Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s work and influence has, by any objective standard, been enormously beneficial. Thousands of young men are getting themselves figured out, and hundreds of thousands more are spending hours listening to complex academic lectures on how to become better people. Peterson is single-handedly robbing the alt-right of angry young white men by presenting them with the option of becoming better people rather than succumbing to identity politics. And he is championing loving, respectful relationships between men and women.
I need to clarify something.
It seems, if accounts are to be believed, Peterson rose to public consciousness for refusing to blindly obey a law requiring people to use certain gender-pronouns or he would be charged with a Hate Crime. A video of that went viral.
That’s not at all how I first encountered him. He popped up in my YouTube Recommendations as part of the twisted and deranged algorithm used at that site. If anything, the algorithm placed him under the “Self-Help” or “Motivational” categories, however tangentially. Eventually, I saw the pronoun video, but well after seeing other videos by him.
I’ve read some screeds against Peterson this week (thanks to the sub-Reddit dedicated to him). Please! None of you have a case. All you have is cant. And all you do is reveal yourself to be trapped in a mental paradigm that doesn’t allow argument or actual facts from reality to penetrate.
Part of the reason I had to leave Twitter is because it was becoming a non-stop timeline of such shrieking bullshit. People who were fixated on The White Man as The Enemy and never looking to themselves or what they could possibly do differently. For fuck’s sake, the first place to look is yourself. I’ve had to do that. And no, it’s not pretty. But that’s life. We all fuck up. We just don’t recognize the many ways we do in the moment of doing so.
What I find most interesting about Peterson is that he’s not someone who ever promoted himself as a self-help guru. And yet he is now seen as one.
I could rattle off a list of people in the fields of self-help and motivation, going back over one hundred years — and all of them pale in comparison to the intellectual depth of Peterson. That’s not necessarily the fault of those others. Behavioral Psychology didn’t gel into something seen as practical until, at least it seems to me, the past ten years or so. Peterson has a larger cache of intellectual weaponry than everyone in the past.
But what distresses me about Peterson is how goddammed 101 his best-known advice is: Clean your room, stand up straight, don’t make things worse.
This is what I heard in grade school.
What the hell has happened since that time that such basic advice is now news to adults?
Did we all become so distracted by shiny things and other bullshit that even these basic guidelines now have the power of a revelation?
And here’s a question I have for all of the Peterson detractors: What if Peterson was a black man saying all of that?
Maybe he would have been hailed a new hero. But I doubt it. The now-disgraced Bill Cosby tried it and was vilified.
I am now firmly convinced there are people in this world — very vocal people — who want things to remain unjust. Who want us to remain in a state of confusion, disharmony, and degeneration. Who don’t want people to be told to improve themselves first. They think they have the solutions.
Unless their plans include Death Camps.
And I think their plans do. History clearly reveals the destination of their path.
Anyone who tells you the problem is something outside of yourself is not looking out for your best interests.
And for all those people who believe they have the “solution” — look inside yourself first, goddammit, before trying to tell everyone else what to do and how to be.
Yet Again: Max Gunther
TV: A. P. Bio
The Shoelace That Leads To The Gun That Leads To The Double Murder
The First Rule Of Life: Don’t Make Things Worse
Create Or Wither And Die
Looking Under Rocks
New Category: Human Variables
Yes. Yes! YES!
The Counterpart You
That Thing Called Luck