yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

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yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on December 19th, 2018, 2:43 pm 

This forum has never really had a history section. So there is no really good place to talk about topics such as how the constitution of the USA was originally written, or what exactly happened in World War II in NAZI occupied areas.

Having said that, here is a compilation video that shows Jordan Peterson openly using talking points associated with holocaust denial.

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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby TheVat on December 19th, 2018, 3:57 pm 

What I like about the video is his cogent analysis of the various discursive tricks used by extremists, e. g. Whataboutism. It's probably the most common evasion I see at ideological or religion message boards. Thanks for posting that.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Watson on December 19th, 2018, 4:30 pm 

What I like about the video is his cogent analysis of the various discursive tricks used by extremists,


Not just extremists, but the nra as well. Although, they could be seen as extremists. Not the average member, but the more militant upper level members. There is a definite tricky use of language defending the gun.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on December 20th, 2018, 12:49 am 

Peterson is such a smart man, and such a talented debater. For about 2 weeks, I was mystified by him. I began to see cracks in Peterson's narratives within the topic of Sexual Harassment in workplaces. {likely need to make a thread on this.} Even after feeling like his shtick on S-H was deleterious, and possibly harmful, I still believed that Peterson was a brilliant person. I knew he was educated, aware of ethics, and had a firm grasp on history.

The second yellow flag on Peterson was his nearly unhinged rants at "Marxists". Nevertheless, my respect for his brilliance persisted.

This sudden realization that Peterson dabbles in holocaust denial. How can I put this? Yellow flag has turned red? Straw has broken camel's back? "Last straw"? Watching him use these talking points I feel sad , actually. I feel betrayed --- disappointed in him. Watching this video was not fun, the emotions were not fun. I was not experiencing the "joy of hatred" when watch someone you disagree with stumble. My jaw is on the floor, and I do that deep breath of air when you feel surprised that a friend has betrayed you.

I don't know why intelligent people get seduced into holocaust denial. I'm a little bit relieved that there are not any defenders here -- (so far anyways) defenders either of holocaust denial itself, or of Peterson. THis would be a person claiming I am "taking him out of context."
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on December 20th, 2018, 1:01 am 

Hyksos -

Heard of “evidence”? Where is this “holocaust denial”?
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on December 20th, 2018, 1:56 am 

The claim is that Peterson dabbles in it. "Dabbling" is defined here as repeating a cluster of talking points that are common among Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and outright Holocaust deniers.

There is a large contingency of such people, and as the video shows, they have a panoply of dog whistles regarding the holocaust.

The list is larger than given here, but three of the top of my head would be ,

1. Zyklon was a "delousing agent"

2. People died in the camps, but there was never any attempt at murder. Peterson dog-whistles this one by throwing a shroud of doubt over Hitler's "true motivations".

3. The concentration camps were not "as bad as" the historians make it out to be. Pools, gyms, and other perks were given to the prisoners. (Especially them pesky Jewish historians, nudge-nudge-wink-wink)
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on December 20th, 2018, 1:57 am 

"If people died in the camps, it was because they were cut off from supply lines." (another common one)

I've gotten the jabs in. But let me be more specific about the moral reprehensibility. It is socially irresponsible to dabble in Holocaust denial by lining up all the talking points end-to-end in a lecture, and then never drawing the OBVIOUS CONCLUSION staring everyone in the face which is "it didn't happen."

Instead you line up all the evidence, and hope that a young impressionable mind in the room listening intently to your lecture will draw the conclusion on his own. That way you can excuse yourself of being a holocaust denier when challenged face-on. Fast-forward a few months, and BadgerJelly is demanding I produce "ironclad evidence that he denied the holocaust flat out". Lining up the neo-nazi talking points end-on-end is ipso facto functionally equivalent to holocaust denial. It has the same intended social effect even when not said out loud.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on December 20th, 2018, 2:15 am 

hyksos » December 20th, 2018, 1:56 pm wrote:The claim is that Peterson dabbles in it. "Dabbling" is defined here as repeating a cluster of talking points that are common among Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and outright Holocaust deniers.

