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The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast

373. Social Justice: A Religious Movement | Andrew Doyle

Thu Jul 06 2023
Far-Left DoctrinesAuthoritarianismArtWoke IdeologyGender IdentityEducation


This episode explores the intentional irrationality of far-left doctrines, the battle between authoritarianism and individualism, the power of art, the challenges faced by artists in the woke era, and the impact of woke ideology on education and society. It delves into topics such as power structures, postmodern neo-Marxism, gender identity ideology, and the need for transcendence in humanity. The episode also examines the role of art in confronting evil, fostering growth, and provoking unity. Throughout the discussion, the influence of woke ideology on various aspects of society is critically analyzed.


The Woke Movement as a Fundamentalist Religion

The critical social justice movement shares characteristics with a fundamentalist religion, lacking openness to debate or discussion and discouraging independent thinking.

The Power of Art to Confront Evil and Foster Growth

Art has the ability to challenge our assumptions about ourselves, confront our capacity for evil, and facilitate personal growth and redemption.

The Influence of Gender Ideology on Sexuality and Art

Gender ideology has had an impact on the understanding of sexuality and its portrayal in art, leading to debates about sex education and the role of drag queens in children's events.

The Challenges Faced by Artists in the Woke Era

Artists face threats of cancellation and conformity due to the capture of gatekeepers by woke ideology, hindering artistic freedom and quality.

The Impact of Woke Ideology on Education and Society

Woke ideology has infiltrated education systems, leading to controversies surrounding gender identity, COVID policies, and mass hysteria reminiscent of historical events like the Salem witch trials.


  1. The Intentional Irrationality of Far-Left Doctrines
  2. The Masked Power Mongering of Left-Wing Authoritarians
  3. The Religious Battle Between Authoritarianism and Individualism
  4. Presuppositions, Power Structures, and Postmodern Neo-Marxism
  5. Postmodern Paradoxes and the Demolition of Societal Structures
  6. The Problematic Influence of Activism in Academia
  7. The Woke Movement as a Fundamentalist Religion
  8. The Woke Movement's Attack on the Arts
  9. The Purpose and Power of Art
  10. The Challenges Faced by Artists in the Woke Era
  11. The Battle for Artistic Freedom and Quality
  12. The Power of Art to Confront Evil and Foster Growth
  13. Transcendence, Belief Systems, and the Marginalized
  14. The Influence of Gender Ideology on Sexuality and Art
  15. The Impact of Woke Ideology on Education and Society
  16. Summary and Conclusion

The Intentional Irrationality of Far-Left Doctrines

00:03 - 07:43

  • The podcast features a conversation with Andrew Doyle, also known as Titania McGrath, about the intentional irrationality of far-left doctrines and the use of religious rhetoric without God's presence.
  • They discuss the dismantling of societal structures regardless of need or merit, the argument for transcendence in art, and how woke culture stifles genuine expression.
  • Doyle identifies as left-wing but acknowledges that the culture war has blurred traditional political designations.
  • He believes in fair taxation, welfare state, addressing economic inequality, and social mobility.
  • The culture war has replaced class and money with identity politics.
  • Many activists in the critical social justice movement come from privileged backgrounds despite advocating against oppression.
  • Jordan Peterson mentions studies on left-wing authoritarianism and its correlation with dark tetrad personality traits (manipulativeness, psychopathy, narcissism, sadism).
  • The correlation between dark tetrad traits and left-wing authoritarianism is high.

The Masked Power Mongering of Left-Wing Authoritarians

07:19 - 14:01

  • Left-wing authoritarians mask their power mongering in the guise of compassion.
  • The Nazis had both left and right-wing elements in their political stance.
  • Thinking in terms of left and right is redundant; the struggle is between liberty and authority.
  • Liberal values, such as individual autonomy and freedom of expression, can be agreed upon by both left and right.
  • Social justice activists are characterized by authoritarianism and mistrust of liberalism.
  • Authoritarians tend to be utopians, but without a clear sense of what their ideal society would look like.
  • Hitler was a narcissist who wanted everyone to pay when he knew the game was up.

