Jordan Peterson Speech: Be a Better Person
Watch this famous Jordan Peterson Speech. Dr. Peterson speaks about his experiences over the last few months and, more generally, about the consequences of the joint postmodern, neo-Marxist rejection of Western enlightenment and deeper, archetypal ideals. He is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Enjoy our Speeches with big English subtitles and keep your English learning journey.
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Jordan Peterson Quote:
“Don’t compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday.” Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson full TRANSCRIPT:
“Okay, so here is the problem. There is a big problem here. The problem is: It’s true! You’re oppressed. You’re oppressed. You’re oppressed. You’re oppressed. God only knows why… Maybe you’re too short or you’re not as beautiful as you could be, or… you know, your parent… your grandparent was a serf… Likely! Because almost everybody’s grand great grandparent was… it’s like, you know, and you’re not as smart as you could be, and you have a sick relative, and you have your own physical problems and it’s like: frankly, you’re a mess and you’re oppressed in every possible way… Including your ancestry, and your biology, and the entire sum of human history has conspired to produce victimized “you”, with all your individual pathological problems.
It’s like: YES! True! Okay, but the problem is… is that, it is true! And so, if you take the oppressed, you have to fractionate them, and fractionate them… It’s like: you’re a woman. Yeah, okay well, I’m a black woman. Well, I’m a black woman who has two children. Well, I’m a black woman who has two children and one of them isn’t very healthy. And then well, I’m uh… I’m a Hispanic woman and I have a genius son who doesn’t have any money, so that he can’t go to university… And you know, I had a hell of a time getting across the border It was really hard on me to get my citizenship; my husband is an alcoholic brute. It’s like: well, yeah, that sucks too, and so… well, so let’s fix all your oppressive… oppression, and we’ll take every single thing into account. And then we’ll fix yours too.
We’ll, take every single thing into account… It’s like ‘No, you won’t’, because you can’t, you can’t, it is technically impossible. First of all, you can’t even list all the ways that you’re oppressed. Second, how are you going to weight them? Third, who’s going to decide? And that’s the bloody thing: who’s going to decide? That’s the thing! Well What’s the answer in the West? It’s like in free markets. Oh yeah Christ, we’ll never be able to solve this problem No one can solve it. What are we going to do about that? We’re going to outsource it to the marketplace You’re going to take your sorry pathetic being, and you’re going to try to offer me something that maybe I want, and I’m going to take my sorry pathetic being and I’m going to say ‘Well, all things considered, as well as I can understand them… Maybe I could give you this much money.’ (which is actually a promise for that thing) And you’ve packed all of your damn oppression into the price; and I’ve packed all my oppression into the willingness to pay it. And that solution sucks! It’s a bad solution! But compared to every other solution, man. It’s why 10% of us have freedom. And so… There’s a tremendous illogic at the bottom of this, it’s like You have to fractionate the oppressed all the way down to the level of the individual!
“Oh, that’s what the West figured out!” You know, there’s a couple of figures, who at the mythological roots of our culture, and you know people get upset with me, because I bring in religious themes But I understand some things about mythology and religion, and it’s not an accident, that the axiomatic Western individual is someone who is unfairly nailed to a cross and tortured – It’s like YES! Right! Exactly! So what do you do about that? Well… I thought about that for a long time too. It’s like… well, you don’t get together in a damn mob! Because all that does is allow you to be as horrible as you could possibly imagine, and suffer from none of the consequences. And that’s a bad idea! So how about we don’t do that? Well, there’s a deep idea in the West too. It’s like ‘Pick up your damned suffering… and bear it!’ And try to be a good person, so you don’t make it worse! Well, that’s a truth. You know? I read a lot about… the terrible things that people have done to each other. You just cannot even imagine it. It’s so awful… So, you don’t want to be someone like that. Now, do you have a reason to be? YES! You have LOTS OF reasons to be!
God, there’s reasons to be resentful about your existence. Everyone you know is gonna die… You know, you TOO! And there’s going to be a fair bit of pain along the way, and lot of it’s going to be unfair, It’s like: yeah, no wonder you’re resentful! It’s like: Act it out, and see what happens; You make everything you’re complaining about infinitely worse! There’s this idea that hell is a bottomless pit, and that’s because no matter how bad it is, some stupid son-of-a-bitch like you could figure out a way to make it a lot worse! So you think: well, what do you do about that? Well, you accept it! That’s what life is like! It’s suffering! That’s what the religious people have ALWAYS said, ‘Life is suffering’. Yes! Well, who wants to admit that? Well, just think about it! Well, so what do you do in the face of that suffering? Try to reduce it! Start with yourself! What good are you? Get yourself together, for Christ’s sake! So that when your father dies, you’re not whining away in a corner and you can help plan the funeral. And you can stand up solidly, so that people can rely on you! That’s better!