There is a large contingency of such people, and as the video shows, they have a panoply of dog whistles regarding the holocaust.

The list is larger than given here, but three of the top of my head would be ,

1. Zyklon was a "delousing agent"

2. People died in the camps, but there was never any attempt at murder. Peterson dog-whistles this one by throwing a shroud of doubt over Hitler's "true motivations".

3. The concentration camps were not "as bad as" the historians make it out to be. Pools, gyms, and other perks were given to the prisoners. (Especially them pesky Jewish historians, nudge-nudge-wink-wink)


I can only strongly disagree given that I’ve watched the full lecture on Hitler and right-wing extremism; he makes the same kind of explanation for left-wing extremism too and that doesn’t put him on the far-left simply because he understands part of the thinking behind these ideologies.

I noticed you also referred to Peterson in another thread as not knowing anything about history and being merely a psychologist. Which begs me to ask if you had any idea that he actually studied Poltical Science prior to psychology and that his main interest as in what led to the rise of totalitarian regimes? You make out that he is just plucking his ideas from thin air without any knowledge of the subject matter, when in truth he’s been studying this stuff for a very long time.

I would agree, if you showed something, that some of his thoughts are not all that original and that some of his ideas are also quite speculative to say the least. In regards to Nazi’s and The Soviet Union I think he’s done his homework well enough.

Care to post clips where he talks about Hitler as an “evil man” anywhere? Or about his take on right-wing extremism?

This isn’t even relevant to political theory merely some bizarre attack (and a pathetic one) on Peterson. The best place to get at what he says in in how he interprets Jung. I think he’s off here and there and that Jung himself was not exactly 100% correct anyway - although he did reveal a great deal.

He doesn’t say that the holocaust didn’t happen anywhere. If I’ve missed him saying this somewhere please show me rather than posting some amateur youtuber feeding of the hype tby placing him in a video unrelated people in order to score a quick buck.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on December 20th, 2018, 10:27 pm 

He doesn’t say that the holocaust didn’t happen anywhere. If I’ve missed him saying this somewhere please show me rather than posting some amateur youtuber feeding of the hype tby placing him in a video unrelated people in order to score a quick buck.

I have sufficiently addressed this. You are being disingenuous in the extreme to pretend as if I am under an obligation to produce an exact precisely-stated holocaust denial on camera. Jordan Peterson unabashedly lines up the Neo-nazi talking points end-to-end in his public lectures. That is factual.

For the record: Stating or implying that the NAZIs had "no murderous intent" for the prisoners, and that if they died, it was because they were starved from being cut off from supply lines. That is in all senses equivalent to holocaust denial. It's a dog whistle acting as a shrouded substitution for : "prisoners died in camps, sure, but were not murdered."
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Lomax on February 9th, 2019, 4:07 pm 

When a Peterson enthusiast sent me a few videos of the guy's lectures (and they are lectures) about a year ago, what struck me was his strange vague sympathy for fascism. I was unaware that other people were already accusing him of this, and was uncomfortable with his assertion that it's questionable whether Hitler was an antisemite (it is not), and on the other hand his inflation of Maoism's death toll from 45 million to 100 million (why not make it 200 million?). Meanwhile he placed the death toll of National Socialism at 6 million (which I guess means that Hitler is only responsible for the deaths of half a million of the goyim), repeats the myth of Hitler having attained power by means of a democratic election (actually, Hitler lost a democratic election, surrounded the parliamentary building with paramilitary troops, forced the ministers to sign over power, and then held an election in which the opposition was banned from the ballot, all the while running a campaign of intimidation against those Germans who were considering not voting for NSDAP) and told his dewy audience that the problem with the Nazis is that they were "too civilised". He told us he considers the car to be the ultimate rejection of totalitarianism - so I guess he must be very impressed with the Autobahn. But as one of Hitler's main agitators described the Third Reich:

Leon Trotsky wrote:Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms.


