43 thoughts on “Postmodernism is not identity politics

  1. Jordan Peterson has more conspiracy theories about the Postmodernists than the Marxists have about the neoliberals

  2. Identity politics is actually quite conservative. The conservatives of yesteryear were the ones categorising people into identity groups (sex, race, nation, religion). Now the 'progressives' are doing it. What is unique though to the 'progressives'' approach is they've inserted a machinery of 'victimhood' into it for certain groups.

  3. was jordan peterson hot when he was young? clearly he's not now, but he's got that vibe to him.

  4. Peterson criticises extreme essentialism and extreme constructivism. There are too many scientific findings that show, that there are essentialist factors (eg genetics) and constructivist factors (eg environment and education). I see a lot of constructivism in identity politics too, for example the reasons why some "groups" seem to be oppressed by others. Systemic discrimination is bullshit, there is individual discrimination, but no such thing as group-victimhood like intersectional studies say. Who is succesful and who is not is the outcome of individual decisions and not the outcome of systemic discrimination, that can not be proved.

  5. When people criticize Jordan Peterson, its always….. "his statement isn't even remotely correct"…. but dude, it actually is pretty damn close the the entire truth.

    Its difficult to take criticism serious when it doesn't concede that the people being criticized is at least right about a portion of the topic they discuss. It makes it seem like the people who listen to them are completely disconnected from reality.

  6. Fantastic, subscribed. As a Peterson fan, his politics never sat well with me, seeming flippant and dismissive. I also thought his approach to philosophy was somewhat lazy and shallow, with his discourse mainly being constructed with broad, imprecise statements with no source material. Having met the man he does seem genuine on the psychological and self help side of things but I can’t understand why he’s being so intellectually dishonest when it comes to postmodernism. He could simply be not well read in this area (his ‘debate’ with Zizek would suggest this) or there could be a more vengeful or monetary reason. Anyway, thank you for this video, it cleared up a lot of ambiguity and questions in my own thought. Could you recommend any reading I could undertake to familiarise myself with the concepts presented? Thanks!

  7. I would LOVE for someone to go over Zerathustra's Serpant's take down of SJW philosophy. See he points out that the philosophy that he and folks like Peterson are objecting to is a mismash of various philosophies that only borrow superficially from the parent philosophies that originate from. Post Modernism therefore is used to deconstruct various systems of logic so that the mind is open to the memes (academically speaking) the other philosophies hold.

    An example of this is when you have folks stating that biological sex doesn't exist. This statement is born from post modernist thinking. So to is the idea of infinite genders. Whenever you hear people discussing the idea of deconstructing concepts and re-contextualizing things in an infinite number of ways… THAT is post modernism at work.

  8. I always thought Postmodernism = Fourth-Wall Breaking, ever since I first heard the word used to describe Duck Amuck in this context, so I still think of Daffy vs the animator when I hear it.

  9. The dominant twin defines the category. Thus Peterson and other reactionaries are the progenitors of Identity politics. You might call them radical heterosexualists. They set up the category – but when the weaker twin asserts that identity in order to protect its interests; the dominant Twin claims the Weaker Twin is obsessed with identity.

    It's the dominant Twin that's obsessed with identity; the weaker twin is only responding to categorization.

  10. But humans and other living things have an essence in form of DNA.
    You can with great precision put people in groups on this basis.

    Whereas defining an essence of soup is meaningless and philosophical exercise.

  11. honestly, I think you hit on the correct definition of soup at 5:40. The trick is that desert soup is in fact not "soup".

  12. If postmodernists argue that there are no essential criteria for objects, then what about geometrical objects? A triangle can easily be defined as a figure that has three sides, its angles will always obtain the sum of 180 degrees and etc. So, I am wondering whether postmodernists generally operate with a nuanced definition of essentialism, e.g., that abstract objects (such as geometrical, mathematical or any a priori concepts) have essential characteristics while concrete objects (soup, man/woman, dog and etc.) do not. Or, if it is the case that neither abstract or concrete objects have any essential characteristics whatsoever.

  13. 4:45 – This is so true. Professor Peterson mistakes postmodernism as a essentialist's philosophy, probably because he's an essentialist him self. From his own perspective there's pretty much nothing else but essence. He's in unable to dismantle the source of his criticism due to his own worldview. And that's a serious problem! From an other set of core belief systems, like fundamental axioms…
    … that brings the discussion to a different level.

    Probably waay too abstract to handle in a political debate.

  14. 5:25 The soup u showed is actually called chłodnik not barszcz, barszcz is some other soup wich is also red but i's served hot most of the time.

