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Free Minds & Free Markets

Jordan Peterson Is Not the Second Coming

So why has a generation of wayward young men welcomed him as their messiah?

"If you think tough men are dangerous," University of Toronto psychologist and overnight YouTube superstar Jordan Peterson writes in his new book, "wait until you see what weak men are capable of." It's a warning shot for would-be social engineers trying to defang maleness and for Peterson's startlingly large audience of young dudes teetering on the edge of nihilism. Perhaps it is also a subconscious caution to the author himself.

January 2018 was the month Jordan Peterson went from unknown to inescapable. The two reasons for that were a Channel 4 News (U.K.) exchange that went viral after an increasingly hostile and flustered female interviewer failed to hang an unflappable Peterson as a misogynist, and then the appearance one week later of his 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Random House Canada), which immediately shot up bestseller lists throughout the English-speaking world. "He has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to international celebrity in a couple of weeks," Psychology Today noted with wonder.

As befits a lecturer fixated on the "tightrope" between chaos and order, good and evil, yin and yang, "the Jordan Peterson moment" (so christened by New York Times columnist David Brooks) has produced an almost perfectly polarized response. Celeb psychologist Jonathan Haidt called Peterson "one of the few fearless professors"; Houman Barekat in the L.A. Review of Books deemed him a peddler of "toxic masculinity" and "reactionary chauvinism." He is "the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan" (Camille Paglia), or an "an intellectual fraud who uses a lot of words to say almost nothing" (Nathan J. Robinson).

What is indisputable—and what makes the Peterson pop phenomenon more interesting than the quality of his work—is the way it has galvanized a generation of wayward young men, including many who have clustered around the "alt-right." The numbers are staggering, and vaulting upward by the minute: As of early April, there were 49 million views of his YouTube videos, 1,008,000 subscribers to his channel (plus 584,000 Twitter and 256,000 Facebook followers), and, most impressively, an estimated $90,000 a month donated to his account on the crowdfunding site Patreon. By Peterson's own reckoning, the solid majority of his sold-out audiences on the lecture circuit are males between the ages of 20 and 35; their gratitude for his "grow the hell up" message has moved the man to tears on several public occasions.

Peterson self-identifies as a classical liberal, frequently retweets content from the Cato Institute, and forthrightly criticizes the alt-right for playing the "collectivist game" of identity politics. Yet he's a lightning rod among libertarians too. I first became aware of the psychologist last fall when his name came up serially at a private gathering of libertarian activists anxious about the real and perceived overlap between their world and the reactionary right. One participant counseled keeping Peterson at arm's length, lest "we end up with another cult-leader libertarian." Taking the opposite view at the website Being Libertarian was Adam Barsouk, who argued that "Peterson is able to do something no libertarian commentator before him could: he can argue that a freer, less coddled way of life is not just ethical, but also adaptive, better for humanity as a whole."

Peterson's popularity has demonstrated the happy fact that you can reach illiberal ears with a message that contains some classical liberal content. But he has gotten there not via persuasive argument about intellectual ideas but through the top-down, teacher-student, authoritarian exhortations of self-help. Playing Pied Piper for a lost generation of lefty-baiting edgelords has given an ambitious academic incentive to embrace his inner troll.

The Anti-Marxist Cobra

If you heard of Peterson before 2018, it was probably due to his September 2016 battle against fancy new gender pronouns. In a three-part video series titled Professor Against Political Correctness, Peterson objected to a proposed amendment to Canada's Human Rights Act (since passed) making it a criminal offense to incite or promote hatred based on a target's gender identity or expression. His slippery-slope argument was that such a law, in Canada's First Amendment–free legal system, could eventually lead to "compelled speech" over silly-sounding jargon like "zhe" or "zher."

Jordan Peterson. Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images.Jordan Peterson. Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images."These words are at the vanguard of a postmodern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century," he explained in the National Post. "I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period."

This is the version of Peterson—strident, logic-leaping, reductionist—that has stoked both his flock and his detractors. In an era when the left is forever policing the shifting boundaries of acceptable speech, the right is forever rewarding whoever provokes the left's ire, and the most cartoonish of both extremes are locked in a never-ending struggle over increasingly ridiculous political correctness on college campuses, Peterson's defiance polarized along predictable lines.

Yet this snarling character is not the one Peterson typically plays. With his sunken eyes, bushy brows, and resting frown, the professor resembles a Dead Ringers–era Jeremy Irons, at least until you hear his scratchy, high-pitched voice. Peterson can be cautious, even hesitant as he pokes around for the most precise word, careful not to step on a landmine. But when confronted with a hostile challenge or P.C. outrage, he swells up like a cobra, lashes out in counterattack, and then recoils before the victim knows what hit him.

I cracked open 12 Rules for Life knowing mostly about Peterson's controversy-courting reputation and so presumed the book would be dominated by culture war bomb throwing designed for a post-adolescent audience. Yet the first time we start hearing about campus political correctness and "postmodern/neo-Marxist" claptrap is on page 302, and it's in one of the least convincing sections of a perfectly readable book.

12 Rules for Life is a popularized, self-help version of Peterson's denser, more academic lifework Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, which failed to create much of a ripple upon release in 1999. Both are, as the author summarized in a recent Quillette interview, "an amalgam of a Jungian psychoanalytic approach to narrative and evolutionary biology" and "also an amalgam, in some sense, of theology and evolutionary biology." Why that combination? "I think that our religious preconceptions evolved. They are deeper than rationality, by a large margin. They reflect a reality that's deeper than that which we have been able to apprehend rationally so far."

In other words, Peterson thinks there is ancient, pre-rational wisdom and human wiring in both our DNA and our oldest religions. They combine to produce archetypes and archetypal behavior that we are better off understanding and respecting than tossing aside in the name of modernity or revolution. It's Old Testament–style rules, animal-kingdom mating patterns, and Disney movie mythology (no, really), not conflict avoidance, enforced equality of outcomes, and the death of God. It's Allan Bloom's Western Civ and Robert Bly's masculinity pep talks refracted through Jung and Nietzsche, with some Paglia-esque genre hopping to spice things up.

If the argument itself is not particularly novel, the argumentation is. It's filled with idiosyncratic specifics ("Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street" is one of the rules), deep readings of Genesis and The Gulag Archipelago, and, most endearingly, empathetic but pragmatic life-reboot lessons gleaned from Peterson's decades as a clinical psychologist.

These guidelines can be commonsensical to the point of tautology, yet they are presented in a way that has the potential to make the message stick longer than a New Year's resolution. Set achievable, incremental goals, with tangible mini-rewards, as a first step out of the rut. Get enough sleep, and eat a hearty breakfast. Tell the truth. Learn how to listen. Delay gratification. "Make friends with people who want the best for you." Stop helicopter parenting. Take a searing self-inventory. And most of all, "Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)."

As listed in a paragraph, these sound almost tediously obvious, which is perhaps why some of the rules have whimsical titles like "Do not bother children when they are skateboarding." But reinforced through digressions into literature, evolution, therapeutic case studies, and Peterson's experiences, the folk wisdom begins to adhere. The Bible, after all, didn't work because it was a list of objective do's and don'ts; it worked because it distilled these moral teachings into captivating story and symbol and mystery and language, in addition to a few well-placed thou-shalt-nots. Peterson knows what he's doing here. Perhaps a bit too well.

The Lost Boys

The most scathing critiques of Peterson usually zero in on his fan base of alienated young men. "Is Jordan Peterson the stupid man's smart person?" asked a headline in Maclean's. Author Tabatha Southey got right to it: "To be clear, Jordan Peterson is not a neo-Nazi, but there's a reason he's as popular as he is on the alt-right." TV critiques of his work luxuriate in the clumsy conspiracymongering at his audience Q&As.

Peterson thinks there is ancient, pre-rational wisdom and human wiring in both our DNA and our oldest religions. They combine to produce archetypes and archetypal behavior that we are better off understanding and respecting than tossing aside in the name of modernity or revolution.

For Peterson, such contempt only illustrates the value of his project. "I've had many, many people write me from the right, or from the fringes of the radical right, saying precisely that listening to my lectures stopped them from going all the way," he told one recent interviewer. Asked on Twitter what it's like to have changed the lives of thousands, he replied: "It's the best thing that could possibly be hoped for. Period." He takes his soul-saving seriously.

There isn't much about contemporary electoral politics in 12 Rules for Life. (You would not know from reading it, for example, how much Peterson loathes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.) But what little gets mentioned is not flattering toward the presidential preference of many Petersonians. "If men are pushed too hard to feminize," he warns, "they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology....The populist groundswell of support for Donald Trump in the US is part of the same process, as is (in far more sinister form) the recent rise of far-right political parties even in such moderate and liberal places as Holland, Sweden and Norway."

So why do kids with different politics flock to his words? It's not hard to see the attraction. Aside from the tough-love advice and consciously paternalistic rule setting (down to describing exact finger-flicking methods of corporal punishment to discipline children), Peterson provides in his sporadic cobra strikes against the social justice warrior state immense visceral pleasure among those who wish they could tell the smarmy betters in their lives to go to hell. There is a magnetism in saying something true (or true-sounding) in the face of lies backed by governmental or social pressure. An occasional venture over the line—such as Peterson's tweet last year asking, "Do feminists avoid criticizing Islam because they unconsciously long for masculine dominance?"—packs a transgressive thrill that a thousand research papers can't match.

In his more serious role, Peterson also arrives at conclusions that the male of the species may find congenial. For example, chaos, from which evil springs forth, is inherently feminine; order (the antidote) is masculine. Boys are stronger, more hardwired to dominate, and should be unleashed, not tamed. Talk of white male privilege is anti-humanistic garbage. Girls will like you better if you stand up straight and assert yourself.

Peterson provides more than just a heroic path out (for those willing to put in the manly work to get there). His vision of bottomless evil haunting our every shaky step forward is appealingly dark, even metal. "If you are suffering—well, that's the norm. People are limited and life is tragic," he writes in one of countless such passages. "Violence, after all, is no mystery. It's peace that's the mystery. Violence is the default," comes another. He invites us all to admit that we could be guards at Auschwitz, that we daydream about mass murder, that our desire for success is the flip side of a will to inflict maximum pain.

Peterson is haunted by the 20th century killing fields of fascism and communism, as well as the potential nuclear holocaust undergirding the Cold War. Readers get the sense that he's fought off years of darkness and chosen improbably to reject suicide. "The tragic irrationalities of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being," he writes, and that grim truce is about the best we can hope for. There's no paradise around the bend, but maybe you can successfully edge away from the cliff.

The Reluctant Messiah

There are three truly weird moments in 12 Rules for Life that have largely escaped notice, though they should have set off alarm bells among reviewer and author alike. The first comes in the introduction, where Peterson describes a dream he had while writing Maps of Meaning in which he was "suspended in mid-air, clinging to a chandelier, many stories above the ground, directly under the dome of a massive cathedral." Messiah much? He keeps going: "My dream placed me at the centre of Being itself, and there was no escape. It took me months to understand what this meant.…The centre is marked by the cross, as X marks the spot. Existence at that cross is suffering and transformation—and that fact, above all, needs to be voluntarily accepted."

The second is another dream about halfway through the book, in which our hero was again in the air, this time with a view of massive glass pyramids, "all full of people striving to reach each pyramid's very pinnacle." Yet there was a further space above all that, "the privileged position of the eye that could or perhaps chose to soar freely about the fray; that chose not to dominate any specific group or cause but instead to somehow simultaneously transcend all." Jesus.

The final eyebrow-raiser comes in the coda, where Peterson tells a symbolic story about being wowed by a friend's night-lighted pen, asking for it as a gift, writing down on a piece of paper, What shall I do with my newfound pen of light? then waiting for revelatory response. Among the answers about life that tumbled forth: "Aim for Paradise, and concentrate on today" and "honour your wife as a Mother of God." Among the questions, What shall I do with a fallen soul? and How shall I educate my people? The final couplet of this inspirational session: "What shall I do when the great crowd beckons? Stand tall and utter my broken truths." The only question is whether he's the second coming or merely John the Baptist.

Asked by Quillette whether it was worrying to be called a prophet, Peterson chose to take the question with an almost cagey literalness: "Of course. For anyone sensible, that would be worrying. First off, you have to consider the fate of prophets. It's not necessarily a category you want to be tossed into."

In recent interviews, Peterson has said he needs "three more years" before he can really sort out his beliefs about the Jesus resurrection story in a way he feels comfortable articulating in public. He does not, for example, attend church, but he is wrestling with it all. In 12 Rules for Life, he writes with genuine emotion about the martyrdom of Socrates and Christ's 40-day struggle in the desert with Satan's temptations. From a distance, it looks as though he is preparing himself for a transcendent new level of ministry.

Therein lies danger. Peterson may articulate an end goal of balance, but at the moment he's offering order against chaos, yang against yin. The effort is, by definition, reactionary, counter-revolutionary. But once you place yourself squarely on one side of the pendulum, you'll inevitably exaggerate the collective demerits of the other while indulging in-group excesses. Dogma throughout history has had its freedom-killing flaws, he readily admits, but, well, sometimes people just need to be told what to do. This is conscious authoritarianism, and Peterson is volunteering for the job.

Power corrupts, and relationships alter behavior. "This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us can face," Peterson writes at one point. In setting himself up as rule-maker to an adoring flock and flirting openly with the idea that he is being visited with capital-r Revelation, the professor threatens to become unmoored from the winning pragmatism of his clinical practice. Stepping into an exalted role as avenging angel against a feminine chaos can descend quickly into self-parody.

"You call me a fascist?" Peterson tweeted at Pankaj Mishra in March, after Mishra's negative review in The New York Review of Books. "You sanctimonious prick. If you were in my room at the moment, I'd slap you happily." It's like 21st century Norman Mailer for the sunken-chested crowd.

