Transcript of Zizek vs. Peterson Discussing “Happiness, Capitalism vs. Marxism”

I present a transcript of the Zizek vs. Peterson discussion. I haven’t cleaned it up yet, but wanted to publish it anyway.

Source:

good evening and welcome to the Sony Center for Performing Arts please note during tonight’s presentation video audio and flash photography is prohibited and we have a strict zero-tolerance policy for any heckling or disruptions and now please welcome your host and moderator president of Ralston college dr. Stephen Blackwood thank you alone welcome to all of you here this evening both those here in the feeder in Toronto and those following online you know it’s not very often that you see a country’s largest theater packed for an intellectual debate but that’s what we’re all here for tonight please join me please join me in welcoming to the stage dr. Slavoj Zizek and dr. Jordan Peterson [Applause] just a few words and introduction there can be few things I think now more urgent and necessary in an age of reactionary partisan Allegiance and degraded civil discourse in real thinking about hard questions the very premise of tonight’s event is that we all participate in the life of thought not merely opinion or prejudice at the realm of truth access through evidence and argument that these two towering figures of different disciplines and domains share more in a commitment to thinking itself they are both highly attuned to ideologies and the mechanisms of power and yet they are not principally political thinkers they are both concerned with more fundamental matters meaning truth freedom so it seems to me likely we will see tonight not only deep differences but also surprising agreement on deep questions dr. slab Boise Jack is a philosopher he has not one but two doctoral degrees one in philosophy [Applause] what in philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and a second in psychoanalysis from University let’s hear it for psychoanalysis from the University of Paris eight he is now a professor at the Institute of sociology and philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and the director of the Berbick Institute for the Humanities at the University of London he has published more than three dozen books many on the most seminal philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries he is a dazzling theorist with extraordinary range a global figure for decades he turns again and again with dialectical power to radical questions of emancipation subjectivity and art [Applause] dr. Jordan Peterson is an academic and critical [Applause] an academic and clinical psychologists his doctorate was awarded by McGill University and he was subsequently [Applause] we got some McGill graduates out here he was subsidies are Byrd University and then the University of Toronto where he is today the author of two books and well over a hundred academic articles dr. Peterson’s intellectual roots likewise lie in the 19th and early 20th centuries where his reading of Nietzsche Dostoyevsky and above all Karl Hume inform his interpretation of ancient myths of 20th century totalitarianism and especially his endeavor to counter contemporary nihilism his 12 rules for life is a global bestseller and his lectures and podcasts are followed by millions around the world both doctors Dziedzic and peterson transcend their titles their disciplines and the academy dust as this debate we hope well transcend purely economic questions by situating those in the frame of happiness of human flourishing itself we’re in for quite a night a quick word about format each of our debaters will have 30 minutes to make a substantial opening statement to lay out an argument dr. Peterson first followed by dr. Dziedzic each will then have in the same order ten minutes to reply I will then moderate 45 minutes or so of questions many of which will come from you the audience both here in Toronto and online with that let’s get underway please join me in welcoming dr. Jordan Peterson for the first opening statement well thank you for that insanely enthusiastic welcome for the entire event and also for being here I have to tell you first that this event and I suppose my life in some sense hit a new milestone that I was just made aware of by a stagehand today backstage who informed me that last week the tickets for this event were being scalped online at a higher price and the tickets for the Leafs playoff games so I don’t know what to make it out that’s all right so how did I prepare for this I went i familiarized myself to the degree that it was possible with Slovaks work and that wasn’t that possible because he has a lot of work and he’s a very original thinker and this debate was put together in relatively short order and what I did instead was returned to what I regarded as the original cause of all the trouble let’s say which was the Communist Manifesto and what I attempted to do because that’s Marx and we’re here to talk about Marxism let’s say and what I tried to do was read it and to read something you don’t just all of the words and follow the meaning but you take apart the sentences and you ask yourself at this level of phrase and at the level of sentence and that the level of paragraph is this true are there counter arguments that can be put forward that are credible is this solid thinking and I have to tell you and I’m not trying to be flippant here that I have rarely read a tract and I read it when I was 18 it was a long time ago right that’s 40 years ago but I’ve rarely read a track that made as many errors per sentence conceptual errors per sentence as the Communist Manifesto it was quite a miraculous reread it and it was interesting to think about it psychologically well because I’ve read student papers that were of the same ilk in some sense although I’m not suggesting that they were of the same level of glittering literary brilliance and polemic quality and I also understand that the Communist Manifesto was a call for revolution and not a standard logical argument but that notwithstanding I have some things to say about the author’s psychologically the first thing is that it doesn’t seem to me that either marks or Engels grappled with one fundamental with this particular fundamental truth which is that almost all ideas are wrong and so if you and it doesn’t matter if they’re your ideas or someone else’s ideas they’re probably wrong and even if they strike you with the force of brilliance your job is to assume first of all that they’re probably wrong and then to assault them with everything you have in your arsenal and see if they can survive and what what struck me about the communist manifesto was it was akin to something young said about typical thinking and this was the thinking of people who weren’t trained to think he said that the typical thinker has a thought it appears to them like an object might appear in a room a thought appears and then they just they just accept it as true they don’t know the second step which is to think about the thinking and that’s the real essence of critical thinking and so that’s what you try to teach people in university is to read a text and to think about it critically not to destroy the utility of the text but to separate the wheat from the chaff and so what I tried to do when I was reading the communist manifesto was to separate the wheat from the chaff and I’m afraid I found some wheat yes but mostly chaff and I’m going to explain why hopefully in relatively short order so I’m going to outline ten of the fundamental axioms of the Communist Manifesto and so these are truths that are basically held as self-evident by the authors and they’re truths that are presented in some sense as unquestioned and I’m going to question them and tell you why I think there unreliable now we should remember that this tract was actually written 170 years ago and it’s a long time ago when we have learned a fair bit from since then about human nature about society about politics about economics there’s lots of mysteries left to be unsolved but left to be solved but we are slightly wiser I presume then we were at one point and so you can forgive the authors to some degree for what they didn’t know but that doesn’t matter given that the essence of this doctrine is still held as sacrosanct by a large proportion of academics probably are among the most what would you call guilty of that particular sin so here’s proposition number one history is to be viewed primarily as an economic class struggle alright so so let’s think about that for a minute first of all is there the proposition there is that history is primarily to be viewed through an economic lens and I think that’s a debatable proposition because there are many other motivations that drive human beings than economics and those have to be taken into account especially the drive people other than economic competition like economic cooperation for example and so that’s a problem the other problem is that it’s actually not a nearly a pessimistic enough description of the actual problem because history history this is to give the devilís do the idea that one of the driving forces between history is hierarchical struggle is absolutely true but the idea that that’s actually history is not true because it’s deeper than history it’s biology itself because organisms of all sorts organize themselves into hierarchies and one of the problems with hierarchies is that they tend to arrange themselves into a winner-take-all situation and so now that is implicit in some sense in Marx Marx is thinking because of course Marx believed that in a capitalist society would accumulate in the hands of fewer and fewer people and that actually is in keeping with the nature of hierarchical organizations now the problem with that is it so much the fact of so there’s the there’s accuracy in the accusation that that is a eternal form of motivation for struggle but it’s an underestimation of the seriousness of the problem because it attributes’ it to the structure of human societies rather than the deeper reality of the existence of hierarchical structures per se which as they also characterize the animal kingdom to a large degree are clearly not only human constructions and the idea that there’s hierarchical competition among human beings there’s evidence for that that goes back at least to the Paleolithic times and so that’s the next problem is that well the ancient problem of hierarchical structure is clearly not attributable to capitalism because it existed long in human history before capitalism existed and then it predated human history itself so the question then arises why would you necessarily at least implicitly link the class struggle with capitalism given that it’s a far deeper problem and now it’s also you’ve got to understand that this is a deeper problem for people on the Left not just for people on the right it is the case that hierarchical structures dispossessed those people who are at the bottom those creatures who are at the bottom speaking say of animals but those people who are at the bottom and that that is a fundamental existential problem but the other thing that Marx didn’t seem to take into account is that there there are far more reasons that human beings struggle then their economic class struggle even if you build the hierarchical idea into that which is a more comprehensive way of thinking about it human beings struggle with themselves with the malevolence that’s inside themselves with the evil that they’re capable of doing with the spiritual and psychological warfare that goes on within them and we’re also actually always at odds with nature and this never seems to show up in Marx and it doesn’t show up in Marx’s Marxism in general it’s as if nature doesn’t the primary conflict as far as I’m concerned or a primary conflict that human beings engage in is this struggle for life in a cruel and harsh natural world and it’s as if it’s as if that doesn’t exist at the Marxist domain if human beings have a problem it’s because there’s a class struggle that’s essentially economic it’s like no human beings have problems because we come into the life starving and lonesome and we have to solve that problem continually and we make our social arrangements at least in part to ameliorate that as well as to as to well upon occasion exacerbated and so there’s also very little understanding in the Communist Manifesto that any of the likes a hierarchical organizations that human beings have put together I might have a positive element and that’s an absolute catastrophe because hierarchical structures are actually necessary to solve complicated social problems we have to organize ourselves in some manner and you have to give the devil his due and so it is the case that hierarchies dispossessed people and that’s a big problem that’s the fundamental problem of inequality but it’s also the case that hierarchies happen to be a very efficient way of distributing resources and it’s finally the case that human hierarchies are not fundamentally predicated on power and I would say that biological anthropological data on that or crystal clear you don’t rise to a position of authority that’s reliable in human society primarily by exploiting other people it’s a very unstable means of obtaining power so so that’s a problem well the people that laugh might do it that way okay now the other another problem that comes up right away is that Marx also assumes that you can think about history as a binary class struggle with clear divisions between say the proletariat proletariat and the Bruce Bozzi and that’s actually a problem because it’s not so easy to make a firm division between whose exploiter and who’s exploiting let’s say because it’s not obvious like in the case of small shareholders let’s say whether or not they happen to be part of the oppressed or part of the oppressor this actually turned out to be a big problem in the Russian Revolution and my big problem I mean tremendously big problem because it turned out that you could fragment people into multiple identities and that’s a fairly easy thing to do and you could usually find some axis along which they were part of the oppressor class it might have been a consequence of their education or it might be a consequence of their of their of their of the wealth that they strived to accumulate during their life or it might have been a consequence of the fact that they had parents or grandparents who were educated to rich or that they remember of the priesthood or that they were socialists or any ways that the listing of how it was possible for you to be Bruce wah instead of proletariat grew immensely and that was one of the reasons that the Red Terror claimed all the victims that had claimed and so that was a huge problem it was probably most exemplified by the demolition of the kulaks who were basically peasants asn’t farmers although effective ones in the soviet union who had managed to raise themselves out of serfdom over a period of about 40 years and to gather some some degree of material security about them and about 1.8 million of them were exiled about 400,000 were killed and the net consequence of that removal of their private property because of their burgeois status was arguably the death of 6 million Ukrainians in the famines of the 1930s and so the binary class struggle idea that was a bad idea that was a very very bad idea it’s also bad in this way and that this is sleight of hand that Marx pulls office you have a binary class division proletariat and bourgeoisie and you have an implicit idea that all of the good is on the side of the proletariat and all of the evil is on the side of the Bruce Bozzi and that’s classic group identity thinking you know it’s one of the reasons I don’t like identity politics is because once you divide people into groups and hit them against one another it’s very easy to assume that all the evil in the world can be attributed to one group of hypothetical oppressors and all the good to the other and that well that’s that’s that’s naive that’s not even beyond comprehension because it’s absolutely foolish to make the presumption that you can identify someone’s moral worth with their economic standing so and that actually turned out to be a real problem as well because Marx also came up with this idea which is a crazy idea as far as I can tell of the that’s a technical term crazy idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and that’s the next idea that I really stumbled across it was like okay so what’s the problem well the problem is the capitalists own everything they own all the means of production and they’re oppressing everyone that would be all the workers and there’s going to be a race to the 300 bottom of wages for the workers as the capitalists strive to extract more and more value from the labor of the proletariat by competing with other capitalists should drive wages down word which by the way didn’t happen partly because wages wage earners can become scarce and that actually drives the market value upward but in fact that that you assume a priori that all the evil can be attributed to the capitalists and all the good and all the good could be attributed to the proletariat and that you could hypothesize that a dictatorship of the proletariat could come about and that was the the first stage in the Communist revolution and remember this is a call for revolution and not just revolution but bloody violent revolution and the overthrow of all over of all existent social structures anyways the the the problem with that you see is that because all the evil isn’t divided so easily up into oppressor and oppressed that when you do establish a dictator of the proletariat to the degree that you can do that which you actually can’t because it’s technically impossible and an absurd thing to consider to begin with not least because of the problem of centralization and you have to hypothesize that you can take away all the property of the capitalists you can replace the capitalist class with a minority of proletariat’s how they’re going to be chosen isn’t exactly clear in the communist manifesto that none of the people who are from the proletariat class are going to be corrupted by that sudden access to power because they’re well by definition good so so then you have the good people who are running the world and you also have them centralized so that they can make decision decisions that are insanely complicated to make in fact impossibly complicated to make and so that’s a failure conceptually on both dimensions because first of all all the proletariat aren’t going to be good and when you give put people in the same position as the evil capitalists especially if you believe that social pressure is one of the determining factors of human character which the Marxist certainly believed then why wouldn’t you assume that the proletariat would immediately become as or more corrupt than the capitalist which is of course I would say exactly what happened every time this experiment was run and then the next problem is well what makes you think that you can take some system as complicated as like capitalist free-market society and centralize that and put decision-making power in the hands of a few people the mechanisms by without specifying the mechanisms by which you’re going to choose them like what makes you think they’re gonna have the wisdom or the ability to do what the capitalists were doing unless you assume as Marx did that all of the evil was with the capitalists and all the good was with the proletariat and that nothing that capitalists did constituted valid labor which is another thing that Marx assumed which is palpably absurd because people who are like maybe if you’re a dissolute aristocrat from 1830 and or earlier then you run a futile estate and all you do is spend your time gambling and and and chasing prostitutes well then the your labor value is zero but if you’re if you’re running a business and and it’s a successful business first of all you’re a bloody fool to exploit your workers because even if you’re greedy as sin because you’re not going to extract the maximum amount of labour out of them by doing that and the notion that you’re adding no productive value as a manager rather than a capitalist is it’s absolutely absurd all it does is indicate that you either know nothing whatsoever about how an actual business works or you refuse to know anything about how an actual business works so that’s that’s also and that’s also a big problem so then the next problem is the criticism of profit it’s like well what’s wrong with profit exactly what’s the problem with profit well the idea from the Marxist perspective was that profit was theft no but profit well it can be theft because crooked people can run companies and so sometimes profit is theft but that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s always threat theft what it means in part at least if the capitalist is adding value to the corporation then there’s