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12 Rules for Life By James Reed
Read any good books lately? Well, yes, I have, Jordan Peterson’s latest book, 12 Rules for Life, (Random House, 2018), which is hot from the press. I was delighted to get the review copy of this from our noble editor in Adelaide, who posted this great work to me in steamy Melbourne. Readers will need no introduction to this Canadian intellectual, who has attacked all aspects of poetical, sorry I mean political correctness, yet has still landed on his feet, so far. He has demolished feminists with ease, using cold fresh logic.
They simply cannot stand this, being used to hysterical screaming, chanting and other irrelevant devices. If you go to YouTube you can see all of his videos, which are sheer delights. We at this site are very impressed with this youngish man (compared to old timers like me), and look forward to others joining the fight once they see that the system has feet of clay.
Now to the book. The rules seem at first glance unusual when you read the titles, but when you read the chapter, enlightenment dawns. Thus, for example, rule 11 is: do not bother children when they are skateboarding? Why the goodness, not, could there not be any number of good reasons, not to skateboard, such as public safety, for I have almost been knocked off my arthritic feet by young mobile lads on these boards?
Sure, it is dangerous Professor Peterson says in his disarmingly logical voice, but what we are seeing is the early development of children facing danger and triumphing over it. It is the equivalent of young Africans in the past hunting lions, or whatever dangerous thing it was they did, to reach the high summits of manhood long ago.
Peterson is something of a champion for young men, and he then uses this example to go into bat for boys, whom he says are under attack by the feminist society (p. 297) and males are suffering. (p. 298) This leads him on to a discussion of postmodernism as the intellectual symbol of this retreat from male values, and its deliberate nihilistic and destructive consequences. (p. 311) Then that leads him into transgenderism and then back to more general philosophical considerations from a conservative perspective about the proper role of the sexes.
It is not, spoiler alert, the present status quo, which he argues right through the book, to be undermining of both men and women. There is no easy answer for men in all of this, but Peterson thinks that hope should never be abandoned, and it is not lost, in the symbol of the skateboarding youth, primarily a male domain.
Men still toughen each other up by pushing themselves, and pushing other men. (p. 331) The skateboarders are a symbol of this, and this chapter like all the others contains the same optimistic message, that although times are grim, human life was never easy and that kites manage to fly by rising against the wind. As the famous “mouse utopia” experiment show, mice given all the food and comfort they could wish for, if mice wish, become soft and lazy, and the population soon dies out:
As a footnote to this review, I also read in the public library, as similar inspiring book, Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World, which makes a great case for being an individual and swimming against the tide. Eventually the tide will turn, and the momentum you have will carry you forward. For example, Grant sees great merit in “strategic procrastination,” where not immediately getting things done and dusted gives time for pondering and finding alternative creative solutions, which the quick-fire approach to everything loses.
A good book to give your teens, or to help older folk in a rut. Read it after the Peterson book for true elevation in self-development.