All the while he took it as given that Stalinism is a nightmare. Perhaps this is just contrarianism because he was talking to university students. As the video Hyksos embedded states, the point of dog whistles is that they are not wholly distinguishable from ignorance, so on a kind reading, that is Peterson's affliction. We ought not to jump to conclusions. And elsewhere he states it is necessary to have Leftism because it stops hierarchies from running out of control - if Hitler's Germany is not such a runaway hierarchy then nothing is.

Really, Peterson's problem is that he never finishes a thought - his views on European fascism are unclear because his thoughts on the whole are unclear. Current Affairs editor Nathan J. Robinson took the time to transcribe one of Peterson's moral stories:

Jordan Peterson wrote:Mother made some pancakes for Billy, but the dragon ate them all! Mother made some more, but the dragon ate those too. Mother kept making pancakes until she ran out of batter. Billy only got one of them but he said that’s all he really wanted anyway. So I’ll tell you another story about that. So, when I lived in Boston, I had little kids and my wife took care of some neighborhood little kids because she didn’t have a green card and that was she was home with the kids anyways, and anyway, she took care of some other little kids. One of them would only eat hot dogs that was quite funny. He’d only eat hot dogs at his mother’s place but at our house he ate all of his lunch and he was perfectly happy about it, so I thought that was quite amusing too. But anyways one day a neighbor came by and the neighbor had a four year old child and the neighbor was looking for someone to take care of the child because her nanny had been in a car accident and couldn’t take care of the child temporarily. So the child had sort of been circulating around neighborhood houses for a couple of days and you know people were taking care of him and then he ended up at our house. Which was fine. And so he’s a cute little guy and his — the mother came to the door and she said she’s pushed the boy in he was kind of like this [sulking], he wasn’t very happy and she said, “He probably won’t eat all day but that’s okay.” And I thought hmm that’s a remarkably interesting statement to you know, to put forth as a proposition the first time we meet your son. It’s like, he won’t eat, all day, which by the way is not okay, it’s not okay, and you’re going to tell us that it’s okay and you’re going to expect that we’re just going to accept the fact that you think it’s okay...


And this, I am told, is our foremost intellectual.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby PaulN on February 9th, 2019, 9:45 pm 

Guy seems to be the answer to the question, "what if Donald Trump had been a Canadian intellectual?"
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Lomax on February 10th, 2019, 8:00 am 

Ha. When "Weird Twitter" king @dril wrote this tweet we all thought "He means Jordan Peterson". And Peterson has been known to have aggressive mood swings online, when confronted with critics.

All the same, the comparison's a little unfair. If there's one trait common to the "Intellectual Dark Web", it's support for free speech. If you don't have that, there's little point in having intellectuals. And I strongly have the impression that Trump would rather have popularity than have intellectuals.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on February 11th, 2019, 6:26 am 

Lomax -

When a Peterson enthusiast sent me a few videos of the guy's lectures (and they are lectures) about a year ago, what struck me was his strange vague sympathy for fascism.


I didn’t hear this is anything he says. When pulled up about any accusation of this he has repeatedly said he is not in favour of this. He does make it quite clear (at least in lectures I have watched) that he “sympathizes” with right and left wing views because they are based on something real - but he isn’t in favour of either extreme.

I believe most of what he says is perfectly fine, some things are more questionable, but none of it appears to set out to do much more than push for free speech regardless of who is saying what.

Anyway, I believe his time is waning now and there will be idiots who use his words to bolster their arguments rather for or against this or that issue. Personally I was hoping for a more active interest in Jung’s work, but if he has done so I doubt we’re going to see much evidence of this until the next batch of graduates comes through.

