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Jordan Peterson and Carl Jung’s Worldviews Have Been Greatly Oversimplified – Merion West

Posted: April 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm


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With respect to McManus and Hamilton, who have admittedly produced a very interesting article, there are characterizations and theoretical points within their article that I feel need to be addressed.

Introduction

As a practicing psychotherapist investigating political expressions of psychoanalytic thought, I was very interested to read Matt McManus and Conrad Hamiltons recent critique of Jungian and Lacanian perspectives. I was also intrigued by McManus and Hamiltons choice to assign, respectively, these thinkers to the Right and Left of the political spectrum. They did this, in large part, through their interpretations of how Jordan Peterson and Slavoj iek have, in turn, drawn from each psychoanalysts work. With respect to McManus and Hamilton, who have admittedly produced a very interesting article, there are characterizations and theoretical points within their article that I feel need to be addressed. In particular, it is necessary to demonstrate more accurately the complexity of the perspectives held up as representatives (I believe inaccurately) of Left-situated or Right-situated expressions of psychoanalysis.

Although clear divisions of Lacanian thought into the Left and Jungian thought into the Right might make for an engagingyet choppy articlethere are a number of similarities between the two perspectives. There are also complexities internal to these perspectives that have to be eclipsed for this interpretation to hold. Especially noticeable in reading their article were the failure to acknowledge the left-wing Jungian streams of theoretical development (that have largely been ignored since Jungs death), the equation of Petersons focus on order from chaos with the aim of Jungian analysis in general, and the erasure of theoretical similarities between Lacan and Jungs perspectives. Also, I believe there were some inaccuracies regarding admittedly difficult aspects of Lacanian theory (the misrepresentation of the early infants relationship to the mirror stage, for example), as well as a degree of irony when the two authors (themselves influenced by Marxism) invoke charges about lacking evidence or unfalsifiabilitywhen it comes to those with whom they disagree. However, I will sideline these later concerns in favor of primarily addressing the implicit characterization of Jungian thought as being inherently conservative or right-wing in analytic approach.

To a degree, I believe that the authors are aware and acknowledge partially the complexities of Jungian thought, and this causes some discomfort with the original premise of their piece. McManus and Hamilton take pains to differentiate and separate the decidedly un-progressive personal figure of Jacques Lacan (Freud was not a progressive) from the interpretations of Lacans interlocutors. These interlocutors were often the resolutely fashionable left-wing figures, who haunt the bookshelves and syllabuses of continental philosophy departments. These names include Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and, of course, the focal figure of their article: Slavoj iek. This highlighting of the development of Lacanian theory through its academic interpreters allows it to be positioned on the Left, within the topology of McManus and Hamiltons article.

It is strange, therefore, that the Jungian analogue to psychoanalysis (analytic psychology) does not receive the same treatment. Instead, when it comes to the supposedly right-wing orientation of Jungian analytical psychology, we are presented with a paucity of examples. We are offered Jungs alleged racism, his spurious personal actions during the Second World War, and his influence on Jordan Peterson as proof for their characterization of Jung as right-wing. It is important to note here that Peterson, while a renowned clinical psychologist, was not a trained Jungian analyst. iek, on the other hand, is a trained (albeit not practicing) Lacanian analyst. As such, to use Peterson and iek as examples of their relative schools is already perhaps to overstate the point. McManus and Hamiltons somewhat impoverished overview of Jungian thought may also be partly due to the acknowledged unpopularity of Jung within the academy. The authors are academics, rather than clinicians; so their seeming lack of familiarity with the outgrowths of Jungian theory can perhaps be forgiven. Who (outside the murky world of clinical psychoanalysis and psychotherapy) could be expected to know the permutations and arcane growths of post-Jungian theory? Instead, as they did in their piece, it might be easier to focus on the twin poisons of mysticism and racism, when it comes to Jung.

McManus and Hamilton reduce Jungian thought to the twin streams of the problematic proclamations of its founder and the fiery exhortations against progressivism leveled by its most easy listening popular exponent, Jordan Peterson. Yet, there are many broadly progressive and left-wing developments that have emerged from (and been influenced by) the Jungian field. Indeed, McManus and Hamilton mention the Anti-Oedipal work of Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari as being desirably progressive critics of Lacan. However, McManus and Hamilton fail to mention the tribute that these two thinkers pay to Jung in their 1980 book A Thousand Plateaus. Within A Thousand Plateaus work, Jungian archetypal theory is, indeed, referenced. Although described as insufficiently deterritorializing, Jungs approach is seen by Deleuze and Guattari as being closer to the mark than the single all-encompassing Oedipal model employed by Freud. This refers to the Oedipal framework which, of course, Lacan based his entire theoretical edifice around in his return to Freud.

This Deleuzian connection runs deeper than this single mention in the Capitalism and Schizophrenia series. Deleuze further references Jungs work inhis 1968 book Difference and Repetition, and Deleuzian ideas expressed within this book are reflected theoretically in the work of the former Jungian (and creator of Archetypal Psychology) James Hillman. Hillman was originally a Jungian analyst, who guided studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich. His workwithin books such as Re-Visioning Psychologyreflects a pluralist, deconstructionist, and anti-authoritarian turn within Jungian thought. There are also influences from the Sufi mysticism of Henry Corbin. Years before Jordan Peterson arrived on the scene, Hillman had already anticipated and argued against popular conservative interpretation of Jung. He did this by critiquing the over-emphasis on the monotheistic (slaying-the-dragon-of-chaos) Hero archetype, as well as the individualist ego later associated with it.

