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Announcing the Release of Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson – Merion West

Posted: March 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

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Peterson himself described some of its symptomatic features in Maps of Meaning when he discusses how the breakdown of traditional mythopoetic traditions generated a sense of nihilistic uncertainty


We live in an increasingly chaotic world. This owes much to the precarity engendered by 21st century neoliberalism, which put forward the allure of unlimited personal freedom so long as working people and minorities abandoned their civic capacity to demand egalitarian change. In the aftermath of the 2008 Recessionwhen the contradictions and instabilities of the Washington consensus and neoliberal governance exposed the naked emperor in all his ideological frailtyone saw a resurgence of energy on the Left. Many once more saw the opportunity to push for a fairer world, where resources and power were distributed in a more just manner. These developments are climaxing now in the push to get genuinely Left candidates into office in both the United Kingdom and the United States, which would solidify a major sea change in the politics of developed states.

The Decay of the Post-Modern Epoch

For all the optimism this may induce, every progressive step forward brings with it the risk of conservative reaction. We are currently inhabiting a highly reactionary period, with post-modern conservatives like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson advancing right-wing agendas designed to re-entrench traditional authority figures (and groups) atop the social hierarchy. Many are calling for the retreat of democracyor are castigating the advance of marginalized groups who agitate for their fair share, dismissing them as the resentful, ungratefulproduct of so called post-modern neo Marxist indoctrination. By far the most famous intellectual associated with this pushback is Jordan Peterson. The Canadian psychologist and University of Toronto Professor is the author of the best-selling 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and has millions of followers on YouTube and Twitter. He is also well-known as a critic of the radical left, characterizing social justice activists as totalitarian and offer scathing denunciations of progressive thinkers and agitators. Peterson is also a frequent guest at various conservativemedia outlets to denounce the evils of political correctness and identity politics. These efforts have made him a hero to many conservatives, while also catalyzing an onslaught of progressive commentary pointing out the numerous flaws in his analysis. These shortcomings range from his questionable understanding ofleft-wing theory to his unfortunate tendency to associate with some unsavory figures on thefar-right,which cost him a prestigious gig at Cambridge. These critiques are often well-founded, but so far there has been a lack of systematic engagement with his thinking as a whole. This includes a lack of in-depth examination of his works such asMaps of Meaning and his other academic publications.

Our bookMyth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson is intended to fill this gap. It is going to be released on April 24th with Zero Books. It examines Petersons intellectual output and offers comprehensive criticisms of many dimensions of his thought, ranging from his support for capitalism to his denunciation of the post-modern left. It is written by four authors, Matt McManus, Ben Burgis, Conrad Hamilton, and Marion Trejo, each of whom brings their respective expertise to the table when examining Petersons work. The book also includes a lengthy introduction by Slavoj iek, which both examines the place of Peterson in contemporary culture and looks back on their debate several months ago.

One of the major topics of analysis is the nature of post-modernity and how to deal with it. Post-modernism is typically described as a left-wing philosophical outlook, and it is often misleadingly lumped in with a number of different forms of identity politics such as radical feminism. However, these various other approaches such as radical feminism have independently complex genealogies and outlooks. While there are certainly left-wing forms of political agitation, post-modernity is better interpreted as a cultural condition characteristic of late 20th and early 21st century life. Peterson himself described some of its symptomatic features in Maps of Meaning when he discusses how the breakdown of traditional mythopoetic traditions generated a sense of nihilistic uncertainty, leading some to retreat into cynicism and others to embrace new dogmatisms.

What Peterson misses is the way in which capitalist processes contributed to the upending of traditional values and the establishment of an increasingly relativistic culture. Professor Gabriel Andrade expressed a similar point in his recent article Listen Jordan Peterson, Marx Is Your Friend. The characteristic feature of capitalismas Marx and Engels expressed in The Communist Manifestois that it is a revolutionary mode of production where all that is sacred is profaned and, everything that is solid melts into air. The logic of capital is to quantify the value of everything in the world so commodities can be placed into relations of exchange with one another. Each thing that exists has its price. This is true even of human beings, which even the classical liberals like Kant insisted should not be subjected to the quantifiable appraisals of capital. For Kant, each human being possessed an inherent dignity which placed a person, beyond price. By contrast in the neoliberal capitalist era of the 21st century, human beings must have a price:about $10 million USD,according to the EPA. The sacred quality of life that persisted in earlier epochswhere each individual was considered beyond price as a unique subject of Gods loveis replaced by an era where atomized individuals have a carefully calculated relative value, which can be traded off against other values. As this logic gradually permeates all areas of the lifeworld, we see even religious beliefs for which people live and died given an instrumental worth related to health and good-functioning in society.

Conclusion: An Ongoing Project

Our ambition is for our book to be a jumping off point for a more robust discussion on Peterson and the political right generally. With that in mind the authors have also prepared a websiterun by our online manager Greg Talion, which is taking submissions for articles discussing and criticizing any element of Petersons thought from a Left perspective. Anyone interested in making a contribution is welcome to submit to us from any theoretical background. We are also very open to submissions defending Peterson provided they are written in a spirit of dialogue and debate. With that said, we are especially interested in essays criticizing Peterson from a feminist, critical race, queer-theoretical, and socialist perspective. The website should supplement Myth and Mayhembyproviding an ongoing intellectual resource for activists and intellectuals eager to push against Petersonian argumentsor other positions staked out by the Right. These resources are vital in a reactionary era. This is all the more the casewhen for the first time in decadesthere is a serious opportunity to win the battle of ideas along with political power ala the election of a Democratic Socialist candidate to the White House.

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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Announcing the Release of Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson - Merion West

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Has teaching objective truths become inconvenient? – University World News

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Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada, rocketed to fame in 2016 after taking to the air waves to trumpet his refusal to use the gender-neutral pronoun one of his students requested he use.

This expectation would rest on Burstons unsparing critique of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Louis Althusser and, especially, Friedrich Nietzsche, who are Petersons btes noires. With something less than precision, Peterson labels this heterodox group cultural Marxists whose works were used to undermine the traditional university and serve to found the post-modern university more committed to grievance than the search for truth.

Burston also agrees that it is no good thing that liberal arts faculties are top heavy with left-wing professors. Further, Burston criticises the fact that in some American universities, pseudo-judicial proceedings . . . convened to adjudicate allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault are a grotesque mockery of justice because they lack due process (in some cases the accused does not even know the evidence presented against them).

Then, the Toronto-born Burston uses sociologist Don Carveth the way a football player would a reverse pass and shifts our attention to the fact that, ironically, the crisis in the liberal arts, the loss of faith in evidence has led not to any sort of liberation but, rather, has unknowingly furthered the corporate agenda now dominating many North American universities.

Generalising from his field, Carveth writes, under the hegemony of neo-liberalism, the displacement of truth values in psychoanalysis has proceeded apace as: Genuine critique has not been welcomed.

Towards the middle of chapter seven, after showing that Petersons claim to being a Classical Liberal is risible, Burston shows what Petersons call for the slashing of liberal arts budgets looks like in the real world. Citing declining enrolment, university administrators hire only part-time faculty, freeze tenured facultys salaries, slash operating budgets and research funds.

But the money, and lo and behold! the revenues directed away from the humanities and social sciences (and the fine arts, eg painting, music) invariably end up in the budgets devoted to STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] disciplines, the salaries of the rapidly multiplying cohort of assistants and associate administrators, and the budgets and salaries of sports coaches, some of whom in the United States earn millions of dollars. Money also goes to public relations professionals whose task is to boost the universitys brand or image.