Does Peterson finish his thoughts? I hope not. I guess people listening to him thinking he is giving a complete solution are falling prey to the idea that someone actually has all the answers ... I do think we all generally act as if some of our thoughts are complete though in order to have them questioned. The firmer your stance the more open you should be to criticism.

Personally I don’t let some questionable points detract from more solid and interesting thoughts. I honestly only stumbled across him due to my fumbled attempts to explain Jungian archetypes ... and I have to admit I am not wholly satified with his analysis yet in parts it is really useful to show someone in order to get across some of the gist of Jungia ideas.

The best talk I’ve seen him in was with Stephe Fry whom completely decimated everyone else. I’d love to see Fry and Peterson in a one-on-one about Christian values, homosexuality and Petersons’ instistance about being “non-political” (which I can of get, yet at the same time everything is “political” and psychology is certainly a major force in this area). Not to mention the whole point of “individuality” in a “civil society” is essentially a topic approached with both poltical and psychological factors held on the forefront of the discussion.

I don’t believe trying to understand reasons for far right/let political systems is an indicator of being far left/right or of possessing “sympathy” for them - especially when this has been made explicit by the person in question to the point where he seems to blankly refuse to “play that game” anymore.

Of course you’re going to get bunches of fanboys adamant that he is the bees knees and infallible. I don’t really see a overwhelming malevolent intent - at a stretch I could suggest such, but I could pretty much see malevolent intent in almost every human being (including myself) if I chose too.

As person who brings to the fore soem interesting questions he’s not exactly top of my list. There is a helluva lot of noise nowadays and helluva lot of people buying into this or that viewpoint without much need for actual thought or research (given that almost every viewpoint can be superficially “backed up” with any old link after a quick online search).

If someone vehemently displays a strong disagreement with x or y I find it in my personal interest to question such points and look for the counter position.

Hyksos -

You are being disingenuous in the extreme to pretend as if I am under an obligation to produce an exact precisely-stated holocaust denial on camera. Jordan Peterson unabashedly lines up the Neo-nazi talking points end-to-end in his public lectures. That is factual.


It takes very little imagination to say that someone is being either left or right wing in their attitudes and statements. You think he’s apparently a “neo-Nazi” (or rather you’ve “dog whistled” so) and I think you’re probably exaggerating more than a little although I can easily see how if you wish to view his words in this light you can - psychological fixatedness is simply a matter of fact and maybe we’re both suffering from it. Either way you appear to have said he says some useful things and I agree there.

If what I say appears disingenuous then so be it. The same goes for myself. If you think what you think then yuo must do so for a good reason. I disagree and I could be wrong. He may very well be setting out to create a solid foundation for a stronger right wing agenda for such and such a candidate. One thing is for sure. A largely unequal leaning towards the left or right ends up in the same disastrous situation.

Overall my personal assessment is that he’s done/doing more good than bad. I’ve not followed anything he’s done for a while but I believe he’ll be chatting to Zizek? That should be entertaining if nothing else! :)
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Lomax on February 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm 

Some good responses, and I don't claim that he is a fascist, although I'm curious what motivates him to prefer it over Communism. (I always have this problem with people who compare death tolls, even when they use accurate figures - Communism controlled something like a third of the world's population over a span of about seventy years, whereas Naziism was swiftly crushed, as it had to be. Have those people attempted to argue against themselves?) And I don't argue we should ignore everything he says on account of the fact that he has the Fourth Reich on his mind - I don't argue we should ignore everything David Irving says either, if you see my point.

As to whether people should finish their thoughts, I know what you mean, but we're not talking about Wittgenstein here. We're talking about someone who can rarely finish a sentence. If we're thinking of the same Peterson/Fry video - the debate over Political Correctness - he wasted every breath arguing against collectivism and identity politics, which are different and different again. Peterson is a very smart and well-informed clinical psychologist who has been lulled out of his area of expertise by social and political events. But for all his artillery, his strikes are not surgical. And this is what I mean about his "dog whistles" - lack of clarity is not specific to his ruminations on Natonal Socialism, but rather, general to his ruminations.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on February 12th, 2019, 9:23 am 

Lomax -

Some good responses, and I don't claim that he is a fascist, although I'm curious what motivates him to prefer it over Communism.


