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Alex Story

Alex Story is a British former rower, who rowed in the British men's eight at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Story has unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for the Conservative Party on several occasions.

Books Mentioned on The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #294 - Alex Story

The Flawed Thinking Behind Eugenics: Insights from the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast with Guest Alex Story

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast episode #294, featuring guest Alex Story, delves into a profound discussion on eugenics, revealing the historical, ethical, and social implications of this ideology. The conversation traverses various topics, including the role of key figures like John Maynard Keynes and the intersection of eugenics with economics, politics, and personal experiences.

The Genesis of Eugenic Thought in Modern Society

Alex Story’s personal experience as a father of a child with Down syndrome serves as a catalyst for exploring the deeper anti-human underpinnings of eugenics. He recounts the discomforting encounters where people questioned the decision to bring his son into the world, reflecting a societal bias ingrained in eugenics – the ideology that values certain lives over others based on perceived ‘fitness’.

The Influence of Keynes and the Interconnection with Marxism

Story highlights the startling yet often overlooked fact that John Maynard Keynes, a towering figure in Western economics, was deeply involved in the eugenics movement. Serving as the president of the British Eugenics Society during a crucial period, Keynes’s influence extended beyond economics, intertwining with sociopolitical ideologies. This revelation sheds light on how eugenics, an ideology rooted in determining the ‘fitness’ of individuals, permeated influential societal sectors.

The Misuse of Science in Justifying Eugenics

A critical part of the discussion focuses on the misuse of scientific rhetoric to justify eugenic policies. The leap from scientific observation (what ‘is’) to moral imperatives (what ‘ought to be’) marks a dangerous misuse of science, often used to justify eugenic policies. This distortion represents a significant ethical dilemma in the application of scientific knowledge.

The Contemporary Relevance of Eugenic Ideology

The conversation also touches upon the modern manifestations of eugenic thought, subtly present in various forms of governance and policy-making. The pursuit of a homogenized society under the guise of ‘scientific reasoning’ and ‘expert opinion’ bears the hallmarks of eugenic ideology, impacting decisions at both the personal and societal levels.

The Intersection of Science and Morality in Modern Governance

In episode #294 of the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, guest Alex Story and host Jordan Peterson engage in a critical dialogue about the misinterpretation of science in policymaking and its ethical implications. This section of the conversation focuses on the dangers of conflating scientific understanding with moral and political decisions, particularly in the context of recent global events.

The Leap from Scientific Observation to Moral Imperatives

Story emphasizes a key issue: the leap from “is” (scientific observation) to “ought” (moral imperatives). He argues that the moralization of science, as seen in policies like vaccine mandates, represents a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific purpose. The discussion highlights how such policies, lacking robust scientific justification, often serve political rather than public health goals.

The Impact of Expertise in Modern Governance

The conversation shifts to the role of experts in shaping policy and public opinion. Story and Peterson discuss the Fabian Society’s strategy of permeating institutions with experts to influence policy. This approach, they argue, leads to an erosion of democratic processes and individual freedoms. The discussion reflects on how reliance on expert opinion can override public consensus, leading to policies that may not align with the public’s best interests or ethical standards.

The Problem with Class Consciousness and Political Misjudgments

Story critiques the concept of class consciousness as envisioned by Marxists, arguing that it doesn’t reflect how individuals see themselves or the world. This misjudgment, he suggests, has led to numerous political errors, where politicians misinterpret or misrepresent the needs and wants of different societal groups based on assumed class affiliations.

Exploring the Roots of Modern Anti-Humanism

In the final third of episode #294 of the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, guest Alex Story and Jordan Peterson delve into the historical and ideological roots of modern anti-humanism. The conversation examines the intertwining of economic, political, and social theories, particularly focusing on the impact of Marxism, Darwinism, and eugenics on contemporary thought and policy.

The Overlooked Influence of Keynes in Eugenics

Story highlights the surprising involvement of renowned economist John Maynard Keynes in the eugenics movement, serving as the president of the British Eugenics Society. This connection reveals the deep-seated integration of eugenic thinking in economic and political ideologies, illustrating how influential figures have historically shaped societal values and policies with potentially dangerous ideologies.

The Misuse of Scientific and Expert Opinion in Policymaking

The discussion critically addresses the misuse of science and expert opinion in justifying authoritarian policies. Using the example of COVID-19 mandates, Story and Peterson argue that the leap from scientific ‘is’ to moral ‘ought’ represents a dangerous distortion of science, leading to policies that often prioritize political goals over public health and ethical considerations.

Marxism and Its Anti-Humanist Underpinnings

Story draws parallels between the philosophies of Marx and Keynes, emphasizing their shared vision of a society led by an elite group of ‘experts’ or ‘believers.’ He critiques Marxism for its reductionist view of humanity, arguing that it sees people through the lens of class, a concept he believes does not truly reflect individual self-perception or societal dynamics.

The Importance of Reciprocity and Respect in Society

The podcast underscores the need for a society based on mutual respect and reciprocity, values that are often undermined by extremist ideologies. Story argues that a stable society requires recognition of the inherent value of every individual, as opposed to a society governed by a small group of self-proclaimed experts.

Conclusion: Recognizing the Threats of Ideological Extremism

This episode of the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast highlights the critical need to recognize and challenge the remnants of anti-humanist thinking in contemporary society. It calls for ethical vigilance against ideologies that prioritize expert opinion over democratic processes and individual freedoms, emphasizing the importance of reciprocal and respectful human relationships.