I continue to think, in what some seem to consider my idiotic way, about the Jordan Peterson position, but now I am chiefly thinking about myself.
I think I have to make a dreadful confession. Not about anything I know for sure, more a possibility.
It is not impossible that I may be, in certain respects, a small c conservative. By that I don't mean a Conservative but conservative in the way that anyone of almost any political belief, however wavering, may be conservative about keeping some distance from ideology. I think one may be a left, liberal or Tory conservative. It is a temperamental given, not a policy. It is not sexy. I am not a sexy thinker.
I fear ideology. I think ideology kills and has killed in massive numbers, and that maybe, in that sense, my sympathy for Peterson is a sharing of that caution. Small c for caution. It is not the ideology of the left particularly, it is as much the ideology of the right that seems to me problematic.
I have a high respect for Marxism as a form of class analysis. I think it is remarkably perceptive about the economic forces at play in society. What I don't know is whether the prescription it offers has absolute validity. The evidence is not particularly encouraging in that respect.
I tend to have a high respect for religion too. Not as an unshakeable creed or source of authority, but as a way of perceiving aspects of the world. At some moments I can imagine myself a Quaker, at other times a Catholic. I know I prefer ritual to sermons any time. Sermons as exhortations present themselves to me as arguments and I expect arguments from religion to be as consecutive as arguments from anything else.
I have a high respect for most schools of psychology including the Freudian and the Jungian. Neither is the key to all mythologies but both offer remarkable insights that may or may not be proved on the pulse.
I am thinking about myself relatively publicly, ie here, because it may explain some things to people who may be sufficiently interested in hearing an explanation. So let me go further.
I am a Labour voter because my basic perception is that life could be a lot fairer to those at the bottom of the pile than it currently is. I don't care that much about the middle layers because I am not really interested in the differentials of material comfort. I have never cared a jot that someone has a bigger house or car or more holidays. It bores me stiff. Which is one reason I have no fear or awe at all of the rich. I don't feel angry with them or contemptuous of them, I just have no special respect for them. I may well question the source of their wealth and their attitude to those at the poorer end of the spectrum. At bottom, I suppose, I don't entirely trust them. I am quite willing to bite the hand that might possibly feed me.
I am, I sometimes feel, a Labour voter against my small c conservative instincts.I rarely feel the kind of righteous and vehement commitment that would be necessary to be an activist and, to be fair, I am sometimes ashamed of myself for that. You would be a better man if you were, I tell myself. And I may well be right. Maybe I will be that under certain circumstances. Maybe I will at sometime in the near future.
But maybe the small c stands for contemplative rather than conservative.
Maybe this is contemplation. But it's a contemplation that runs pretty fast through the blood.