Peterson is too important to—and reliant on—the great campus culture wars to have any realistic hopes of transcending them. But in creating popular new meaning from his neglected old intellectual maps, he has perhaps unwittingly sketched out some guidelines that those of us in the persuasion and argument business should heed. Like: Those on the front lines of righteous free speech fights have a tendency to get shrill. And: Don't give up on audiences, but don't get captured by them either.

Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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  • ||

    Well done.

    Also, "Houman Barekat" -- that's hilarious. Human bare cat, what are the parents thinking?

  • Mark22||

    Nom de plume I would assume.

  • magellannh||

    For me, he's something of an enigma. It's clear that he has a high horsepower mind and has done the hard work to feed it with lots of high octane fuel. The folks saying he's a stupid person's intellectual have no idea what they're talking about. Setting aside his celebrity daddy persona, his biggest intellectual pursuit seems to be to understand and educate about what he believes is a metaphysical substrate of religiosity that underpins human nature and explains why tyrannical leaders are so often able to succeed at getting the masses to support their malevolence. I'm not sure he's a thought leader in this area, but he's very good at explaining big ideas and keeping a 2 hour lecture on the subject interesting.

  • colorblindkid||

    It comes down to the fact that every other "intellectual" and psychologist has been pathologizing masculinity for decades, blaming men for everything, and spreading the belief that only women need verbal encouragement because our patriarchal society already spoils men. Of course they're going to latch onto the first person who treats them like people.

    In the end, he does far more good than harm, and even his miss silly ideas and far-fetched theories are less insane than what's being peddled by the majority of psychologists.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    To that point, Matt comes across with a bit of penis envy in this article.

  • Juice||

    Right? You caught that too?

  • Dizzle||

    As Matt states in the article all the folks at his coctail parties were "hihning" this guy as some authoritarian cultist. That sentence explains all you need to know about the short sightedness of the people welch hangs with, and people like hihn in this party , who would rather resist everyone whose totality of views don't perfectly align with theirs instead of finding common ground with these people and working to make things better where we can.

    You fucking tools acting like the libertarian party is a closed membership club and not a political party are the true impediment to libertarian progress.

    It's obvious this guy is pushing back against the detrimental forces he perceives in society that are decidedly left and pc/authoritarian leaning. In order to truly resist something, you must be able to overwhelm its credibility when needed, and that's what this guy seems to be trying to do.

    Also, matt, you guys need to get out of the coasts. I'm pretty well read libertarian from the Midwest and this guy is barely a blip in anyones radar. Settle your melodramatics please and realize metro coast life isn't the only life

  • MoreFreedom||

    "... the short shortsightedness of the people welch hangs with ..."

    Welch did point out a libertarian supporter of Peterson. I too found myself disagreeing somewhat with Welch here (which is unusual for me). E.G.,

    "Playing Pied Piper for a lost generation of lefty-baiting edgelords has given an ambitious academic incentive to embrace his inner troll." or
    "This is conscious authoritarianism, and Peterson is volunteering for the job."

    Peterson is not an authoritarian (as he doesn't call for "tell us what we must do" laws). And suggesting actions to take to be happier, or giving people words to say to express what they think, isn't being a Pied Piper or troll, any more than what Welch is doing by writing his opinions (and usually well thought out opinions IMHO).

    As a libertarian, I thank Peterson for his well thought out positions, and for helping others to think about their lives and to make them better. Including helping them fight politically correct nannies that inhibit their growth. And I disagree with Welch for describing him as an authoritarian, Pied Piper and troll. And still, I thank Welch for another good article, even though it's not as good as he usually does.

  • Dizzle||

    As Matt states in the article all the folks at his coctail parties were "hihning" this guy as some authoritarian cultist. That sentence explains all you need to know about the short sightedness of the people welch hangs with, and people like hihn in this party , who would rather resist everyone whose totality of views don't perfectly align with theirs instead of finding common ground with these people and working to make things better where we can.

    You fucking tools acting like the libertarian party is a closed membership club and not a political party are the true impediment to libertarian progress.

    It's obvious this guy is pushing back against the detrimental forces he perceives in society that are decidedly left and pc/authoritarian leaning. In order to truly resist something, you must be able to overwhelm its credibility when needed, and that's what this guy seems to be trying to do.

    Also, matt, you guys need to get out of the coasts. I'm pretty well read libertarian from the Midwest and this guy is barely a blip in anyones radar. Settle your melodramatics please and realize metro coast life isn't the only life

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    ^THIS^

    You push away a natural ally and close doors to the party. This website breaks my heart. It died with the election.

  • SIV||

    Naaa, it died when Virginia Postrel stopped editing the magazine.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    I think it significantly died when half the funny people in the comments left and started their own blog.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "bit of penis envy"

    That was my thought as well. I don't think Peterson ever claimed Messiah status. He's a fairly intelligent guy that sometimes has some keen insights on human nature based on his work as a clinical psychiatrist. That's it.

  • Zeb||

    Seems to me he's a surprised as anyone with his newfound fame and is just trying to use it in as good a way as he can.

  • wef||

    this is the type of NPR, careful, have-it-all-ways wypipo glibness that explains "How Reason Became a Mainstream Intellectual Magazine"

  • wef||

    this is the type of NPR, careful, have-it-all-ways wypipo glibness that explains "How Reason Became a Mainstream Intellectual Magazine"

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I think one should make a distinction between the majority of psychologists and the majority of psychologists who make a living pontificating in the public eye.

    The latter are a bunch of raving loonies, and what they peddle is swill. The former mostly (at least in my experience) keep their heads down and try to give their patients the tools they need to move forward.

  • SIV||

    The difference between phrenologists and phrenologist mountebanks?

  • Mark22||

    but he's very good at explaining big ideas and keeping a 2 hour lecture on the subject interesting

    Reason writers should take notice, because they hardly manage to hold people's attention through three consecutive paragraphs.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Take that, Reason!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Does anyone read the articles anymore?

    I'm here fore the comments.

    Have to check the latest Shikha crapfest for Open Borders Liberaltarian.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    If you did a poll of his fans, I doubt the majority would even know about his psychological theories. It's based on his opposition to radical feminism and the Left in general.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He has millions of youtube views because he trolls the libs!

  • ThomasD||

    Fundamental opposition reduced to and demeaned as trolling.

    Quite a compelling argument you make there.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Thanks!

  • Cy||

    It's a shame that things have gotten so extreme with the left, that his opinions and debate are considered in anyway "trollish."

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It's the same with the other side - interesting ideas or speakers are labeled to make them part of the evil opposition; it's so boring.

  • ThomasD||

    "It's the same with the other side "

    The trolls tell.

  • ThomasD||

    troll's

  • FlameCCT||

    For Whom the Tells Troll?

  • hello.||

    Rejecting Paul Krugman or Kamala Harris because they present shitty arguments that have been thoroughly debunked since the 1930s is the exactly the same as smearing Jordan Peterson as a racist white supremacist! See! Both sides!

  • Hank Phillips||

    So how does this Canook's message differ from that of Milo the Brit?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Well, it needs to be done and he apparently does it well.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Can someone please explain to me why, throughout the years, whether it be feminism, the MeToo movement, gay marriage, transgender rights, or whatever, not once did I feel that my masculinity was under threat. What's wrong with me, fellas?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Nothing left to threaten.

  • Fancylad||

    Pretty much this. It's hard to fear emasculation if you're a already a eunuch.

  • Sean Bearly||

    It isn't your or anyone else's masculinity that is under threat. It is the concept of masculinity in our culture that is taking hits from progressive and feminist thinking. It is fine if you don't see or could care less about that. It is also fine if others are concerned about the direction of their culture. It doesn't make you or them 'wrong'.

  • Curly4||

    Most of the men of this planet are excess. What happens when one has excess stock? The herd is culled and the excess is disposed of. In the world we live in now men are no longer needed to continue the human race. With continued improvement in genetics the ills of the world could be eliminated. Just think no more sickness or physical deformities nor mental problems. In just a few more years men will not be needed at all unless it is to do physical work that women are not suited to do but this time will last only a short time because robotics will be able to do what men do the physical work. Then men will not even be needed for sperm donations.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Yeah but they'll still need men to fix the robots.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Hey Curly4, Some women I have met rather like to have a man for sexual purposes. Please do not fly into a rage.

  • Paloma||

    Yet 50% of babies born will be male.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Most men have always been excess, destined to become slaves or cannon fodder. In prehistoric times, for example, only about 20% of men reproduced, while well over 80% of women did.

    Women are only a different story because human reproduction and childrearing takes so long. It's not because of some innate higher value, it's because they have a uterus. Once artificial wombs and child care robots are developed, pretty much every woman on the planet will be excess.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Once the child-care robots are here, serious question, what's the point of even having more children? If you have robots to perform reproduction itself, I wonder why we're reproducing?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    How could a concept be under threat? Do you mean the definition of masculinity? First of all, definitions change all the time based on how people use words. Second, other people's definitions of words are not yours to dictate. You can try to convince people that your definition is better, but that is usually a pointless and losing battle. And for successful communication to happen, one must use the definitions recognized by the recipient of a message.

  • hello.||

    Insane feminists who believe that there can be no such thing as consensual heterosexual sex because of the patriarchy deserve to be treated seriously and have us all accommodate their definitions for the purposes of debate.

    Thank god you won't be part of the breeding stock.

  • ThomasD||

    "for successful communication to happen, one must use the definitions recognized by the recipient of a message."

    Were that the case then no one could have ever first learned a foreign language.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    Has to do with one's sense of self, and world view. To a person prone to a sense of general alienation, societal changes that they consider misguided are the equivalent of watching your neighbors make ugly renovations to their house and let the maintenance decline. To a person of a more socially engaged self-definition, it's like seeing your spouse do the same things to your house, and having the neighbors look on you both disapprovingly.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Just thank the Lord that he made you perfectly.

  • hello.||

    When you enjoy engaging in sexual intercourse with other men your sense of masculinity might be different from men who enjoy engaging in sexual intercourse with women.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "What's wrong with me, fellas?"

    Soy?

    If you've failed to notice the relentless misandry of feminism, you are likely part of the problem.

  • MDanielsl||

    Nonsense - his most viewed videos on his youtube channel are overwhelmingly his series on the psychological allegory in the Biblical stories, as well as his maps of meaning videos. Nice try.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "For me, he's something of an enigma."

    What is enigmatic? You were able to describe him easily in your following text.

  • magellannh||

    I first read Peterson as a somewhat disagreeable and acerbic version of those motivational speaker types from Ted Talks or the lecture circuit. I expected a small set of canned punchy phrases that get spun into a livelihood or at least a little bit of fame. But for reasons I couldn't understand, he drew me in. Enough so that I invested 10-20 more hours watching youtube videos, including every serious critique I could find. I've come to the conclusion that he's actually a fairly strong intellectual and he seems to have some ideas that are both important and very relevant right now.

  • Curly4||

    It seems to me his reason for existing is the income form his various enterprises.

  • VOTE MILES||

    You would have a better view if you took your head out of your ass.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Stupid question is stupid. Nobody regards him as a messiah.

    -jcr

  • colorblindkid||

    There at some that do. But the hero worship of Petersen is far less bafflng than the hero worship of, say, Beyonce, which is far more extreme.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    OMG! #BEYHIVE 4 LYFE

  • Eidde||

    Conduct this comparison: watch Beyoncé shake her booty, then watch Petersen do the same. See what turns you on more.

    I'm addressing Crusty here, of course, so I don't know what result you'd get.

  • RoyMo||

    But by the time I reached my late teens I had learned that the only time I needed to pay attention to the thoughts and opinions of someone merey because of the quality of their booty was when I had a remote chance of getting my actual hands on said booty, but then I'm more of a boob guy...

  • RoyMo||

    But by the time I reached my late teens I had learned that the only time I needed to pay attention to the thoughts and opinions of someone merey because of the quality of their booty was when I had a remote chance of getting my actual hands on said booty, but then I'm more of a boob guy...

  • GILMORE™||

    ""the hero worship of Petersen""

    You're just repeating the same (baseless) claim, rephrased. This M.O. is everywhere these days.

    It goes like this:

    - Person A makes baseless criticism about X
    - Person B points out criticism is baseless
    - Person A then goes, "OH WELL I GUESS X IS PERFECT AND BEYOND CRITICISM, LOOK AT HOW THE TRIGGERED SNOWFLAKES NEED TO DEFEND THEIR HERO"

    its this = "any defense of X means you love X and why don't you just Marry X you big triggered baby" thing you see on twitter all the time.

    Its a junior-high-school teen-girl sort of rhetorical move:

    - where an attacker deflects any attention from the fact that they're the one actually being aggressively-dishonest, by pointing at the defender's "reactions" and making those things the subject of suspicion. "If it wasn't true, why are you so mad!?"

    anyway, you see this thing constantly these days. its silly, but popular.

  • FlameCCT||

    IOW the SJW M.O.!

  • Ariki||

    Id rather people hero worshipped Peterson who's key message is "Stand the fuck up and do something good with your life".

    Than Karl Marx who's key message is "Sit the fuck down and play the victim card until your resentment leads to death and slavery".

    Yay Marx......

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Probably right. OTOH, reading some of the over the top spittle spewing criticism of him it's clear that some regard him as the Antichrist.

  • Eidde||

    He ain't no new Messiah, but it's close enough for rock and roll.

  • FlameCCT||

    I love rock n' roll...

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    B-b-but he talks about religion!

  • FlameCCT||

    Progressives do so they have to label him because he could be dangerous. Especially if the Serfs on the Progressive Plantation listen to him.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Dogma throughout history has had its freedom-killing flaws, he readily admits, but, well, sometimes people just need to be told what to do. This is conscious authoritarianism, and Peterson is volunteering for the job.

