This is a collection of critiques placing Jordan Peterson’s more problematic ideas within a scientific, cultural and ideological context. It addresses him holistically as an individual to evaluate his appropriateness as a role model and mentor. There’s a lot to cover; please send refinements or additions. Where possible I have referenced or linked source, given the sheer volume of content this was not alway is possible if I have circled back to ideas from previously viewed JP content. This blog is split into two parts, Part 2 addresses feminism and masculinity in depth).
⁃ 12 rules of life is benign and unproblematic. JP as an activist, political and religious figurehead is less so–his ideas need to be read in a holistic social (not isolated intellectual) context
⁃ Seemingly innocuous ideas can have a problematic thread or undertow, and can be used to endorse or validate violent movements, and these ideas can be spread by a charismatic leader who mixes religious sermon with political claims; life coaching is a Trojan horse for a reactionary political agenda as a replacement for progressive politics
⁃ ‘Cultural marxism’ is not a real threat and not a justification for discrimatory, selfish or violent behaviour (claims of postmodern neomarxist agenda border on paranoia ‘communists plotting to destroy the west’)
⁃ Dominance hierarchy is used to justify maintaining a status quo which benefits JP’s predominantly white privileged male following (caveat being, he is best selling), but also maintains and perpetuates toxic masculinity
⁃ Although he doesn’t explicitly endorse them, JP is paid by incels, religious conservatives and alt right groups, and his viewership is dominantly white males. (Moderates who casually endorse his ideas on twitter are not reflective of his bread and butter).
⁃ ‘I image him as an over-reaction to an over-reaction. Both are understandable, to a degree; neither should be embraced uncritically.’ –black truths review
Jordan Peterson is a brilliant psychologist and a seemingly open-minded and rational intellectual seeking understanding and meaning. He offers mostly benign, practical, comical and sometimes insightful life and relationship advice, such as spending 90 mins talking with your partner about your life once a week, with 1-2 date nights per week—
—or of always eating breakfast, eating if you’re anxious, avoiding excessive exposure to catastrophic news, or intentionally doing something nice for others once a week if you tend not to be compassionate.
Amongst my favourite of his quotes, ‘The Truth is the antidote to suffering’. I also like ‘I do not think that people can learn unless they admit that they’re wrong’. (These are salient in the context of what follows). His self-authoring suite (29.90) says ‘thinking about where you came from, who you are and where you are going helps you chart a simpler and more rewarding path through life.’ I agree, Jordan. Let’s.
Who is he as a person?
Clinically he may be warm. Ideologically he is cold, and often angry. He’s frustrated. He’s suspicious, cynical and at times bitter. Many of his ideas form a victim-persecuter-rescuer drama triangle.
Ideas are not harmless or distinct from emotional reality. But he knows that. A smart intellect can justify anything. And he does. He claims to be rational. But like anyone, his deeper beliefs are emotionally motivated, conditioned, irrational and unevolved (with his fair share of fears). He is an emotional person—with his intellect in service of rationalising his conservative feelings and desire to possess and control.
What does he do?
He functions outside his scope.
In part this may be due to a tendency to focus on ‘the Grand Narrative’ (especially in reaction to post-modernism), making evidence subservient to ideology.
Humans are not like lobsters at all, biologically speaking. Marine invetabraes often mate polygamamously and change sex/gender:
More specifically, there are 3 clawed lobster species, all north atlantic, and all of them do not have social heirarchy. Lobster are territorial, and solitary. Lobster of both sexes will fight each other like angry warriors, dominance isn’t based on sex, its based on size… They always back down from lobsters they have lost to, regardless of sex, some of this is regulated by dopamine, which Peterson argues creates a depression in lobsters: lobsters don’t get depressed, they only back away from fights they will lose. (More to the point, SSRIs in seawater make crustaceans lose normal, light-avoiding behavior).
He says we diverged from lobsters evolutionarily history about 350 million years ago, but biologically, chordata (our phylum) and arthropoda (lobsters’ phylum) actually diverged over a billion years ago.
JP has avoided referencing the large primates that live communally, EG bonobos, who have a lot of sex with males and females (pansexual) but only reproduce every 5-6 years. Bonobo community is run by female coalitions solidified by female/female sex, and males inherit social status matriarchally.
