Toronto Professor Shares ‘12 Rules’ for Fighting Chaos in the World

Toronto University professor and author Jordan Peterson had a long conversation with Glenn about psychology, faith, fresh beginnings and his upcoming book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” on today’s show.

In his book, Peterson explored freedom and responsibility while distilling what people should know about the world into 12 rules.

One part of his research involved looking at what persuades individuals to do terrible things. We know people commit acts of great evil, but how do human beings become capable of it?

“I was interested in individual motivation, not the motivation of groups so much, but how and why people could find themselves as individuals in situations where they would be called upon and then do, commit acts of unimaginable brutality,” Peterson said.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: So a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine introduced me via YouTube to a guy named Jordan Peterson.

He is a clinical psychologist and cultural critic and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

He's a man that apparently makes a lot of people angry, at least those who are progressives and die-hards on the left. We're pleased to have him on with us now.

Professor, how are you, sir?

JORDAN: I'm very well. How are you doing?

GLENN: I'm good. I'm a new fan of yours. And, quite honestly, one of the most remarkable things I've heard you say, at least on a YouTube clip, you were asked the question about whether you believed in the resurrection. And I thought it was such a thoughtful answer. And such a brave answer, that I became an immediate -- immediate fan. Do you remember your answer?

JORDAN: I don't remember that -- I don't remember the specific answer that you're referring to. So I'm afraid I can't comment on it further. But I'm glad that you found it useful. I mean, it's a very difficult question obviously.

GLENN: Can you answer it now? I'd like to see where you stand today, if it's the same place.

JORDAN: Well, most of what I've been doing -- I've done a 15-part lecture series on the Bible. I've been approaching it psychologically. Which is not to say that it can't be approached religiously or theologically or as literature, in many different ways, but I've been approaching it psychologically.

And there's a deep psychological idea behind the -- behind the -- the symbol of the resurrection, which is obviously an extraordinarily powerful idea. It's gripped billions of people for thousands of years. It's an overwhelmingly powerful idea. And the psychological idea is that in order for human beings to be redeemed, in order for our psyches to be renewed, we have to be willing to let that part of us that's unworthy die so that a better part can come to life.

And you experience this every time you encounter a serious setback in life. You know, if you are betrayed by someone or you make a catastrophic error, you have to go through your past life with a fine-tooth comb and your assumptions and your actions, and you have to find which ones have served you badly and which ones need to be cast into the fire, so to speak. And that's very, very painful. It's something that's very hard for people to do, because that part of you that's made a mistake is alive.

And it doesn't want to be -- it doesn't want to be destroyed and revivified. But it's something that you need to continually engage in as you move through life, in order to stay on top of the ever changing environment.

It's like, a forest has to be renewed by fire. And the fire strips out the old growth and the deadwood. But it lets things come to life. And at minimum, from a psychological perspective, the idea of the resurrection portrays that fundamental reality.

It's the reality of being willing to let your old self die so that your new self -- your new better self can come into being. It's a particularly useful thing to think about around New Year's, right? Because that's something we dramatize at New Year's with the death of the old year and the rebirth of the new year.

It's associated as well, obviously with the idea of Christmas and the dawn of something new and redemptive.

So I don't know if that was the same answer --

GLENN: It wasn't. It wasn't. That was a good one. It wasn't. I'll let others find your talk on that and --

JORDAN: Okay.

GLENN: But it was a great answer. That was a good answer as well.

I was -- I really wanted to talk to you because you have -- you've led an interesting life. And the path that you have taken, after you finished school, you went over to Europe for about a year. And you decided to -- you were moved by the fear of the Cold War and World War II. And how could people do these things to each other?

A very similar journey in some ways that I have made in the last ten years. And I am seeing the seeds of really disturbing things happening in our society all around the world. And I'm wondering if you have an answer to understand it or to diffuse what we seem to be building now.

JORDAN: Well, I can see -- when I -- I wrote a book in 1999 called Maps Of Meaning, which took me about 15 years to write, so I wrote it between 1985 and 1999. And during that time, I was obsessed with the issues that you just described. And the issues for me were, number one, how -- and this is in relationship to the Cold War. So you how did you is it that the world could be split into two opposing, let's say, ideological camps, or at least two idea-based camps. And that that split was manifested itself with such intensity, that people on both sides of the divide were willing to put the entire -- what would you say? Put being itself at risk.

GLENN: Yes.

JORDAN: To arm ourselves so heavily, that we could destroy -- plausibly destroy everything. And that we might be willing to do that.

Why was it that people were so wedded to their beliefs and their opposing beliefs, that that seemed -- well, that that developed, let's say. Even though no one necessarily thought it was a good idea. It obviously developed.

And then a secondary question was: How is it that in the service of ideological possession -- let's say, people could commit acts of unbelievable brutality like those that characterized the -- the death camps in Nazi Germany and the Gulag Archipelagos in the Soviet Union and the absolute mayhem that reigned in Maoist China.

