An open letter to liberal supporters of Jordan Peterson

TaraElla
TaraElla
Apr 24, 2018 · 8 min read
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On what liberalism is

Liberalism holds the promise of liberty, equality and fraternity for all, and if it cannot live up to this promise, it will be discredited, and lose support.

Dr. Peterson self-identifies as a classical liberal, and according to the principle that we always respect individuals’ sincere self identification, we accept that. Furthermore, his dedication to free speech and ardent opposition to top-down social engineering is very admirable, and his robust individualism is something most liberals would share. However, there are certain ideas, fairly or unfairly associated with the man, that seems to be against the spirit of liberalism, and could potentially misrepresent the liberal brand. This is serious, because misrepresenting the liberal brand would only help the so-called “Marxism” that Peterson himself so vocally opposes. More on that later.

On radical identity politics

Truth to be told, I think that radical identity politics couldn’t have grown to its current extent without the likes of Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulos and perhaps Jordan Peterson himself.

As liberals, many of us are increasingly concerned about the rise of far-left influences that have attempted to clamp down on freedom of speech and conscience. It is therefore unsurprising that the voice of Jordan Peterson, a self-identified classical liberal, has been welcomed in many quarters of society at this time, including among liberals. Peterson has been able to provide a diagnosis as to what is going wrong, while many people continue to scratch their heads, uncomfortable with the new political climate but not quite able to pinpoint the reasons for it. In my opinion, this diagnosis is both substantially correct, but also substantially flawed.

On the liberal way forward

As liberals, our historical achievements in social reform include the equality of political rights regardless or race or gender, the end of slavery and segregation, the end of colonialism and the establishment of a system of international diplomacy, and yes, marriage equality.

The best alternative to radical identity politics is liberalism, with its message of liberty and equal opportunity for all, and treating each individual as independent and equally important rather than as members of a class or group. In a society where the great ideals of liberalism are commonly accepted, there simply will be no place for group-struggle-based divisive identity politics, and the authoritarian control of thought and speech that inevitably comes with it. However, I must stress again that for liberalism to have widespread support, it must be seen as truly serving everyone, and living up to its promises. It must also be seen as a more moral ideology than its rivals.

The Hit Job

humor | culture | football | trouble

TaraElla

Written by

TaraElla

TaraElla is a singer-songwriter and author, passionate about free speech, liberty and equality. https://www.taraella.com

The Hit Job

humor | culture | football | trouble

TaraElla

Written by

TaraElla

TaraElla is a singer-songwriter and author, passionate about free speech, liberty and equality. https://www.taraella.com

The Hit Job

humor | culture | football | trouble

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