The problem is we have bonobo men thinking they’re lobsters.
In line with this, and if we’re going to look at it biologically:
More to the point, the male penis is evolved to remove other men’s cum. The human female ability to orgasm is fairly unique in the animal kingdom and functions for mate selection (as a representation of a males ability to devote himself to tasks that don’t bring him immediate rewards):
Is JP a religious conservative?
He’s incredibly intelligent and knows what not to say to lose an audience. Much of his psychological and self-help advice is well founded in his practice and from biblical wisdom, however as much as he seems a panacea to intellectuals who have eschewed religion for the intellect and rationale, he has simply repackaged the conservative belief system with a more intellectually appealing veneer. He presents ‘right-wing pieties seductively mythologized for our current lost generations’.
‘In the West, we have been withdrawing from our tradition-, religion- and even nation-centred cultures.”-JP
(This is patriotism. Which is often linked with racism, justifying war, genocide, oppression)
‘Intact heterosexual two-parent families constitute the necessary bedrock for a stable polity.”…
‘Children do better with two parents and it teaches them relationships are trustworthy- having two people intertwined is stronger than one- deepens life in a way that isn’t possible with fragmentary relationships with different people- marriage is a sacrament because it spiritually and psychologically grows us’.
(I agree with that, actually.)
In one clip (https://youtu.be/AwXAB6cICG0) he eventually answers that yes he is Christian. At another time he says he doesn’t believe god exists but he’s afraid he does. He believes in evolution. He admires Christ and tries to emulate him. But JP often engages in intellectual tomfoolery to avoid directly answering. He says he doesn’t like being asked if he believes in god cos he doesn’t want to be boxed in and I believe that’s likely true (https://youtu.be/UWuYSo-nL08). At times he says that Christianity is how we act not what we believe (which I agree with and in that sense, am Christian) but as with his use of the term ‘marxist’, dilutes the meaning of the term as to make all kind people ‘Christian’. FWIW, apparently he has said he would like to buy a church to hold sermons, and has called the Bible “vital to proper psychological health.”
He defines ‘truth’ in a way that seems self-serving, dishonest and unrealistic, (aka if it serves it human life it is true, this has been rebutted in various YouTube videos link) although in a spiritual sense he may be correct in there being two levels of reality (EG there are Newton’s laws and there are quantum laws).
Why is JP famous? (THE BILL)
The bill he opposed was designed to prevent hate speech relating to transgender people being bashed and killed—which happens. When fighting against trans people’s rights, he made it ostensibly an argument about freedom of speech. However underneath that was thinly veiled conservative judgment wrapped up in the word ‘detest’. ‘I am not going to be a mouthpiece for language that I detest’- JP..….
His opposition can be taken in the the context of him saying that ‘believing that gender identity is subjective is as bad as claiming the world is flat’. Peterson has made clear that he disagrees with the premise of transgender identity — that biological sex and gender are independent, calling the assertion “wrong” at a Harvard lecture. In testimony against efforts to provide legal protection trans people in Canada, Peterson called trans identities “social constructionism”. Closely examined this goes beyond denying the experience of transgender people but is also vaguely homophobic. The idea that it was about something other than ‘free speech’ is supported by his wife’s activism against Bill 28, ‘All Families Are Equal Act’ which proposed changing the language in legislation about families from “mother” and “father” to the gender-neutral “parents.”
The text of the Bill itself, readily available via google, contains no mention of gender pronouns whatsoever. the relevant sections of the Canadian Criminal Code are §318 and §319 (below).
‘In order to prove that Bill C-16 risks the kinds of censorship you describe, you have to prove that the refusal to use particular personal pronouns carries a probable risk of physical violence against trans people and the gender-nonconformist; then, in order to defend the position you began with, you need to demonstrate that this violence is preferable to the curtailing of free pronoun-use.’
‘Peterson is perfectly free to express whatever opinion about trans people he may wish (provided they do not meet the standards of hate speech described below), but in his day-to-day interactions with them, he is bound to behave, to use his word, in a “civilized” fashion. You may claim that this is still an undue limitation on free speech. You may claim that not being able to refer to a black person as “it” is some fundamental encroachment from the “censorious left.” You may argue that society, “Marxist” or otherwise, suffers when we are not able to demean, dehumanize, and humiliate others whenever we feel the need. Yes, if you’d like, you may argue this – best of luck with it.’
