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Posts Tagged ‘jordan peterson’

Slavoj Žižek is Just Another CONartist aka Modern “Public Intellectual”

May 2, 2019 7 comments

Some time ago, a reader asked me about my thoughts on Slavoj Žižek. I believe this request was linked to a recent public debate between him and Jordan Peterson. As some might remember, I had previously written a short series about the another CONartist aka Jordan Peterson. And let me be upfront about something else.. I have always seen “public intellectuals” as nothing more than mountebanks, frauds and house slaves. To be clear, I am not implying that every famous intellectual is a fraud. People such as Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Nassim Taleb etc achieved a lot in their fields of expertise before becoming famous intellectuals. Now contrast them to alleged “public intellectuals” such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Charles Murray and other TED-talker types.

But what really separates people such as Sagan, Feynman, Hawking or Taleb from mountebanks such Tyson, Dawkins, Harris and Murray. For starters, people in the first category derive most of their livelihood from being really good at whatever they do for a living. Sagan would have been an world-famous astrophysicist even if he never written a single popular science book or made a TV show. Feynman and Hawking would still be world-renowned physicists even if they hadn’t written a single popular book. Taleb had made tens of millions at least a decade before writing his first book. Those in the second category, in sharp contrast, derive most of their livelihood from being famous and known as “intellectuals- like how Kim Kardashian is famous for being famous.

Let us now move on to the topic of Žižek, or to be more precise- why he is a mediocre CONartist aka contemporary “public intellectual”. But before we go there, let me briefly describe how much of his content I went through before reaching that conclusion. The short version is that I viewed over 12 hours of his lectures (made over a period of at least 6 years) on YouTube. In addition, I read the transcripts of over a dozen interviews and other articles written by him over the past decade. Which is another way of telling you that I did not reach my conclusions about him lightly or because of the opinions of other people. While he is not as big a fraud as Peterson, Dawkins, Harris and Murray- he is a fraud, nonetheless. And here is why..

1] If you have watched more than a few minutes of Žižek talking in public, you will notice that he has some long-standing neurological issues affecting control of his upper body- especially hands. While there is no point in speculating on the likely cause, it is especially apparent when he is talking into a camera. After watching many of his videos, I noticed something even more peculiar- namely, that his movement disorder is far less pronounced when he is not looking at the camera. Also, his long-standing condition was under far better control before he became famous. While some of you might think that this might have something to do with aging or his underlying condition progressing, I think there is a different explanation.

Žižek’s audience until a few years ago was more local and European than it is today. But what could this possibly have to do with the public manifestation of his condition. Well.. audiences in Anglo and some Asian societies are far more likely to associate wisdom with an odd physical appearance and body language than continental European societies. This is why gurus, spiritual leaders and other assorted godmen with unusual or distinctive physical appearances are far more common in some societies than others. While he probably did not go down this road deliberately, Žižek seems to have realized that his persona gets a bigger reaction and audience if he lets his neurological condition manifest itself to the fullest extent.

2] If you have watched some of Žižek’s videos from start to end, you might have found out about his appointments at many ‘elite’ universities in the anglosphere. But why would these institutions, operating under the paradigm of neoliberalism, bother to acknowledge the existence of a self-described Marxist let alone pay for that association? While there are those who might attribute this to western universities appreciating free thought, a more likely explanation is that Žižek is harmless- like Noam Chomsky. In other words, their association with him carries no risk while simultaneously allowing them to pretend that they are intellectually tolerant.

You might have also noticed that his philosophical musings are about the pervasiveness of capitalism throughout the contemporary world. And while he points out the problems inherent in this setup- he artfully dodges any talk about how the status quo can be changed. In my opinion, this goes a long way towards explaining why so many ‘elite’ western universities are perfectly OK with inviting him as a speaker. Žižek is eerily reminiscent of all those public figures in pre-1860 USA who argued that slavery was inhumane and an abomination, but had no plans or desire on how to end it- largely because they were also profiting from its existence.

3] Another example of Žižek lazy and conventional thinking comes from his repeated insistence that China is a capitalist country managed by a tyrannical communist party. As any person, with some objectivity and more than half-a-brain, can figure out- the Chinese government is far more interested in improving the quality of life for its own people than contemporary democratic regimes in the west. While this might be for less than altruistic reasons, the end results are too hard to ignore- except perhaps for some white “public intellectuals” in west. And as mentioned in another post, the type of governance system one sees in China is common to many east-Asian countries, who have also done quite well. We can all see who has failed and who has prevailed.