some utility and some fairness in him or her extracting the value of their abstract labor their thought their abstract abilities their ability to manage the company than to engage in proper competition and product development and efficiency and the proper treatment of the workers and all of that and then if they can create a profit well then they have a little bit of security for times that aren’t so good and that seems absolutely bloody necessary as far as I’m concerned and then the next thing is well how can you grow if you don’t have a profit and if you have an enterprise that’s valuable and worthwhile and some enterprises are valuable and worthwhile then it seems to me that a little bit of profit to help you grow seems to be the right approach and so and then the other issue with profit and you know this if you’ve ever run a business is it it’s really useful constraint you know like it’s not enough to have a good idea it’s not a good enough to have a good idea and the sales and marketing plant and then to implement that and all of that that’s bloody difficult like it’s not even easy to have a good idea and it’s not easy to come up with a good sales and marketing plan and it’s not easy to find customers and satisfy them and so if you allow profit to to constitute a limitation on what it is that you might reasonably attempt it provides a good constraint on on wasted labour and so most of the things that I’ve done in my life even psychologically that were designed to help people psychological health I tried to run on a for-profit basis and the reason for what that was apart from the fact that I’ve noted first making a profit partly so my enterprises can grow it was also so that the reforms of stupidity that I couldn’t engage in because I would be punished by the market enough to eradicate the enterprise and so ok and then so the next the next issue this is a weird one so marx and engels also assume that this dictatorship of the proletariat which involves absurd centralization the overwhelming probability of corruption and impossible computation as the proletariat now try to rationally compute the manner in which an entire market economy could run which cannot be done because it’s far too complicated for anybody to think through the next theory is that somehow the proletariat dictatorship would become magically hyper productive and there’s actually no theory at all about how that’s going to happen and so I had to infer the theory and the theory seems to be that once you eradicate the Barozzi because they’re evil and you get rid of their private property and you you you you eradicate the profit motive and all of a sudden magically the small percentage of the proletariat who now run the society determine how they can make their productive enterprises productive enough so they become hyper productive now and they need to become hyper productive for the last error to be logically coherent in relationship to the Marxist theory which is that at some point the proletariat the dictatorship of the proletariat will become so hyper productive that there’ll be enough material goods for everyone across all dimensions and when that happens then what people will do is spontaneously engage in meaningful creative labor which is what they had been alienated from in the capitalist horrorshow and a utopia will be magically assured in but there’s no indication about how that hyper productivity is going to come about and there’s also no understanding that well that isn’t the Utopia that is going to suit everyone because there are great differences between people when some people are going to find what they want in love and some are going to find it in social being and some are going to find it in conflict and competition and some are going to find it in creativity as Marx pointed out but the notion that that that will necessarily be the end goal for the utopian state is preposterous and then there’s the dusty Espeon observation too which is one not to be taken lightly which is what sort of shallow conception of people do you have that makes you think that if you gave people enough bread and cake and the Dostoyevsky in terms and nothing to do with busy thumbs to accept a busy themselves with the continued continuity of the species that they would also all of a sudden become peaceful and heavenly Dostoyevsky’s idea was that you know we were built for trouble and if we were ever handed everything we were we needed on a silver platter the first thing we would do is engage in some form of creative destruction just so something unexpected could happen just so we could have the adventure of our lives and I think there’s something well there’s something to be said for that so and then the last error let’s say although by no means the last was this and this is one of the strangest parts of the Communist Manifesto was marks it agree admits and angles admit repeatedly in the Communist Manifesto that there has never been a system of production in the history of the world that was as effective at producing material commodities in excess and capitalism like that’s that’s extensively documented in the Communist Manifesto and so if your proposition is look we got to get as much material security for everyone as we as possible as fast as we can and capitalism already seems to be doing that at a rate that’s unparalleled in human history when the logical thing be just to let the damn system play itself out I mean unless you’re assuming that the evil capitalists are just going to take all of the flat-screen televisions and put them in one big room and not let anyone else have one the logical assumption is that while you’re already on a road that’s supposed to produce the proper material productivity and so well that’s ten reasons as far as I can tell that and so what I saw in that the Communist Manifesto is is like seriously flawed in in virtually every way it could possibly be flawed and also all in and in and evidence that Marx was a kind of narcissistic thinker who could think he was he was very intelligent person and so his angles but what he thought what he thought when he thought was that what he thought was correct and he never went a second stage which is wait a second how could all of this go terribly wrong and if you’re a thinker especially a sociological thinker especially a thinker on the broad scale a social scientist for example one of your moral obligations is to think you know you might be wrong about one of your fundamental axioms or two or three or ten and as a consequence you have the moral obligation to walk through the damn system and think well what if I’m completely wrong here and things invert and go exactly the wrong way like I can I just can’t understand how anybody could come up with an idea like the dictatorship of the proletariat especially after advocating its implementation for with violent means which is a direct part of the Communist Manifesto and actually think if they were thinking if they knew anything about human beings and the proclivity for malevolence that’s part and parcel of the individual human being that that could do anything but lead to a special form of Hell which is precisely what did happen and so I’m going to close because I have three minutes with with a bit of evidence as well that Marx also thought that what would happen inevitably as a consequence of capitalism is that rich would get richer and the poor would get poorer so there would be inequality the first thing I’d like to say is we do not know how to set up a human system of economics without inequality no one has ever managed it including the Communists and the form of inequality changed and it’s not obvious by any stretch of imagination that the free market economies of the West have more inequality than the less free economies in the rest of the world and the one thing you can say about capitalism is that although it produces inequality which it absolutely does it also produces wealth and all the other systems don’t they just produce inequality [Applause] so here’s here’s a few stats here’s a few free-market staffs okay from 1800 to 2017 income growth adjusted for inflation grew by 40 times but for production workers in 16 times for unskilled labor well GDP fact GDP rose by a factor of about 0.5 from 180 to 1800 so from 180 to 1880 it was like nothing flat and then all of a sudden in the last two hundred and seventeen years there’s been this unbelievably upward movement of wealth and it doesn’t only characterize the tiny percentage of people at the top who admittedly do have most of the wealth the question is not only though what’s the inequality the question is well what’s happening to the absolutely poor at the bottom and answer that is they’re getting richer faster now than they ever have in the history of the world and we’re eradicating poverty in countries that have adopted moderates free-market policies at a rate that’s unparalleled so here’s an example UN millennia one of the UN Millennium Goals was to reduce the rate of absolute poverty in the world by 50 percent between 2000 and 2015 and they define that as a dollar 90 a day pretty low you know but you have to start somewhere um we beat we hit that at 2012 three years ahead of schedule and you might be cynical about that and say well it’s kind of an arbitrary number but the curves are exactly the same at three dollars and eighty three dollars and 80 cents a day and seven dollars and sixty cents a day not as many people have hit that but the rate of increase towards that is the same the bloody UN thinks that we’ll be out of poverty defined by a dollar ninety a day by the year 2030 it’s unparalleled and so so the sort of rich may be getting richer but the poor are getting richer too and that’s that’s not deal look I’ll leave it at that because I’m out of time but one of the I’ll leave it with this the poor are not getting far under capitalism the poor are getting richer under capitalism by a large margin and I’ll leave you with one statistic which is that now in in Africa the child mortality rate in Africa now is the same as the child mortality rate was in Europe in 1952 and so that’s happened within the span of one lifetime and so if you’re for the poor if you’re for the poor if you’re actually concerned that the poorest people in the world rise above their starvation levels and the all the evidence suggests that the best way to do that is to implement something approximating a free-market economy and so thank you very much [Applause] pathetic and cheap this thank you dr. Peterson dr. G Zack thank you [Applause] okay first a brief introductory remark I cannot not notice the irony of how Peterson and I the participants in this duel of the century are both marginalized by the official academic community I’m supposed to defend here the less liberal line against neoconservatives really most of the attacks on me are now precisely from left liberals just remember the outcry against my critique of lgbtq+ ideology and I’m sure that if the leading figures in this field were to be asked if I stand for them they would turn in their graves even if they are still alive so let me begin by bringing together the three losses from the title happiness communism capitalism in one exemplary case China today China in the last decades is arguably the greatest economic success story in human history hundreds of millions raised from poverty into middle-class existence how did China achieve it the 20th century left was defined by its opposition to fundamental tendencies of modernity the reign of capital with its aggressive market competition the authoritarian bureaucratic state power this china combines these two features in its extreme forum strong totalitarian state state wild capitalist dynamics and it’s important to note they do it on behalf of happiness of the majority of people they don’t mention communism to legitimize the rule they prefer the old conclusion notion of a harmonious society but the Chinese any happier for all that although even the Dalai Lama justifies debate in Buddhism in western terms of the pursuit of happiness and the avoidance of pain happiness as a goal of our life is a very problematic notion if we learned anything from psychoanalysis it is that we humans are very creative in sabotaging our pursuit of happiness happiness is a confused notion basically it relies on the subjects inability or unread enos to fully confront the consequences of his desire in our daily lives we pretend to desire things which we do not really desire so that ultimately the worst thing that can happen is for us to get what we officially desire so I agree that human life of freedom and dignity does not consist just in searching for happiness no matter how much we spiritualize it or in the effort to actualize our inner potentials we have to find some meaningful cause beyond the mere struggle for pleasurable survival however I would like to add here a couple of qualifications first since we live in a modern era we cannot simply refer to an unquestionable authority to confer a mission or task on us modernity means that yes we should carry the burden but the main burden is freedom itself we are responsible for our burdens not only are we not allowed cheap excuses for not doing our duty duty itself should not serve as an excuse we are never dressed instruments of some higher cause once traditional Authority loses its substantial power it is not possible to return to it all such returns are today a postmodern fake does Donald Trump stand for traditional values no his conservativism is the postmodern performance a gigantic ego trip in this sense of playing with traditional values of mixing references to them with open obscenities ramp is the ultimate of modern president in if we compare Tramp with Bernie Sanders ramp is a postmodern politician at its purest while Sanders is rather an old-fashioned moralist conservative thinkers claim that the origin of our crisis is the loss of our reliance on some transcended divinity or higher value if we are left to ourselves is everything historically conditioned and relative then there is nothing preventing us to indulge in our lowest tendencies but is this really the lesson to be learned from mob killing looting and burning on behalf of religion it is often claimed that true or not religion makes some otherwise dead people do good things from today’s experience I think we should rather speak through Steve Weinberg claim that while without religion good people would have been doing good things and bad people bad aims only something like religion can make good people do bad things more than a century ago in his brothers karamazov the styrsky warned against the dangers of godless godless moral nihilism if God doesn’t exist and everything is permitted the French philosopher and recruitment applied thus reassess critic of godless missile ISM through September 11th and the title of his book Dostoevsky Manhattan suggests as title suggests he couldn’t have been more wrong the lesson of today’s terrorism is that if there is a God then everything even blowing up hundreds of innocent bystanders is permitted to those who claim to act directly on behalf of God the same growth also or godless Stalin communists they are the ultimate proof of it everything was permitted to them since they perceived themselves as direct instrument of their divinity of the historical necessity of progress towards communism that’s the big problem of ideologies how to make good decent people do horrible things second yes we should carry our burden except the suffering that goes with it but danger lurks here that of a subtle reversal don’t fall in love that’s my position with your suffering never presume that your suffering is in itself proof of your authenticity renunciation of leisure can easily turn into measure of renunciation itself for example an example not from your Conservatives white left liberals love to denigrate their own culture and blame Eurocentrism for our evils but it is instantly clear how this self denigration brings a profit of its own through this renouncing of their particular roots multicultural liberals reserved for themselves the universal position graciously soliciting others to assert their particular identity white multiculturalist liberals embody the lie of identity politics next point Jacques Lacan wrote something paradoxical but deeply true that even is what a jealous husband claims about his about his wife she sleeps with other men is all true his jealousy is nonetheless autological the palette rat illogical element is the husband’s need for jealousy as the only way for him to sustain his identity along the same lines one could say that even if most of the Nazi claims about Druce they exploit Germans they seduce German and so on were true which they were not of course their anti-semitism would still be a pathological phenomenon because it ignored the true reason why the Nazis needed anti-semitism in the Nazi vision their society is an organic whole of harmonious collaboration so an external intruder is needed to account for divisions and antagonisms the same holds for how today in Europe at least the anti-immigrant kabbalists deal with the refugees the cause of problems which are a claim imminent to today’s global capitalism is projected onto an external intruder again even if the reported incident with the refugees there are great problems I admit it even all these reports are true the published story about them is a lie with anti-semitism we are approaching the topic of telling stories Hitler was one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century in the 1920s many Germans experienced their situation as a confused mess they didn’t understand what is happening to them with military defeat economic crisis what they perceived as moral decay and so on Hitler provided a story a plot which was precisely that of a Jewish plot we are in this mess because of the Druze that’s what I would like to insist on we are telling ourselves stories about ourselves in order to acquire a meaningful experience of our lives however this is not enough one of the most stupid wisdoms innermost with you it is an enemy is someone whose story you have not heard really they is are you also ready to affirm that Hitler was our enemy because his story was not hurt the experience that we have of our lives from within story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing is and this is what I call ideology fundamentally a lie the truth lies outside in what we do in a similar way the alt-right obsession with cultural Marxism expresses the rejection to confront the fact that the phenomena they criticize as the effect of the cultural Marxist not moral degradation sexual promiscuity consumerist hedonism and so on are the outcome of the imminent dynamic of capitalist societies I would like to refer to a classic Daniel Bell cultural contradictions of capitalism written back in 1976 where the author argues that the unbounded drive of modern capitalism undermines the moral foundations of the original Protestant ethics and in the new afterword Dell offers a bracing perspective on contemporary Western societies revealing the crucial cultural fault lines we face as the 21st century is here the parent works culture is a key component of capitalist reproduction and concomitant with the commodification of cultural life itself are I think crucial moments of capitalist expanded reproduction so the term cultural Marxism I think plays the same role as that of the Jewish plot in anti-semitism it projects or transposing some imminent antagonism however you call it ambiguity tension of our social economic life onto an external course in exactly the same way now let me tell you a different give you a different more problematic example in exactly the same way liberal critics of Trump and all right never seriously asked how our liberal society could give birth program in this sense the image of Donald Trump is also a fetish the last Inc liberal sees before confronting actual social tensions Hegel’s motto evil resides in the gays which is evil everywhere fully applies here the very liberal gays with geminis s Trump is also evil because it ignores how its own failures open up the space for Trump’s type of a tree otic populism next coin want to stop blaming hedonist egotism or our wolves the true opposite of negative self love is not altruism a concern for the common good but Envy resentment which makes me act against my own interests this is why as many press requests in all circles clearly saw evil is profoundly spiritual in some sense more spiritual than goodness this is why egalitarianism itself should never be accepted a distressed value it can well secretly invert the standard pronunciation accomplished to benefit others egalitarianism often de facto means I am ready to renounce something so that others will also not have it this is I think comes the problematic part for some of you maybe the problem with political correctness what appears as its excesses