Jordan Peterson content has taken over this blog, use the search function to find quotes

Annals of derp with transcript excerpts

https://yastreblyansky.blogspot.com/2018/01/annals-of-derp-jordan-peterson-clinical.html?m=1

Viewing the interview as a transcript makes Peterson’s manipulation obvious. The short article above is worth a read.

You can’t really tell, because Peterson refuses to say it. Like Ross Douthat or Bret Stephens in cases we’ve looked at, he wants his audience to hear it, but he doesn’t want the responsibility of having said it, so he keeps weaseling between saying it and denying it. Newman is trying to pin him down: “Well, are you saying this, and if not, what?” and he’s replying no, but he’s unable to give her an alternative.

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https://thewalrus.ca/the-professor-of-piffle/

Nov 27 2018

The dangerous underside of Jordan Peterson’s crusade against the humanities

Peterson may be correct that, in some cases, universities have failed to strike the right balance between protecting minority rights and preserving liberal, democratic values, including freedom of speech. The Laurier incident is one of those cases. The problem is that Peterson folds this argument into a politically reactionary and often downright paranoid world view that appears designed to curry favour with the alt-right.

“Islamophobia,” he has also tweeted, is “a word created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons.” The real cause of the recent wave of sexual assault allegations, he believes, is due to sex no longer being “enshrined in marriage.” In a conversation with Camille Paglia, he lamented that men can’t exert control over “crazy women” by physically beating them. He echoes Donald Trump on fake news, telling followers they can’t trust the media, and makes a point of admiring Trump’s intelligence and accomplishments.

It seems indisputable: Peterson is now the most famous professor in Canada.

What he is not, however, is the author of any lasting work of scholarship, the originator of any important idea, or a public intellectual of any scientific credibility or moral seriousness. Peterson’s sole discovery is that “postmodernism” can be usefully exploited alongside the more familiar, established populist scare tactics. His message, as the intellectual guru of the alt-right, is that humanity’s natural hierarchies are under attack, that the future of Western civilization hangs in the balance of this “war of ideas.”

As a strategy to excite hysteria over the collapse of Western values, Peterson’s tack is effective: it provides a veneer of academic rationale for the widespread anti-intellectual suspicion that a class of decadent, ivory-tower elites who are intoxicated by European ideology are leading the way to cultural suicide. As a description of what the “postmodern” thinkers actually wrote, it is very flawed.

While only a tiny minority of humanities professors teach Derrida, a majority of the courses are dedicated to critical thinking… What makes critical thinking “critical” is the tendency to read against the grain of accepted wisdom and to question the inherited power hierarchies that structure human relations. Peterson’s immense popularity on the far right lies precisely in his intellectual validation of those traditional power hierarchies as natural and necessary—a message perfectly attuned to those who feel dispossessed and threatened by movements for sexual and racial equality. Most of Peterson’s videos offer variations on the theme that human behavior is the product of an ancient “male dominance hierarchy” that separates winners from losers—and that any attempt to question or subvert this hierarchy will result in unhappiness for the individual or chaos for society.

To fully grasp the depth of Peterson’s belief in power hierarchies, take his commitment to IQ testing: “If you don’t buy IQ research,” he has told his students, “then you might as well throw away all of psychology.” Peterson rejects the theory of multiple intelligences (emotional intelligence, musical intelligence, and so on) and insists that all of human intelligence is biologically determined, essentially unalterable, and expressed in a single number that can be ranked. Your IQ, he says, will govern where you end up in life. [article goes on to explain how this is flawed].

Peterson knows what he stands for. He is fighting for the souls of our students, and his message, while deeply alienating to some, is immensely seductive to many others. We have an intellectual obligation to meet this threat directly and expose him for exactly what he is: a YouTube star who offers a wafer-thin intellectual validation for the political retrenchment of traditional hierarchies. Peterson is calling for war within the humanities. We should happily oblige.

Open democracy: excerpts

https://www.opendemocracy.net/james-smith/steven-pinker-jordan-peterson-neoliberalism-radical-right

‘the fact is that young men can now get respectable academic backing for reactionary views on race and sex, a moral high-ground over politically correct liberals, and a counter-cultural worldview packaged as a lifestyle brand from thinkers with university posts, arena speaking tours, columns in the broadsheets, and books published by Penguin Random House.’