Don’t be a damn victim! Of course you’re a victim! Jesus! Obviously! Put yourself together! And then maybe if you put yourself together…you know how to do that! You know what’s wrong with you (if you’ll admit it), you know there’s a few things you could like, polish up a little bit, that you might even be able to manage in your insufficient present condition. and so you might shine yourself up a little bit, and then your eyes will be a little more open, then you can shine yourself up a little bit more, and then maybe you could bring your family together, instead of having them be the hateful, spiteful, neurotic, infighting-batch that you’re like, “doomed to spend Christmas with!” So then you fix yourself up a little bit… kind of humbly… because you know, God! You’re a fixer-upper if there ever was one… and then you got to figure out, well. Can you figure out how to make peace with your idiot brother? (and probably not because he’s just as dumb as you) So, how the hell are you going to manage that? And so then you maybe you get somewhere that way, and your family’s sort of functioning And you find out “well, that kind of relieved a little bit of suffering”.
Although it reduce the opportunities for spiteful revenge… and that’s kind of a pain in the neck. And so… Then you get your family together, a little bit and you’re a little clued in then. At least a bit, because you’ve done something difficult, that’s actually difficult. You are wiser, and so then maybe you could put a tentative finger out beyond the family, and try to change some little thing without wrecking it It’s like, our society is complex, and we teach our students that they could just fix it It’s like: go fix a military helicopter, and see how far you get with that. It’s like you’re going to get to do… you’re like a chimp with a wrench: Whack! “Oh look! It’s better!” It’s like: NO! it’s not better… Things are complicated and to fix things is really hard! And you have to be like a… a golden tool to fix things. And you’re not! So, and that’s the other message of the West, It’s like, how do you overcome the suffering of life? And I’m not saying it’s only the message of the West, How do you overcome the suffering of life is: BE A BETTER PERSON!!! That’s how you do it! Well, that’s hard! It takes responsibility! And I think, you know, if you said to someone: Do you want to have a meaningful life? Everything you do matters! (that’s the definition of a meaningful life) But everything you do matters! You’re gonna have to carry that with you or, do you want to just forget about the whole meaning thing, and… then you don’t have any responsibility…
Because, who the hell cares? And you can wander through life, doing whatever you want gratifying impulsive desires, for how useful that’s going to be? And… You’re stuck in meaninglessness, but you don’t have any responsibility! Which one do you want? Well… Ask yourself: ‘Which one are you pursuing?’ And you’ll find very rapidly, that it isn’t the majority of your soul that’s pursuing the whole “meaning” thing. Because, well look what you have to do, to do that! You have to take on the fact that life is suffering. You have to put yourself together, in the face of that! Well, that’s hard! Christ, it’s amazing people can even do it! I’m stunned every day when I go outside… and it isn’t a riot, with everything burning! It can… Really! God, you talk to people… It’s like… I knew this guy… He’d been in a motorcycle accident, and it really ruined him. And… He was like a linesman, you know, working on the power. And… He was working with someone who had Parkinson’s disease, and… They had complementary… …inadequacies. And so… Two of them could do the job of one person, and so they’re out there fixing power lines in the freezing cold, despite the fact that one was 3/4 wrecked with a motorcycle accident and the other one had Parkinson’s. It’s like…
That’s how our civilization works. It’s like… There’s all these ruined people out there. They’ve got problems like you can’t believe… Off they go to work, and do things they don’t even like! And look, the lights are on! My God! It’s unbelievable! It’s a miracle, It’s a miracle! And we’re so ungrateful! College students, the postmodern types… They’re so ungrateful. You know, they don’t know that they’re surrounded by just a bloody miracle! It’s a miracle, that all this stuff works… But all you crazy chimpanzees who don’t know each other, can sit in the same room for two hours sweltering away without tearing each other apart. Because that’s what chimps do! So Anyways, so What happened? Well, I made some videos and… I got to the bottom of some things (at least, as far as I can tell). So I told you what the bottom is, and then I got this idea about what you might do about it… Which isn’t my idea… it’s like, it’s not my idea… It’s an old, old, old, old idea. It’s far older than Christianity. It’s old, it’s the oldest story of mankind! Get yourself together.
Transcend your suffering, see if you can be some kind of hero, make the suffering in the world less! Well, that’s the way forward, as far as I can tell – if there is any way forward. And that’s what’s under assault by the postmodernists So look out, because they know exactly what they’re doing, and they know exactly why they’re doing it. And that’s what it looks like to me. So That’s it.”