its regulatory zeal is I think an important reaction that masks the reality of a defeat my hero is here a black lady Khurana work who created dimitru campaign more than a decade ago she observed in a recent critical note death in the years since the movement began it deployed an unwavering obsession with the perpetrators mitru is all too often genuine protest filtered through resentment should we then drop egalitarianism no equality can also mean and equality I advocate creating the space or as many as possible individuals to develop their different potentials it is claimed it is today’s capitalism that equalizes us too much and causes the loss of many talents so what about the balance between equality and energy did we really move too much in the direction of equality is there in today’s United States really too much equality I think a simple overview of the situation points in the opposite direction from from pushing us too far the left is gradually losing its round already for decades its trademarks universal health care free education and so on are continuously diminished look at Bernie Sanders and I don’t idolize him program it is just a version of what half a century ago in Europe was simply the predominant social democracy and it’s today decried as a threat to our freedoms to the American Way of life and shown and so on I see no threat in to free creativity in this program on the contrary I see health care and education and so on as enabling me to focus my life on more important creative issues I see equality this basic equality of trenches as a space for creating differences and yes why not even different more appropriate therapies furthermore I find it very hard to ground today’s inequalities they’re documented for example by Piketty in his book on true ground based inequalities in different competencies competencies for what in latarian states competences are determined Kalitta cailli but market success is also not innocent and neutral as a regulator of the social recognition of competences let me briefly deal with a in a friendly way I claim with what became known sorry for the irony of the lobster topic I’m far from a simple social constructionism here I deeply appreciate evolutionary thought of course we are also natural beings and our DNA as we all know overlaps I may be wrong around 98% with that of some monkeys this means something but nature I think we should never forget this is not a stable hierarchical system but full of improvisations it develops like French within a French guy gave me this idea that French the origin of many famous French dishes or drinks is that when they wanted to produce a standard piece of food or drink something went wrong but then they realized that this failure can be resolved as success they were making cheese in the usual way but the feast was rotten and in fact that smelling bread and they said oh my god look with our own original french fries or they were making wine in the usual way then something went wrong with fermentation and so they began to produce champagne and so on and so on I’m not making just a joke here because I think that it is exactly like this that under the lessons of psychoanalysis that our sexuality works sexual instincts are of course biologically determined but look what we humans made out of them they are not limited to the mating season they can develop in a permanent of into a permanent obsession sustained by obstacles they demand to be overcome in short into appropriately metaphysical passion that perturbs the biological rhythm with twists like endlessly prolonging satisfaction in courtly love engaging in different perversions and so on and so on so it still yes biologically conditioned sexuality but it is if I may use this theorem trans functionalized it becomes a moment of a different cultural however you call it logic and I claim the same goes for tradition yes Elliot the great conservative wrote quote what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the work of art which preceded it the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past end of quote what does this mean let me mention the change enacted by Christianity it’s not just that in spite of all our natural and cultural differences the same divine spark dwells in everyone but this divine spark enables us to create what rifton’s call holy ghost or holy spirit a community which share our sick family values are at some level at least abolished remember paul’s words from elations there is no longer Jew or Greek there is no longer male and female in Christ a democracy extends this logic in the political space in spite of all differences in competence the ultimate decision should stay with all of us the wager of democracy is that we should not give all power to comprehend experts it was precisely communist in power who legitimized the rule by posing as fake experts and incidentally I am far from believing in ordinary people’s wisdom we often need a master figure to push us out of an inertia and I’m not afraid to say that forces us to be free three and responsibility helped require an effort and the highest function of an authentic master is to literally to awaken us to our freedom we are not spontaneously really free furthermore think – I think that social power and authority cannot be directly grounded in competence in our human universe power in the sense of exerting authority is something much more mysterious even irrational Kierkegaard my and everybody’s favorite geologist wrote if a child says he will obey his father because his father is a competent and good guy this is an affront to father’s authority and he applied the same logic to Christ himself Christ was justified by the fact of being God’s and not by his competency or capacities Esther put it every good student of theology and put things better than Christ this there is no such authority in nature lobsters may have error he undoubtedly but the main guy among them I don’t think he has authority in this sense again the wager of democracy is that and it’s the subtle thing not against competence and so on but that political power and competence or expertise should be kept apart in Stalinism precisely they were not kept apart while already in ancient Greece they knew that they have to be kept apart which is why our cobbler weight was even combined with lottery often so whereas communism does to conclude where does communism enter here why do I still cling to this cursed name when I know and fully admit that when T essentially communists project in all its failure how it failed giving birth to new forms of murderous terror capital isn’t one but today and my claim we can evade about it the question is does today’s global capitalism contain strong enough antagonisms which prevent its indefinite reproduction I think there are such antagonisms the threat of ecological catastrophe the consequence of new technical developments especially in biogenetics and new forms of apartheid all these antagonisms concern what Marx called Commons the shared substance of our social being first of course the Commons of external nature threatened by pollution global warming and so on now precise here I’m well aware how uncertain analysis and projections are in this domain it will be certain only when it will be too late and I am well aware of the temptation to engage in precipitous extrapolations when I was younger to give you a critical example there was in Germany an obsession with vulture burn the dying of forests with predictions that in a couple of decades Europe will be without forest according to recent estimates there are no more forest areas in Europe than 100 years or 50 years ago but there is nonetheless I claim the prospect of a catastrophe here scientific data seemed to me at least abundant enough and we should act in a large-scale collective way and I also think this may be critical to some of you there is a problem with capitalism here for the simple reason that its managers not because of their evil nature but that’s the logic of capitalism care to explain self reproduction and environmental consequences are simply not part of the game this is again not a moral reproach in incidentally so that you will not think that I don’t know what I’m talking about in communist countries those in power were absurd it expanded pre-production and were not under public control so the situation was even worse so how to act first by admitting we are in a depressed there is no simple democratic solution here the idea that people themselves should decide what to do about the quality sound sleep but it begs an important question even with their comprehension is not distorted by corporate interests what qualifies them to pass a judgement in such a delicate matter plus the radical measures advocated by some ecologists can themselves rigger new catastrophes let me mention was the idea which is floating around of solar radiation management continuous massive dispersal of aerosols into our atmosphere to reflect and absorb sunlight and as cool the planet can we even imagine how the fragile balance of our earth function and involve unpredictable ways geoengineering can disturb it in such times of urgently when we know we have to act but don’t know how to act think in this needed maybe we should turn around a little bit Marx is famous thesis 11 in that in our new century we should say that maybe in the last century we tried all too fast to change the world the time has come to step back and interpret it the second trait the Commons of internal nature with new biogenetic technologists the creation of a new man in the literal sense of changing human later becomes a realist prospect I mean primarily so-called popularly neural link direct link between our brain and digital machines and then brains among themselves this I think is the true game changer the digitalization of our brain opens up unheard of new possibilities of control directly sharing your experience with your beloved may appear attractive but I thought about sharing them with an agency without you even knowing it finally the common space of humanity itself we live in one in the same world which is more and more interconnected but nonetheless deeply divided so how to react to this the first and sadly predominant reaction is the one of protective self enclosure the world out there is in a mess let’s protect ourselves by all kinds of walls it seems that our countries are run relatively well but is the mess the so-called roads countries find themselves in not connected to how we interact with them equal is perhaps the ultimate rogue state Congo warlords cruel provinces there are always dealing with Western companies selling them minerals where would our computers be without Colton from Congo and not about foreign interventions in Iraq and Syria or by our crops like Saudi Arabia in Yemen here recipes are created a new world order is emerging world of can I just finish the page two minutes literally a world of peaceful coexistence of civilizations but in what way does attraction force marriages and homophobic homophobia are ok rather their limited limited to another country which is otherwise fully included into the world market this is how refugees again are created the second reaction is global capitalism with a human face Inc about socially responsible cultural figures like Bill Gates or George Soros they passionately support LGBT they advocate charities and so on but even in its extreme form opening up our borders to the refugees treating them like one of us they only provide this medicine what medicine is called a symptomatic treatment the solution is not for the rich Western countries who receive all immigrants but somehow to try to change the situation which creates massive waves of immigration and we are complicit in this is such a change a utopia no the true utopia is that we can survive without such a change so here I think I know it’s provocative to call this a plea for communism I do it a little bit to provoke things but what is needed is handle it in all these years I claim ecology digital control unity of the world capitalist market which does great things I admit it have to be somehow limited regulated and so on before you say it’s a utopia I will tell you but just think about in what way global market already functions today I always thought that neoliberalism is a vague term if you look closely you will see that state plays today more important role than ever precisely in the richest capitalist economies so you know the market is already limited but not in the right way to put it either so a pessimist conclusion what will happen in spite of protests here and there we will probably continue to slide toward some kind of apocalypse awaiting large catastrophes to awaken us so I don’t accept any trip optimism when somebody tries to convince me that in spite of all the problems there is a light at the end of the tunnel my instant reply is yes and it’s probably another train coming towards us thank you very much [Applause] please don’t do this because I really think that that’s why I I hope you brought a limited that why we are here engaged in this debate don’t take it as a cheap competition it may be that but we are as you said in your introduction desperately trying to confront serious problems for example when I mentioned China China I didn’t mean to celebrate it that worries me terribly my god is this our future yeah sorry sorry for this sorry please discount take away this from right and Minister Peterson 10 minutes to you to reply so I like to speak extemporaneously but dr. G Jaques discussion was so complex that there’s no way that I can juggle my responses spontaneously so okay yeah achievement managed I would say so so I heard much of I heard much of what I heard I agreed with but we can get to that I’m gonna respond all right well I heard a criticism of capitalism but no real support of Marxism and and that’s an interesting thing because for me the terms of the argument were other three terms of the argument let’s say there was capitalism there was Marxism and there was happiness and I would say dr. Dziedzic focused probably more on the problems of capitalism and the problems of happiness than on the utility of Marxism and that actually comes as a surprise to me because I presumed that much of what I would hear would be a support of something approximating traditional or even a traditional Marxism which is why I organized the first part of my talk as an attack against Marxism per se okay so now she checked points out that there are problems of capitalism and I would like to say that I’m perfectly aware that there are problems with capitalism I wasn’t defending capitalism actually in some sense I was defending it in comparison to communism which is not the same thing because as Winston Churchill said about democracy you know it’s the worst form of government there is except for all the other forms and so you might say the same thing about capitalism is that it’s the worst form of economic arrangement you could possibly manage except for every other one that we’ve ever tried and and I’m dead serious about that I’m not trying to be flippant I mean that it isn’t obvious to me speaking in more apocalyptic terms it isn’t obvious to me that we can solve the problems that confront us you know and it’s not also not a message that I have been surveying that unbridled capitalism per se as an isolated what would you say social economic structure actually constitutes the proper answer to the problems that confront us so I haven’t made that case in any of the lectures that I’ve anything I’ve written or any of the lectures that I’ve done because I don’t believe it to be true he said what’s the problems with capitalism well the commodification of cultural life all life fair enough there’s something that isn’t exactly right about reducing everything to economic competition and capitalism certainly pushes in that direction advertising culture pushes in that direction sales and marketing culture pushes in that direction and there’s reasons for that and I have a certain amount of admiration for the necessity of advertisers and salesmen and marketers but that doesn’t mean that the transformation of all elements of life into element into commodities in a capitalist sense is the best way forward I don’t think it is the best way forward I think the evidence for that’s actually quite clear there is by the way a relationship this is something I didn’t point out before there is a relationship between wealth and happiness it’s quite well defined in the psychological literature now it’s not exactly obvious whether the happiness measures are measures of happiness or whether they’re measures of the absence of misery and my sense is as a psychometrician who’s looked at these scales that people are more concerned with not being miserable than they are within happy and those are all actually separate emotional states mediated by different psycho biological systems it’s a technical point but it’s an important one there is a relationship between absolute level of income and self-reported lack of misery or happiness and it’s pretty linear until you hit I would say something approximating decent working-class income and so what seems to happen is that wealth makes you happy as long as it keeps the bill collectors at bay like once you’ve got to the point where the misery is staved off as much as it can be by the fact that you’re not absolutely in you’re not in absolutely economically dire straits then adding more money to your life has no relation ship whatsoever to your well-being and so it’s clear that past a certain minimal point additional material provision is not sufficient to let’s say redeem us individually or socially and it’s certainly the case that the radical wealth production that characterizes capitalism might produce a fatal threat to the structure of our social systems and our broader ecosystems who knows I’m not absolutely convinced of that for a variety of reasons I mean she’s a quite a doubt for example that there are more forests in Europe and now than there were a hundred years ago there’s actually more forests in the entire northern hemisphere and there were a hundred years ago and the news on the ecological front is not as dismal as the people who put out the most dismal news would have you think and there is some possibility that doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements of it that are dismal you know what we’ve done to the oceans is definitely something catastrophic and we definitely have our problems but it is possible that human ingenuity might solve that what else there are inequalities generated by capitalism a proclivity towards a shallow materialism the probability of corruption the thing about that for me is those are catastrophes that are part of the struggle for human existence itself and not something to be laid at the feet of any given social political system especially one that seems to be producing a fair Markum of wealth for the poorest section of the population and raising people up to the point where you know their lives aren’t unending an unending day-to-day struggle for mere survival there’s some evidence for example that if you can get GDP up to about $5,000 per person per year oh that’s GDP that people start to become concerned about environmental degradation and start to take actions to prevent it and so there is some possibility that if we’re lucky we can get the bottom billion or two billion people in the world or three billion as the population grows up to the point where they’re wealthy enough so they actually start to care enough about the environment so that we could act collectively to solve environmental problems now you might say oh by that time we’ll be Oh of Earth you know we’ll have we’ll have exhausted the resources that are in front of us so desperately that there’s no hope of that but I would like to remind you of a famous map between Julian Simon and the biologist at at Stanford who Paul Ehrlich who willed the Population Bomb they bet err like who thought we’re gonna be overpopulated by the year 2000 bet Simon that by the year 2000 commodity prices would have increased dramatically as a consequence of evidence that we were running out of material resources and made a famous bet over a 25 year period and err like paid off Simon in the year 2000 because commodity prices went down and not up and so there is no solid evidence that the fact that our population is growing and will peak out by the way at about 9 billion there’s no solid indication that the consequence of that is that we are in fact running out of necessary material resources and so it’s a danger but it’s it’s not a danger that’s proven and there is some utility and considering that the addition of several billion more brains to the planet especially if they were well nourished grains as the increasing they are might help us generate enough problem-solvers so that we can stay ahead of the looming ecological