He doesn’t. He has said this openly and repeatedly in response to various hard left leaning media outlets.

The reason he gives for not focusing on hard right wing attitudes (although these are addressed with no love attatched in the lectures I’ve watched) is that he’s concerned about the influence of hard left leaning people within universities, and also that it is generally quite easy to see “when the right goes too far” whereas when the left goes too far it is usually concealed because of the manner in which such left views are formed (to look out for those suffering due to having a smaller voice).

He does actually talk repeatedly about “left and right” throughout his lectures without having to focus on the political sphere (repeating the good and bad of both attitudes and where adn how they go to far - especially in relation to individuals given his Jungian tilt).

He did certainly make a mess of the PC discussion, but he is cetainly prone to ire a they were out to provoke him as best they could forcing the direction of the talk into the poltical sphere ... he took the bait and only Fry came out looking cool, calm and collected and having made the most vivid points about the issue of the topic at hand and the problem of the political “chasm” as he put it.

And again, it is not entirely correct to say it’s not his field of expertise. He stuided political science before moving to psycholgy and his number one motivation (so he says) was trying to understand how the horrors of the 20th century happened and what motivated people, collectively and individually, to either stand idle or follow blindly - focus especially on the two main suspects of Communism and Nazism.

I think we’re all pretty well aware on this forum that most of us would more likely be the guard on the walls of the concentration camps than the one fighting back against the system. There is no question which one we wish we’d be (at least I hope!) yet the hard reality is we’re often nowhere near as brave as we think we are ... it is this point that rings true and it’s a Jungian idea, it’s the Shadow and has to be the most uncomfortable and disturbing thing for any individual to face and it id wholly unsurprising that people choose to slander and ridicule rather than face ip to the true horror of what they themselves are capable; and I don’t just mean understand the possibility, I mean really see deep into the darkest cornere of their mind where the viciousness (aka evil) lies.

The recent example would be Liam Neeson. He met his shadow and luckily escaped. Those pointing the finger at him now and screaming “racist” are precisely the one’s that refuse to face the very same evil within themselves. Who can blame them? It’s not nice to know you’re a monster, it’s dangerous to both look for it and even more dangerous to pretend it doesn’t exist - this is all essentially Jung not Peterson though. I think that his words and thoughts carry weight because they are reiterations of Jung held up to modern society.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Lomax on February 12th, 2019, 9:49 am 

Well, I studied Information Technology and I suck at that. I mean, I gave several examples of Peterson being just wrong on point of fact when it comes to major questions of 20th century history, so I can't credit him with political expertise on account if his studies. As for Political Correctness being forced into the sphere of politics: that is where it was born and largely still lives. Hence the name.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on February 12th, 2019, 11:35 am 

Lomax -

I agree that PC is about poltical poles exactly. It seems to me to be more about freedom of speech specifically than getting involved in a debate about left versus right wing political views. Both sides can use/manipulate PC speech use, yet the point of the debate was about whether or not PC works or whether or not it’s been taken too far not about left versus right directly or the issues brought up in the debate in order to vilify Peterson (it was quite blatant).

Saying 50-100 million is a pretty reasonable given that many others would argue the same rough estimate, but to say Hitler was democratically elected was certainly not the case. Countries in a rough place are prone to manipulation. There are issues I have with his use of Jungian terms too sometimes. I don’t buy into the whole “fourth reich” dog whistle though, but I keep it in mind and remain on guard. Hopefully he’ll steer away from all this nonsense and get on with something more positive and productive. I don’t imagine he’ll be more than a footnote in 5-10 years.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby hyksos on February 18th, 2019, 1:22 pm 

I am making absolutely no attempt to "vilify" Jordan Peterson.

