Understanding PostModernism

Jordan Peterson exposes the stuff coming out of our universities for over 40 years as antithetical to classical liberalism


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Peterson, a Canadian professor from Toronto, steps up to the plate and hits one over the wall in a manner inspiring not just for the Blue Jays dugout, or Canadians citizens in general, but for the western world as a whole. If you are unable to open the link, my notes from the video are offered below.

We are up against PostModernism more than we understand. It dominates the humanities and social sciences in the universities.

Most people don’t even understand more than 5% of the philosophical doctrine of PostModernism. But put 20 of them in a room and the thing takes over.

PostModernists reject the structure of Western Culture completely. For example Jaques Derrida sees western culture as phallogocentric. According to him what we have in western culture is the consequence of a male dominated, oppressive, self-serving society.

Well, societies tend to act in a self-serving way and males have been predominantly in positions of leadership and power… But a tendency is not an absolute. There are no shortage of flaws in the manner in which we structure our society. [The project for its improvement should be an ongoing task.] Compared to any utopia we live in a dismal wreck. But compared to the rest of the world, or the plight of other societies throughout the history of mankind, we are doing well and we should be happy to be living in the society we are living in.

PostModernism doesn’t exhibit a shred of gratitude. And there is something pathological about not having any gratitude, especially when we live in the best of most possible worlds. If you are not grateful you are driven by resentment. Resentment, arrogance and deceit—there is the evil triad.

There is relative poverty and relative poverty matters. But there is also absolute wealth and that matters too. We are bathed in it. Western societies have been remarkable for their ability to generate and distribute wealth. Just look around you and see what absolute miracle even a building [or a city] represents.

So we have to be alert to what PostModernists believe. They do not believe in the individual. That’s the ‘logos’ part. Logos is the Christian ‘Word’ but it also the root word of ‘logic’. PostModernists don’t believe in logic, in rational argument. They see logic as the way that patriarchal institutions dominate and continue to justify their dominance. They don’t believe in dialogue—the root word is ‘logos’ again. PostModernists don’t believe that people of good will can come to consensus through the exchange of ideas.

They believe that notion is part of the substructure of the dominant culture. So they shout and try to drown out people who speak on campuses because they don’t believe in allowing people to speak. They believe that since you don’t have an individual identity, then your fundamental identity is group fostered. Thus, each person is merely an exemplar of their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, etc. However you can be classified, you are labelled and placed a position of ‘victim against oppressor’.

Its an old Marxist game. A philosophy that failed in Russia, [in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America] and every bloody country that dared make the Marxist dogma part of their fundamental structure. Nothing but murderousness and oppression resulted. By the 1970s it was evident that Communism was at a dead end. So, intellectual marxists pulled a sleight of hand turning the class struggle of the  “rich against the poor” into the identity politics of “the oppressed against the oppressor”.

The PostModernist landscape is a Hobbesian battleground of identity groups. They do not communicate with one another because they can’t. It is all just a struggle for power. If you are in the predator group, then neither you nor your ideas are welcome. They just shut you out.

You don’t apologize to these people. They read apology as an admission of guilt. Students should take over your student unions because they’ve become snake pits since the 1990s. The scholarship is terrible. 80% of Humanities papers aren’t cited once: not once! They write papers for the libraries; no one reads them; but the printers print them because the libraries have to buy them—with our tax money!

All of us are funding a Postmodern radical neo-marxist agenda that has its roots in the universities. Look at Women’s Studies, the ethnic studies groups, anthropology, sociology, social work and—most of all—education. They don’t do the research they purport to do. All they are interested in is indoctrination of the children as young as they can get them.

Our society needs to figure out how to stop shunting money to radical left wing activists. Classic liberals need to wake up to this.

We need to safeguard freedom of speech and responsibility, not just rights. Young people are starving to be given a sense of responsibility. You can find meaning in life with freedom. But freedom can be chaotic. It can make people troublesome not happy. It becomes a good thing when you learn how to shoulder the responsibility that comes with freedom.

Responsibility gives life meaning in the face of suffering.

We are heirs to a great tradition. Our society isn’t perfect—obviously. But comparatively there is nothing else like it that has been produced. All around we seem to be threatened by murderous psychopathic thugs. Young people need to find out what is at the great core of our beacon of freedom. The paramount of the individual and the responsibility that comes with freedom of speech—that is what our culture is predicated on.


In April of 2017 Peterson was shouted down at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada during a speaking engagement. The occasion turned into a watershed event focusing his thinking around issues of securing the rights of free speech.

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