I was interested in individual motivation, not the motivation of groups so much. But how and why people could find themselves as individuals in situations where they would be called upon and then do -- commit acts of unimaginable brutality. Even when apparently normal in their psychological makeup.

So I was trying to delve into those two ideas.

The first, in Maps of Meaning. The first I wanted to went out was in this ideological war between the West and the Soviet Union, let's say, was that merely just a difference of opinion?

Let's say the post modernists might have it. Because post modernists don't believe that there are any belief systems that have anymore fundamental utility or reality than any others.

And so I was curious. Was it just a matter of opinion?

You know, with the Soviet Union taking the communitarian stance, let's say. And the West taking the capitalist democratic stance. But there was no right or wrong at the bottom of that. It was just a matter of arbitrary power.

So I spent a lot of time investigating the understructure of those belief systems, partly as a consequence of reading people like Nietzsche and Carl Jung, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and a variety of others. Some very great people.

And what I concluded was that this was not merely a matter of opinion, that there was something about the way we constituted our belief systems in the West, predicated as they are on the Judeo-Christian tradition that may -- and that being in turn predicated on something even deeper, something of even evolutionary significance, I would say, that made it quite evident to me that the idea of the supremacy of the individual that's emerged in the West is by no means merely another opinion. And the reason for that is two-fold, I think. The first is that the state cannot be the answer to our problems because the state is static, as indicated by its very name. The state is static. And it's composed of the contribution of the dead in the past. And no matter how great the dead were, they're dead. And they cannot respond in a vital way to the challenges of the present. The individual has to do that.

So even though the state and tradition is necessary, which every conservative would note in a moment, it's the individual that has to serve as the eyes and the voice as the state and revivify it when necessary. And it's part of that rebirth process.

GLENN: What you're saying is very similar to what Thomas Jefferson talked about. We can write it down now. But this will change and should change, and every single generation has to find it for themselves and has to -- and defend it and live it for themselves.

The dead should not rule beyond the grave.

JORDAN: Well, that's it.

Well, and, you know, you said every generation has to rediscover it. There's a motif that I've concentrated on quite extensively in Maps of Meaning, but also in my YouTube lectures, which is the archetypal motif of rescuing the father from the belly of the beast.

You see that, for example, one of the popular manifestations of that was in the Pinocchio story in the '30s, right? Where Pinocchio, to stop being a puppet, has to journey down to the darkest place there is and rescue his father.

And that is the -- that is the responsibility of the living, to the past. Is that we have to go back -- we have to go into chaos. The chaos, let's say right now being our current polarized political state, and find out what was wise and good and productive about the past and then lend it a new voice, a new vision. And that makes the individual -- the individual who does that, has an optimal combination of that dynamic living vision and voice, that's also symbolized, by the way, by the Christian idea of the word and the traditions of the past.

And that's the solution. So you said, well, what's the solution to the polarization that is -- is tearing us apart? Well, the polarization is a polarization of group identity, right? It's the left pushes forward an identitarian perspective, where group identity is the paramount feature of every individual. And the right does the same thing. Now, they're doing it for different reasons. But they're driven by the same belief that identification with the group is the highest moral virtue.

And that's -- that's -- well, I would say that's wrong.

GLENN: It is.

JORDAN: You have to have respect for the group. You have to have respect for your traditions and gratitude for them, rather than pride about them. Because you didn't produce them. Which is another reason why I think racial pride is -- even pride in tradition is a very bad idea.

Pride is a sin and goes before a fall. You should be humble and grateful for what the past has given you. And you should strive to embody the best of it and revivify it. And you should act as an individual. And I do believe the path of the divine individual, let's say, is actually the proper redemptive path. And I believe that that's the central message -- well, I think it's the central message of Judaism, especially with regards to the prophetic tradition. But it's most definitely the central message of Christianity. Because Christianity puts forward the notion that the individual is -- well, partakes of divinity.

And one of the things I pointed out in my Biblical lectures is an idea in Genesis, which I've studied in-depth, that at the beginning of time, God creates order out of chaos with the word.

And so the idea there -- the psychology idea is that there is something about communicative and productive, honest speech that encounters chaos and the unknown. That's the (foreign language) that exists before the beginning of the universe. And that -- that truthful and positive word spoken forth brings order out of chaos. Brings habitable order out of chaos. That's the creation story in Genesis. And part of that creation story is the idea that human beings are made in the image of God. And what that means is that we have the capacity and the moral obligation to speak truth to the -- speak -- to orient ourselves to the good and speak truth and to bring habitable order out of chaos.

And that's -- if we don't do that, then --

GLENN: Then what?

JORDAN: Then -- well, then chaos reigns. And things deteriorate into hell.

GLENN: And I think that's where we're headed. Back in just a second with Dr. Jordan Peterson.

STU: To hell?

