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  • we owe about to join me now is probably the world's most famous intellectual, certainly the most famous intellectual to come out of Canada in the last 20 years on, he will be speaking with me about the role of the university and about his meteoric rise too intellectual on media influence.

  • Dr.

  • Jordan Peterson.

  • Dr Peterson, I'm going to start out on an incidental thing at least is incidental to me and has bothered me since you became known.

  • A zit is now to all of the world.

  • That was in the very early days off the controversy that came to you when the University of Toronto sent you some military letters that I thought I've used this word before insolent that I thought were against the spirit of the university that they weren't supporting you never actually threatening you.

  • Yes, And that's said to me that somebody is beyond a particular controversy.

  • Something deeper is wrong here that universities are.

  • This university is upside down.

  • How did you reason that?

  • How did they get there?

  • That they could be so completely?

  • Uh, I'm aware of your own position.

  • Well, I think a lot of it was was confusion um, and and the lack of experience with this sort of thing.

  • I mean, the University of Toronto is a peaceful place and rather conservative university.

  • All things considered, the administration wasn't prepared to handle ah, controversy of nature that swirled around me.

  • They were used to making minor administrative decisions, and when they were put on the spot and forced to defend their fundamental Presumptions, let's say it isn't clear that they were ready and prepared to do so.

  • Um, partly because of lack of practice.

  • It isn't necessarily the case that you climb in the administrative chain in the university by engaging in continual philosophical reappraisal of the fundamental presuppositions of university as an institution.

  • You know, it's it's a much more administrative job.

  • And so I'm going to say everything I can in favor of the University of Toronto before I say anything contrary.

  • Um, you know, I found to that when I've been put on the spot by journalists and has to defend.

  • But let's say customs that everyone has always accepted like marriage.

  • It's very difficult to generate a a defense for such an institution off the top of your head.

  • Let's say, because part of the whole purpose of customs is that everyone except you don't think it reflects.

  • Well, on the way out of there, there unstated presuppositions.

  • So when you put on the spot, you don't know what to do.

  • When I first got the letter, the first letter and I know how HR departments work, they send you one letter of warning so that it's documented.

  • Then they send you another so that it's documented, and then they send you 1/3.

  • And if you haven't ceased by then while then they go to the next step, which would be something to do with whatever approximation determination, they might be a document.

  • You Yes, yes, And they're documenting all the steps.

  • And I told the person who delivered the letter to me, who is the person I actually got along with quite well, that it was full of errors and it was poorly Renton and that they should take it back and write it properly.

  • I did.

  • I I followed him.

  • No.

  • And because if they were gonna do this, they better do it right there.

  • There was gonna be yeah, trouble.

  • And I didn't mean that I was going to cause trouble unnecessarily, but that there was going to be trouble, but they didn't take it back.

  • So I read it on YouTube.

  • So and then I did the same thing with the second letter.

  • And then I met the dean.

  • And after that, and, you know, we'd agreed.

  • We had quite a congenial discussion, I would say.

  • And we agreed to have a discussion.

  • At least a debate would never was a debate.

  • It was I don't know what they call those now.

  • They can't be debates.

  • They were forums or something.

  • Yeah, not a debate about free speech on campus.

  • That was a three.

  • Yeah.

  • Sorry.

  • I saw that Stoffel.

  • Yeah, it was quite the was, but they didn't do it, which, which was something, you know.

  • And I've also heard that behind the scenes, because I have some friends who some callings who have some access to administrative decisions.

  • And they believe that the University of Toronto, in the aftermath of all this, has actually reconfirmed its internal commitment to free speech.

  • So and you know, I don't know how much of that is true, but I'm willing to give them a certain amount of off benefit of the doubt, but it's important to understand that people can be caught unaware.

  • And the other thing, too, is that they actually did me a bit of a favor because one of the things I claimed in the YouTube video that I made was that what I was doing by making the video was probably illegal.

  • Yes, I remember.

  • Their lawyers basically said that it was probably illegal, and so that also helped establish my born of fightings that say s a reasonable interpreter of the law.

  • And so it wasn't all bad, although it was extraordinarily stressful that demonstrations that followed.

  • How is it that in the university which have evolved sings, Obviously it's the exercise of thought training in mind and therefore the power of expression that comes as a result of those two things that say things were under the banner of reason and an exercise mind.

  • That's what it is.

  • So how come?

  • How comes it that uncertain issues the transgender one is, Well, there's a whole list of the politically correct ones that suddenly I don't know his language being being bent.

  • It's being turned upside down.

  • In some cases, it's also theology ISMs are floating out there every six seconds with new rules on them.

  • A word you never heard yesterday, eyes somehow or other prejudice If you say it today, yes, or even illegal to use very much like the idea of dead naming what, like the very one I was thinking that the world didn't exist two days ago.

  • And now if you dead name someone, which which is the words, it doesn't exist.

  • You're in violation of something Are horrible bigot.

  • When have we let go?

  • To scraps that kept us eater to something like reason or women?

  • We lost our nerve that when people come to you and they say to you things that you know, not from bias are nonsense that they can't simply be dismissed as nonsense with no peril whatsoever.

