Jordan Peterson is Still Evolving

Attempts to Take Peterson Down Make Him Stronger

Public attacks in the media against Jordan Peterson have become more frequent and are taking on a level of viciousness seldom leveled against mild-mannered scholars of psychology and human archetypes. Oddly, Peterson does not seem to be falling down, retreating, or disintegrating in the face of these high profile assaults. Why not?

Anti-fragility is a postulated antithesis to fragility where high-impact events or shocks can be beneficial. Anti-fragility is a concept developed by professor, former trader and former hedge fund manager Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Taleb coined the term “anti-fragility” because he thought the existing words used to describe the opposite of “fragility,” such as “robustness,” were inaccurate. Anti-fragility goes beyond robustness; it means that something does not merely withstand a shock but actually improves because of it. __ More at Investopaedia

In fact, each high-profile attack against Peterson brings him to the attention of larger numbers of people. Of the people who take the trouble to look into what Peterson is really saying, a large proportion become defenders of the professor against what are clearly egregiously unfair and deceptive attacks.

Peterson Keeps Touring the World Promoting Books and Ideas

Peterson is in the middle of a tour that spans both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. More cities are being added all the time. Rather than retreating in the face of attacks from insecure personalities in media and academia, Peterson is taking his ideas to ever more cities of North America, Europe, and beyond.

Even Worse, Peterson is Learning and Growing

This is the worst nightmare of the post-modern left: An accomplished child of academia who uses the tools of new media, old media, and personal appearances to expose the tyranny and hypocrisy of the established academic and media order.

Peterson spent 20 years writing “Maps of Meaning,” and placed an entire lecture series online for free viewing to all. In fact, several versions of the Maps of Meaning lectures are freely available on YouTube for comparison. Between 1995 and 2017, the Maps of Meaning lectures show remarkable stability of content, suggesting that perhaps Peterson had settled on a fixed — though complex — message, and was likely to remain fixed.

The subsequent publication of 12 Rules for Life provides a clarification and extension of many of the ideas contained in Maps of Meaning, in a more generally accessible form.

It was Peterson’s world tour promoting his newer book — combined with many controversial media interviews — which alerted entrenched ideological interests that Peterson may actually constitute a nascent but genuine threat to their strong grip of control over the broad spectrum of cultural information sources. Accentuating the threat was the background noise from Peterson’s opposition to Canada’s Bill C16, and the positive reaction to Peterson’s interviews on popular podcasts by Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan, and others.

But what is truly frightening to the dictatorial elites who run governments, universities, media conglomerates, foundations, activist groups, and other cultural power blocks, is the public interaction of voices involving Jordan Peterson combined with Jonathan Haidt, Richard Haier, Brett Weinstein, Sam Harris, Eric Weinstein, Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers, Steven Pinker, and several other outspoken advocates of the free interchange of ideas in the face of widespread censorship.

Particularly threatening to the established order is the concept that science and truth are based upon objective evidence and logic. If that idea is allowed to survive and thrive in the public and academic spheres, the present tyranny of postmodern neomarxist intolerants will indeed be under dire threat. Hence the violent media reaction against Peterson by journalists and academics — two groups with the most to lose by a return to logical argument and evidence-based investigation.

Peterson Has Made Mistakes, But is Learning From Them

No one can move from relative obscurity to the pinnacle of fame over a period of mere months and not be a bit unsettled by the experience. But throughout the process, Peterson has kept to a grueling schedule of public lectures, media interviews, personal skype interviews with patrons, podcasts, interviews with significant thinkers, the production of new videos and lectures, work on commercial software products promoting self-knowledge and self-help, and many other projects that remain relatively behind the scenes.

Sometimes the stress shows through in portions of particular interviews, debates, public lectures, tweets, etc. How could it not? Consider how you yourself would be coping under the same level of pressures.

But if you observe Peterson closely — in his appearances both public and online — you will observe the return to equanimity and a growth of insight and personal strength which can only lead to improved ways of connecting with his current and future audiences.

Peterson’s attackers behave as if they are on the verge of knocking down the Peterson of yesterday or today. But they do not actually understand yesterday’s or today’s Peterson. And they certainly do not understand the Peterson of tomorrow.

