Truth Perspective is back on Saturdays

Approaching Infinity

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Hey everyone, just a heads up that starting tomorrow, Truth Perspective will resume its weekly shows, airing Saturdays at 12 EST. The first show we have lined up is inspired by Corey's latest article on SOTT: Zionism is the Right's 'Identity Politics' -- Sott.net

We're going to be going in a slightly new direction, focusing more on psychology, religion, history, and philosophy, as well as continuing to find interesting guests to interview. For example, in the coming weeks we plan on discussing free will, atheism vs. theism, and evil. We'll also be returning to subjects like ponerology, early Christianity, and parapsychology.

And just like Behind the Headlines, we'll be transitioning to video soon, hopefully in the month or so!

So be sure to tune in: https://radio.sott.net/
 

luc

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The first show we have lined up is inspired by Corey's latest article on SOTT: Zionism is the Right's 'Identity Politics' -- Sott.net
That's a fascinating topic! Since I usually can't listen/call in during the show, I'd like to bring up a question that is on my mind that's kind of related to this, fwiw:

I think we all agree that the label "antisemitism" is widely used by Israel to shut down any criticism etc. For a long time, I always thought "anti-semitism", insofar as it is real and not just used to silence critics, is just another form of racism/tribalism and so on. But I do wonder if anti-semitism isn't something a bit different. I mean, those who are "racist" against blacks or Muslims, for example, often have this image of the poor, primitive people in mind that are less civilized, less intelligent, more "animal-like" and so on. So they sit on their high horse and feel superior. Interestingly, I think this condescending tone can also be present in those that are "anti-racist" - you know, these are such poor and helpless people, we need to save them and fight for their rights etc.

But with anti-semitism, the picture looks different. Obviously, Ashkenazi Jews are widely succesful in Western societies. So maybe what makes anti-semitism special is that there can be a lot of resentment there, which makes it much more pernicious? Indeed, I wonder if the picture regarding Israel and anti-semitism is not so black and white - that those who associate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism do have a certain point - because some people seem really zealous and obsessed with the whole Palestinian issue. I wonder - would they be less obsessed if all of this had nothing to do with Jews and was just about some country occupying and oppressing the natives? Is there some Jew-hatred out of resentment, envy etc. going on - because, as Peterson put it, "the left likes its minorities powerless and helpless"?

This is just a question that has been on my mind, fwiw.
 

Approaching Infinity

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I think we all agree that the label "antisemitism" is widely used by Israel to shut down any criticism etc. For a long time, I always thought "anti-semitism", insofar as it is real and not just used to silence critics, is just another form of racism/tribalism and so on. But I do wonder if anti-semitism isn't something a bit different. I mean, those who are "racist" against blacks or Muslims, for example, often have this image of the poor, primitive people in mind that are less civilized, less intelligent, more "animal-like" and so on. So they sit on their high horse and feel superior. Interestingly, I think this condescending tone can also be present in those that are "anti-racist" - you know, these are such poor and helpless people, we need to save them and fight for their rights etc.

But with anti-semitism, the picture looks different. Obviously, Ashkenazi Jews are widely succesful in Western societies. So maybe what makes anti-semitism special is that there can be a lot of resentment there, which makes it much more pernicious? Indeed, I wonder if the picture regarding Israel and anti-semitism is not so black and white - that those who associate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism do have a certain point - because some people seem really zealous and obsessed with the whole Palestinian issue. I wonder - would they be less obsessed if all of this had nothing to do with Jews and was just about some country occupying and oppressing the natives? Is there some Jew-hatred out of resentment, envy etc. going on - because, as Peterson put it, "the left likes its minorities powerless and helpless"?
It's a complicated subject for sure - probably enough for an entire show, or more. Just a few thoughts for now, because I'm sure I don't have all the answers. First, I'm not sure if people would be less obsessed if the groups were different. For example, imagine if the situation between the Israelis and Palestinians were reversed. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people would be horrified if an entire Jewish population were under blockade and if peaceful Jewish protesters were being shot in cold blood - probably even more horrified, given the history of the Holocaust. Also, I don't think most people have any problem with the success of Jewish individuals, just like the don't have problem with the success of Asian individuals in Western society.

Yeah, I think the real anti-Semites probably have a lot of resentment and even envy. But I'm not sure if this is much different than any majority population that resents a powerful minority that wields a lot of power, triggering a tribalistic response. For example, there's a history of such power dynamics in the Muslim-majority regions of Russia where one minority ethnicity is in control, breeding resentment from the other more numerous ethnicities. And if the Saudi lobby were as effective as the Israel lobby in the US, I think we'd see something similar (in fact, we already do - and ironically the Saudis get more public criticism).