  15. Foucault is passé here in France. Weird how the anglosaxon world receives him. Identities are complex and dynamic.

  16. Peterson is reacting to people who use idpol tactics derived from a crude understanding of postmodernist ideas (and who almost always self-identify as Marxists). Of course, the right uses these same underhanded tactics. And you're oversimplifying the Right's victimhood argument just because they don't blame capitalism. Her argument is no more nuanced than theirs.

  17. All the good points – But will the 3rd generation feminists, the fascist oligarchy, the new 'right' and the population in general learn their lesson? 🙂

  18. I may be incorrect- any by all means, feel free to correct me- but it seems to me that Postmodernism is a question to an answer nobody asked. Let's go back to your example- that is to say, the example of "what is soup"?

    Well, unmooring oneself from their culture, from their identity, from the unique historical, social, and ethnic lineage one is typically bound to, we can indeed ask such questions about "what is soup" and not arrive at a clear definition- because the thought, the idea of a thing, detached from it's history and connotations, is rendered meaningless by these omissions. It is that very social-historical context of a thing which creates these layers of meaning for what a thing is. And there may be forms of soup that border on being cereal, and vice versa- but this is an artifact of a given idea, a given language, a given culture, and a given people in a given time- perhaps in the future a new word may be created to more clearly define such instances. All this and more is why the layman can and often does scoff at such questions as "what is soup?" An electrician, a plumber, an auto mechanic, could give a fuck less as they know what "soup" is in the context to which it applies to them, and the fact that perhaps some people pretend not to know what "soup" is in a given context is probably amusing to some, and frustrating to those who just want some soup. With neither anchor nor sail- left adrift in a sea of amorphous ideas that are always shifting and dissipating- forms that one may catch, but never grasp.

    As for "Master" and "Slave" morality applied in this specific context, it is clear to me that the goal of "Master morality" is one has only been achieved and achievable by small fractions of incredibly gifted individuals throughout history, and it is unreasonable to expect the vast majority of people to be constantly questioning and recreating these concepts. Human beings are innately tribal- we have evolved, regardless of our origins, in the context of collective action and collective solidarity. What matters is not necessarily what is ideal, but what is pragmatic- what is possible. Chefs, "Masters" in their given field, may indeed radically reinvent "soup" as a concept through their creative impulses- and if it is popular, the idea will catch on, spread, and eventually become a new norm- a new "old conservative concept" to be smashed to bits by a new innovator in that field.

    Deconstruction cannot be an end to itself, and has seldom been such. We destroy old, rotted, condemned houses to rebuild something greater in their place. As such, any person or group who deigns to use Postmodernism will inevitably be required to discard it once the old has been destroyed- what they assert, though novel in it's infancy, will naturally become the new conservative- the new norm- the new thing to be destroyed by a new generation of Postmodernists. In this context, Postmodernism can be seen as a weapon of sorts. And who is armed with this weapon at present? Who or what is the weapon aimed at? Everyone and everything? Or select ideas? Select power structures? Select groups of people? Select countries? Nietzche understood this, and his assessment and answer to the resultant meaningless and nihlism at the end of this deconstruction was underlined and punctuated in perhaps is most famous- and most misunderstood quotation.

    “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

    When an idea or thing is destroyed, we, by our nature, replace it with something else. The void that God left upon his death beckons to be filled- the old replaced with something new. We can analyze and philosophically deconstruct the mechanism and thought process by which this occurs, but that does not matter- for some things appear to be innate to the vast majority of humanity- the concept of a higher power or higher powers in one or another form, the concept of trade in one or another form, of ownership somehow, of governance somehow, of relationships somehow. They can always be changed, but never erased in their entirety, due to their innateness as concepts. Thus, in my opinion, argument over god or trade or morals or sexual identity is fruitless. The focus to any well-meaning individual ought to be- what is the most beneficent expression of these things? Is it better for a given group of people's existence and health to be heteronormative and chaste? Heteronormative and promiscuous? Homosexual and promiscuous? Patriarchal? Matriarchal? Nature affirming? Nature rejecting? Religious? Secular? Would people be better off under a planned economy or under a market economy? Would a country be better off racially homogeneous or ethnically diverse? Are the expressions of these concepts- of these identities and practices- a net benefit or a net cost for those expressing them? Postmodernists seem, to my eyes, uninterested with end of the creation of something new and better- they seem wholly occupied with the methods of deconstruction. The people who use these concepts for their own aims, invariably, seem to point this deconstruction in a given direction, perhaps with the hope that their own preconceptions, their own forms, the kaleidoscope of thoughts and ideas which make up their own identities will not be subject to this very process of deconstruction.