It is not Just Jordan Peterson Who Spells Their Doom

As mentioned above, the conjunction of voices dedicated to open debate should be far more worrying to today’s Stalins of media and academia than the voice of Jordan Peterson alone.

It took about 40 years to create the Jordan Peterson we see today. But Peterson put his time to good use as a researcher, a teacher, a scholar, an entrepreneur, a father and husband, and a public figure. He has learned a lot, and has a lot he can pass on.

Peterson has planted many seeds, and at least some of them will sprout and grow — perhaps to exceed in effect anything that Peterson has done. That is a scary thought to his attackers, should they be able to think that far.

Peterson has more books to write, many more video lectures to archive, and many more public appearances, interviews, debates, and conversations to partake in. And every one of those has the potential to yield intellectual offspring of great potency.

Again, it is not individual voices that will have the greatest effect in the long run. It is the growing chorus of intellectual and spiritual offspring and fellow travelers that will find its voice and its power to move the world.

More:

Fascist overlords: Be afraid, be very afraid.

He is the scourge of simplistic, pernicious pieties, including: bias and social oppression as the presumed causes of inequality of outcome, equality of outcome as an unquestioningly desirable and enforced goal, identity as a subjective choice and the sexes as the same, patriarchy, white privilege, implicit bias, safe spaces, affirmative rights, postmodernism, nihilism, neo-Marxism, and identity politics.

As Peterson gets better known, he seems to find fewer and fewer on the left who will debate him.

And be very worried too

The Left has never been called to account for the atrocities done in the extreme of their name: Marxism. As Peterson points out, professors can, with impunity, profess their love for Marxism… Even as a failed ideology, marred by the blood of millions, Marxism persists as an acceptable belief system. The precepts of envy, power, and ultimately, violence continue unchecked and ignored.

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3 Responses to Jordan Peterson is Still Evolving

  1. Assistant Pig Keeper says:

    My concern is that Peterson doesn’t appear to have anyone providing him with intelligent, constructive criticism. He has fans, family, friends, and a bunch of raving hate-filled loons who refuse to engage in honest argument. I follow his public work and I never see him engage with anyone who says “I like what you’re doing but here’s a few points where your information may be incomplete or your reasoning is faulty.”

    I looked in what you wrote for examples of intellectual growth and didn’t see them. I see him as not growing at all. He’s getting better at explaining and defending his ideas, but it’s like he is reading from a book already written. I don’t see him coming up with new ideas like he was a year or so ago. I think that’s because he isn’t being provided the opportunity to have an honest intellectual argument with someone equally as knowledgeable and intelligent.

    The best thing for his intellectual growth would be to take a sabbatical and do a bunch more reading not related to his next book or lecture series. But that would probably kill his career.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Yes, thanks for your comment. Taking a sabbatical from his sabbatical might be just what Jordan Peterson needs to do in order to broaden and deepen his outlook. Although he is already so broad and deep that most people can barely comprehend a fraction of what he is saying even now. His closest advisors are no doubt somewhat divided. Being from Alberta, Peterson’s instinct may be to “make hay while the sun shines.”

      I left it up to interested readers to detect Peterson’s very real growth — not necessarily intellectual but something deeper — through their own investigations of past and present presentations by the professor. As you say, I did not document Peterson’s apparent personal changes in bullet points or anything like. I merely hinted at them. Perhaps in a future posting…

      Bootleg copies of his personal appearances in various cities — as well as media interviews and public debates — reveal something more than mere stress from an overloaded schedule. Although each public talk on the tour is focused on the 12 Rules theme, there is a great deal of spontaneity and originality. The growth I refer to is most evident in those appearances. Media interviews are different in that journalists have been using every trick in the book to back Peterson into a corner and destroy him. The fact that they lack the firepower within themselves to accomplish this task laid upon them by their producers — despite the growing intensity and staccato nature of the attacks from various media outlets — suggests a deepening of Peterson’s inner strength.

      An astute observer of the human condition would note that failure to fold under the weight of his ungodly schedule and the constant and “cranked up” public attacks is in itself a sign of personal growth, although he has always followed a multi-tasking lifestyle.

      Thanks again for the comment.

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