I think the question is whether anti-Semitism is something fundamentally unique, or if it has an explanation that can apply to other situations too. I don't see how it can be the former - contra what many Jewish commentators say - from a scientific perspective. It's not as if there could be some anti-Jewish module of the brain, for example. There are only tendencies and potentials that are activated for particular reasons.

And I think that viewpoint largely explains why many people are so obsessed with the Israel-Palestine issue. (Of course, some anti-Semites will be in there too, because the circumstances confirm their confirmation bias.) People DO have "fairness" and "care" moral taste buds - liberals and conservatives. And when they see a particularly egregious violation of those deeply entrenched values, they feel strongly about them. And that's what inspired anti-racism more generally - actual examples of legitimate grievances. The problem with most leftist causes is that the alleged discrimination and oppression either doesn't exist in the form they allege, or if it does exist to some degree, then it doesn't actually explain the disparity in question. (Tom Sowell explains this in his latest book. For example, discrimination does not explain black unemployment levels.)

It's also the reason why humanitarian intervention has been so "successful". If you can convince people that Gaddafi is "killing his own people", they will support taking him out, even if they couldn't previously find Libya on a map. And that leads another issue: public exposure. Would other, similar, examples of "some country occupying and oppressing the natives" get less interest simply because it wasn't a Jewish issue, or just because it didn't have the publicity? And what explains the publicity surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict? Is it anti-Semitism? Or is it the fact that because Israel is a Western "ally", their narrative gets more airtime, leaving it more open to scrutiny?
 

luc

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Thanks AI for sharing your thoughts, I think I can see clearer now. Another aspect that makes the Israel/Palestine issue so special I guess is the holocaust - both what actually happened during that time and the immense influence the surrounding narrative had on our minds, especially in the West. It's not just some imperialistic country oppressing another population, it's European Jews who were victims of Nazism; Israel is seen as part of the West, the same West that fought against Hitler; it's about victimhood, which speaks to our "fairness" and "care" tastebuds, especially for liberals; then there's the archetypical "settler narrative" that is at the very core of US identity and on and on. So it seems Israel is a special case where all of this complicated mess culminates - this might be a better explanation for the extreme reactions people have to the issue than the Israeli narrative "anti-semitism is some special thing hidden in all gentiles, just waiting to raise its ugly head at any time".

Good luck for the show btw!
 

Keit

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I wonder - would they be less obsessed if all of this had nothing to do with Jews and was just about some country occupying and oppressing the natives? Is there some Jew-hatred out of resentment, envy etc. going on - because, as Peterson put it, "the left likes its minorities powerless and helpless"?
Just a thought that many people (both pro-or-against Israel's actions) may have strong opinions on the issue due to the story being similar to an archetypal one:

- There is an oppressor and the oppressed that tries to break free.
- On the other hand, there is once oppressed and persecuted that now became the oppressor, but still uses the "pity me" card.

These are universal themes that played out throughout the history many times, so many people "recognize" them and "align" with whatever side suits them most.

As for Jews and how they are being perceived by others. Here's a personal observation. Sometimes Russians may tease each other by saying: "You are such a Jew!". They may say it if another person tried to be sneaky or do something that had to do with saving money. Maybe being "a miser"? Sure, it may sound "anti-Semitic", but then it also accurately describes one of the quintessential behaviors of Ashkenazi Jews in Slavic folklore. Sure, not all Jews are like this, but there were enough like this to create this image.

So in my personal opinion it is a combination of both "generational"/historic memory and playing out of certain universal and archetypal dramas. fwiw.
 
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luc

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Just saw this Peterson video for the first time where he talks about Israel:


To be honest, I was afraid he might tout the pro-Israel line, but it turns out he has some very interesting things to say about the conflict, and he sure understands that identity politics/"group identity" is one big part of the problem here on both sides. Anyway, I found his attempt to answer the question "why the obsession with Israel" very interesting and I think he's onto something here. (Although he doesn't seem to grasp the full horror of what happened to the Palestinians, and the full extent of the sheer "identity politics lunacy" that has Israeli society and politicians in its ugly grip.)

