Jordan Peterson & Ben Shapiro: Wealth Inequality and Taking Personal Responsibility

Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson discuss where the search for meaning in one’s life is derived.

Ben Shapiro opens with discussing how the postmodernists have essentially disregarded the idea that meaning can be derived from traditional structures such as family and religious community, but are instead derived from the need to enact societal change, as opposed to bearing responsibility for your own life – which, on its own, derives meaning when you decide to accept that your life is your responsibility, and the outcome is not a consequence of society, but of your own actions.

This has become an unpopular idea amongst some sides of the spectrum because it forces people to admit to themselves that their current situation in life, whether good or bad, is a result of their own actions.

It is far more convenient to scapegoat external forces when your life is not where you want it to be. The trade-off with this line of thinking is that, you bear no responsibility, but your life also lacks meaning.

Both sides of the spectrum recognised this, and have capitalised on this idea of uniting people who don’t want to accept responsibility for their lives, by creating a common enemy.

Depending on the context, this common enemy can take the form of hierarchical structures that naturally develop in society, or even worse, a particular group of people or an individual.

It is a far more seductive message to those wanting to avoid personal responsibility, and as a result, lack meaning in their own lives, to unite over a common enemy that is perceived to be responsible for your lack of achievement and standing in life. Extremists use this ‘unity’ to create further divisions, ostracising those they deem enemies of change.

Jordan Peterson, and those that follow him, are one such group that are deemed enemies of the radical left, and are thus disregarded as lacking an understanding of the changing needs of society and even mocked for conveying the simple message of, take responsibility for your own life and accept that the results are not a consequence of society.

This is one of the reasons that the ascendance of Jordan Petersons popularity happened as rapidly as it did, because he recognised that people are lacking meaning in their lives, and are desperate for it. His message resonates so vividly with those craving meaning and wanting to bear responsibility for, and improve their own lives.

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