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Jordan Peterson on Cathy Newman

Published by: Andrew Doyle, columnist, SPiKED, on 27 November 2020.

Jordan Peterson: how the left manufactured a folk devil.

The hysterical response to Peterson’s latest book is totally disconnected from anything he has actually said.


Over the past few days, Jordan Peterson’s critics have been doing their utmost to publicise his forthcoming book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The famous clinical psychologist announced the publication on his YouTube channel on Monday, and within hours the book was being widely denounced on social media for its hateful content. This is quite a feat of the collective imagination, given that nobody has read it yet . . .

. . . . Much of the furore has come about because employees at the Canadian branch of the publisher, Penguin Random House, have called for the book to be cancelled. After multiple complaints were filed, they confronted their management at a meeting in which some burst into tears and shared their stories of how the evil Professor Peterson had caused such emotional havoc in their lives due to his ‘problematic’ opinions. According to a report in Vice, ‘one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalised their father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend’.

This is just the latest example of a new trend of activist employees threatening to strike for ideological reasons. At the audio-streaming company Spotify, workers recently demanded editorial control of Joe Rogan’s newly acquired podcast series, after they had successfully removed a number of episodes deemed to be controversial. At publishing giant Hachette, employees threatened to walk out after JK Rowling’s children’s book, The Ickabog, was announced. All these internal revolts have failed, presumably because figures such as Rowling, Rogan and Peterson are too popular to cancel. One wonders how a less lucrative artist would fare under such circumstances.

When I reviewed 12 Rules for Life for spiked (published alongside a counterview by Luke Gittos), I noted that there were two Jordan Petersons. The first ‘a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto with a particular interest in religious and ideological belief systems’, and the second ‘a notorious firebrand of the alt-right… a transphobic provocateur whose lectures amount to little more than hate speech’. As I pointed out, only the first of these two actually exists.

The viperous attacks on Peterson we have seen on social media over the last few days can only be described as a kind of hysteria. He has been smeared as a ‘Nazi apologist’ and a ‘fascist’ by people whose familiarity with Peterson’s work amounts to a few bad-faith articles and a smattering of selective quotations taken out of context. He has routinely been called ‘far right’, even though the core tenets of the actual far right – a sense of racial or national superiority, support for authoritarianism and the worship of the state – represent the polar opposite of Peterson’s worldview. Many critics have attempted to broaden the traditional definition of the ‘far right’ – incorporating cultural conservatism, a belief in the importance of personal responsibility and an awareness of biological sex differences – so that it can then be applied to Peterson. This is the equivalent of attaching plastic horns to a bulldog so that you can call it a monster.
True, there are subsidiary features common to the far right: homophobia, sexism and other reactionary viewpoints. But to brand anyone as ‘far right’ on the basis of these things alone – particularly when they are imagined rather than supported by the evidence – is a form of political illiteracy. Peterson’s opposition to feminism is well documented and there are legitimate arguments to be had over the merits of his views. But even if one were convinced that they are tantamount to chauvinism, this would not be sufficient to justify the epithet of ‘far right’. Were that the case, then there would no longer be any distinction to be made between Benny Hill and Hermann Göring.

The determination to misrepresent Peterson’s ideas is on a par with the frenzy surrounding JK Rowling, whose compassionate and nuanced views on the ways in which gender-critical feminism and trans activism are in conflict have been taken as proof that she is the devil incarnate. This monstering of public figures, based on the flimsiest of evidence, is indicative of a cultural and intellectual malaise that we would be foolish to ignore. There are all sorts of sensible reasons to take issue with Peterson’s opinions, but why has it become so difficult for so many to present a counter-argument without resorting to adolescent catastrophising?

Consider the words of a junior employee at Penguin Random House. Peterson is apparently ‘an icon of hate speech and transphobia’ and ‘an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book’. When pushed for further detail, such people invariably claim the power to intuit Peterson’s private feelings, but simply declaring that your ideological opponents are harbouring malevolent intentions is only evidence of your desire that they should. This is why the accusation of ‘dog whistling’ – sending out secret signals that only one’s followers can hear – is so common. As one of his critics put it on Twitter, ‘one thing Peterson does consistently is toss bones and winks to his far-right followers, couched in vague or ambiguous terms that allow him to say that of course he didn’t mean THAT’. It takes an acute kind of narcissism to assume that you are able to divine the secret workings of someone else’s mind simply because you have decided that it must be so.

It should go without saying that if you believe that books ought to be cancelled simply because you disagree with their contents, a career in publishing is probably not for you. We need to reckon with this new reality of our times: that there exists a substantial proportion of the adult population, educated to university level, who are nonetheless incapable of critical thinking and lack the basic skills of argumentation. Worse still, many of the most vicious comments about Peterson – including mocking him for a benzodiazepine addiction brought on by his wife’s cancer diagnosis – have come from those who believe themselves to be compassionate and virtuous campaigners for justice. If such people really are ‘on the right side of history’, then the future of humanity looks pretty bleak.

