13:39 – Jerm says that if you see the world as it is, rather than as it ought to be, you’re more firmly grounded. He then goes on to say that if you look at the world as it ought to be, you are utopian. I sense definitional hurdles ahead.
How did he get to this idea? So any normative claim (a moral claim) is utopian? By that logic, he must be a utopian himself. The logic of conservatism is that we ought (should) maintain what already is. It's more than just a descriptive statement.
There’s some equivocation here too, just afterwards, he says communism is far removed from reality, the implication being that it is unattainable – agreed, but he’s now saying it’s utopian because it is unattainable (or far removed), rather than saying...
...it is utopian because it is how some people believe we ought to live. He says the way things are currently (descriptive) is the way things ought (normative) to be. Why? Seems like it runs foul of Humes' is/ought and the great guillotine.
An appeal to nature here, though I’m not sure why. Aside from begging the question, it’s not clear why we should refer to nature at all in this instance. Do we look at animals and say, “Ah, if only they accepted the right to life and property, things would be better for them”?
No, because, animals lack rationality in the philosophical sense, and we cannot hold them to the same standards we hold ourselves to. Some animals also eat their own cubs and kill indiscriminately, others torture their prey, etc.
So what he’s done is said because this is the way it is in nature, this is the way it ought to be. Why? Hume’s guillotine and the good old is/ought problem needs to be addressed in order for this to statement to have any worth.
Will timestamp for the annals of Twitters forgotten tweets. 18:19 – he says that trying to dominate people is not the way of the natural order. He then says implementing communism, socialism, etc. is an example of this sort of dominance. Okay, but why isn’t it the natural order?
Not made clear. Seems like another reliance on "because it is". He follows up with what looks to be an appeal to nature – well, because we are born that way, it’s the right and correct way. Need to unpack this. Why?
Okay, now we’ve moved on to agency, this doesn’t look like it has much to do with the claim that “trying to dominate people” is not the way of the natural order. If we’re relying on history, then it’s hard not to accept that the natural order is in fact a dominance hierarchy.
That's why these ideas need to be properly unpacked!
19: 00 - Ah! We’ve moved toward the idea of “libertarian free will”. Jerm says he isn’t convinced free will exists, but will accept it for this conversation, as his thoughts on it are better suited to a different conversation. Oof.
Free will is one of the linchpins of right-wing ideology. If you’re not on board with at least that and natural rights theory, well I don’t see how the rest can follow.
19:37 – He accepts that individual (I’m reading individual + agency into this) is a crucial aspect of being on the right. Still not sure how you can reconcile determinism with human agency without reliance of compatibilism – or soft determinism. Now that’s a topic for another day
20:00 Jerm mentions we can’t help where we are born. Agree that this impacts equality of opportunity. Mentions privilege, that the argument is that white people have a foot up. Accepts that it might be true.
20:45: Straw man time! Jerm has done what quite a few commentators have done (see Sargon of Akkad vs. Rationality Rules). He mentions prince William was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, but Jerm doesn’t hate him for it. He’s gotten to “hate” from privilege theory.
I don’t think that’s useful here. 20:45 This is one of those broad category generalizations that attributes the beliefs of the few (that we should hate the privileged) to the entire left. Not a good representation of the idea here.
21:11: Jerm brings up the fact that we are all born individuals, and that we are not born equal (rather that we are unique/different). This should be where Jerm brings up the issue of free will and determinism again, as contradictions are becoming apparent.
21:36: Jerm says equality is utopian nonsense. But what type of equality? Equality of opportunity? He’s established that that’s not possible simply due to the position of one’s birth. Equality of outcomes? Equality before the law? Or strict equality? A bit ambiguous here.
21:52: Jerm says nobody knows what they’re talking about when they talk about equality, and says it means nothing. “It’s a useless term.” This looks like another strawman, surely! Discussions and debates about the concept of equality are everywhere – see the concept of strict...
...equality v Rawls’ alternative distribution principle. I mean, this is where the Difference Principle comes in.
22:10 Jerm clarifying what types of equality he’s referring to. Referring to discussions of equality of opportunity – okay so clearly, it’s not a useless term. Mentions apartheid as an example of systematic discrimination – a system where equality of opportunity doesn't exist.
22:43 Jerm says apartheid is utopian – I’m not sure what definition of utopian we’re using here, ‘cause that’s certainly not what T. More meant… He says apartheid was left wing… because it’s utopian? Or is that a separate point? Vague definitions weighing all of this down.
23:08 okay, some clarity – “utopian” means something other than what it actually means, I think. If it describes anything to do with “ought”, it is utopian. So any vision of society that does not conform to the “natural order” I’d imagine. Again, Hume’s guillotine….
