Jordan Peterson Releases ‘Conservative Manifesto’ for Those Holding ‘Traditional Values’

Jordan Peterson Releases ‘Conservative Manifesto’ for Those Holding ‘Traditional Values’
Jordan Peterson speaks at the 2018 Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA in Dallas, Texas, on June 15, 2018. (Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Peter Wilson

Canadian intellectual and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson released what he calls a “conservative manifesto” on Sept. 17, which he says can act as a guideline for those who hold “traditional values.”

“It’s called ‘A Conservative Manifesto,’” Peterson said in a YouTube video. “And it’s an attempt to begin the process of outlining a positive vision for the future on the centre-right and classic liberal front.”
Peterson, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and author of the bestseller “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” said that he’s worked on the manifesto “intensely and specifically” over the last four months and that its title is meant to insinuate a contradiction to Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto.”
“This is a conservative manifesto—so, I suppose, one among many—and I don’t imagine it'll be the last word on that front,” Peterson said.
“It’s not designed to be a propaganda tool,” he added. “It’s designed to be an invitation, let’s say.”

Peterson’s manifesto is comprised of a set of values that he calls “foundational principles.”

He said the prevailing ideologies and trends that influence the current political climate, such as identity politics, “threatens the trust upon which peace and prosperity necessarily depends” and undermines “the spirit of our sons and daughters.”

“What can those of us who attempt to abide by and manifest a courageous faith in the traditional values of our past offer in such times?” Peterson said, before listing a number of principles that he calls for conservatives to follow.

“Humility, liberty, autonomy, truth, agency, identity, merit, responsibility, tradition, community, stewardship, justice, and unity,” Peterson said, to which could be added the “inevitability of economic inequality” and “the practical realities of the individual competence.”

Peterson not only listed the principles he believes conservatives should follow, but also the pitfalls they should avoid.

He said conservatives should not simply “appeal to cynicism and bitterness,” nor hold the belief “that our social and political institutions are fundamentally unreliable, corrupt, and untrustworthy.”

Peterson also cautioned against upholding any “moral code noteworthy only for its joylessness, sterility, and tendency to forbid and damn.”

“Instead, the confident and forthright transmission of the abandoned eternal verities to all of those who currently wander, thirst, and starve in their absence,” he said.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.