Peterson’s key thesis is that life is unbearable without a sense of purpose, and that this can largely be achieved through personal responsibility and taking charge of one’s life. He believes that civilisations collapse without structure, which is why children ought to be socialised in accordance with the ethical parameters we set for ourselves. He maintains that science and technology have improved our lives, but do not satisfy our need for meaning. This is why his work focuses on the stories that recur in ancient traditions and religious beliefs. There is wisdom in these narratives, he argues, even if their supernatural elements have no basis in reality.

If you find these views rebarbative, you can always offer a rebuttal or choose not to expose yourself to Peterson’s output. If you need to indulge in straw-man arguments, or convince yourself that he is ‘alt right’ or ‘fascist adjacent’ in order to justify your opposition, then you are in no position to complain if you are not taken seriously. Screaming abuse at those who enjoy Peterson’s writing, or calling for his book to be cancelled, is not the behaviour of a responsible member of a civilised society. If you don’t like his work – either because of its actual contents or what you have simply imagined them to be – then don’t buy his books. Problem solved.

We need to ask ourselves how we have reached the point where grown adults are willing to accept such wild mischaracterisations of public figures without even attempting to engage with the reality of what they say and think. We need to redress the widespread historical ignorance that dilutes the terms ‘Nazi’ and ‘fascist’ to meaningless slurs. We need to restore critical thinking in our education system to counteract the ongoing degradation of public and political discourse. We need to consider how anyone above the age of 16 believes that throwing insults is an effective form of rebuttal. This isn’t simply about Jordan Peterson; this is about the kind of hysteria he inspires in an infantile society. Something has to change.

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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
We need to reckon with this new reality of our times: that there exists a substantial proportion of the adult population, educated to university level, who are nonetheless incapable of critical thinking and lack the basic skills of argumentation.
If I may make a Peterson-esque distinction:

They have been to university. I would argue very strongly that they have not been educated to university standard - at least, not a standard to which universities themselves should be held.

Which then, of course, holds up a mirror to these people's tutors and the whole educational edifice.
 
If I may make a Peterson-esque distinction:

They have been to university. I would argue very strongly that they have not been educated to university standard - at least, not a standard to which universities themselves should be held.

Which then, of course, holds up a mirror to these people's tutors and the whole educational edifice.

aNA4P8G_460s.jpg
 
You need to date that comment from Bezmenov so that it's understood how long this has been going on.

Best I can do as I am shit a embedding links.

Screenshot_20201127-125410_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
I would add . . .

"You cannot change their mind, even if you exposed them to authentic information . . . or even if you explained to them, to WHAT they had/have, been exposed" ( . . . as a method/means/system of "education") !!
 

Jordan Peterson v the crybullies​

The reaction to the 12 Rules for Life sequel shows an infantile intolerance​

BY DOUGLAS MURRAY

View attachment 524067
Jordan Peterson v the crybullies - UnHerd
I would normally have reacted to Douglas Murray's piece in unherd, but for the fact that a month or so ago I was banished to a frozen gulag by them for agreeing with him.

I suppose that it is a fact of modern communication that pseudonymous commenting is acceptable; I tend to disagree, and although many here know me, this is the only means on which I use the picture of a deeply cynical attack-puppy to talk through; in every other forum, my name is on display.

However, unherd thought that my name was an alter-ego, and therefore banned me. The shame; they've joined the Guardian, the bastards.
 
I would normally have reacted to Douglas Murray's piece in UnHerd, but for the fact that a month or so ago I was banished to a frozen gulag by them for agreeing with him.

I suppose that it is a fact of modern communication that pseudonymous commenting is acceptable; I tend to disagree, and although many here know me, this is the only means on which I use the picture of a deeply cynical attack-puppy to talk through; in every other forum, my name is on display.

However, UnHerd thought that my name was an alter-ego, and therefore banned me. The shame; they've joined the Guardian, the bastards.
So . . . are you really Suzanne Moore ?!

Do I win £5 . . . ?! ;)

"This was the case with the attack on Suzanne Moore, whose stupendous account of her fall-out with the Guardian is a fine reminder of the laws of modern combat. The people who edged her out of her place of work did not do so firstly by calling her derogatory names . . ".

 
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Polyester

War Hero
Published by: Andrew Doyle, columnist, SPiKED, on 27 November 2020.

Jordan Peterson: how the left manufactured a folk devil.

The hysterical response to Peterson’s latest book is totally disconnected from anything he has actually said.