Burstons trenchant critiques of thinkers like Althusser are central to understanding whats gone wrong with North American universities. Liberal arts professors have used Althusser and Nietzsche to undermine the traditional mission of the university, the search, however flawed, for truth. These same thinkers have served to found the post-modern university, more committed to grievance, rooted in Romantic views of the self as the primary intelligible unit, than rational inquiry.

Althusser convinced the generation I am part of (I entered university in 1976) that reading Freud meant reading Lacan. But, Lacans version of Freud, Burston shows, was never a serious or scholarly endeavour.

Often Lacan attributes ideas to Freud that he never said. The specific examples need not detain us, for, whats truly important is Burstons willingness to state baldly that objective truths exist: Freud did or did not say what Lacan says he did. The same is true for recording Lacans anti-Semitism, which wasnt discussed when I was in university but which Burston shows is in his texts. Facts matter.

Many will bristle at Burstons characterisation of left-wing authoritarianism and its dalliance with anti-Semitism and also try to dismiss that of both Hamas and Hezbollah. Burston is to be commended, however, by pointing out the contradiction that far from being progressive, both are unabashedly misogynistic, anti-gay and anti-democratic.

Before anyone dismisses Burston, who does nothing to hide being Jewish, for being an apologist for Israel, he is equally hard on Benjamin Netanyahu, who put the lie to the belief that a right-wing Jew was close to a contradiction.

Burston homes in on Petersons quite wobbly understanding of those he calls cultural Marxists. For all their errors, Burston argues, Marxists believe in progress in the sense that society can be remade into a classless society. Post-modernists like Nietzsche or more recently Jacques Derrida eschewed such a teleological view of history. Truths are illusions we have forgotten are illusions, wrote Nietzsche in 1873 in a line I quoted a number of times in literature essays.

Drunk with such power, my professors and I missed that in his first work, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Nietzsche argues that slavery is necessary for the creation of high culture, while in The Genealogy of Morals (1887), perhaps his most quoted book, he divided the human race into birds of prey and lambs, which now makes me wince.

Which leaves the question, since Peterson rejects post-modernism, does he erase this difference or, perhaps, side with the lambs? Rule six in his book, Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world, may sound like a folksy flourish, but it chills Burston: most of us manage to bumble through life without our closets let alone our lives being in perfect order.

Burston rightly links this rule with Petersons statement in a New York Times interview that the people who hold that our culture is an oppressive hierarchy . . . dont want to admit that the current hierarchy might be predicated on competence.

Burston doesnt let the modal verb might blind him to Petersons point, one eagerly embraced by corporate lenders and administrators who look back on (a mythical view) of the 1950s and hardly suggests that Peterson has any doubts about the legitimacy of todays hierarchies.

Witches and dragons

Parts of Burstons book are heavy going. Fortunately, he livens his discussion of notoriously difficult writers like Lacan and Theodor Adorno with witty asides. Peterson, however, moves him to being incredulous.

In one interview, Peterson said, witches do exist. They just dont exist in the way you think they exist You may say well dragons dont exist. Its like, yes they do the category of the predator and the category of the dragon are the same category. Its a superordinate category. It absolutely exists more than anything else. In fact, it really exists. What exists is not obvious.

To say that witches exist is not fake news. Rather, Burston declares, it is manifestly absurd. To say that dragons exist is utter nonsense.

Against Petersons bombast and faux erudition, recalls the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye, whose The Great Code: The Bible and Literature became the surprise best seller of 1981. Frye spoke (and wrote) with genuine authority and it was his deep learning first to become an Anglican minister and then a professor of literature that led him to being a genuine liberal, who took strong stands against the Vietnam War and South African apartheid.

Fryes example leads Burston to believe that education leads 1) not to quiescence but to seeing how the world can be made better because 2) genuine inquiry leads not to division into ever smaller group identities but, rather, to understanding the common humanity of men and women.

* Daniel Burston, Psychoanalysis, Politics and the Postmodern University, London: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-3-03-349202.

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Has teaching objective truths become inconvenient? - University World News

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The best recent poetry review roundup – The Guardian

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starred Burgess Meredith. Photograph: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Fans of Don Patersons lyric poetry will find his latest volume, Zonal (Faber, 14.99), something of a surprise. Often given to self-reinvention, Paterson has always kept musical panache at the forefront of his multi-award-winning verse, be it in the laddish smarts of Nil Nil, the paternal meditations of Landing Light, or the metaphysical reach of Rain. This new book is not only his most seemingly confessional, but also a stylistic departure. Taking its cues from the first season of the TV classic The Twilight Zone, its often surreal, long-lined narratives jump from funny to sad to profound with a suppleness somewhere between Frank OHara and CK Williams. I am trying hard not to be that guy, sighs the speaker in one poem, and while I can fall prey to bitterness, I refuse to sound like some middle-aged incel addicted to Jordan Peterson videos. The poets cutting wit and acute awareness aside, the best poems here are the reimagined character portraits that bookend the collection: Lazarus, in which self-improvement meets the Orphic contemplation of the void; and Death, in which a self-deceiving salesman tries to buy off the grim reaper.

JO Morgan won the Aldeburgh first collection prize in 2009 for a book-length poem that recounted a childhood on the Isle of Skye. In his seventh volume, The Martians Regress (Cape, 10), he has quietly established himself as a gifted writer of the long poem. His previous book, Assurances, was an intimate presentation of his fathers involvement in maintaining Britains airborne nuclear deterrent. The Martians Regress is an imaginative leap, in its story of environmental collapse and a fragile humanity, though it mines not dissimilar terrain in conjuring familiar dystopias: Waking from his nightmare / The pressing blackness of the air / Failed to hide the martian from himself. / The nightmare too had woken. In portraying the variously hopeful, hopeless, comic and bleak ways of apparent aliens, Morgan brings us closer to ourselves.

Numinous musicality remains a hallmark of the former violinist Fiona Sampsons poetry. Come Down (Corsair, 10.99) traces the meeting points of our fleeting human lives and the shifting timelessness of the world that surrounds us, be it cool stone as our voices / lick at space, or words that make a wavering / line in snow. Free from punctuation except for the odd dash or question mark, Sampsons poems refuse to stay still, intent on pursuing lines of inquiry into what it all means: Wet stone smells / of lost meaning smells / of mysterious / wise intention / the unlived-in stonework / drawing back from us. But Come Down also faces up to precise human hurt, most hauntingly in the sexual damage of Old Man, and the titular long poem, exploring place, memory and the chasms of history.

David Harsent is the modern master of what could be called the poem noir. His formally adept work often draws a solitary character into disturbing, half-apprehended horrors, as the human psyche casts and conjures its shadows in an unforgiving world. In Loss (Faber, 14.99), we join an eerie narrative that begins at 00:00 and the full of night to come, as visionary insomnia engulfs a man confronting personal and public losses. While unremittingly bleak, this book-length poetic sequence is powerful in its metaphorical reach: Children in a pool of light, a pool of dust; the way / images deceive, the way time shunts and stalls, a test / of what gathers and corrupts. Like the best poets, Harsent reminds us what it is to lose sight of ourselves, as we might meditate / on the effect of pain but never on its cause.

Ben Wilkinsons Way More Than Luck is published by Seren.

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The best recent poetry review roundup - The Guardian

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Big 12 Offseason Tracker: Kansas States Joe Klanderman promoted to DC – Burnt Orange Nation

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College football season is over. The offseason moves have begun. Some coaching carousels remain in full swing, while others have settled on whos to lead their respective programs in 2020 and, possibly, if the head coaches prove their individual worth in wins, beyond. Some players are bowing out and taking their talents elsewhere. Other players are deciding whether to stick around for the remainder of their eligibility or, at the behest of their Pop Warner dreams, to take it pro.