The Religious Battle Between Authoritarianism and Individualism

13:33 - 20:24

  • Comparison between Hitler's narcissism and social justice activists' religiosity and desire to destroy
  • Discussion on the biblical story of Cain and Abel as a reflection of modern battles between authoritarianism and individualism
  • The sacrifices made by humans through work and the consequences in the story of Cain and Abel
  • The intellectual landscape reflecting a resentful and revengeful spirit that can spread throughout society
  • The new movement of social justice activism being described as religious
  • The aims of critical social justice activists being misunderstood by many people
  • Language manipulation in the culture war, with activists using words that mean the opposite of their true intentions
  • The belief system tied to unfalsifiable claims, high priests, edicts, ex-communication, and cancel culture
  • Psychopaths attracted to positions of power within religious movements throughout history
  • Making critical social justice comprehensible by comparing it to religion with esoteric language and foundational texts
  • Importance of comprehending critical social justice in order to defeat it

Presuppositions, Power Structures, and Postmodern Neo-Marxism

20:21 - 27:17

  • Presuppositions are necessary to navigate the world with limited knowledge.
  • Freedom of speech is a fundamental presupposition in a liberal polity.
  • Religion specifies the deepest presuppositions and requires axiomatic beliefs.
  • Protestantism can lead to fractionating individualism.
  • Psychologists have substituted the self for God, leading to narcissism.
  • The left and right fringes resort to religious terminology and ideas.
  • Activists believe in power structures based on group identity.
  • Critical race theorists focus on how racism manifests rather than if it exists.
  • Power is seen as the ultimate motivator by postmodern neo-Marxist types.
  • Promoting free speech is viewed as conniving to maintain colonialist power.
  • Critical race theory puts individuals in lose-lose situations with interest convergence.
  • They reject rationality and enlightenment ideas as products of dead white men.

Postmodern Paradoxes and the Demolition of Societal Structures

26:57 - 34:07

  • Postmodernists assert religious belief without proof
  • They challenge rationality and enlightenment ideas
  • Group identity is important to them
  • Radicals promote group identity but also individual licentiousness
  • Paradoxes don't trouble postmodernists
  • Sexual behavior is celebrated but interactions between men and women are seen as dangerous
  • Narcissistic types have an uncertain core but still claim to rule
  • Licentiousness serves the purpose of demolishing societal structures
  • Some postmodernists may have created their theoretical framework to justify depraved behavior
  • Radical behavior resembles unsocialized two-year-olds with constant demands for immediate gratification
  • Power critique may be used to justify licentiousness or vice versa
  • Radicals have many ideas of what is acceptable and engage in censorship
  • Emotional responses are prioritized over objective frameworks by academics and figures of authority
  • Teaching young people to protest rather than helping them become responsible and productive

The Problematic Influence of Activism in Academia

33:47 - 41:02

  • Teaching young people to protest rather than helping them become responsible and productive is a problem in academia.
  • Academics who are activists first and academics second have implemented highly contested theories in public policy and the educational system.
  • Reorganizing society based on critical race theories has no evidence of making society less racist.
  • The left issues arise when they take the claim that power corrupts society too far.
  • Reducing everything to power structures makes things easier to understand, but it's not accurate.
  • Low verbal intelligence is a predictor of left-wing authoritarianism because people want easy answers.
  • The left won't acknowledge flaws in their ideology because it would challenge their belief system.
  • The left's obsession with moral purity prevents them from acknowledging corruption within their own ranks.

The Woke Movement as a Fundamentalist Religion

40:33 - 47:09

  • The left is just as susceptible to corruption as the right.
  • The critical social justice movement is like a fundamentalist religion.
  • They are not open to debate or discussion.
  • They lack independent thinking and challenge of their own ideas.
  • Richard Dawkins and the new atheists helped pave the way for the woke movement.
  • The woke mob can easily dismiss science.
  • After the death of God, there is a worship of power or degeneration into polytheistic paganism.
  • There is a need for some kind of belief system or transcendence in humanity.
  • The arts provide that sense of transcendence, which threatens the woke movement.

