Postmodernism, patriarchy, Marxism, hierarchy and other matters

This talk by Professor Jordan Peterson of Toronto University is worth watching (it’s a long one so you may want to watch in instalments). In it he discusses numerous topics, including hierarchies, the patriarchy, Marxism, postmodernism, and so on. Which is to say he dismantles each of those concepts.

Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology as well as an author and very successful YouTuber. His approaches to contentious subjects such as sexuality and gender are based on scientific knowledge, not leftwing dogma. As he comments at one point about the current PC dismissal of science, “postmodernists don’t believe in biology but they all act like they do – because they all die.”

I strongly recommend this (and every other video featuring Peterson) to all students. It’s a necessary antidote to the political bias now embedded in humanities courses and promoted by the majority of lecturers these days.

Towards the gulag, one vote at a time.

denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzheitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn’s short masterpiece should be essential reading for all young people. It’s a reminder (or perhaps the first encounter for some) of the horrors of communism in the Soviet Union. Socialism, communism, Marxism, whatever you want to call it, ends inevitably in labour and death camps or in complete social collapse, as is happening now in Venezuela.

Here’s the blurb from Penguin Books about One Day

Bringing into harsh focus the daily struggle for existence in a Soviet gulag, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is translated by Ralph Parker in Penguin Modern Classics.

 

This brutal, shattering glimpse of the fate of millions of Russians under Stalin shook Russia and shocked the world when it first appeared. Discover the importance of a piece of bread or an extra bowl of soup, the incredible luxury of a book, the ingenious possibilities of a nail, a piece of string or a single match in a world where survival is all. Here safety, warmth and food are the first objectives. Reading it, you enter a world of incarceration, brutality, hard manual labour and freezing cold – and participate in the struggle of men to survive both the terrible rigours of nature and the inhumanity of the system that defines their conditions of life.

 

Though twice-decorated for his service at the front during the Second World War, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was arrested in 1945 for making derogatory remarks about Stalin, and sent to a series of brutal Soviet labour camps in the Arctic Circle, where he remained for eight years. Released after Stalin’s death, he worked as a teacher, publishing his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich with the approval of Nikita Khrushchev in 1962, to huge success. His 1967 novel Cancer Ward, as well as his magnum opus The Gulag Archipelago, were not as well-received by Soviet authorities, and not long after being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, Solzhenitsyn was deported from the USSR. In 1994, after twenty years in exile, Solzhenitsyn made his long-awaited return to Russia.

 

If you enjoyed One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, you might also like Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, available in Penguin Classics.

 

‘It is a blow struck for human freedom all over the world … and it is gloriously readable’
Sunday Times

For a more detailed and more gruelling read, there’s The Gulag Archipelago, also by Solzhenitsyn.

Modern Times: Camille Paglia and Jordan B Peterson

“Dr. Camille Paglia is a well-known American intellectual and social critic. She has been a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (where this discussion took place) since 1984. She is the author of seven books focusing on literature, visual art, music, and film history, among other topics. The most well-known of these is Sexual Personae (http://amzn.to/2xVGEEV), an expansion of her highly original doctoral thesis at Yale. The newest, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism, was published by Pantheon Books in March 2017 (http://amzn.to/2hGycTG).

Dr. Paglia has been warning about the decline and corruption of the modern humanities for decades, and she is a serious critic of the postmodern ethos that currently dominates much of academia. Although she is a committed equity feminist, she firmly opposes the victim/oppressor narrative that dominates much of modern American and British feminism.

In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover (among other topics) the pernicious influence of the French intellectuals of the 1970’s on the American academy, the symbolic utility of religious tradition, the tendency toward intellectual conformity and linguistic camouflage among university careerists, the under-utilization of Carl Jung and his student, Erich Neumann, in literary criticism and the study of the humanities, and the demolition of the traditional roles and identity of men and women in the West.”