Thats where we come in, because news across the college football landscape comes at you fast this time of year. Check in here for the latest updates on the coaching carousel, as well as any player updates that impact the Big 12 Conference and the Texas Longhorns.

With Scottie Hazeltons departure for the defensive coordinator job at Michigan State, Kansas State has opted to promote safeties coach Joe Klanderman to the open coordinator job. Assistant coach Van Malone was also provided new titles of assistant head coach and passing game coordinator to add to his current job responsibilities as cornerbacks coach.

Texas Tech (defensive personnel)

IN Kevin Cosgrove (LSU), Derek Jones (Duke)

OUT Kerry Cooks (fired), Todd Orlando (USC)

It took Orlandos firing by Texas head coach Tom Herman to make it happen, but nevertheless, former Longhorns defensive coordinator landed with an in-state rival. Under Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, Orlando was set to coach linebackers and had been named assistant head coach. To land him, Texas Tech nixed safeties coach Kerry Cooks and opted to move current defensive coordinator Keith Patterson in Cooks place.

However, all of the above fell through when Orlando ditched Lubbock for a gig as defensive coordinator with the USC Trojans just two weeks into his Texas Tech tenure. Also in tow with Orlando will be Texas ex Craig Naivar, who was originally expected to join him at Tech.

With Orlandos departure, the Red Raiders looked to Kevin Cosgrove to coach the programs linebackers. Cosgrove was most recently the leading defensive analyst on LSUs national championship-winning team. He also has nearly four decades of experience as a coach, with more than half of that coming as a defensive coordinator with New Mexico and Nebraska, among others.

Also joining Texas Techs coaching squadron will be Derek Jones, who is set to join the Red Raiders as a defensive back coach, co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, the program announced earlier this week. Jones has spent the past 12 seasons at Duke, where he helped turn around an otherwise abysmal defense in recent years; prior to then, he spent ten seasons between Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Murray State.

TCU (offensive personnel)


OUT Curtis Luper (Missouri), Chris Thomsen (Florida State)

Two things are for sure: former running backs coach Curtis Luper is heading to Missouri for a similar role and offensive line coach Chris Thomsen is off to the Florida State, where hell serve as a deputy head coach under head coach Mike Norvell. The rest, however, remains up in the air, albeit delicately Football Scoop reported on Jan. 15 that former TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham is expected to return as an inside wide receivers coach. Colorado State running back coach Bryan Applewhite is also expected to join TCU head coach Gary Patterson, per Football Scoop.

247Sports reports that Patterson is expected to name former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill to his offensive staff, as a special assistant to the head coach. 247Sports notes that Kill wont be among the ten assistant coaches in 2020. Instead, hell oversee the offense from the perspective of coach and player evaluations, play calls and schemes, among other things.

Baylor (offensive and defensive personnel)

IN Dave Aranda (LSU), Ron Roberts (Louisiana), Larry Fedora (Texas), Joe Wickline, Brian Stewart (Detroit Lions)

OUT Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers)

The NFLs Carolina Panthers stole Baylor head coach Matt Rhule at a price of $60 million over seven years. As a result, Baylor hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Its the first head coaching job of his career and also means that the Longhorns will face a new defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge this September. Not longer after, Aranda then hired Ron Roberts, who spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Louisiana. In 2019, Louisiana finished No. 18 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 19.7 points per game.

The coaching carousel continued. Days later, Aranda added former Southern Mississippi and North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora as his offensive coordinator. Fedora spent 2019 as an analyst for the Longhorns, and holds a 79-62 record as a collegiate head coach.

Joe Wickline, previously an offensive lineman coach and offensive coordinator for the Longhorns under Charlie Strong, is also heading down the road to Waco, Baylor announced over the weekend. Its not Wicklines first stint with the Bears: From 1997 to 1998, he was an offensive line coach at Baylor prior to spending time at Florida, Oklahoma State and then Texas, where he coached under Strong from 2014 to 2015.

As is Brian Stewart, who was hired as the Bears new cornerbacks coach. Stewart was most recently in charge of cornerbacks with the Detroit Lions. In 2007 and 2008, he was also the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys under former head coach Wade Phillips. In 2009, he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, prior to taking his talents back to the college level, where he served in stints at Houston, Maryland, Nebraska and Rice from 2010 to 2017.

Oklahoma (offensive and defensive personnel)

IN DeMarco Murray, Jamar Cain (Arizona State)

OUT Ruffin McNeil (personal leave)

Football will have to wait for now, because family comes first for Oklahoma assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach Ruffin McNeil, whos leaving the program to move back to North Carolina to take care of his sick father, the Sooners announced in January.

With the departure of McNeill, Oklahoma opted to hire Jamar Cain away from Arizona State to coach the programs outside linebackers, Fox Sports reports. At Arizona State, Cain coached the Sun Devils defensive linemen. In Norman, hell inherit a solid defensive core between the likes of Jon-Michael Terry, Nik Bonitto and Joseph Wete.

Multiple outlets are also reporting that Oklahoma alum DeMarco Murray will return to Norman as the programs new running backs coach. During his time at Oklahoma from 2007 to 2010, he rushed for 3,685 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also recorded 10 touchdown receptions and three kickoff return touchdowns, earning him a school-record of 64 all-purpose scores. Not to mention the fact that he also holds Oklahomas record for all-purpose yards (6,498) and receiving yards by a running back (1,512.)

Oklahoma State (offensive coordinator)

IN Kasey Dunn

OUT Sean Gleeson (Rutgers)

Longtime Oklahoma State assistant coach Kasey Dunn got the best of this move. Dunn, head coach Mike Gundys longest tenured staff member since 2011 and the 2017 National Wide Receivers Coach of the Year, was promoted to offensive coordinator after Sean Gleeson was hired away for the same role with Rutgers.

Kansas (defensive personnel)

IN Jordan Peterson (New Mexico)

OUT Clint Bowen (North Texas), Tony Hull

In December, longtime Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen announced he was leaving the program to join North Texas, after serving in a variety of roles over two separate stints 1998 to 2009 and 2012 to 2019 and under several Jayhawks head coaches. As a result, Kansas head coach Les Miles hired a safeties coach in Jordan Peterson, who previously served in the same role with New Mexico since 2017 , and as defensive coordinator with the program after he was promoted last year.

Adding to that, and although its unclear where, exactly, hell land, Tony Hull announced in February that hes leaving the Kansas football program. In his four years with the Jayhawks, Hull has served as a position coach (most recently as a running backs coach in 2019), associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

West Virginia (offensive personnel)

IN Gerad Parker (Penn State)

OUT Xavier Dye (South Florida)

When West Virginia receivers coach Xavier Dye announced his departure for South Florida, head coach Neal Brown landed on Penn State receivers coach Gerad Parker to step in as the programs new offensive coordinator. West Virginia assistants Matt Moore and Chad Scott shared offensive coordinator duties in 2019. Moore and Scott remain on the coaching staff and will likely be moved to position coaches.

Iowa State (tight ends coach)

IN Mick McCall (Northwestern)

OUT Alex Golesh (UCF)

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell couldnt hold on to tight ends coach Alex Goresh, whos taking over as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach with the UCF. As a result, longtime college football guy and former Northwestern offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mick McCall has joined the Iowa State Cyclones as a running backs coach, according to Football Scoops. Assistant coach Tom Manning was in charge of running backs in Ames in 2019 but has opted to move to coaching the tight ends position.