catastrophe as our population balloons outwards now we’re going to peak at 9 billion it’s not much higher than we are now and it looks like we might be able to manage it yeah thing is that I didn’t hear an alternative really from dr. Jack you know he admitted that the rise to success of the Chinese was in part a consequence of deal of the allowance of market forces and he cried the authoritarian tendencies and fair enough that’s exactly it it also seemed to me that the social justice group identity processes that dr. Jack was decrying are to me a logical derivation from the oppression narrative that’s a fundamental presupposition of Marxism so there I never heard a defense of Marxism in that part of his argument as well and so for me again it’s to ask what’s the alternative I also heard an argument for egalitarianism and but I heard it defined as equality of opportunity not as equality of outcome which I see as a clearly defined Marxist aim I heard an argument for a modified social distribution of wealth but that’s already part and parcel of most modern free-market states with a wide variation and an appropriate variation of government intervention all of which constitute their own experiment we don’t know how much social intervention is necessary to flatten the tendency of hierarchies to become tilted so terribly that only the people at the top have everything and all of the people at the bottom have nothing it’s a very difficult battle to fight against that profound tendency much deeper than the tendency of capitalism itself and we don’t exactly know what to do about it so we run experiments and that seems to be working perfectly reasonably as far as I can tell that’s see well I’ll close with this capitalism in the free market well that’s the worst form of social organization possible as I said except for all the others there is a positive relationship between economics measured by income and happiness or psychological well-being which might be the absence of misery I certainly do not believe and the evidence does not suggest that material security is sufficient I do believe however that insofar as there is a relationship between happiness and material security that the free market system has demonstrated itself as the most efficient manner to achieve that and that was actually the terms of the argument so that’s if it’s capitalism versus Marxism with regards to human happiness it’s still the case that the free market constitutes the clear winner and maybe capitalism will not solve our problems I actually don’t believe that it will I’ve in fact argued that the proper pathway forward is one of individual moral responsibility aimed at the highest good and something for me that’s rooted in our underlying judeo-christian tradition that insists that each person is a what is is sovereign in their own right and a locus of ultimate value which is something that you can accept regardless of your religious presuppositions and something that you do accept if you participate in a society such as ours even the fact that you vote that you’re charged without responsibility is an indication that our society has structured such that we presume that each person is a locus of responsibility and decision making of such import that the very stable the state depends upon the integrity of their psyche the integrity of their character and so what I’ve been suggesting to people is that they adopt as much responsibility as they possibly can in keeping with that in keeping with their aim at the highest possible good which to me is something approximating a balance between what’s good for you as an individual and what’s good for your family in keeping with what’s good for you as an individual and then what’s good for society in the larger frame such that it’s also good for you and your family and that’s a form of an well an elaborated iterated game a form of elaborated cooperation it’s a sophisticated way of looking at the ways society could possibly be organized and I happen to believe that that has to happen at the individual level first and that’s the pathway forward that I see and so that’s why [Applause] I go up Thank You dr. Peterson spend a little bit of my time I will try to be as short as possible so a couple of remarks and then my final point why I think this self limitation of capitalism is needed first about happiness just a couple of remarks but am I dreaming I think I’m not I remember a couple of years ago it was reported all around the world some kind of investigation percentage of people interviewed in different countries do they feel happy with their life and the shock was that some Scandinavian countries which we which we considered social democratic paradise were very low while Bangladesh I think was close to the top now I know this logic has a limit I don’t write the bullshit of people are happy in their world there and so on but you know my argument here is not against you my argument here is problematizing happiness even more look if I interest you I was years ago in in I think Lithuania and we debated a report on this in one of my books when were people in some perverted sense and this is the critique of the category of happiness for me happy and we came to the crazy result after the Soviet intervention Czechoslovakia in 1970s and 80s why for happiness first you don’t have you should not have too much democracy because this brings the burden of responsibility happiness means there is another guy out there you can put all the blame on him and as the Rope went in Czechoslovakia if there is bad weather a storm all these communist screwed it up again rest one condition of happiness the other condition much more subtle ones is and this was done in Czechoslovakia it broke dark times after life was relatively moderately good but not perfect like there was meat all the time maybe once a month there was not meat in the sauce it was very good to remind you how happy you are the other time another thing they had a paradise which should be the proper distance West Germany uplands it was not proof are not directly accessible you know so I it was so maybe in your critique of communist regimes I agree with you you should more focus on something that I experienced of you know don’t look only at the tear or ultimately totalitarian regime there was a kind of a silent perverted pact between at least in this late a little bit more tolerant but I still approach them communist regimes between power and population the messy trois leave us the power don’t let it worse and we guarantee you a relatively safe life employment private pleasures private niche and so on and so on so I am not surprised but again this is not for me the argument for the Congress but against happiness let’s you know people said when coming when the walls fell down what a wonder in Poland my god in in in like Salah darkness which was prohibited hiragana triumph at the electrics who could imagine this yes but the true miracle in a bad sense for me was four years later democratically ex-communists came back to power so you know from this for me not the argument for them but simply for the let’s call it corrupted nature of happiness so my formula may buted riveted is my basic Dogma is happiness should be treated as a necessary by-product if you focus on it you are lost it comes as a byproduct of you working for a cause and so on that’s the vein the second point maybe we disagree here China of course the miracle economic miracle was due to unleashing market reefer and so on but and here comes my pessimism some of my liberal friends are telling me imagine what would they have achieved with also political democratization I know we found a perfect formula of how an extra paradox of China today the Communist Party is the best manager of capitalism and protector against workers the truly dangerous thing in China today is not to flirt with Western ideas is to organize trade unions do you know like this is what worries me this perfect combination between unleashing capitalism and still the authoritarian rule or to put it in another way my worry is that today all around the world this eternal marriage between capitalism and democracy is slowly disappearing ill now I admit it capitalism needed from time to time from 1020 years of dictatorship when in started to improve democracy returned Chile South Korea and so on I wonder if we are still at debt now it’s just very quickly your basic point in the introduction in your introductions you know I almost am tempted to say the way you present the communist manifesto the simplified image and so on so on it’s crazy to say but on many points right I agree with you and it’s a very complex argument Marx didn’t have for example a good theory of how social power against his idea was simply with disappearance of class structure it secretly although he wouldn’t have accepted a technocratic dream like my experts social life will be run as a perfect machine although he at least aware of the problem which is why he was so enthusiastic marks about Paris Commune you know which was precisely not centralized power so I’m not just defending marks I’m saying it was not clear to him and so let’s drop that maybe I have more interesting things to say ah another point nonetheless where at one point I’m ready to pay when did you find this this lost maybe for today’s politically correct drugs and so on that this egalitarianism there is one asset in his late critic of Goethe program where Marx directly accesses the problem of equality and he dismisses it as a strict bourgeois category explicitly explicitly for him communism is not a valid arianism it’s yes he is but not based on capitalism ok I’m not totally defending here Marx I’m just saying don’t remark ok but to conclude because yes I want to keep my promise to be a little bit shorter you know I agree with you on any point but you know what my problem with my problem that I was aiming at with all the openings I know we don’t know really what is happening with ecology and so on okay let’s take options you mentioned them but isn’t it for me correct me if I’m wrong and I don’t mean this rhetorically I’m really wrong but the problem of oceans can the only way for me is some kind of cooperated international action and so on you cannot simply leave it to the market that’s what I’m saying this is tight we’ll limit that I see about this diminishing poverty and so on I’m aware of it I tend to agree with I also at the same time so many explosive tangents for example do you know about South Africa it’s a terrifying situation on the edge of the civil war to be very brutal the only thing that unsimplified that really happened with end of apartheid is that the old ruling class is simplified in grotesque our system was drawn by a new black ruling class which is not doing a good job so they are trying to play the race card it’s still the consequence of white colonialism and so on and so on but terrifying and here I was pleading for not abolishing borders and so on but this type of global change cooperation like again the example of Congo that I mentioned or forget the killing of that guy khashoggi it’s horrible but the true nightmare is Yemen today what I mean you said somewhere that we should well think without engaging in large-scale reform what the consequences will be if you very briefly I agree with you that the gap of standard Marxism or that the proletarian revolution will be a place where you do something and you know exactly what you do if there is a lesson of the 20th century is that this tragic logic you want something may be good the result is catastrophic holds absolutely also for revolutions and so on and so on but in spite of all this and I don’t know what forum will it have I’m not pleading for a new land in this party or whatever and pleading for new forums of international cooperation and so on I agree with you when you said the majority of us is not even really aware of the seriousness of especially the poor of ecological problems and so on and I think would you agree that the situation here much more subtle and obscene we is that logic that in psycho analysis is called the survival furlough ignant in French sister bian recipe M a comb hem we know ecological problems but we don’t really take them seriously and here I see problems and I don’t see an easy way out i I am a pessimist if you ask me when people say no but they’re growing protests are growing and so on and so on yes I’m listening to this story from when I was young you know your ground and then look what happened the mega tragedy is for me for example what happened to syriza they were elected for change whatever and they become and I’m not blaming them they become the perfect executives of of austerity program so I just see problems I’m a pessimist and I’m not a radical pessimist but you have to maybe here we are different I noticed with your final speech that final moments of your engagement that it’s very strange because usually Marxists have this stupid optimist and rapollo Glee just get rid of capitalist terror and we will all be happy my god I’m much more passionate I don’t believe in human goodness I will never underestimate evil never underestimate Envy I mean it’s part of my nature in Slovenia we have a wonderful story godlike figure comes to a farmer and I will stop immediately and ask and ask him I will glue to you to you what everyone trusts I warn you I will do price the same to your neighbor you know what live-in partner answers fine take one of my eyes you know we are in this don’t underestimate this I don’t see any simple clear way out thank you [Applause] thank you both very much it’s pretty clear I think to all of us that you both have quite a bit to say to each other and so and so I think before we we jump to some audience questions I thought it would be nice to give each of you a chance to ask a response or ask a question or two from each other so starting with you dr. Peterson maybe you want simply to counter-attack it wasn’t fair I had three questions and completely irrelevant and so I have one left I guess and I’m not sure that it’s a fair question but maybe it’s it seems to me to be a fair question your your estranged Marxist to have a discussion with and well but here’s why this is not an insult I mean one of the things that struck me when I was looking at your work was that your well first of all you’re a character you know and that’s that’s that’s an interesting thing like you’re it’s a sign of it’s a sign of originality and it’s a sign of a certain amount of moral courage and and and it’s a sign of a certain temperament and it makes you humorous and charismatic and attractive and and and and I think you appeal to young people the way that outside intellectual rebels appeal to young people and so those are all positive things it can be used positively or negatively and my question is like it seems to me that your your your reputation unless I’m very Mis informed about this is as a strong supporter of Marxist doctrines on the left or was that and so then my question is given the originality of your thought why’d why is it that you came to presume at some point in your life perhaps not now and perhaps still that the promotion of Marxism rather say rather than zis ik ISM was appropriate because it seems to me that there’s enough originality in your body of thought and lateral thinking in the manner in which you approach intellectual ideas that there’s just no reason for you to be allied with a doctrine that’s a hundred and seventy years old and that is if capitalism is rife with problems is twice as ripe as with problems as that and so you’re kind of a mystery to me in that way and so that’s my question okay very briefly I I developed systematically in my book critical insights into many traditional Marxist resist so no doubt here you know what I still admire nonetheless in Marx not those simplicities of Communist Manifesto but I still think that his so-called critique of political economy capital and so on is tremendous achievement as a description of the dynamics of capitalist society and if you read it closely Marx is much more ambiguous and opener for example he mentions for example a report what you refer to he mentions that law of diminishing return like well why crisis will arrive necessarily poor are getting poorer but in his honest enough to enumerate seven or eight counter tendencies and if you read him closely you will see that precisely those tendencies prevailed later or forget Communist Manifesto go to read his political analysis of its unsurpassable 18 Brumaire and so on of the 1848 revolution which are incredibly complex no traces of traces of that class binary day their March deals with middle classes with crucial loom proletariat with the ambiguous role of intellectuals and so on and so on but basically what I was pleading for and I like to put it in paradoxical turn was for a return off from Marx back to Hegel I define myself more as a girl why consider a madman you know the guy absolute knowing and so on and so on no Kegley much more modest and open the danger in Marxism is for me this teleological structure we are at the zero point unique chance of reversal into a new emancipated society and so on and the danger here is that of self instrumentalization proletarian communist party is a an agent of history which knows the laws of history to put it follows them and so on the catastrophe in Hegel such a position is strictly prohibited in cable whenever you act you earth so you know you have to there is no position of this pure acting where you know what you are doing and the result with it will be so I this this would be this would be my main point so yes my my my formula is kind of ironically I know Hegel is the greatest idealist materialist reversal of Marx by turning back to haggle for Hegel Hegel says in a part that people don’t read introduction to philosophy of right she says explicitly that the owner of Minerva takes off in the evening when there is dusk so philosophy can grass grass a social order when it’s already in its decay in all Sophie cannot see into the future it’s radical openness we need this openness today the tragedy today may be agree here is that we really don’t have a basic house they call it cognitive mapping I don’t think we have here a clear insight into where we stand where we are moving and so on and so on so I’m much more again severely of a pessimist [Applause] I don’t have any thing to quibble about with what you just said well no there’s not even a but really it’s that the even if the if what you said about Marx is more sophisticated thought is true I think the unfortunate reality is that any support for Marxism especially directed towards those are who are young is likely to be read as support for the most radical and revolutionary proclivities and I would say that as they’re outlined in in the document that I described in the communist manifesto that they’re of extraordinary danger and so it seems to me that by attempting to you know rescue the sheep yuvan you’ve sort of invited the dragon into the house and that seems to me to be dangerous and unfortunate a skink you mine question because you know very naively you mention do you really where did you find the data that I complete don’t see it okay let me begin by this you designate you’re under quotation marks I’m not characterizing here enemy or what you are fighting against as sometimes you call it postmodern neo Marxism I know what you mean all this from political correctness this access of whatever spirit of envy and so on and so on do you think they are really where did you find this that I don’t know them I would ask you here give me some names or whatever one of the Marxist here [Applause] I think they hear like a good vampire fear garlic and this is why they are already the one who is not a market economic topic Bernie Sanders he is already under attack as white male and all that stuff and so on I simply I simply my problem would be this one what you described as postmodern neo Marxism where is really the Marxist element in it therefore equality sorry where there are for equality at this cultural struggles proper names how to be called each other do you see in them in political correctness and so on any genuine wheel of to change society I don’t see I think it’s a hyper moralization hyper moralization which is a silent admission of a defeat that’s my problem why do you call give me or politely saying you are an idiot you don’t know what you’re talking about it’s simply I would like to know because you and I like this often when you attack somebody you said aggressively and what should read more tell me whom so I’m asking you not read more I don’t advise you but who are give me some names and so on and who are these post-modern egalitarian neo-marxist and where do you see any kind even of a Marxism I see in it mostly and important and utterly important moralization well I mean organization like jonathon Heights what’s it called heterodox Academy and other