Hillman felt the over-identification with this archetype was inherent to Western cultures excesses. And his own pluralist re-imagining of Jungian theory sought to mitigate this through emphasis on difference. He also railed preemptively against Petersonian reductions of archetypal imagery to evolutionary psychology and biological processes. Again, Hillman saw these as attempts to slay the power of the images of the unconscious, stultifying them by turning them into abstract scientific concepts. Furthermore, Hillman questioned the individualist basis of therapy, advocating for changes in the political and social world. As such, he anticipated many left-wing critiques of this individualism inherent in the profession, such as those articulated in Anti-Oedipus. As perhaps the most popular post-Jungian psychologist in the United States (apart from Peterson), it can hardly be said that Hillman was right-wing or conservative.

Further examples of radical attitudes latent within the Jungian model of analysis are plentiful. For example, the interpretation of psychosis as a breakdown-to-breakthrough, a spontaneous reorganization of the conscious self by the unconscious, also reflects and anticipates the anti-Oedipal promotion of deterritorialization, within the work of Deleuze and Guattari. The importance of Jungs personal deterritorialization and psychotic breakdown to the creation of his system are most clearly illustrated via the posthumous release of the almost Lovecraftian esoteric tome called The Red Book.The Red Book features an articulation of the content of Jungs breakdown, complete with psychedelic artwork and a hallucinogenic narrative of underworld figures. Jungian scholars such as Sonu Shamdasani and Hillman have held this as being far more foundational to the creation of his school than the influence of Freud, and the entire book can be held up as an instance of deterritorialization, par excellence. These elements do not a conservative form of psychoanalysis make. Far from the imposition of a right-wing orderor, slaying of chaosthis is a descent into the abyss of the underworld and a reforging of self and identity through deterritorialization and radical difference, in the vein of Zarathustra.

To fail to present these elements of Jungian thought and characterize it as merely a vessel of Petersonian order is to exclude its essential origin myth. With the above points in mind, it becomes difficult to maintain the view of Jungian analysis as a right-wing perspective. Although the authors of the original article do pay some heed to the contradictions between Jung and Petersons interpretations, by excluding the other half of Jung (the many ways in which Jungian theory emerges from more of a Deleuzoguattarian upsurge of radical difference and otherness), a false image of theoretical conservatism is more sustainable. It is not my intention to hold up Jung as a progressive icon in opposition to McManus and Hamiltons articleor to present him as a hidden leftist. Rather, I seek to highlight the ambiguities within his work and the more progressive tendencies of those of his followers who are not named Jordan Petersonand who have had far more legitimate clinical (though perhaps less popular) impact.

Race, Antisemitism, and Jung

Jungs behavior during the Second World War is also put forward by McManus and Hamilton as to why Jungian analytic psychology should been regarded as an inherently right-wing articulation of psychoanalysis. While it is true that Jung performed ambiguous (often unacceptably complicit) actions in regard to Nazismand made statements that even for the time and context would have been considered Antisemitic (See Stephen Froshs work on the subject)he also worked in order to help Jewish colleagues escape from Nazi Germany. Jung also explicitly criticized the Nazi regime, once the explicit barbarity of it became more apparent. This, of course, does not excuse his earlier actions or his Antisemitism. However, again, we are presented with an ambiguity that has led to intense levels of soul-searching, within the Jungian analytic profession. Theoretically, as Hamilton and McManus point out, this profession has a vested interest in exploring and articulating the shadow not only of the individual client but also of the personality of Jung himselfand of Jungian institutions.

Jungs Antisemitism especially has been laid bare not only by Frosh but by the well-respected Jungian Analyst Andrew Samuels. Samuels, as one of the most prominent and high-profile Jungian thinkers, again shows the political ambiguity in Jungian thought. Samuels actually is far more deserving of the title of representative of this school of analysis than is Peterson. Samuels, for instance, has been the chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. He was also an advisor for the British Labour government and one of the first professors of Jungian Analytic psychology in the world. Samuels has also long been the pre-eminent voice in political psychotherapy of any denomination: promoting a very strongly pluralist, left-wing, and progressively-orientated approach to integrating these two fields. His identity as a Jungian is not in contradiction to his political identity as a leftist. Jung and Jungian thought hold a level of ambiguity that McManus and Hamilton miss, either owing to their ignorance of its existence or as a result of misconstruing Jungs complicated background for the convenience of creating a simple binary: Left or Right.

It is Jungs initialoften deeply flawed or problematicpersonal explorations around questions of plurality, difference, and race that allowed for post-Jungian theory to develop reflexivity around these questions, which Hillman and Samuels demonstrate. This evolution is even reflected in the tribute to Jungs theory that decolonial pioneer Frantz Fanon makes in his 1952 book Black Skin, White Masks. This is the book where Fanon attributes his own theories around introjected racial consciousness as being inspired by those made by Jung. Although Fanon was a Lacanian by training (and emphasizes the constructed rather than inherent basis to archetypes in his appropriation of archetypal theory), still Fanon acknowledges that his work owes some debt to Jungs original psychoanalytic exploration of racial consciousness. Again, my point here is not to excuse Jungs racism by reference to Fanon. Rather, I aim to illustrate that even around the issues of race, Jung (and also his legacy in terms of post-Jungian analytical psychology) is far more complex than McManus and Hamilton imply.

Peterson as Senex Possessed

Although McManus and Hamilton do mention in passing that Petersons work is an idiosyncratic rendition of Jung, it is perhaps not emphasized enough how Petersons over-emphasis on the aspects of order, the individual ego, and the heroic slaying of chaos moves away from anything resembling the aim of Jungian clinical work. What these aspects of Peterson perhaps would indicate to a Jungian analyst is a personality under possession of what is called a Senex archetype: This archetype is the Grey old man, the representative of established order. It is reminiscent of the image of Saturn devouring his children. While standing for repression, stasis and, conservatism, he rails against the attempts of the young to gain power and overthrow order. The Senex is often seen as being within an archetypal complex, in which it is positioned in conflict with the archetype of the Puer (the eternal youth). We can see Peterson falling into this complex through his position as the substitute dad of estranged Western masculinity. He follows this with father-like exhortations to clean ones bedroom. Then, there is the mutual hatred between Peterson and the infantilized Puers of the social justice movement. Petersons theoretical reduction of the images of the unconscious psyche to biological and evolutionary explanations would also be likely seen by many Jungian thinkers as an example of a Senex possession. This results in an attempt to make concrete the fluid material of the unconscious. In this way, individuation and differentiation can take place and, therefore, fossilize the unconscious: ossify it in a form that is more socially and academically acceptable to explainor, as Deleuze would have, Oedipalize it.