Kansas State (special teams coach)


OUT Sean Snyder (USC)

Its the end of an era, because the Snyder family is no longer at Kansas State. Sean Snyder, the son of longtime former head coach Bill Snyder, has accepted an offer to be the next special teams coordinator at USC, the Manhattan Mercury reports. During his time working with the Wildcats special teams from 2011 to 2018, Kansas State set or tied eight school records, and from 2013 to 2017, the program produced the first-team All-Big 12 kick returner each season.

Rumors of Scottie Hazelton being interested in the defensive coordinator job at Michigan State under newly hired head coach Mel Tucker also turned out to be true. Kansas State was unable to match the offer and Hazelton is heading to Lansing as the final assistant to be hired onto Tuckers somewhat promising staff.

Hell be sorely missed in Manhattan. In 2019, Hazeltons defense gave up a stingy 21.4 points per game to opponents, the second lowest among Big 12 teams. The Wildcats pass defense was also ranked as the conferences second-best, in which they gave up just 202.9 yards per game. Meanwhile, their eighth-ranked run defense gave up just 165.6 yards per game.

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Houston Miller Listed at 6-4, 275 pounds, Miller has declared for the NFL Draft. In 28 games at Texas Tech, Miller notched just three tackles.

Redshirt junior defensive tackle Ross Blacklock Despite the NFLs Advisory Committee telling Blacklock that he should hold off on declaring for one more season, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, hes opting to do so anyway and has signed with an agent.

Junior receiver Jalen Reagor After leading the Horned Frogs in catches (43), yards (611) and touchdowns (5) an inconsistent season by his standards Reagor has opted to forgo his senior season and try the NFL. Hes projected as a first round pick later this year.

Redshirt junior cornerback Grayland Arnold After earning a second-team All-Big 12 recognition in 2019 and a second overall conference ranking with six interceptions, 40 tackles and two pass breakups, Arnold is heading to the NFL, like former coach Matt Rhule.

Junior defensive lineman James Lynch This one was a no-brainer for the 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He finishes his college career with 33.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks.

Junior receiver CeeDee Lamb For those who watched the Longhorns take on the Sooners in 2019, this move was in itself equally obvious for Lamb. After consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with double-digit touchdown catches, Lamb is a projected first round pick.

Junior linebacker Kenneth Murray It didnt end well for Murray and the Oklahoma defense against LSU in the College Football Playoff Semifinal game (Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow ate their lunch), but Murrays 102 tackles and four sacks in 2019 were enough to boost his confidence enough to send himself to the NFL.

Freshman Utah State linebacker Christian LaValle LaValle, a member of the 2019 signing class with the Utah State Aggies, will finally get his chance to play for Wells, who left the Aggies for his current role at Texas Tech after the 2018 season. At 511, 240 pounds, 247Sports ranked LaValle and the No. 44 inside linebacker in the nation coming out of high school. LaValle will likely be forced to sit out the 2020 season unless he successfully petitions the NCAA for an eligibility waiver.

Redshirt junior quarterback Justin Rogers Although hell have to sit out a year before hes eligible to compete, the former TCU quarterback is transferring to UNLV. Once one of the highest touted recruits in TCU history, what was presumed to be a prolific career to come for the Horned Frogs was thrown into array when Rogers injured his knee early in his high school senior season, effectively delaying his career. In Las Vegas, hell join what our SBNation neighbors Frogs OWar described as a crowded QB room. Notably, Rogers will likely compete for the starting job once hes eligible for the 2021 season.

Senior Temple tight end Kenny Yeboah Yeboah barely missed his chance to reunite with former head coach Rhule, who recruited Yeboah as part of the 2016 class. As a redshirt junior with the Temple Owls, he accounted for career highs in catches (19), yards (233) and touchdowns (5). Yeboah is expected to fill a much needed role for the Bears in 2020.

Senior UCLA receiver Theo Howard Three months after he announced his intention to transfer away from the UCLA Bruins, Howard has found a landing spot in Norman, where hell help push what will be a younger group of receivers for the Sooners in 2020. During his career at UCLA, Howard amassed 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions.

A host of current Sooners have also entered their name into the transfer portal. Names included among that bunch are redshirt sophomore linebacker Levi Draper, redshirt sophomore linebacker Ryan Jones, freshman linebacker Jonathan Perkins, redshirt junior cornerback Jordan Parker, freshman safety Ty DeArman and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Troy James, among others players on the offensive side of the ball, such as redshirt junior receiver Mykel Jone and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Michael Thompson.

Though James and DeArman are set to land at Prairie View A&M and SMU, respectively, it remains to be seen where the remainder of the transfer hopefuls will land in 2020.

Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills West Virginias loss is Gundys gain. With two years of eligibility remaining, Sills opted to remain in the Big 12 as a graduate transfer. His 2019 season ended early on with an ankle injury. Prior to then, he started 22 of 25 games with the Mountaineers and was named second-team All-Big 12 in 2018.

Missouri cornerback Christian Holmes is also taking his talents to Stillwater for his senior season in 2020. Holmes was a three-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class. Over the course of 12 games in 2019, he recorded 29 tackles and defended four passes. In 2018, he recorded 35 tackles, defended 12 passes and picked off two interceptions for the Tigers.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State receiver Tyrell Alexander has entered the transfer portal, according to GoPokes. In Stillwater, Alexander was recruited as a receiver but was moved to cornerback prior to the 2018 season. He was then moved back to receiver, where he played for the remainder of his time as a Cowboy. The redshirt senior will be immediately eligible wherever he lands, as noted by our SBNation neighbor Cowboys Ride For Free.

Joining him in the transfer portal will be sophomore receiver CJ Moore. A former four-star recruit out of Tulsa Union, Moore totaled four catches for 81 yards in five games, including a 59-yard reception against McNeese State, in 2019.

Senior running back Khalil Herbert You know run game-happy Les Miles hates to see this one. Prior to his commitment to Virginia Tech in early December, at Kansas, Herbert, who redshirted four games into the 2019 season, rushed for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns with an average of 5.4 yards per attempt during his time with the Jayhawks.

Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills Like we noted above: West Virginias loss is Gundys gain.

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Big 12 Offseason Tracker: Kansas States Joe Klanderman promoted to DC - Burnt Orange Nation

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We Already Have a Wealth Tax, and Its a Lot! – Stock Investor

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It dawned on me the other day when I was preparing to give a lecture to my Chapman University students on the cardinal principles of taxation.

I suddenly realized that a wealth tax as proposed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other radical democrats is already in the tax law.

It is called RMD Required Minimum Distributions that all U.S. citizens and residents are subject to if they are 72 years old or older.

RMD requires older Americans to withdraw around a certain percentage of their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and other retirement funds every year, which is then subject to income taxes. The percentage depends on their age it tends to go up as people get older starting at 3% and gradually moving higher.

The amount you must withdraw depends on the RMD table provided by the IRS. The table can be found at

For example, if you are 72 years old, you divide the value of your IRA funds by 25.6, and that amount has to be withdrawn during the year and is taxable income.

If you have $1,000,000 in your IRA, that amounts to $39,062 of taxable income. At a 35% tax rate, you pay a wealth tax of $13,672.

Every year, your RMD percentage gradually rises. By age 80, you will have to withdraw $53,476 from a million-dollar IRA.

By age 90, you will be forced to withdraw $87,719, subject to income tax.

Is that not a federal wealth tax that is as extreme as Bernie Sanders is demanding?

The RMD was hidden inside the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) passed in 1982 and signed by President Ronald Reagan (possibly holding his nose). The people who snuck this provision into the law knew that it would affect only a few people at first, but then a floodgate when the baby boomers like me hit their 70s.