  • Well, you're you're assuming that we had nerve.

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, well, sorry.

  • Well, I mean, you know, some people have nerve, but one of the things I've learned over the last three years, because really, this all started in October of 2000 16 was that the percentage of people who have nerve is very small and vanishingly small.

  • You know, I've met people, Douglas Murray has nerve.

  • Yeah, that's for sure.

  • Roger Scruton hasn't.

  • Yes, he has.

  • Lindsay Shepherd has nerve.

  • Yes.

  • Yes.

  • Um, there's a handful of people that I've met.

  • Who You can't move, you know, you're one of them.

  • I would say, um, try.

  • Well, succeed, I would say.

  • And I've met a number of journalists, too.

  • You know, I've had my fair share of conflict with journalists, that's for sure.

  • I would say talking to journalists is the most stressful thing I've done apart from talks at University Campuses Journal.

  • That's just a side track that because it's a very good issue journalism.

  • I've been playing at it from the margins for along what journalism is very much corrupted.

  • It is not the media in the middle.

  • It is, in many cases, wittingly or unwittingly partisan.

  • It is part of the game that it says it's covering.

  • Journalist.

  • This is one of the failing institutions society, Muchas universities.

  • Yeah, well, you know, there's there's technological reasons for that.

  • You know, the journalists journalism as such is under unbelievable pressure from the new technologies.

  • YouTube part casts in particular, which of course, have also vastly expanded what constitutes journalism.

  • And so journalists are running scared.

  • It's very difficult for them to to find paying jobs.

  • It's their staffs are shrinking, the newspapers are in trouble, television stations are vanishing.

  • And so there's increasing desperation, I would say as well is decreasing professionalism among those who still practice.

  • And so some of it's the personal failings of the ideologues who happened to be occupying the positions that ideologues occupy.

  • But some of it's a consequence of these transformations and in communication technology that air so vast that they're actually inconceivable.

  • And I think YouTube, both YouTube and podcasts are are great examples of that podcasts even more than you two, because YouTube serves billions of people, which is one walloping network but podcasts or maybe 10 times as popular.

  • So it and thats all underground is interesting.

  • They don't attract as much attention.

  • You know, our is much, much controversy.

  • Um, maybe because they're more siloed in some sense.

  • But the journalists are fighting a losing game, and and I think as you fight a losing game, I've seen this happen with corporations.

  • You lose your best people first, and then the death spiral begins, and I think we're seeing exactly that And then that's exaggerated by this proclivity to polarization that also might be part and parcel of the technological changes.

  • Okay, let me sweep back to that Other were nerve.

  • I know, because I follow you how deep your respect and attention to Alexander Solzhenitsyn is.

  • If you have a hero, obviously, is it now in the Soviet Union?

  • If so, soldier that tonight's a small note or something, he gets tossed off until a bullet, like for nine years or more.

  • Uh, the man looks the wrong way in China, taking some damn camp in career.

  • We won't even go into it in those countries.

  • If you want to say something, even if it's not fairly innocuous, you really have to have courage.

  • Soldier.

  • Nixon should be gone.

  • Stalin, He had to steal over here when?

  • Okay, we have, ah, trans activist group left and in the thing on, and you almost almost innate.

  • We know that this is absurd and you say, Well, I don't think I'm going to say that's absurd.

  • What are we afraid of?

  • We fight fight wars and say we gave all our soldiers that we would preserve democracy and freedom of speech.

  • There is no, there's no loss if you decide to challenge in terms of any contrast with the totalitarian systems.

  • Where if you said something you really did pay a price am worst thing, it new over here, lose job.

  • Well, you could be hold in front of quasi judicial.

  • I know that Tribune's as well, and then there's certainly willing to do that.

  • I think the human rights tribunals should it might have been and they should be obliterated.

  • Travesty.

  • There, there, there.

  • Yes, we're setting up these quasi judicial inquisitions in all sorts of an ideologically constituted, because I read the biographies of some of the people who are appointed to Yeah, and normal could be a judge in their own calls.

  • In this context, it is to cause people judging the causes.

  • Yeah, precisely.

  • But I I don't know what's happening in British Columbia with this case is what's What's the person's name Jessica or Jonathan?

  • I prefer Jonathan.

  • I think with Jonathan, I think they will haul us in front of the human race.

  • Will go to hit.

  • We will rule together everything that would be too much to bear.

  • But no, he's He's got 16 people the portion of them are immigrant women.

  • Yeah, hey, is insisting that they wax is being a sin testicles.

  • He's got here on the first incident of a worry, and he's got 16 of them under charge.

  • And I asked the question, Uh, if 16 people are of this mind and one person's of this, who is the?

  • Which is the more likely to be off?

  • Yeah, well, it seems it seems irrelevant.

  • And I mean, it's a consequence.

  • You know, one of the things I pointed out with Bill See 16 was that had contained multiple internal contradictions, especially in the background policies which I had ready quite a bit of detail.

  • They were formulated in Ontario, although the federal government removed the link on their website to those policies after I pointed out the fact that that link existed, which I thought was unbelievably underhanded and still believe so.

