Open letter to Jordan Peterson

33
14

Dear Professor Peterson,

 

As you will soon be speaking in my hometown of Christchurch, I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you.

I first heard of you about a year ago, when a friend told me her 15-year-old son was totally immersed in your YouTube lectures and talks.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Naturally, I became curious to learn more about you and your ideas.

Having looked through the seemingly endless material online, I quickly realized that you are something of an intellectual celebrity with fast growing cult-like followers who happen to be mostly young men.

You tell these men to pull back their shoulders and stand tall, to toughen up and tidy up their rooms. This all sounds good- but that is not all you say.

You also say that patriarchy does not exist and women are not marginalized in the West.  You argue against gun control in the US and oppose identity politics and social justice movements for gays, blacks and transgender people, which you regard to be part of a devious cultural neo-Marxist agenda.

But a well-known professor of Marxian economics, Richard Wolff, whom you have refused to debate despite your own life rule about the importance of facing your opponent, refers to your understanding of Marxism as “embarrassing”.

When describing you, the Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian said your biggest appeal was also your greatest weakness. He said you wanted to be “the man who knows everything and can explain everything, without qualification or error”.

He added that your arguments were “riddled with conspiracy theories and crude distortions” of subjects that fall outside your field of expertise including, he said,  “postmodernismgender identity and Canadian law”.

I must say that your dismissal of Islamophobia and identity politics is particularly relevant to me.

I have never claimed to be defined by my religious grouping but in recent years, have been pushed into identifying myself as an Iranian Muslim because I realized that I was regarded as one whether I liked it or not.

I became aware of this reality when, following changes to the US visa rules, my visa waiver to the US was cancelled purely due to my parentage despite me being born in the UK and having both British and Kiwi passports.

So you see Professor Peterson, I did not choose identity politics, identity politics chose me and by that I mean identity politics and tribalism exist because oppression, discrimination and injustice exist.

But you dismiss claims of injustice and prefer us to follow your simple remedies to adapt ourselves to the status quo rather than organize ourselves to challenge the system.

For example, your solution to pay inequality is to direct women to be more assertive. Say that to a polish cleaner in London who knows she will end up paying for her assertiveness with her much-needed job. Women don’t need more assertiveness; they need a system that treats them fairly.

You opposed the prosecution in the UK of a man who posted a YouTube video of himself shouting: “gas the Jews”.  

You believe hate speech should not be prosecuted because you say it is hard to define hate. I say victims of hate speech know exactly what it is and where it leads to- just ask the Holocaust survivors.

No wonder you are embraced so warmly by the far right as well as the so-called alt-right. Your ideas give them an intellectual veneer to cover their bigotry with.

Professor Peterson, I have no problems with you speaking in New Zealand but I am grateful that there is no place for some of your ideas in our laws and dominant cultural values.

 

33 COMMENTS

  1. As man, who to be sincere, had never heard of this person before his visit became well media-ised (as with the pair of Canadians who I knew nothing about and still no nothing about, probably thankfully), I would like to apologise for this person who claims to be intellectual, and also a man. It brings to mind Ben Harper’s great poem, ‘Excuse me Mister’. In my accidental existence as a man, and a reasonably pale version, I acknowledge that my default being makes life easier for me, although I would deny having an easy life as such. Unfortunately current society is encouraging more and more extremists, and they make “left wing” revolutionaries look rather tame. At least there are good people fighting back. Hate may be hard for you to define, but I don’t like you, Jordan Peterson, and I hate what you represent, what you say and how you say it.

  2. Yes,I agree that he shouldn’t dismiss Islamophobia. It’s a legitimate position.

    I’m proudly Islamophobic. I’m phobic of most religions in general.

    • Little Green fairies may live at the bottom of the garden but being phobic about them is another matter.

      Many mythical creatures control millions who dare not question what they are told.

      Fear institutionalised is effective in creating control and usually brings an income stream for the propagators of those fears.

      We are divided and so easily ruled.