It’s hard to appreciate the mindset of someone who looks at the suicide and murder rates among trans people, the obvious and sometimes crippling social burdens they face, and concludes that they chose their identity due to transient fashions. – Black truths of JP. https://dreamflesh.com/post/2017/black-truths-jordan-peterson/
JP has said he wishes to remove humanities departments (starve them) to cut off “the supply to the people that are running the indoctrination cults- create a website listing university courses that promote such points of view, calling them “postmodern neo-Marxist cult classes,” again because of the ”murderous doctrine’ and ‘I think disciplines like women’s studies should be defunded,” he said. “We’re causing full time, destructive employment for people who are causing nothing but trouble. What they promote has zero intellectual credibility.” – JP
(This is ironic as philosophy, political science and psychology are humanities subjects; a ‘Bachelor of arts majoring in psychology’ is the same content/faculty as a ‘behavioural/social science’ degree and from a Meta-theory perspective, if free will exists, aka we’re not mechanical cause->effect, psychology can’t be a science, anyway). Hypocritically wanting to remove aspects of education AKA form of sensorship to ideas he finds threatening. The notion that academia is corrupt and evil is right wing and is the same place where flat earthers are borne from. There is no pro-Marxist conspiracy. JP demonises the left and diminishes the risks of the right (EG no access to abortion, white supremacy, no gun control, no protection for vulnerable populations) likewise demonising communism without acknowledging the risks of capitalism (belief in profit leading to slavery, genocide and imperialism). He is concerned with the supposed murderous Marxist doctrine but not with the violence of the alt-right.
‘For Jordan, it appears, not all speech is equal, and not all disruption and violence are equal, either.’ (Article in the star, below).
His approach is authoritarian (in contrast to the left, and to his supposed support of free speech). This is very much a tactic of the right who focus on supposed freedoms (guns, hate speech) while seeking to restrict and control others in significant ways (EG not access abortion).
‘Cultural marxism will censor you’, this is the same ‘red-tide’ fear used as propaganda to justify the Vietnam war, and this fear is the weapon of dictators.
What are his ideas?
JP has baggage verging on obsession with the Cold War and is paranoid that political correctness will lead to naziism. He studied naziism for four decades, and lives in a state of fear and suspicion, intentionally, as he adorns his house with nazi paraphernalia (communist propaganda, execution scenes, soldiers looking noble— ‘a constant reminder of atrocities and oppression’). He follows the intellectual trajectory common among Western right-wingers who imply that belief in egalitarianism leads straight to the guillotine or the Gulag. This mental fixation gives him a warped and distorted world view which leaves his otherwise seemingly sound advice untrustworthy.
As far assertion of post- modernism being ‘marxism in disguise’ (forming the basis of his thesis):
⁃ Marxism was alive and well in Europe in 1961-1967 when seminal post-modern texts were written
⁃ Marxism is not taboo (unless you’re a conservative), influential philosophers alive today are Marxist—and these often have harsh criticisms of post-modernism
⁃ He claims class conflict was replaced with oppressed/oppressor. Rich vs poor is not the only tenant of marxism, otherwise not only are liberals are Marxist, but by this logic any ideology involving group conflict is Marxist, fascists who identify oppressive societal elements are Marxist, and any use of the word becomes meaningless
⁃ Neomarxism =/= postmodernism
⁃ Rather than simply draw parallels between the two, he attributes malicious intent where there is no evidence of it, persecutionary. Uses words like ‘treacherous’ to describe historical thinkers
His critiques of Derrida and focault are factually incorrect
⁃ claims they reject science
⁃ claims that they don’t believe in the individual, when they actually say that ‘the individual subject is not a simple rationally autonomous and transparent being… Must be able to place yourself in a discursive practice’. Derrida said the subject is indispensable but needs to be situated, the issue is ‘Where it comes from, and how it functions’, (which is the question at hand about Peterson, really).
⁃ JP claims they are pro-group: Derrida himself is critical of group alligences not just because they exclude, but because any binary distinction will be sustained by its own negation. And therefore group identities are not set in stone and should be questioned.
