January 24, 2018

"We hate those who are better than us (God, Abel) and want to destroy them, then lie to hide from the consequences."

"'Consult your resentment,' he says. 'It is revelatory. Don’t underestimate malevolence and don’t underestimate the utility of your capacity for malevolence. If you’re weak, you should turn yourself into a monster. It’s a funny thing, that "monster" is better than "nice." But it’s not as good as "not monstrous." And that’s the next thing to achieve. But cowering in your basement resenting everyone is the real pathway to darkness. 'You have to notice when you’re feeling homicidal. Let’s say you go to work and someone bullies you. If you notice, you’re fantasising some pretty nasty stuff. That tells you two things. The first is that you’re not as nice as you think. And the corollary of that is, you’re not as useless as you think.'"

From "Jordan Peterson: ‘The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal’/Life is tragic, says the provocative Jordan Peterson, and we are all capable of turning into monsters. But this hasn’t stopped millions from watching his online lectures. Tim Lott meets him as he publishes 12 Rules for Life" in The Guardian.

39 comments:

Carol said...

I don't follow self-help gurus as rule, but he seems to have a good philosophical and theological background for it. Which is exactly what is needed.

As Quayle mentioned yesterday, there are people who could really benefit from this kind of advice. That definitely includes me.

Henry said...

Resentment is poison.

Henry said...

Florence King made a similar point a long time ago in her essay "The Republic of Nice". Why are so many women going to law school? Because they want to learn how to be mean.

madAsHell said...

"You're not doing anything unless you are pissing someone off."

Trust me, that's not the way to enhance your career path.

Nonapod said...

Jordan Peterson seems to be fast becoming a superstar in certain circles, like Christopher Hitchens used to be.

YoungHegelian said...

..."we are all capable of turning into monsters..."

After what mankind witnessed in the great genocides & democides of the 20th C, The Guardian expresses surprise that a rational person might believe this? Yoooo-hoooo, Guardian, did ya ever read Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem"?

We have lost so much in the West when we became post-Christian. At least the various schools of Christian moral thought (e.g. natural law/right) formed a framework that we could discuss moral issues in, even if at the end some of the disputants decided to step outside that framework. But, now, we live in such a word of philosophical imbecility that the idea that mankind might be innately bent towards evil is treated as simply bizarre.

Fernandistein said...

you should turn yourself into a monster.

I always thought it'd be cool to be a werewolf as long as you could turn it on-and-off as needed.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We hate those who are better than us...

No wonder I love everyone!

CJinPA said...

I'm watching his talk on this right now.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Guys like Peterson and Jonathan Haidt, etc. who gussy up some pretty obvious stuff with the trappings of academia for the middlebrow market leave me to wonder what they do with all the money they're making.

traditionalguy said...

When bored, start a fight. But no eye gouging or biting. That is the LAW, and that means we must pay fighting lawyers trained by Law professors. And all is well in the Valley again.

Kevin said...

But cowering in your basement resenting everyone is the real pathway to darkness.

As seen at Althouse!

Carol said...

I admit one of the reasons I like Peterson is that I had already come to some of his conclusions. E.g., that I want to avoid making bullshit arguments for the sake of impressing or making rhetorical points. Like turnabout, or "the same people who - " when it's not clear it's the same exact people (looking at you, Rush), or calling someone on their said a traitor because they called someone on our side a traitor, etc.

The air is full of bullshit arguments now and am trying to delete mine.

And it's not "obvious stuff" to a lot of people. Just look at Twitter.

traditionalguy said...

Seriously, this guy could be George Patton re-incarnated. Patton noted that men will always fight. Only their weapons evolve. But the key will remain the fighting men's spirit that will still have to outfight their opponents.

Roy Jacobsen said...

But cowering in your basement resenting everyone is the real pathway to darkness.

Of course. Why else did God include "do not covet" in the big 10?

CJinPA said...

"Guys like Peterson and Jonathan Haidt, etc. who gussy up some pretty obvious stuff with the trappings of academia for the middlebrow market leave me to wonder what they do with all the money they're making."

They buy mirrors that, when you look into them, reflect a rainbow above their heads reading, "YOU Are Not Middlebrow." Like the mirror you have!

Birches said...

Nothing written here seems terribly controversial.

robother said...

The pursuit of happiness may be pointless, but the pursuit of what is best in life is always there. Our genetic descendants will be thankful (or not, who cares about those ungrateful shits, we'll be gone).

Bad Lieutenant said...


Henry said...
Florence King made a similar point a long time ago in her essay "The Republic of Nice". Why are so many women going to law school? Because they want to learn how to be mean.

1/24/18, 10:17 AM


Hmm. Why then does a woman become a law professor?
Hmm...

Birches said...

That was a good write up.

Etienne said...