The Woke Movement's Attack on the Arts

46:53 - 53:45

  • The Woke movement seeks to curtail and transform the arts into a propagandizing tool.
  • The new atheist movement has evolved into the most woke of all.
  • The humanist society in the UK is fully paid up in gender identity ideology.
  • Intelligent people seem to buy into the woke movement despite its infantile behavior.
  • Woke ideology originated in the academy, appealing to intellect and not requiring intellectual rigor.
  • The Salem witch hunts were driven by figures in authority capitulating to hysteria, similar to online activists shouting 'Nazi' everywhere.
  • Enablers like politicians are the problem with activist movements.
  • There is an emerging relationship between Cain and untrammeled intellect symbolically in biblical stories.
  • Hubris is a cardinal sin of intellect, common among intelligent people.
  • The arts provide a way out of hubris and should not be curtailed but open for exploration and understanding ourselves.
  • The arts aim for a superordinate unity that may be equivalent to the monotheistic spirit.

The Purpose and Power of Art

53:28 - 1:00:10

  • Artists attempt to present their view of the world, recognizing that everyone sees the world differently.
  • There are qualitative distinctions between presentations of worldview, creating a hierarchy of rank among artists.
  • The canon is formed through influence and borrowing from other great artists.
  • Great art provokes something beyond ourselves, whether it be religious or spiritual.
  • The purpose of art is to provoke the emulation of greatness and strive towards a transcendent unity.
  • The A critical social justice movement lacks a sense of newness and cannot produce great art.
  • Scientists and artists are being targeted by woke activists, but artists' silence is particularly disheartening.
  • Artists historically required patrons for support, but some level of conformity has always existed.

The Challenges Faced by Artists in the Woke Era

59:43 - 1:06:20

  • Artists require financial support and often have to satisfy demands from gatekeepers in various industries.
  • Currently, these gatekeepers are captured by the woke ideology.
  • Many artists face the threat of cancellation and are afraid to speak out.
  • There is a choice for artists: speak their truth and face consequences or stay silent and still face consequences.
  • Some artists may think they can play the game until they establish themselves, but this strategy doesn't work.
  • Being an artist requires sole fealty to one's muse and creating what drives them personally.
  • Not all artists are great, but popular culture is still important.
  • The woke ideology denies hierarchies and quality in art.
  • Support for artists should come from academia and retaining the primacy of the Western canon.
  • Mediocre writers should not replace canonical works in the name of representation.
  • Cain's spirit emerges when mediocre artists destroy their own ideals due to resentment and lack of appreciation.

The Battle for Artistic Freedom and Quality

1:05:59 - 1:13:02

  • Cain destroys his own ideal and feels unable to live.
  • Woke artists and critical theorists are driven by resentment.
  • Feminist writers in the '60s started problematizing texts, leading to a focus on identifying sexist, homophobic, or racist elements.
  • English departments prioritize critical capacity over creative capacity, propagandizing their moral arguments to students.
  • A publishing house attempted to rewrite PG Woodhouse's novels, thinking they could improve them morally.
  • Productions of Shakespeare are being reshaped to promote identitarian ideas, missing the essence of the plays.
  • A university module on Shakespeare had a trigger warning on Macbeth, suggesting that great texts should be perceived through an obsessive moralistic identitarian lens.
  • Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays and explores the idea of living in a world without free will.
  • Great literature portrays a battle of good against evil within each character's soul.
  • Walking the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem is an exercise in experiencing tragedy.

