Jordan Peterson Back on His Feet

 

Jordan Peterson showed up on my personal radar not too long before he wrote his best seller 12 Rules for Life. After his book came out, I bought my son tickets to one of Peterson’s lectures when he spoke in Dallas with David Rubin.  We went together that night and it was fascinating. You could tell then that there was something going on with the Peterson phenomenon that warranted a closer look. The audience looked nothing like the characterization of Peterson’s following that was being touted by the media. It wasn’t a gathering of disaffected young men. Disaffected young men probably couldn’t afford the price of the tickets.

After that lecture tour, Peterson lived through several years of health and emotional crises and only over the last year or so reappeared in public and started blogging, writing, and podcasting again.  Ever since his reappearance, he has seemed fragile and weaker, with less verbal command than before he got sick.  At least he’s seemed that way to me.

This week he sat down with Peter Robinson for an interview at a forum at Stanford and it is maybe the most formidable interview I have ever seen Peterson do, certainly since before he got sick but probably ever. He seems to be very much back on his feet and in a take-no-prisoners mode in this interview.

One of the subjects he takes up is his view that free speech is indistinguishable from thought and thus free speech is not merely one right among many others. It is central to human existence. Peterson has thought about this idea…a lot.

Very much worth watching.

.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 25 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    He would be the first to tell you that fighting the dragon can take a toll.

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    His battles for free speech and truth have worn him down. It was really heartbreaking to hear him describe his situation in the universities. He’s afraid that any students he might have would be somehow tainted by association with him, and furthermore, he won’t sign or write the woke statements required. He must be fighting discouragement every day. It really has gotten worse.

    He began much of his life’s work odyssey in the mental company of Solzhenitsyn. He can imagine where these trends are leading.

    It felt as though I was watching a man alone.

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    His detractors don’t get him.

    • #3
  4. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Thanks. I will listen to this later. 

    And those who express concern for Dr. Peterson, please do drop an encouraging line to him on his YouTube channel or elsewhere in his social media presence. 

    • #4
  5. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Michael Walsh points this as the battle between good and evil, a battle that has existed throughout human history. It is on interesting concept that literary departments were ground zero because the heroic narrative teaches us while literary departments are eliminating these narratives using critical theory accusations , the dead man, white supremacy accusation.

    • #5
  6. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    MarciN (View Comment):

    His battles for free speech and truth have worn him down. It was really heartbreaking to hear him describe his situation in the universities. He’s afraid that any students he might have would be somehow tainted by association with him, and furthermore, he won’t sign or write the woke statements required. He must be fighting discouragement every day. It really has gotten worse.

    He has, in fact, resigned from his tenured position at the University of Toronto. He describes the reasons in this editorial at the National Post:

    First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates

    My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?

    Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough…. This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job.

    That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.

    All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same.

    And that is only small sample of the points he makes.

    • #6
  7. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    MarciN (View Comment):
    He began much of his life’s work odyssey in the mental company of Solzhenitsyn. He can imagine where these trends are leading.

    Precisely. The people who control our universities are the intellectual and moral descendants of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Mussolini–even of Hitler when you notice what black nationalists do indeed say.

    • #7
  8. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    His detractors don’t get him.

    No,  his detractors do get him.   They are just evil.

    • #8
  9. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    His detractors don’t get him.

    On the contrary: I maintain that most of his detractors do understand him. They recognize him as a genuine threat to their evil programs.

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Keith Lowery:

    Ever since his reappearance, he has seemed fragile and weaker, with less verbal command than before he got sick.  At least he’s seemed that way to me.

    I got the opposite impression. More like what you say below . . .

    He seems to be very much back on his feet and in a take-no-prisoners mode in this interview.

     

    • #10
  11. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    MarciN (View Comment):

    His battles for free speech and truth have worn him down. It was really heartbreaking to hear him describe his situation in the universities. He’s afraid that any students he might have would be somehow tainted by association with him, and furthermore, he won’t sign or write the woke statements required. He must be fighting discouragement every day. It really has gotten worse.

    He began much of his life’s work odyssey in the mental company of Solzhenitsyn. He can imagine where these trends are leading.

    It felt as though I was watching a man alone.

    He ain’t alone. He just ain’t. Blacks who happen to believe and gays who happen to believe in free speech and everybody else wants to be on his podcast and talk about how free speech is great. Feel bad for his health issues if you want but not for his loneliness

    • #11
  12. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    His battles for free speech and truth have worn him down. It was really heartbreaking to hear him describe his situation in the universities. He’s afraid that any students he might have would be somehow tainted by association with him, and furthermore, he won’t sign or write the woke statements required. He must be fighting discouragement every day. It really has gotten worse.