      • Muslim’s may believe in fairies down the bottom of the garden but Islam is a set of beliefs and practices that lead to much suffering in the World. Disliking that is about as phobic as disliking Fascist or Communist ideology. I presume you think people are allowed to dislike those political ideas are you?

        • And yet, Gosman, most of the most bloody wars since the Roman Empire have been fought by supposedly ‘Christian’ nations. Especially against each other, or as colonial powers against their subjugated slave-colonies.

          How do you explain that?

          • Most “modern” (last century) wars promulgated by Western “Christian” nations have been secular in nature. The same cannot be said of Muslim countries. i.e. the West has “evolved” in this regard. That said, religion doesn’t make a jot of difference to those on receiving end of the bullets and bombs (e.g. WWII); so I’m surprised and disappointed you even took the Gosman shit-bait.

            • “Shit bait”? No. Because it’s pretty much an accurate representation of our history, post Roman Empire, Nitrium. European powers and then the United States have been at war with each other for the past two thousand years. Or carving up Africa. Or conquoring Central and South America. Or invading Middle East nations. Remember it was the “Christian” nations that launched religious ‘Crusades’ against muslim states. The muslim states didn’t invade Europe until much later.

              And then we have two world wars. The Napoleonic wars. The 100 Years War. the ‘X-Y-Z’ war… etc, etc. And the dozens of nations invaded/bombed/regime-changed by the US…

              When it comes to warfare and imperialism, Europe (and later the US) are the experts.

              As for “Christian” nations wars being “secular in nature” – that defies credulity. Christianity has been spread throughout the world, onto every continent. When it comes to an aggressive religion, it’s pretty hard to beat. The next time you’ll have door knockers at your house, I’ll bet you $100 they’re Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses – not muslim.

              • I did say over the last “century”. The West doesn’t promote Christianity via war now, and it hasn’t for a long time. My point is that Gosman was trolling us (as usual) by suggesting that religion (Islam) is a problem. It isn’t. War itself is the problem, and the West still starts and/or escalates wars (e.g. Iraq, WWII, Vietnam, Libya etc) for secular reasons on massive scale. The resulting destruction and death doesn’t care what your faith is or isn’t.

          • First off you are quite wrong that most of the Wars since the Roman Empire have been fought by supposedly ‘Christian’ nations. There has been hundreds and hundreds of Wars fought between non-Christian countries and peoples.

            Secondly, what has that got to do with whether Islam is an aggressive and dangerous ideology? Simply because some people who claim to be Christian attack other people does not make Christianity a militant faith. However if Jesus had demanded his followers fight other people until they submitted to his version of religion then it would be. Do you know which founder of a Religion DID demand his followers do that?

  3. two words for people like him one starts with f… and the other starts with o….
    we don’t need people like him is in our country

      • That’s fine, Gosman. But are we allowed to, you know, exercise our free speech by explaining why his ideology is so pernicious?

        Or does free speech flow only from the Right?

        You could just as easily apply your glib response, “Don’t go and hear him speak then” to left-wing blogsites. If you don’t agree/approve with what you read on The Standard and The Daily Blog – “Don’t go and read the articles then”.

        • Of course you’re allowed to exercise your free speech, and explain why you dislike what he has to say. Do expect to be called out when you’re misrepresenting his views though. I don’t always agree with Dr. Peterson either, but some of the vitriol I read lately has absolutely nothing to do with his actual views.

          So go, write your opinions, write your articles, protest outside his venues all you want. I draw the line at physically preventing people from entering, trying to shut down his talks, and damaging the venues where he’s speaking. I’ve seen too many such videos already, and they don’t do your points of view any good.

          Now if you’d like to debate some of his actual ideas: I’m all ears. 🙂

  4. This is just cheap virtue signalling. In this world there is injustice. What does the writer have to say about the sort of persecution going on against Christians in the middle east, If he is so concerned with human rights? Would the writer prefer to live in NZ or in Iran? It’s my understanding that homosexuals are thrown off roofs and women are second rate citizens in that part of the world. That’s ok, but someone with moderate traditional values is not? He has not called for violence anywhere. the writer wants to know JBP’s true motivations, but I’m equally suspect of the writers. The writer has clearly not done his research but is prepared to write a hit piece. Typical that the writer omits from the “gas the jews” quote he mentions, that it was a man dancing with a pug dog telling a joke and making fun of an animal he didn’t like. If the writer doesn’t appreciate the democratic values of freedom of speech, thought and religion he (with respect) is in the wrong country.