As I have said 1000 times, (and I will say 1000 times more if need be) --- when I found out that Peterson dabbles in holocaust denial I did not experience an emotion of happiness for discovering dirt I could "use against him in order to vilify him."

Quite the opposite.

The emotion I experienced is kind of like the emotion you feel when friend stabs you in the back. Shock and betrayal is what I felt. I am not happy that Peterson seems to have a strange obsession with German Fascism and that he lines up Holocaust denial talking points that are nearly lifted verbatim from neo-nazi websites and neo-nazi forums (e.g. stormfront.org and such and the like).

This is bad news and I feel bad about it. Anybody on this forum who thinks I am berry-picking Peterson in order to destroy his credibility is a liar and demagogue. I am acting in good faith here, and with honesty.

To demonstrate such -- I will fully admit that there have been and are, and likely will be in the future people who outright try to smear Peterson publicly -- many of whom hold high positions in mainstream cable TV news media firms like MSNBC. Yes. This is going on. I will admit it because I'm an honest person. I'm sure there are people hot on Peterson's trail who are even trying to silence him. Yes. Probably. I have no doubt such people exist. But I am not one of those people.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby BadgerJelly on February 19th, 2019, 2:15 pm 

Fair enough. I simply don’t see holocaust denial and when pressed you’ve not provided this. There is a, if I’m charitable, vague (seriously vague) insinuation that he could perhaps be providing ammunition to be purposefully misquoted. Given that he said the Jews were killed in millions I’d hardly call that denial though, yet his attempts to get into the head of the “monster” of Hitler (as he calls him) is basically part and parcel of his profession as a psychoanalyst.

Maybe he doesn’t do a particularly good job there though. He is kind of guilty of accidentally using some postmodernist speech in places - or rather what can easily be construed as “postmodernist” in the manner he flits around with the meaning of words.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Lomax on February 20th, 2019, 3:48 pm 

I think it's entirely likely that Peterson reads the likes of Stormfront, because he seems like the sort of person to seek out the opposition's arguments. This is all good and healthy but I think he lacks the deep level of knowledge required to analyse those arguments for what they're worth. I mean, what can I make of his claim that the Nazis are responsible for six million deaths as opposed to Mao's 100 million? If it isn't holocaust denial then it's striking lack of rigour.

On the matter of what counts as holocaust denial: deflating the figures does not, in spite of what the courts say. We don't actually know how many Jews died in the holocaust. The figure of six million originates from Raul Hilberg's educated estimate of 5.1 million (subsequently rounded). Because it is the first serious estimate it is probably not the best, and the holocaust memorial museum in the Israeli part of Jerusalem puts the figure at 4.8 million. Lots of Jews went missing, but we don't know exactly how many of those died in combat, fled, assimilated, or perished by other means. There is always a temptation to exaggerate war casualty figures of all kinds, and for that reason, figures should be treated with careful scepticism. When the death toll of the third Iraq War was verifiably 188,000, the Lancet published a figure of around 600,000, and the OBR published a figure of 1,056,000, implicitly suggesting that several hundred thousand people died in combat and nobody noticed they were gone, reported their deaths, sought medical treatment for them, issued them a death certificate, or boasted of their murder. But such is the fog of war. Holocaust denial is denial that there was a systematic attempt to exterminate the Jews, on order from above. Which is more like the "no murderous intent" claim that Hyksos mentioned above.
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Re: yellow flags on Jordan Peterson

Postby Brent696 on February 22nd, 2019, 3:23 pm 

Conspiracy theorist, waste of time, never proves an accusation, exercise in endless innuendos and context manipulation, and what should I read in to the fact his filming style resembles most commercials, maybe he's just trying to sell his conspiracies. Mmmm
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