Possession of the personality through an archetypal complex such as this is far from the aim of individuation in the Jungian sense. With more integral interpretations of Jung as seen in the works of Hillman, Samuels, or even from Jung himself (within The Red Book), individuation is, instead, articulated as being the differentiation of self via bringing forth radical difference from the unconscious. In holding Peterson as an exemplar of Jungian thought, a caricature of analytical psychology as conservative can be promoted. However, this cannot be sustained if any sort of faithful account of Jungian theory is provided.

It might be said that in trying to cleanly divide Jung and Lacan into Right and Left political positions, it is almost a replication of the Senex-Puer complex that I identified Petersons work as suffering from. Admittedly, there is perhaps some attraction in framing the perspectives of complex, ambiguous thinkers in this way. It allows one to frame ones preferred perspective as either that of a righteous rebel or, alternatively, a defender of order. The truth is thatmuch like Lacanunderneath the unipolar portrayal of Jung by McManus and Hamilton, an ambiguous figure lurks. There is a figure who is sometimes conservative but sometimes radically other. There is a figure who emphasizes individuation and differentiationbut also the influence of collective archetypes. There is a figure who saves his Jewish colleagues but promotes theories of Aryan supremacy. Jung is a profoundly complex figure. As such, there must be a reckoning with himin all of his ambiguitythroughout the academy before his form of psychoanalysis can be labelled right-wing.

Nick Opyrchal is a psychotherapist in private practice. For his M.A., he researched the intersection between Lacanian and transpersonal perspectives in psychotherapy. His current doctoral work investigates the intersection of identity politics and the transpersonal within psychotherapy.

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Jordan Peterson and Carl Jung's Worldviews Have Been Greatly Oversimplified - Merion West

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Dave Rubin Talks To Shapiro About Learning From Jordan Peterson On Tour – The Daily Wire

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On this weeks episode of The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special, The Daily Wire editor-in-chief talked with Dave Rubin, the host of The Rubin Report, about his upcoming title Dont Burn This Book: Thinking For Yourself In An Age Of Unreason, which will be released on Tuesday.

During the conversation, Shapiro asks Rubin about his close-knit relationship with Professor Jordan Peterson, who remarks on the front cover of the upcoming book that it is topical, engaging, personable, and, above all, reassuring.

I want to get back to some of the lessons that you have, Shapiro told Rubin. One of the ones that really struck me, because it was actually rather moving, is your discussion of your relationship with Jordan Peterson.

Rubin then talks about an event he did with Peterson and Shapiro in Los Angeles and the vitriol that was targeted at them in response before going into some observations about Petersons resolve during his own book tour for 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos.

We found out in the middle of the tour that his wife had what they thought was terminal cancer thank God it turned out not to be terminal, and shes actually doing much better, said Rubin.

Try and imagine this guy who was a mild-mannered psychologist and professor, who suddenly became the worlds father in a way, really the pre-eminent public thinker of our time, he said. The fame, the hit pieces. You know, you remember the enforced monogamy hit piece in The New York Times, and you remember the Cathy Newman so what youre saying is moment.

All of those things, living through all of that and then thinking his wife is going to die, said Rubin. We were at lunch, at a steakhouse of course, when he got the call about his wife. I saw this man live through something unbelievably, extraordinarily horrible or as he would say brutal and always put his best foot forward.

I never saw him break one of those rules, said Rubin, referring to the rules set forth in the professors own book. I saw him just trying to be true, and if he gave me anything, through osmosis or through accident, its that. I am really trying to do that.

Shapiro also asks whether Rubin has learned any particular lessons from Peterson, noting that a passage of Dont Burn This Book talks about the professors decision to improve his public appearance.

Rubin emphasizes the importance of dressing well, and recalled when he was touring in Sweden, he overheard a conversation between a young man and a cashier, and that the young man remarked that he was buying a suit for the first time to go see Petersons lecture.

I thought, this is absolutely incredible, said Rubin. [Hes] buying the first suit of his life so that he can present himself in a responsible way, to go to an event to hear how he can further fix his life.

After the Sunday Special was published, Peterson himself remarked that the interview between Rubin and Shapiro contained comments from good friends.

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The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream medias rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a subscriber.

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Dave Rubin Talks To Shapiro About Learning From Jordan Peterson On Tour - The Daily Wire

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The one player Michael Jordan was scared of in college? Buzz Peterson details it – The Athletic

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All the previously unreleased video clips featured in The Last Dance show Michael Jordan in a light many have never seen before, displaying his ultra-competitive reputation and fiery nature in a different capacity.

Its also led to something else: Buzz Peterson questioning his own wardrobe selection and his fashion sense during his teenage days four decades ago.

Yeah, Im sure people have been holding on to this film for years, the Hornets assistant GM told The Athletic. The part where Michael and I had on green shorts God almighty. I never knew I owned a pair of green shorts like that. I had no idea. So thats embarrassing. But Im sure there is a lot of footage out there that Im eager to see. Im eager to see how he played for the Bulls and everything. I know this: If you start running your mouth back to him, you are only stroking that fire, putting more fuel on that fire, and boy it can...