organizations like that have documented an absolute dearth of conservative voices in the social sciences and the humanities and about 25% according to the what I think are reliable surveys approximately 25% of social scientists in the u.s. identified themselves as Marxists and so there’s that very solid economic work David Harvey economic analysis and so on and so on then there is the old guy who is far from simplification Frederick Jensen and so on totally marginalized today it is politically correct mainstream you know I I don’t keep well yeah your question seemed to me to focus more on the pair a peculiar relationship that I’ve noticed and that people have disputed between post-modernism and and neo Marxism and I see the connection between the postmodernist types and the Marxists as a sleight of hand that replaced the notion of the oppression of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie as the oppression by one identity group by another token okay so with that but so now look precisely that’s it see I guess that’s where we might have a dispute because I think what happened especially in France in the 1960s as the as the radical marxist postmodern types like Derrida and Foucault realized that they were losing the moral battle especially after the information came out of the Soviet Union in the manner that it came out yeah that the whole blood is telling us yeah the whole Stellan this catastrophe along with the entire Maoist catastrophe that they didn’t really have a leg to stand on and instead of revising their notion that human history and this is a Marxist notion should be regarded as the eternal class struggle between the economically deprived and the oppressors they just recast it and said well it’s not based on economics it’s based on identity but it’s still fundamentally oppressor against oppressed and to me that meant that they smuggled the the the fundamental narrative of Marxism and many of its schools back into the argument without ever admitting that they did so now I’ve been criticized you know for this opposition because people who are post modernists say look one of the hallmarks of post-modernism is skepticism of meta-narratives it’s like I know that perfectly well and I also know that Marxism is a meta-narrative and so you shouldn’t be able to be a post modernist and a Marxist but I still see the union of those two things in the insistence that the best the appropriate way to look at the view world is to view it as the battleground between groups defined by a particular group identity nin dividuals defined by a particular group identity so that the group identity becomes paramount and then the proper reading is always oppressor versus oppressed with the secondary insistence that it’s very similar to Marx’s insistence upon the moral superiority of the proletariat that the oppressors are by definition because they’re oppressed morally superior and and there’s the call for perhaps not revolutionary change although that comes up above but change in the structure so that that oppression disappears so that a certain form of equality comes about now you argue that Marx wasn’t a believer in equality of outcome and I’m not so sure about that because his notion of the eventual utopia that would constitute genuine communism was a place where all class divisions were eradicated and so there’s a anesthesia well well there’s at least an implication like the most important of the hierarchies had disappeared and so maybe he had enough sophistication to talk about other forms of hierarchies but if if that’s the case then I can’t imagine why he thought that the Utopia that would emerge as a consequence of the elimination of economic hierarchies would be a utopia because if there are other forms of hierarchies that still existed people would be just as contentious about them as they are now like we have hierarchies of attractiveness for example that have nothing to do with economics are very little to do with economics and there’s no shortage of contention around that or any other form of ability and so that’s why I associate the social justice types who are basically postmodernist with Marx Postma their postmodernist with Marxism it’s the insistence that you view the world through the narrative of oppressed versus oppressor and I think it’s a catastrophe I think it’s a catastrophe mu appears No just one sentence and then he you can reply in so strange that you mentioned for example somebody like Foucault who for me his main target was Marxism okay for him represented in a radical change but in this is what I don’t like in this what you call postmodern let’s not call the Marxist revolutionaries enjoying your own self marginalization the good thing is to be on the margin you know like not in the center and so on and so on it almost made me nostalgic for old communists who at least had the honesty to say no we don’t enjoy our margin position we want to do something central power you know you know for me and bodies this logic of revolution revolution he meant any social change serious bad small resistances and so on small marginal places of resistance and so on and so on so okay but let’s maybe drop it here if you want but since you are replying to my question you should have the last word here I’ll stop with that let’s move to the neck we’ll get back to these topics now as we move forward with the questions so I’m happy let that that particular issue stop stop already do your Stalinist manipulation and censor the questions because this program that she described to us through some screens questions and so on I think it good scheme to the one who decides which questions are established what they put in are real voice of the people we can trust let’s move on from that and hurt this evening we’re talking about happiness at least that’s the frame of the debate that we have tonight and you’ve both been in your work and also tonight very critical of happiness as mere hedonism pleasure-seeking or even simply as a feeling what does true or deeper human happiness consist of and how is it attained well I don’t I don’t first of all there’s something you said five minutes ago or so I think you were still at the podium that I agree with profoundly which is that happiness is a side effect it’s not it’s not a thing in itself it’s something that comes upon you it’s like an act of grace in some sense and myself even your logical undertone the category of grace can be used in a perfect a taste good I would think I would think that we could find agreement about because partly because of your psychoanalytic background you know perfectly well that were subject to forces within us the aren’t of our voluntary control and certainly happiness is one of those because you cannot will yourself to be happy you might be able to will yourself to be unhappy but you can’t will yourself to be happy there are certain preconditions that have to be met that are quite mysterious in order for you to be happy and then it happens and then maybe if you’re wise you you regard this as a like an in a minor incomprehensible miracle that somehow you happen to be in the right place at the right time now I’ve made the case that the most effective means of pursuing the good life which is not the same as pursuing happiness is to adopt something like a stance of maximal responsibility towards the suffering and malevolence in the world and I think that that should be pursued primarily as an individual responsibility it’s not like I don’t think that political and familial larger organizations are necessary but in the final analysis we each suffer alone in some fundamental sense and we have our own malevolence to contend with in some fundamental sense and the proper beginning of moral behavior which is the proper beginning of the right way to act in the world is to take responsibility for that I think you do what you can to conceptualize the highest good that you can conceptualize that’s the first thing to develop a vision of what might be and it has to be a personalised vision as well as a universalized vision and then you work diligently to ensure that your actions are in keeping with that and you allow yourself on that pursuit to be informed by the knowledge of your ignorance and the necessity for acting and speaking in truth and a fair bit of that I believe is derived I think it’s fair to say that that’s derived from an underlying judeo-christian ethic and I make no bones about the fact that I think of those stories metaphysically or philosophically or psychologically as fundamental to the proper functioning of our society in so far as it can function properly and so it’s not happiness it’s meaning and meaning is to be found in the adoption of responsibilities and then I’ll close with this the responsibility is not only to do what you believe to be right that’s not is that’s duty that’s not enough that’s sort of what the Conservatives put forward as the ultimate virtue which is duty it’s not that it’s it’s that you’re you’re acting in a manner it is in accordance with what you believe to be right but you’re doing it in a manner that simultaneously expands your ability to do it which means that you cannot stay safely ensconced within the confines of your current ethical beliefs you have to stand on the edge of what you know and encounter continually the consequences of your ignorance to expand your domain of knowledge and ability so that you’re not only acting in an efficient manner but you’re increasing the efficiency and productivity and meaningfulness of what it is that you’re engaged in and I think that and I believe that the psychological evidence supports this even the neuropsychological evidence is that that’s when true happiness descends upon you because it’s an indication from the deepest recesses of your psyche biologically instantiated that you’re in the right place at the right time you’re doing what you should be doing but you’re doing it in a manner that expands your capacity to do even better things in the future and and that’s I think that’s the deepest human instinct there is it’s not rational it’s far deeper than that and it’s something that it’s something that’s genuine and it exists within us and that constitutes a proper guide if you don’t pervert it with this self-deception and deceit so that’s my perspective [Applause] okay I’ll try if you are stupid enough to believe me to be brief first I like very much what you began with this grace or whatever we call it moment of happiness and I would like to would you agree that the same goes for love I think we have a huge in the habit in French I don’t know if in other language they have it they use the verb to fall in love which means it’s in this sense in some sense a fall you are surprised you are shocked authentic love I think is something very traumatic even in this sense I always like to use this example let’s say you live stupidly happy life maybe one night stand here and there you drink with French then you fall in love passionately this is in some sense all the balance is lost after so but where I second surprisingly maybe for youth I agree with your point about judeo-christian legacy for which I am very much attacked centrist and so on and so on you know I wonder if you’d agree with it I will try to condense it very much you know for me the deepest I simplify to the utmost something unheard of and I as an atheist accept the spiritual value of it happens in Christianity other religions you have got up there we fall from God and then we try to climb back through spiritual discipline whatever training goodness and so on and so on the form of Christianity is a totally different one as with philosopher us would have put it you don’t climb to God God you are free in a Christian sense when you discover that the distance that separates you from God is inscribed into God himself that’s why I agree with those intelligent theologies like my favorite Gilbert Keith Chesterton who said that this the cross the crucifixion is something absolutely unique because in that moment of alien in ahmedabad God for the life of you abandoned me for a brief moment symbolically God Himself becomes an 80s in the sense of you know you get a gap there and that is something shows absolutely unique it means that you are not simply separated from God your separation from God is part of divinity itself and we can then put it also in other terms maybe closer to you like that that’s right for me happiness is not some blissful unity with higher value it’s the very struggle the fall and so on and that’s why I hope we both worry about what will this possibility of so-called I’m horrified with it Ray Kurzweil calls singularity and this blissful state I prefer not to know but the final contrary breeze what I only don’t quite get why do you put so much access to this we have to begin with a person with personal change I mean this is also the second or which one I don’t remember forgive me of your slogans in your book you know first set your house in order then but extremely common sense naive question here but what if in trying to set your house in order you discover that your housing is in this order precisely because the way the society is messed up which doesn’t mean okay let’s forget about my house but you can do both at the same time and I would even say I will give you now the ultimate sample yourself that you are so socially active because you realize that it’s not enough to tell to your to your to your patient set your house in order much of the reason of why they are in disorder their house is that there is some crisis in our society and so on and so on so my reproach to you remembering would have been another joke your coffee yes please like individual or social yes please because this is obvious in extreme situation like I hope we agree to say to somebody in in North Korea set your house in order but I think in some deeper sense it goes also for our society you see some kind of a social crisis and I don’t see clearly why insist so much on this choice because I will give you an example that I think perfectly does it how do we usually deal with ecology by this false personalization you know they tell you ah what did you do did you put all the coke cans on the side did you recycle old paper and so yes we should do this but you know like I in a way this is also a very easy way to describe yourself like you say ok I do the recycling show up you know I did my duty let’s go on so I would not say why the choice there ok so well so first of all I have to point out that it’s you have unfairly tasked me with three very difficult questions and so I’m hoping that I can inside if you said life is a challenge yes so so I’m going to I’m hoping that I have the mental wherewithal to keep them in track and answer them in order but you can help me if I stray I was very interested in your comments about the about Christ’s atheism one on the cross that final moment of atheism that that’s something I I never thought about it [Music] it’s a very it’s a very interesting thought because what it what it it’s a really it’s an unbelievably merciful idea in some sense that the burden of life is so unbearable and you see in the Christian passion of course torture unfair judgment i society betrayal by friends and then and then a low death and so that’s that’s kind of that’s what as bad as it gets right which is why it’s an archetypal story right it’s about as about as gifts and the story that you described point so that it’s so bad that even God himself might despair about the essential quality of being right right so and so that is merciful in some sense because it does say that there is something that’s built into the fabric of existence the tests are so severely in our faith about being itself that even God Himself falls prey to the temptation to doubt and so that’s okay now this is where things get very complicated because I want to use that in part to answer the other questions that you answered look there’s there’s a very large clinical literature that suggests that if you want to develop optimal resilience what you do is you lay out a pathway towards somewhere better someone comes in they have a problem you try to figure out what the problem is and then you try to figure out what might constitute a solution and so you have something approximating a map right and it’s a it’s a tentative map of how to get from where our things aren’t so good to where they’re better and then you you have the person gold in the world and confront those things that they’re avoiding that are stopping them from moving towards that higher place and there’s an archetypal reality to that it’s you’re in a fallen state you’re attempting to redeem yourself and there’s a process by which that has to occur and that process involves voluntary confrontation with what you’re afraid of disgusted by and inclined to avoid and that works every psychological school agrees upon that is that exposure therapy the psychoanalysts expose you to the tragedies of your past you know and and redeem you in that manner and the behaviorists expose you to the terrors of the present and redeem you in that manner but there’s a great broad agreement across psychological schools that that’s that works and my sense is that were called upon as individuals precisely to do that in our life is that we are faced by this unbearable reality that you made reference to when you talked about the situation on the cross is that life itself is fundamentally and this is a pessimism that we might share it’s fundamentally suffering and malevolence but and this is I think where we differ I believe that the evidence suggests that the the the light that you discover in your life is proportionate to the amount of the darkness that you’re willing to forthrightly confront and that there’s no necessary upper limit to that so I think that the good that people are capable of is actually it’s a higher good than the evil that people are capable of and leave me I do not say that lightly given what I know about the evil that people are capable of and I think that I believe that a central psychological message of the biblical corpus fundamentally is that that’s why it culminates in some sense with the idea that it’s necessary to adopt it’s it’s necessary to confront the devil and to accept your what would you say your the unjustness of your tortured mortality if you can do that and that and that’s it’s a challenge as you just pointed out that it’s sufficient to challenge even God himself that you have the you have the best chance of transcending it and living the kind of life that will set your house in order and everyone’s house in order at the same time and so I think that’s even true in states like North Korea and like I’m not asking people to foolishly immolate themselves for pointless reasons you know if I’m when I’m working with people who are Clinic clinically and they have a terrible oppressor who’s their boss at work I don’t suggest that they march in and tell them exactly what they think of them and end up on the street it’s not helpful you know and so the pathway towards adopting individual responsibilities happens to be a very individual one but I do believe that the best bet for most people is to solve the problems that beset them in their own lives the ethical problems that beset them that they know our problems and that they can set themselves together well enough so that they can then become capable of addressing larger scale problems without falling prey to some of the errors that characterize let’s say over optimistic and intellectually arrogant ideologue he close with one thing one of my favorite quotes from Carl Jung it’s actually a quote that I used at the beginning of my first book which was called naps of meaning was that if you take a personal problem seriously enough you will simultaneously solve a social problem and this bears on on your point because it’s not like you’re a small family even the relationship between you and your wife is immune in some sense to the broader social problems around you and so let’s say right now there’s tremendous tension between men and women in the West and that’s certainly the case given the divorce rate let’s say that would be some evidence and the later and later stages that people are waiting to become in – you know enter into permanent relationships there’s a there’s a real tension there and then if you do establish a relationship with a woman or a partner but we’ll say a woman in this particular case you are instantly faced with all of the sociological problems in a microcosm in that relationship and then if you work those damn problems out if you can work them out within your relationship and you can get some insight it’s not complete insight but you can get some partial insight into what the problem actually is and get the diagnosis right and you’ve moved some small measure forward in addressing what might constitute the broader social concern and what’s even better you’re punished for your own