    The writer (no doubt) enjoys it here because of the very freedom he takes for granted. I’m offended by your attack on this man. What does the writer have say to that? It gladdens my heart that your friend’s son is interested and it brings me more joy that JBP is filling venues and peaking interest in a subject that faux compassionate intellectuals and SJW’s have have had a monopoly on for decades. If the writer is so interested in moderation and justice in respect to the islamic world I encourage he looks into Imam Mohammed Tawhidi.

      • That’s not as bad as writing “peaking” instead of “piquing” ;-). But I mostly agree with what you had to say regardless.

  5. Marxism is a murderous ideology, and the fact that we people defending it, and citing actual Marxists like Wolff as some kind of intellectual authority is deplorable.

    Like Peterson says, Wolff’s argument that modern criticisms of Marxism forget that it’s not 1935 anymore are like neo-Nazis arguing that it’s not 1945 anymore, and that fascism should be given another chance.

    Marxism cost the world 100 million. In the Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explains that Soviet tyranny was not some perversion of Marxism. It was its natural result.

    60 years later, in 2005, we had Hugo Chavez making arguments defending Marxist socialism that wouldn’t be out of place come from a leftwing student today, that the Soviet Union was not true socialism, but instead “state capitalism”:

    “It is impossible, within the framework of the capitalist system, to solve the grave problems of poverty of the majority of the world’s population,” the Venezuelan leader said. “We must transcend capitalism. But we cannot resort to state capitalism, which would be the same perversion of the Soviet Union. We must reclaim socialism as a thesis, a project, and a path, but a new type of socialism, a humanist one which puts humans and not machines or the state ahead of everything.”

    12 years later, Venezuelans were starving:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/19/Venezuela-75-of-population-lost-19-pounds-amid-crisis/2441487523377/

    The same thing happens every time.

    The world is too complex to govern based on crude and brutal ideological narratives like Marxism.

    • AMIN
      Have you read Das Kapital.

      You may have your opinion on Marx and no doubt it is based on something.

      Perhaps that something is what others have written about Marx.

      The world is too complex to govern based on crude and brutal ideological narratives like Capitalism where the few gather all the wealth.

  6. Marxism is a murderous ideology, and the fact that we see people defending it, and citing actual Marxists like Wolff as some kind of intellectual authority is deplorable.

    Like Peterson says, Wolff’s argument that modern criticisms of Marxism forget that it’s not 1935 anymore are like neo-Nazis arguing that it’s not 1945 anymore, and that fascism should be given another chance.

    Marxism cost the world 100 million. In the Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explains that Soviet tyranny was not some perversion of Marxism. It was its natural result.

    60 years later, in 2005, we had Hugo Chavez making arguments defending Marxist socialism that wouldn’t be out of place come from a leftwing student today, that the Soviet Union was not true socialism, but instead “state capitalism”:

    “It is impossible, within the framework of the capitalist system, to solve the grave problems of poverty of the majority of the world’s population,” the Venezuelan leader said. “We must transcend capitalism. But we cannot resort to state capitalism, which would be the same perversion of the Soviet Union. We must reclaim socialism as a thesis, a project, and a path, but a new type of socialism, a humanist one which puts humans and not machines or the state ahead of everything.”

    12 years later, Venezuelans were starving:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/19/Venezuela-75-of-population-lost-19-pounds-amid-crisis/2441487523377/

    The same thing happens every time.

    The world is too complex to govern based on crude and brutal ideological narratives like Marxism.