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The one player Michael Jordan was scared of in college? Buzz Peterson details it - The Athletic

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Michael Jordan feared a certain NFL legend on the basketball court, according to his North Carolina roommate – CBS Sports

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Michael Jordan wasn't easily intimidated on a basketball court. From the time that he was in high school through his final game in the NBA, Jordan never shied away from competition. Instead, he embraced it head on and usually came out on top. While it may have seemed like Jordan wasn't scared of facing off against anyone, that apparently wasn't the case.

According to Buzz Peterson, Jordan's college roommate and teammate at the University of North Carolina, there was one person in particular who injected some fear into M.J. every time he stepped onto the court. However, this wasn't anyone on the Tar Heels' roster, or even an NBA player. Instead, it was NFL All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who had attended North Carolina prior to being drafted by the New York Giants in 1981, and apparently made frequent returns to campus.

Here's what Peterson, a member of UNC's 1982 title team, had to say about the dynamic between Jordan and Taylor in an interview with The Athletic:

There is one guy that I always thought, and I know to this day I don't know if Michael won't admit or not, but I swear that he had a little bit of fear of and it wasn't a basketball player. It was a football player by the name of Lawrence Taylor. LT, phenomenal athlete. Could guard east to west, as quick as anybody, could jump, big hands, strong and was a bit crazy. So Michael in the back of his mind said, "Shit, I better be careful with this guy." And LT always wanted to guard him."

Jordan admitting he was intimidated by anyone out on the floor is highly unlikely, but if there was one person who had a feel for Jordan's feelings at that point in time, it would be his teammate and roommate at North Carolina. Jordan, in fact, was even the best man at Peterson's wedding, and Peterson currently serves as the assistant general manager for the Charlotte Hornets, the team owned by Jordan.

Taylor was a freak athletically. During his NFL career, he won two Super Bowls, made 10 Pro Bowls, was named both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year (three times) and he led the league in sacks in 1996. He was also about 6-3 and 240 pounds. Thus, given his sheer size and athletic ability, it's certainly believable that Jordan would have second thoughts any time they matched up on the floor, even if he would never admit it.

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Michael Jordan’s ‘last dance’ at Carolina, through the eyes of his teammates – Winston-Salem Journal

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As we await two more new episodes of the basketball documentary The Last Dance, a couple of Michael Jordans former college teammates reminisced this week about another last dance with the man who is now their boss.

Joe Wolf and Buzz Peterson were at Carolina in 1984 when Jordan and the Tar Heels went on a wild ride that looked for a while like they would go down in history as one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time.

But that dance didnt end the way they dreamed.

Greensboro Swarm head basketball coach Joe Wolf directs his team from the sideline during the game against Westchester in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

We knew we were great, said Wolf, now the coach of the Charlotte Hornets' NBA G League team in Greensboro. We knew we had a chance to win it all. I just remember being in that locker room after it ended just bawling my eyes out.

That NCAA Tournament loss to Indiana was Jordans last college game. It was the end of a great story and the beginning of a fairy-tale career in the NBA.

The story of Jordans rise from his parents driveway in Wilmington to that last season at Carolina is vaguely familiar to most of us. But there are stories we dont know that help explain how he went from a frustrated junior varsity player at Laney High School to maybe the best player in the history of the game.

Buzz Peterson and Michael Jordan entered Carolina together to begin play during the 1981-82 basketball season.

It all started in that driveway, said Peterson, now the assistant general manager for the Hornets, owned by Jordan. He had two older brothers. A lot older. And they would beat the crap out of him everyday. Thats where that competitive drive started. He just wanted to beat his brothers.

Those brothers, by the way, are now on Jordan's staff in Charlotte.

Jordan said in a recent interview he was worried about how he would be portrayed in the documentary, how he famously demanded every teammate put every ounce of energy into every single game and every single practice.

If not, they risked confrontation with the most competitive man in the game.

He had that instilled in him, Peterson said. It came from his family.

Joe Wolf, left, playing against Duke.

Wolf said Jordan brought that from Wilmington to Chapel Hill. And it didnt end on the basketball court.

I had known Michael since the ninth grade. Wolf said. We had played against each other at Coach Smiths camp. To be around him everyday and see that competitive drive in every aspect was amazing. But we were all like that. Coach Smith recruited confident and competitive players of high character. Thats who we were. It didnt matter if it was practice inside Carmichael or pickup games at Granville Towers. It was even that way when we played ping-pong and pool.

Wolf tells an amazing story of how he and team manager Dean McCord would play a high-powered game of ping-pong every night after games or practices.

We were the best two players by far, he said. No one else was close. But every single night, Michael would watch us and wait to play the winner. He lost all the time. But he would still challenge me every night. I mean every night. And eventually, he got better. Eventually, he was better than us at ping-pong.

And the same thing happened with pool. I was the best pool player for a while, before Steve Bucknall came over from England. Michael played me because I was the best, but Bucknall had played snookers in England, and when Michael realized that he was better than me, Michael left me in the dust and played Bucknall every night.

Peterson said it didnt matter what game it was or just elements within the games. Jordan was going to get better at something every year of his life.

Ive known Michael since the summer of 1980, he said. "We met at the North Carolina basketball camp, though we never saw each other play. We knew of each other. He just walked up to me one day and said, Hey, my names Mike Jordan. Im from Wilmington. We became friends. And we became competitors.

Hornets owner Michael Jordan with Buzz Peterson, right, and Mitch Kupchak from his staff at a Virginia-Carolina basketball game in 2019.

Peterson played at Asheville High School on the other side of the state from Jordan, but they competed anyway. And when Peterson and not Jordan was named high school player of the year in North Carolina, well, lets just say Jordan has never forgotten it.

He still talks about it, Peterson said.

I remember talking to him that summer about camps I was going to, and he didnt know about any of them," Peterson said. "It angered him a little to hear that the top 200 players were going to a camp in Atlanta or the Five-Star Camp that he didnt know about.

