Sunday, May 27, 2018

Why are young white men attracted to Peterson?

Good article on the end of the modern era, the necessity of the postmodern to question its assumptions, and the transition to a new era: "The emergence into a novel relational mode [...that] seeks dialectically to reconcile modern modes of thought based largely on reductionist materialism and the differentiation of logical, rational capacities (roughly correlated with the Aristotelian material and efficient causation almost exclusively privileged in modern science) with affective, intuitive, and somatic epistemologies generally more highly developed in premodern and primal world views (often correlated with Aristotelian formal and final causation)." Some excerpts:

"What is clear is that he consistently misuses profound ideas, especially those of C.G. Jung, to justify his misogyny. The primary problem with Peterson’s interpretation of Jung is that he conceives the archetypes too literally, especially as they relate to gender. [...] But the larger problem is that he uses this misreading of Jung as essentializing gender roles to rationalize a pernicious sexism masquerading as a defense of free speech and common sense. This message, framed as psychological theory and supported by questionable data, is resonating with many young men, providing an easy answer to a crisis of historical proportions. His response is to reject feminism and postmodernism (or at least his caricature of these movements), and essentially return to traditional gender roles, which Peterson argues are more biologically intrinsic than socially conditioned."

"He evidently wants to return to unquestioned patriarchy by paradoxically claiming that “the idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory.” This is an insidious sleight-of-hand in which, by denying that patriarchal oppression ever existed, men can continue to ignore what many women have been saying for centuries, from Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir to Judith Butler and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Kate Manne."

"This grievance is not news to anyone who pays attention to politics, as it is this very sense of loss of an imagined golden age that largely seems to have motivated Trump voters. But the deeper register of this insight is that postmodernism has, in fact, constituted a kind of death–a death of the modern–and an end of the certainty and privilege that men–especially straight white men–have experienced in the era currently coming to a close."

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