  • But Carl Young once said that internal contradictions are played out in the world as fate, you know, is that the thing about propositions, if they're accurate, is that they represent real states of being in the world.

  • And if you entertain a set of propositions that are internally contradictory.

  • Then you're going to run yourself into all sorts of sharp objects and and dead ends.

  • And that's exactly what's happening and every time.

  • And I thought this really for three years, every time you think that there's no possible way that this could get more absurd than one more example comes up where it's more absurd.

  • And I would say the situation in B.

  • C is precisely that.

  • I mean, one of the women that he's persecuting because I think he and this terrible bureaucracy is persecuting was on immigrant woman.

  • I believe she was Muslim who had a on aesthetics business in her own home, and as a consequence of the negative publicity for the publicity and the pressure, she shut down her business.

  • Just God only knows what that means for her family and well and for her.

  • And then you were asking about courage earlier.

  • You know, um, one of the things that I have watched quite frequently is the way that people respond to being mobbed on Twitter.

  • Yeah, now I've almost stopped looking at Twitter.

  • It's been about three months that I've taken a Twitter hiatus.

  • Let's say I still post, I don't even have my password anymore.

  • I send what I want opposed to 1/3 party and they posted because it keeps me out of the an antiseptic distance.

  • That's right exactly, and that's exactly the right way of thinking about it.

  • You know, people, civilized people, and I mean that in a civilized, socialized people cannot tolerate being mobbed because it again, because there's a reason for that.

  • You see you, you said, with regards to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, you know, if there's 16 people on one side and one on the other, you might be thinking that the 16 people are right, right, right.

  • But then you think, Think of the situation where you've said something on Twitter and 6000 people mob you publicly.

  • I mean, your first response, if you're your first response, is going to be to examine your own conscience and see how you transgressed.

  • It's not really much different psychologically.

  • I mean, it's lesser, I suppose, but it's not bad, much different then, waking up one morning and coming to your door and finding a mob of your neighbors angrily educated on your lawn.

  • You know, it's a terrible shock for people, and it really hurts them.

  • You know, they're often they're often by all accounts, you know, damaged for lengthy periods of time.

  • By this and their first, their first impulse is to apologize, which is which is truly the wrong thing.

  • Like the right thing to do is stand well.

  • The right thing to do is to is to is to understand that if you haven't done anything wrong, you you don't apologize.

  • Now that's a very difficult, very difficult and then to wait.

  • Because if you wait two weeks, people will come to your defense what it takes the people who will come to your defense two weeks to get their act together, where it takes the activists who are unbelievably organized 15 seconds to mob you.

  • Well, there's two points to draw out of there.

  • First of all, because you have now been almost fire hosed into the world of celebrity multimedia, vast detention.

  • I've dabbled in a lesser zone for a long one.

  • So you adjust to the kind of swirl.

  • Okay, But what I've never forgotten that I'm serious is that people who are not in it at all My father or a mechanic down the road or the doctor over here does that pretty class if you haven't had media and if you haven't adjusted to it and some of your name and I'm just backing up your point, your name suddenly becomes the center of some great footers.

  • Snowstorm in majority of terms.

  • And people are speaking of you with the most vulgar responses.

  • It is a terror.

  • It isn't three dismiss it.

  • But people who have not experienced it is really, really, really something that it's unbearable pain.

  • Yes, and they bring it down with club force and the great great megaphones of national networks in the States, et cetera.

  • You can expunge a person's personality with this kind of brutality.

  • Yes, well, and it's permanent, right, because the record never disappears.

  • I put a personal question to you.

  • Now when you guys I know you had been unusual view.

  • You knew the media in that sense, but you weren't a media person in your baptism.

  • Harsh is it was how hard was it in the first couple of weeks for you to find balance in scale?

  • Maybe clinical psychologists and you're obviously mature?

  • Oh, I don't think I've ever found balancing and scale join my club.

  • I don't believe it.

  • I mean, I I know.

  • I mean, in the that great throbbing moment when all this stuff came in and he's hates this one, and your name is flashed all over the world.

  • That was the first real magnitude of media attack on Yeah, So even for you, how was how was that period?

  • Well, it was dreadful.

  • I mean, especially the first couple of months, because, well, because of the attention was, well, it has been since then.

  • But the attention was unbelievably intense.

  • I mean, I had There were days upon days where there were reporters lined up coming into the house, one after the other, and that's that really hasn't stopped.

  • It stopped.

  • Let's say in the last two months since since the end of March, however long ago without it's because I've shut myself off because of my I have some family health trouble.

  • That's very serious.

  • But, um, I don't think I've ever adjusted to it.

  • What's made it bearable, I would say, and some of it's being very good, you know?

  • I mean, it's taken my life, which was fairly broad.

  • I had a fairly broad range of experiences partly because I'm a clinical psychologist.

  • You know what's taken it from good and bad, too great and unbearable.

  • And I yo yo, between those states, um, what's helped is, Well, the first thing is is that, you know, I determined right from the beginning that I was going to say carefully what I believe to be true because there wasn't a safer route than that.

  • It's interesting, you know, that in the final analysis, it wasn't certain that