Roy Williams, then a Carolina assistant coach, would later watch Jordan in a pickup game and call Howard Garfinkel to arrange his invitation to Five-Star, a weekend that Jordan would later say changed how I felt about basketball. It was the turning point in my life.

Peterson said to watch Jordans game develop year after year was amazing, even though he had his own dreams of playing in the NBA one day. Playing against Jordan every day, he said, was hard.

I had a little ego about my game, too, he said. So at first, it wasnt easy knowing hes the best player in the country. I now believe hes the best player to ever lace them up. If I had to do it all over again, Id come right back to Chapel Hill. We all would.

Michael Jordan during his North Carolina playing games.

That last season before Jordan would go pro, Carolina won its first 21 games and went undefeated in the ACC. Six players would go on to play in the NBA, and Jordan would indeed go on to be one of the greatest to play the game.

But the last dance at UNC would end in injury and defeat, first freshman point guard Kenny Smith against LSU and then Brad Daugherty in the NCAA Tournament. Jordan even fouled out of his final game, limited to 13 points.

He was hungry, Wolf said. He never took a day off. We had a special team and we worked hard. And it didnt matter what game we were playing.

Peterson said it was more than a month after that season when Jordan decided to go pro, but even then he was torn.

Wed been out the night before, I think with Davis Love, Peterson said. I remember the last thing I asked him that night when my head hit the pillow. I asked him what he was going to decide that next day.

Peterson said he would never forget Jordans response.

Buzz, he said, I dont know. I wont know until I talk to Coach Smith.

Jordans last dance at Carolina ended the next day.

Michael Jordan, with North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, announces on May 5, 1984, that he will leave school after his junior year to go to the NBA.

Contact Ed Hardin at 336-373-7069, and follow @Ed_Hardin on Twitter.

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Michael Jordan's 'last dance' at Carolina, through the eyes of his teammates - Winston-Salem Journal

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The Problem with Edmund Burke and Defenders of Tradition – Merion West

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The problem here is that one mans stable hierarchy and proud tradition is anothers tyrannical oppression and ideology.

Introduction

Instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. Edmund Burke inReflections on the Revolution in France: And on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event

Many have been puzzled by post-modern conservatisms distrust of so-called liberal elites and the appeals these liberal elites make to scientific consensus, academic authority, and other rationalistic tropes. Less appreciated is the fact that this animosity on the part of post-modern conservatives has a longstanding basisfar-right priests of reason and logic notwithstanding. Conservatives have long defended tradition as the stored locus of wisdom and insight, which is only to be deviated from with great caution. This is linked to the longstanding conservative skepticism of reasons power to accurately know what is and what should be. The store of insight available to even the most intelligent personalities is so limited that it would be unwise to put faith in its power. This inclination goes back to Edmund Burke, who castigated the rationalistic philosophes of his day for thinking they could simply recreate the world wholesale from the idle speculations of their pens. For authors such as Burke and Michael Oakeshott, the skepticism towards universal reasonand the over-educated intellectuals who swear by itcan lead to flirtations with the virtues of a politics of faith. At its most extreme, in the work of figures such as Joseph de Maistre and Carl Schmitt (and the counter-Enlightenment movements they cheered on), it can trend towards an outright embrace of irrationalism.

The unusual feature of this embrace of tradition is that it is often very hard to tell what insights conservatives think we should glean from it. This relates to another fundamental feature of the conservative mind, which is that it is driven more by what Russell Kirk called an attitude or disposition that is resistant to the changes put forward by liberals and, especially, the political left. As my friend Nate Hochman put itin National Review ,the path to conservatism begins as a knee-jerk reaction to the contemporary Left: a feeling that its assertionsmustbe wrong, with little understanding of exactly why. This means that many of the defenses conservatives put forward of tradition are rationalizing, rather than rationalistic. Conservatives sense that this or that venerable institution or principle, which is being attacked for its prejudices, serves a valuable function, and they, then, set out to justify its existence. This is quite different from liberals and progressives who hold certain first principles to either be self-evident or required for any society to be called just and, then, seek to steer their own in the correct direction.

The Problem with Rationalizing Tradition

The effort to rationalize tradition is understandable. Logic bros notwithstanding, most conservatives have long understood that people often have deep emotional attachments to their shared ways of life and histories. Critics from Kant through to Benedict Anderson have often pointed out that these attachments are not nearly as natural as many suppose; states spend billions of dollars per year inspiring a sense of fidelity and loyalty to their flags. At some level, we are all intuitively aware of this, as the deepening hostility towards government officials and rhetoric implies. But that has never been sufficient to entirely break the spell of non-rational attachments to collective traditions. Moreover, as other thinkers, such as Jordan Peterson, have pointed out, these attachments reflect an even deeper need on the part of individuals for a sense of order in reality. Human life is filled with tremendous precarity, as well as the ultimate threat of total annihilation, which is tied to our existential finitude. Shared tradition provides a partial barrier against the to-and-fros of the world. And tradition cannot be easily replaced by institutional changesor even effective egalitarian economic reforms to spread wealth more evenly to protect individuals against material destitution.

However, the problems with this position are also easy to note. The first is that since conservatism is a disposition or attitude rather than a rational outlook, it will often be forced to play a reactive and defensive role against its opponents. Liberals and progressives will make a case against some institution or principle conservatives cherish, and their opponents will have to respond by building a case for it. This, often, gives conservative intellectualism a frenetic quality, with its advocates raising to a pastiche or even self-contradicting bricolage of principles, data, and even crude appeals to faith. The efforts by fusionists to reconcile an unbridled support for capitalism and freedom with support for social conservatism and religion (when the hedonism and permissiveness of the former will always undermine the latter) are representative. It also means that conservatives are always at a disadvantage. Since liberals and progressives are always on the offense, they need only win a battle once to typically triumph in perpetuity.

