Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Not a true outsider?

If you want the West to continue into the future in any recognisable form, then you have to be a political outsider - at least for the time being.

That's because the political establishment is committed to a liberalism that is dissolving of traditional society. 

In the past, the establishment got away with things by giving people the option of a liberal left or a liberal right. You could have passionate disagreement within the sphere of this choice. And it worked - hardly anyone ever left the inside of liberal politics.

But with liberal dominance came ever more radical consequences. Over the past few years an outside finally started to emerge. 

This has been wonderful to observe. But for some time I have expressed the concern that the outside was made up of two parts. There is a rank and file that genuinely wants to break from the liberal establishment. But there are also leading figures who are still right liberal by conviction and who only came to the outside because the very dominance of liberalism has made it intolerant and has increasingly placed limits on speech. These free speech right liberals want academic freedom, wish to take on the campus left, don't want to be bound by political correctness, and take individual responsibility seriously.

But they are still liberals. And the danger is that they will seem like courageous outsiders, which then gives them the opportunity to corral those who are drifting outside, to keep them within a liberal politics. You then end up with a controlled opposition.

To make my point clear, look at the following Tweet from Jordan Peterson:

Jordan Peterson is an intelligent man with a commanding manner. His presentations are interesting and often insightful. He has taken on the campus left, who in turn have strenuously attacked him.

So he seems like an outsider. But as he admits his real role is to corral those drifting outside, to bring them back to the centre - to the inside. In doing so, he is helping the West to stay on its current course - which means that the breakdown will only get worse.

The political outside (the "dissident right") will take a step forward when the prominent leaders are those who understand the need to reject liberalism itself in a principled way. I am optimistic that this will happen, but in the meantime we have to take care to distinguish the faux outside from the real thing.


  1. Yes, you are very right about Peterson.

    He refuses to debate well spoken defenders of the alt-right. Such a position is inconsistent and hypocritical with his own philosophy.

    Peterson is very wise on many subjects, and a talented man, but shows that he is not without bias with such a statement.

    This speaks well to his blindness:

    Pepe Schools Jordan Peterson

  2. But they are still liberals. And the danger is that they will seem like courageous outsiders, which then gives them the opportunity to corral those who are drifting outside, to keep them within a liberal politics.

    These are the people who will try to convince you that the only problem with liberalism is that there are people who have pushed it too far. They're also invariably the people who will tell you the same thing about feminism,

    I've said it before but it can't be said too often. There is no such thing as moderate liberalism, or moderate feminism. Once you accept a mild version of these ideologies you will end up with the extreme version. Every single time. The very nature of these ideologies is that they are Utopian. They just have to keep pushing until Utopia is achieved. Once set in motion they cannot be stopped. You cannot compromise with liberalism because liberalism aims for perfection and liberals will not rest until they have achieved their idea of perfection.

    Accepting moderate liberals as allies is a fatal mistake. Liberals are the enemy. Yes, all liberals.

    1. Yes the fatal flaw with liberalism is that a utopia can never exist here on earth with fallen men. So they will always have to keep pushing further.

    2. Their intention is to make our lives perfect, even if this requires that they kill us all.

  3. Very interesting, but I think you are painting Jordan Peterson with a broad brush. My estimation is that he is actually quite conservative, at least on many fundamental issues, such as gender differences. But there is a strategic aspect to his public stances. He knows that if he wants to take on the left (a task which he is brave enough to actually want to take up), he has to stay at least partially "inside". It's all fine to seek purity and absolute consistency, but being too strictly conservative can amount to a professional and social suicide.
    Besides, when Jordan Peterson says he "brought back" people who had been drifting toward the "the alt-right", it is not clear what the "alt-right" label is actually labelling. Knowing how much he values tradition and religious belief, I'm sure he is not targeting strict conservatives nor devout Christians. And I'm not one to disagree with him if by alt-right he means, say fascism.
    Don't get mw wrong. I agree with dfordoom about moderate liberalism; there is no such thing. Or more precisely, liberalism creates an insatisfaction which it then feeds on. It's an endless loop. By nature, "moderate liberalism" will always drift in the same direction, and become more and more radical. But there is also such a thing as right-wing, conservative resentment, which is neither very different from left-wing resentment, nor very Christian in its essence. To know that people would have been guided away from that towards a more "liberal conservative" stance should be good news even to a true conservative.

  4. Peterson is reasonably strong on some issues, like the value of traditional marriage and Christianity. He defended scientifically grounded sex differences with Goolag victim James Damore. He ducks the race question (and therefore the heart of the immigration question).
    However, if he confront race either objectively/scientifically or subjectively/aesthetically--what would become of his "movement"? And I think it is a movement among a crucial demographic. His charisma, verbal intelligence, and courage have built it from nothing in 2 or 3 years. I think it's worth watching to see how this phenomenon plays out. For example, he may tell academia to kiss off, at which point he would have more degrees of effective freedom in his discourse.
    Another question, as MrDonquichotte suggests above, is the identity of his audience. If he is breaking into the minds of Left-leaning youth, we may benefit. Or, perhaps he fortifies the Right-leaning youth on particular issues, and they ignore his (anti-racist) platitudes on others.