‘Peterson and Pinker offer long-term validation to a raft of interrelated reactionary political positions, in a way that the alt right could never dream of doing.’

‘Peterson defends his model of traditional masculinity on the grounds that, “if men are pushed too hard to feminize, they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology”, invoking Fight Club – as it happens a classic reference on the alt right – in illustration’

‘as Peterson himself puts it in 12 Rules for Life, “Lest We Forget: Ideas Have Consequences”.[5] Pinkerson has had flirtations with the ‘race science’ beloved of the alt right, promoting research arguing that Ashkenazi Jews have innately – on average – higher IQ. [see article for discussion]’

‘The ostensibly benign and platitudinous argument that we have to be race- and sex-blind and treat everyone as individuals obscures its radical libertarian logic; really treating everyone as an individual would mean an end to affirmative action, all-women shortlists and other mechanisms set up to mitigate historical injustices that continue to affect the life chances of disadvantaged groups.Does Peterson want this? The radical right certainly do. And framing debates about IQ as apolitical and ‘merely scientific’ hands them the justification.’

‘Peterson, with less of Pinker’s zen agreeableness, refers simply to “the insane and incomprehensible postmodern insistence that all gender differences are socially constructed”.

There are two extreme positions and one moderate and reasonable one. Peterson is not moderate, by positioning himself as a reactionary against the leftist position ‘all constructed’, he ends up saying ‘all biological’.

[incomplete]

https://www.opendemocracy.net/james-smith/steven-pinker-jordan-peterson-neoliberalism-radical-right

‘the fact is that young men can now get respectable academic backing for reactionary views on race and sex, a moral high-ground over politically correct liberals, and a counter-cultural worldview packaged as a lifestyle brand from thinkers with university posts, arena speaking tours, columns in the broadsheets, and books published by Penguin Random House.’

‘Peterson and Pinker offer long-term validation to a raft of interrelated reactionary political positions, in a way that the alt right could never dream of doing.’

‘Peterson defends his model of traditional masculinity on the grounds that, “if men are pushed too hard to feminize, they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology”, invoking Fight Club – as it happens a classic reference on the alt right – in illustration’

‘as Peterson himself puts it in 12 Rules for Life, “Lest We Forget: Ideas Have Consequences”.[5] Pinkerson has had flirtations with the ‘race science’ beloved of the alt right, promoting research arguing that Ashkenazi Jews have innately – on average – higher IQ. [see article for discussion]’

‘The ostensibly benign and platitudinous argument that we have to be race- and sex-blind and treat everyone as individuals obscures its radical libertarian logic; really treating everyone as an individual would mean an end to affirmative action, all-women shortlists and other mechanisms set up to mitigate historical injustices that continue to affect the life chances of disadvantaged groups.Does Peterson want this? The radical right certainly do. And framing debates about IQ as apolitical and ‘merely scientific’ hands them the justification.’

‘Peterson, with less of Pinker’s zen agreeableness, refers simply to “the insane and incomprehensible postmodern insistence that all gender differences are socially constructed”.

There are two extreme positions and one moderate and reasonable one. Peterson is not moderate, by positioning himself as a reactionary against the leftist position ‘all constructed’, he ends up saying ‘all biological’.

[incomplete]

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/evqekn/the-fundamental-errors-of-jordan-peterson

Is it all just a wishy-washy philosophy of individualism paradoxically based on conforming to one idea, a misguided attempt to reconcile the probing, questioning vocation of science with the supposedly eternal truths bequeathed by religious fables?

~

This made him a cause célèbre, and hours of his eclectic, freewheeling, evangelical YouTube lectures had soon been devoured by a predominantly young, male audience, rudderless amid the uncertainties unleashed by a new era of political correctness and changing sexual politics. In Peterson, they found familiar psychological moorings, attracted to the patina of scientific rigour in which he dressed his advocacy of traditional gender roles.

~

JP: “If I had my druthers I’d rather not be speaking politically at all… So I’ve stepped into the political realm, and the problem with that is it’s a polarising realm. I’ve tried to counter-balance that with the emphasis on individual responsibility. I’m hoping that the net consequence of that is more good than harm.”

Of course, it’s more than a little disingenuous of Peterson to claim he’s a reluctant participant in cultural politics; this is, after all, precisely what animates his increasingly obsessive vendetta against the “indoctrination cults” of “totalitarian” left-wing academia.