Conservatives must always succeed or resign themselves to the institutions and principles being cherished joining others on the ash heap of history. While it is untrue that history moves in one directionand that there cannot be successful counter-revolutionsthe inexorable entropy of existence inclines to change, rather than permanence. Finally, conservative rationalizations often fall into the performative contradictions, which inevitably tar any efforts to reject reasons authority. To demonstrate the limits of reason to challenge hierarchy, conservative intellectuals must inevitably raise rationalizing objectionsor fall into mere dogmatic assertions of fidelity. But if they do this, they also concede that there are ways to assess the value of a tradition; if the tradition is found wanting, there may be a powerful basis for abandoning it. The mere assertion this is the way we have always done things is no argument for its efficacy. People clung desperately to the idea that the sun revolved around the earth, that there were natural slaves, and that God apparently granted a divine right to rule to even the most incompetent monarchs. This brings me to a more crucial point.

Conclusion

More damning is that the conservative disposition can become so attached to order that it comes to support even the most unjust or evil hierarchies, if they provide the only defense against liberal and progressive change. Roger Scruton even acknowledged as such when he pointed out that conservatives will be far more willing to tolerate levels of injustice that are known and acceptable, rather than take their chances with the fickle promises of reform. The problem here is that one mans stable hierarchy and proud tradition is anothers tyrannical oppression and ideology. When the American Founding Fathers mused on the evils of slavery but conceded that changing it would bring too much disruption, they committed a banal act of moral indifference. The rot of this choice corrodes the United States to this day. Joseph de Maistre lambasted the violence of the French Revolution, while nodding approvingly at the possibility of millions of people being killed as divine punishment for beheading their monarch. J.S Mills calls for women to be granted the right to vote and to enjoy status beyond being property of their husbands were lampooned as unnatural (perhaps a reason he infamously claimed Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives). Ironically, this point was well-described by F.A Hayek, the libertarian economist in his essay Why I am Not A Conservative:

In the last resort, the conservative position rests on the belief that in any society there are recognizably superior persons whose inherited standards and values and position ought to be protected and who should have a greater influence on public affairs than others. The liberal, of course, does not deny that there are some superior peoplehe is not an egalitarianbut he denies that anyone has authority to decide who these superior people are. While the conservative inclines to defend a particular established hierarchy and wishes authority to protect the status of those whom he values, the liberal feels that no respect for established values can justify the resort to privilege or monopoly or any other coercive power of the state in order to shelter such people against the forces of economic change. Though he is fully aware of the important role that cultural and intellectual elites have played in the evolution of civilization, he also believes that these elites have to prove themselves by their capacity to maintain their position under the same rules that apply to all others.

There is nothing wrong with tradition in and of itself. It is often a source of meaning and stability for individuals in a strange and chaotic world. However, there is also nothing inherently good about it either: whether one means inherited wisdom, or providential arrangements of hierarchy to the benefit of all. A mere attitude fearful of change and rationalizing justifications to avoid it is no basis for preventing important reforms that need to happen.

Matt McManus is Professor of Politics and International Relations at Tec de Monterrey, and the author of Making Human Dignity Central to International Human Rights Law and The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism. His new projects include co-authoring a critical monograph on Jordan Peterson and a book on liberal rights for Palgrave MacMillan. Matt can be reached atmattmcmanus300@gmail.comor added on twitter vie@mattpolprof

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The Problem with Edmund Burke and Defenders of Tradition - Merion West

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April 30th, 2020 at 12:49 pm

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Russell Brand And Ricky Gervais Are Just What Your Brain Needs – The Federalist

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Its day 2,346 of staying home, and if youre like me, youve streamed yourself into a coma. I actually watched the John Gotti biopic starring John Travolta the other day, thats how bad its getting (It wasnt as bad as youd think).

If your brain and soul are hungry for something deeper, two surly, foul-mouthed British comedians are here to the rescue. In the most recent episode of his podcast Under the Skin, comedian Russell Brand interviews fellow British comedy luminary Ricky Gervais. I became a fan of Brands podcast after his two amazing conversations with Jordan Peterson, both of which also provide excellent intellectual calisthenics.

The hour-long episode covers everything from Gervaiss love for animals, their narcissism, and the nuances of God, spirituality, and religion. While you may not agree with either, seeing these two exceptionally bright, self-effacing, piss-and-vinegar comedians exchanging barbs and wisdom is just the mental stimulation you need today. Their own search for the truth might even prompt the sort of self-reflection we all could use at this time. Heres a sneak preview.

Brand and Gervais are millionaires many times over and enjoy even greater fame in Britain than in the United States. Still, neither came from wealth or acclaim. Brand was an only child raised by a single mom. Gervais signature edgy humor is inextricably tied to growing up in the working class. Knowing where they stand in society can be tricky.

As Gervais explains, Were court jesters we have to be court jesters. We have to have low status. Were in the mud with all the other peasants, teasing the king. But we have to keep our low status somehow, I think. I feel I want to.

Gervais is the creator of the original The Office series, and Brand talks about feeling sorry for his character, David Brent. The pair both see him as a sad figure, engaged in ever more absurd acts in order to reach a place of acceptance or worth. Compared to our reality TV culture nowadays, this character isnt even absurd anymore.

As Gervais jokes, Big Brother contestants make deals with the producers to get on the show. Let me in there, and Ill start a fight and take my clothes off. It facilitates the emotional destruction of people who just want to be loved and the public eats it up. As Brand puts it, Theres been a glorification of idiocy in culture.

Gervais laments the toll this takes on fame-seekers. This obsession with seeing normal people destroy themselves. These people keep going back to fame and going, Do you love me yet? No, they dont love you, they want you to fail!