    There's no coercion anywhere in sight, so it's ridiculous to call it "authoritarianism". Libertarianism is perfectly consistent with a wannabe messiah issuing diktats to voluntary followers (which hasn't even happened in this case).

    But by all means continue nitpicking the hell out of the Left's opponents. It seems to be Reason's role these days.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Reason has all but lost my support, you'd think they'd want to court young people.

  • RoyMo||

    Where there are his commands to sit up straight and be nice to random cats, how much tyranny can a nation endure?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Peterson: Grow the hell up and take responsibility for your own life!
    Reason: See! See! He's all about bossing people around! Libertarians have nothing in common with this guy and his authoritarianism!

  • Mark22||

    Well, Peterson's writing is a lot more engaging than the stuff on Reason, and he has probably reached more people with libertarian ideas in the last couple of years than Reason has in its entire existence. That doesn't make Peterson the "Second Coming", as you so dismissively call him, but it certainly makes him a whole lot more important than pretty much all of Reason's writers. And you'd do well to reflect on why that is and how you can do better.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Peterson doesn't get invited to many cocktail parties.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    lol

  • SIV||

    The only cocktail parties I was ever invited to featured women wearing vintage frocks over appropriate-underpinnings. I kinda like those. I was so inspired I always got lucky.

  • mtrueman||

    Reason is not so much into advising and comforting the dispossessed, those who suffer most from the disappearance of white male privilege. Stupid young white males.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    White male privilege doesn't exist.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The fuck it doesn't. Don't be daft.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Wash out your mouth with soap, Chipper. Then listen to Peterson argue why it does not exist. Then if you still hold the same view, do not use profane words, but construct a logically framed argument which deals squarely with his argument. Use solid premises and emphasize your conclusion. You may also wish to deal with some of the obvious counter arguments to your position whilst making your case, that always looks good, It makes you look like you are reasonable. But first you might also clean up your room.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Nah, profanity is socially acceptable in this comment section. Now, as to your claim, let me pro

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Sorry, I was on my phone earlier and the web page kept crapping out. Here is why there is white male privilege. People prefer to associate with their own kind. Whites are a majority. Therefore, whites will tend to prefer to deal with other whites. Put differently, whites have certain advantages when they deal with other whites. Also, white men hold a disproportionate number of high status positions in society. Of course, none of this says anything about how a particular person will act or be treated, and, in the end, we should prefer to be discussing individuals and individual actions. But there you go, white privilege exists. There is also all kinds of other privileges, such as good-looking people privilege, tall people privilege, young people privilege, right-handed people privilege, and so on.

    Now, you might be confusing the concept of white male privilege with the concept of institutionalized white male privilege. I agree that there is no institutionalized white privilege. In any case, the government should not get involved in any of this.

  • hello.||

    Basic human social traits are not "privileges" and if you were capable of being embarrassed by your own stupidity you would be.

  • Mark22||

    Voluntary in-group preferences are not a "privilege", they are just freedom of association. Presenting in-group preferences as a "privilege" is a ridiculous misuse of the term "privilege", and that's deliberate: it's how the left tries to shift the debate by manipulating language.

    Furthermore, your assumption is that in-group preferences are an advantage just because they are within the majority; if I were to pick a group to be a member of, white males wouldn't be my first choice because there are a number of minority groups in the US that are doing far better and freely exercising their ingroup preferences.

    In general, the explanations why white males do better than some minority groups (and worse than others) is likely not even related to in-group preferences, but simply culture, history, and demographics. People from protestant Anglo-Saxon, Jewish, or Buddhist cultures and kids of immigrants selected for high IQ are going to do better than people from Muslim or animist cultures and kids of immigrants selected from poor refugee populations.

  • khm001||

    Chipper,

    "Also, white men hold a disproportionate number of high status positions in society."

    False. But, hey, if you can't be a racist, sexist piece of shit, like you, what's the point, right?

  • Jujucat||

    Who are the people granting said privileges?

  • mtrueman||

    "White male privilege doesn't exist."

    It did exist at one point. Now it's weakening, and the less educated, less ambitious, less capable you are, the more you will suffer from loss of white privilege.

  • Fancylad||

    It was never "white male", it was always "social elite" privilege, and women exercised it as much as men. The only reason it was "white" was because 91% of the population at the time was white.

  • Ariki||

    This^^
    Its wealth privilege.

    Does white male privilege exist in the trailer park?

  • ||

    It was never "white male", it was always "social elite" privilege, and women exercised it as much as men. The only reason it was "white" was because 91% of the population at the time was white.

    Moreover and more importantly, Reason rather overtly doesn't give two shits about making women or minorities wealthy and powerful as they do about using them as cudgels to bludgeon their socio-political opposition. Several of them wear the ideology as a badge calling it "civil libertarianism".

    Peterson, one white guy, says white privilege doesn't exist. I don't know who all at Reason exactly disagrees with him, but let's look at the list of potentials:

    Gillespie
    Welch
    Shackford
    Soave
    Bailey
    ENB
    KMW

  • khm001||

    "It did exist at one point."

    It NEVER existed. But you've got to rationalize your racism and sexism somehow, right?

  • Mark22||

    Reason is not so much into advising and comforting the dispossessed, those who suffer most from the disappearance of white male privilege. Stupid young white males.

    You know, I came to this country as a gay immigrant from a homophobic country and worked my way up. I also happen to be a white male.

    For some privileged American prick like you to tell me to check my white male privilege (which, in so many words, you just did) is not particularly conducive to convincing me of the righteousness of your ideas. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, anybody who thinks white male privilege is a thing is just a sexist and a racist.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And you would be correct.

    There's a LOL out there with the fat schlub w/the missing stapler from Office Space titled simply "I was told there would be privilege."
    Pretty much says it all.

  • mtrueman||

    "I also happen to be a white male."

    I don't think you're dispossessed if you are an immigrant. They are usually made of sterner stuff, have gumption and don't believe they are 'owed a living,' exactly the qualities lacking in JP followers. I'm not telling you to 'check your white privilege.' I don't really understand the expression.

    " as far as I'm concerned, anybody who thinks white male privilege is a thing is just a sexist and a racist."

    Fine, but you seem to misunderstand me. White privilege is a thing, but it's disappearing. Once only white males in this country could vote or own property. These privileges (or advantages if the word offends you) have been increasingly enjoyed by those who are neither white nor male. Once it legal to rape your wife, now it isn't. That's a bit of an extreme example of the disappearance of white privilege, but there are other examples I could give you if you need help understanding me.

  • hello.||

    At no time in the entire history of this country has the franchise been exclusive to white males. And the issues you reference are not "disappearing". They disappeared. 200 years ago.

  • mtrueman||

    "They disappeared. 200 years ago."

    Before the civil war? Hello?

  • Fancylad||

    Only because 91% of the population at the time was white, and no, it wasn't exclusive to males.

    You progs really believe that the world came into being in 1945, don't you.

  • Mark22||

    White privilege is a thing, but it's disappearing. Once only white males in this country could vote or own property.

    That ended long ago. To say that "it's disappearing" implies that such legal distinctions still exist, which is a bald faced lie.

    I could give you if you need help understanding me.

    I understand you just fine: you're trying to justify your bigotry and your racism by using misleading language like "it's disappearing" and "increasingly enjoyed".

  • mtrueman||

    "That ended long ago. To say that "it's disappearing" implies that such legal distinctions still exist, which is a bald faced lie."

    Not that long ago. Nobel laureate Bob Dylan made a career of singing songs about white people lynching black people, contemporary events.

    "I understand you just fine"

    I disagree.My words like "it's disappearing" are confusing you.

  • Mark22||

    Not that long ago. Nobel laureate Bob Dylan made a career of singing songs about white people lynching black people, contemporary events.

    White lynchings of black victims have never been legal, so they have not been "white privilege".

    Furthermore, your reasoning implies that you think that being free of interracial violence is a "privilege". But given the interracial murder rates, that implies that there is a "black privilege" not a "white privilege", since blacks commit homicides of whites at many times the rate as the other way around.

    My words like "it's disappearing" are confusing you.

    I'm not confused at all, you simply misuse the English language to spread your hateful ideology.

  • mtrueman||

    "White lynchings of black victims have never been legal"

    I don't see the relevance. We're talking about privilege here, not legality. A lynching is by definition extra judicial. It didn't end long ago. I tried to point out that it continued into the 1960s. You seem to object to the word privilege for some reason. We can say advantage if that's more acceptable. White people have enjoyed many advantages over other skin types and ethnic groups. These advantages have been steadily eroding, to the detriment of less educated, ambitious and capable white people.

  • Ariki||

    Hows your white privileged in South Africa?
    Surely no black person would ever kill a white farmer?

  • mtrueman||

    "Surely no black person would ever kill a white farmer?"

    You expect them to be eaten alive?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Funny, I thought the role of an ostensibly libertarian magazine would be to promote libertarian principles, regardless of who those principles "advise and comfort".

  • VOTE MILES||

    ^^this^^

  • Star1988||

    Bang on. And he's reaching people who had no idea they held Libertarian ideas! That's the big win with Peterson. Reason should be ecstatic about his success. Many people who start thinking of new ideas, inspired by Peterson, will find Reason.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Whine whine whine Reason whine whine whine.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Blah blah cocktails bloo bloo bloo millenials

  • SIV||

    Cuck...cuck...cuck...cuck..cuck...

  • Dana||

    As a friend, who shared this with me, pointed out, plenty of wiggle room for Welch to say either: a. told you he was alt-right or b. I always liked him, in future.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Needs more commas.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "a generation of wayward young men"

    Fuck you, Matt. The people rejecting the retardation of the progressive left are not "wayward". You are a disgrace and so is this so-called publication.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You are such a moron - the reason Peterson has been able to build an audience is because of his self-help videos, not because he fights the left.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I've watched and read a bunch of Peterson and he spends a tremendous amount of time crushing leftists, SJW's, identity politics, and post modernism. In fact it his rejection of leftist ideologies that cause people to erroneously lump him in with the "alt-right".

  • Tom Bombadil||

    additionally, the people who respond to his philosophy are probably the least "wayward" of their generation, which was my criticism of Matt.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The people who respond to his many self-improvement lectures aren't wayward?

  • BigT||

    Seems to me that people self aware enough to admit they are imperfect, and try to do something about it, are not the wayward ones.

  • Ariki||

    Nice.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You reacted to Matt's piece by acting like a literal triggered snowflake, just like far too many other people who seemingly get off on fighting back against the libs.

    You do Peterson a disservice by focusing on his leftist fighting abilities and not on his intellectual past.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    This is from the article, quoting Peterson:

    ""These words are at the vanguard of a postmodern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century," he explained in the National Post. "I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.""

    As I said, much of his public focus is fighting the left, regardless of his intellectual past.

    What proof do you have that the people who find Peterson interesting are wayward? Again, the people who reject the rationality that permeates much of Peterson's teachings are the "wayward" portion of that generation. Hasn't this been observed and demonstrated ad nauseam here?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    What proof do you have that the people who find Peterson interesting are wayward?

    I cannot prove a subjective assertion, this is true.

  • ThomasD||

    Crusty, please show us on the doll where the bad Peterson hurt you.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Did I say he was bad?

  • hello.||

    Don't be embarrassed that you are confused by your own drivel. Take comfort in the fact that it makes even less sense to others.

  • ThomasD||

    "...because of his self-help videos, not because he fights the left."

    I've seen a few of his videos, and perused his website, so am no Peterson expert That said, I suspect a Venn diagram of 'his self-help videos' and his fighting 'the left' would have near total overlap.

    But I'm willing to accept examples where his 'self-help' advances or accepts tenets of the left.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    My experience as well. Crusty has a burr up his ass for some reason. Maybe Crusty is Matt.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I am Matt.

  • Ariki||

    I am Spartacus

  • Ariki||

    I am Groot

  • ||

    I am high.

  • ThomasD||

    The burr could be a fear that people might begin discussing some of Peterson's actual ideas.

    Can't have that, after all this is Reason.

    So much better for Crusty to keep it all at troll level.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The burr could be a fear that people might begin discussing some of Peterson's actual ideas.

    It's terrifying.

  • ThomasD||

    Well, then face your fears Crusty.

    Find one of Peterson's arguments, share it with us, then offer your rebuttal.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Find one of Peterson's arguments, share it with us, then offer your rebuttal.

    You are so fucking stupid - I am not arguing against anything Peterson has said.

  • ThomasD||

    Ok. Crusty. Whatever you say.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Ok. Crusty. Whatever you say.

    Ok. I say. You are. A. Moron.

  • ThomasD||

    Oh come on Crusty. This shouldn't be so hard. Or at least you shouldn't be reduced to mere insults so quickly.

    "You do Peterson a disservice by focusing on his leftist fighting abilities and not on his intellectual past."

    That was you who said that. Which means you not only claim knowledge of his current activities, but also of his prior work. And you further express a belief that the two represent some sort of break.

    Explain.

    It's that easy.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Or at least you shouldn't be reduced to mere insults so quickly.

    Except I'm hungover, so quick insults are fun.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "You are so fucking stupid - I am not arguing against anything Peterson has said."

    Let me be the first to ask you then: What is your point?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Dammit.. Let me be the second to ask. ThomasD got there first.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    What is your point?

    That by labeling Peterson's ideas a certain way you are playing simple-mind Team games. You are minimizing him while simultaneously placing him on a pedestal. Inevitably he will disappoint you in your fight against the other Team, and then his ideas will be tossed aside, and then you will find the new flavor of the month to glom on to.

    Also, cocktail party jokes are really lame.

  • ThomasD||

    "You are minimizing him while simultaneously placing him on a pedestal."

    "You do Peterson a disservice by focusing on his leftist fighting abilities and not on his intellectual past."

    Enough with the horse shit dichotomies.