    He began much of his life’s work odyssey in the mental company of Solzhenitsyn. He can imagine where these trends are leading.

    It felt as though I was watching a man alone.

    He ain’t alone. He just ain’t. Blacks who happen to believe and gays who happen to believe in free speech and everybody else wants to be on his podcast and talk about how free speech is great. Feel bad for his health issues if you want but not for his loneliness

    He is not completely alone, but he is badly outnumbered. (Where are all those moderate, reasonable liberals who claim to value free speech?) So “alone” is a reasonable shorthand for his situation.

    • #12
  13. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Victor Davis Hanson, commenting on the Nazi takeover of academia in 1930’s Germany, has said that even in his own field of Classics the result was a generation of academic publishing which was so poisoned by ideology as to be essentially useless. (We needn’t go into the similar disasters unleashed in fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, and Communist China.) The American left is doing its best to enact its own version of those horrors.

    EDIT: Sorry, I do not remember where VDH said that. It could have been a recent podcast or it could have been an article in the New Criterion or elsewhere.

    • #13
  14. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    I watched Dr. Peterson in the interview and it dawn on me that he is gaining the Prophet Moses look.  Given his life trials over the past three years is it any wonder.  

    • #14
  15. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good. 

    • #15
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    His detractors don’t get him.

    On the contrary: I maintain that most of his detractors do understand him. They recognize him as a genuine threat to their evil programs.

    All true, but I mostly meant his detractors on the right. 

    • #16
  17. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    His detractors don’t get him.

    On the contrary: I maintain that most of his detractors do understand him. They recognize him as a genuine threat to their evil programs.

    All true, but I mostly meant his detractors on the right.

    Ah, I see. I’ll agree with you depending on which segments of the right we’re talking about: The white nationalists do, I think, understand him, but (like the left) they construct attacks based not so much on the actual areas of disagreement as upon what they think might make good propaganda. Hence, for instance, the far-right claims that Jordan Peterson is building a sinister cult movement.

    • #17
  18. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    • #18
  19. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

     

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    Quite a good assessment, there, Paul. I might quibble that Peterson’s view as a Jungian puts different emphases in his engagement with Marxist ideology and attacks it more directly as an anti-human ideology in a way that many do not. 

    The left does not love the new. Their Marxist war on the middle class is not bringing about progress, but regresss, creating a neo-feudal social order. 

    • #19
  20. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West.  He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical  thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War.  Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them.  I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him.  But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    • #20
  21. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West. He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War. Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them. I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him. But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    I think I’d prefer Douglass Murray’s book.

    • #21
  22. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West. He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War. Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them. I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him. But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    I think I’d prefer Douglass Murray’s book.

    Just bought it and The Great Reset..

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West. He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War. Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them. I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him. But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    I think I’d prefer Douglass Murray’s book.

    Just bought it and The Great Reset..

    The War on the West was the book I was referring to.

    • #23
  24. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West. He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War. Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them. I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him. But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    I think I’d prefer Douglass Murray’s book.

    Just bought it and The Great Reset..

    The War on the West was the book I was referring to.

    Yes, that was the Murray book I bought in addition to Beck’s Great Reset. 

    • #24
  25. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Thanks. I watched it and linked on social media. The man’s dissection of the consequences of Marxism in society and politics is very good.

    One of the criticisms of Peterson that I keep running into is that he is “not original”.* In other words, he and his opinions should be dismissed out of hand not because he is wrong but because “it’s all been said before” and only entirely new ideas are deserving of our attention (much less our respect.) This is, of course, quite disingenuous giving the left’s continued embrace of old discredited ideas. It’s also quite convenient because it relieves leftists of the need to actually engage with his arguments. But suppose his insights are mostly ones that have been made before (by people like Orwell, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc.), so what? That does not make him wrong. And in today’s world where the left has succeeded in thoroughly corrupting academia and culture, telling a simple truth is a revolutionary act.

    * Academia’s foolish obsession with being original is a topic for another day.

    I’m currently 1/4 through Oswald Spengler’s : The Decline of the West. He speaks of the general corruption of the ethical/intellectual/philosophical thinking of the European intelligentsia and ruling classes, and their dismissal of the lessons of history when history’s lessons contradict their social and nationalistic/imperialistic fever dreams, lead to the the First World War. Academia of the period didn’t like Spengler and Spengler didn’t like them. I would like to recommend the book, but I only have enough intellect to take him in small doses only, so it’s going to take me a while to work through him. But hay, I made it through Toynbee.

    I think I’d prefer Douglass Murray’s book.

    Just bought it and The Great Reset..

    The War on the West was the book I was referring to.

    Yes, that was the Murray book I bought in addition to Beck’s Great Reset.

    • #25
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.