Gervais is a well-known atheist. While both men have substantial criticism for organized religion, Brands travels through addiction and mental illness have given him a firm belief in some kind of god and a sense of interconnectedness.

Im a solipsistic, narcissistic person, Brand says. Ive been through the mills of addiction, sex, fame, drugs, money, and all that kind of stuff, and its placed me at a point where Ive had to open myself up to different ideas.

He means this as a challenge to Gervais that while they both have criticisms for organized religion, Brand sees Gervais as having a similar sense of wonder and awe at the universe, the same wonder that prompted Brands spirituality.

Gervais concedes, I seem like a spiritual person, but not literally, which is totally true. I am in as much awe at seeing a tree, or a mountain, or a bird, or a river as anyone who thinks God made it. I see the beauty of nature.

While Brand sympathizes with Gervais distaste for the constraints of organized religion, he explains, Ive gone on sort of the opposite journey, in that I feel like I started off atheistic just in that I would reject any attempt to impose regulation or control on me for the purposes of domination.

But as Ive gone through my own stuff with addiction and mental health or whatever it is, Brand continues, my own sense of despair particularly looking at it from a perspective of mental health issues and addiction is that there is an unaddressed yearning for a kind of oneness, togetherness, and for love.

While Gervais understands that desire for connectedness, he doesnt think desire alone is enough to make it true. It is a terrifying prospect that well never exist again, I think, but it doesnt mean its not true, says Gervais.

The bottom line is I cant believe something I dont believe. So how do I find meaning? Well, we are here. The chances of us being us you being you and me being me, existing now, that sperm hitting that egg is 400 trillion to one. Were not special, but we are lucky. We do exist. Its incredible.

As were looking for ways to occupy our minds in this strange time, this conversation is worth a listen. You may disagree with Brand or Gervais conclusions; I do. The redeeming undercurrent, however, is that both men are seekers of the truth. Their convictions are born of deep consideration, and they are willing to follow them to their natural conclusions, no matter how disappointing or inconvenient. Now might be just the moment we need to consider what we really believe as well.

Caroline D'Agati is a writer, former park ranger, and New Jersey expatriate living in DC. She studied English at Georgetown and media studies at The New School. You can follow her on Twitter at @carodagati.

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Russell Brand And Ricky Gervais Are Just What Your Brain Needs - The Federalist

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April 30th, 2020 at 12:49 pm

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Justin Rohrwasser Has Right-Wing Paramilitary Gang Tattoo – The Root

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Screenshot: YouTube (Herd Nation )

And with the 159th pick in the 2020 NFL drafts fifth round, the New England Patriots select...the right-wing, paramilitary-supporting kicker from Marshall.

On Saturday, the Tom Brady-less team from the same town that brought you Aaron Hernandez, the gang-affiliated double-murderer from Florida, drafted Justin Rohrwasser, a heralded kicker whose left arm just happens to display the insignia of the Three Percenters, one of the right-wing paramilitary groups that The Root has referred to as Yall Queda.

As soon as the Patriots Trump-supporting coach and owner gave Rohrwasser the nod, Resist Programming noticed that the draftees social media history seemed to show an affinity for far-right zealots like Jordan Peterson, an opponent of transgender pronouns and the feminization of men.

But it was the 23-year-olds Three Percenter tattoo that raised the most eyebrows. Although Rohrwasser claims he got the tattoo when he was a teenager, he didnt have it in high school. It also doesnt appear in photos when he played at the University of Rhode Island in 2015.

Make no mistake about it, the III percent is a gang.

Maxime Fiset, a former neo-Nazi who works with the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence in Montreal, called Three Percenters the most dangerous group in Canada. They provided security for neo-Nazis at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. In 2019, a jury convicted Jeremy Drake Varnell of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up an Oklahoma City building after Varnell admitted that he subscribed to III% ideology, according to the Associated Press.

As we previously reported:

Founded by another patriot named Mike Vanderboegh, the Three Percent movement stems from its belief that the American Revolution was won by an army composed of 3 percent of the population, which, according to this liberal ideology called numbers, is pretty wrong. (The number was closer to 15 percent, but perhaps they forgot to carry the 1 when they were doing the math. Hey, it involves both algebra and fractions, so dont laugh.)

Unlike the Oath Keepers, anyone can simply declare him- or herself a Three Percenter, although the group does have meetings on a local level, according to its website. It was surprisingly also founded immediately after Obama was elected, in Alabama, of all places (I actually heard your brain say, Seems about right).

Like the Oath Keepers who showed up in Ferguson, Three Percenters are famous for descending on the Bundy ranch in Nevada, but used money donated by supporters to bail out other Threepers to buy iTunes music, car washes and food. They are the same people who also occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, an occupation that ended after a shootout when the mighty Three Percenters umm ... well ... kinda just gave up because standoffs are kinda hard.

So what was Rohrwassers excuse?

I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military, Rohrwasser told reporters during an introductory press conference. I thought it stood for a military-support symbol at the time. Obviously, its evolved into something that I do not want to represent. When I look back on it, I should have done way more research before I put any mark or symbol like that on my body, and its not something I ever want to represent. It will be covered.

Of course, the NFL is known for highlighting the pasts of its darker-skinned draftees. In 2016, projected No. 1 overall pick Laremy Tunsil lost millions when a video of him smoking marijuana through a gas mask caused his draft stock to tumble to the 13th pick. Wide receiver Desean Jacksons career has been plagued by rumors of gang affiliations. Since he joined the NFL, he has been arrested forHold on, let me check his extensive rap sheet...Jackson has been arrested a grand total of zero times. And then theres the revealing photo of how the NFL treated Rohrwassers fellow draft class members

But Rohrwasser is different, see. He didnt know that he was gang-affiliated.

And finally, hes a real Patriot.