    You are obvious.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Thanks!

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I've made two points here:
    1. Matts claim that people who respond to Peterson's message are wayward is without basis.
    2. Peterson spends a considerable amount of time fighting the myriad horrible aspects of the modern left.

    Other than that no labeling has occurred. Are you suggesting his ideas should not be analyzed and/or discussed because that must either falsely inflate or deflate his reality? WTF are you saying?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Excellent comment, Crusty.

  • hello.||

    Awww look your sockpuppet came to defend you from the bullies.

  • hello.||

    I am not arguing against anything Peterson has said.

    True. You are offering a criticism without an argument and expecting to be respected for your cool above-it-all aesthetic while saying absolutely nothing. It's the defining characteristic of your existence.

  • Mark22||

    It's not an either/or situation: Peterson tells people who to help themselves by ridding themselves of leftist beliefs. That is, you can't improve your life as long as you think that your problems are the result of victimhood and that the way to fix them is to vote for Hillary and scream at people.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I'd like to add a 'Fuck you Matt and Reason' to this thread. That is all.

  • gormadoc||

    Incels love him. Are they not wayward?

  • MacDaddy81||

    Who regards him as a second coming? Seriously, Reason is slipping lately. Between this and Dalmia's drivel, I'm finding fewer reasons to read or support Reason.

  • Cy||

    Trying to accuse someone that, as far as I know, is extremely level headed and logical of being deified by libertarians, simply for being listened to, while the left is openly worshiping intellectually devoid celebrity communists, traitors and tyrants is kind of insulting.

  • Steve-O||

    I think that what this means is people listen to and are excited about his ideas, and they want to hear more.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    The Glibs had it right.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    " I first became aware of the psychologist last fall when his name came up serially at a private gathering of libertarian activists "

    A cocktail party by any other name....

  • Crusty Juggler||

    A cocktail party by any other name....

    Cocktail party? LOL!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I won't respect them until they're drinking straight bourbon, alone, in a darkened bathroom.

    This is why I always show respect Domestic Dissident.

  • ThomasD||

    Peterson has struck me as a bit too much of the flavor-du-jour, but I also don't really disagree with much of what I've heard him offer.

    The question is whether he will be a flash in the pan, or will linger, and therefore exert some lasting effect.

    To be sure he has already left a mark, which is why he has drawn Welch's critical eye.

    If nothing else there will be others to follow.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The main critique seems to be the speed at which he has become a big name.

    But, really, that is just the sign of the times more than anything inherent in Peterson. Viral shit happens constantly now. That doesn't mean Peterson is a messiah or even trying to be.

  • ThomasD||

    Yeah, Matt's 'Second Coming' is a cheap shot. But also a form of honesty, when you consider the sorts he has never used it against.

  • wjamyers||

    A "tell", you might say.

  • DajjaI||

    Delightful analysis, thank you! The thing I really like about JP is that he brings together so many disparate intellectual threads, religion, psychology, science, technology, etc. and actually makes some sense out of them. People are thirsting for meaning and he brings it. The things I don't like about him are that some of his advice is a complete troll, e.g. "always pet a cat" and "always tell the truth". These are blatant techniques to establish a cult by segregating an underclass. And that he is using Canada's speech restrictions as a pretext to establish a misogynistic caliphate as in A Handmaid's Tale. His message is: we are just giving women what they really want. It's similar to how Nazi propagandists were radicalized under Weimar blasphemy laws originally intended to protect the Jews. Also he's a Neitschean - note how he always inserts 'danger' and 'play' into every interview. But otherwise like I said I really like him (mostly because he's a capitalist and libertarian) and I think this is a terrific review and is right to underscore his messiah complex (who knows, right?). Thank you Reason!

  • ThomasD||

    OBL could learn a thing from you.

  • DajjaI||

    And the student becomes the master....

    To be fair, I've been taking copious notes.

  • ThomasD||

    That can't be good for you.

  • Hank Phillips||

    You left out Krishna-consciousness. The guy exudes that as thickly as altruism. He also attacks Rand and Harris, not their arguments, which he instead mischaracterizes. Two gets you five Harris mops the floor with him in formal debate.

  • ThomasD||

    "You left out Krishna-consciousness. The guy exudes that as thickly as altruism."

    I think that's just his Canadianism as viewed from south of the border.

  • wjamyers||

    lol... excellent!!

  • JWatts||

    " And that he is using Canada's speech restrictions as a pretext to establish a misogynistic caliphate as in A Handmaid's Tale. "

    That comment is superb.

  • Ken Shultz||

    A lot of Marxist revolutionary theory is about seizing the media for propaganda purposes early in the revolution. That way, you can project the image that you're in control--which is important when you want people to accept new norms.

    Our mainstream news has accomplished this without the revolution. The reason they hate Trump isn't because of any of his policies per se. It's because he refuses to toe the line on the new norms and his supporters are unreformed.

    The bubble the left lives in is a bubble they've created for themselves. Some things really have changed--public acceptance of LGBTQI+ being one example--but for the most part, the greater American public hasn't bought into the cultural revolution.

    It isn't surprising that there is a large audience of men who respond to this sort of thing. The surprising thing is that the left has bought into their own bullshit and that the media gets surprised all over again every time they realize not everyone else has bought in, too.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Here's a short list of times the media was shocked--shocked!--to find that either much of America or their target demographic hadn't bought into the media narrative.

    Promise Keepers 1997
    The Passion of the Christ 2004
    Tea Party 2009
    GamerGate 2014
    Roseanne 2018

    They've been "surprised" to find that pajama-boy cuck isn't the new normal for at least 20 years.

  • Nardz||

    Extending to the whole Western cosmo-class:
    Brexit
    Trump
    The migrant flood

  • mtrueman||

    "the greater American public hasn't bought into the cultural revolution."

    Doesn't matter because American corporations have. Like it or not, they call the shots, from what you can say to where you pee. They put money into this cultural revolution in the form of various compliance administrators, training exercises etc. They seem totally on board with it. That's the reason why google hires the feminist and fires the misogynist.

    "The surprising thing is that the left has bought into their own bullshit"

    Why would you find this surprising? You were expecting otherwise?

  • hello.||

    That's the reason why google hires the feminist and fires the misogynist.

    They didn't fire a misogynist.

  • mtrueman||

    They will. They will also hire the feminist. Wait and see,

  • barfman2018||

    *barf*

  • Mark22||

    And Google is paying a steep price for what they are doing. Sure, it takes a decade or two for stupid big corporations to fall, but eventually they fall if they don't focus on business.

  • mtrueman||

    "if they don't focus on business"

    Their business is promoting the feminazi agenda. Same with most of corporate America. This was my original point. The feelings of Ken's 'greater American public' don't really enter the picture.

  • Juice||

    I've gotten through the first few paragraphs but the impression I'm starting to get is a sense of envy coming out of the writing. Or something like that. Kinda weird.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    From the article, Matt says about Peterson:
    "He takes his soul-saving seriously."

    Matt probably has been taking soul-saving seriously for decades but still isn't famous. Yes, there is a whiff of envy.

  • Juice||

    Someone needs to go to jelly school.

  • DajjaI||

    OTOH he's hardworking and humble. "The meek shall inherit the earth," as a wise man once prophesied.

  • Ariki||

    "Meek" isn't "Meek"
    Meek in this context is more rightly viewed as "Those who can use a sword but choose to keep it sheathed."

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't know about the envy part, but it's ironic that Reason seems to have zigged left just as the rest of America was waking up from the Obama culture war era as if it were a bad dream.

    I think they really thought that the Obama culture war era was the new normal. And now they're so out of step, they don't even realize it. If they'd simply stayed true to principle, they might be on the leading edge of this stuff.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I think (but don't know) several things are happening:

    1. Reason has some lefty sugar-daddies.
    2. The leaders at Reason are tired of fighting the fight. They are surrendering their ideals. They are no longer libertarians.
    3. Trump-hate trumps everything else.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've long suspected numero uno.

  • ThomasD||

    Sooner or later most enterprises become less about serving the interests of the customer and more about serving the interests of the staff. When you consider that Reason is also not a' peak' writing gig it is inevitable that the authors will be permitted to pad their resumes in a manner likely to attract attention from 'better' publications. The 'better' publications being the ones they were all taught to worship in J school. And those schools' faculty being largely populated by former writers from said publications.

  • hello.||

    Reason has literally one paymaster and it is the Koch brothers. They comprise well over 90% of the donations to Reason. As the Kochs go so goes libertarianism in America since they own literally every libertarian think tank and media outlet.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The guy is another mystical altruist, a set of anti-life individuals who differentiate themselves from their crowd by fervently hating one another first and foremost. What is his answer to "what makes altruism good?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    I usually avoid answering anything that accuses something or someone of being anti-life, but in answer to the question of what makes altruism good, I think we can safely say it has something to do with the survival of the fittest.

    Altruism is a social adaptation, like religion and language, and those who evolved it bested their competitors who didn't. I've read that female bonobos (who are otherwise notoriously promiscuous) will shun males who refuse to share what they have with others.

    Incidentally, what is the reproduction rate of Objectivists vs. the general population?

  • Hank Phillips||

    So an overheard rumor about the copulating habits of simians proves altruism is a good and valuable virtue? Interesting. The answer to the irrelevant question is that of the 158 or so persons added to the planet's population in the past minute, all but a half-dozen or so come from the Bonobo continent on which objectivist parties are nonexistent, so I would surmise objectivists reproduce primarily by the transmission of thought, much like mathematicians and programmers.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That altruism is an evolutionary adaptation or that adaptations like altruism and religion are beneficial in practice is hardly an overheard rumor.

    DuckDuck Go "evolution and altruism" if you like.

    P.S. If there were no evidence for altruism arising from evolution in the natural world, that would be an excellent argument for the existence of God. Unfortunately for creationists, the evidence in the natural world for altruism arising through evolution is overwhelming. You're not a creationist, are you?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Genocide is a social adaptation that marches in lockstep with altruism, which is unexplicitly redefined by collectivists to emanate an odor of scientific eugenics. Reason readers are familiar with this manufactured reaction to "The Selfish Gene." It is informative that the idea of altruists as a race that reproduces sexually is advanced as solemnly as though it were a sane argument, an argument structured in much the same way as Lutheran and Papist nationalsocialism characterized "juden" in Germany's Altruria as an invasive species. From Adolf's struggle to use genocide for altruism, religious conservatism has lately evolved to Trump's offer to extirpate the families of other unappreciative Semitic tribesmen. This is the key difference between religious socialism and individualism. Communists and nationalsocialists never tire of declaring the other are "not really" altruists, when both clearly value coercion, sacrifice, death in their fundamental manifestos.

  • Rigelsen||

    "Communists and nationalsocialists never tire of declaring the other are "not really" altruists, when both clearly value coercion, sacrifice, death in their fundamental manifestos."

    So, which of the two are you?

    Really, you come across are an unreasoning emotive wannabe cult leader. "Genocide ... marches in lockstep with altruism," indeed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's this thing called social adaptation. Fish schooling might be one example. Geese in flocks may be another. Language and religion were social adaptations that led to development of our neocortex. Altruism, likewise, led some members of our species' genes to survive where others failed.

    Libertarians really shouldn't be hung up on the idea of social adaptations. After all, Adam Smith wrote about them extensively, even before Darwin was writing about them and altruism in nature. Does the idea that protecting the rights of the weak leads to advantages for the whole society--even if it means some individuals sacrifice opportunities to exploit the weak--seem strange to you?

    What about the idea that culture evolves ways to deal with problems that are much more complicated and effective than any government bureaucrat could possibly concoct--with markets being a prime example? Does the idea that markets make people behave as if they were smarter than they are--with more knowledge than they actually possess--seem strange to you? Do you imagine geese really know anything about the physics of flight, climate differences associated with lattitude, or how, when, and why the seasons change?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Did you know that taboos are adaptive? For instance, that similar taboos evolved among ignorant natives in the tropics (where protein can be hard to come by)--all over the world--about not having sex with a woman until her most recent child reaches a certain age, thus ensuring the infant's access to lactation and dramatically increasing its survival. Yeah, those "smart" tribe members who didn't abide by the taboo or didn't believe in the spirits, their children were eventually bred out of the gene pool.

    Social adaptations passed down through culture are real. Our neocortx evolved to take advantage of some of them--with religion, language obvious examples. Altruism also arose as an adaptation. If your understanding of evolution doesn't account for these facts, then you have a giant hole in your thinking.

  • Nardz||

    Hank is often an absolutist moron (or, appears to be), and I'm not even sure what the argument is here, but I'll say this: the elevation of "altruism" to the highest virtue is dangerous. Both because it can be used to justify things like genocide, and also because - as an absolute - it can mislead individuals into self-defeat.
    The answer isn't to do away with the notion of altruism, but to not elevate it above virtues such as competiveness, curiosity, integrity, ambition, etc. Each has a purpose and place for both the individual and collections of individuals.
    ...lost my train of thought - Sixers 12-0 run

  • Nardz||

    Lil Marco!

  • Chris Cat||

    Matt Welch seems very jealous of Dr. Peterson and his Patreonage! Besides that, this is an unilluminating article, mostly making fun of claims that Dr. Peterson does not make. My sense is that our author feels, "Why him, and not me?" Well, Mr. Welch, your writing and thinking are insipid for one. Reason might consider hiring guest authors who are actually successful at something to represent libertarianism.

    Doctor Peterson is not that exciting. I see little evidence of him being a stellar mind. I think his full list of "Rules" in Quota are helpful touchstones, but his religious analysis leaves me cold. He does seem to be a depressive. But I respect him for his boldness and the care he takes in speaking. He is a man, not a messiah, but he is willing to take risks for a message he finds important.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    ^That's a Bingo (is that how you say it?)

  • Hank Phillips||

    What other altruists were willing to take risks for a message they deemed important?

