Jordan Peterson argues thar we pay a price both for speaking and not speaking and calls on people to speak the truth no matter what. Excerpted from his talk at the Manning Conference Feb 23-25, 2017

“It means that your capacity for speech is divine. It's the thing that generates order from chaos and then sometimes turns pathological order into chaos when it has to. Don't underestimate the power of truth. There's nothing more powerful.

Now, in order to speak what you might regard as the truth, you have to let go of the outcome. You have to think, all right, I'm going to say what I think, stupid as I am, biased as I am, ignorant as I am. I'm going to state what I think as clearly as I can, and I'm going to live with the consequences no matter what they are. Now, the reason you think that, that's an element of faith.

The idea is that nothing brings a better world into being than the stated truth. Now, you might have to pay a price for that, but that's fine. You're going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don't do. You don't get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take. That's it. So if you're going to stand up for something, stand up for your truth. It'll shape you because people will respond and object and tell you why you're a fool and a biased moron and why you're ignorant. And then if you listen to them, you'll be just that much less like that the next time you say something. And if you do that for five years, you'll be so damn tough and articulate and able to communicate and withstand pressure that you won't even recognize yourself. And then you'll be a force to contend with.

It is not safe to speak and it never will be. But the other thing you've got to keep in mind is that it's even less safe not to speak. Right. It's a balance of risks. It's like you want to you want to pay the price for being who you are and stating your mode of being in the world. Or do you want to pay the price for being a bloody serf, one that's enslaved him or herself? Well, that's a major price, man. That thing unfolds over decades and you'll just be a miserable worm at the end of about 20 years of that. Right. No self-respect, no power, no ability to voice your opinions. Nothing left but resentment because everyone's against you because, of course, you've never stood up for yourself. It's like say what you think carefully. Pay attention to your words. The price is it's a price you want to pay if you are willing to believe that truth is the cornerstone of society. And in the most real sense, if you're willing to take that leap, then tell the truth and see what happens. And nothing better could possibly happen to you. You'll be ups and downs and there'll be pushback and it'll be controversy and all of that. But it doesn't matter.

The truth is what makes the world. The truth is what redeems the world from hell. And that's the truth.

So most of it's illusion. So don't be be afraid, but be afraid of the right thing. And the right thing you should be afraid of is not saying what you say, because that's the same as not being.

And here you are suffering in a way you might as well be at the same time. At least then there's something to you”.