An interview with Jordan Peterson, who believes in witches and dragons

Is this circle correct? Do the left and right meet at some point?


It’s not even that for me; it’s an astute awareness that wasting any of my time on this dude won’t change anything about him or his “message.”

My Gram always said ‘choose your battles wisely;’ and IMO, Jordan Peterson’s bullshit hustle isn’t worth fighting over.

If he should decide to run for government or a position of power, then that’s a different matter.


Just trying to be clear- taking Peterson’s words at face-value has led to accusations of decontextualization. Simply trying to avoid the same pitfall here.

The thing here, is that you explicitly stated a belief about masculinity. Is that explicit statement only defining your view of your own masculinity? Or generally, to all men?

And whether you like it or not, and you can protest to your hearts delight, statements about masculine characteristics are loaded with implicit counter statements about femininity. If you want to avoid these mischaracterizations, my suggestion would be to follow Peterson’s advice, and speak precisely. “Person” or “human” would do the trick.


Perhaps I misspoke.

I should have said, “Undefined fringe-cases?”

That’s not an answer to my question.

Again, what on her Wikipedia page identifies her as a member of the “extreme left” for you?


Ah, well that makes sense, and it’s pragmatic.

I tend to approach it from an academic increased-knowledge perspective, where I want to be aware of the intricacies so that the generalities are easier to refute later.

She supported Ralph Nader, Bernie Sanders (who was arguably more liberal than Clinton), and Jill Stein (of the Green Party).

Politically, I would say that she’s interested in democratic socialism. However, I can’t speak to how she would categorize herself if you talked to her.

People are evolving creatures.

Again, as I’ve said before, some of these categories may be on a continuum (per the Authoritarian circle, even if the circle is not defined properly).

It’s interesting how people attack the messenger and not the message.

In the US, democratic socialism is now considered “left-wing” per the political Overton Window.

It’s a bad model, in both form and because the imprecise terms “Left” and “Right” indicate one-dimensional thinking. While it’s far from perfect, the “political compass” model is a better representation (don’t bother with the accompanying placement tests, which are usually rigged):

To answer your question, wrap this chart around a sphere and the endpoints meet in some form of feudalism.


fucl, I mean, if all you need is “have confident posture and be kinda stoic-y” but prefer it with a veneer of vague religious/mythical history you could have also just taken a karate class, or even just watched karate kid


Ok, so graphed into a sphere then, rather than a 2-dimensional circle?

I like that. I’ll have to think about it some more.

So would feudalism be the point where the axes meet?
What defines the axes in the chart you’re showing me? (What is the null point?)

No, the sphere is my own addition to address your second question (an old and often-contested one called “horseshoe theory”).

There are no real end-points defined, although when politicians are placed on the compass the arrows at the end of each axis usually indicate a hard limit (difficult to go further “northeast” than Hitler, for example). I’d stretch those limits a bit to wrap the compass around a sphere, but it wouldn’t have to be much of stretch to get the quadrants to enter the territory of feudalism.


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In the one-dimensional “left/right” model it has a lot of flaws, which are often exploited in critiques by extremists. This is becoming a bit of a derail from the main topic so you’d be better off reading up on it yourself now that you understand the formal terminology.


The best answer I’ve seen to that question is that Peterson isn’t an intellectual, he’s a prophet. For a certain kind of individual, he makes the old, obvious advice suddenly feel real/important/exciting/actionable. See here.

Note also that for almost any advice, there is a population that needs to hear it, and a population that needs to hear its opposite, so it’s not usually possible to say if advice is “good” or “bad” except in reference to a given target population, and it’s impossible to make sure only the target population hears it.


A self-described skeptic skeptical of thought that is skeptical of the status-quo. How daring.


That is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time.

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True enough in many cases, but in Peterson’s case, I’ve yet to find followers who, for all the good they may have adopted from it, haven’t also absorbed a good deal of its toxicity. And so, I think it’s far to say that Peterson’s Bag O’ Grand Advice just doesn’t qualify as “good.” (At least not in my book, and no thanks to any offers of debate regarding the ultimately subjective nature of “good” and “bad.”)


It reminds me a lot of Aristotle’s virtue ethics (Nicomachean Ethics). You can’t really be specific about what it is to be virtuous as it differs in each situation.

That Jordan Peterson tries to teach people how to live right by his own standards is commendable in theory. But in practice he should already realize that what he is doing is ultimately flawed. Firstly because he himself is flawed. But secondly because his advice can’t be applied to all situations and he failed to explain that important point to his listeners.

I’ve listened to Peterson on and off for a few years or maybe a dozen or so videos on YouTube. I think you can get closer to enlightenment, or at least self-improvement, with 45 minutes of Aristotle than you could with a 100 hours of Peterson.


I kant believe you


Ah, if we all had the time and tuition fees to pursue a minor in philosophy.