Sometimes, when people have a low opinion of their own worth – or, perhaps, when they refuse responsibility for their lives – they choose a new acquaintance, of precisely the type who proved troublesome in the past.

Such people don’t believe that they deserve any better – so they don’t go looking for it. Or, perhaps, they don’t want the trouble of better.

Freud called this a “repetition compulsion.” He thought of it as an unconscious drive to repeat the horrors of the past – sometimes, perhaps, to formulate those horrors more precisely, sometimes to attempt more active mastery and sometimes, perhaps, because no alternatives beckon.

People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results.

Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results.

It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly inability. It’s partly … unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Jordan B. Peterson (born 12 June 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He began to receive widespread attention in the late 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues.

Peterson obtained bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology from the University of Alberta and a PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University.

After teaching and research at Harvard University, he returned to Canada in 1998 to join the faculty of psychology at the University of Toronto. In 1999, he published his first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, which became the basis for many of his subsequent lectures. The book combined information from psychology, mythology, religion, literature, philosophy, and neuroscience to analyze systems of belief and meaning.

In 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos criticizing the Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-16), passed by the Parliament of Canada to introduce „gender identity and expression“ as a prohibited grounds of discrimination.

He argued that the bill would make the use of certain gender pronouns into compelled speech, and related this argument to a general critique of political correctness and identity politics. He subsequently received significant media coverage, attracting both support and criticism.

In the wake of the controversy, Peterson‘s lectures and debates – propagated also through podcasts and YouTube – gradually gathered millions of views.

He put his clinical practice and teaching duties on hold by 2018, when he published his second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Promoted with a world tour, it became a bestseller in several countries.