Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > More Thoughts on the Snake Oil Salesman du jour, Jordan Peterson: 3

More Thoughts on the Snake Oil Salesman du jour, Jordan Peterson: 3

In my previous post about this snake oil salesman, I made the point that his sudden rise to fame was due to lack of competition in combination with a rapidly growing number of disillusioned, young and mostly white men. And this brings us to the question as to how so many young white men lost faith in the status quo. Well.. the detailed answer to that question is long and complex.

The most compact version goes something like this: post-WW2 prosperity in the west and the resultant false equilibrium favoring white men kept alive an older belief that white men were somehow inherently superior and the “chosen people”. As the course of events within the last two decades have shown, that particular belief turned out to be erroneous.

So what do people of average-ish intelligence do after being faced with the reality that they are not special or chosen? Historically speaking, they double down on their beliefs and seek clever charismatic people who are happy to tell them what they want to hear for the right price. That is how Mussolini, Hitler and other fascistic leaders got into power in the post-WW1 era. That is also why various “holy men” in ridiculous costumes command the devotion of millions in India.

Even before the rise of Jordan Peterson, signs of this problem were plainly visible to anyone who was willing to see them. Ever wonder why there were so many american cop and detective shows in the 1990-2010 era in which they were portrayed as smart and fair? What about all those TV shows and movies from that same era where the american army was portrayed as invincible? Or the current obsession with superhero movies?

Sadly, there is always a market for material which makes defeated rubes feel relevant and good about themselves. But there is more to snake oil than simply reassuring people that things will be all right or the previous status quo will magically return. All successful snake oil salesmen also peddle hope under the guise of “self-improvement”. To be clear, I am not against the concept of providing people help to improve the quality of their lives.

My issue with “self-improvement” material comes down to laughably fraudulent claims made by its purveyors. Reading a book on how to become a millionaire might help you make a few better financial decisions, but it is unlikely to make you rich. Similarly trying to become a venture capital funded entrepreneur or working for a startup is unlikely to make you rich, though it may make you more cynical about humanity and less likely to make bad career decisions in your future.

But that is not how most defeated rubes see the world. They actually believe that following the instructions in some book, podcast or YouTube channel will make them super rich, sexually irresistible or whatever else is being peddled. The cleverest snake oil salesman sell contemporary fantasies and can thus enter a new market. There is a reason why books about ‘game’ sold like hot cakes in the last decade, but would not have had that success in previous decades.

As I said in my previous post, Jordan Peterson is peddling a particular fantasy which appeals to kind of people who, in a previous era, would have held CONservative beliefs. The problem with the fantasy he is selling are twofold. Firstly- his empty platitudes and appeals to traditional authority allow his followers to believe that the corpse of traditional CONservatism can be resurrected. He is thus setting up his followers for a huge disappointment in the future, but that won’t matter to him as he will have moved to another scam by then.

The second, and even more problematic part of his scam, is that he is putting the responsibility of failure on his followers- why is another hallmark of a cult. You see, cult-leaders never “fail”. It is always their less-than-enthusiastic followers who fail themselves. Your CONservative utopia did not materialize because you weren’t enthusiastic enough. And yes, that is very reminiscent of MLM marketing scams because they are, after all, secular cults.

Peterson does not explain, or glosses over, the parts on how his followers newfound devotion to CONservative values will translate into more stable jobs, more traditional wives and all the other old-timey CONservative goodies he is implicitly promising. I mean.. how will having traditional values stop your job from being made precarious by rampant financialization? How will your having traditional values affect the fact that you wife wants to be fucked like a ragdoll by some alpha guy? How will men believing in traditional values affect the fact that most divorces are initiated by women? My point is that he is selling non-solutions to real problems.