goddamn mistakes and that’s another thing I like about the idea of working locally is that you know if I do broad scale social experiments and they fail it’s like well tough luck for the people for whom they failed but if I’m experimenting on myself within the confines of my own relationship and I make a mistake I’m going to feel the pain and then I and that’s good that’s just it but it also gives me the possibility of learning and so I believe that you do solve what you can about yourself first before you can set your family straight and before you should dare to try to set the world straight otherwise you degenerate into this kind of you already talked about it is shallow moralizing leave this well I’ve divided my goddamn coke cans up and now I can spend more money on new packaging at the supermarket which is exactly what the psychological research indicates that people do if they perform a casual moral action they immediately justify committing a less moral action because they’ve put themselves in a higher moral place and you might if you were real pessimist you’d say well that’s why they performed the action to begin with I think that’s often true that’s associated with that shallow moralizing are we are we too much in this direction or or again I will put in my Stalinist arms would you go as far as to say who needs the people we talk for the people no because I don’t want to take too much of the time for the public but you know what interests me would you then agree because this is how Hegel reads the story of the fall that fall really is Felix culpa in the sense that for Hegel before the fall we are simply animals it’s through the fall that you perceive goodness as what will drag you out of the fall so in this sense fall is constitutive of the very you know it’s not you fall from goodness you fall and that’s the dialectical paradox your phone recur actively creates what you fell from as it were and that’s the tough lesson for trip moralist to to to accept but you know where I see very briefly maybe a counter question what fascinates me we didn’t cover this I didn’t cover this but speaking about ideology would you agree what fascinates me more and more is not big ideology in the sense of projects and so on in our cynical era people claim all we no longer take them seriously and say walk but and here for me social dimensions enter enters even our intimate space implicit beliefs ideological pressure positions why not which we embody in our most common daily practices for example probably some of you already know it I will nonetheless repeat a very shortened version I was occupied at some point by the structure of toilets in Western Europe I noticed this especially a specificity of German toilets where you know Rafi doesn’t this shit doesn’t disappear in water it is their exposure that you smell it and control it for whatever and immediately associated it with German spirit of poetry and reflection and so on it’s a bad joke but what I’m saying is that in a sense and I’ve spoken with some specialists I was so intrigued by of how do you construct toilets and they admitted it there is no direct direct utilitarian valgus going to the toilet ideology in this deeper sense is there another thing that at the same level I repeat one of my old robes that fascinates me intensely is how it’s not just as superficial psychoanalysts claim we pretend to be moral to believe but deeply we are cynical egotist quite often in today’s times we think that we are free permissive and so on but secretly we are dominated by an entire pathological or not even often pathological structure of prohibitions and so on so we may and this is what interests me so much precisely in today’s time where and this is how would you agree we would explain the simple fact which may appear weird at how apparently they so they tell us we live in permissive times take your pleasure may enjoy it but at the same time there is probably so some clinicians are telling me more rigidity and importance than ever let the lesson of psychoanalysis I hope we agree is not this vulgar one you are cannot perform sexual you go to a psychology psychiatrist he teaches you how to get rid of authority and so on it’s a much more complex situation it’s and this is what interests me immensely all this set of implicit beliefs cow you don’t even know but you you know I will repeat the story that half of you know and my favorite that niels bohr anecdote you know he had the house outside copenhagen the quantum physics right and he had a horse through a superstitious above his door yes and then a friend asked him what do you believe in it why do I be there and he said I’m a scientist why then do you have it there because I was told it works the idea is it prevents evil spirits I enter the house it works even if you don’t believe in it that’s ideology today that’s ideology today fundamentally I want to solicit from you to tell a joke don’t you see I think I think that people are are possessed by ideas that aren’t theirs there yeah and their personalities that aren’t theirs and that’s the great psychoanalytic insight it’s not ideas it’s personalities it’s way worse than ideas and some of those personalities might be the ones that are associated with the idea that freedom is found in maximizing hedonistic moment-to-moment pleasure or something like that which sounds like freedom for me one of the things that I suggest to people is that they watch themselves as if they do not understand who they are or what they’re ruled by and then notice those times when they’re there they’re where they should be that and that’s back to our discussion about meaning rather than happiness it’s like you’ll see there are times in your life where you’re somewhere or you’ve done something and all of a sudden you’re you’re together you’re where you should be your conscience is not disturbing you you’re you’re you’re not proud of what you did because pride is the wrong term but you understand deeply that you’ve done something that you should have done you might not understand why you might not even understand what it is but the study of that can help elucidate the difference between what actually constitutes you is a very difficult thing to discover and what constitutes the accretion that characterizes you because of the well let’s say you’re intense you’re intense proclivity for socialized mimicry and so you know you’re I don’t mean you personally but people are amalgams of everything they’ve seen and everything they’ve ever seen they’ve watch it yeah yes yes and everything they’ve read and and to integrate that and define that the truth that constitutes that integration is incredibly difficult endeavor and one of the reasons why in twelve rules for life for example I suggested that I’ll try to tell the truth or at least don’t lie is because one of the ways apart from pursuing what you what appears to you to be meaningful one of the ways of escaping from that possession by the kind of ideology that you’re describing which is like an it’s like a it’s like an unconscious of unidentified axioms it’s something like that even though they take personified form they’re like personalities is to stop saying things you know not to be true it’s a nice pathway forward it’s the original rule was tell the truth and I thought no that’s not any good because you’re so biased and limited and ignorant and possessed that you don’t know what the truth is and so you can’t be asked to tell it but everyone does have the experience of being about to say or do something that they know by their own they know as deeply as they can know anything about themselves that that utterance or action is wrong and they still do it now my suggestion is try to stop doing that and one of the consequences or you can try in small ways like you might not be able to manage it in big ways but now and then you know you’re tempted to do something that you know to be wrong and you could not do it and if you practice that you get better and better at not doing it and that means you lie less and you and you take the easy route less and you pursue hedonic pleasures that cost you in the future less you start to straighten yourself out you take the beam out of your eye that’s essentially what you’re doing and over time you have some modicum of hope that your vision will clear up and you’ll be able to see the proper pathway forward and that’s part of the process of redemption and it seems to me to be in your grasp you’re capable of doing that you have a conscience it does inform you from time to time correctly about the difference between good and evil the consequence the knowledge the consequence of the fall that you described which I think you described it very eloquent terms and that you can slowly make your way back to the straight and narrow path that’s characterized by maximal meaning but also see that this instinct of meaning is a sophisticated one it’s not that I’m making a case for the individual like Iran makes a case for the individual that’s not it I’m making a case for individual responsibility that’s not the same thing it’s like there is something that’s good for you but it has to also be good for your family if it’s just good for you that’s not good enough and if it’s good for you and your family and it’s not good for society then that’s not good enough either and so the responsibility is to find a pathway that balances these things in a harmonious manner it’s like a I got a lot of this thinking from Jean Piaget and his idea of elaborated States right is you’re attempting to find something like a game that everyone is willing to play that can be played in an iterative manner and not degenerate well hopefully actually ascend if that’s possible hopefully become a better and better game across time and I do believe that I do believe that you can do that I do believe that you can do that if you’re guided by truth and I do believe that the pathway to that is the phenomenology of meaning and then the secondary consequence of that is if you do that now and then you might be happy and then you should be profoundly grateful because happiness as we already agreed upon is something like a grace again my pessimism comes here I agree with you but the danger here here the ology can massively enter you describe a nice situation you are whatever to do something that you know it’s wrong but so-called totalitarian ideologies step in at this point and try to present to you that the true greatness is to do what you individually think it’s wrong for the higher course you know who says this wonderfully horrible guy Heinrich Himmler of sseriously he knew the problem German officers must blue horrible things feel good and his solution was double first to let them know as he put it somewhere every idiot okay ordinary men can do something great maybe local sacrificed himself for his country but his reply was his point was but it takes a truly great men to be ready to lose his soul and to do horrible things for his country and I read some good memories of relatively honest communists who broke down whenever sent to the countryside from in in early thirties and this is what this is what they were told by apparatchik you will see horrible things children starving and so on remember there is a higher course and your highest ethical duty is to is to overcome this small bourgeois sentimentality and so here I see the danger of again my pessimism false meaning which can massively cover this false narrative ii think also the solution by I wonder if you share this pessimism French another one by Himmler you know what was his sacred book I read he all the time had a special leather-bound copy in his pocket Brava got Geeta he massively he said his problem was this one he puts it perfectly Nazi officers have to do SS horrible things how to enable them to do it without themselves becoming horrible beings his solution was oriental wisdom to learn to act from distance I’m not really there and this is was the shock of my life based on this do not the book I found a book the Gaiden wrote many books Bryan Victoria sane at war it’s a shocking book especially horrible from any so called entire a centrist who claim our monotheism is guilty of everything we need oriental evidence book is about the apart from a couple of exceptions the behavior of Zen Buddhist community in Japan in the thirties early forties not only they totally supported Japanese expansion into include China they even provided properly Zen Buddhist justification for it for example the one you know who did this no you are not as old as me I remember him DT Suzuki the Great Tree yeah but okay he was doing this in the sixties but as a younger guy he was fully supporting Japanese militarism and one of his justifications was this one the advice of Japanese military to them to support Zen Buddhist training because he says it’s one of the most horrifying thing that I’ve ever read he said sorry don’t take it personally but let’s say an officer orders me if I were to tell this to you it would be too obvious so I pick you I have to kill you stab you with mine and he says if I remain in this illusionary self then I feel responsible I kill you but he says if you are enlightened by Zen Buddhism then you know there is no substance reality you become a neutral observer of your life just a flow of phenomena and you tell yourself it’s not that I am killing you but in the cosmic dance of phenomena my knife is floating and somehow your knife Falls you know what I’m saying is I’m not disputing some spiritual greatness of Zen Buddhism I’m saying how even the most enlightened spiritual experience can serve a terrible cost now because we’re running very quickly out of time and it’s clear that this conversation could go for a very long time I’m going to ask one representative question here and give you each one minute each and that is and that is simply this coming from online what is one thing you hope people will leave this debate with and why Jordan I I hope they leave this debate with a belief in the power of communication between people with different views [Applause] and there there there is this there is a growing idea on college campuses tell me if I go over my minute that there really is no such thing as free speech because people are only the avatars of their group identity and they have nothing unique to say and besides that there’s no communication across boundaries of identity or belief and and I think that that’s an unbelievably dangerous and and pernicious doctrine and I think that people of goodwill despite their differences can communicate and they can both come out of that communication improved even though there might be some dissent and some some dissent and some dissent on the way and so that’s what I would hope people would come out I will be more concrete even politically there is today so it appears this big conflict between all that of modern stuff that you oppose and this all right and so on I hope sincerely that we made at least some people to think and to reject this simple opposition there are quite reasonable working the only alternative to all try it is not political correctness and so on and I know I’m speaking not for you but for me please if you are a leftist don’t feel obliged to be politically correct please please don’t be afraid don’t be afraid to think and especially would you agree one great version of not thinking is how immediately if they don’t agree with you you are labeled a fascist but that’s the laziness people find something they don’t agree with instead of thinking they think about something we all agree was a bad thing up you’re a fascist and so on you know it’s not a simple aspect even some of whom I’m deeply critical no I’m sorry to tell you but he is not a fascist you make it all too easy to play these games I just want not a positive result but to shatter you a little bit to make you think I have always felt that the greatest conversations are unfinished ones please join me in thanking Slavoj Zizek in Jordan Peterson for a great unfinished conversation [Applause] thank you [Applause] that was waived everyone all right you guide everyone [Applause] you you hey guys so I’m just gonna get some real quick self plug out the way now the stream is over I really hope everybody enjoyed watching I was really glad to provide for everybody this isn’t my main channel I have another main channel in the description so give give that a look I also have a Twitter is well by the same name as this channel so I hope you guys check that out I hope you guys enjoyed so I’m gonna in the stream now and yeah trans rights it’s my business you want to do it your problem like you want to you want to F up your life that’s what freedom is called resonate one of the seven deadly sins yeah again a Christian thing but yeah I think but it’s but yes I mean and I have I have lots of beliefs about lots of things that people do and by the way so do you things that don’t affect you right now this is we all do but as long as I’m not forcing that on you because they’re no externality is your behavior I don’t see why it bothers you like they’re legitimately I would assume tens of millions of people in this country who believe that when I die I will go to hell right I don’t I don’t believe in Jesus and so there are a lot of people believe I don’t believe in Jesus therefore I am bound for hell that does not bother me one iota cuz no one’s bothering to me so what do I care I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t take this view if I’m not legitimately bothering you why should why should you care what I think like this is this is what would be puzzling me if somebody came to me and they wanted my opinion on something because they valued my opinion that much I’d give my opinion but it’s a you don’t have to care about my opinion I think when it comes to the gay thing where people are looking for is to people for other folks to be accepting of who they are and I think for a lot of these gay folks that have been in the closet their whole life that’s the big things they’re always worried about someone treating them differently or someone diminishing them because they’re gay then when they hear someone like you say that you think it’s a sin and that you shouldn’t act on your biology even though you have these urges that you should instead find a woman they feel the same pangs of rejection and I get that I for sure get that but the confluence between activity and identity is actually kind of a dangerous one meaning then the you know the the idea that if I disapprove of an activity in which you engage that I disapprove of you I just approve of lots of activities that in which lots of people engage including most members of my family including my children a lot of the time rather not me I disapprove of them as a human being or that I’m did and saying they’re lesser as a human being Brian that like we all interact with people this way like you disapprove of my view on this I don’t get the feeling you disapprove of me as a human being no I don’t practice religion you obviously think my religion is bullshit but that’s okay I don’t care I don’t think it’s bullshit I wouldn’t say I think it’s bullshit I think somebody in the mountains bullshit right well I don’t even know if that’s bullshit what I do know is that it’s a historical interpretation of stories that were as much as they could or as little as they want it to be accurately defined and written down and then passed on from generation to generation example you think the fact that I won’t eat pork is kind of stupid bull no I don’t think it’s stupid bullshit first of all I think pigs are intelligent I wish they weren’t wild I have a deep affinity to pigs but I also kill them well I mean I killed wild pigs let me be broader about this you’re not north excuse my soup there are things about well but I there are certain things of which I believe or practice that you that you probably disapprove or you don’t think there’s a smartest or you think that there or you might not think is the smartest but as I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser I give a fuck less about why you do what you do but whether or not the benefits seem to be worth if the juice is worth the squeeze right and in your case I think the juice is worth the squeeze I think you’re a very successful person you’re very reasonable you’re very intelligent you’re an outstanding debater and I enjoy talking to you and listening to you on YouTube I think part of that is because of the fact that your religion right of your religious I think it’s cross-training I think in a lot of ways it’s like if you lift weights for jujitsu it makes you stronger it’ll make you jujitsu better as long as you keep training I think your discipline from your religion has there’s psychological benefits to it totally benefits to it there’s it’s right I guess that the point is that we’re different people so there are certain activity in which I that you probably think well that’s I wouldn’t