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A capital gains tax is a tax on capital, but it is not a wealth tax per se because you can postpone indefinitely the tax by not selling your assets. But with RMD, you are forced to sell part of your assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.) every year as taxable income to the IRS.

Of course, a property tax is also a wealth tax, but its imposed by states and counties, not the federal government.

If Bernie Sanders wealth tax became law, it would be a form of double taxation, since older Americans already pay a wealth tax through RMD.

A Tale of Two Triumphs

At the political conference at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California, I spoke before 400 conservative leaders, including Steve Moore, about How to Get Rid of a Bad Idea (Democratic Socialism): With a Better Idea Democratic Capitalism!

At the end of my talk, I told the audience that my book, The Making of Modern Economics, has become the Book the New Socialists Fear the Most. Why? Because my book addresses students directly those who find socialism appealing.

As one reviewer wrote, The Making of Modern Economics offers the most devastating critique of Marxism and Keynesianism ever written.

My book has converted many young socialists to democratic capitalists the stakeholder philosophy that shows that enlightened capitalism can benefit everyone, rich and poor. It solves the inequality issue that young people are most concerned about.

Afterwards, I sold my entire lot 51 copies of the paperback copies of The Making of Modern Economics. People were buying multiple copies to give to their children going to college and to their friends.

If you want an autographed copy, send $35 to, or call Harold at 1-866-254-2057.

Maxims and FreedomFest a Hit at EconoSummit!

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My second triumph was at the EconoSummit in Las Vegas. Rare coin dealer Robert Mish, president of Mish International (, presented me with a Spanish real dollar minted in Mexico in the singular year 1776!

Robert Mish presents me with a 1776 Spanish real dollar.

It will be always be a prized possession. Im adding it to my collection of 1776 memorabilia, which includes a first edition of Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations.

Robert also told the audience that FreedomFest was the most important conference of the year and encouraged everyone to attend.

We signed up 30 people on the spot and are now close to 700 attendees! I expect a record crowd this year due to our keynote speaker, Dr. Jordan Peterson. If you want to see why hes creating so much buzz, watch this recent interview in Sweden over 6,300,000 views!

Were lining up great new speakers and sessions every day. To learn more and sign up, go to and use code FF20EAGLE.

Remember, every subscriber who comes to FreedomFest will receive a FREE 2020 American Eagle silver dollar and a copy of the 7th ed. of Maxims. To become a subscriber to Forecasts & Strategies, go to, or call Eagle Publishing at 1-800-211-7661.


You Blew it! Media Hype on the Coronavirus: Much Ado About Nothing?

An investment advisor informed me this week that he was canceling his clients conference in California because of the coronavirus scare.

Yesterday, the governor of California declared a state emergency, even though there are only 60 cases of the virus. More than 300,000 students are now kept out of school.

It is all overreacting due to media hype. The scaremongers are everywhere, and its hurting business and the stock market.

Chapman University, where I teach, reports that there are no cases of the virus on campus. It states, Campus operations are normal and the risk of COVID-19 within Orange County is considered by the Health Care Agency to be low.

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I have had a few students with the flu, which is typical during the winter, but no serious outbreak.

Even though my investment friend admitted that the chances of getting the virus was extremely low, and the chances of dying even lower, he said he couldnt take any chances that one of his clients might come down with the virus.

I spent the weekend at two conferences, a private political event in Laguna Niguel, California, and an investment seminar in Las Vegas (the EconoSummit). Thankfully, nobody canceled except one of the speakers, economist Art Laffer, 80, who was afraid he might contract the virus and die. Better safe than sorry.

Is the federal government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overhyping the worries about the COVID-19? Public health officials have warned Americans to prepare for a pandemic. Congress and the Trump administration are giving them billions of dollars, and what for? Meanwhile, private sector (pharmaceutical companies) are rapidly developing a vaccine.

Out of the 162 confirmed cases in the United States, only 11 people have died in America, and they were mainly elderly patients with a high medical risk. For most cases, the coronavirus has been mild.

One expert showed that the number of cases in China is topping out. Thats good news.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been more reserved in its warnings, We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities. The WHO has refused to define COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Thank God that the Olympic Committee took a more sanguine attitude and has decided to go ahead with the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 24-Aug. 9, in Japan.

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We Already Have a Wealth Tax, and Its a Lot! - Stock Investor

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March 7th, 2020 at 3:44 pm

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Left-Libertarians Flip Out – LewRockwell

Posted: March 1, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Of course, I understand that the two need not be mutually exclusive.Yet, when one reads an appeal to libertarians, it seems reasonable to expect that the issues presented have something to do with libertarianism.

Recently a friend of mine sent me something written by an outspoken and reasonably well-known libertarian; I think it is fair to describe this individual as a left-libertarian.I am not comfortable offering the name of the author as the original reference is to a Facebook post; as I am not on Facebook, I cannot directly verify the source.Further, I am unable to offer a link.I suspect someone with a Facebook account can find this pretty easily.

So, why do I bother addressing this?Two reasons, I guess: first, the comment is on a topic that I have written about recently (more than once), one on which I place some value; second, it offers a case study to the question posed in the title (and clarified in my opening paragraph above).

Time to buy old US gold coins

Here is the post, in its entirety (based on the email I received):

Jordan Peterson is a huckster and charlatan and if you take him as a serious scholar you should not be taken seriously. Hes a slicker, more credentialed Molyneux, and real scholars know that he is misrepresenting those he disagrees with and offering a one-sided take on the issues hes discussing.

To those libertarians, young and old, who are fans, you are hitching yourself to a doomed train. We can and should do much better than this nonsense. Find and follow real scholars who treat the left the way youd want the left to treat you. Spit out this poison before it destroys you and the case for liberty. Seriously.

What he is not, however, is the author of any lasting work of scholarship, the originator of any important idea, or a public intellectual of any scientific credibility or moral seriousness. Petersons sole discovery is that postmodernism can be usefully exploited alongside the more familiar, established populist scare tactics.

As a description of what the postmodern thinkers actually wrote, it is very flawed. If all of Derridas and Foucaults writing can be made to support one sweeping claim, it is not that interpretation is potentially infinite and therefore meaningless. It is that interpretation must be socially and historically contextualized in order to become meaningful. Much art that we now deem canonicalJackson Pollocks drip paintings, for instancewould have struck nineteenth-century art patrons as incomprehensible garbage. The point is simply that artistic values are not universal but produced by historically situated communities of people.

Lets be clear: Peterson doesnt understand the major thinkers in the postmodern tradition who he libels for money. His grotesque caricature and slander of the humanities is very different from what actually happens in humanities classrooms.

Lets examine this.First note, the appeal is to libertarians:

To those libertarians, young and old, who are fans, you are hitching yourself to a doomed train.

With this as the authors concern, you would think that the reasons behind the attack would have something to do with the non-aggression principle.But I find nary a criticism on this basis; instead, the author offers:

Find and follow real scholars who treat the left the way youd want the left to treat you.What he is not, however, is the author of any lasting work of scholarship, the originator of any important idea, or a public intellectual of any scientific credibility or moral seriousness. As a description of what the postmodern thinkers actually wrote, it is very flawed.

I have no idea if Petersons views on post-modernist philosophy are accurate or not.But, as a libertarian, what do I care?I dont.I dont pay attention to Peterson because of his analysis and conclusions about post-modernism.

While offering no reason for libertarians as libertarians to reject Peterson, the author admonishes libertarians, young and old to:

Spit out this poison before it destroys you and the case for liberty. Seriously.