  • Benitacanova||

    Stormy Daniels?

  • Voros McCracken||

    *slow clap*

  • Juice||

    It's the religious stuff that's his real sour note.

  • ThomasD||

    I could handle sour, what (little) I've seen of him on this subject is just weak.

    It's the "I'm not sure if I metaphysically accept this, but I will proceed as if I did because, on the whole, it's worked well so far" sort of argument.

    (That may be a gross oversimplification, or may be an outdated representation. As noted, I'm willing to be shown more.)

  • Mark22||

    It's the "I'm not sure if I metaphysically accept this, but I will proceed as if I did because, on the whole, it's worked well so far" sort of argument.

    And what's wrong with that argument? It seems to be a reasonable insight. It's not a profound insight, but it's obviously that a large portion of vehement American atheists ought to at least reflect on, and he's pretty good at actually communicating the point.

  • ThomasD||

    There is nothing inherently wrong with the appraoch. It lies at the very heart of Burkean conservatism - stick with what works.

    I just find, that as a philosophical and especially as a religious argument it is weak. Meaning I expect sterner stuff.

  • Mark22||

    I just find, that as a philosophical and especially as a religious argument it is weak. Meaning I expect sterner stuff.

    He's no Christian apologist; he's mainly just motivated by trying to help people and telling them that understanding Christian beliefs might help them. And that's a reasonable position.

    Personally, I'm an agnostic, but for all practical purposes, behave like a moderate protestant. It's sort of the opposite of Pascal's wager: God's existence is irrelevant to me when it comes to trying to do the morally right thing.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "Personally, I'm an agnostic, but for all practical purposes, behave like a moderate protestant. It's sort of the opposite of Pascal's wager: God's existence is irrelevant to me when it comes to trying to do the morally right thing."

    Pretty much describes my life as well. I'm not a Christian but I live like one because it makes life better for me, my family and the rest of the world. If Peterson is convincing young men to take responsibility for their lives, find satisfying work, and take care of their wives and children I don't see a down side. You don't have to live in fear of a mythical deity to recognize that. Young men these days have frankly been taking it on the chin their whole lives. Half of them spent their childhood drugged up on Ritalin because the women who run the school systems can't tolerate male children. As adults they're told that sex involving a penis is by definition rape. They got sold on a degree scam that's left them unemployable. So they live broke and celibate in mom's basement when they should be enjoying the best years of their lives.

  • ThomasD||

    "You don't have to live in fear of a mythical deity to recognize that."

    Maybe you don't. And perhaps there are others like you.

    But history has shown than many others - absent the honest fear of a Deity - will either fail to recognize it, or even if recognizing it will lack the internal discipline necessary to abide by it.

    Which eventually poses a grave problem.

    The problem being one for the unsubtle but innately perceptive. We can all behave like Anglican Bishops - playing at belief, but not really believing a whit of it. At least right up until the point when the congregation catches on to the game.

    Then all the rules change, and what you and others like you have effectively taken for granted will be gone. To your and everyone else's deep detriment.

    (Or so the rest of the argument goes...)

  • Rockabilly||

    I was in London last month and by chance walked by Highgate cemetery. My friend said Karl Marx is buried there. I said, shall we pay the asshole a visit? She said why not.

    When we got to the asshole's grave I took out my cock and took a hot piss on the bust of his face.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I have a photo of my little sister flicking off Lenin's tomb from back during the end of the Cold War.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I have a photo of my little sister flicking off

    ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    LET HIM SPEAK

  • StackOfCoins||

    Crusty, maybe she's cute. Don't cast aspersions just yet.

  • ThomasD||

    Highgate is a bit out of the way for most tourists, shame more people can't make the same journey.

  • Eidde||

    Did you livestream your visit?

  • ThomasD||

    I see what you did there.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Then when you died I found your grave (or whatever remains) and I was going to defecate upon it, but then I realized that I had no toilet paper, so reason prevailed. Then I realized that what you did was a latent homosexual urge and then I realized that what I was going to do was latent bestiality (because I watched my dog do that kind of stuff on thinks that bothered him). So then I deduced it was all a result of class struggle. And so Marx was right after all. Cheer up London, its not that bad... mind the gap!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I had no idea who this guy was until now. Watched the first few minutes of that interview where the lefty got so confused; all he did was correct her misconceptions of what he'd said, over and over. She kept making sweeping statements which showed she had only heard what she wanted to hear, he kept repeating what he had actually said, and after several cycles, she'd change the subject because she coudn't bear to actually say what he had said but had no more wiggle room.

    What's impressive is his patience to do that. I don't have it, most people don't.

  • SIV||

    That UK TV presenter who called out Peterson's lobster-bullshit is fucking hot!

  • JWatts||

    Are you referring to the Debbie Wasserman Schultz look alike? Ok, whatever floats your boat.

  • USMCFoto||

    Author obviously has it in for Peterson.

    "galvanized a generation of wayward young men, including many who have clustered around the "alt-right." "

    Followed up later with "So why do kids with different politics flock to his words?"

    He appeals across the full spectrum of politics and the author wants to spend energy emphasizing the best known controversial crowd.

    I think the appeal is the Peterson is very precise with words. He is such a masterful communicator who ensures the people he talks with use precise meaningful language. He doesn't let amorphous terminology enter the discussion.

    His is quick and adept at counterpointing emotionally based arguments by reflecting it back at his counterpart with "Why doesn't that apply to me". That was the beauty of the infamous female Brit interviewer when he pointed out his discomfort with an opposing viewpoint.

  • ThomasD||

    I think much of his appeal to young men is his simple refusal to take shit from others. That he has the mental and verbal chops to do so successfully is secondary to the fact that much of what he opposes is precisely what even the less educated find objectionable in their own personal lives.

    At heart it's Reidian Common Sense, the kids just do know it as such, and so lack the tools, if not the will to oppose the collectivising leftism of identity politics/Marxism. Peterson threatens to give those people more of both, that's why he's such a problem for people who are invested in Marx.

  • SIV||

    Matt's cool with communism excepting the economics and that little mass murder thing

  • hello.||

    Matt couldn't care less about the mass murder part. He's truly the epitome of a useful idiot. He'll be defending the cause right up until he's the one lined up against the wall.

  • esteve7||

    oh, they said it. As soon as you hear "Jordan Peterson" and "Alt-Right", you know they are full of shit. The alt-right hates JP. If anything, he is converting people away from the alt-right (and ctrl-left), not pushing people to them.

    Reason, you really don't know anything you are talking about anymore. This has just turned into another clickbait hack site trying to make nice with progressives. Looking for a writing gig at Vox or whatever? Cocktail parties too good to pass up? You've really fallen into the LA Swamp and need to poke your head around somewhere else for a change.

    If you truly believe in Libertarianism, the progressives will never accept you; their collectivist, government centric view is polar opposite of the individualism and natural rights we support. From talking with progs, the only reason they haven't completely turned on us is because the conservatives are still out there. I'm counting down the days until arguing against the minimum wage or rent control is 'hate speech against the poor.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Right with you, Steve.

  • Nardz||

    Reason is not libertarian, it's explicitly cryptoprogressive (...)
    But even actual libertarians fail to recognize that priority #1 must be to marginalize collectivism/progressivism. After that, conservatives can be dealt with.
    Ideological purity can be a weakness in war. Doesn't mean you compromise your ideals, but must act pragmatically.

  • SIV||

    This has just turned into another clickbait hack site trying to make nice with progressives.

    "just turned" ?*

    New here?

    *(I have faith KM-W may yet turn it around)

  • hello.||

    If you truly believe in Libertarianism

    Well, there's your problem.

  • ThomasD||

    "... I'm counting down the days until arguing against the minimum wage or rent control..."

    All of those issues have been subsumed under 'universal basic income,' which is totes libertarian.

    Or so I have been told.

  • Hattori Hanzo||

    Peterson has gained notoriety for being a rational voice in a sea madness. The left trying to smear him, with hilarious futility, will only keep gaining him more exposure.

  • Mark22||

    It used to be that in the West, if you wanted to participate successfully in political debates, you needed to be good at rhetoric. These days, you need to be a skilled clinical psychologist capable of dealing with crazy, manipulative, and angry people (like Cathy Newman). That's why he has been able to successfully stand up to progressives and socialists.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Very true.

  • Nardz||

    Good point

  • ThomasD||

    Dealing with manipulative and angry lies at the very heart of rhetoric.

    Rhetoric is all about pulling back the curtain. That Peterson does so with efficacy - revealing what lies at the heart of Frankfurt School deconstruction - is one of the reasons he is so despised.

    Critical theory is a tool meant to destroy anything except critical theory. To do that is to break taboo.

  • VOTE MILES||

    Somebody gets it.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Huh.

    There's something in the tones of this article and the podcast transcript from the other day. ("His Patreon gets $90,000 a month!") I'm gathering Welch has thoughts on people being rewarded for the perception of feeding confirmation bias and tribalism.

    Between the tones, and Gillespie's Why America Distrusts 'the Media' and What to Do About It, I can't decide if these two are taking a professionally-subtle stand against Dalmia, or if they really don't see it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Then again, conservative looter coffers are bursting at the seams. Tossing such breadcrumbs to a foreign perfesser who hates both alternatives to religious nationalsocalism (pagan socialism and libertarianism) would no more amount to a rounding error than rounding up televangelist Trilbys and buying them Reason subscriptions so they can jam this channel.

  • Mark22||

    When you're impersonating Hihn, try to do a better job. You need more caps, more insults, and more non-sequiturs.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    No thanks. I can manage without.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Lol look it's butthurt Peterson fans

  • hello.||

    Lol look it's mouth-breathing Marxists

  • Johnny B||

    He is "the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan" (Camille Paglia), or an "an intellectual fraud who uses a lot of words to say almost nothing" (Nathan J. Robinson).

    Let's see: A woman of grace and courage, with a long standing record of contribution to intellectual thought, or a sociology PhD candidate at Harvard. Hmmm. Who's opinion should we value the most?

  • GILMORE™||

    He is "the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan" (Camille Paglia)

    1 - While i agree Paglia is a more-interesting and intelligent person than Nathan J Robinson....

    ...That really isn't saying much: he's a weedy, pretentious, never-left-college-kid from Florida who has a fake-English accent and has written a handful books about socialism. For children

    Oh, and he thinks Government should have the right to take your organs away from you.

    Really, he's such a silly idiot.... its setting the bar so low as to be non-existent. The half-witted droolings of Tony are more-credible.

    2 - Its very possible, "the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan" is intended as a backhanded insult.

    McLuhan was the 1970s poster-boy for "person frequently referenced at cocktail parties, but whom no one actually understood, or even bothered to read". I suppose the modern equivalent would be someone like Nicholas Taleb: many people know *about* him - almost no one who actually understands him thinks he's saying anything remarkable.

    iow, he wasn't at all "influential". Few (if anyone) have followed on his work, expanding on it. He was sort of an intellectual one-trick-pony: interesting, but disposable.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    I have actually read some of M.M. which is very insightful and wondrously accurate predicatively, and who can forget Laugh-in and the Henry Gibson - what are you doin Marshall McLuhan schitck. Anyway, I found it interesting how M.M. predicted tribalism fraught with violence as a result of the information technology based upheaval in society, much of which is mirrored by J.P. when he refers to tribalism and the same outcomes, and YouTube as a Gutenberg phenomenon. It seems that us Canadians are watching the world fighting amongst itself, with concern and trepidation. If I were to be at a J.P. question period, that is what I would ask him, of such an interrelationship. I disagree that he was a one trick intellectual, his legacy is how he influenced many other thinkers, and various university chairs and departments devoted to carrying on his work. Look it up man, stop just saying stuff as if it were true.

  • GILMORE™||

    I have actually read some of M.M. which is very insightful and wondrously accurate predicatively

    I've read "Understanding Media"; and while i enjoyed it greatly and think it was a great book to read particularly at the outset of the .com boom, when there was a rapid transition between forms of media....

    ... I'd probably qualify its "Predictive" claims as mostly "generalizations" which just happened to coincide with a certain new-media. It wasn't really 'predicting' so much as observing that some media (like TV) herd people together, some split them apart (like internet). Also, the "Hot/cold" thing.

    ""I disagree that he was a one trick intellectual""

    maybe i'm being unfair on one level - i do very much like his work, and think its probably significant...

    ...its just that i think its true to say that he didn't really do anything further, nor was his interesting work much pursued and expanded upon by others. Outside of the occasional "Communications Studies" class in college, who really is required to read it?

    Compare that to say, the way a fraud like Freud (pun!) was so widely-read across disciplines, for nearly 100 years.

  • mtrueman||

    "I've read "Understanding Media";"

    It's probably his worst book. A hastily thrown together farago of errors.

    "the way a fraud like Freud (pun!)"

    Freud is a wonderful writer. So what if his theories were just as phony as the Egyptian antiquities he loved to collect. The man could write.

  • GILMORE™||

    I'd find this point interesting from anyone (almost) other than you.

    The fact you've been the dumbest sonofabitch other than Tony for ~10 years happens to slightly undermine your literary criticism.

  • ThomasD||

    "A hastily thrown together farago of errors."

    I'll take, 'things he didn't actually write himself' for $500.

  • mtrueman||

    No, he did write Understanding Media, the problem lies in the editing, or lack of it.

  • mtrueman||

    Try a different book by McLuhan, and give Freud a shot. His Introductory Lectures are a good place to start.

  • mtrueman||

    "McLuhan was the 1970s poster-boy for "person frequently referenced at cocktail parties, but whom no one actually understood, or even bothered to read". I suppose the modern equivalent would be someone like Nicholas Taleb: many people know *about* him - almost no one who actually understands him thinks he's saying anything remarkable."