Žižek’s description of the Chinese system as capitalist becomes even more laughable once you start appreciating how fundamentally different it is from anything in the west. For example- it is the government rather than capitalists who decide how things are run in China. Those foolish enough to believe that their riches protect them from the government in that country learn that is not the case, very swiftly. The Chinese government spends tens of billions on tons of seemingly unprofitable infrastructure projects, which almost always turn out to be profitable a decade or so after they were built. They invest tens of billions in acquiring competencies in multiple areas that are supposedly unprofitable for them, but which almost always become highly profitable in the next decade. And China is hardly alone in such policies.

Both Japan and South Korea implemented watered-down versions of these policies to great effect many years before China went down that path. It is telling that Žižek seems unable to imagine (privately or publicly) ways of doing things that are significantly superior to those prevalent in the west. Maybe he really likes the Kool-Aid of neoliberalism in spite of his vocal protestations to the contrary. Perhaps he has far more in common with people like Christopher Hitchens and Niall Ferguson than we (or him) would prefer to believe.

4] A further example of Žižek intellectual laziness can be seen in how he worships a lot of useless “technological” progress which has occurred in past 30-40 years and attributes it to capitalism. Let us face it.. there hasn’t been really improved that much over past 3-4 decades, and almost all of it has to do with stuff like reduction in rates of cigarette smoking, improvements in car design and occupational health, better drugs for hypertension and better management of heart attacks and strokes. Did I mention that rates of improvement in life-expectancy in developed countries since 1980 have no correlation with degree of technologification of healthcare in those countries.

Furthermore, vast majority of alleged technological breakthroughs made over past 3-4 decades from human genome sequencing, stem cell therapy, gene transfer therapies, new gene editing techniques, new drugs for most cancers have turned out be either outright failures or far less consequential than first thought. We still don’t have electric cars that can effectively compete with gasoline (or diesel) fueled ones outside major cities. Renewable energy is still an expensive joke. We don’t have anything better than chemical and a few piddly ion rocket engines for space exploration. Oh ya.. and integrated circuits, CPU design and the internet are the result of government spending money on seemingly impossible ideas.

In summary, Žižek is a secret worshiper of neoliberalism who has learned to maximize his earnings and popularity by pretending to be a Marxist and Hegelian (while accentuating his physical shortcomings in order to appear more authentic). Along the way, he keeps interpreting the world around him in ways meant to flatter the pre-existing biases and prejudices of his main audience. Then again, this is what most “public intellectuals” do and have always done.

What do you think? Comments?

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

June 16, 2018 30 comments

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?

More Thoughts on the Snake Oil Salesman du jour, Jordan Peterson: 2

June 5, 2018 27 comments

In the previous post of this series, I promised to write about in some detail (and with examples) why the snake oil which Jordan Peterson is promoting is essentially useless. Then there is the issue of how his followers are setting themselves up for failure and disappointment. Well.. as it turns out, I am not the only blogger who has the concerns or written about them. Therefore I will start by talking about, and link to a few posts, written by others who have made similar points.

While you might not like choice of font and page layout, stonerwithaboner recently wrote an interesting post about Jordan Peterson. To summarize, it draws attention to the fact that Jordan Peterson has a history of fame seeking and playing fast and loose with ethics. Now, this is not all that surprising. In fact, it have been shocking if that was not the case. What is perhaps more interesting is that Jordan Peterson has a peculiar obsession with maintaining hierarchy.

As those who have read my posts for years might remember, an obsession with maintaining hierarchy and status quo is one of dead giveaways of a CONservative, even if they identify as something else. And this brings us to another giveaway of the CONservative mind if you can call it that).. an obsession with outward appearance of “order”. His infamous ‘clean your room’ bullshit line is just one of the many instances in which he talks about “solutions” that have no relation to the problem at hand.

It also provides an insight into the type of con he is running. You see.. somewhat successful conmen often make many “common-sense” and unobjectionable claims to make themselves seem normal and lower the defenses of their marks to push a scam. That is why politicians cannot stop talking about patriotism, small-town america, family values, freedom etc while fucking their underage mistress, voting for wars which don’t affect them, fellating corporations who fund their election campaigns- all while screwing the rubes who voted for them.

Then there is the question of why Jordan Peterson does whatever he is doing. In other words, what is his motivation? Based on what we know to date, it is clear that a quest for power, fame and money (in that order) are the driving forces behind his public persona. To be clear, I am not against people achieving fame or making some money as a side product of doing what they believe in or like. However when the quest for power, fame and money are the primary motivation, one has to be highly suspicious of whatever is being peddled by that person.