The Power of Art to Confront Evil and Foster Growth

1:12:36 - 1:19:45

  • Literature allows us to embody both the recipient and deliverer of brutality
  • Macbeth and similar plays require a pilgrimage of moral inquiry, which threatens woke ideology
  • The Passion of the Christ is a powerful account of brutality that challenges our assumptions about ourselves
  • Woke individuals like to judge the past and believe they would have been heroes, but in reality, most people were perpetrators
  • Realizing that you likely would have been a perpetrator is worse than death; it's hell
  • Confronting the worst version of yourself is necessary for personal growth and redemption
  • The woke try to prevent this experience by censoring art and applying trigger warnings
  • People throughout history have altered art to avoid uncomfortable truths, such as King Lear's original tragic ending
  • The horrible truth may be that the only way to paradise is through death and hell
  • Recognizing your own capacity for evil allows you to transcend it

Transcendence, Belief Systems, and the Marginalized

1:19:21 - 1:26:25

  • Recognizing the source of malevolence and evil allows for transcendence.
  • Taking on the sins of perpetrators is necessary to rectify past catastrophes.
  • Leftist radicals often put blame on others instead of recognizing their own behavior.
  • Confronting one's own capacity for monstrosities is difficult but essential.
  • Understanding something helps in finding a way forward.
  • Gazing into the abyss can eventually lead to seeing the light.
  • Believing in the possibility of light is crucial for an appropriate faith.
  • A ruling ideology that prevents experiencing evil has detrimental consequences for humanity.
  • The marginalized should have a place at the fringe, not at the center, to maintain balance.
  • Postmodern compassion that centers the marginalized destroys both the center and margin.
  • 'Sexual racism' accusations are used to shame those who have preferences in dating or attraction.

The Influence of Gender Ideology on Sexuality and Art

1:25:56 - 1:32:28

  • The head of a gay rights charity describes homosexuality as bigoted.
  • Mermaids and Stonewall say that being trapped in the wrong body is similar to being called a girl by bullies.
  • Between 80-90% of adolescents referred to the Tavistock clinic have same-sex attraction.
  • Iran and Pakistan used to fund same-sex change operations due to their harsh treatment of gay people.
  • It is now more dangerous to be a gay kid than when the speaker was growing up.
  • Politicians, media, and gay charities suggesting fixing or sterilizing gay individuals is concerning.
  • The genetic configuration leading to male homosexuality may be tied to creativity.
  • Homosexuality may be an overshoot of the balance between masculine and feminine qualities in men.
  • Gay men are overrepresented in creative disciplines.
  • The normalization of same-sex relationships raises questions about what should be taught to children regarding sex education.
  • Education systems are getting it wrong when teaching children about sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Drag queens twerking or stripping in front of children is seen as problematic by the speaker.
  • Gender ideologues have taken over the LGBT community and are hostile towards homosexuality.
  • The speaker has received criticism from both gender ideologues and right-wing individuals for their views on homosexuality.

The Impact of Woke Ideology on Education and Society

1:37:59 - 1:44:22

  • Children's gender identity ideology is in the national curriculum
  • Kids have power to challenge extreme positions on gender identity
  • Teacher faced backlash for not validating a student's identity as a cat
  • It's unfair to dogpile and dox the teacher, who is just following instructions
  • Hope that the religious fervor of gender identity ideology will burn out
  • COVID lockdowns went full totalitarian but people eventually questioned it
  • Extreme mania and policies during COVID are now forgotten by many
  • Trucker convoy protest in Canada involved mask-related controversies
  • $10 million raised on GoFundMe for truckers, distribution became contentious
  • Salem witch trials provide clues to overcoming mass hysteria quickly
  • Global hysteria perpetuated by fear and authority figures going along with it
  • Spectral evidence played a role in Salem witch trials, collapsed when challenged

Summary and Conclusion

1:44:01 - 1:45:18

  • Andrew discusses his personal side on the Daily Wire Plus platform.
  • The Daily Wire is fighting to support free speech in the US.
  • YouTube has taken down three of Andrew's talks, including one with Helen Joyce and one with Robert F. Kennedy.
  • Andrew thanks everyone for their time and attention, as well as Andrew for talking to him and helping him gain clarity.
  • Andrew expresses gratitude to the Daily Wire folks for their support.