Jordan Peterson: celebrity self-help guru for the New Right?


(ACD) #1

“… one’s tolerance for his actual arguments depend a great deal on one’s acceptance of the primarily Jungian theoretical framework he relies on. Peterson is concerned to show that the archetypal images and narratives which emerge from our unconscious mythological, literary, and religious heritage contain psychological wisdom and clues into how human beings establish meaning in our lives… Peterson’s analysis is often intriguing but involves no small bit of grandstanding… Peterson is concerned that this even more radically collectivist philosophy is very dangerous and will lead to the formation of a vast and totalitarian bureaucracy that will oversee and police our every actions, right down to the way we address one another… Peterson can be an intelligent and knowing scholar when he knows what he is talking about and reigns in his worst impulses. But he cheapens intellectual discourse when he deals with caricatures and hyperbole rather than really engaging the ideas of his political opponents.”


(Bill Ames) #2

I have never considered that it was possible to have our science driven lives motivated by so many things going on in our minds. If it were not for the fundamental universal constants the science type rely on to give them stability they might go over the edge. Would the great scientists have been distracted from their pens and slide rulers if they started wondering where the meaning for their lives originated. Fortunately opinions have no place in the real physical world, it is only what you can weigh and count and otherwise measure. However there is a lot of room for the opinions in the world as most of the 7 billion know much better how they feel than they know how much they weigh.


(Mel Saint) #3

I love Jordan because he is never afraid to confront the feminists and the politically correct movement. I like his talk about the correlation of IQ and Hedge Fund. Well, that is the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to admit publicly that natural intelligence has got to do with it but rather we are stuck with the feel good notion that everyone can literally make it. I know someone selling trading courses claiming that you don’t need math. Ok then, go try and find clients and tell them upfront that you’re stupid with math but you’re going to handle their money. Who the fuck will hand out their money to you? Literally no one!


(ACD) #4

Who the fuck are you asking for money?


(ACD) #5

The big business of the “war of ideas.” In front of 6,000 people, Jordan Peterson riffs on the human brain, God, and genocide, mining mass ennui for money.

“Was all this just a scam, a quickfire means of monetising Peterson’s sudden celebrity?”


(Justin Brown) #6

I read the LRB article and was a little disappointed by the end of it. I feel like the tone of the article was quite catty, showing a predisposed dislike of Peterson, and didn’t go deeper into what his disagreements with Peterson are.

More interesting for me is this article:

I read it last year and haven’t re-read it before typing this. But the impression it left on me was strong. I think the writer touches on the megolomania of Peterson.

I read Peterson’s 12 Rules of Life. I was really impressed with the book until the final chapter. In this chapter, Peterson writes of being in a trance-like state and picking up a white translucent pen to write down some scripts. He shares these in the final chapter, implying that his purpose in sharing these words comes from God (or something like this). He basically believes himself to be a modern day religious figure.

That’s all fine. At least he’s honest about it in his book. But he’s not the kind of “celebrity self-help guru” I’d like to blindly follow. Instead, he’s someone I admire for his clarity of expression and many of his messages urging people to take responsibility for their lives and stop being victims. This is great. But when it turns into becoming a follower and seeing him as a modern day religious figure, no thanks.


(ACD) #7

Best not to follow any of them blindly.

"… he will field knotty questions from the audience on whether originality is really possible, the tension between honor and happiness, and the evolutionary upside of solitude. These questions seem designed to be difficult, as if the audience were engaged in a giant game of Stump the Guru. It’s during such sessions that Peterson is at his improvisational best, sprinkling in ideas from philosophy, fiction, religion, neuroscience, and a disturbing dream his 5-year-old nephew had one time. It’s a hearty intellectual stew ladled up by an intense 55-year-old psychology professor who gives the impression that he’s on the cusp of unraveling the deep secrets of human behavior — and maybe the mystery of God, too, while he’s at it. You’d never guess from the reverential atmosphere in the 500-seat theater just how polarizing Peterson has become over the past year… in 1999, Maps of Meaning was published — his magnum opus, the central preoccupation of his life to that point — and no one cared… it seemed to some who knew him then that the promising professor who wowed them at Harvard in the 1990s had fallen off the map. In the video that made Jordan Peterson famous, he can be seen sparring with a handful of transgender students about the use of pronouns… Rogan spoke with Peterson for nearly three hours and declared him one of his favorite guests… His influence, though, runs deeper than cross-stitch-ready phrases. Gad Saad sees Peterson’s appeal in religious terms… Peterson as a malignant force … These days Peterson seems like a man possessed…“Surfing is the right metaphor,” he says. “It’s like I’m on a very large wave, and that’s, you know, really something, but mostly you drown.”

https://www.chronicle.com/article/What-s-So-Dangerous-About/242256

“Jordan Peterson may have already allowed himself to become too immured in the fractiousness of our time to be the figure whose intervention breaks the fever. He is a messenger whose immoderate personal conduct has worked at cross purposes to the essential moderation of his message. While his own personal following is likely to grow unabated, continuing to enrich him, the progressive consensus has immunized itself against his message—one that is fundamentally correct on certain crucial aspects of the conundrum we face—with an assist from Peterson’s own immodest tongue. Left activists in Portland propose deplatforming him from the venue where he is scheduled to speak, an ominous portent of a cascade of escalation that could well culminate in violence. We should nonetheless not let the histrionics in which he is surrounded —those created by himself and others—obscure the fact that it is Peterson who is the moderate and the keepers of the ostensibly ‘mainstream’ opinion that condemns him that have latched on to extreme doctrines.”

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/262280/jordan-peterson