GLENN: To chaos. I mean, we are seeing it grow every single day. And it's because we're stifling speech. Dr. Jordan period of time son. Psychology professor. University of Toronto. You can find him on YouTube. And watch the Pinocchio YouTube. It's remarkable.

GLENN: We're thrilled to have Jordan Peterson on, he is a professor at the University of Toronto, and a fearless defender of the truth. You get into a lot of trouble for the things that you say, because you don't agree with political correctness at all.

And, you know, we're struggling now with a way to tell the truth and not be destroyed by it.

Any tips?

JORDAN: Well, the first thing is that, you know, from one perspective, I've got in a lot of trouble. But I would say the net consequence has been overwhelmingly positive in all sorts of way, both personal and social.

But I would also say, a lot of it, Glenn, is having your fears in order. There's no doubt that telling the truth is a risky enterprise. But it's not even -- it's not even in the same category of risky as not telling the truth.

Like, the thing is the consequences of telling the truth might be immediate and self-evident. And the consequences of failing to speak the truth, hiding say or lying, are deferred and medium to long-term. But they're much more grotesque and terrible. Deceit and sins of omission, like failing to say what you really think to be the case, warps your character. And it sets you up for a terrible fall in the future.

And so, you know, people have been commending me on my bravery over the last year. And I think in some sense it's misguided. I'm not so much brave, as much as terrified of the right thing. And the last thing I want to do, and this is partly because of what I realized by analyzing what happened in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union and so forth. The last thing I'm willing to do is sacrifice my voice, let's say. Like, I'm way more terrified of that than of anything else.

And I just think -- I don't think that as a metaphysical statement. Although, it is

I think of it as a practical statement. If you lose your character because you lose your voice, well, as the Pinocchio movie puts it, you become a brain jackass. A puppet. You stay a puppet and become a brain jackass. And that's a really bad idea. You end up sold to the salt mines when that happens. It's not a good thing.

GLENN: Jordan Peterson. He's coming out with a new book in January. And I'd love to have him back. Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

We're going to continue our conversation with him in just a second.

You can find him online on YouTube. Just -- just Google search Jordan Peterson. Dr. Jordan Peterson. And I think you will -- you will spend the day really hearing the truth, I think, refreshingly for the first time.

VOICE: You're listening to the Glenn Beck Program. A guy I want you to get to know. His name is Jordan B. Peterson. JordanBPeterson.com is his web address. You can just find him. He's on YouTube. He's written several books.

He's got a new one coming out on January 12. Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. I actually have an advanced copy. I'm going to be reading it over the holiday.

Professor, I'm glad to have you -- glad to have you on. And maybe you can help us find some -- some meaning or a direction to go here.

Both sides here in America -- I'm sure you're aware of what's happening here in America. It's gotten a little nuts.

JORDAN: Oh, it's the same in Canada.

GLENN: Is it?

JORDAN: Oh, yes. It's very bad.

GLENN: We're sitting here right now arguing over fake news. And it's amazing, if you're somebody who just doesn't have a side, your side is the truth, you're looking at both sides saying, you're both lying, and you're both telling the truth. It just depends on when and where.

And most people don't have a way to find the truth, or at least they're just -- they're -- they're willing just to go with whatever is on their side. And so the truth is kind of everywhere and yet nowhere in America.

How do you find the truth? How do you know what truth is?

JORDAN: Well, the first thing I would say is that you have to be very careful, if -- when making a claim that you can find the truth or that you know what the truth is.

But this question could still be answered. And I would say the way to start aligning yourself with the truth, which is a good idea, by the way, because the truth reflects reality. And it's good to have reality on your side, since there's a lot of it and not very much of you.

The first thing you do is restrict falsehood. And so I would say that if people are interested in telling the truth and abiding by the truth, which is the most practical thing you could do, the first thing is to stop lying. And you can tell when you're lying. You can do that by omission. You know, by failing to say something you believe to be true. Or by commission. By actually being deceitful.

You can tell if you're doing that, because it makes you weak. It makes you feel physically weak and ashamed. And everyone knows that. That's the voice of conscience.

And we -- because we're imaginative and because we can distort, manipulate our perception to our language, we're very tempted to live out falsehoods and to perceive falsehoods. You have to start humbly, sort of in your own -- well, there's this advice I've been giving to people, it's become somewhat of an internet meme, which is -- I think someone just sent me 50 bumper stickers with this on it. I've been telling people to clean their rooms, you know. Because one of the things I've noticed with the college-type activists is that they're -- they're very frequently young people who have no control whatsoever over their personal life. Everything about them is in disarray. And yet they're possessed by the idea that they can critique the general social structure and that they have the wisdom to put it right. It's like, you should attend to your own mistruths to begin with, your own personal life, and your own family. And get that straight.

It's very difficult. That's why it says in the New Testament, that you should remove the beam of wood from your eye before you worry about the dust mote in your neighbor's eye. That's a very wise statement. And it's not one that people like to hear.