The problems which drive rubes to people like Peterson are due to primary and secondary structural changes in the socio-economic order. Some, such as the rise of feminism (in all its forms) are almost inevitable. However many others such as rampant income and wealth inequality, poor job and career security, laws and rules which preferentially penalize men to benefit women and the overall nihilistic zeitgeist caused by late-stage capitalism are not inevitable. Changing those things however requires approaches that are quite different and far more radical than the secularized CONservatism preached by Peterson.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. June 16, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah funny you mentioned this…. “Do it yourself” and “Everything wrong in your life is 10000% YOUR FAULT you POS” kind of thinking/talk IS THE NEW RELIGION! Even aside from Peterson, I see this everywhere.

    It’s not new, but the extremeness of it is imo. Pretty soon, being under a certain income threshold will be a crime punishable by death, as that person is obviously not trying hard enough and is therefore a net burden on society.

    Ofc govmnt public services will be gone by then bc TRUE Libertarians dont need roads and clean water… psshhh LEACHES!! This country is trash…… It was a bitter fucking decade long pill to swallow, but places like this blog literally saved my life, I thought it was just me or I was crazy but yeah… FUCK NO

  2. P Ray
    June 17, 2018 at 12:43 am

    The idea that “success or failure in the game of life, is totally up to you” is a moronic statement considering the government can change the rules at any time. But taking it to extremes of belief, is the mark of CONservative thinking.
    The very very few exceptions to the rule … just prove it.

    Optimism is great, but it doesn’t fill the stomach.
    and people hectoring others about negativity … doesn’t magically cause dollars to appear in that person’s wallet.

    In a sense, that when done against someone but especially in public, is simply a type of virtue-signalling.

  3. Craig
    June 17, 2018 at 6:31 am

    @P Ray; Cuckservative Thinking, fixed it for ya. 😉 But if you meant CON in confidence games, that works too.

    • Craig
      June 17, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Looks above at AD’s post, yeah my bad, I’m autistic.

  4. Shiningtime
    June 17, 2018 at 10:14 am

    This post smells of nihilism and defeatism. I am a believer in self-improvemnt. I do believe people can better themselves by putting in the work. It’s also important for people to have hope…after all a hopeless person is even more susceptible to these snake oil salesmen.

    Did you read the part where I said..

    “To be clear, I am not against the concept of providing people help to improve the quality of their lives. My issue with “self-improvement” material comes down to laughably fraudulent claims made by its purveyors.”

    • 99% libertarians are working poor
      June 17, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Every time i have heard the word nihilism,it was uttered by shitty uneducated rubes spounting conservative dogma.
      I doubt this time is any different.

    • P Ray
      June 17, 2018 at 11:13 am

      @shiningtime: LEL, start by improving your spelling. Programmes don’t compile when keywords are not spelt correctly.
      “Better yourself by putting in the work” has constraints as well, as follows (probably non-exhaustive but I can’t be arsed to list down all the permutations):
      1. Other people have to recognise you are better.
      2. The opportunity cost of bettering yourself means you forsake doing other things – maybe ever your core competency.
      3. There has to be a market for your “bettered ability”.
      4. You have to be compensated fairly.

      All of the above break down when there is a lack of trust. And it seems, when you look good people have more trust in you. Just ask Ted Bundy, he was really good with women!

      • P Ray
        June 17, 2018 at 11:15 am

        Correction:
        2. The opportunity cost of bettering yourself means you forsake doing other things – maybe ever your core competency.
        should read
        2. The opportunity cost of bettering yourself means you forsake doing other things – maybe even your core competency.

  5. June 17, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    If you fail, it is because you didn’t do enough cold approaches, er pull yourself up by the bootstraps hard enough, er clean your room enough….

    It’s funny that all the puatards like Douche 5 and Fartiste are now tradcons…

    It’s also interesting that just like Huggs Skeezer, this guy rose to fame as an academic….

    He would likely attribute his success to “hard work” even though politicking was a bigger part of it than that. Huggs skeezed his way with society’s hatred of low staus men, I wonder how differnt JP really is at the end of the day…

    • P Ray
      June 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Maybe I can use their real names …
      but RooshV, Heartiste and Hugo Schwyzer have never said their advice is going to work for ugly/regular guys.
      The idea is when you create drama with a woman, she’ll be “intrigued”, what they left out is your looks have to be worth it.