    McLuhan is not so difficult to understand. "The medium is the message," is his slogan. The different channels of information have bearing on the messages sent over them. He can be an interesting read, full of Joycean word play. You don't really have to 'understand' it to enjoyce it.


    Taleb is worth it too. His style is a little over the top at times, but his warnings about the perils of applying normal distribution curves to social phenomena were pretty persuasive, to me at least. His books are patiently written with the lay man in mind, and not terribly difficult.

  • GILMORE™||

    his warnings about the perils of applying normal distribution curves to social phenomena were pretty persuasive, to me at least.

    Repeat of what i said above:

    " no one who actually understands him thinks he's saying anything remarkable."

    Who in finance applies normal distribution curves to fringe-asset trading dynamics? No one.

    you think its clever because you don't understand the subject matter. Criticizing bell-curves is clever from the POV of retards in the social-sciences; from the POV of explaining broken models of Lehman's debt-trading? Not so much.

  • mtrueman||

    "you think its clever because you don't understand the subject matter"

    I thought it clever because it's persuasive and well written. I read the book in the first place because I wanted to learn more about statistics, and I found it helpful. Too bad it didn't live up to your much higher expectations.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""I wanted to learn more about statistics,""

    This is like watching Jurassic Park because you wanted to learn about the Mesozoic Era

    I've read 3 of Taleb's books. He's fine and not-unpleasant to read and that's why he's sold 100s of 1000s of copies.

    Its just that you're too fucking dumb to recognize where he's full of shit. The subject matter he's expert in? (quantitative financial analysis) he has some insightful points. On 99% of everything else? Little to nothing. Unless you're someone intimately familiar with how things like algorithmic trading work, you're not going to learn anything.

  • ||

    I read Black Swan. It started interestingly enough and then it went into Baby Jane incoherence.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""I wanted to learn more about statistics,""

    This is like watching Jurassic Park because you wanted to learn about the Mesozoic Era

    I've read 3 of Taleb's books. He's fine and not-unpleasant to read and that's why he's sold 100s of 1000s of copies.

    Its just that you're too fucking dumb to recognize where he's full of shit. The subject matter he's expert in? (quantitative financial analysis) he has some insightful points. On 99% of everything else? Little to nothing. Unless you're someone intimately familiar with how things like algorithmic trading work, you're not going to learn anything.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""I wanted to learn more about statistics,""

    This is like watching Jurassic Park because you wanted to learn about the Mesozoic Era

    I've read 3 of Taleb's books. He's fine and not-unpleasant to read and that's why he's sold 100s of 1000s of copies.

    Its just that you're too fucking dumb to recognize where he's full of shit. The subject matter he's expert in? (quantitative financial analysis) he has some insightful points. On 99% of everything else? Little to nothing. Unless you're someone intimately familiar with how things like algorithmic trading work, you're not going to learn anything.

  • mtrueman||

    "you're not going to learn anything."

    I already mentioned that I learned about the normal distribution and its limitations. I found it interesting. What more do you want from me?

  • SIV||

    almost no one who actually understands him thinks he's saying anything remarkable.

    Makes me feel better after reading that damn goose book in tiny installments off people's coffee tables.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    McLuhan was the 1970s poster-boy for "person frequently referenced at cocktail parties, but whom no one actually understood, or even bothered to read".

    "You know nothing of my work. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing"

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I done did me some READIN to-day. Gee whizz I did me some readin. Yalls got some ritzy glitzy ol hundred dollar words all just fallin out on yonder page there. I ain't never read so many fancy book-learnin words I don't rightly understand an all but hoo-eeey I done did me some readin today.

    Whoever this Jordan Peterman feller is he sure sound like a smart feller n all but awful peculiar, mind. I like me some Stossels now there's a man i could drink em beers with n shoot the shit.

  • Nardz||

    [Golf clap]

    That's mighty fine poetry you got there

  • esteve7||

    You really have to wonder why reason is so pissed off at big culture figures fighting the extreme right (and left).

  • Homple||

    "You really have to wonder why reason is so pissed off at big culture figures fighting the extreme right (and left)."

    Because Peterson has great influence over a demographic that Welch and Co. believe they should own but can't connect with.

    Peterson studies history and philosophy and thus knows the existential questions people have been asking for a couple thousand years and provides some answers to them.

    Reason's answers of pot, assex, Mexicans, food trucks and Robby Soave don't resonate in the same way.

  • esteve7||

    It's really bizare. JP is a classical liberal and from listening to his lectures and reading his ideas, he seems to be more libertarian than this so called 'libertarian' site.

  • SIV||

    low bar

    tallest midget

  • ThomasD||

    Toughest guy in the Chess Club.

  • dnh||

    but, but, but...it's all good man if you smoke enough pot

  • SIV||

    Why do you think they call it dope?

  • Mark22||

    You really have to wonder why reason is so pissed off at big culture figures fighting the extreme right (and left).

    You seriously think that a clinical psychologist who advocates moderate Christian values and classical liberalism is the "extreme right"? Good grief.

  • esteve7||

    no, if anything JP is center left. I'm saying he is fighting the extremes and causing people to back away from them.

  • Mark22||

    Oh, sorry, I misread your comment.

  • esteve7||

    no worries, easy to think I would have said that given how Reason is going these days

  • ||

    They have renormalized normal.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Peterson sounds like a successful loser whisperer.

    There is good money to be made peddling entertainment to losers and fringe inhabitants. It's called "narrowcasting," and explains why Fox News is perceived by its fans as "#1 in news" despite the fact the Fox audience is dwarfed by the viewership of mainstream network newscasts every day.

    Organized religion is declining as America modernizes, but televangelists continue to buy jets and palaces because a few intensely gullible people will drain even meager bank accounts for faith healers.

    The Tea Party can put 15 or 20 members in Congress from our left-behind districts, but its political positions have been losing in America throughout our lifetimes, with dim prospects ahead.

    Peterson and his fans can rant about "elites" and the "radical left," but my decision to arrange graduate degrees from strong schools (which in America means liberal-libertarian) for every member of my family will be vindicated at the expense of conservative homeschoolers, backwater religious school graduates, and dropouts.

    Some people will continue to push to return to good old days that never existed, but America's electorate will continue to become less rural, less religious, less white, less bigoted, less backward, and less insular, with predictable consequences for right-wingers in general and Jordan Peterson fans, Mel Gibson fans, and Roseanne fans in particular.

  • Chris Cat||

    Liberals that judge schools on money earning potential. Hmm. Assuming you can afford it you probably fly to protests about global warming and discard your placards on the ground after protesting environmental degradation. There is nothing wrong with caring about others and the world. It's just that conservatives actually help people in the course of their hard work while liberals are free riders on a system built and run by conservatives. Liberals want credit while reserving all sacrifices and hard work for someone else. I love that you include "less bigoted" in your list of virtues that is largely a dismissal of people different than you. That IS bigotry.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Rev. Kirkland, you must not realize how you overly generalize in everything you say! And I would like to know where the slogan factory is, the one that created narrowcasting. That is news to me. Also, I find the name calling form of argument to be tiresomely lame. You ought to know better if you have received the level of education that you imply. Your use of pejorative adjectives sound rather juvenile. Peterson does not rant. He is not friends with Gibson or Roseanne. Really, you defeat your credibility with such nonsense, establishing fictitious associations as a crude form of ad hominem type attacks. Lastly, I wonder what sort of productive outcomes will ensue from the education of your children, as in what these children will have to bring towards the betterment of the community, aside from espousing and parroting your viewpoints. You know, real things. I will bet you that you have not spent any time listening to or reading the work of Peterson.

  • Ronnie Schreiber||

    " my decision to arrange graduate degrees"

    Arange? Nice to tell us just how your class regards actual academic work. No mention of them earning those degrees. Whoever employs them deserves their credentialist mediocrity.

  • SIV||

    Love yer stuff at TTAC and RG. Keep up the good work.

  • hello.||

    Lol.

    Imagine being so consumed with impotent rage over your supposed intellectual inferiors electing your president and congress that you invent these comforting stories to tell yourself, even when they are such transparent projections.

  • Mark22||

    It's called "narrowcasting," and explains why Fox News is perceived by its fans as "#1 in news" despite the fact the Fox audience is dwarfed by the viewership of mainstream network newscasts every day.

    You're ill informed: Not only was Fox News the most-watched cable news network for the 191st consecutive month, but it topped the basic cable landscape for the 17th consecutive month in total day viewers. The network finished No. 2 in total prime time viewers in November 2017 behind juggernaut ESPN.

    Of course, all "mainstream newscasts" are for the geriatric set, with median viewer ages above 60 years old across the board. You fit right in.

  • Mark22||

    Peterson and his fans can rant about "elites" and the "radical left," but my decision to arrange graduate degrees from strong schools (which in America means liberal-libertarian) for every member of my family will be vindicated at the expense of conservative homeschoolers, backwater religious school graduates, and dropouts.

    I'm sure those credentials will get your family lots of government-financed sinecures. However, unless your family actually turns out to be a bit more intelligent and useful than you, they'll fail.

    Some people will continue to push to return to good old days that never existed, but America's electorate will continue to become less rural, less religious, less white, less bigoted, less backward, and less insular

    I sure hope so; religious, racist, backwards, dumb bigots like you are just the worst.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Spoken like a walking inferiority complex.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Spoken like a walking inferiority complex.

  • VOTE MILES||

    Big mouth. Small mind. No clue. What a bore you are.

  • esteve7||

    Leftists spend a generation tearing apart the family and ensuring millions of people grow up without a father. Then they make fun of people who turn to JP as a father figure.

    He's not really saying anything new, just stuff the far left has been trying to tear down for decades. JP has committed the mortal sin of the left by telling people to make something of themselves, not be a victim, and accept responsibility for their future.

    Honestly have you never listened to any of his lectures on Youtube? Instead of reading the dishonest hit pieces, why don't you go check out some of his actual work.

    From his class on Personality. Starting at 14mins, the next half hour is pure gold

    https://youtu.be/68tFnjkIZ1Q?t=13m50s

  • StackOfCoins||

    This is one of the most ridiculous articles by Welch I've read in a long time. 30+ paragraphs of seething envy to say nothing.

    I sincerely HOPE that Reason will do more to court Peterson, as his voice is badly needed in these pages.

  • esteve7||

    Reason - let's attack people who hold values that are libertarian, and lets try to make friends with progressives instead.

    Honestly, Peterson has done more to put Libertarian thoughts into people's heads than Reason has lately. Not saying I agree with everything he says, and JP is not a prophet or anything, but he is a voice fighting tribalism and identity politics, both on the left and on the right.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    ^^^^ THIS

  • SIV||

    You're not wrong. Welch has done the near-impossible in making me open-minded to the rantings of a psuedoscientist.

  • Benitacanova||

    I've followed the guy off and on from the start. It was immediately clear he was a low key guy who had suddenly had enough, a soft spoken Howard Beale.

    When you're thrust into a role you weren't auditioning for it probably does feel like destiny. At least he takes his messiahhood responsibilities seriously.

  • Texasmotiv||

    Honestly I've listened to fair bit of his interviews and find him fascinating. I've actually never heard him say anything that I don't find thought provoking or at least partially agree with. I'm sure I could delve deep and find something that I think is wrong but I don't take people hating on him anything other than falsely associating him with the alt-right then signaling that you are not THAT.

    He is such a phenomenon because he is the only sane intellectual that most of these people hear in their lives. It feels like the people that go attacking him either : 1) haven't listened to him, 2) don't understand what he is saying 3) refuse to grapple with his points because it would undermine their ideology.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    He is such a phenomenon because he is the only sane intellectual that most of these people hear in their lives.

    What confluence of poor judgment, counterproductive conduct, low character, substandard environment, lousy education, and bad luck precipitates an American who encounters precisely one sane individual in a lifetime?

  • dnh||

    not one sane individual, one sane intellectual. it's easy to go through life exposed only to intellectuals cloistered in an ivory tower.

  • SIV||

    Peterson is no Thomas Szasz. That guy shit all over his profession as soon as he got tenure and then turned his well-reasoned flamethrower on everything else.

  • hello.||

    Write your biography and we'll have our answer.

  • stout77||

    I don't think Peterson is "against" the "fancy pronouns" or their use. I think it's the whole federally-compelled speech thing. I can only assume that the people who fail to make such a basic distinction are either stunted or lying.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    One of the best, most reasoned and balanced, descriptions of Dr. Peterson which I have read, and I have read them all.

  • mtrueman||

    "I also happen to be a white male."

    I don't think you're dispossessed if you are an immigrant. They are usually made of sterner stuff, have gumption and don't believe they are 'owed a living,' exactly the qualities lacking in JP followers. I'm not telling you to 'check your white privilege.' I don't really understand the expression.

    " as far as I'm concerned, anybody who thinks white male privilege is a thing is just a sexist and a racist."

    Fine, but you seem to misunderstand me. White privilege is a thing, but it's disappearing. Once only white males in this country could vote or own property. These privileges (or advantages if the word offends you) have been increasingly enjoyed by those who are neither white nor male. Once it legal to rape your wife, now it isn't. That's a bit of an extreme example of the disappearance of white privilege, but there are other examples I could give you if you need help understanding me.

  • Charlie Allnut||

    Peterson has said that if you go to China, there is plenty of privilege and it is not white. Privilege is merely a function of hierarchy, which is inevitable, an evolutionary entrenched behavioral characteristic of all organisms.It exists upon countless axis and configurations. First one must understand the meaning of the word and then analyse how it may be observed. In so doing, the concept of white privilege becomes a quaint epithet. Not to say that lots of white guys did not make the world a crappy place for a lot of people, once upon a time. But so did some ultra feminists during a meeting when some of them seemed like they wanted to be in charge. It hurt some feelings for sure. And on it goes. Like the little clown who sprang out from the little trunk of the clown car, he upended the clown hierarchy at the end of the routine, giving us all much to ponder. Maybe that is why we remember him the most.