– Focoult states identities (EG race, sexuality) are defined by the powers that discriminate against them. Power is the ability to affect society or individuals, and can be good or bad.
and after all that, he says:
Intellectually, his gurus are Jung (who called the Jewish psyche inferior and was initially sympathetic to the Nazis), Campbell (who’s loathing of “Marxist” academics at his college concealed a virulent loathing of Jews and blacks), and his mentor Solzhenitsyn was a zealous Russian expansionist.
“Nowhere in his published writings does Peterson reckon with the moral fiascos of his gurus and their political ramifications; he seems unbothered by the fact that thinking of human relations in such terms as dominance and hierarchy connects too easily with such nascent viciousness such as misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. He might argue that his maps of meaning aim at helping lost individuals rather than racists, ultra-nationalists, or imperialists. But he can’t plausibly claim, given his oft-expressed hostility to the “murderous equity doctrine” of feminists, and other progressive ideas, that he is above the fray of our ideological and culture wars.”
What do his peers think?
‘I do not know if he is unwilling to learn because of his biases, or if he knows he is wrong and is simply lying. Either way the effect is the same; his attempt to paint marxism and post-modernism as the same makes no sense theoretically but makes sense for his intentions, it functions similarly to a term like cultural marxism, it throws together different ideas into one pile, from marxism Leninism, to critical theory, to post structuralism, to intersectional feminism, labels all of it bad in a single motion, by pretending these different movements have the same origin and intent, one avoids the hard work of actually engaging with the theory and simplifies the world to the point where it can identify a single main enemy which prevents the status quo from being as good as it otherwise would : pure ideology “
Recently a long term friend and colleague of JP wrote:
‘I am alarmed by his now-questionable relationship to truth, intellectual integrity and common decency, which I had not seen before. His output is voluminous and filled with oversimplifications which obscure or misrepresent complex matters in the service of a message which is difficult to pin down. He can be very persuasive, and toys with facts and with people’s emotions. I believe he is a man with a mission. It is less clear what that mission is.’
In human design terms JP has an open head centre, which no real ideas of its own and isn’t really certain of anything; he acknowledges that’s when he is lecturing he is having a conversation with one person and figuring it out as he goes (link speaking Russell brand- quote). This neans he is capable of channelling beautiful and insightful thoughts, the problem they’d they are filtered through defined ajna with its own theories, concepts and opinions. Someone so open-minded has none of their own consistent ideas to followed as an ideological or philosophical leader, but he does have consistent opinions about a women’s place and marxism and the importance of the bible. (He is also consistently living the ‘juxtaposition cross of possession’- making him controlling of those close to him)
He is full of contradictions. There is no real gospel, it’s all run on sentences and rhetoric that dissolves like candy floss put in water by a raccoon.
His followers cry ‘cherry picking’ but the reality is that his intellectual landscape is so disparate there’s naught to do but cherrypick. If he presented something cohesive and consistent it wouldn’t be the case; as it stands it’s iimpossible for critics to build a rebuttal without the perpetual ‘but in this video he said….’. Hundreds of hours of videos, a 1200+ page monolith publication, 100+ studies…. At some point he negates everything he says, usually in word, but also in implication or action. And if something he says doesn’t go down well, he just issues a blog or interview saying something. When he says it isn’t what he thinks, he isn’t lying: most of his ideas are inconsistent.
In answering questions he is intentionally not concise or direct, to keep religiosity and right wing under wraps. He states appealing facts but doesn’t form a direct cohesive argument. He reframes questions and gives long meandering answers which induce fatigue and function to distract, but also make it very difficult to rebut or criticise him. To understand his beliefs you need to watch multiple clips and piece together his belief system.
What is he fighting for?
Given his derisive demonisation of ‘social justices warriors’ (SJW’s), presumably not social justice.