do that skin’ dumb okay but I wouldn’t though I would but I wouldn’t I wouldn’t I don’t want to do it I don’t want to wear yarmulke I get it I understand why you blew it what would appall dudes do they put double stick tape they’re not allowed to know you can you totally can oh it seems painful and uncomfortable yeah the point is that in living in a society we all are constantly disapproving of each other right politics is just as disapproving of each other all the time and so long as we’re not forcing that on anybody else I really don’t see the problem and I think everybody should sort of get over it like if I don’t approve of your personal behavior welcome to the club I disapprove of 99% of people’s personal behavior including my own half that do you how often do you bait people on the merits of religion or the merits of your belief system um you know not not super frequently but not infrequently I mean like I mentioned that I’ve had this conversation with Sam a couple of different times yeah like well he’s he’s so rabid as an atheist but you guys Sam is more religious than I am salmon salmon or for religious atheist than I am like I’ll admit questions about my own religion Sam is very very convinced of his of his correctness and in his viewpoint salmon Sam’s religious dude he’s a fast moving guy he is I liked him a lot and and Michael Shermer I’ve had on my show to talk about religion and skepticism and all that I’m not shy about talking about it I just sometimes I find that it’s it’s kind of a dead end mm-hmm because sometimes it just turns into I believe in God and then the person’s like I don’t believe in God it’s like well okay fine now can we talk about the stuff we think are the what are the fundamental building blocks upon which you can base a society or base of politics and if we agree on those then you know the gods stuff I think God is a better base for those fundamental policies and and and belief systems I think free speech individualism democracy these are based on a simple verse in Genesis that human beings are made in God’s image I think that that’s a logical leap this is the case I’ve made too Sam I don’t think that you can actually get to human beings are of an estable inestimable value from scientific materialism if you believe that human beings are effectively just animals then I don’t know why they would be of infinite value nor why I should respect somebody’s belief system simply because they’re human I don’t respect animals and if we’re just another animal I there’s no there’s nothing Tate’s that logical line if the in fact for most of human history it was not the logical line of thinking it was if you remember of my tribe then we like you and if you’re not a member of my tribe then we get to kill you but is that a logical comparison like is isn’t there a difference between single-celled organisms and the way a primate interacts with its environment I mean yes but I’m not sure why that would indicate any sort of greater existential value it’s not necessarily a greater existential value but as we were talking about the value of community and the value of having a group of people that you care about this is this is a core component of being human this is a it’s a core component of this understanding mind but that’s that’s rational intelligent interfacing with the universe in a way that no other animal is capable of I’m not saying you can’t get to the point where Sam agrees with me I’m saying that I think it’s less convincing than Sam thinks it is meaning there’s no there’s an alternative line of thought that says okay you’re right social fabric is great you know that social fabric is particularly awesome among me and my friends you know ain’t that great those guys over there let’s go kill them and take their shit like that that was pretty much how humanity works for a very very long time and the simple and effective idea that the reason that human beings are a value is because we are more than just our material bodies and there’s something that isn’t us that is of inestimable value that’s a religious concept and it has a lot of weight now if Sam wants to get to the same place and we can build a political conversation from there that’s fine my real argument with Sam is Sam and I go down to the bottom of the iceberg about 90% of the way we have the same fundamental value about free speech diversity of opinion about I think to mostly in extent free markets you know I think that we agree on a lot of these fundamental principles he then says that he gets those from pure reason I have serious questions about whether Pure Reason necessitates those conclusions he tends to think that those are the only conclusions a reasonable person could come to if you properly apply a reason I don’t think that’s right what do you think is happening there what’s the mechanism I think that the mechanism is that we are common what I said to Sam when we were debating this in San Francisco is it’s real weird he’s a materialist a scientific materialist a theist who is sitting across the stage from me a religious Jew we agree on 95% of our values so how and his answer well you know here’s where I’ve studied I’ve studied Buddhism I’ve studied these philosophies and I’ve studied science and is that right I haven’t studied a lot of those things but we have the same value so why it seems to me a better historical explanation is that we have grow up we grew up ten miles from each other in Los Angeles after 3,000 years of common history of judeo-christian development balanced with reason in the West like location has something to do with this and that location was rooted in commonality of interest and philosophy so I I’m less it’s it’s there’s a weird nexus I don’t want to get too kind of deep in the weeds here there’s a weird kind of Nexus on what truth is but where you’ve heard Sam and Jordan Peterson debate this that wasn’t saying it was it’s wild right and the truth is I’m closer to Sam than Jordan on this I’m closer to Jordan than Sam when it comes to the value of religion and I’m closer to Sam than Jordan when it comes to objective truth Sam believes that there is such a thing as objective truth Jordan tends to be more of a pragmatist he tends to believe that truth is sort of what is useful to a certain extent and my I agree with Sam but I’m not sure how he gets to objective truth from a scientific materialist worldview why is there objective truth as opposed to what you think is what you think being evolutionarily beneficial how do you get from that to it’s a universal principle that is objectively true it’s it’s it’s a bit of a jump well it depends on what the concept is right like what are you talking about in terms of I’m talking about I’m talking about anything that Sam says is true what makes it true as opposed to just evolutionarily beneficial for us to think so meaning what evolution does is it creates a series of thoughts in our mind presumably if you’re a materialism hmm that are beneficial to your preservation and promulgation of the species they’re not active actually true so if it’s beneficial this is Sam’s explanation for the prevalence of religion for example say religion isn’t true but evolutionary biology sort of drives people toward religion so you can have group bonds that are beyond 150 people or whatever so why doesn’t that apply to math why is it the two into how do you know that two and two actually equals four as opposed to it is evolutionary been evidently beneficial for you to believe that two plus two equals four so Sam believes there’s an objective truth somewhere out there the two plus two equals four I don’t know what evolution has to do with that sort of stuff so what do you think is happening that he disagrees with so I think that is happening is that human beings were placed in an orderly universe through the processes of biology and have a unique capacity to understand that universe because we are made in the image of God this is where I think that the religious viewpoint diverges pretty strongly from from Sam’s but you should leave in evolution yes you believe that evolution was a process that was created by God to formulate human beings yes interesting yeah I mean that’s that’s the nice thing about being religious you can attribute most most everything to God is it’s nice well here’s the thing it’s not that implausible if there was some sort of a grand plan there would be no regard for like oh we got to get a rush on this right making the evolutionary being you know we’re gonna process there’s all sorts of fine-tuning arguments about how implausible it would be for just atoms roaming around the universe randomly to end with with human creation you know the alternative explanation seem no no more no less implausible to me like the multiple universes Theory plausible but we have no way to prove it because we can’t get to those multiple universes so how’s that testable or the or the now popular theory that we’re living in an AI simulation not sure how that’s more testable than God not sure how it’s more testable that aliens put us here like how is any of this time why is that more testable or more plausible than the idea that there is a force behind that which we see that has mind well let’s let’s just break this down slowly there’s obviously something that’s happening there’s obviously something that went from the Big Bang to Planet Earth in 2019 with cellular communication and satellite dishes and obviously something happened something pretty radical why is it happening is it happening because of random events that sort of coincide with biology and technology and all these things come to fruition to you and I standing across from each other talking on this podcast in front of millions of people or is this is this just how things go is things compete constantly try to get better and then in this gigantic ecosystem of all these things competing and trying to get better one super successful organism us rises above and continues right and continues and by far passes all these other creatures below it and moves we in our estimation I mean if you if you really believe in evolution you can’t think we’re done right it’s got to be moving towards some rate or product keeps going until it creates so this is why I say that Sam is more religious than I am I think that there’s a plausible argument for atheism I just don’t think that there is a plausible argument for Sam’s moral vision of atheism meaning that what what but Sam tends to do is it like for example you and I have talked a lot on this particular podcast about the value of self betterment and making decisions and being responsible for those decisions how does that work in an area where you don’t have very well so Sam actively says we do not have very well yeah that’s a weird it is it is a weird conversation and sort of a self-defeating one Sam suggests when it comes to the scientific method that we are using science to find out truths about the universe and we’re using reason seems very big unreason I also have a gun reason but I don’t know how Sam is defining reason as opposed to just an evolutionarily beneficial firing of neurons meaning that that’s what we are at were balls of been wandering purposeless through the universe and then he’ll talk about making our own meaning or seeking human human prosperity or flourishing is the morning like Shias these are all very active verbs right this is this is an active vision of man in the universe right and I’m not sure how that flows from were a ball of meat that evolved from another ball with me that evolved eventually if you go back far enough from non balls of meat without any without any free will without any capacity to choose I don’t know how you build a civilization on that well there’s two different conversations here one is determination or determinism rather whether or not you have free will or whether or not your life and your actions are being dictated by the past by your biology by your learning experiences by external pressures what is causing this very clear decision that you make is this freewill are you deciding I’m gonna get my shit together or all the factors around you pushing you and funneling you into this this direction that you it’s unavoidable to you right and that you are not a product of free will you’re just a product of a lot of different factors right or is it both is it that you are the product of your environment and your life experiences and you also have free will right and I’m in the latter group I’m in the latter group I think as well I think we also experience great benefit from making positive choices and then experiencing like whatever you meet someone has lost a lot of weight one things they have this fucking tremendous feeling of accomplishment yep you know yeah I lost a hundred pounds like holy shit man a hundred pound right like they get this positive feedback from it there’s there’s real good and making good choices and when people decide to get their shit together and make a good choice they were rewarded the question is are you doing that because of determinism or are you doing that because of free will or are you doing that because of a combination of both of those things and can you fuel that free will purposely through like outwardly seeking things that are motivational or things that are educational things that allow you to kind of remap the way you process reality right which can be extremely beneficial and can aid in you taking steps towards exercising your free will right well this and this is why I think that in the end it and right but I think it’s pretty fundamental question and I think that that’s why in the end I’m religious and I’m not sure why Sam isn’t because he agrees with the same premises mmm right he’ll he’ll talk about self betterment and decisions that you can make and then he’ll write a full book about why freewill doesn’t exist and I just don’t understand how those two things can coexist yes it’s well I think it’s a thought experiment first of all I think the whole determinism thing is a thought experiment because there’s really no way to determine right so you can know for sure right I mean like there’s just no way to act otherwise I’ve absolutely act as if I have freewill right and we all do and I get angry at myself when I fuck things up I don’t say well it’s just determined as a man right no that doesn’t get you in and but maybe it’s determinism that has put me in this position where I’m the kind of guy that gets upset if I fuck things up right I don’t know man I don’t know but I don’t know if you know either that’s my take on all these things but people get really rigid with their ideology yeah like okay I want to hear it out I want to hear the whole thing you know I want to hear it all I think if you know I think there’s a I think there’s no I think there’s a lot that I don’t know but I think that there’s more plausible and less plausible I agree this is where I think people misunderstand you you have your beliefs but you’re not a god that imposes them on people and I think we need to be way more reasonable in terms of the way we address people’s beliefs and I’ve been guilty of this in the past I’m sure everyone has but I think it’s a core component to a healthy community is to allow people to have their own beliefs and you know who knows man maybe your beliefs on gay people will adjust and move over time as you get older and move into a gay neighborhood and yeah it’s it it’s it’s a difference between understanding people are as as whole people and then saying that I don’t like some of the things that they do and simply saying the making the assumptions because I don’t like some of the things that you do we can’t be friends or I disapprove of you as an entire human being which i think is not true it’s a good belief system to have if you’re straight and then you go look lock down don’t need to worry about that I got a problem but if you were gay God down there’ll be opinion yeah absolutely I mean it would be annoying if you just always wanted to bang dudes and everyone’s saying no nobody said religion is easy man it’s all what’s the value in it though if you’re if you’re a giant homo all right and all you want to do is go to gay discos a part of your ass off that’s what you enjoy some people like golf okay some people some people like parasailing some dudes just want to fucking get it on man you want to dress up like the Village People and go have a fucking party that’s why Santa Monica Boulevard such a hot spot and you find each other hey you know do whatever you want to do honestly do whatever you want to do cuz menu don’t ask me to think that you know don’t ask me to like put my stamp of moral approval I understand but do you want to do the like it’s free country this should be a free country not just it is a free country it should be a free country it should not be my job to police your personal behavior right right right like you doesn’t mean I have to improve it on a personal level right but I’m a jerk if I want to impose my belief system on your personal behavior that affects no one else that’s the and I’m a hypocrite if I continue to braid you about your your opinion on gay folks what do I give a fuck with your opinion correct because you are a reasonable person and you do you’re very polite and either you’re in friends with Dave Rubin so there you go something there it’s it’s a strange thing though this this need that people have for everyone to think the way they think and I understand the need to reinforce your own thoughts and we’re in and and and argue them and try to figure out a way to debate that the other person’s perspective is incorrect and your perspective is correct I understand all these inclinations that people have but I think that they conflate that with bigotry right you know and I don’t exactly I don’t think you’re a bigot I don’t agree with you about gay folks but that’s one of the few the marijuana thing is just I just don’t think you have any experience in it right and as far as as far as disagreeing I think that we probably don’t disagree on gay folks I think we disagree on identity in gay and all the rest of it I mean as human beings you know these are human beings I know many gay people who I think are significantly better human beings than religious people that I know yeah you know I’m glad you said that yeah I think it did theirs in a way I don’t have a defined religion but in a way I have some pretty rigid ideas that I have in my head about behavior and ethics and morals and how you treat people you care about those those are like they’re pretty rigid and I think one of the things that religion does is it allows you to have the sort of ethical framework sort of like uh you know what is it cost Kapil ding when you’re building like it allows you to develop a more disciplined life and it just shows you this is good and this is bad and it’s clear and there’s there’s most different in for the most part it’s good for the most part these are these are good patterns to follow and I think that I’ve most certainly sort of adopted my own somewhere along the line I think we all do yeah I mean honestly a value system effectively is usually a form of religion right so when you’re saying that Sam is religious he’s a religious yeah you’re not being inaccurate there’s a lot of folks do that we we do develop these sort of principles that we found we’re not just free willy-nilly just doing every walk all day long no one does that and the reason I say it is sort of facetiously but I think that we all make fundamental assumptions about the nature of human life and we have to recognize that those are assumptions you can’t it’s it’s not reason all the way down you know that because that tends to actually become even more inflexible then it’s I’m the only reasonable person in the room my reasons are the only ones that matter though it’s my reasons all the way down acknowledge that we’re all making some assumptions and then we can discuss whether those assumptions are worthwhile or not yeah the thing that when it comes with religion in defining whether or not other people’s behavior sinful where it doesn’t involve you that’s where a lot of folks start thinking that maybe these ideas are bigoted right but it does involve me meaning that at times well I’m enjoying every sin that I say is a sin is a sin that it joins me it’s just that I may not have a desire for that particular sin meaning I’m not I’m not holding people to a different standard than I hold myself nor am i saying that I never sinned right but you know that you have different biological desires than they do you kind of acknowledge that of course that’s true yeah of course that’s true by the same token I assume that a gay guy doesn’t have the desire to strip a thousand women which most straight guys do yeah why do you think if if God has a plan well I do think you’d create gay people I mean I think that God creates first of all I don’t think that I’m in a position to evaluate God’s plan