  • mtrueman||

    "Peterson has said that if you go to China, there is plenty of privilege and it is not white."

    I know China rather well. It doesn't hurt to be white there, I assure you. It opens many doors and gets you out of potential hellish scrapes. Personal and especially family connections are what the Chinese rely on for advancement.

    "It exists upon countless axis and configurations. "

    Of course it does, but remember Peterson is a Canadian. He doesn't realize the centrality of race in the American psyche. The term "Race pimp," for example. Just one of America's contributions to the richness of the English language.

  • dnh||

    not very well laowai

  • mtrueman||

    Better than Peterson or Allnut. I can promise you that.

  • dnh||

    comparison's are odious. just tell me you don't think there's an in-group preference among chinese and I'll go away.

  • mtrueman||

    "just tell me you don't think there's an in-group preference among chinese and I'll go away."

    Stay. If you make sevo go away, I'll tell you anything you want.

  • Sevo||

    "I know China rather well."
    I would say you're full of shit. And you prove it by your comments.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " He doesn't realize the centrality of race in the American psyche. "

    Americans are divided between those who are convinced that race is central to the American psyche, and those who aren't racists, and thus really don't think much about race at all.

  • mtrueman||

    "Americans are divided between those who are convinced that race is central to the American psyche, and those who aren't racists, and thus really don't think much about race at all."

    They're divided by a lot more than that.

  • ||

    This is exactly one of the basis of the divide

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    What a perfect time to donate to JP's patreon. Let's see I gave Reason $100 one time, so JP deserves about $5 a month inpertuity.

  • wjamyers||

    "Dogma throughout history has had its freedom-killing flaws, he readily admits, but, well, sometimes people just need to be told what to do. This is conscious authoritarianism, and Peterson is volunteering for the job." This is slimy propaganda on multiple levels the use of the word "admit" uncoupled from a quotation, along with a follow-on pejorative implication that can be disproven with a cursory familiarity with JBP's work. I'm surprised to see Reason joining in the very obviously JournoList-coordinated smear campaign against JBP, for now i'm going to assume that Welch just managed to slip this through an editorial process dominated by big-city, sneering atheists, rather than Reason making common cause with MSM liars.

  • hello.||

    I'm surprised to see Reason joining in the very obviously JournoList-coordinated smear campaign against JBP

    Why? Dave Weigel was one of the more prominent JournoListers and worked here for years until he upgraded to a higher paycheck at another left wing rag.

  • wjamyers||

    Thank you for reminding me of that... his name popped into my head when I thought of JournoList but I failed to make the connection.

  • cc2||

    One of the things I like about Peterson, as with Thomas Sowell, is not any particular opinion but the way they reason, their method. It is wonderful to see him respond to a question with a coherent thought--a rarity these days unfortunately.

  • Widhalm19||

    There's no real secret to Jordan Peterson popularity. He's a man and not ashamed of it. He might seem like the messiah to many highly urbanized beta-males but he's just an old school man who would like to be your friend but if you insult him he'll kick you ass.

  • Widhalm19||

    There's no real secret to Jordan Peterson popularity. He's a man and not ashamed of it. He might seem like the messiah to many highly urbanized beta-males but he's just an old school man who would like to be your friend but if you insult him he'll kick you ass.

  • dnh||

    messiah bullshit, he's just a sensible voice in the midst of a bunch of sanctimonious claptrap

  • SIV||

    a private gathering of libertarian activists anxious about the real and perceived overlap between their world and the reactionary right.

    A "cuck party", to be concise.
  • Sevo||

    Dunno about the guy; I tend to avoid those justifying activities through "an amalgam of a Jungian psychoanalytic approach to narrative and evolutionary biology" and "also an amalgam, in some sense, of theology and evolutionary biology." Why that combination? "I think that our religious preconceptions evolved. They are deeper than rationality, by a large margin. They reflect a reality that's deeper than that which we have been able to apprehend rationally so far."
    Uh, OK, then.
    But the spit coil and the 'smug' in the photo is enough to tell me 'fuggidaboutit'.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    What a deep and open-minded person you are.

  • Banake||

    I'm skipping this article, reason has a bad record with this kind of subject, see for exemple Gillespie video on me too. This is the reason I'm reading reason way less than I used to read.

  • LifeStrategies||

    >Banake Me too, and I've been a life-long supporter of Reason for many, maybe forty years....

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Geeze, has it really been that long? I guess so.

    We sure had high hopes, (And a LOT more principle!) back in the 70's. We thought we were going to save the world from prissy busybodies, Now our institutions make excuses for prissy busybodies.

    What a way for Reason to end, as a sock puppet for the left.

  • Nardz||

    Sock puppet for the left...

    Perfect characterization

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Is there an alternative? Other than the ridiculous glibby site and Trump-smoochers at LRC?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "So why has a generation of wayward young men welcomed him as their messiah?"

    When did Matt turn into such an ass?

  • LifeStrategies||

    > buybuydandavis. Good question - the answer is a while ago.

    Reason, unfortunately, is being transformed into an uncomfortable shadow of its former self as it ignores its mission of advocating the pursuit of individual freedom for both minds and markets.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Obviously you haven't been listening to The Fifth Column. The only sane libertarian is Kmele. Moynihan is so bad that he makes Matt seem a reasonable, moderate libertarian, but he is not. Unfortunately it seems that it is more profitable to pander to progressives.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Obviously you haven't been listening to The Fifth Column. The only sane libertarian is Kmele. Moynihan is so bad that he makes Matt seem a reasonable, moderate libertarian, but he is not. Unfortunately it seems that it is more profitable to pander to progressives.

  • LifeStrategies||

    You say: 'An occasional venture over the line—such as Peterson's tweet last year asking, "Do feminists avoid criticizing Islam because they unconsciously long for masculine dominance?"'

    You write as if a question such as this is over the line rather than simply an exploration of the important question: why do many feminists avoid criticizing Islam. But is exploring a question "over the line" as you state? Or does this simply show your bias to honest masculinity?

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Occam's razor says they avoid criticizing Islam for the same reasons they don't criticize Hinduism or even barbaric, woman-harming practices like female genital mutilation: because those are minority practices in the West. Their goal is to extirpate the existing culture and traditions of the West, not to enact a logical approach to the benefits of different world religions.

    Peterson's contention on the other hand is just lazy Freudianism. As much as I like his social commentary, when the topic veers toward psychology he becomes an idiot.

  • StackOfCoins||

    He's a clinical psychologist; postulating a psychological basis for their tendency to avoid criticizing Islam is well within his purview. And I don't think he's entirely off-base either, at least regarding some feminists.

    You speak with certainty what the motivations of an entire class of people are; surely that is a more foolish position than Peterson's hypothesis.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    He can postulate all he wants, but that doesn't make his postulations right or even sensible. Nor does his status as a clinical psychologist, which means fuck-all in rational debate. Argument from authority is a fallacy.

    Occam's razor isn't a matter of certainty, just a rule of thumb. Pretty sure the subjects of Peterson's hypothesis would be far more offended by it than by my suggestion, so your impassioned defense of their motivations is more than a bit out of place.

  • JLB||

    In nearly a half century the LP and the libertarian movement, in general, has accomplished less in helping to build the cultural foundations for liberty, than Jordan Peterson has in two years. The libertarian fixation on him is clear, Peterson's winning, they're losing and they can't figure out why. Cato and Reason try to play mice with the SJWs and progressives, Jordan gives back to them as good as he gets. He shows backbone where the LP movement shows complacency and fret over looking like fascists (falling for the rhetorical traps of their enemies) because they stood up for themselves.

  • Irwin Mann||

    I believe you have struck the nail squarely on its head.

  • wjamyers||

    Too true. I'm trying not to let this moment devalue libertarians for me rather than just the execrable Welch and Reason magazine.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Reason, despite being one of the very few mastheads that waves the capital-L flag, is not the final word on Libertarianism. I am sure there are some "libertarians" that think reason leans too far to the right (lol), but it wouldn't be the first time someone hostile to liberty in some fashion styled themselves as a libertarian.

  • Harvard||

    If only Reason would trade up for Peterson. A Welch, a Shecky and a Gillespie to be named later might make a decent first offer.

  • Mark22||

    Voluntary trade implies a mutually beneficial exchange. Who would want those guys?

  • Kehvan||

    So, what you're saying is you're jealous you don't have his following.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Gary Johnson will always be Reason's true messiah.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    I'm struggling to remember a time when Welch was a libertarian instead of a bitchy schoolgirl enforcer for the she thought police.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    *sjw thought police.

  • VOTE MILES||

    "She thought police" is sadly apropos.

  • Irwin Mann||

    If everyone who has not read some of his writing or listened to a few of his lectures or interviews were to hold their tongue this might be one of the few comments made. I suspect that most are like critics of Rush and have never listened to him or read his works.

  • ||

    Welsh. you're out of your depth here. Trying to follow his thought and emotional sincerity has you bouncing off the walls like a cat trying to escape the tape in its back. Give up you attempts to simultaneously comprehend and look down upon something greater than you.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    He has no frame of reference here. He's like a child who wanders into the middle of the movie and wants to know....

  • stout77||

    Peterson is nearly devoid of ego, which is both a big part of his appeal to the fallen among us and a wellspring of confusion to the pure and righteous.

  • ThomasD||

    More than anything it strikes me that this sort of piece should only be written following some sort of interview, or at the least some sort of Q&A session.

    Did Welch even try to contact Peterson?

  • Bearded Spock||

    This article is yet another example of how the Reason crowd likes to think of themselves as cutting-edge thinkers, open to new ideas and fully aware of new trends, when in reality they are just as bound by their decades-old dogmas as the RepubliCrats are.

    Peterson is a legitimate societal phenomenon and cultural icon whose influence grows daily, and Welch approaches him like some geriatric 60s-era Chamber-Of-Commerce Rotarian at the country club, who asks his fellow cronies "what's up with these crazy kids getting all excited about beetles".

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    The feminazis crossed the line first. They squeezed conservatives. They hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.

  • nicmart||

    Perceptive piece. I'm in my 60s and Peterson reeks to me of bullshit. Right and Left, and some libertarians, yearn for an apocalyptic savior. When I watch videos of the man I see more role playing than issues discussion. But we are now in a deeply anti-intellectual time, so pop culture charlatans can run amuck. Popularity is defined more by who dislikes you than by the content of your ideas. Peterson is perfect for the likes of Lew Rockwell, a "libertarian" who spent months pimping Trump.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    When I watch videos of the man I see more role playing than issues discussion.

    Can you give an example of this?

    I find his psychological lecture videos to be so silly as to be nearly incomprehensible. But his discussions on political topics he is usually spot-on and doesn't play the usually leftist interviewers' games. I guess that could be termed role-playing but if so he's playing the role of a reasonable person being patient with ignorant and dishonest hacks.

  • Star1988||

    Peterson as the symbol of a deeply anti-intellectual time? Smoking?

  • wjamyers||

    "Messiah much?" is the execrable Welch's entire "argument". From now on, that's Welch's tagline. Whatever he posts can be answered with it.

  • Eidde||

    He's a celebrity, like Run DSM.

  • stout77||

    The punditry in this country is running on fumes. What someone like Welch lacks in depth and studiousness, he makes up for with fake certitude and by hitting all the academically correct notes in a song someone else wrote for him. Anyone with cliff notes and a thesaurus can do what these people do. For instance, how can someone who ostensibly researched Peterson's words prior to this piece still think it's about pronouns and not federally compelled speech? Welch, next time you are thumbing through your thesaurus, imagine the federal government forcing you to recite it at someone else's pleasure, and then maybe it'll dawn on you. First they came for the pronouns. Next, it could be the synonyms that undergird the crumbling foundation of our exhausted punditry, and they'll have to pry my adjectives from my cold, dead hands. Dumbass(es), it's the compulsion of speech that is at issue. This is a libertarian website?

  • VOTE MILES||

    Someone gets it.

  • ||

    I agree. It read like he just discovered Peterson or didn't really take the time to explore him.

    As I note below, he's too flippant on Bill C-16. Here, Peterson absolutely deserves credit and support.

    Last I checked, Reason is a libertarian magazine.

  • SIV||

    Last I checked, Reason is a libertarian magazine.

    Maybe by the People's Republic of Canuckistan's standards..

  • ||

    That's not good.

    Reason needs to clean its room.

  • ThomasD||

    Not merely compelled speech, but punishment for wrongthink.

  • Brandon||

    "chaos, from which evil springs forth"

    Nowhere has Peterson ever said anything remotely like this.

  • StackOfCoins||

    He frequently calls chaos a "dragon" and speaks of it in the terms of an archetype; the dragon (chaos) must be slain in order to take his gold (success in life/career). To Welch's paper-thin understanding, I suppose this translates to evil.

  • zbillster||

    One reason he's the YouTube darling ... I challenge you to NOT have Jordan Peterson videos shoved down your YouTube account's throat once you've watched one ... no matter how many times I hit the "Not Interested" button on them, they keep coming back like glitter from a stripper.

  • ||

    -It's not necessarily what he says but that he has the courage to fight back in an area run amok with progressives.

    -You seem to be under playing this important reality. Bill C16 an affront on civil liberties and I expect a LIBERTARIAN magazine to note this with more care.

    -I share into his loathing of Trudeau and quite frankly he's legitimately a cause for concern.

    -True, he's not saying anything well-read people (and he does venture into areas that aren't necessarily his area of expertise but he is raising the level of discourse) don't already know but it's telling that it had to be retold.

    (cont'd)

  • ||

    -Personally, you should have refrained from this 'alt-right' stuff. We're all alt-right now eh?