The basis of ‘left’ ideas such as equal rights, environmental protection, social security safety nets for the disabled, old and misforunate (as anyone could experience tragic loss), individual identity and equality. While some criticisms of the left may be valid (EG the stifling of even slightly different opinions within the left, excessive use of PC or legislation being misused), it doesn’t justify an international backlash (against what is a localised problem i.e. excessive political correctness ) which then targets gender equality and civil rights of vulneraoble populations, and the validity of that particular criticism doesn’t make the underlying/original argument any less true (anymore than people using the bible to justify homophobic invalidates all Christianity) and doesn’t make the converse arguments true (i.e. dominance heirachies and gender inequality is natural and desirable). Likewise, the truth and reasonableness of his psychological advice doesn’t make his more extreme political perspectives true and reasonable.
JP doesn’t identify as alt-right, and yet the bulk majority of his argument is vocally anti-lef. That’s one point that is clear and consistent. He doesn’t accept the conservative label, but there’s left, right and centre and he’s at times violently anti-left. His videos validate conservative men.
‘12 Rules For Life is a fast-acting, short-term analgesic that will make many of his readers feel better temporarily, while failing to address their underlying problem. On the contrary, the book often fuels the very sense of entitled need which, when it goes unsatisfied, causes such pain and outrage.’
In the short term, his self help seems functional, but long term the result is being drip fed what is essentially a right wing, capitalist, religious, conservative, men-above-women rhetoric (his videos are circulated by neo-Nazis and incels). This can function as a form of grooming, especially for young men looking for a sense of acceptance and community (https://theoutline.com/post/3537/alt-right-recruiters-have-infiltrated-the-online-depression-community). The dynamic was similar with those who voted for Trump without realising the reality of what he stood for and would do. No one who was paying attention and to taking him seriously was surprised.
“You know your life is useless and meaningless,” Peterson says in his “Advice” video, turning towards the viewer, “you’re full of self-contempt and nihilism.” He doesn’t follow all of this rousing self-hatred with an answer, but rather merely teases at one. “[You] have had enough of that,” he says to a classroom full of men. “Rights, rights, rights, rights…”
(Linguistic analysis shows https://qz.com/1092037/the-alt-right-is-creating-its-own-dialect-heres-a-complete-guide/ extensive crossover between trump and ‘mens rights’ communities, see below).
‘Jordan is fighting to maintain the status quo to keep chaos [aka the feminune] at bay, or so he believes. He is not a free speech warrior. He is a social order warrior.’
The JP demographic has been coined as ‘failson’- young males who capitalism has failed who are looking for someone to blame, as they were told they’re special but it didn’t amount to something. Either the world has short changed them or everything they believe is a lie. So blame, dismissal and minimisations cloaked in intellectual rhetoric feels good. Similarly, an entire country followed Hitler because he gave them hope, because he knew exactly what to say to prey on their insecurities and emotions after WW1.
The JP rhetoric argues for winners and losers, which is problematic on so many levels; the authoritarian worldview naturalises domination (domination is not possible without an inferior who is controlled and suppressed) and reinforces the underlying belief system of young men who feel like losers by convincing them they can be winners. This is just flipping to the other side of the coin without addressing the problem. Ideology like this is about being superior, control, and trampling.
It ties into the same tangled belief system of men who devalue women who reject or challenge them; as women should be ‘conscientious and agreeable’. It reinforces the toxic masculinity idea that men have to be aggressive, including towards others. (JP has behaved this way on social media towards individuals who critiqued him in New York review (add quote); he has since stopped replying directly but instead posts the critiques to his Twitter with a brief sarcastic ad hominim comment, presumably with full understanding his followers will aggressively respond on his behalf, as they have in the past, keeping his hands clean but establishing an hostile environment where journalists and writers are afraid to cover him; he has stated a dark part of himself would enjoy ‘sick my trolls on c4, there’d be nothing but broken windows and riots’). He argues against “softness,” arguing that men have been “pushed too hard to feminize.”
This stems back to Zionist ideas and philosophers such as Sorel who were nostalgic of patriachial societies in Ancient Greece; these hyper-masculinist thinkers saw compassion as a vice and urged insecure men to harden their hearts against the weak (women and minorities) on the grounds that the latter were biologically and culturally inferior.
‘Their goal is to restructure the patriarchy. The patriarchy is Western civilization. And what does restructure mean? That’s easy—it means tear it down”. To Joe Rogan in 2016.
