Making Sense of Jordan B. Peterson
Jordan B. Peterson. The name alone is enough to send liberals scurrying into the safe spaces with a box of tissues, but is he really that bad?
I cannot say I’m a fan, but I also cannot claim to hate the controversial Canadian clinical psychologist and University of Toronto psychology professor – but that’s only because I’m quite happy with who I am and where I’m at. I usually steer clear of trending topics, especially when they are anywhere near the subject of self-help. That said, with millions of YouTube views and a best-selling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, the man has become unavoidable, so I decided to take a closer look. I would be lying if I said I was sorry.
Who Is He?
If the left and its official fan club publications such as the Guardian and Vox media outlets are to be believed, Peterson is the equivalent of the antichrist, and these are the days of the Great Apocalypse. According to the right, he may just be the saviour of the world.
If you look at the facts, not the hysteria, he is a 50-something-year-old academic with a keen interest in abnormal, personality, and social psychology, as well as the psychology of ideological belief and religion. He also focuses on personality and performance assessment and improvement. It just so happens that he thinks enforced political correctness, Marxist-flavoured identity politics, and all the -isms and made-up pronouns of the current left wing are utter nonsense. Cue outrage from said lefties. No wonder the right and alt-right adore him so much. Of course, some of those on the right haven’t quite figured out that their militant fundamentalism is just as bad as the left’s.
After all, Lenin, Marx and their friends weren’t history’s only blood-thirsty lunatics. Those who preached the mediaeval crusades also have blood on their hands, metaphorical or otherwise.
What Is He Saying?
After checking out Peterson’s YouTube channel, which has more than 1.6 million subscribers, as well as his latest book, I did some reading around the subject. It’s evident that his real message be drowned out by all the hullaballoo surrounding it.
If I only read what others claim he says, I’d have written a blog about how he thinks we should all have a strictly carnivorous diet, and that the state should arrange its citizens’ marriages. He doesn’t, of course.
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Peterson In a Nutshell
The basics of Peterson’s philosophy can be summed up with a few of his life rules. According to him, we should:
- Stand tall and straight and face the fact that life is harsh
- Take care of ourselves because we are ultimately responsible for ourselves
- Befriend people who really care about us, rather than those who don’t
- Compare yourself to the past you, not to a current someone else
- Raise your children according to your values
- Ensure others do not have reason to criticise you, before you criticise others
- Put time, effort and energy into meaningful, not convenient, things
- Be truthful
- Do not underestimate others’ intelligence or experience
- Say what you mean
- Do not try to control others’ risks or mollycoddle them
- Enjoy life’s little pleasures
Hardly the stuff of which nightmares are made. Sadly, I cannot say the same about the many, many, too many protests staged by left-wing hooligans.
The Ferguson, USA, protests saw violence, bloodshed, bullets and fire. Protestors have repeatedly disrupted classes and exams, and have stifled free speech on campuses in North America and Europe. Protestors have assaulted and verbally abused students and citizens who do not share their views. Rioting students in South Africa torched libraries and other university buildings, pelted non-protesting students with rocks, and dumped human faeces in public buildings, all in protest of paying fees and so-called colonial education. No thanks. I’ll take Peterson’s approach any day.
*The views of this writer to not represent the views of Riverbelle Casino or its associates.