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the YouTube populist

Jordan Peterson is a strange character. He speaks in utterances that are almost ambiguous and leaves the listener wondering if they have just heard some nugget of wisdom or he has missed the point all together. He is cagey and refuses to be cornered preferring to leave the interviewer to guess what his political stripe might be; the only thing he states for certain that he is an enemy of the radical left.

Thus the alt-right has picked him up as the messiah for what ails the modern male except that Peterson will not fly their flag openly. Instead he distances himself quietly but not too boldly so he can collect his daily YouTube salary from the fanboys who cannot get enough of him. However, Mr. Peterson becomes less convincing over time as one listens to him and he prefers to provide terse responses to those trying to corner and paint him with the brush of their choosing to taking a definitive stance.

All of this began with his likely deliberate misreading of Canada’s Bill C-16 which he trumpeted as a kind of Big Brother attempt to force people to use pronouns they do not wish to. Of course, this is not correct but Peterson took this one all the way to the bank and now, deliberately or not, cuddles up to the likes of Ben Shapiro and Stephen Crowder who are the new brash boys on the right. In reality, bill C-16 allows transgender people to be who they are and gives all Canadians, irrespective of race, creed, orientation or gender identity some well-deserved rights not to be discriminated against.

I am hoping and betting that those hanging on Peterson’s every word will tire of him and I am pretty certain that his University does not look overly favorably on his moonlighting as a populist who sells his self-concocted wisdom on the internet.

Call it a hunch.
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  1. Peterson is an upperclass twit who peddles self help pablum to people who mistake their own immaturity for having been victimized. He panders to the crowd that decries such perceived victimhood on the left, and uses flowery, unnecessarily cryptic prose to tell them little more than to “man up” and validate their own sense of victimhood at the same time.

    People like him and Shapiro (Crowder is distasteful but at least he seems to have a sense of humor about it all) complain that their free speech rights are being infringed upon by having to address trans people by their preferred pronouns in professional or academic settings because they don’t agree with the trans person’s perspective on the world. Which would be a little like me saying my free speech rights are being attacked because I’m not allowed to address my students or employees as “heathens” for being of a religious persuasion with which I disagree. It’s the 21st Century version of “But what about my freedom to own slaves?”

    There will forever be a tension between freedom and equality, yet we strive for both, hopefully to strike the right balance. All the likes of Peterson have to offer to the conversation is resentful sophistry.

    1. I have figured out that with Peterson it is more about showing his ability to show his intellect than to actually commit to something meaningful. This is why he is embraced by the alt-right who sees his disdain for the left as welcoming their brand of thinking. Peterson instead likes to obfuscate and present himself as an intellectual who rejects many of our social constructs but then offers us very little to cling to in terms of ideas.


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