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Jordan Peterson at Oxford Union:

... a society that's only composed of the left-leaning liberal types is very good at generating all sorts of new possibilities, but very bad at generating all sorts of new actualities.

I don't understand the usage of the term "generating new actualities" here, what does he mean?

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    It means effecting concrete change. More than just ideas, actual results. Also, I'd advise you to be a little careful with Peterson: he's a polarizing figure in this particular discourse.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 22:49
  • Litcrit may be off topic.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 8:11

3 Answers 3

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He's making a play on words by contrasting "Possible" (not yet real) and "actual" (real).

The claim he is making is that the people he is criticising are better at imagining things ("generating new possibilities") than implementing those ideas ("generating new actualities").

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  • Ah, I totally missed the play on words there. That was the key for me.
    – Alex
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 23:34
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It means “actually changing things”. Bringing a concept into reality and ‘making it happen’ - not just talking about the possibility or idea.

Your quote is slightly humourous, poking fun. Saying thst the politician is just talking - and not doing the work required to bring ‘action’ or results.

Definition ‘actuality’:

noun actual existence, typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. "the building looked as impressive in actuality as it did in magazines" synonyms: reality, fact, truth, real life More existing conditions or facts. plural noun: actualities "the grim actualities of prison life"

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Vocabulary.com

actuality

the state of actually existing objectively; true existence; reality

Actualities actually exist, contrasted with what was intended, expected, believed or possible:

The White House looked as impressive in **actuality** as it did in magazines"

Synonyms of actualities include reality, fact, truth, and real life. So something that we can see or perceive on an everyday level is an actuality.

Thus:

... a society that's only composed of the left-leaning liberal types is very good at generating all sorts of new possibilities, but very bad at generating all sorts of new reality.

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  • This answer could be improved with additional analysis and description. More than a dic def, tell OP what it means, in plain English (obviously there's value in your dic def to support this analysis).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 22:50
  • Nice. updoot.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 23:02

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