Over the past few days, Jordan Peterson’s critics have been doing their utmost to publicise his forthcoming book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The famous clinical psychologist announced the publication on his YouTube channel on Monday, and within hours the book was being widely denounced on social media for its hateful content. This is quite a feat of the collective imagination, given that nobody has read it yet . . .



View attachment 524217

I look at this from the perspective that Peterson must genuinely have the ideologues on the left panicking (as opposed to social media stirring). They must consider him a serious threat given the resources now being levied (online) against him and his character.

Their reaction to him, and his ideas is too extreme. Personally, I respect his capacity for intellectual consideration and reflection. I respect his ability to carry others along with an idea and to debate with passion but remain logical. He has tremendous value and we need more like him, however...

I don’t think he’s the beacon of a new enlightened age. It saddens me to say it but I think he lacks the charisma to get into the minds of a young (let’s say teenage) audience and let’s face it, if it weren’t for YouTube and a few other brave channels he’d get no airtime at all. I hope I am wrong though.
 
I look at this from the perspective that Peterson must genuinely have the ideologues on the left panicking (as opposed to social media stirring). They must consider him a serious threat given the resources now being levied (online) against him and his character.

Their reaction to him, and his ideas is too extreme. Personally, I respect his capacity for intellectual consideration and reflection. I respect his ability to carry others along with an idea and to debate with passion but remain logical. He has tremendous value and we need more like him, however...

I don’t think he’s the beacon of a new enlightened age. It saddens me to say it but I think he lacks the charisma to get into the minds of a young (let’s say teenage) audience and let’s face it, if it weren’t for YouTube and a few other brave channels he’d get no airtime at all. I hope I am wrong though.
" . . . . It saddens me to say it but I think he lacks the charisma to get into the minds of a young (let’s say teenage) audience and let’s face it, if it weren’t for YouTube and a few other brave channels he’d get no airtime at all. I hope I am wrong though".

His "day-job" is ( . . . still is . . . ?), lecturer at a Canadian university.
 
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Polyester

War Hero
" . . . . It saddens me to say it but I think he lacks the charisma to get into the minds of a young (let’s say teenage) audience and let’s face it, if it weren’t for YouTube and a few other brave channels he’d get no airtime at all. I hope I am wrong though".

His "day-job" is ( . . . still is . . . ?), lecturer at a Canadian university.
Yes, he still teaches at the university. I should have been more clear. I meant young people en masse. For every Peterson there is four Owen Jones‘ at any given university in the west. And a student union. That’s a lot for one man to combat.

E2A; I accept your point of course. Some young fertile minds opened up is better than none.
 
Yes, he still teaches at the university. I should have been more clear. I meant young people en masse. For every Peterson there is four Owen Jones‘ at any given university in the west. And a student union. That’s a lot for one man to combat.

We don't know the true numbers that consider him satan incarnate. All we can see are public meltdowns and the twitter outrage mob. . As we know being the loudest voice, whether that be on social media or on campus, doesn't equate with having the weight of numbers in the real world.
 
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Polyester

War Hero
We don't know the true numbers that consider him satan incarnate. All we can see is the public and the twitter outrage mob. . As we know being the loudest voice, whether that be on social media or on campus, doesn't equate with having the weight of numbers in the real world.
Very true. And this was proven during Brexit, Conservative parliament voted in etc etc. It’s clear there is a silent proportion of the country who aren’t in alignment with what we hear on social media and the like. I accept that.

It‘s just that it feels like the woke message is relentless, all encompassing and firm. It has lent the appearance that there is no alternative.
 
We don't know the true numbers that consider him satan incarnate. All we can see is the public and the twitter outrage mob. . As we know being the loudest voice, whether that be on social media or on campus, doesn't equate with having the weight of numbers in the real world.
Indeed-as we know, an empty vessel-or echo chamber these days-does sound the loudest.
Or shrillest, take your pick.
 
it feels like the woke message is relentless, all encompassing and firm. It has lent the appearance that there is no alternative.
It is, and it's the essence of hubris. It's one of the principal effects of unearned luxury - not having to actually and seriously strive for shelter, food etc; there's always a safety net, not that too many of the adherents get down to that level. The benefits of a caring civilisation are necessarily going to inculcate dissatisfaction - against the benefits. A bit of a conundrum.
 

Yokel

LE
Very true. And this was proven during Brexit, Conservative parliament voted in etc etc. It’s clear there is a silent proportion of the country who aren’t in alignment with what we hear on social media and the like. I accept that.

It‘s just that it feels like the woke message is relentless, all encompassing and firm. It has lent the appearance that there is no alternative.

It is because to oppose the mob is to lay yourself open to allegations of racism, homophobia, being anti Islamic, misogyny, and every other thing. In the days of social media, there is no right to reply, no defence, nothing except a witch hunt with assumed guilt and no possibility of forgiveness.

It is like the bloodthirsty mood that exists following most revolutions.
 

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