‘Healthy” women want men who “outclass” them in intelligence, dominance and status’ -12 Rules of Life
JP fails to acknowledge that many females are naturally more competitive and disagreeable than many males, and many relationships are an inverse dynamic i.e. an agreeable male with a dominant female. (While the extremes are disparate, the bell curves overlap, see below). There is nothing wrong with this, it is yin and yang and part of reality, but the JP framework says it’s not okay or natural). When the flawed map doesn’t map onto the territory, the result is anger and resentment, and the brunt of the resulting inadequacy is projected onto women. The problem with JP’s philosophy (EG men are dominant women are agreeable) is much like porn culture, it creates and endorses unrealistic expectations that make men feel shame and rage when they do not come true, and as he discusses in his video, generally leads to contempt for women. This is a case of Peterson creating an outcome he purports to avoid.
JP’s advice is also based on shaming men. (“Maybe it’s not the world that’s at fault. Maybe it’s you. You’ve failed to make the mark.”… “if you got yourself together completely, maybe all the suffering would disappear from your life… suffering because we’re not yet what we could be, but at least that’s an answer we have some control over”…. “You have an evil heart — like the person next to you”). Shaming is an unhealthy approach, a form of￼ toxic masculinity (see below); the worldview is problematic in the same way Catholicism induces guilt.
What is his relationship to the feminine?
JP has issues with women. This is mixed in between the platitudes and usually only implicit (EG the vocal tone changes in 12 rules when discussing female cartoon characters, or in interviews about feminists, crazy women, workplace harassment etc).
(-Quoted in the NYtimes)
“Culture is symbolically, archetypally, mythically male”—
—thus resistance to male dominance is unnatural.
Men represent order, and “Chaos—the unknown—is symbolically associated with the feminine.”
—men resisting the fixed archetypes of male and female, and failing to toughen up, are pathetic losers -> this is toxic masculinity. It also ironic as his wife and her his daughter organise his schedule.
JP states Order is better than chaos. Masculine is order, feminine is chaos. VIS A VIE men are better than women, their way of being is superior and preferable. He says that women are compassionate & caring, and then decries compassion and promotes aggression and competition.
Btw JP: ‘Compassion’ is not the same as a devouring mother archetype. Empathy is not the same as sympathy or pity. Psyc101.
He argues against compassion but conflates that with victimhood, while simultaneously bestowing the same on young men. Drama triangle ideas run through his rhetoric: so-called marginalized people are not really victims at all but are in fact aggressors, enemies, who must be shut down (as are humanities departments), and yet he views men as victims: ‘The masculine spirit is under assault, It’s obvious.” This forms part of his persecution complex. In argument for enforced monogamy, he says ‘Half the men fail [meaning that they don’t procreate]. And no one cares about the men who fail.”… ‘It’s awful. It’s so destructive. It’s so unnecessary. And it’s so sad.”
The empathy that he displays for men and boys is limited to them, in an either-or, good guys and bad guys, with no room for anyone else’s concerns, even if in real terms the suffering is marginal in comparison EG their lives are not being threatened, spiritual concerns compared to police brutality, violent harassment, poverty, rape, murder, etc.
When he says ‘nobody cares about men at the bottom‘ he is engaging the victim mentality in a way which is entirely contradictory given his assertions that 1) hierarchies are natural and 2) they’re predicated on competence and 3) his refusal or Marxist class equality and corrective action—not to mention that feminism critique of toxic masculinity would benefit the men at the bottom.
‘Any hierarchy creates winners and losers. The winners are, of course, more likely to justify the hierarchy and the losers more likely to criticize it.” –JP
Is he racist?
Dr. Peterson presented the case for taking personal responsibility over blaming others for one’s personal status in life. The accusation of “white privilege” is a fertile fallacy wrapped in the self-righteous robes of “social justice” as it reduces cultural and social issues down to immutable characteristics as opposed to individual decisions and responsibilities.
Speech at ‘sovereign nations’: link to concise summary
This completely dismisses the cultural context of history and power. White people are not privy to positions of power and affluence due to being any smarter, hard working, or motivated than blacks. However there is a system in place which prevents upward social mobility. Hard work isn’t enough. People are not born to equal opportunity. This excessive focus on the individual to the exclusion of cultural systems and power structures works well for those who the systems benefits and blames those who it doesn’t.
