive.

  2. “If you can fight you generally don’t have to.”

    This cannot be over-stated. I would add, “if you can fight and you’re willing to fight, right now you generally don’t have to”. It goes to the leftists’ common retort; “That (violent government tyranny) is never going to happen here, so you don’t need guns!”

    To the extent that it can’t happen here, it is because we have guns.

    The peace-keeping militia force at the Bundy Ranch is one of the more dramatic cases in point, but the primary cases are very subtle.

    And man oh man do the leftists hate it! They hate strength and honor so much they can’t contain themselves. That’s hate is the impetus for their cultural demoralization and agitation efforts.

    I think about 90% of all of this subject is detailed artfully in the movie High Noon starring Gary Cooper (which the left also hates with a passion, precisely because it suggests what even one man can do if he’s strong, principled, and willing and ready to fight for the right reasons).

  3. If anyone wants to hear Dr. Peterson on a really good podcast, check out The Jocko Podcast, Episodes 98 and 112. Both are phenomenal. Dr. Peterson is one of the smartest guys out there.

  4. Vox seems to hate on Peterson due to the fact that many of the young men Vox sees as his rightful followers are going to Peterson and are fixing their lives. Vox is a smart guy but the jealousy just seems petty.

    • Nope, not jealousy. Truth, as he sees it, and he makes an interesting case. Vox doesn’t wan’t followers. Read some of the links, and listen to the details of the critique. I can read Peterson and see what he’s sort of getting at, at least the obvious things; for a person who doesn’t have their stuff together, it can sound pretty good. But when examined in the contextual light Vox shines on it, it looks totally different. Shockingly so. It reads very differently when you look at just small chunks as a stand-alone piece, at a 10,000-foot view, and when integrated and cross-checked.
      Many guys that like both Vox and Peterson are torn; they hear what sounds like truth from both of them, and some of the ideas are very appealing to young men on the right, but they do not have the intellect or background to really evaluate the strength of each argument. I listen to Peterson and it sounds great. I listen to Vox and realize “holy crap, he might be right!” Or, at least, he’s right enough to make me take much greater care in reading JBP.

      Example: when Peterson says you have no right to take pride in what your ancestors have done, it sounds good, very individualistic, very libertarian; you have to do your own work! But a logical follow-on is that your ancestors have no duty to do anything for you, either; no reason to leave you a clean planet, no resources, no infrastructure, no reason to preserve anything for you or your children. You owe nothing to your family or culture or tribe. Not a logical step most people would see or contemplate. But very unsettling when you see it.

  5. In a discussion with a State Department security agent once, I asked how he was supposed to de-escalate conflicts as they arose. He said that declaring offensive behavior unacceptable when it began, requiring that it stop, and being willing to enforce that requirement immediately was the best path to de-escalate any conflict.
    I think he was right.

    On the other hand, a 65+ year old friend of mine, a 20+ year veteran of Army Intelligence, was accosted by a mugger on a side street of Paris while on vacation. My friend, a 5’6″, 140 pound, little old man with wrinkles and gray hair, left the mugger lying in the street. He said the scariest thing about the whole event was that his training from 40 years ago automatically handled the mugger, without any conscious thought on his part. I avoided making loud noises around him after that.

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