But what poison must I,as a libertarian, spit out?I receive not a clue from this rant.I might, as a historian or political philosopheror a leftistfind reason to spit out something that Peterson offers, butwhy as a libertarian?Silence.

So, Whats Really Going on Here?

I cannot speak to why other libertarians have been drawn to Peterson.I can speak as to my interest.

I believe Petersons popularity first soared when he began his fight regarding the compelled use of gender pronouns compelled by law.

I became aware of him some time after this, when someone pointed me to Petersons lectures and discussions regarding the value of culture and tradition in society, and specifically the value of western, Christian tradition.After this, I have also spent time on his gender pronoun topics.

That Peterson bases his views on his interpretation of post-modernism whether a valid interpretation or not is irrelevant to meas a libertarian.

I believe it is safe to say: if Peterson is well-known to a public broader than his university students and to libertarians in particular, it is for these two reasons:

1)He is against being compelled by law to use made-up words; he is against compelled speech.

2)He recognizes the value of the western tradition that has been developed and refined through the millennia.

Thats it.

So, why would a libertarian as a libertarian have a beef with these?

A libertarian should be fully supportive of Petersons stance on the first item.Government limitations on speech (on or while using my own property) are bad enough; governmentcompelledspeech is unbelievably horrendous.

The government is forcing you to say something.If you dont say it, you could go to prison.This is about as anti-libertarian as it gets.

To the second point: it seems to me that as a libertarian, the most one could say is he is neutral on this matter.When it comes to traditions and norms, these are all outside of the non-aggression principle (although I believe that libertarianism can only survive and thrive in a certain cultural soil).

So, a libertarianas a libertarianwould agree with Peterson on the first point, and at worst be neutral toward Petersons view on the second.


A leftist, on the other hand, would really despise Peterson for both points.

So, I ask: leftist or libertarian?From which perspective would one have a complaint about Peterson?


BTW, although I havent examined this thoroughly,I think Rothbard holds a similar viewon the topic of the post-modernists as does Peterson (I may write something on Rothbards views at some point).Rothbard might be the primary reason that this left-libertarian is apoplectic about Petersons popularity with libertarians.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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Left-Libertarians Flip Out - LewRockwell

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March 1st, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Friday Thread: A reminder that robust political dispute is [much] better than war – Slugger O’Toole

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We havent had one of these for a while, but Professor Jordan Peterson articulates (I think) one of the reasons Slugger remains a live and lively community of unlike-minded folk who arent afraid to disagree with one another over almost everything.

This piece, recorded at the Oxford Union a couple of years ago, is worth watching the whole way through, but this section (where I hope the video link will start below, is the key passage that relates to the role which dispute plays in any democracy.

One key phrase is how he describes respect for the manifestation of the logos as the core value of free speech. In this important regard, Sluggers famous play the ball and not the man is merely an aid to the promulgation of such respect.

As my good friend and colleague John Kellden likes to say, in a network, the best place to store knowledge is in other people. Preferably folk who dont see the world in the same ways that you do

Theres dangers on both sides. One is the danger of pathological order and the other is the danger of pathological chaos and the problem with the questioning tendency is that it knows no limits and thats actually hard on people.

Its actually very difficult to orient yourself in life if you happen to be very high in openness very low in conscientiousness and very high in neuroticism because you question everything and youre not stable.

You might be wildly creative like thats a pretty good recipe for wild creativity but that doesnt mean that its tenable or sustainable because most creative ideas are not only wrong theyre actually deadly.

But some of them arent. Some of them are absolutely vitally important right and so part of the reason we have political discussion or discussion at all is to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So the endless proclivity of the questioning tendency of the liberal left is that every axiom is open for infinite questioning well that leaves you bereft.

But the problem on the right is if you tighten things up too much well then you have no adaptive flexibility left and you are in a sterile tyranny of stone and then the environment shifts around you and youre not prepared and then everyones done.

So the reason that free speech is so important, well I dont think about it as free speech but as respect for the manifestation of the logos thats the proper way of conceptualizing it is that it keeps the balance between those two tendencies right.

You need the questioning and you need the order. And so you think well how much of each and the answer is the recipe changes day to day? And so you think well if it changes day to day how are we going to keep up?

And the answer is by keeping up. Right where we are. But we do that by thinking and we think by talking and we think and talk by disagreeing and were better disagree conceptually because then we dont have to act out stupid ideas that will kill us.

The abstract territory of conceptual dispute is the substitute for war and death. It can be a brutal substitute because conceptual disagreement can be very intense but compared to war and death its hardly intense at all.

You keep the landscape open for serious dispute including dispute thats offensive, obviously, because if youre ever going to talk about anything thats difficult (and why talk otherwise) then youre going to talk about things that are offensive to people.

And youre going to do it badly, youre going to stumble around when youre formulating your thoughts and thats horrible, it makes people anxious, it alienates them but its better than pain and death. And thats the alternative.

This is why eclectic mixers like Sluggermatter. As Fast Company notedpeople are much more likely to share something that accords with something they already think. They also prefer stories that come from someone within their peer group.

Photo by Pixabay is licensed under CC0

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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Friday Thread: A reminder that robust political dispute is [much] better than war - Slugger O'Toole

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What Viktor Frankls logotherapy can offer in the Anthropocene – AlterNet

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With our collapsing democracies and imploding biosphere, its no wonder that people despair. The Austrian psychoanalyst and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl presciently described such sentiments in his book Mans Search for Meaning (1946). He wrote of something that so many patients complain [about] today, namely, the feeling of the total and ultimate meaninglessness of their lives. A nihilistic wisdom emerges when staring down the apocalypse. Theres something predictable in our current pandemics, from addiction to belief in pseudoscientific theories, for in Frankls analysis, An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour. When scientists worry that humanity might have just one generation left, we can agree that ours is an abnormal situation. Which is why Mans Search for Meaning is the work to return to in these humid days of the Anthropocene.

Already a successful psychotherapist before he was sent to Auschwitz and then Dachau, Frankl was part of whats known as the third wave of Viennese psychoanalysis. Reacting against both Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, Frankl rejected the firsts theories concerning the will to pleasure and the latters will to power. By contrast, Frankl writes that: Mans search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a secondary rationalisation of instinctual drives.

Frankl argued that literature, art, religion and all the other cultural phenomena that place meaning at their core are things-unto-themselves, and furthermore are the very basis for how we find purpose. In private practice, Frankl developed a methodology he called logotherapy from logos, Greek for reason describing it as defined by the fact that this striving to find a meaning in ones life is the primary motivational force in man. He believed that there was much that humanity can live without, but if were devoid of a sense of purpose and meaning then we ensure our eventual demise.

In Vienna, he was Dr Viktor Frankl, head of the neurology department of the Rothschild Hospital. In Auschwitz, he was number 119,104. The concentration camp was the null point of meaning, a type of absolute zero for purpose in life. Already having developed his theories about logotherapy, Frankl smuggled a manuscript he was working on into the camp, only to lose it, later forced to recreate it from memory. While in the camps, he informally worked as a physician, finding that acting as analyst to his fellow prisoners gave him purpose, even as he ostensibly assisted others. In those discussions, he came to conclusions that became foundational for humanistic psychology.

One was that the prisoner who had lost faith in the future his future was doomed. Frankl recounts how even in the camps, where suicide was endemic, the prisoners who seemed to have the best chance of survival were not necessarily the strongest or physically healthiest, but those somehow capable of directing their thoughts towards a sense of meaning. A few prisoners were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom, and in the imagining of such a space there was the potential for survival.