    Which is, of course, folly. A monopoly on any given weapon is seldom maintained for very long. And the results of that re-armament are what you see today culturally, and in particular, within meme culture, though it is sure to take shape in other areas before too long.

  19. On the Internet, "postmodernism" is defined as anything that pisses off classisicalists, with the addendum that this only applies to people who don't have sufficient Humanities education to even realize that they're classicalists.

  20. 3:38 … that's how long until you can start to tell us what post modernism is, to your knowledge… Will I have to wait longer?

  21. 1:56 Why must it be "an identity of our unique selves"? What's the problem with this said "old heterosexual virility"? Which tries to imply that heterosecuality is old and bad, just as is virility? Wtf with shose sentences being vague and tasting putrid intent?

  22. This video was good, but seems to conflate "essentialism" as a catch-all term. It's odd to use a food group as an example to point out the flaws of essentialism in relation to identity politics. These don't necessarily overlap such a way as to be comparable.

    The example itself seems flawed. Soup does have a specific "essentialist" definition to it, which includes having meat or vegetables in the dish. Cereal in milk does not fall into that category, and cereal could be argued to have its own "essentialist" definition.

  23. Peterson more focusing om Jungian archetype identity, according every human born with this archetype instructions in the sense of libido or primordial soup of all exsitance. If people losses this identity figures, hero, mother figure (Hotel Bates Psycho), father figure, wise-man, trickster, child and etc. Sexual identity is taboo everyone afraid to say that environment can have impact to your orientation. So maybe are archetypes of gayness 🙂

  24. While regarding Peterson's critique of marxism/socialism usually the problem resides in that he is motly talking about a form of neo-leftist fashion of virtue signaling in modern western society instead of actual marxim/socialism, and so he should be more precise, that way avoiding to throw around such label so lightly, it is in regards to post-modernism where he really seems to had got it wrong, at the beginning I thought perhaps it wasn't a conflation but rather what he meant could be part of a more complex analysis, then I listened to his classes in which it is quite obvious how he refers to it as and it is indeed a heavily wrong take on the matter.

    However, I could see him present the argument of not only why would he oppose essentialism given his disdain for the obbsesive tribal alliance in idenity politics but how he would also identify the devaluation of pragmatic discriminations as a result of deconstructing categorizations through a focus on the intangible nature of the spectrum, therefore concluding said quiality/repercussion
    (he would consider detrimental to society) also an intrinsic or inevitable ramification- at least to a major extent- of the post-modernist thought and/or it's influence on modern western culture (giving leeway to diching the whole thing out, in addition to considering it may have no other value/appliance).

    But then again, that is not what he has expressed nor has he bothered to made such distinction and he has even attributed erroneous descriptions to certain concepts, erroneous lines of thinking to certain philosphers, delve into interpretations which don't quite fit and made vast generalizations in this specific theme. Hopefully when he talks with Zizek they aboard the subject of his conceptualization of this two nomenclatures and the respective ideas of their proponents, especially the later philosophical stance which even though is not set as part of their debate it is something both care about and have dealt on a fair lenght, that way the air can be cleared.

  25. What might be an example of a postmodern identity or group for, say, gays and/or lesbians? If under postmodern ideology they can't, or shouldn't, rely on their identity as gay and/or lesbian in order to form a group or coalition to gain political representation (to gain the right for gays/lesbians to legally marry, for instance), then what sort of identity, group or coalition should they form that would 1) be in line with the ideals of postmodernism, and 2) be effective to achieve their political goals?

  26. I am still a huge fan of Jordan Peterson, but I always understood he was an authority of clinical psychology, and perhaps literature motifs, not philosophy or ethics. I appreciate you showing me how Peterson is wrong about the philosophical concepts of our time.

  27. Jordan Peterson is often committing the exact same fallacies as those he critiques. Some of his stuff even sound directly like relativism and constitutionalism.
    He's a part of the enemies of the modernity and he's not the right place to find criticism of post-modernist derived nonsense.

  28. Mate I am interested in philosophy but struggle to really understand in enough depth what you're saying and don't remember it well as a result. How would you design a curriculum for self teaching philosophy on a budget of nil? Taking a grad in social science who has watched crash course Phil and a good dose of the school of life's videos looking at philosopher's ideas and bringing them to a level where they can listen to this and grasp all the jargon and have a solid grasp of your arguments

  29. Worst part about Peterson is: he knows he's doing evil. He explains in his videos why not to be what he's become. And why what he's become would find a following. It's…. icky.

  30. What is an example of a novel identity that undermines established ones? Are there any public figures that have applied that train of thought?

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