if you like gods if I had to guess people with all sorts of different challenges and those challenges span the spectrum mmm I mean I I’m not so God sneaks it up on you hey man I know this is gonna be fucked up but you’re gonna just like dudes like forget about women you’re gonna like dudes and not I want you to ignore that which I listen to my old book I don’t know why God gives people drives I don’t know why God gives kids cancer I don’t know a lot of things about God wish I did it would make my life a lot easier so you think that that is a challenge akin to any other challenge that a human being might face in this life that the challenge of but a lot harder yeah and a lot more difficult and a lot more straining and a lot yeah of course you think there’s value in following that challenge and not acting on Gator jizz I think that I think there can be and having sex with one plug your nose go make a face because your disgust did you create it did you create a baby out of that then that is that baby like a part of your life now that is it that it’s deep in meaningful mmm maybe what about in pass there’s a lot of gay guys having kids what about people saying living their truth I’m living my truth bench pure oh well I mean as a general rule living my truth is there’s living your opinion which is fine like live your opinion how you want again that gets back to do what you want as long as it’s not bothering me living my truth is a different thing that’s one of them social media creations like living my truth such that’s just bullshit I’m sorry it’s there’s no such thing as your truth there is not truth and then there’s your opinion and we do have if we’re purposes of conversation at the very least it’s deeply irritating when people say living my truth because it’s like I disagree with you and then like well you’re you’re disavowing me as a human being no I just disagree like you can be you you can do it you on like you do that whatever man yeah like I’m how did I become the most loosey-goosey libertarian Leanback guy in the world in this society how is this possible the most uptight person I know how is this a thing well you know as well as I do that the further you go left you you you you reach the same sort of gsella tree that you do when you go all the way rice is correct you meet these crazy people that are just completely connected to their idea of being correct and they take the most rigid stance on all these issues on the left side or on the right side and it’s so goddamn common human behavior Saul so incredibly boring yes I mean there’s just nothing to discuss with with yeah I agree and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so disgusting when people mislabel people like there was an article that connected me with Richard Spencer like what in the fuck like that is such a disingenuous thing to do yeah they know what they’re doing they’re they’re trying to get me to react to it and talk about it and get more glitz but it’s horseshit yeah like anybody who but if you are locked into that far-left ideology as far left as you can go and it’s one of the problems with ideologies that have these extremists is that you believe in a percentage of the things these people say but then they go way too far with it but you’re connected with them you’re connected with them because you’re a part of that even though you don’t have a similar notion steven pinker got browbeaten over suggesting that failure to ask questions and give plausible answers gives excuse-me credence to the alright that that if you do a say he did a whole speech where he said listen there are lots of conversations about IQ and race and they all write loves these conversations because then they then they suggest wrongly the black people are inherently unfit and white people are more fit and all that kind of stuff and he says there are great ways to explain how much of IQ is is cultural how much can be changed how much is genetic how much that actually matters in terms of real-life outcomes we can do all those things but when you say don’t ask the question stop asking the question then you make people Google and the only thing that they will Google and find our answers that are given by people who are actually all right right he got ripped as alright for this yeah it was don’t allow people to push into all right answers by failing to give them proper responses or by throwing them out the window and then people like well you’re all right now because you’re saying that people should be able to ask questions it’s almost like it’s just like it’s the exact same version as people in the religious community where it’s like you know I used to go to Sunday School and then I asked him any questions and they kicked me out right that’s that’s not how religions supposed to work that’s not how reason is supposed to work that’s not how any of this is supposed to work right and there’s also when when you’re investigating anything any measurable thing there when you find a whatever it is like these people like Asian folks are better at mathematics European folks are better at this and like what is what’s the reason for that like what what’s let’s find out is it cultural is it biologicals it’s something can we learn about how human beings evolved and adapted why are nigerian so smart like there’s so many Nigerians that come to this country they thrive they thrive in business they’re extremely motivated they’re extremely disciplined it’s like it’s like almost like Korean folks why do Koreans like it’s why are they so hard-working why are they strive and obviously these are big generalizations but what is it about Italians what wouldn’t make some where gold chains and love mafia movies like what is it those are my people what the what the fuck why they all talk like that like what is that what causes a any sort of ethnic group to turn out the way they turned out what are so many European Jews Nobel Prize winners right what the fuck is going on over there and also like what is the impact of the measurable on how we live our lives like how much should this stuff matter is this is this a result of discrimination or is this a result of something else is it true that when you group any group of people together racially or non racially there will be disparities between those two groups of people this is just true statistically like but not asking those questions and then saying shut down the questions what that actually does is it leads people to only get the answers to the questions from the people who don’t know what they’re talking about in many cases and who are giving convenient easy and sell flattering answers about the nature of themselves the fear is it being used by racists to reinforce their position right but what you find out is that those appear your race right and they’ll do that anyway one of the one of the funniest things about white supremacist is they’re so fucking stupid and pardon the language like the the white supremacists are invariably not the Nobel Prize winners it’s it’s go to a white supremacist compound you’re not looking at a bunch of people who are curing cancer these people pissed me off in it and this is and now I’ll say all that won’t matter the media label me outright tomorrow except this goes well the disingenuous media that’s being less and less taken seriously taken less loss seriously it’s it seems to me that that trend which is a common trend that’s existed for the last few years of these clickbait t bullshit articles and mislabelling people it’s going to go away because you’re your perspective is not going to be appreciated it’s not going to be respected if you if you’re obviously making disingenuous statements like that and I think we’re in this weird position where it’s very difficult to find real journalism and real objective takes on things that aren’t flavored by their ideology and everybody’s trying to shape everybody and they feel like it’s their obligation they feel there’s many people that write things that feel like it’s their obligation to change your perspective on national subjects and things that are important to us it’s not their obligation to just report what’s going on but also their obligation to flavor things in a way that’ll make one side look favorable to the other yeah well I’m very much in favor of journalists revealing their biases I think that the greatest lie in media is that objective journalism is a thing so I’m conservative you don’t go to my site you’ll get a conservative spin on the news that’s the way it’s gonna work and guess what CNN’s liberal and they are going to give you the liberal spin on the news and that’s just the way this is going to work did you see the video when the Mueller report came out they look like somebody here killed oh my god he’s crazy shouldn’t you be happy if you guys believed in Mueller everybody was like Mueller is the fucking man he’s gonna go get Trump this guy is methodical he’s precise he’s voted everything votive candles with his face on it they could like bird they were pumped yeah and then he came out and was like well no collusion it was like well I guess that now to cover up it’s like what wait a minute yeah maybe maybe the narrative has it maybe the narrative has has trumped the actual job you were supposed to do guys well it’s just so many people were so convinced and there were so many people that were making statements that in retrospect are probably like you could probably I mean I don’t want to say I’m not a litigious person but if I was a guy like Donald Trump oh man yeah there’s so many people to sue is it like it was amazing I mean I remember I was on Bill Maher’s show and we were supposed to talk about free speech stuff and like five minutes before and he’s like let’s talk about Russia as producer Kevin let’s talk about Russia and that’s like okay fine so we get yeah this is like right before they switch the topic for your TV shows well they just tell you what you have to talk and I comes in with a clipboard yeah it was it was a little bit it was a little bit strange and we got onstage and he’s talking about Trump Russia collusion and I said what I’ve always said which is I’ll wait for the evidence to come out and then I will make a decision as to whether Trump Russia collusion was a thing and Bill Maher was like oh I know and Bill Maher goes you don’t you don’t believe it was a thing and I was like well I don’t see any evidence yet that it was a thing like I see some evidence of attempts to collude like Don jr. I see some attempts of people trying to get information but I don’t see evidence of like actual legal collusion and why don’t we just wait like you guys keep wanting Muller to give us it like let’s just wait on it and Mark could not believe that this was my perspective right it was like it was like shocking to him why should why should the perspective I’m waiting for more evidence be shocking to anyone when it is obvious the evidence is not out like why is that in any way controversial it’s but wildering to me well it’s because people have this need to let everyone know that they’re on the right side and they want you to know that they do believe in the collusion if you disagree with that for whatever reason you must either be a right-wing person a trump supporter someone who’s in denial someone who doesn’t look at the evidence and you’re a part of the problem yep but the the real problem was jumping to conclusions they’re obviously seemed to be some attempts there’s there’s obviously some fuckery with that IRA company that the the internet research agency that is responsible for millions of interactions with people online where they pretended to be right different supporters Rossum they caused conflict like constant conflict in regards to political opinion and that’s all real that was coordinated effort to try to change people’s opinions but how much that had to do with Donald Trump how much did he ask for you got no evidence also I was always bewildered by this theory like did you watch that campaign that was not the most well coordinated campaign it was chaos it was chaos I mean I knew everybody who’s in the campaign like it was a it was a shit show then the idea that they’re sitting there but they’re but when the mask comes off at night they call it Vladimir Putin and then put together a point-by-point plan on how they’re going to swing this particular precinct in rural in rural Michigan what are you are you guys hi what are you talking about what like if you could attribute this to any here’s a good rule of thumb for politics attribute everything to you pity unless you can prove malice the real problem and this is something that is very similar to what we were talking about earlier when you say something and you say it over and over and over again and you say it with such conviction and it becomes a giant part of your news narrative and then that something turns out to be horseshit yeah you just massively empowered Trump that’s that’s exactly right I said for a long time that you know I’m not a big fan of Trump’s fake news stick because I think he applies it too broadly I think that whenever it’s there’s bad piece of news is like fake news it’s like well sometimes yes and sometimes no but now that you just blew a two-year narrative where he was clearly in Putin’s pocket how many people you think and listen to the nuanced view of fake news now and how many people do you think are going to actually believe Trump when he says that a bad piece of news is legitimately a fake piece of news yeah it empowers him in a in a spectacular manner they made a giant mistake oh yeah and they blew that they blew this one in spectacular fashion and people are still hanging in there well all they had to do this is true for so many people right now all you have to do is not be crazy just stop it it was talking about the possibility that Trump has been a Russian asset since like 1987 or so is that I mean Andrew McCabe the former FBI director was asked whether Trump was legitimately a Russian asset he’s like I don’t know it’s like you’re using the power of the institution you used to run to spread this nonsense and you got that from John Brennan he got it from James clapper these are all former heads of the intelligence agencies it just makes me think the intelligence agencies need to be wild like her back if these were the heads of them I mean if like the heads of the intelligence agencies are using their platform to proclaim that they have inside information about Trump that turns out to be utter nonsense I’m not sure these people should have that much power to like is that what he’s saying or is he saying he doesn’t know he didn’t say I don’t know he was saying like I have basically I expect that Miller is going to indict as a former intelligence professional I expect that yeah there’s a lot of that it was ugly Adam Schiff it’s crazy now cuz like what do they do now like how do they rebound from this if this is there’s no let you say once this is something you said for two years right you’ve seen the compilation video they’ve done them – rap music so they’re like they put a beat behind it have you seen it now I know there’s some great ones some great companies compilations of people saying possible collusion possible collusion pop yeah yeah and there’s music that goes with it and they just cut to possible collusion with the Russians possible Russian collusion yeah possible Russian collusion it’s yeah they blew it in a major way yeah I mean there’s plenty of shit to complain about you didn’t have to go with that like the idea was that he was a treason target-rich environment he decided to go to he’s a Russian traitor what like it’s no way out or something and it’s Kevin Costner he could have ever beaten Hillary sorry I mean I do a little bit right now like I wanted to ask you one more question what do you think about this Chelsea Manning situation because I don’t know exactly what happened other than she’s in contempt of court and so they’ve got her in solitary confinement now this is about testifying closely I mean my understanding is that Chelsea Manning who okay so here’s where we get cuz you call her Bradley no he changed his name to Chelsea he is a biological male are you dead naming as well unless we were talking about when he committed his crime to which point he was actually Bradley as opposed to trustee right so if we’re talking about so he person was convicted that was a male and then Bradley Manning personally known as Bradley hey if we’re talking about a human being who’s currently in jail that is a male who is currently known as Chelsea so so my understanding is that Bradley is that Chelsea Manning is a refused to hands over information that he was legally bound to hand over about WikiLeaks mm-hmm and now there were complained that he’s being held in solitary but that’s not true apparently and that he’s being mistreated I do find it weird that the same people who are complaining about Donald Trump coordinating with WikiLeaks are very upset about Chelsea Manning going to jail for coordinating with WikiLeaks you’re gonna need to pick one of the others WikiLeaks Bators WikiLeaks not bad yeah what is WikiLeaks it’s only dependent upon whether or not they’re supporting the narrative that you want that’s exactly right and it’s the anti few leaks was very good remember exactly was right and left by the way like their people on the right where’s like Julia saw Julian Assange is the worse and then 2016 happened like Julian Assange now there’s a person I can really talk to it’s like well no I’m pretty sure Julian Assange is a WikiLeaks good information suggest they are Russian front group and take make of that what you will end of story do you think that they became a Russian front group to try to stay operative and stay safe because they were obviously being attacked by the United States government and in danger being shut down and then they’ve no enough about WikiLeaks to really get into it I don’t historical but I know that he’s been trapped in that embassy for since 2012 yeah I mean I hope that he’s got some video games or something in there fuck man he’s been in there for like seven years now right that’s a long time I can’t go outside no sunlight Pamela Anderson visits every now and then he’s fucked man I mean it’s it’s a terrible place to be and I don’t know if it’s better than prison because it’s like the stress of him never knowing when they’re gonna come knock down the door and pull him out of there I was like how well does that guy sleep yeah seven years in that embassy it can’t be great can’t be great gotta be awful they took his internet away right I think they did that’s front to elbow to be fair WikiLeaks was releasing information on specific American soldiers in lines of combat so were they yes they didn’t redact any of the names that was the problem that’s why people were pissed really yes Chelsea Manning was that he dumped all the information to WikiLeaks including the stuff that was unredacted and WikiLeaks just released it if you find differently then let me know because I’ll be happy to correct oh yeah you know I’m sure you would I just don’t know if it that is I don’t know I don’t have the information in front of me do you want to check no I’ll take too much time that’ll do folks you’re gonna have to google this one but so when one of the things that I was thinking when Trump got into office with all this drained that swamp shit I was like wonder if Trump would be a WikiLeaks supporter I wonder if Trump would be happy depends but if it helped him yeah sure or even and Snowden as well about that yeah I mean it’s same sort of thing I mean unfortunately politics very often has little to do with principle and everything to do with convenience yeah so if it’s helpful sure if not god like him who’s always anti deep state and talking about the the these extremely critical yes but once you actually sit in the big seat I think that tends to change remember Obama was – yeah then five minutes later whose drone in people listen I know you gotta get out of here so let’s just wrap this up tell people about your book yes you can check out my book the right side of history talked about a lot of the sort of deeper issues we were talking about judeo-christian values and reason and sort of the it’s it’s a kind of short form philosophical history of the west from Sinai through Greece and talking about all the major enlightenment philosophers some of the things we talked about on the show or in the book it’s number one bestseller on the New York Times nonfiction list at least at the moment really pretty spectacular exciting set your show also Ben Shapiro show you can get the Ben Shapiro show on iTunes you can get it on YouTube your Sunday review which I did once yeah it Sunday’s special special nice to have you on again thank you thanks for being here and your books available on Amazon everywhere Ben Shapiro ladies and gentlemen [Music] [Music]

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