Because, you know, when we want to come out for the truth, we want to do it in a grand gesture so that everybody notices. But to come out for the truth is something that you do humbly and privately. And even with a certain degree of embarrassment and shame. Because you become aware very rapidly of how many petty and terrible ways you're distorting your relationship with reality. It's embarrassing.

GLENN: But I don't know if people are embarrassed -- I mean, there are people -- you know, you know. You've got in trouble with them. That will look you straight in the eye and say, there is no biological difference between a man and a woman. Well, that is just --

JORDAN: I don't know if they'll look me straight in the eye and say that. You know what I mean? And I don't -- my -- my experience has been in situations like that, that words -- words of that form are not put forward with any strength.

And one of the things that's happened to me, Glenn, in the last year that's been extraordinarily interesting -- and I'm unbelievably fortune that it's occurred, is that every time I've been attacked by people who are putting forward the kind of ideology that you've been describing, it has backfired unbelievably spectacularly.

And so these untruths, let's say, they reveal themselves in people's gestures and attitudes. They make people resentful and vengeful. That's the worst of it.

But they also deprive their words of any real strength, which is partly why they have to be put forward with such vehemence and force and ideological exactitude. There's nothing really behind them.

And, well, that becomes quite evident. That becomes quite evident in the course of a genuine public discussion.

GLENN: What does it mean to be a Christian anymore? A lot of us --

JORDAN: I mean, what it should mean -- what it should mean -- and I'm speaking psychologically again here. I mean, Christ is the archetypal perfect man. Whatever that means. It's a concept that's really beyond understanding. Because we don't know our full extension. We don't know our full possibility or potentiality.

I mean, Christ himself said that the people that he left behind could do works greater than his, if they were willing to undertake the arduous pathway necessary to make that occur. So there's no underestimating the potential power and grandeur and nobility of the individual.

But the problem is, is that it requires -- it requires the adoption of infinite responsibility, let's say. You know, one of the things that characterizes Trump technically speaking is that he took the sins of the world unto himself. And that can be interpreted psychologically as well.

Like when I was reading about Auschwitz and about the behavior of the camp guards in Auschwitz, I wasn't reading about some evil Nazi who wasn't me doing these things. I was reading about me doing them.

And that's a terrible thing to apprehend. And to be a Christian, in any real chance, is to understand first that you bear the moral burden of the 20th century. And it's up to you to do something about it. And not to change other people. But to put yourself together so that the political situation warped and twisted around it, you are called on to do something reprehensible, that you would have the strength of character to refuse to do it. But to even develop that, you have to understand first that you're the person in that concentration camp who is having the -- you know, the person who has just been hauled off the rail cars, crammed in there like cattle, lined up, and then sentenced to carry a wet sack of salt that weighs 100 pounds from one side of the compound to another and back. And that you're the person who would enjoy doing that to someone, in such a terrible situation.

Well, that's what it means at least in part to be Christian. It means to first of all come to terms with the fact that the terrible corruption and malevolence of human beings is something that characterizes you and that you have an obligation to understand that and to work to rectify it. Because the consequence of not doing it is dreadful, beyond imagining. So it's very difficult for people to do that.

You know, in Darthius speak (inaudible), the brothers -- the little story called The Grand Inquisitor where Christ comes back to earth and surveils during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. And he's raising the dead and performing miracles and being a general good guy and causing a lot of trouble. And the inquisitor has him arrested and thrown into prison, and to be executed. And the inquisitor tells him that the burden that he's placed on human beings is just to great, and that the church has spent centuries trying to modify his demands so that normal people could tolerate it. You know, and there's really something to that.

The burden -- the moral burden that's placed on someone who claims to be a Christian is so fundamentally unbearable. But the alternative is worse. So that's where we're at. We need to bear the burden and the responsibility of constraining evil in your own heart and then trying to work to make the world a better place. Or you invest in the hell that you produce for not doing so.

GLENN: I'm struck by the fact that courage really is a muscle and misunderstood. You're not going to be able to rise to the occasion in horrific situations like in the past and the 20th century if you don't rise to the occasion now. If you don't --

JORDAN: Yes. That's exactly right. Well, which also shows you that what you do right now, day to day, the way you conduct yourself with your husband or wife and at work and with your family, despite the fact that those things are day to day, they're not mundane or trivial. They're vitally important.

Because you put your finger on it precisely. It's that, if you can manifest a good character under normal circumstances, then perhaps you'll have developed the sort of character that will enable you to stand up properly in the midst of a catastrophe.

One of the things I've been telling people who watch my videos who are overwhelmingly young men, by the way, is that they should strive to be the person who is the most reliable. They should strive to be the most reliable person at their father's funeral.

That's a good goal. That's a goal that's indicative of the development of some -- of a proper tragic sensibility with regards to life, and the formulation of some real character in the face of that tragedy.