      Women only agonise about the approval of the guy they’re attracted to. Every other guy is literally invisible to them, except as walking wallets, movable shields or mobile ladders.

      But that would have torpedoed their audience numbers so RooshV, Heartiste and Hugo Schwyzer don’t talk about that.

  6. June 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    oh yeah, as far as his products…

    One thing about the “personality test”-there are free versions including one from Anthony Robbins. My understanding is that this test uses less questions than other personality tests. The questions are almost like a good cop/bad cop setup on allot of these tests and they ask essentially the same question slightly different ways. These tests are easily gamed. For example if you were taking one for employment, you would likely try to portray yourself as higher in agreeability and conscienciosness than you actually are. And you may want to show yourself as lower in openness to experience, though many companies say they want “out of the box thinkers.” Also, it is well known that convicts game these sorts of tests all the time….

  7. Not Born This Morning
    June 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    “My point is that he is selling non-solutions to real problems.”

    He is actually selling the same problems back to the people who are affected by them and he knows he will be successful since they bought it before. It was the MO they bought to begin with, he is only repackaging it. They still want same thing (to believe in the same lies) but to save face, it needs a new skin and a new marketer. SOS – Same O’l Shit.

  8. NF
    June 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Want to have a real fun time? Listen to Petersen debate Sam Harris. Both of them are fucking retards and the level of utter nonsense gets so high that they both evolve into their super Saiyan forms.

  9. June 25, 2018 at 10:29 am

    More like non-solutions to some real problems AND non-problems. Is it anyone else’s business if people lose interest in their spouses and become naturally attracted to or curious about other people? Or the fact that, again, “shit happens”, which is sometimes beyond our control…?

  10. Mice
    June 28, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Why does Peterson think that he is saying something special when he exhorts people (primarily men) to take individual responsibility, work hard and make a lot of money, or to blame themselves when they don’t make a lot of money?

    Isn’t that what neo-liberalism is all about?

  11. Mice
    June 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    What does Peterson think a farmer in Pakistan tells his son? “Son, don’t work hard, don’t take any responsibility. Just beat your wife and rape underage girls and pray to Allah. If you do this, you will die a rich happy man!”? Is this what a farmer in Pakistan tells his son? Is this why farmers in Pakistan are poor and Peterson is rich?

  12. Andrew Vanbarner
    June 29, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Peterson actually rails against government excesses – Canada’s SJWs are even worse than ours – and it is precisely those government excesses in family courts, regulatory agencies, and legislatures that create the conditions that are destroying men, and are therefore destroying nuclear families and, unquestionably, society.
    Peterson’s other main point is that personal responsibility creates meaning in your life. No, being accomplished, responsible, and healthy won’t completely prevent your wife leaving you for an “alpha,” nor would it prevent the police/welfare state from crushing you with the full force of law.
    But being strong, accomplished, responsible, and healthy puts you in a much better position NO MATTER WHAT happens.
    A man with skills, strength, and health can weather a bad divorce, or a lawsuit, or even destitution far better than a weak, unhealthy, or hapless person ever could.
    At some point in your life, you probably will experience a severe crisis. You may very well lose everything. These events, actually, happen to the majority of human beings, and no knowledgeable person can honestly say that men are favored in our society, at all. (The deck is and always has been stacked against us, which is why only we have to register for the draft, and why family courts are designed to destroy men.)
    But would you rather face these crises with muscles, a flat stomach, an education and a strong skill set, and a healthy emotional outlook, or would you rather face them with an obese and weak body, and empty mind, and a labile personality?
    It seems obvious that the former is far preferable.

    • P Ray
      June 29, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      What makes your exhortations any more different that Schwyzer and Peterson?
      Remember, participating – or not retaliating against – a system that treats you as a second class citizen, means you accept it.

      is it very good for self-dignity to be a punching bag?
      And what benefit does it give you?