    -I found it curious out of all the really bad hit pieces on the guy you chose to cite Southey's epic logical fail. Fun fact: She's Dave Foley's crazy (according to him) ex-wife.

    "This is the version of Peterson—strident, logic-leaping, reductionist—that has stoked both his flock and his detractors. In an era when the left is forever policing the shifting boundaries of acceptable speech, the right is forever rewarding whoever provokes the left's ire, and the most cartoonish of both extremes are locked in a never-ending struggle over increasingly ridiculous political correctness on college campuses, Peterson's defiance polarized along predictable lines."

    That's some 'to be sure'.

    For the love of Apu, the left alone are causing the problem. They're not in some King Arthur-Mordred death embrace. Am I missing something from the stories reported by Campusreform and Fire?

    At some point, someone was going to break and Peterson (Martin Kramer is another) is the first guy to have the balls to stand up to the madness. We finally have someone who's not apologizing.

    Be careful Matt, the left do bite. You know this, I reckon, given you cited Solzhenitsyn.

  • Eidde||

    "They're not in some King Arthur-Mordred death embrace"

    To be sure, Mordred was clearly the bad guy in that one.

  • ||

    Other thoughts:

    -No one said he was the second coming. It's the chattering 'chiachiarella' classes in media who did. They're just reacting to his popularity with a, 'who is the quaint Canadian feller? what's he so mad about? And who are all these chaps listening and flocking to him? We'd better investigate and bring reason to the masses!' Quite frankly, I appreciate his role in the current context of the zeitgeist.

    -It's absolutely nuts that what Peterson presents is seen as 'controversial' or 'polarizing'. It's anything but. That's how off the rails we've gone. The rebuttals to him Peterson, THAT I find reactionary.

    -"...Peterson can be cautious, even hesitant as he pokes around for the most precise word, careful not to step on a landmine. But when confronted with a hostile challenge or P.C. outrage, he swells up like a cobra, lashes out in counterattack, and then recoils before the victim knows what hit him."

    Yes he does. Why should he take shit from idiots? Can it be he chooses his words carefully because, hm I don't know, he'll be pulled out of context and left to die at the hands of the tyranny of the mob?

    "Peterson is haunted by the 20th century killing fields of fascism and communism, as well as the potential nuclear holocaust undergirding the Cold War..."

    And? You make it sound like he's a crack pot for thinking this. I think he's justified no?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "He invites us all to admit that we could be guards at Auschwitz, that we daydream about mass murder, that our desire for success is the flip side of a will to inflict maximum pain."
    Literally Hitler.

  • ||

    'We were just following orders' is not a phenomena worth discussing or exploring because something, something polarizing.

    Curious. Was Obama was a polarizing figure?

  • ThomasD||

    As a libertarian this is one of the things I personally find banal, but also recognize as quite transgressive when said publicly.

    Because, sadly, many many people lead very very unexamined lives. That they do what they do is mostly out of convention and sloth. They choose the easy path because it is painless. At least until it isn't, then (these days) they claim victimhood.

    Telling people to not be victims - of anyone, and especially not of themselves - is (again, sadly) these days about as revolutionary as it gets.

  • Winthrop||

    I like Matt for the most part because he's willing to put his energy towards minimizing human suffering and maximizing human happiness via the promotion of libertarianism, but like all of us he's got his problems. Mainly, a bruised ego, likely from being picked on as a child, which he now tries to overcompensate for by displaying his high level of intelligence. What he fails to realize is that in doing so, he hinders his ability to most effectively spread libertarianism. He maybe correct most, if not all of the time, but people don't like roll models who are tool bags. If he could get over his childhood growing pains, let go of the ego, and see the bigger picture (ie. the real enemy are the liberals, communists, and socialists who want to strip our freedom in the name of an unattainable utopia, not Jordan Peterson), he would make for a much better steward of life, liberty and the pursuit. I still like Matt, it just bums me out when I see him put his energy towards shit like this.
    Big picture. Priorities. And kill the ego.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Your nuts.

  • ThomasD||

    "he's willing to put his energy towards minimizing human suffering and maximizing human happiness via the promotion of libertarianism"

    You've just reduced libertarianism to a tool in service of Utilitarianism. Which is probably accurate, in so far as you are speaking about Matt Welch.

    But that is not the purpose of libertarianism. The purpose of libertarianism is maximizing individual liberty.

  • Bob Mitchell||

    I like Peterson and I'm 66. I think you sent a boy to do a man's job in covering Jordan.

  • 1980-f||

    For anyone tempted by the self-serving anti-feminist determinism that Petersen et al serve up, I recommend Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine. Men are not genetically programmed to behave with aggression or violence; nor are women their opposite.

  • MarkLastname||

    Fine is a delusional pseudo-intellectual who can't accept that her political ideology is thoroughly refuted by hard science. No one argues that men *have to* be aggressive, but gender differences in behavior are indeed largely (likely mostly) hard-wired. Get over it.

  • Kyle7||

    I only like Peterson because he challenges people.

  • ||

    And drives the left mad.

    Which means he's doing something right.

  • MarkLastname||

    This is a rather disappointing article. There are writers for this magazine who have more illiberal views than Peterson. Most popular academics are a greater threat to freedom and piece than this guy. Sure he's a bit cultish and self-helpish, but then 80% of what's published in the humanities and social sciences these day is bullshit or superstition, so what's uniquely bad about him? Most of modern feminism (the social construction of gender, patriarchy theory, 'rape is about power, not sex', etc.) is kookier and more demonstrably false than Peterson's views. The sheer amount of hatred he gets seems to have more to do with the fact that, unlike most pop psych bullshit that gets eaten up primarily by women, his audience is primarily young men, and young men, apparently, are just inherently poisonous. God forbid they get any message other than "check your privilege."

    In short, though much of what he sells is probably nonsense, it's fairly harmless (perhaps even salutary) nonsense, and he's selling it to a demographic in dire need of some positive reinforcement in a society that has decided to make them its chosen scapegoat.

  • NYLawyer||

    What does he say that is nonsense? What is he "selling"? He became a celebrity because he practices rational discourse campuses that have abandoned evidence-based argument. It's the ideologues who would try to dismiss him -- like the preposterous "dumb person's idea of a smart person" -- because they can't deal with him on the merits. A magazine called "Reason" should do better than this article.

  • NYLawyer||

    "on" campuses -- does Reason have an edit function?

  • Schizoidman_21||

    +1

  • Doug Huffman||

    This near seventy year old is enjoying '12 Rules' and UnderstandMyself.com. I find reinforcement of my persona and of what I was taught by my parents, and that I taught my now adult professional offspring.

    Trump 2020 vision for the future. UNITE THE RIGHT. Make America Great Again, Safe Again, Wholesome (a la Peterson) Again. God Bless US Bitter Clingers. God Damn you progressives.

  • ||

    This is a great well-balanced summary. I like a lot of what Peterson says, but his theme of "be strong and know how to hurt people but then don't do it" has a lot of authoritarian undertones and is probably what is attracting the alt-right. People naturally have a self-serving bias, so they are going to think they are being "strong but good" even when they are really being "strong but bad." Strength is inherently authoritarian, and people like Peterson who seem to elevate it to a cardinal virtue will attract authoritarians.

  • ||

    Name an authoritarian that had power/strength/the "heil" and didn't use it, I'll wait.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Strength is inherently authoritarian, and people like Peterson who seem to elevate it to a cardinal virtue will attract authoritarians.

    Strength is too abstract to pigeonhole without proper context, and the idea can be applied in a wide array of contexts. Just as easily, it can represent a resistance to orthodoxy.

  • ThomasD||

    "Strength is inherently authoritarian"

    So, exactly how then does one oppose authority?

  • ThomasD||

    (meant to be directed at the person who said it, sorry.)

  • khm001||

    "Strength is inherently authoritarian"

    Nope.

  • ||

    "Strength is inherently authoritarian"

    Except it's not what he's saying.

    "Strength is inherently authoritarian, and people like Peterson who seem to elevate it to a cardinal virtue will attract authoritarians."

    I'm 46. I'm no authoritarian on any level and have no issue with what Peterson is saying. So no.

    Nice try at pigeon-holing.

    Jesus, again I ask. Have people actually listened and read his work?

    I guess through Peterson we're seeing just how lost our classical liberal heritage is gone because that's pretty much his message with a splash of Burkean conservatism I suppose.

    He also talks about Christianity a lot. Oooo, boogey-man to the modern secularist man.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    sounds a lot like eastern martial arts philosophy more than authoritarian

  • ||

    What Peterson has done is a) be excellent in his field for quite a while b) went against the grain on a particular issue which gained him notice c) has argued VERY clearly and precisely why something is wrong d) beaten back all the punches that came after that.
    He has taken the hard road, and is not just still standing, but preening from it. Peterson is not "alt-right", he is just some configuration of a classic liberal doggedly fighting the well endowed progressive clap trap that has truly invaded, infected, and is feeding off of education and the West as a whole.
    For young men all he has done is just said true, but "politically incorrect" things that people haven't been allowed to hear or say in public. All the power to him to tell them their heads' are enveloped in their assholes. Canada especially needs the message.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Intention means something, and Peterson, at least through casual observation and listening, seems to have a general drive to shake up homogenity in thought. It's plausible that this is necessary within the current climate of academia and pop culture.

  • khm001||

    Welch might as well have made a video, with wide, wild eyes shrilly asking "Why aren't I 50 points ahead?!?" The entire article reminded me of Hillary's actions of the last year. Welch can't believe his petty condescension doesn't endear him with the people he directs his petty condescension at. Peterson actually listens to and gives voice to young men, and women, who are marginalized by people like Welch. Welch is mad the people he tries to marginalized won't be marginalized and hates Peterson for not helping him marginalize those people.

  • Wrath0fKahn||

    Eh, it reduces down to he's very sharp, but he's human.

    It does amuse that having an audience of primarily white, young men is itself something problematic. It doesn't get much more misandristic and racist then that, now does it.

  • khm001||

    "It does amuse that having an audience of primarily white, young men is itself something problematic."

    I find it repulsive, as do other men. That Matt can't figure out why his misandry and racism doesn't translate into popularity among men and whites says a lot about the type of lesser man he actually is.

  • Ron T||

    Gosh. I learned of Peterson through my 20 year old son and his friends. I watched in 2016 and 2017 as they all adopted his ideas (all below the media radar by the way). And now I've read this Welch article twice. I don't think this article captures what's going on at "street level". The young men in my world are noticeably not in worship mode for Peterson. I'm instead watching some previously unmotivated young men who now argue about philosophy, meaning, responsibility and psychology over a beer. If there's any worship going on, it's from a some mom's and dad's who are stunned by the change in their sons and daughters.

  • ||

    I noticed that too. People who listen to Peterson have an awakening.

    Happened to my cousin. Turns out they were yearning for this kind of message. He was also as anti-religion as they got but when he started listening to his Bible lectures he went off and began reading about the Bible, Christianity and all that. He was floored at how much they didn't teach him. Know what he said? He said, 'so much of our history runs though Christianity - good and bad. But I now see more of the good.'

    As opposed to the mumbo-jumbo left-wing progressive oppression-based SJW bull shit that was turning their brains into eggs from Mel's Diner.

    Peterson's message is a good one. I can't for the life of me how anyone could think otherwise.

    The authoritarian tag is wrong. Flatly.

  • Star1988||

    Yes. This.

    I've said this sentence many times:

    "Peterson's message is a good one. I can't for the life of me how anyone could think otherwise."

  • Schizoidman_21||

    +1

  • Schizoidman_21||

    Absolutely! Thank you.

  • Irwin Mann||

    Who watched or listened to the Ben Shapiro interview of Jordan Peterson on Sunday?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT0mbNvaT6Y&t=10s

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  • fonsi||

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  • Schizoidman_21||

    If Matt Welch has ever written anything as well articulated and intelligent as Jordan Peterson I've yet to read it. Is your crowd funding bringing in $90G/month Matt? Would you write the same drivel about Camille Paglia - who absolutely adores Jordan Peterson and wholeheartedly agrees with his assessment regarding identity politics and the destruction of males in the post-modernist marxist rage against a non-existent patriarchy. You would be hard pressed to characterize Paglia who is an avowed atheist, lesbian/transgender (she has described herself as both), and a tenured Professor at a decidedly liberal university as an alt.right sympathizer.

    How very beta-male of you Matt.

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  • ProfessorPratFall||

    Great to break down any momentum to lionizing Dr. Peterson, which would be an injustice.
    That is a major problem with the left - looking outside oneself for a human savior.
    "Somebody save me!!!"

    Just listen to Dr. Peterson - my advice to anyone.
    Article are on target a few times, and misrepresent Dr. Peterson other times.
    I woud take "Cobra" - that is a great descriptor.
    But snarling? Your words have the ability to pigeonhole Dr. Peterson as much as anything on the left.
    Of course, you are trying to profit from such an unassuming gentleman as Dr. Peterson - that is your career.
    Peterson is lean, not a person to paint pig-worthy fanciful, superfluous lipstick on.
    Unlike politicians, and most mediaites these days, he is not a narcissist or self-serving.
    He's not reliant on anything - you paint him as having an agenda as bad as any of his other adversaries.
    Just like Trumpism, you get him wrong and it looks deliberate - for your own self-serving.

  • Dutch Master||

    This author is part of the global leftists propaganda machine. He has no brain, just a huge mouth that spews feely, hateful and alarmist propaganda. He knowingly calls JP a snake when he himself is the real snake. Because he calls JP out for things that are blatantly false and misleading, while at the same time intentionally dodging any of the issues brought up by JP. Calling him a snake multiple times is the ultimate irony, psychologically speaking. It's called projection. This author (and full-time cuck) is the real snake.

  • Dutch Master||

    Hey author of salty, jealous and ultra lame article: stop being such a whiny, liberal cunt. Thanks :)

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