Now, young people now are fed such a diet of pablum. You know, they're told to develop their self-esteem and to be happy and to be free. And to -- to follow their impulses wherever they might lead. And it's not nourishing. Young men, in particular, are dying -- I mean, literally, they're dying because of that. They're dying spiritually, and they're dying -- well, they're dying in actuality as well.

Because being human requires a noble mode of being. You can't tolerate yourself if you're weak and deceitful and arrogant and resentful. You just hate yourself. And that's -- and then you do harm to yourself and to others.

It's much better to be called forward to do something noble and courageous. And I've been absolutely struck, Glenn, that the thing that's been most surprising in the last year, I would say, is when I'm doing my public talks. And this is especially evident in this Biblical series, which has been packed, by the way. It's sold out every day -- every time we posted one, which is completely bizarre.

But, anyway, every time in those public forums where I talk about responsibility and truth to these audiences, mostly of young men, they're on the edge of their seats. Man, you can hear a pin drop. It's every time. It's intense. And I think it's because since the mid-60s, no one has taken -- and young men in particular and shook them and said, look, you know, you're not who you could be. Get your act together. You know, stand up. Tell the truth. Take your place in the world. And fortify our culture, instead of being whiney and resentful and weak and nihilistic and cowardly and ideologically possessed and immature.

GLENN: Dr. Jordan Peterson.

I don't even feel comfortable anymore calling you by your first name.

Dr. Peterson, I have to tell you, I get an opportunity to talk to a lot of amazing people, and I have met some truly great people. This has been -- the last 15 minutes has been one of the more remarkable times of my life. You are a -- you are a man for this time. And I -- I hope to be able to meet you in person sometime. But we will be watching from afar. I thank you for everything that you're doing.

JORDAN: Well, thanks for being patient, Glenn. And Merry Christmas to you and all your audience.

GLENN: Merry Christmas.

JORDAN: Yeah.

(music)

GLENN: I have to go back and find what he said about the resurrection. And play it for you. Because it was just so honest and so raw and so personal.

And it's amazing. Because he -- he said, I'm -- I don't know what to think. I don't know what to think. You know, my logic tells me no. But everything in me says yes.

And -- and obviously, a man who, whether he's a Christian or not, boy, seems to exemplify Christianity.

Tapping the brakes on transgenderism in 2023

Hunter Martin / Contributor | Getty Images

2022 was the year of the emperor’s new clothes—where we were supposed to pretend that someone like Lia Thomas is a woman, legitimately beating actual women in swimming competitions. This carpet-bombing of common sense won’t be letting up anytime soon. Just before the New Year, the World Boxing Council announced that it’s going to create a separate category for transgender boxers. The WBC president said:

we are doing this because of safety and inclusion. We have been the leaders in rules for women’s boxing—so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen because of what we are going to put in place.

After all the insanity you’ve been told to accept about transgender athletes in recent years, his statement is remarkable. He’s admitting what common sense people have been saying all along—that trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages (from the fact that they’re actually male), and that those natural advantages could endanger biological women.

Trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages.

The WBC president went on to say:

In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change. There should be no gray area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions. Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.

Maybe the WBC is on to something here. Maybe the only way to solve the stupidity of letting biological males play female sports is to create a separate transgender category in every sport. That would make competition fair again. However, the trans agenda will never accept this because it doesn’t validate their transition—in fact, it admits that these are not authentically female athletes.

There is some rare, good news on this front. In late December, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold a Florida school-board policy that requires transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex. Of course, the Left won’t accept this, so this case will probably go to the Supreme Court sooner than later. You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

And by the way, if the Left truly cared about unbiased science as it pertains to transgenderism, they’d listen to their favorite European country, Sweden. Sweden’s national board of health recently updated its guidelines on treating children with gender dysphoria. Unlike the Biden administration and the U.S. medical establishment right now, Sweden’s new emphasis is caution:

the scientific data is INSUFFICIENT to assess the effects of puberty-inhibiting and gender-sensitive hormone therapy of children and young people.

The Swedish guidelines also mention the prevalence of de-transition cases as another reason for tapping the brakes on sex-change surgeries for children.

Common sense apparently does still exist, even in places like Sweden. If only America would listen.

Glenn wants to dive deep into different philosophical topics this year. As CRT and woke curricula are demonizing the "western tradition," it is vitally important that we preserve the tradition that gave birth our nation and gives context to the culture we live in today. Here are the top 11 books to give you a crash course in the western philosophic tradition. If you don't have the time to read them, you can find an overview to each of the books below!

1. Plato's Republic

The first titan of Greek philosophy, Plato articulated the set of questions that would drive the future western philosophical tradition. The pre-eminent question among Greek philosophers was "what is the thing that explains everything." In philosophical lingo, this question is framed as "what is the logos or the good." Plato argued that reality could be explained in terms of the "forms." For example, when you see multiple examples of a "courageous" act, then, Plato would argue, there is such a thing as "courage." The form of "the good" is the form that gives meaning to all of reality. Humans use their rational minds to contemplate what is good and then align their desires to "the good" in order to pursue it.

2. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

The second titan of Greek philosophy was none other than Aristotle, who was a student of Plato. Aristotle deviated from his teacher's claims about "forms" and instead argued that every single thing has a purpose, a telos. For example, the telos of a chair is to provide a place for someone to sit. In the same way that a chair's purpose is to provide a place for someone to sit, Aristotle argues that the telos of human beings is to pursue happiness.

In the first page of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that every action is done for the sake of pursuing happiness, although, all too often, our actions are misplaced. We often pursue things we believe will make us happy when, in reality, they are fleeting, momentary pleasures that result in despair, heartbreak, or pain. Rather than conforming the world around us to fit our momentary desires, Aristotle argues that we achieve happiness by understanding the nature of the world around us and how we fit into it by actively cultivating virtues in order to make our soul "fit to be happy." Work and action, therefore, are not mere moral "to-do lists," but rather bring us fulfillment.

3. Augustine's City of God

If Plato is the first titan of ancient philosophy, then Augustine is the first titan of medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy begins with the re-discovery of ancient philosophical texts that had been lost throughout the Roman Empire. As Christianity had taken root and spread across the western world, medieval philosophy integrated these newly-discovered texts into Christian theology. Augustine is the pre-eminent medieval Neo-platonic philosopher, incorporating Plato's philosophy into Christian theology.

Augustine claimed that God himself is the ultimate "form" or "the good" from which all of reality derives its meaning and existence. A thing is "good" insofar as it coalesces with the way God intended it to be. When a thing stays away from God's intention, it is "not good." From this, we get the Augustinian definition of "evil" as a "privation" or "absence of goodness," which ultimately corresponds to God's nature and character.

4. Aquinas' Summa Theologica

Just as Augustine incorporated Plato's philosophy into Christian theology, the second medieval titan, Thomas Aquinas, incorporated Aristotelian philosophy into Christian theology. Building from Aristotle, Aquinas argues that Christ is our happiness, the longing of every human heart and the object of every human action. Though we may think we are pursuing happiness outside of Christ, our this pursuit is misplaced and will result in fleeting pleasure and pain. True happiness and fulfillment, Aquinas argues, is found in Christ himself and the pursuit of his nature.

**Note: Aquinas' Summa is one of the largest works ever written and contains arguments about many different subjects--there are concise versions that will save you a lot of time!

5. Francis Bacon's Novem Organum

If medieval philosophy is defined by the incorporation of ancient philosophy into orthodox Christian theology, then the Enlightenment is defined as the rejection of both. English philosopher Francis Bacon kicked off the Enlightenment with a total rejection of the Aristotelian view of reality. The title of his book, the Novum Organum, or "the new order," is a deliberate tease of Aristotle's Organon, or "the order of things." Bacon's "new order" purports that, contrary to Aristotle, there is no inherent "nature" or "purpose" in reality. Rather, reality is something that we can conquer by means of knowledge and force, dissecting nature to its fundamental parts and reconstructing it into what we want. Bacon is considered the father of the scientific method, creating a testable means through which we can understand, break down and re-construct nature.

6. Descartes' Discourse on Method

Descartes is best known for his famous assertion, cogito ergo sum, or "I think, therefore, I am." In Discourse on Method, Descartes embarks on a rigorous endeavor to doubt anything that can be doubted. He postulates that all of reality can be doubted; however, the one thing that cannot be doubted, he concludes, is that there must be someonewho is doubting. Though we may think that we are in the matrix, we are thinking, therefore, we must exist.

Descartes's rigorous skepticism introduced a brand-new burden of truth. In order for something to be true, it must be beyond all reasonable doubt. Many continue to use Descartes' skepticism as a way to challenge religious belief. According to these modern-day skeptics, unless you can prove that God exists beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no way to actually know whether he exists. The severing of knowledge and faith is often attributed to Descartes.

7. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature

Scottish philosopher David Hume took aim at both Plato and Aristotle. One of his most famous and consequential claims about human nature is, "reason is and always ought to be slave of the passions." This took direct aim at Plato's view of human nature. Plato argued that our reason or "rationality" should always rule our passions so that we will desire what is good. Hume flips this on its head, claiming that our reason is helplessly enslaved to our passions and will inevitably justify what we will already want. From this, Hume introduced a new articulation of moral relativism, claiming that humans are not able to choose between what is good and what is evil, but rather will choose what they want over what they don't.

8. Kant's Contemplation on the Metaphysics of Morals

Hume's moral relativism sparked panic within German philosopher Immanuel Kant. If we will inevitably do what we desire, how can we ever choose to do something good and moral for its own sake? We must, according to Kant, separate morality completely from the passions if it's to be saved. Kant, therefore, argues that duty is the highest good that man can aspire to. We do the right thing, not because we want to--on the contrary, we do the "right thing" because it's our duty to do so, especially when we don't want to. This breaks away from the Aristotelian notion that our happiness is inextricably intertwined with the pursuit of "the good."

9. Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche wasn't convinced by either Hume or Kant's efforts to retain some semblance of civility or relativistic moral standard. According to Nietzsche, if there is no such thing as transcendent morality, then "moral maxims" are reduced to meaningless words purported by the people in power. Morality, therefore, becomes a game of persuasion at best, coercion and force at worst. People are reduced to winners and losers, opressors and victims, and whoever comes out on top gets to impose their desired view of the world on the losers. Therefore, the goal of the individual is to cultivate the "will to power," to become the powerful "ubermensch" or "superhuman," or else you will be reduced to a victim susceptible to other people's coercion and oppression.

10. C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man

After the Enlightenment ends in a grand, destructive finale with Nietzsche, Christian philosophers in the 20th century attempt to pick up the pieces and resurrect the ancient and medieval philosophies that had been cast to the side. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis famously laments that mankind has become "men without chests." This is a direct reference to Plato's view of human nature--there is nothing linking our mind to our heart. Intellectually, we have dissected all of reality into its individual bits, stripping it of its holistic beauty, while also succumbing to our whims and passions with no notion of a transcendent moral law. Lewis calls for the re-marriage of our minds and our hearts, so that we will not only pursue what is good, but moreover, we will desire to do so.

11. Alasdair McIntyre's After Virtue

The latter part of the 20th century saw the resurgence of Aristotelian ethics after being largely dismissed over the past 400 years during the Enlightenment. Scottish Catholic philosopher Alasdair McIntyre was and continues to be one of the foremost leaders of this movement. In his magnum opus, After Virtue, McIntyre takes aim at the entire Enlightenment project itself and shows how it ultimately fails by its own standards. If reality is a mere power dynamic, as Nietzsche argues, and if morality is an act of persuasion and passion, as Hume purports, then we have no reason to take their views seriously. If all of reality is relative, then the statement "reality is relative" is itself relative. It becomes victim of the self-refutation of its own standards. Transcendent morality, he argues, must exist, because there must be some standard by which we judge reality and can say with determination, "this is good" and "this is evil."

The Biden Admin EXPANDED abortion access because they DON'T believe in the Constitution

Joshua Lott / Stringer, JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Contributor | Getty Images

This month has already produced an extreme example of why we need a functional and more conservative Congress in order for America to have a chance at moving forward—because the Left does not believe in the Constitution.

Sure, if you confronted a Democrat in Congress, they would probably claim some sort of allegiance to the Constitution—but as a practical matter, they do not believe in it.

Instead, the Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch. Why? Because it has the furthest reach through all the various departments, and it can move the fastest—in short, because it’s the most dictatorial. It only takes a department head to write a new memo, or even better, the President to sign a new executive order to carry the force of law.

The Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch.

Do you recall any of the Left’s favorite Supreme Court decisions over the years—something like gay marriage for example—and how Republicans immediately tried to subvert it, using the executive branch to try to nullify the decision? Yeah, that never happened. But that is exactly what Democrats have done in recent weeks to expand abortion access.

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions. When the miraculous overturning of Roe v. Wade happened last summer, President Biden called it “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.”

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions.

Recently the FDA approved local pharmacies to issue abortion pills. For the first 20 years after these pills were developed, they were not treated like typical prescription drugs. They had to be dispensed in-person by a doctor. That in-person requirement is now gone.

Keep in mind that the Left’s go-to line is that abortion is always about the health and safety of women, yet a 2021 peer-reviewed study found that chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions. Between 2002 and 2015, the rate of abortion-related ER visits following use of the abortion pills increased by 507 percent.

Chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions.

And now the Biden administration is making these less-safe abortions much more accessible. Thanks to the FDA’s rule change, Walgreens and CVS have already agreed to dispense abortion pills in states where abortion is legal—effectively turning these stores into new abortion clinics.

As for states that have abortion bans, "Team Biden" announced a new way around those too. Three weeks ago, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion that the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal. What’s their rationale? That the sender cannot know for sure whether the recipient will use the pills illegally or not. So it’s totally okay.

The U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal.

Georgetown Law professor Lawrence Gostin told the Washington Post that this Justice Department opinion is “a major expansion of abortion access in the United States.”

So, to recap—the Biden administration has used the FDA, the Justice Department, and the Post Office, which all fall under the executive branch, to provide an end-run around the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

Expanding abortion was easy—simple policy tweaks and declarations that carry the force of law without an ounce of input from actual lawmakers in Congress—all because it comes from the grotesque, bloated, apparently pro-death executive branch.