23:22 – we’re moving from the concept of the individual (agency, not being simply a part of a category). Jerm shitting on identity politics here, fair enough.
25:07 – I have to pause here. Jerm has literally just poo-poo’d identity politics, and the second category he sees as important to conservatism is…tribalism… what? I’ll have to see how he defines this…
25:24 Again, Jerm is relying on “the natural state of order of things”, this isn’t an argument. Besides that, what makes a “tribe”? People of similar qualities, ideas, and attributes, perhaps? Almost like…categories. We’ve moved from the concept of the individual to be clear.
26:09 – Natural order relied upon again, and Jerm’s mentioning that people of similar “categories” (ha ha) tend to stick together. Looks like Jerm’s undermining his own category argument, and quite well too, I might add.
27:56 Jerm says the left is trying to break apart the family unit. Again, this sort of generalization is a little unclear. Needs more clarification.
28:41 – okay he’s referring to the traditional concept of the family, and the traditional roles. He accepts there’s nothing wrong with both the man and woman working, asks what happens to the kids? Says modern feminism is about breaking up traditional families...
...So is it all the left, or just modern feminists? Again, big generalizations here, few distinctions really made.
30:32 Jerm says one of the parents has to stay at home with the kid, doesn’t say why it can’t be the man. “It’s just the way it is” used here again. This “the way things are is the way they ought to be” rarely gets delved into, Jerm just likes making descriptive claims...
...and turning them into normative ones, unfortunately he doesn’t unpack these ideas.
32:47 Some back and forth with the comments; he clarifies by saying he means that pregnant woman (8 months) are not on the same footing as men in the workplace. Fair enough. This is one of those sneaky tricks – push the example to the extreme to draw agreement. Sure, 8 months...
...but that says nothing about 1 month, or 2 months etc.
35:26 – jerm talking about what he sees as the differences between men and women. Men do stupid things, therefore more likely to be in prison, but men are also more competitive – heard Peterson say something similar. Not really sure where this is going anymore.
37:00 okay Jerm has made some clarifications here… he means tribe as family… but then it expands from there. Some more back and forth with the comments. More stuff about the duty of care mothers’ have, and that we should celebrate our differences. Fair.
39:31 Jerm makes an interesting comment about something his wife said: she’d rather employ, in many instances, men… because young women interested in having families may slow things down etc. Make of that what you will. Relies again on “this is how it is”.
41:43 Back and forth with the comments. This is fun. Someone said we can’t talk about group averages to judge an individual, Jerm says we can – in fact we should when making assessments… That’s exactly what the privilege crowd have been saying.
42:39: Jerm says his third point is the most controversial. He’s building up to it. I’m excited. We haven’t delved into natural rights here at all, nor the idea of god, which I find interesting given the importance they have when it comes to this theory.
For instance, when we talk about natural rights – rights we are born with that are inalienable, we’re talking about something from as far back as the reign of kings and divine right, then we move to more common territory, such as Locke’s life, liberty, and property...
...But where do these rights come from? Why are they inalienable and inherent – this is where god is often found, but not always! We can dig into it later if Jerm brings up natural rights, it really is important to most right wing theory.
46:35 waffling on a bit, waiting for the third point.
47:19 Hierarchical structures! Papa Peterson has finally emerged in full, behold! Okay, he’s answering some more questions from the audience. Tabula rasa v genetic traits determining personality types and preferences. I always thought this was an interesting discussion...
...not really digging too much into it here – but Jerm leans toward the genetic or “nature” position. I do too. The issue may present itself in a number of ways, however. FITA judgment just got released so brb
Your genetics will, of course, be overruled, if you’re never presented with the opportunity to engage with whatever trait you’ve inherited. This is where the idea of equality of opportunity often appears. I think Jerm should read Rawls. The concept of “justice” and the...
...difference principle doesn’t reject the idea of “nature” in this instance, in fact it includes these genetic differences within its theory. What I’m saying is that the concept of nurture is fairly well accepted by the left. The question is, what happens next?
50:55: Okay, so Jerm says hierarchies start at home, from there he’s moved to the fact that they’re found, historically, in communities too. He’s also referred to nature again here, sigh. You need to explain why the fact that it occurs in nature, and historically...
...is a valid reason for us to embrace hierarchies. That’s not to say that there aren’t good reasons to do so, simply that you’re relying on fallacies here.
51:52 Let’s take a pause here. So Jerm has used the fact that hierarchies exist at home (children obey their parents, not always, but generally). What can we take from this? What obligation exists here to obey?
This is where we get into some interesting territory. “Go to your room,” says the father. “But why?” replies the child. “Because I said so!”