Furthermore, for all that Peterson claims to have had politics thrust upon him, he has certainly borne his cross with eagerness. His Twitter feed continually promotes the views of dark money-financed, energy-lobbyist-front think-tanks – such as Charles Koch’s Human Progress – which peddle the deliberately misleading notion of “absolute wealth”, which is essentially a smokescreen for justifying relative wealth inequality

When I put it to Peterson that the British middle class are increasingly turning to food banks, he explains this airily away not as the result of deliberate, ideologically-motivated policies – austerity as a cover for the massive, unprecedented upward transfer of wealth to the 1 percent, say – but suggests, somewhat feebly, that “the rise of the Chinese and Indian middle class has been purchased at the expense of the upward mobility of the Western working-class”, as though it were all one big zero-sum cake. Indeed, whenever Peterson comes close to acknowledging the validity of basic progressive notions such as wealth redistribution or equality of opportunity – “I’m not anti-left,” he protests, “I’m anti-radical left” – he immediately hides behind the mantra: “But we don’t know how deep the problem goes.”

~

[JP’s] great insight – that the individual sits at the centre of Western philosophy – came to him in a dream (as did many of his intellectual hero Carl Jung’s ideas) in which he was suspended under the dome of a cathedral, the centre of an architectural cross, which “placed me at the centre of Being itself, and there was no escape. It took me months to understand what this meant… [The] centre is occupied by the individual. The centre is marked by the cross, as X marks the spot. Existence at that cross is suffering and transformation – and that fact, above all, needs to be voluntarily accepted.”

~

After reading a few dozen pages of the book, you feel as though you’ve somehow found your way onto the ledge of a very tall building and are now being talked down.

But the chief problem with the book isn’t that the rules are useless, banal or vague to the point of meaninglessness (see Rule 3: “Make friends with people who want the best for you”). Nor is it that some of it is politically disempowering – insisting, as does Rule 6, that you “Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world”

No, the real problems are that it misuses science for unacknowledged political ends; that it grotesquely misrepresents Peterson’s intellectual opponents; and that it requires absurd philosophical and logical gymnastics to render the supposedly scientific standpoint compatible with his religious convictions (he has never entirely nailed his colours to the mast when it comes to belief in God, stating only that “I act as though I do”), which he partially skirts around by claiming that “scientific truth is different from religious truth” (precisely the argument of neo-Marxist philosopher Jean-François Loyotard’s book The Postmodern Condition, ironically enough).

~

“The fundamental issue with chapter one,” Peterson tells me, “is that I wanted to make the case that you cannot lay hierarchical structures at the feet of the sociopolitical realm.”

Evidently irked by Peterson’s intellectual overreaching, Myers claims that Peterson has “built a case on false facts and distortions of general observations from the scientific literature. He has not demonstrated anything about socio-cultural constructions. Not only does he get the evidence wrong, he can’t construct any kind of logical argument…”

Worse still, Myers argues, there is an ideological motive for all this: “Peterson is distorting the evidence to fit an agenda… It’s appalling the degree to which this man is asserting nonsense with such smug confidence. This man is lying to you.”

So much for Rule 8: “Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie.”

You’re never as ideological as when you believe you’re not being ideological, and so when Peterson writes, at the start of a sub-chapter titled “The Nature of Nature”, that “it is a truism of biology that evolution is conservative”, he is presenting – for entirely ideological ends – an obvious fact about the slow march of evolution as an indisputable truth of how our societies work, despite all sorts of salient details making the parallel unworkable.

~

I ask him whether – within such an evolutionary framework – socialism and feminism might be considered adaptive responses to our awareness of systemic realities such as global warming or the ultimate un-sustainability of capitalism’s entirely irrational model of growth for growth’s sake (and the type of competitive, risk-addicted masculinity that fuels it). He briefly concurs, before backtracking: “Not feminism, but the feminine.”

~

“Make no mistake about it,” Peterson has tweeted, not at all hyperbolically, “the aim of the radical left is the destruction of even the idea of competence”

So badly – and wilfully – does Peterson misrepresent his intellectual adversaries that he’s able to tweet, only partly sarcastically, that “science is a social construct, remember? That’s why planes fly.”