Glenn is one of the most outspoken critics of the World Economic Forum and their vision to use crises to reconstruct the world order known as The Great Reset. The recent WEF summit in Davos confirms what Glenn has long warned about: globalist elites seek to upend our democracy, freedoms, and way of life to achieve their utopian climate goals. Here are 15 quotes from the 2023 Davos Summit, revealing their true intentions in their own words:

1. Saving the planet

When you hear the word, "Davos," the first thought that should pop into your mind is an elite group getting together to save the world from imminent climate disaster... at least they think of themselves that way. According to John Kerry:

I mean, it's so almost extraterrestrial to think about saving the planet.

2. Private jets

What most people think when they hear the word "Davos" is a group of global elites flying in on private jets to talk about climate change... and yes, John Kerry does own a private jet, no matter how many times he denies it:

I fly commercial [...] Exclusively.

3. Global Collaboration Village

You always hear some weird, dystopian projects coming out of WEF, like "The Global Collaboration Village," a new metaverse community aimed at strengthening "global cooperation." It sounds like the next installment of Brave New World. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the WEF:

The Global Collaboration Village is the pioneering effort to use the metaverse for public good, to create global cooperation and to strengthen global cooperation in the metaverse or using metaverse technologies. For me, it's a dream coming true because the village allows the Forum to create a more larger and open platform where everybody can participate.

4. Climate revolution

However, the core theme throughout WEF summits is the immediate need for a climate revolution and how businesses are selfishly blocking the revolution because they want to make an extra buck. Here's how John Kerry summed up the sentiment:

How do we get there? The lesson I have learned in the last years [...] is money, money, money, money, money, money, money.

5. Do or die

This often turns into alarmist language, like having to choose between wealth and our planet's survival... Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at University of Amsterdam, said it eloquently:

If we do the minimum at this pivotable moment in our history, then we and our children – even if we are rich – will live in the danger zone. But if we – business people, governments, citizens, cities – take action today, then we and our children will have a future worth looking forward to.

6. Colossal risks

Potsdam Institute's director Johan Rockström, used similar language, claiming we are "taking colossal risks with the future of civilization":

We are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization on Earth, we are degrading the life support systems that we all depend on, we are actually pushing the entire Earth system to a point of destabilization, pushing Earth outside of the state that has supported civilization since we left the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

7. Rain bombs

"Colossal risks" like... rain bombs? We didn't make that up. Ask Al Gore:

That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs.

Courtesy of the World Economic Forum

8. Survival comes down to this

How do we secure our survival? According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we have to "end our addiction to fossil fuels." This entails wiping out our entire energy industry, displacing millions of workers, and relying on global governments to usher in a new green industry. In his words:

So, we need to act together to close the emissions gap, and that means to phase out progressively coal and supercharge the renewable revolution, to end the addiction to fossil fuels, and to stop our self-defeating war on nature.

9. Complete transformation

It isn't hyperbolic to argue that the globalist climate goals will completely transform the world economy. Even EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted:

The net-zero transformation is already causing huge industrial, economic and geopolitical shifts – by far the quickest and the most pronounced in our lifetime. It is changing the nature of work and the shape of our industry.

10. Scientific necessity

Of course, to bring about this "net-zero" transformation, we will have to override small, "political expediencies" like democracy to do what is "scientifically necessary." According to Zurich Insurance Group’s head of sustainability risk John Scott:

We’re living in a world right now where what’s scientifically necessary, and what is politically expedient don’t match.

11. Illegal hate speech

Doing away with "political expediencies" would also require the censorship of dissent, which would likely manifest in hate-speech laws. When asked by Brian Stelter how the discussion of disinformation relates to everything else happening today in Davos, European Commission VP Věra Jourová shared this prediction:

Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.

12. Climate first

We will also have to forego national interests on the international stage. America won't be able to advocate for policies and interests that benefit Americans. Instead, we will sacrifice national interests for the sake of global climate interests. French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said:

The key question is not China First, US First, Europe First. The key question for all of us is Climate First.

13. The role of war

We can also expect globalist leaders to use crises, like the war in Ukraine, to expedite the "net-zero transformation." Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said:

Ultimately, our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 has been given an additional boost by Putin’s war. Now we have even more cause to move away from fossil fuels.

14. Blame game

Globalist leaders will continue to blame ALL of the crises in our society on climate change to justify the "net-zero transition," from the energy shortage to "mistrust, selfishness [and] xenophobia." Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez said:

Our present struggle is not only against Putin or the energy shortage. It is also against fear, mistrust, selfishness, xenophobia, and environmental disaster. And its outcome will define life in the West and beyond for decades to come.

15. Sacrifice for the greater good

While we sacrifice our national interests for the sake of the "greater global good," we can expect our foreign enemies, like China, to benefit. Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann said:

The growth forecasts now for China is 4.5%. I would not personally be surprised when that would be topped.

Conclusion

Glenn has been clear about the distinction between wanting to transition to green practices on your own accord and being forced into that transition by globalist, unelected elites. Leaders at Davos will continue to use alarmist language to justify their crackdown on democracy and freedom to bring about their leftist utopia. We have to cut through the alarmist language and in order to protect our freedoms.