Frankl imagined intricate conversations with his wife Tilly (who, he later discovered, had been murdered at another camp), or of lecturing a future crowd about the psychology of the camps which was precisely his work for the rest of his life. Mans Search for Meaning with its conviction that: Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions became a postwar bestseller. Translated into more than two dozen languages, selling more than 12 millions copies, and frequently chosen by book clubs and college psychology, philosophy and religion courses, Mans Search for Meaning has its place in the cultural zeitgeist, with whole university and hospital departments geared around both humanistic psychology and logotherapy. Even though Frankl was a physician, his form of psychoanalysis often seemed to have more in common with a form of secularised rabbinic Judaism than with science.

Mans Search for Meaning is structured in two parts. The first constitutes Frankls Holocaust testimony, bearing similarity to writings by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi. In the second part, he elaborates on logotherapy, arguing that the meaning of life is found in experiencing something such as goodness, truth and beauty by experiencing nature and culture or by experiencing another human being in his very uniqueness by loving him, not simply in spite of apocalyptic situations, but because of them.

The book has been maligned as superficial pop-existentialism; a vestige of middle-brow culture offering platitudinous New Age panaceas. Such a reading isnt entirely unfair. And seven decades later, one might blanche at the sexist language, or the hokey suggestion that a Statue of Responsibility be constructed on the US West Coast. However, a fuller consideration of Frankls concept of tragic optimism should give more attention to the former rather than the latter before the therapist is impugned as overly rosy. When he writes Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake, its hard to accuse him of being a Pollyanna.

Some critics accuse Frankl of victim-blaming. The American scholar Lawrence Langer in 1982 even wrote that Mans Search for Meaning is almost sinister. According to him, Frankl reduced survival to an issue of a positivity; Langer argues that the book does a profound disservice to the millions who perished. A critique such as this has some merit to it, and yet Frankls actual implications are different. His book evidences no moralising against those whod lost a sense of meaning. Frankls study doesnt advocate logotherapy as an ethical but as a strategic response to tragedy.

When identifying meaninglessness, it would be a mistake to find it within the individual who suffers. Frankls fellow prisoners werent responsible for the concentration camps, just as somebody born into a cycle of poverty isnt at fault, nor is any one of us (unless you happen to be an oil executive) the cause of our collapsing ecosystem. Nothing in logotherapy implies acceptance of the status quo, for the struggle to alter political, material, social, cultural and economic conditions is paramount. What logotherapy offers is something different, a way to envision meaning, despite things not being in your control. In his preface to the books 2006 edition, Rabbi Harold Kushner glosses Frankls argument by saying that: Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

Far from being obsessed with the meaning of life, logotherapy demands that patients orient themselves to the idea of individual meaning, to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life daily and hourly, as Frankl writes. Logotherapy asking patients to clear an imaginative space to orient themselves towards some higher meaning provides a response to intolerable situations.

Frankl writes that he grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. It is easy to be cynical about such a claim, proving Frankls point. In our small, petty, limited, cruel era, it seems hard to come across much collective human affection, and yet our pettiness, limitations and cruelty are in their own way a response to the looming apocalypse. Every age has its own collective neurosis, Frankl writes, and every age needs its own psychotherapy to cope with it. If were exhausted, fatigued, anxious, enraged, despairing and confused at the collapse of our individual fortunes, our social networks, our communities, our industries, our democracy, our very planet, its no wonder weve developed a certain collective neurosis. Yet humanistic psychology has not been in vogue for decades; in its place, we have fashionable sociobiology and misapplied neuroscience in the form of the Panglossian Steven Pinker and the Svengali platitudes of Jordan Peterson.

In one of the books most remarkable passages, Frankl recounts how, when his work group was allowed a meagre few hours of rest, a fellow prisoner interrupted them and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see a wonderful sunset. With a prose style that tends towards the clinical, albeit with a distinct sense of the sacred, Frankl here gives himself over to the transcendent:

Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colours, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky.

From this vision, here in a place whose very definition was the nullification of meaning, another prisoner remarked: How beautiful the world could be! Such is the promise of logotherapy not to ensure that there will be more sunsets, for that is our individual and societal responsibility. What logotherapy offers, rather, is the promise to be in awe at a sunset, even if it does happen to be our last one; to find wonder, meaning, beauty and grace even in the apocalypse, even in hell. The rest is up to us.

Ed Simon

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

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What Viktor Frankls logotherapy can offer in the Anthropocene - AlterNet

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March 1st, 2020 at 4:48 am

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The Travesty of Comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler – Merion West

Posted: February 26, 2020 at 8:46 am

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(Chris Baamonde)

Not only ought Gabriel Andrade resist implying there are parallels to be found by Peterson and Hitler, but he also should keep in mind how many lives have been positively changed thanks to his ideas.

In a recent Merion Westarticle, Dr. Gabriel Andrade asserts that Jordan Peterson needs to think harder about the detrimental effects of his Nietzschean/Randian-inspired philosophy and must try harder to disavow some of the tendentious readings that people make of his words. Andrade depicts Ayn Rand as a substandard philosopher and Peterson as an inferior version of Randmore aptly a self help motivational coach, whose ideas resonate with young males and also some of the worst individuals in society, such as members of the alt-right.

Although Andrade wonders what all the hand-wringing surrounding [Peterson] is all about and may prefer the Cliffnotes version of his ideas, many fans view the Canadian psychologist as a modern-day hero. This is something Andrade seems to recognize when he contends that Peterson has seized the mantle as the new right-wing intellectual guru. In doing so, Peterson, according to Andrade, is filling the rights thirty year intellectual vacuum that has been in place since the death of Ayn Rand.

Unlike some of his peers, Andrade is very careful in how he structures his arguments. Although he never directly compares Peterson to Adolf Hitler, his assertions are fraught with innuendo as he leaps from one unsubstantiated claim to another. He points out that Nietzsche was not guilty of the way his philosophy was abused by the Nazis but that he gives credence to the thesis that his ideas did sow the seeds of totalitarianism. Andrade is also concerned that underneath all the talk about responsibility, order, and anti-political correctness, there may be something more sinister going on with Peterson, presumably given the fact that some members of the alt-right and Men Going Their Own Way are counted among Petersons supporters.

Most unfair of all, however, is when Andrade suggests Peterson might be encouraging thinking along the lines of: If you worry so much about being a Superman, then ultimately it is not so hard to conclude that weaklings must simply disappear from the face of the Earth. As such, Andrade engages in the very tactic some commentators, including Conrad Hamilton, have accused Peterson of: suggesting various implications about a writers work, while allowing enough distance to disavow said implications if they are explicitly suggested by readers.

Attempting to invalidate anothers position on the basis of direct or indirect insinuations that there is a comparison to be found with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party makes for an exercise in one of the least excusable of the logical fallacies: Reductio ad Hitlerum. Rachel Maddow, for instance, was one of the mainstream journalists to most notably turn Nazi comparisons into a political strategy. In her effort to equate Donald Trumps 2016 presidential campaign with the advent of a well organized national fascist party in America, she asserted that fascism was not just a word or a way to insult one with whom you disagree with. Maddow continued, it is a specific thinga specific form of far-right politics that involves a sort of narcissistic cult of superman action around the party.

In contrast, Princeton Professor Gianni Riotta warned in a January, 2016 Atlantic piece that though xenophobic rhetoric, demagoguery, and populist appeals certainly borrow from the fascist playbook, there is no fascism without a rational plan to obliterate democracy via a military coup. Riotta said that the fascists who marched on Rome in 1922 were relentlessly, violently focused on a clear goal: to kill democracy and install a dictatorship, which was clearly not a part of the Trump presidential campaign.