    • Yet Karl Marx was not murderous, he drank and had many wives but he was not murderous. What was murderous at the time was Great Britain. We are meant to revere Great Britian but we are not supposed to read up on great Britian. If people had of read up on great Britian we would not blame Marixst ideology for the great famines of India and Great Britian, we would blame Neo-feudal Britian. Another argument brought up in criticism of Marxism is the canabal island and again, we are meant to revere it, not read up on it. In fact there are instance of starvation and cannibalism right accross Europe during WW2 for which we surely can not blame Marx ideology for, but we are meant to revere it, not read up on it.

      Jordan Petersons models of Marxist ideology is something you’d expect from a first year economist who learns just enough to make Whitby replys but fails at sustainable modelling. You can make long and distinguished lists against Marxist ideology but I see the need for internal security radically reduced after the communist collapse and fall of The Wall. I just don’t think it is likely that communism can make new converts or make subversive threats as Hitlers socialism once did.

      When the myth of in instability that history was on there side and was on the other side going the other way to the future. Peterson can generate a certain urges to bring about spectacular changes in society and such in the idealist as they did in my 80’s generation and they did, and the generations in the 70’s and so on. In the 80’s we started wobbling but in the 90’s it’s possible to get anarchists, Trotskyites but you will not get hardline, disciplined communists.

    • “Marxism is a murderous ideology”.. Idiot…. Marxism is a political/economic philosophy that has cooperation between all strata of society as its founding principle…
      You make the common lazy minded assumption that totalitarianism is a purely communist invention… Totalitarianism, whether perpetrated by left, or right wing collectives, has nothing to do with either communism, or capitalism…
      I realise that for the less intellectually endowed among us, that is a step too far to be able, or willing to see this basic reality, but it is there whether one wants to admit it or not… When a historical perspective is taken, then it is patently obvious that the Europeans, under the banner of their religion, began invading, and murdering moslems within two centuries of the KOran being written… Twenty guesses as to why the islamic world regards any christian as “the old enemy”..

  7. This is pathetic. I’m also part of a despised minority, particularly among the NZ left
    However aside from knowing little about Marxism leninism, Jordan Peters on is flippin fantastic.

    Every young man should read his 12 rules for life
    Yeah some of his stuff in don’t agree on, but no one is perfect. What do you want? A flippin guru to do all your thinking for you?

    Put your head down, work hard, study hard, start a new technology, be an expert in something and flippin contribute to humanity. As Peters on says that is where happiness comes from. If someone gives you racist shit smash him, verbally or physically. Don’t get on your knees anf be a victim. Smash them and become powerful so you can smash them even more. Don’t put out a begging bowl for their good will. Don’t be a prop for white liberals to virtue signal.

    • “My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness.”

      Jack Kerouac – On The Road

  8. I was a revolutionary leftist, at a point where I needed to answer some really basic questions. Why for example, would people be so happy to watch others suffer? And how come it was so easy to turn away?
    These things made no sense to me. So what was I missing?
    Well I began to explore and I began to understan,d where the likes of Peterson and the IDW are coming from…

    People we are on the same side – trying to relieve the suffering.

    To do it, we can’t leave any stone un-turned.

    Everything must be said, brought out into the open and analysed.

    That way we can agree our terms and agree our goals and we can make some form of social progress.
    There must be free speech for this to happen.
    And argument on the issues. Not attacks on individuals.
    Maybe you are right to try and discredit Peterson. Maybe you are right to remove the help, or simple encouragement that he has been able to provide for thousands of young people but your argument needs to be better formed than this.
    With love, and respect
    Bring it…

  9. hahaha. came across this website by accident but I must say I rarely read something that amusing. The author has clearly no idea whatsoever what she’s talking about. If Jordan Peterson would start reading this thing he would stop after first few sentences and throw it away so he won’t waste his time. just ridiculous. Maybe before you start writing something do some research on what you’re writing about. and maybe some thinking as well. There is no harm in that.

  10. you have not mentioned or cited one specific thing that you disagree with. he standas by his arguments but you offer nothing but denigration. he may be right about some things and wrong about others but it is incumbent on you not to generalise.

Comments are closed.