On another note, he referred to Jerusalem as the "city on the hill" and a metaphor for an utopia, a "city of god". Interesting since the Cs once mentioned a "5D city on a hill".
 

fabric

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To be honest, I was afraid he might tout the pro-Israel line
I dunno... to me it looks like he did without being explicit about it and found it rather disappointing actually. He skirts around the issue and doesn’t offer anything really insightful except touching on ‘identity politics’ and goes on to say that victim/oppressor dynamic is virtual signaling by the left. Sure there is some of that (any issue can be made out to be) but this one specifically isn’t something that can be ascribed to some ‘moral high ground’ of the left because it’s quite clear who are the victims here. He is essentially minimizing the issue and the suffering of the Palestinians. He doesn’t come anywhere to close to defining the problem and was overall rather vague and generalizing about it. His comments about the West also are misguided, like he admits there is truth to the statement ‘the West stole everything’ but then disarms that by countering with “there is economic value in a peaceful law abiding and honest state [...] which I believe we are.”... uh excuse me?

I do like Peterson very much and he can be incredibly insightful on many topics but that’s the one thing that bothers me about him. He avoids commentary on any issue that paints the West in a bad light. He’ll speak strongly about morality and virtues but when it comes to a situation (in particular political or economical) where there is no ambiguity in what is the moral stance he refrains from calling it out. Whether it’s him practicing strategic enclosure or simply his ‘dragon’ that he can’t face yet I don’t know. But each time I see him comment on anything like that I’m further convinced that it’s somewhere he doesn’t want to go and is willfully being blind to it. I can understand not going there when it comes to Israel but why can't he call out the US or at least admit things are already falling apart? And it's not solely because of the 'lefties' (although they currently are exacerbating the problem), but symptoms of the exact same things that he talks about and the US is a perfect example of what he could use to illustrate that point. Now, it doesn't detract from all the other wonderful things he says but I do believe that by not being more explicit when it comes to the truth in these matters it only ends up putting him a a weaker position.
 

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I dunno... to me it looks like he did without being explicit about it and found it rather disappointing actually. He skirts around the issue and doesn’t offer anything really insightful except touching on ‘identity politics’ and goes on to say that victim/oppressor dynamic is virtual signaling by the left. Sure there is some of that (any issue can be made out to be) but this one specifically isn’t something that can be ascribed to some ‘moral high ground’ of the left because it’s quite clear who are the victims here. He is essentially minimizing the issue and the suffering of the Palestinians. He doesn’t come anywhere to close to defining the problem and was overall rather vague and generalizing about it. His comments about the West also are misguided, like he admits there is truth to the statement ‘the West stole everything’ but then disarms that by countering with “there is economic value in a peaceful law abiding and honest state [...] which I believe we are.”... uh excuse me?

I agree with you fabric. JP's weakest point is his limited understanding of geopolitics and the forces drive it. He posted articles on his Facebook page suggesting that he bought into the MSM agenda on the chemical attack in Syria and I came across a number of his comments referring to "those evil regimes" too. Given the link between Israel, the West and the overall situation in the Middle East, I'd be surprised if I saw Peterson accurately and objectively assessing the situation involving Israel.

Here's an example of his take on geopolitical concepts:



Since the forces behind the destabilisation of the Middle East (among other atrocities) are the same forces that are trying to rip apart the fabric of the society, he effectively opposes PTB on one side but supports their agenda on the other, seeing through the lies on the social/psychological front but buying into them on the political front.

Given the size of his fanbase, some scary thoughts come to my mind when I think of where this lack of awareness may lead. It's frightening to think of Peterson being a conduit for lies sandwiched between the truth.
 
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Keit

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But each time I see him comment on anything like that I’m further convinced that it’s somewhere he doesn’t want to go and is willfully being blind to it. I can understand not going there when it comes to Israel but why can't he call out the US or at least admit things are already falling apart?
Yes, I talked about the video luc brought up here, and it does appear that JBP has a huge blind spot when it comes to Israel and the West in general. It is very disappointing, especially since he is so brilliant in other matters. It shows again and again the importance of networking and trying to get to the bottom of things together. But it also shows that in order for it to work each individual in the network should be willing to modify their approach or belief when a new data is being introduced. It is such a pity that we haven't seen many example (if at all) of this happening beside this forum and this community.
 
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fabric

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Given the size of his fanbase, some scary thoughts come to my mind when I think of where this lack of awareness may lead. It's frightening to think of Peterson being a conduit for lies sandwiched between the truth.
You know, I think that’s probably what gets me the most – with so many really looking up to him and idolizing him, his going along with the narrative or at the very least not confronting or criticizing it tells people that it's ok. Even though he’s been called out on it (if you have a look at some of the comments in the FB post @Keit shared) people can still take that at face value. Even if he’s not consciously doing it, he’d be (or quite possibly even is) one helluva a gatekeeper in curbing the narrative against the official government or media line. Not cool!
 
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