’12 Rules for Life’ Jordan B Peterson – 11

Rule 11: Do Not Bother Children When They are Skateboarding.

And I think Peterson means boys in particular. Children of course need slightly dangerous play so that they can develop competence and learn how to measure risk and daring. A society that over protects children only results in them remaining unformed. The first section of chapter 11 (Danger and Mastery) makes sense and is well argued.

Further into the chapter there is what appears to be a comprehensive argument against Marxism, Feminism, and Post-Modernism. I say ‘appears’ because I read on unconvinced – not that Marxism, extreme feminism and Post-modernism are bad ideas, but that his arguments are objective – even though Peterson brings in many erudite examples. Also any chapter that mentions Derrida and Oedipus must be a little bit suspect. But his personal reflection on why he felt his friend committed suicide is very moving and persuasive.

It was not until later, when Peterson talks about Sleeping Beauty, The Little mermaid, and Alice in Wonderland that I warmed up to what he was saying in terms of patriarchy.

It is the case that the Humanities subjects at Universities, especially in the US and Canada can be politically-correct to an unhealthy extreme, and it seems to be this that Peterson needs to counterbalance in chapter 11. For this reason I need to re-read it and report back: I have to get to grips with what he is really saying underneath the politics of Academia.

Therefore, more of chapter 11 tomorrow.