Most colleges today are what high schools were in my day.

There is no higher learning. Kids run around from one crazy liberal idea to the next. Anyone who doesn't fit their social beliefs is the enemy. They see everyone as a taxpayer, not a citizen. A greedy bunch.

None of them have read Plato or Aristotle. They couldn't even philosophize a healthy crap.

The good news is, they pay $40k a year, and business is good. Being a schoolmarm is a financially secure endeavor.

Harrumph!

mockturtle said...

God isn't dead, Mr. Peterson. He is eternal.

Roughcoat said...

A fleet horse beneath me; the open steppe before me; the eternal sky above me; a hawk on my arm. That is best.

Fernandistein said...

"Everyone in the story immediately starts to lie and dodge the blame – ... and the first act of human history is for Cain to murder his own brother... then lie about it"

Someone - Dawkins? - pointed out that psychopaths have starring roles in most of the Bible stories.


Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding


I already sense a conflict.

William said...

Resentment is definitely a form of prejudice and over the ages it has killed more people than racism or xenophobia or bourgeoise privilege.....We now learn that the resentments of the coal miners and the steel workers are deplorable. Fuck the proletariat. Up the undocumented. The left are always trimming their resentments to fit this year's fashions.

sparrow said...

Peterson has a unique perspective, even if some of his conclusions are familiar.

rhhardin said...

May the righteous indignation of God crush out the proud and the unholy.

- Erik Satie

Levi Starks said...

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about commenters on NPR’s Facebook page it’s that their listeners eat, sleep, and drink resentment.
And believe me they’re not malnourished.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, when considering whether or not to fight back in some situation, imagine what you'll wish you had done. The course to take may then be obvious.

mockturtle said...

You have to notice when you’re feeling homicidal. Let’s say you go to work and someone bullies you. If you notice, you’re fantasising some pretty nasty stuff.

Is he projecting? I honestly don't fantasize homicidal stuff.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You have to notice when you’re feeling homicidal. Let’s say you go to work and someone bullies you. If you notice, you’re fantasising some pretty nasty stuff.

Really? If you notice that someone has been bullying you or otherwise treating you badly that is somehow a bad thing? It seems to me that you are aware of your surroundings and the actions of other people. It doesn't mean you fantasize KILLING someone.

Is he projecting? I honestly don't fantasize homicidal stuff.

No kidding. I don't fantasize killing anyone over bullying or shenanigans at work. I DO imagine how I can make the bullying stop and how to get even or better yet.....how to win and make the bully suffer. Economically or emotionally, of course ;-D

Bad Lieutenant said...

Roughcoat said...
A fleet horse beneath me; the open steppe before me; the eternal sky above me; a hawk on my arm. That is best.

1/24/18, 11:09 AM

That sounds nice, Ruffy, but I'm gonna have to get with "lamentation of the women" this go-round. I'm sure your soul is better than mine.

Paul Snively said...

"We are all capable of becoming monsters."

In my mind, exhibit A is David Helfgott's father in "Shine." Geoffrey Rush got the Oscar; Armin Mueller-Stahl should likewise have.

n.n said...

Yes, it's a Choice. Fortunately, people seem more prepared and willing than ever to question the traditional secular orthodoxy.

whitney said...

Jordan Peterson is a very courageous man.

Karen said...

Taking an idea like this out of context is bound to leave your readers with a lack of clarity concerning Peterson’s overall message, but his new book does an excellent job of creating a window into that world while simultaneously entertaining and stretching the mind and the soul. And don’t skip the Foreword. That may be the most important document I’ve read concerning the problems facing our world today.
12 Rules for Life.

JaimeRoberto said...

"Guys like Peterson and Jonathan Haidt, etc. who gussy up some pretty obvious stuff with the trappings of academia for the middlebrow market leave me to wonder what they do with all the money they're making."

Given how the pretty obvious stuff sends certain people into a tizzy, it is apparent that this pretty obvious stuff still needs to be said.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis Wetzel said...

I am not a fan of Peterson but I like his comment from the interview:
"I’m not sure we understand anything about the role of consciousness in space and time. I don’t think the world is the way we think it is. I’m not a materialist. Whatever is going on down there at the subatomic level of matter is so weird that the people who understand it don’t understand it.”
The people who understand it, understand it in terms that do not match our experience of everyday reality.
I've never heard a believable scientific description of the self. It's not enough to say that the self observes and arranges sensory information. It is the thing that experiences the observation and arrangement of sensory information. The self seems like a thing that has no place in the physical universe at all. Regarding Althouse's quote from DFW the other day, about the ability to feel pain being made visible by a preference not to suffer, it's nonsense. I can program a machine to avoid things that damage it. That doesn't mean it feels anything; I am the one who controls whether or not it avoids damage, and I feel no pain when it is damaged.