‘Peterson’s message fits perfectly with the prevailing ideology that has driven public-policy debates in North America since the 1980s: People should be able to succeed on their own, without help from the state. This message intentionally erases systemic barriers that perniciously remain and instead demonizes anyone who understands that collective advancement is the key to improvement.’
These trends can change only when people work together and demand improvements, whether it’s locally through community activism, or on a larger scale. But that kind of thinking would put Peterson out of work. Peterson’s logic preys on people already in despair and puts them into a cycle that they cannot improve on their own. He’s creating a cadre of dependent disciples.
It’s here that Peterson must be challenged: not on the logical inconsistencies of his rationale, or the aesthetic manner in which he debates. There are a lot of young men who are in a lot of pain. But we need to link Peterson’s rhetoric to the economic policies that are hurting them and break his individualistic narrative of personal liberation.
[Peterson acknowledges this in passing in reference to women doubling the work force- which indeed may have contributed to the requirement for dual incomes…]
In the epitome of privleged ignorance Peterson states that in North America environmental factors such as education and nutrition are controlled for as anyone can access a computer and anyone can eat well if they want to. Tell that to people in the Bronx in a fresh food desert. Pure stupidity given the context of him discussing financial inequality being on a Pareto distribution. He also doesn’t understand that racism makes people more likely to be harmed (disenguously framing and dismissing https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson/status/1003432670616047617 efforts to improve cyclist safety which will attract a wider range of cyclists than 85% white middle class male as if building more paths is ridiculous pc…).
Some of these ideas on race were well addressed (https://youtube.com/watch?v=GxYimeaoea0) in the debate with Stephen fry; some extracts and comments here
On a more superficial level, this is a well-known form of cognitive bias ‘My achievements are due to my personality and my failures are due to circumstances, but others success is due to luck and their failures are due to character flaws’. (Link)
Peterson is tone deaf.
Intelligence, youth, temperament, education, health, athleticism: these are skills and differences. RACE IS NOT. It should not be on this list. He doesn’t get it at all. People have implicit biases about sex and race. Especially in the case of race, there’s no way it can be justified as an actual difference. That’s why it is a discriminatory privilege.
He would have you believe the capitalist lie that anyone can make it if they work hard enough. White people are not shot and incarcerated for being in a backyard. They were not subject to a genocide in Australia. His lobster analogy could lead one to conclude it justifiable that we killed them, seen as were able to dominate them.
JP is a cult leader for conservatives, hyper conservatives and the alt right, as much as he may denounce those labels. His ideas fall in line with their ideology. He’s a belief system match. His ideas and rhetoric works for groups such as neo nazis. He proudly says his support groups are run by PUAs in Toronto—and its obviously why, because the rhetoric matches (negging is problematic as a form of demeaning and devaluing women). This forms a blind spot for him however, where he is otherwise very willing to call rape apologist to Muslim gang rapes:
JP says “no one can talk about” about how the declining birth rate in the west will be catastrophic because of “egalitarianism and diversity”, again watching his words and only implying rather than explicitly stating his meaning.
‘To be clear, Jordan Peterson is not a neo-Nazi, but there’s a reason he’s as popular as he is on the alt-right. You’ll never hear him use the phrase “We must secure a future for our white children”; what you will hear him say is that, while there does appear to be a causal relationship between empowering women and economic growth, we have to consider whether this is good for society, “‘’cause the birth rate is plummeting.” He doesn’t call for a “white ethnostate,” but he does retweet Daily Caller articles with opening lines like: “Yet again an American city is being torn apart by black rioters.” Quote- https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/is-jordan-peterson-the-stupid-mans-smart-person/
JP outright denies the reality of racism (to th the extent that racial studies were on the list of subjects HRV wanted defunded). ‘islamophobia is a word created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons’. Tell that to muslims being abused in the street. Islamophobia leads to discrimination, beatings, and war and is spreading as a form of propaganda. It’s real and it’s racist.
Critiques of Jordan Peterson’s ideas
Videos and clips referenced:
Maps of meaning (relationship advice is one hour in) https://youtu.be/ux6TVYqdN-E
Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — And What We Can Do About It . This is a popular critique of modern biological sex research.