If it were just a case of YouTube clickbait or polemics for conservative podcasts it would be more excusable, but the same deliberate misrepresentations and falsifications crop up in Peterson’s lectures. Take this one, which begins with a ludicrously hyperbolic ad hominem describing Foucault as a “vengeful misfit”, adding: “a more reprehensible figure you could hardly ever discover, or even dream up”. So far, so moderate.

I ask whether, neck-deep involvement in the culture wars notwithstanding, he feels any moral obligation to depict these figures to his students more faithfully. He mentions the inevitable “oversimplification” involved in dealing with “this identity politics mess. The question is how do you trace its development? So you say, rather casually: let’s attribute it to Marxism, first of all, and then the union of Marxism with the kind of postmodernism that was put forward by Derrida and Foucault. It’s like: Jesus, you’re summarising an unbelievably complicated problem in, like, 15 seconds. And the nuance is going to be lost. The problem is there is a problem with identity politics, and I really do believe that it’s a terribly divisive problem.”

~

The clip finishes with Peterson offering a caricatured “postmodernist neo-Marxist” view that “the only reason the West functions is because it has raped the rest of humanity and the planet”, which he follows with an uncharacteristic and telling silence before adding, again tellingly, “the less said about that the better”.

Which is perhaps why 12 Rules for Life doesn’t have an index entry for capitalism, or why Peterson’s presentation of historical atrocities doesn’t dwell on slavery, upon which the great civilising beacon of American wealth and enterprise was founded. A sin of omission, as he would himself call it.

~

It’s somewhat curious that Peterson’s caricature of his intellectual foes’ supposed rejection of scientific evidence is made while giving Jung centre-stage, a thinker whose totally discredited and entirely unscientific theories of universal archetypes were derived from personal dreams and fabricated “research”.

[incomplete]

Interviewer: you don’t feel that globally men have the better end of the stick?

Peterson: No! Noo I don’t believe that globally men have the better end of the stick. What- I don’t even understand why people would even Begin to conceptualise the world that way. Better in what way?

Interviewer: roles of power… in businesses… politically… men pretty much rule the world. No?

Peterson: Well, what about in warfare? What about in dangerous jobs? Who gets killed in war, who fights in war? Men.

This is a red herring and does not follow logically from the question.

The answer to the question ‘do men hold the power’ is answered with ‘men pay the cost of holding the power and the decisions they make with that power (such as going to war, and mining). They also take the reward from those jobs and the business that war creates.

Interviewer: you have women of war, soldiers in the army, nowadays, it’s opening more and more.

This is a good rebuttal, women were not allowed to join the army as soldiers. They did however serve in the war as nurses in very dangerous areas, a point which Peterson also totally glosses over. He goes on to completely refuse to address this point, a tactic he uses often.

Peterson: well, no, we’re not going to go down that…

Interviewer: is a woman soldier not as good as a man soldier?

Peterson: I don’t know.

Peterson’s unaddressed rage following this interview became evident in his dreams following the interview:

~~~~~

This same theme was discussed in the 2018 ABC interview by comedian Tom Ballard who placated Peterson:

Peterson’s evasive rebuttal to female oppression throughout history amounts to ‘everyone had it bad’ and ‘men and women helped each other’.

Dodgy motherfucker.

The compensatory actions you see as benefiting women at the expense of men are required because of implicit bias. It’s existence is scientifically well established via the psychology department—not humanities.

‘What right don’t women have?’

A hundred years ago the right was to vote. Two hundred years ago the right would’ve been to own property. Before that, women themselves were property (and in some countries, they still are). These days in the West, the discrimination is more subtle. Legally we have achieved equality but socially we have not. When the feminine is considered as valid and valuable as the masculine, we have equality. For example, it’s now socially acceptable for women to wear pants. However, it is not socially acceptable for a man to wear a skirt (unless it’s a joke, and people will laugh). It is socially acceptable to call a female ‘dude’, or like ‘hey guys’, but it is not socially acceptable for a male vice versa ‘pussy’ is a derogatory term, ‘don’t be a girl’. That’s just a basic surface level example of the way the feminine is suppressed, and it’s as toxic for men as it is for women. And despite whatever stereotypes you may hold in your head, that is what feminism is for. For the expression of both masculine and feminine energy in all humans to be socially condoned.