Moreover, the frivolous use of the word fascism, not only belittles past tragedies but also obscured future dangers. Since Maddows prime time codification of the newest iteration of Reductio ad Hitlerum in 2015, it has become a favorite tactic of many on the left. Politicians such asAlexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Beto ORourke, and Tom Steyers willy-nilly Hitler references are a terrible insult to the actual victims of Nazi genocide, yet they have recently been joined by entertainerssuch as Linda Ronstadt. They have done it to Trump, and now they do it to Peterson, the latter of whom evendevoted many of his own lectures to explaining how the evil of Hitler was truly unparalleled.

Not only ought Gabriel Andrade resist implying there are parallels to be found by Peterson and Hitler, but he also should keep in mind how many lives have been positively changed thanks to his ideas. For Andrade, who argues that Peterson, still has time to avoid going down the path of Ayn Rand and that his unchecked views may be promoting a world that few sensible people would want, I would counter that Andrade still has ample time toavoid going down the path of individuals whose negative fixations on Peterson have resulted in substandard scholarship.

Maybe, instead of belaboring a perceived failure of Peterson to disavow certain subsets of his readers, Andrade should disavow the absurd comparisons of thinkers one disagrees with (or disagrees in part with) to Hitler. So, Andrade writes that, many, many contemporary intellectuals who have far more interesting things to say than Peterson. Yet, after reading Andrades tired indulgence of a lazy logical fallacy,I am afraid that I can now say the same about Gabriel Andrade.

There is something Andrade can do to regain the credibility that he has lost in his latest article. It is to give Peterson the respect he deserves as a scholar and refrain from writing articles that reflect the very unhealthy conspiratorial thinking that Andradeclaims to oppose. Otherwise, Andrade risks continuing the collectivist drift of his thinking and accepting his destiny as a contributing author toEveryone I Dont Like Is Hitler: a Childrens Guide to Online Political Discussion.

But Andrade is correct about one thing; Peterson is someone truly resonating with people, and in turn, he is making some people very upset. All things considered, it is not Petersonthe person himselfthat causes many of his detractors to feel such revulsion and anger but, rather, the ideas he promotes, ideas that are a repudiation of the identity politics of the left.

It is not so much the messenger as it is the message. Peterson offers an alternative means of understanding the world for so many, thus diminishing the power of many on the left as a result. I believe that there is a faction within the left that supports a type of authoritarian progressivism as nefarious in all aspects as the kind that Peterson is accused of supporting. The left might not own the means of production, but it greatly controls much of the discourse in cultural institutions, the academic world, and the mass media. Anyone interfering with that process would be attacked similarly.

Free speech is just one of the ideas that Peterson and his detractors disagree on. It is an ironic twist of fate that Peterson is now the preeminent spokesperson for todays Free Speech Movement, which had its origins within the counterculture of the Left. Mario Savio was in many ways the Jordan Peterson of his era. He is considered to have been the voice of the Free Speech Movement, and, at one time, he wasunder investigation by the FBI.

In an address given at Sproul Hall, University of California in 1964, Savio asserted that:

Despite the protestations of those such as Andrade, for many (in the United States and around the world), the idea of the heroic protagonist is intrinsic to our identity. For those of us who strive to uphold the principles of individualism, Peterson is a genuine hero, a paragon of virtue, and a man of great moral courage. We are indebted to Peterson for drawing his line in the sandand doing what needed to be done in his effort to stop the machine. Little wonder that all his detractors have in response are the pettiest of cheap shots.

Tony D. Senatore graduated from Columbia University in 2017, at the age of 55. He is a well-known bassist and musician and can be reached

The artwork for this piece was contributed byChris Baamonde, who can be reached at


The Travesty of Comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler - Merion West

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February 26th, 2020 at 8:46 am

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Jordan Peterson Wife: The Truth About Tammy Peterson – Who

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RELATED: How to get tickets for Jordan Peterson's 2019 Australian tour

Tammy Peterson (nee Roberts) was born on June 3, 1965, in Canada. She met Jordan Peterson at the tender age of eight, the two grew up together in Alberta, Canada. Jordan would claim that it was a case of love at first sight, going so far as to tell his father about his intention to marry her when he was just 11 years old. Sure enough, the two were wed in 1989, and are still together to this day.

Before Tammy Peterson devoted her time to supporting her husband as an advisor, she worked professionally as a massage therapist. Tammy has also been an avid foster parent since she was 30, housing many children from orphanages in and around Canada.


He is the acclaimed author of 12 Rules: An Antidote to Chaos, reaching global fame as a clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. 12 Rules: An Antidote to Chaos has garnered a fierce following comprised of people who have enjoyed positive changes in their lives due to the teachings detailed in the book.

He further extends his reach by distributing his talks via his YouTube channel and has hosted an Ask Me Anything session on the popular social website Reddit. Jordan Peterson also provides regular updates about his life on Twitter. He teaches self-help lectures all over the world, going on tour to various parts of Canada and the United States, and even as far as Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

Currently 53-years-old, Tammy Peterson enjoys a simple life. She has little to no presence on social media, and its no secret that her husband is definitely the more public one between them.

Her husband sparked great controversy when he went very public with his stance against political correctness. It all came to a head with his refusal to comply with a Canadian law that requires addressing transgender students with the pronouns of their choice.

Jordan Peterson is also infamous for his polarising interviews on various social media platforms, where he often critiques some aspects of the modern feminist movement. Peterson also speaks about a crisis of masculinity, providing critique on current trends that seek to feminize men.

Hes gone under fire for expressing his views on multiple platforms, such as a particular interview with Cathy Newman and a Q&A with the ABC that have gone viral. However, his stance is fiercely defended by his supporters.

His views have also impacted his professional life. After receiving a lot of backlash from students and faculty, Cambridge University rescinded an invitation for a visiting fellowship to Jordan Peterson.

One can only imagine what its like to be married to someone who is so scrutinised by the public. What does it mean to be Jordan Petersons wife? Is it intimidating to be so publicly known mostly by your other half?

Tammy Peterson seems to be in total support of her husband if we are to go by their enduring marriage. Her relative absence from social media and the public eye says very little about her real feelings about her husbands political stance, however.

The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.

Jordan B. Peterson

In the middle of 2019, Jordan Peterson released news that Tammy has been diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer. She underwent two surgeries, with the second one leading to a rare complication that damaged her lymphatic system. Through this ordeal, Jordan Peterson stayed by her side as she went from hospital to hospital, even going to the United States for treatment.

Tammy Peterson currently seems to be on the road to recovery, in a turn of events that her family sees as miraculous. Despite this, the stress of worrying and caring for his wife night after sleepless night has gotten Jordan Peterson into taking the anti-anxiety medication clonazepam and he has apparently fallen into a deep chemical dependency.

Jordan Peterson has recently checked into rehab in New York to wean himself from the drug as quickly as possible. His daughter Mikhaila Peterson reported on her YouTube channel that Jordan is having a miserable time dealing with the physical withdrawal, and is showing symptoms of severe depression.

Fun Fact: Both Mikhaila and Jordan are advocates of an all-meat diet which they claim to have helped them both with chronic health conditions.

In the age of social media and continuous connectivity, the fact that Tammy Peterson has kept such a low profile despite her husbands notoriety is strangely remarkable. Her struggle with a rare cancer is truly terrible news, and we can only hope that the Peterson family are able to put all of it behind them soon.

RELATED: How to get tickets for Jordan Peterson's 2019 Australian tour

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Jordan Peterson Wife: The Truth About Tammy Peterson - Who

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February 26th, 2020 at 8:46 am

Posted in Jordan Peterson

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