What Leftists Mean when They Say that Reason is a Tool of the Patriarchy

If all society is organized rationally according to an ought but if all oughts are subjective, this means that reason is ultimately a tool of unreason. The Left’s subjective preference for egalitarianism guides its use of reason to pursue an egalitarian future. The Right’s equally subjective preference for a particular hierarchy—in concrete terms, the patriarchy—guides its use of reason to defeat the Left’s pursuit of an egalitarian future. So goes the theory, at any rate, and cognizance of it can teach us at least a couple valuable lessons.

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“Enforced Monogamy” is not the Equality of Outcome

Dr. Peterson is certainly right that equality is different than the equality of outcome. Unlike the simple concept of equality, the equality of outcome already has built into its concept, at the beginning, the criterion that the equality contemplated must touch every facet of life. The equality of outcome is, in other words, totalistic in its basic meaning. Equating equality simply with equality of outcome would be like comparing two boxes that have the same length but different widths and heights and judging them equal. The two would be equal along one dimension but not equal in a total sense. Likewise, noting an equalizing effect in the institution of marriage and calling that effect the equality of outcome is similar to claiming that if society fosters equality in any way, then it ought to require it in every way.

I wonder, however, whether the most important potential for denying Mr. Rogan’s premise in questioning Dr. Peterson on this count remained uncultivated because of Dr. Peterson’s decidedly agreeable habit of leading friendly conversations in constructive directions even when he is attempting to disagree with his friends. Under discussion, we must remember, is Dr. Peterson’s critique of the ideology that underpins the political program of the Left in our contemporary moment. By his question, Mr. Rogan intends to challenge Dr. Peterson to explain how he can offer what appear to be contradictory opinions in two analogous sets of circumstances. If marriage is an equalizing institution, then as an equalizing institution, it is supposed to be a microcosm of the Left’s commitment to total equality achieved by means of our political institutions. In setting up his analogy, however, Mr. Rogan overlooks fundamental differences that would have defeated the analogy at its beginning.

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Subjectivity and Social Engineering, Part IV

When we said that for postmodernists subjectivity is free, what we meant was that on the basis of insights pretty much in line with Nietzsche’s, the postmodernists judge human subjectivity as free from God and free from objective necessity…free from science. Marx brought onto the world stage the project of engineering human cosmopolitanism similar to the way in which an engineer designs a bridge, but his claim that the objective side of human life is the key for social engineering failed. For the postmodernists the idea of the freedom of subjectivity offered a new modus operandi for Marx’s program of social engineering. To shape the world according to a Marxist cosmopolitan ideal, the postmodernists saw an amoral war of values as the necessary means.

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Subjectivity and Social Engineering, Part III

On the one hand, Kant’s response to Hume enables and even necessitates the idea of science as an infinite human project. I.e., because scientific theories are always the imposition of our thinking on the world rather than a description of the essence of the world’s being, every scientific theory is liable to being eclipsed by a more accurate, more comprehensive scientific theory. On the other, Kant’s response to Hume established the question of human perception, human subjectivity as a potential route of central concern. From Kant forward, the British academy followed, broadly speaking, the path of scientific inquiry. The German and, later, French academies followed the path of critiquing the modern scientific project on the basis of insight into subjectivity.

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The CBC and Bernard Schiff Tried to Smear Jordan Peterson

Indeed, for Schiff and the CBC the literal meaning of Peterson’s tweet is not important. It is, rather, to be interpreted in the light of their predetermined conviction that Dr. Peterson is a secret transphobe. Because the CBC and Schiff prejudge Peterson a transphobe, they misconstrue his tweet as a covert, transphobic dog whistle. And this is all the more ridiculous because to make their claim, they have to employ against Peterson precisely the tactics that they impute to him.

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Subjectivity and Social Engineering, Part II

In the 20th century, however, classical Marxism failed spectacularly. Not only did its predictions about capitalism prove to be the opposite of what happened; a number of countries around the world attempted to try socialist revolutions, and in essentially every case, a totalitarian regime took power and perpetrated famine and mass murder, caused economic stagnation and/or implosion, etc. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many westerners believed that we had vanquished communism once and for all. Many did not, and indeed do not to this day, understand that classical Marxism was a manifestation of the more basic belief system to which we have been referring: i.e., the naïve materialistic presupposition that objectivity creates subjectivity in such a way that the content of human subjectivity is a rather shallow or inessential quality of human being. Another shorthand way of referring to this belief system is the blank slate theory of human nature.

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Subjectivity and Social Engineering, Part I

One consequence of this sort of thinking is the possibility of drawing the conclusion, at the outset, that human subjectivity is determined by human objectivity. In other words, human environment, including the environment of the human body—i.e., human biological being—, creates human subjectivity. If, then, subjectivity is the realm of human opinion in which we live our daily lives—and through which human beings act out their political wills—and if human subjectivity is objectively determined, these premises would tend to lead to the conclusion that if we want to end human suffering, we must take control of human objectivity. Human subjectivity becomes that which we endeavor to perfect according to an idea of human happiness by managing the objective circumstances of human life.

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But Wait…What if Antifa is Right?

Here, I think we are approaching a nearly accurate characterization of the left’s current analysis of the problem with president Trump and his supporters, and I think we are approaching an apt understanding of Antifa’s justifications of violence. I.e., because leftist thinking sees all of this as a battle taking place within the psychological realm of human subjectivity, it sees the rational argumentation of the conservative leaders it seeks to silence as disingenuous. It sees it, fundamentally, as rationalization of a subjective insistence on enjoying one’s own advantage in order to achieve one’s own happiness without reference to the happiness of all. Rationality here is being used to enable irrationality, in other words. To starve irrationality’s fire, then, the rationality that is its fuel must be removed far away from it. Deprive a fire of its fuel, and the fire will go out.

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Why do Progressives Flirt with Supporting Antifa?

Precisely because the Left sees itself as participating in the evolution of civilization towards ever more perfect equality, the most outlandish ideas about equality—the decoupling of gender from biological sex, for example—are almost invariably emanations out of leftist thinking about the next steps in this evolution. They know that these ideas are outside the mainstream, but they want to bring them into the mainstream in order to manifest the future in the present. The Left, then, sees the fringe right as execrable for its lack of enlightenment, but it sees Antifa as belonging to the opposite fringes because its members exceed the mainstream in their own enlightenment.

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Institutional Racism is a Con, Part I

Thomas Sowell Discusses his Newest Book, Intellectuals and Race

The Left today seeks to convince America that cultivation of self-government is the subjective content of “whiteness” which we must root out of “the system” in order to level the playing field for everyone else. The reality of the situation, though, is that the Left misguidedly established a vast system which more and more thoroughly deprives minorities, and now Americans generally, of the need to practice self-reliance at precisely the moment in our history when the barriers to access which racism posed were beginning to crack and fall down, and doing so created the chronic dysfunction in minority communities which the Left now blames on everything but itself.

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