Where does this duty to comply come from? Is it a moral obligation, or is the child simply obliged (so as to avoid punishment). Or another way, Hart used this example when refuting the command theory of law; when a knife-wielding robber asks for your money, you hand it over.
Not from an obligation (a moral duty) but because you feel obliged (distinction) in order to avoid being hurt or killed.

I’m just highlighting this now, as I think I know where this is going.
52:35 – Nope! Never mind. Not sure what we can draw from the home hierarchy example yet, but it would very definitely have to overcome the issues with Austin’s command theory.
53:32 – Jerm says monarchies work. Then he says democracy in RSA will inevitably fail because it was “implemented with a top down approach.” Hmm, thinking emoji. Not sure what monarchical structure Jerm is referring to.
55:08 okay, Jerm says hierarchies work, just look at businesses. They all rely on hierarchies. Apple is used as an example. Compared to soviet union and communism where there are no hierarchies and everyone earned the same. Not sure that’s true. USSR definitely had a hierarchy.
That’s different to the theory of communism he is referring to.
55:59 there’s probably room for hierarchical structures in businesses, and central planning. Amazon determines prices, for example. That’s unilaterally, and leads to an interesting discussion about the calculation problem. Seems to be a contradiction in what Jerm is saying...
...about top down failing, and hierarchies. “You can’t all be bosses,” means there is a boss implementing things from the top down. Or what?
56:20 Somewhat unclear about this top down/ hierarchical approach.
58:15 I’d like to hear more about what he thinks a Machiavellian view is here. Jerm undermining his own argument about democracy by saying not all monarchies are bad, else they wouldn’t have worked. Bad examples of democracy v bad examples of monarchies, what conclusion must...
...we draw here? (Bad examples exist of both, it doesn’t say anything).
I regret starting this, but I will finish it, phew.
59:30 I think there is an issue here with how Jerm views the growth of monarchies. Empires were not formed through mutual voluntary acceptance of the leviathan. The leviathan was forged through conquest. He mentions them being formed to look after their territory – but this...
….is the problem, they were formed by forcefully taking territory. Ian Morris’ “War” fleshes this out nicely.

Unless Jerm is wobbling through definitions and words again.
1:00:23 Jerm says if you treat your staff poorly they will leave, and that’s a bad thing. He then uses that analogy broadly to say that is the approach many empires took. Is this some like weird justification for feudalism? I’m not sure, but there’s...
...no real philosophical foundation here aside from “this is how it used to be”.
1:01:00 I don’t have so much a problem with the ideas here – of monarchy and empire, I’m just looking for some more substance as to why we should give credence to such ideas. These are top down systems. What makes that different from the way democracy was implemented?...
...Jerm hasn’t done a good job clearing up a distinction I think he might have here.
That democracy was implemented from the top down, but then operates from closer to the bottom up (mob rule he says). Well, monarchies are implemented from the top down, and operate in the same manner. Perhaps the benevolent ruler would treat...
...his people well to keep them peaceful and happy, perhaps he would be a tyrant.
We’ve seen both examples in history, and the same is true of democracy, so I don’t see an argument forming from this.
1:01:28 Jerm talking about how to fix our broken system in RSA. Suggest succession, federalism, allowing the country to break apart naturally. Cites Yugoslavia. Conveniently omits the wars that followed directly as a result. Haha.
1:02:15 someone asked Jerm about monarchies and abuse. Jerm says, sure but democracies abuse too. Then mentions voluntary hierarchies and that you can leave if there is abuse? Perhaps he’s trying to move toward a minarchist conception here – needs to clarify...
... Definitely jumping between definitions here too – he mentions empires historically, and monarchy, but then says he’s talking about smaller decentralized communities.
1:03:45 Jerm says the best way to govern is to decentralize… after talking up monarchies for twenty minutes. Think I will call it there. This idea of small communities isn’t specific to conservatism, so there’s no point going further with it. He says he’s using Kingdom in a meta
... way, but perhaps a different word would have been better as it leads to confusion.
To conclude, no real substance here,
lots of contradictions, didn’t see any mention of actual foundational justifications for most of these ideas, aside from appealing to nature, falling foul of Hume’s guillotine, a fair amount of straw manning...
...Very vague definitions do not help here, and I still struggle with Jerm’s acceptance of both determinism and individual agency. Without libertarian free will, the ideas fall apart. Without natural law, the ideas fall apart....
...Jerm said he’s seen atheist right wingers and religious lefties. I think there’s a problem that needs to be addressed here. These ideas don’t really work if you take on a positivist approach, if you get rid of natural rights and libertarian free will, you get rid of all of it
...Jerm said something about the left wanting to have its cake and eat it, but the same applies here. That's my shitpost. Thanks to all, like and subscribe xoxo gossipgirl
Have fun, @mynameisjerm
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