      Looking forward to your answers.

    • P Ray
      June 29, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Also you left out the fact that after you get battered by #metoo, divorce and lawsuits …
      you’ll be OLDER, and by the age of 35 onwards ageism comes into full effect.

      And for every dollar you make as an employee, you are expected to deliver 20 times more to the company.

      So, unless you have a bunch of friends around you (let me know how many are divorced, were previously accused of sexual harassment and sued) willing to give you a chance … better scale back your expectations and live frugally, because “you’re out of the club and not coming back in”.

      Of course, I’ve heard people tell me the BS of “but I’ve seen guys who were beaten down get relationships” … ya, with women who were either kicked off the cock carousel, and have to settle … or the ones suffering with the baggage of abuse, disease, financial distress, mental problems or pregnancy.

    • June 30, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Irrelevant of body type, any man with a brain and sense of agency, free will and personal choice can avoid those situations simply by just not marrying and having children. Just live for yourself and focus on self-development throughout ALL stages of life. As it was said before here in another topic, once you stop believing that marriage-and-family is supposed to be some “gold standard”, you are the freest MF in the world. Even my stepfather told me this when I was 17 and he was right.

      Just don’t marry, have children or cater to the system – and keep the system out of your personal choices and affairs – and you are FREE!

      • P Ray
        July 1, 2018 at 5:56 am

        You fail to see the idea that by even paying taxes the system is already in your life Mr. Alpha.
        If you’re from a step-family – therefore singlemom-ed, it kind of explains the “macho” alpha attitude.
        Again, tell me how your focus on self-development is going to avoid ageism?
        If every man is an island, every woman is a cuntry.

        You can be named as the father even if you don’t know the woman.

      • July 1, 2018 at 6:07 am

        You seem to enjoy arguing and hyperbole. It doesn’t make sense what you’re saying.

        For one, my mother and biological father divorced when I was 11. That’s life, shit happens and people shouldn’t stay in a relationship they don’t want because of kids – especially if the relationship involves abuse, boredom or stress.

        As far as taxes, so what? That can be the ONLY way the system is in your life granted we all pay taxes, license registries, etc. But the system doesn’t have to chain you unless you fall for their honey traps. There’s a difference between being in the system and being totally controlled and chained to it.

        Also, self development may not avoid ageism, but it can help not only age better, but to have grand health and healthy relationships and to avoid unnecessary shitty situations.

        I don’t have to worry about fathering a kid with a woman I don’t know because there are blood tests, vasectomies and contraceptions, plus the fact that I can watch my own back out here.

      • P Ray
        July 1, 2018 at 6:24 am

        You seem to enjoy arguing and hyperbole. It doesn’t make sense what you’re saying.
        If you try refuting what I’m saying, it means I make enough sense for you to have to defend your choices …

      • P Ray
        July 1, 2018 at 7:17 am

        You seem to enjoy arguing and hyperbole. It doesn’t make sense what you’re saying.
        OK boss.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5906109/College-student-sues-woman-false-rape-allegation.html
        College student sues woman for $6million claiming her false rape accusation at a frat party has destroyed his life
        Catherine Reddington, 22, claims she was raped by Alex Goldman after a drunken frat party at Syracuse University in New York in April 2017
        She has aired the allegations repeatedly on social media in the past month calling Goldman ‘a rapist’
        Goldman, also 22, was expelled from the university after the claims surfaced
        He was recently fired from his summer internship at an engineering firm after Reddington contacted them over social media about the claims
        Goldman, who was never arrested or charged over the incident, filed a $6million defamation lawsuit against his accuser last week
        A police investigation into the allegations found no evidence that Reddington had been raped or even had a sexual encounter with Goldman that night

        Keep on living your bluepill dream Mr. Odessa!

  13. P Ray
    September 11, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Just dropping this here:

    That’s Jordan Peterson’s daughter, showing off to other men, after she’s already married.

    As usual, he gets exposed as the fella who tells other men to be worthy,
    while he has a very unworthy daughter.

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