Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Setting Jordan Peterson in context

Too may people have become enamored in this professor of piffle, so Ira Wells examines his popularity with the alt-right.

"Peterson may be correct that, in some cases, universities have failed to strike the right balance between protecting minority rights and preserving liberal, democratic values, including freedom of speech. [...] The problem is that Peterson folds this argument into a politically reactionary and often downright paranoid world view that appears designed to curry favour with the alt-right."

"In a conversation with Camille Paglia, he lamented that men can’t exert control over 'crazy women' by physically beating them. He echoes Donald Trump on fake news, telling followers they can’t trust the media, and makes a point of admiring Trump’s intelligence and accomplishments."

"What he is not, however, is the author of any lasting work of scholarship, the originator of any important idea, or a public intellectual of any scientific credibility or moral seriousness. Peterson’s sole discovery is that 'postmodernism' can be usefully exploited alongside the more familiar, established populist scare tactics. His message, as the intellectual guru of the alt-right, is that humanity’s natural hierarchies are under attack, that the future of Western civilization hangs in the balance of this 'war of ideas.'"

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