Hans Lovejoy, editor
Jordan Peterson. On the surface he appears quite reasonable, despite sounding like a Muppet character.
He’s got the folksy charm of a Canadian college professor who has also spent many years as a therapist.
He should pose no threat, right?
Australia is enduring the professor’s talking tour (he’s enormously popular), so perhaps it’s worth a closer look at his message and how useful it is.
It’s refreshing to see a mainstream speaker drop into Nietzsche or Carl Jung. There’s seemingly no end to his knowledge and he will talk about anything with confidence.
That alone should raise suspicion.
He rose to fame after he criticised a Canadian law (C16) that added the words ‘gender identity or expression’ to the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code.
Peterson kicked up a big fuss, and ever since we were told Canadian free speech has been trampled upon and freedom of expression criminalised. As a result of these laws, are transgender people ruining Canada? No – transgender people pose no threat.
As recent events have shown, the Catholic Church’s insistence that its Archbishops remain celibate and then be left alone with young children is just one threat. And one of the worst.
Anyway – as a social warrior, he appeals to those who see issues such as gender fluidity and cultural Marxism as being more important than climate change, mass ecological extinction and wealth inequality.
Dig a bit deeper; however, and there are some seriously twisted and dangerous ideas that are well hidden.
For example, his idea that you are the problem (instead of others) and that you have only yourself to blame for your life situation harks back to the idiocy of The Secret. Remember that dreadful book?
The conversation of the individual versus the collective is a worthy one to have, as is taking personal responsibility.
So thanks for that, Peterson.
Yet it’s just hard to take cues on morality from Peterson seriously because his lectures are at times an incomprehensible word salad.
But it feels right, doesn’t it? Like his assertion that morals in the human species came from Christianity (it didn’t: there is ample evidence from the Stoics and further back to Mesopotamia).
He is just a modern day Ayn Rand sprouting an updated edition of her 1964 book, The Virtue of Selfishness.
A smarter version of Deepak Chopra. With a neckbeard.
In many of the available videos of him lecturing, he regularly uses vague fluffy academic language to disguise his inability to present coherence. Case in point is a series of conversations he had with Sam Harris, who is actually a clear and consistent thinker. And unlike Peterson, Harris is actually funny, remains on topic and has a superior grasp of logic.
Peterson is dangerous because he has highly developed – and obnoxious – political skills.
He deploys basic hypnotism, overbearing self confidence and apparent sincerity. In an age of opinion trumping science, the likes of Peterson should be vigorously peer reviewed.