Jordan Peterson Places His Faith in Man
Jordan Peterson had a conversation with Matt Ridley. Ridley is an author on topics such as economic optimism, trade, the advancements since the Enlightenment, etc. From the discussion, I gather he is fundamentally a Steven Pinker type.
There is, of course, much to agree with in such discussions. One cannot disagree with the idea of material progress over the last centuries, especially in the developed (and ever-increasingly developed) world; much of the rest of the planet has been lifted out of poverty. If all we are after is material goods, end of discussion. Of course, we are made for more than this, something Peterson – at least prior to his illness – seemed to understand quite well.
Toward the end of the conversation, they begin a discussion about energy, the value of energy in lifting people out of poverty – therefore the benefit of producing energy as cheaply as possible. This runs counter to the many green ideas of solar and wind. A very sound discussion and observation.
But then it all goes wrong. Ridley begins:
“You will notice, Jordan, that you and I have slipped into a slightly pessimistic mood, because we find the energy policies of our countries rather stupid.”
He continues, noting that this is on top of the identity politics stuff and anti-Enlightenment mood in society.
“I could make a case that we just might be about to kill the goose that has been laying the golden eggs.”
All of this runs contrary to the work Ridley has apparently done over the last decades. It also is consistent with many of the concerns Peterson had prior to his medical issues and disappearance from the conversation due to these.
Certainly, Peterson was always a fan of the material progress of the Enlightenment. Who couldn’t be? But he also saw that there was a loss of meaning that has come with it (I cannot say if he believed the relationship was causal, just that it seemed clear he saw both things as true). His raison d’être was addressing this meaning crisis. Cheerleading for
Article from LewRockwell