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If Peterson is so vague, trivial, cliche (as those two snark reviews claim), would he have odds to be so influential?


Ironically, Marx was rather just talking, while the Rockefellers, Carnegies were prototypical examples of changers at the same time.

Yet a few decades after he was just talking half the world was ruled by regimes claiming descent from his ideology and the biggest public works projects in Vienna still bear his name. Maybe he talked good?

I also want to note that the "intellectual dark web" is one of the more revealing examples of the mainstream pushing the branding strategy of those long suffering mavericks they are presumably harassing unfairly. Sam Harris still isn't cool, sorry.

Since I asked, I'll take a look at the article. I'll put paraphrases in italics and chapter titles in bold. Direct quotes go into "" and I'll put my comments into [].

First few paras: Introduction, Peterson is meaningful and intellectually stimulating to me[No examples given]
Next few paras (Breaking my silence): All the Left is against Peterson and while I admit he is bad on social-economic inequality and I'm therefore not a cultist, there are mobs after me for saying this.
The Downward Spiral: Peterson is obviously intelligent, yet the Left and journalists portray him as an alt right idiot. I'm scared of the activists for saying this.
"We desperately need a revitalized Left that's capable of speaking to today's pressing issues of socio-economic inequality[On which Peterson is bad I thought?], environmental devastation, and spiritual malaise[????] in informed, intelligent, and inspiring ways. Instead, we're inundated by shallow ideological crusades dedicated to demonizing thoughtful conservatives like Peterson, who actually have some important ideas to offer--just not on the issues that properly concern the Left."[Still no examples of those ideas]
Repositioning Peterson:
I'm a life-long lefty yet I like Peterson. Maybe I'm not alone?
I was a political science Prof so I have context. Peterson is not the American kind of conservative that only champions corporate capitalism but wants to understand "the human condition"
"Rather, it is concerned with issues such as the fragility of cultural norms that help provide individuals with a sense of purpose, and enable societies to remain relatively peaceful and functional."
Conservatives of this kind are conservative [I'm not even paraphrasing much here.]
"They believe that there is such a thing as `human nature,'[Who doesn't?] and that it's highly fallible, and inevitably bedeviled by problems such as envy, corruption, and greed[Who doesn't?]"
Conservatives are still conservative and think revolutions are bad
Not Stupid:
Peterson studied Jungian Psychology, he is still a conservative
[Now we come to ideas]
"For example, Peterson is concerned with how postmodern anti-foundationalism undercuts longstanding cultural norms. "[So he doesn't like Nietsche? The Viewpoint Mag article I linked is probably relevant to the way "postmodern" is used here.]

"He sees the `social justice' Left as filling the resulting vacuum with shallow anti-oppression platitudes."[So the Left is bad, because it is stupid?]
 He believes that human existence is inevitably full of suffering and that it's not easy to chart an ethical course through life.[Who disagrees?] The upside is that the struggle to do so provides a vital sense of meaning and purpose."[Did he invent that?]
"More examples could be given" [but are not]
He reinterprets bible stories in a way that resonate with me. Doing so is not stupid.
Peterson has said some bad things, I'm still not a cultist, but the Left is much worse and unfair in its criticism. They call him names and act self-rightous.
Breaking Out of the Box:
The Left alienates people, some of them will vote "anti-PC"
The Left has left social-economic issues to the populist right. Things get worse for the middle and lower classes, the Left says nothing about it.
"Yes, I am aware that many individuals and organizations are working enormously hard on such issues. Yet, as far as I can see, the culture war dynamics that have engulfed Jordan Peterson are overshadowing their efforts." [So the Left has no time for economic issues, because they hurl insults at Peterson?]
Peterson would talk with the Left, but they won't.[At least we aren't willing to pay his speaking fee. I'm sure the Current Affairs guy would be willing]
"Personally, I see him as a worthy interlocutor for those of us who believe that our societies need paradigm-shifting reforms[I thought he was against those? How can he speak for you then?], but reject the drive towards destruction for destruction's sake that currently animates the most extreme fringes of the Right and Left alike."[Way to assume motivations here]

Sorry if this is a bit of an unreadable mess. Please point out if you think I unfairly paraphrase at any point.

Overall, I don't see how this is supposed to convince anyone who is skeptical about the Lobster prophet. We have a lot of claims about thoughtfulness and profound ideas the Left can't ignore, but even after reading this I have seen no evidence of those.

by generic on Tue Nov 13th, 2018 at 04:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps there is no set of forceful evidence ready on a plate for left critics. I did not say that he is academically right. But if you are curious what generates his (possibly dangerous) appeal, the best way would be to go down a little his YT rabbit-hole like countless others. Why be dismissively superficial?  Shouldn't we dig what is so badly alienating of progressive politics according to him, just for the sake of next elections? The form of IDW critique is not vile. People will make their own conclusions about identity milestones, regardless of media branding or keen activism.

(Apparently, evolution should be taught starting from lobsters.)

by das monde on Tue Nov 13th, 2018 at 07:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said: he provides justifications for regressive toxic masculinity. Nice easy answers.

His stuff isn't new, or profound. We've seen it before. This is the "maybe this new climate change denier is right" school of argument.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2018 at 07:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps there is no set of forceful evidence ready on a plate for left critics.
Maybe because there is no such evidence? Frankly, I feel I have done enough due diligence. His ideas have no merit.

I'm also not in the least surprised by his comparable popularity. Telling the right that the Left were the real Nazis is a pretty old racket.

With surprising little innovation since Buckley

Lobster guy has added a bit of self-help pablum to the mix to get to the top of the grifter pile, but only time will tell if he will flame out by defending pedophilia like other recent college grievance merchants or if he will hang around for decades like Ayn Rand's rotting carcass.

by generic on Tue Nov 13th, 2018 at 07:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The abandonment of economic matters and the recent cultist embrace of identity politics looks like a surrogate takeover of progressive/leftish/socialist causes the world hasn't seen since the 1930s. Don't be surprised if you would be convinced late.
by das monde on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 10:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect this perception dépends on who you're talking to. I hear plenty of economics.

"Identity politics" is a keyword which indicates that the user belongs to the hegemonic group (typically a white male) and disapproves of the "minorities" getting uppity. Why can't we all just get along. With me on top.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 02:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most people would rather follow than be "on top". An apologetic white male is least acceptable there, I guess.
by das monde on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 02:24:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Identity politics in the 1930s? Yeah, if it hadn't been for all those LGBTQ marches, the Nazis would never have seized power

(giving women the vote in 1918 was the beginning of the end)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 02:13:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It started in Babylon.
by das monde on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 02:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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