Jordan Peterson and White Pride
John Press, American Renaissance, May 18, 2018
Jordan Peterson is a Canadian academic who shot to fame because he took a stand against newfangled “gender” pronouns. He is now a YouTube star, and his book, 12 Rules for Life, is a best seller. Like others recently profiled in a comically apprehensive article about the “intellectual dark web” in the New York Times, Dr. Peterson has made a name for himself simply by making common-sense observations of the kind that have become taboo. He does a great deal of good, hacking away at egalitarian foolishness, and his audience is very much the sort of people who have the potential to become race realists.
However, Dr. Peterson has explicitly denounced white consciousness. At a recent talk at Lafayette College, a member of the audience asked what he thought about taking pride in European ethnic identity. He replied, in part, “The West has got some things right, we got the sovereignty of the individual right,” and he noted that this has resulted in worldwide wealth. But, he continued, “Am I proud of that? It’s like, I didn’t do that. What the hell? Pride! What’s that? That’s not the right response.” [i]
“Pride! What’s that?” It is odd that Dr. Peterson should ask. In the first chapter of 12 Rules For Life, he explains that pride helps lobsters and birds guard their territory and determines which survive disease and reproduce. [ii] He also notes that self-respect helps people resist oppression. [iii] Therefore, according to his own logic, European pride is vital to the West’s survival.
In his lecture, Dr. Peterson said that Western civilization is a “new miracle on the world stage,” and that European cities are “unbelievable masterpieces.” He then talked about global tourists visiting these cities, implying that the cities belong to everyone, just as Western civilization does.
Dr. Peterson cautioned, however, that we have no right to take pride in European cities just because you “happen to have the same skin color as some of the people,” who built them. Of course, race is not just a matter of skin color. [iv] Dr. Peterson even briefly acknowledged group differences in IQ — but said he is “hesitant” about discussing implications and then ignored them. [v] Needless to say, they have enormous consequences, and low-IQ groups could not possibly have built our civilization. East Asians are the only other race with a high enough average IQ to build something approaching Western civilization, but racial differences go beyond IQ. Asians appear to be more sensitive to criticism in a way that reinforces conformity, [vi] which may explain why they are underrepresented in scientific innovation. [vii] These differences predict a Martin Luther as opposed to a Confucius. Asians may be predisposed to hierarchy [viii] and to see wholes while whites see details. [ix] It is unlikely that East Asians, would have developed the individual rights that Dr. Peterson sees as a world miracle.
Dr. Peterson continued: “It’s not even so clear to what extent [Western civilization is] European. I mean, it came out of the Middle East, you know?” Even if this absurd statement were true and something essential to our civilization came out of the Middle East, Europeans built our civilization, not Middle-Easterners. If Dr. Peterson was talking about Christianity, it has been Europe’s religion for more than 1,000 years and has received a thick overlay that is distinctly Western. Moreover, as Dr. Peterson noted, Islam — a truly Middle Eastern religion — may not be compatible with Western civilization. [x]
Dr. Peterson concluded on a smug note: “There we go, dispensed with the radical right wingers in four minutes,” adding that any racial argument is “so muddleheaded that you hardly know where to start.” Instead, it is his confusion about the nature of race, Middle Eastern and European culture, and his insistence that pride must be strictly individual that are muddled.
The European genome, with its effects on IQ and temperament, was necessary for the creation of our culture. As Sam Francis explained in a 1994 speech, “The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.” So, in a real sense, there is a ‘we’ that created it, and there is a difference between simply being proud to be white and being proud of the civilization whites created.
Rather than take pride in Western civilization, Dr. Peterson says we have to “get our act together” and take “responsibility” for it. In his book, he says pride and caring for oneself are first steps toward improving oneself. To discount pride in our race and heritage undermines any attempt to redeem the West.
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[i] Lecture and Q & A with Jordan Peterson (The Mill Series at Lafayette College) March 29th, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V32WHDuy-Do&t=9053s (1:25)
[ii] Peterson, Jordan, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” (Toronto: Random House Canada, 2018), 1 – 4.
[iii] Ibid. 25.
[iv] Wicherts, Jelte, M., Dolan, Conor, V., Van Der Maas, Han L.J., A Systematic Literature Review of the Average IQ of Sub-Saharan Africans, Intelligence, 38 (2010) 1 – 20. https://www.iapsych.com/iqmr/fe/LinkedDocuments/wicherts2010b.pdf
[v] Lecture and Q & A with Jordan Peterson (The Mill Series at Lafayette College) March 29th, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V32WHDuy-Do&t=9053s (1:06:10)
[vi] Lidaka, Tetsuya, and Harada, Tokiko, “Cultural Values Modulate Emotional Processing in Human Amygdala,’ in The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), Eds., Chiao, Joan, Y., Li, Shu-Chen, Seligman, Rebecca, and Turner, Robert, 117.
[vii] Intellectual Conformity: East vs. West, Black Pigeon Speaks, May 6th, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et-pIHUUai0
[viii] Nomura, Michio, ‘Genes, Brains and Culture thorugh a 5-HTT Lens,’ in The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), Eds., Chiao, Joan, Y., Li, Shu-Chen, Seligman, Rebecca, and Turner, Robert, 122.
[ix] Goh, J. O., and Park, D. C. ‘Culture Sculpts the Perceptual Brain,’ in Cultural Neuroscience: Cultural Influences on Brain Function, (New York: Elsevier, 2009), Ed, Chiao, Joan, Y. 95.
[x] Lecture and Q & A with Jordan Peterson (The Mill Series at Lafayette College) March 29th, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V32WHDuy-Do&t=9053s (1:22:50)