- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2018

Clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson says the time has come for liberals and “left-leaning” individuals to “identity the markers of pathological extremism.”

The author of the best-selling book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” told the popular YouTube channel “Big Think” this week that liberal activists and academics have not found a way to “box in” radicals as their counterparts on the right have done. He told its 2.2 million subscribers that right-wing groups embracing doctrines of racial superiority are easily spotted and ostracized while left-wing radicals benefit from a dearth of widely accepted identifiers.

“What’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box in the radicals and say, ‘no, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion,’” the University of Toronto professor said. “Now, here’s the issue. We know that things can go too far on the right, and we know that things can go too far on the left. But we don’t know what the markers are for going too far on the left. I would say that it’s ethically incumbent on those who are liberal or left-leaning to identity the markers of pathological extremism on the left and to distinguish themselves from the people who hold those pathological viewpoints — and I don’t see that that’s being done.”

“I think that’s a colossal ethical failure and it may doom the liberal-left project,” Mr. Peterson continued. “The lefties have their point. They’re driven fundamentally by a horror of inequality and the catastrophes that inequality produces — and fair enough because inequality is a massive social force and it does produce, it can produce catastrophic consequences. So to be concerned about that is reasonable, but we do know that that concern can go to far.”

The author concluded that “diversity, inclusivity and equity” serve as a triumvirate of concepts that “have the same potentially catastrophic outcomes when implemented as the racial superiority doctrines.”

“I would say of the three, equity is the most unacceptable, the doctrine of equality of outcome,” he said. “It seems to me that that’s where people who are thoughtful on the left should draw the line and say nope. Equality of opportunity, not only [is it] fair enough, [it’s] even laudable. But equality of outcome? It’s like, ‘no, you’ve crossed the line. We’re not going there with you.’”

SEE ALSO: Jordan B. Peterson stares down ‘Lock em in and burn it down!’ Queen’s U. protest

The professor is no stranger to left-wing radicals. He shot to fame in 2016 over opposition to Canada’s “C-16 bill.”

Activists, similar to those who threatened to “lock em in and burn it down” during his recent speech at Queen’s University, deemed him “transphobic” for denouncing possible mandates for language used with transgender individuals.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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