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Justin Rohrwasser Has Right-Wing Paramilitary Gang Tattoo - The Root

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FreedomFest Urges People to ‘Catch the Vision’ in Las Vegas – Right Wing Watch

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Organizers of the annual libertarian-oriented FreedomFest conference sent an email to potential attendees Tuesday declaring that FreedomFest is still on for July 13-16 in Las Vegas.

The conference theme, Catch the Vision, seems an unfortunate choice for a time when states and cities and the travel industry are at the earliest stages of opening up from COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. But dont worry about catching something else:

The entire staff at FreedomFest is working closely with our vendors and the team at the Paris hotel to make sure we can create the safest environment at FreedomFest for our attendees, exhibitors and speakers. We will follow the most current guidelines that are relevant at the time for social distancing, sanitizing, and encouraging good hygiene for everyone who attends FreedomFest. Paris will also be instituting more stringent cleaning and social distancing practices throughout the hotel.

The email promoting FreedomFest seeks to foster a sense of urgency, saying the first day will begin with an emergency meeting to address the threat posed by the response of governments and individuals to the pandemic.

Heres how conference organizers describe the emergency:

The entire world has now had a taste of global statism and it seems to have appealed to a huge portion of the population. New calls to implement socialist agendas even in the United States! include universal healthcare and universal basic income, mandatory vaccinations, health certificates for travel, and growing burdens on small business owners that will include paid sick leave, remote workspaces, and higher unemployment insurance as well as new regulations that will likely be expensive and confining.

Globally, people seem almost thrilled to give up their freedoms and let government take over EVERYTHING. We have become almost childlike in our reliance on authority.

One of the greatest casualties of the global shutdown has been the shutting down of our usually robust campaign processand this is the most important election cycle in our lifetime. Freedom itself is hooked to a ventilator, and we must be the ones to bring it back to life.

The email promoting the conference mocks Americans compliance with social distancing restrictions and other public health requirements imposed by governments. We are living in the land of the sheep, the email reads:

Its downright scary how billions of people, including many liberty-loving Americans, willingly sequestered themselves in their homes, donned masks, social-distanced, shuttered their businesses, and believed the hype. Were experiencing what Ben Franklin famously observed:were giving up essential liberty for temporary security.

Was it really necessary?

And even more importantly,was it morally right?

What do we now face in the future? How much easier will it be for governments to shutter our businesses under any pretext described as for the common good? They told us to shut down our businesses, and we did. They told us to stay home, and we did. They told our neighbors to report on us, and they did. They told us not to buy masks, so we didnt. And then they told us we had to wear masks, and we did. We are living in the land of the sheep.

How many of our unalienable rights were violated and what does that mean for our future freedoms?

Going forward, it is absolutely essential that these draconian measures be challenged in the courts.

But, the email declares assuringly, As free marketers and freedom-lovers, we are up for the challenge!

The speaker lineup is heavy on investors, libertarian and right-wing media figures and advocates, and, despite the libertarian tilt of the conference, some conservative culture warriors like movie critic Michael Medved and public philosopher Jordan Peterson.

Among the many speakers scheduled to appear:

Among the organizations scheduled to lead sessions are the Pacific Legal Foundation, National Review and the National Review Institute, and the Independent Institute.

FreedomFest also includes Anthem, a libertarian film festival. Among the movies it has screened in the past is Dinesh DSouzas America: Imagine a World Without Her.

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FreedomFest Urges People to 'Catch the Vision' in Las Vegas - Right Wing Watch

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April 30th, 2020 at 12:49 pm

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There Was Only One Player Michael Jordan Feared Playing, According To Former Teammate At UNC – BroBible

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Michael Jordan and Buzz Peterson played together all three years His Airness worked his magic at the University of North Carolina.

He also won North Carolina high school basketball player of the year over Michael Jordan before they each joined Dean Smiths squad. Now he works for his as assistant general manager for the Charlotte Hornets. So one could say that Peterson has seen it all when it comes to Michael Jordan. Or at least considerably more than most.

With ESPNs The Last Dance taking over the dormant world of sports, Roderick Boone of The Athletic spoke with Peterson about his days playing with the GOAT in Chapel Hill.

He says that anytime someone brings up his winning player of the year over Jordan, Michael replies, Yeah, Buzz got that award because in North Carolina there are seven major newspapers and his dad owned six of them. So thats how he got the award.

Little did he know that Jordan would go on to become one of the most dominant players in college basketball.

at first, the success he was having, it was tough, Peterson recalled. Personally, it was very hard for me, and at the time it was like, OK, this guy, hes really good, Buzz. Hes really good. For you to beat him out, its going to be really difficult. Hes just very gifted. But you can still be one of the guys to play out there with him. And so once I made my mind up and just to see him the unique thing was how he got better each year at Carolina from freshman to sophomore, sophomore to junior, how his game got better and better.

Embed from Getty Images

Peterson also recounted how Jordan would more than hold his own over the summer between his freshman and sophomore year going up against North Carolina legends like James Worthy, Walter Davis, and Al Wood.

However, there was one former Tar Heel that Peterson claims actually scared Jordan.

There is one guy that I always thought, and I know to this day I dont know if Michael wont admit or not, but I swear that he had a little bit of fear of and it wasnt a basketball player. It was a football player by the name of Lawrence Taylor. LT, phenomenal athlete. Could guard east to west, as quick as anybody, could jump, big hands, strong and was a bit crazy. So Michael in the back of his mind said, Sh-t, I better be careful with this guy. And LT always wanted to guard him.

He also remembered that during his four years at North Carolina he roomed with Michael Jordan for two years and Brad Daugherty for two years.

Ill never forget, I remember seeing something in Sporting News one time, said Peterson. They said, If you want to pick the right roommate, call Peterson because he chooses the right millionaires to be roommates with.'

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There Was Only One Player Michael Jordan Feared Playing, According To Former Teammate At UNC - BroBible

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