In an effort to portray his detractors as conspiracy theorists, Peterson ignores the crux of the Alt Right argument on the JQ.
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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fan of Dr. Jordan Peterson. His message about “cleaning your room” is spot on—everyone should seek to get their personal lives in order before they focus too heavily on activism. What he said about the power of speaking the truth helped forever change my life—it led me to embrace more radical ideas and advocate for them at great personal cost. And despite Peterson’s unverified claims about how he turned “thousands” of young men away from the alt-right, I know of several friends who followed a similar path from Peterson to more dissident right-wing ideas—and none who went the other way.
Regardless, the point here is that I have great respect for Jordan Peterson. But my respect for him did make his recent blog post about the Jewish Question so much more disappointing to me. Not because I disagree with Peterson on this issue—I can handle disagreement with others just fine, and to be honest I expect him to hold the views that he does because if he didn’t, he’d almost certainly get kicked off of Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and every credit card payment processor, lose positive coverage from Fox News, and probably get prosecuted for some kind of “hate speech” in Canada. In short, I don’t expect everyone to agree on the Jewish Question, and I don’t expect those who do to publicly come out and discuss it, because the personal cost of doing so is often too great.
No, it wasn’t my disagreement with Dr. Peterson that I found disappointing, but rather the unfair and, quite frankly, emotionally unhinged way that he covered the this important issue. Instead of giving his views in a fair and respectful manner, he was quick to poison the well by implying that anyone who disagrees with him is an evil pathological loser who believes in crazy conspiracy theories. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In other words, Dr. Peterson relies on personal attacks, psychologizing, straw men, and false alternatives to make his flimsy case regarding Jewish success in modern Western societies. So let’s delve into what Dr. Peterson wrote (All emphases added).
“The players of identity politics on the far right continue ever-so-pathologically to beat the anti-Semitic drum, pointing to the over-representation of Jews in positions of authority, competence and influence (including revolutionary movements). I’m called upon—sometimes publicly, sometimes on social media platforms—to comment on such matters, and criticized when I hesitate to do so (although God only knows why I would hesitate :)
So let’s take apart the far-right claims:
First, psychologically speaking: why do the reactionary conspiracy theorists even bother?”
Okay, let’s stop right here. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Take note of how Dr. Peterson sets up a false alternative, right from the get-go: you’re either with me or you’re a pathologically anti-Semitic reactionary conspiracy theorist. What kind of image does this terminology evoke in your head?
You can’t, in the world that Dr. Peterson sets up here, disagree with him on the Jewish Question and not want to murder millions of people. You can’t recognize the problem with Jewish influence on society and want some kind of peaceful resolution to it. No, you must be a pathologically murderous prick if you disagree with Peterson here.
In other words, Dr. Peterson doesn’t leave any room for nuance or respectful disagreement. He doesn’t sound like an academic at all, but like a left-wing SJW demagogue who wants to purge all thought-criminals off of the face of this earth.
“This is a straightforward matter. If you’re misguided enough to play identity politics, whether on the left or the right, then you require a victim (in the right-wing case, European culture or some variant) and a perpetrator (Jews). Otherwise you can’t play the game (a YouTube video I made explicating the rules can be found here).
Once you determine to play, however, you benefit in a number of ways. You can claim responsibility for the accomplishments of your group you feel racially/ethnically akin to without actually having to accomplish anything yourself. That’s convenient. You can identify with the hypothetical victimization of that group and feel sorry for yourself and pleased at your compassion simultaneously. Another unearned victory. You simplify your world radically, as well.
All the problems you face now have a cause, and a single one, so you can dispense with the unpleasant difficulty of thinking things through in detail. Bonus.
Furthermore, and most reprehensibly: you now have someone to hate (and, what’s worse, with a good conscience) so your unrecognized resentment and cowardly and incompetent failure to deal with the world forthrightly can find a target, and you can feel morally superior in your consequent persecution (see Germany, Nazi for further evidence and information).”
Here, Dr. Peterson continues with his psychologizing, but this time, in addition to being pathologically anti-Semitic reactionary conspiracy theorists, everyone who disagrees with him is also a loser. To Peterson, anyone who holds any nationalistic views does so solely because they haven’t accomplished enough in their own lives.
Peterson locks out the possibility of simply loving your country, your culture, and your people because they’re yours. He locks out the possibility of people wanting to keep their people and their culture around for generations to come because they enjoy it and because they want their children and their grandchildren to enjoy it. No, in Peterson’s world, you either agree with him or you’re a loser.
The problem is this simply doesn’t match up with reality. Many in the alt-right and the broader dissident right are young men in high school and college. But those of us who are older tend to be rather successful—at least the ones who haven’t been doxxed and driven out of their careers. All of my alt-right friends are college graduates and most are computer programmers, lawyers, mortgage bankers, engineers, and so on. Those who don’t work in these fields often work in skilled trades.
This isn’t some group of losers. As Dr. Steven Pinker noted, alt-righters are “highly literate, highly intelligent” and “internet savvy, media savvy.”
Continue reading at Fash the Nation.
Source: Fash the Nation
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