And this brings me the world-view that Peterson is peddling. What is the product he is selling? Spoiler alert, it is a secularized version of traditional CONservatism. You know, the same bullshit ideology where gullible men are supposed to make large upfront sacrifices for the hope of a “meaningful” existence. However instead of using the alleged authority of an imaginary god and religion, his version pushes the scam based on its secular equivalents- “western” civilization and capitalism.

The dishonest crap that Peterson is pushing is no different from religious and cult leaders in previous eras pushing for human sacrifice and witch-burning to a stupid and desperate audience in order to “please the angry gods and restore order”. And how exactly will all this work? Well.. nobody knows. For starters, the way women behave and society functions today has really no connection with what men are willing to sacrifice. Face it.. the probability that a guy who is conventionally considered a good husband will get screwed over in divorce court is far more than anything resembling the ‘they lived sorta happily ever after’ fairy tale ending.

The way things works in real life is linked to something (anything..) being possible and the probability of it occurring. The fact that women will screw over devoted husbands and chase after rich, handsome or powerful non-committal men has everything to do with it being possible and likely. In other words, a lot of the disruptive social changes you see around yourself have to do with broader changes in society and how they affect the feasibility and probability of previously uncommon outcomes. Let me explain that point with an example.

I am sure that many of you have received numerous phone calls for fraudulent tech support, emails claiming to be from some bank or scammers claiming to be from the IRS. Ever wonder why stuff like this was uncommon 10-20 years ago, but is now ubiquitous? Well.. it comes to the much reduced cost of running such scams as well as and the ability to run them from overseas- thanks to the internet and seamless international financial connections. To put it another way, these scams were always around but could not be implemented on a large-scale in the past because it was not just not possible to do so.

Similarly, many of the problems afflicting the gullible devotees of Jordan Peterson have always been around. It just happened to the case that structure and functioning of societies in previous eras put a serious cap on their growth and proliferation. However the structure and functioning of societies does evolve over time. As many of you might know, the majority of decent paying jobs or vocations right until the middle of the 20th century involved hard or difficult physical labor. That is why society in those eras seems patriarchal.

Once technology progressed to the point where varying degrees of mechanization and automation made most jobs that were physically hard either easy or redundant, it was simply not possible to maintain the existing social structure. That is why the social changes of the late 1960s occurred all over the then industrialized world at about the same time. And that is why women started entered reasonably well-paying jobs in such large numbers at around that time. The subsequent increase in female sexual freedom was inevitable, as was the massive increase in divorce rates.

In the next part of this series, I will write more about why these socio-economic changes were pretty much guaranteed to create a number of adverse outcomes for men. My focus will be to show these changes lead to the rise of SJWs and all the other socio-cultural bullshit which surrounds us today. Having said that, the most important takeaway from this post should be that following self-anointed leaders who demand personal sacrifice to please some mysterious “god” is an exercise in futility.. and kinda funny to watch from the outside.

What do you think? Comments?

More Thoughts on the Snake Oil Salesman du jour, Jordan Peterson: 1

June 2, 2018 26 comments

A few months ago, I wrote an initial assessment of the latest “public intellectual” to “challenge” the SJW-ization of North America. In that post, I had pointed out a major reason behind the growing public popularity of Jordan Peterson was that pretty much every single person in his position, specifically “public intellectuals”, had stopped questioning SJW dogma because of the fear of resulting social, career and reputational damage. In other words, the major reason for Jordan Peterson’s growing fame is that he has no real competition for the audience to whom he was selling his brand of snake oil.

But before we go further, let us clear about a couple of things. I detest SJWs, current strains of “Feminism”, classical LIEberalism, LIEbertarianism with the same intensity as CONservatives, Religious Nutcases and Cultists. In my opinion, anybody who is trying to force their ideology upon you does not have your best interests in mind- to put it mildly. Furthermore anybody trying to sell you a ‘theory of everything’ based on rhetoric, lies and manipulation is a fraud- regardless of the ‘credentials’ of such a person or ‘reputation’ of the institution they hail from.

Secondly, I do not care about how good an ideology sounds in theory because that often no relation to reality. It is, for example, trivial to develop a geocentric model of the solar system that is accurate enough to explain the motion of the sun, moon and planets visible to the naked eyes. Indeed, the two thousand-year old Antikythera mechanism is quite capable of modeling the motion of those objects even though it is based on a geocentric model of the universe. To put it another way, a theory or model which can explain a few things can still be often totally wrong.

And this brings me why I said that Jordan Peterson was merely the latest “public intellectual” to “challenge” the growing SJW-ization of North American society. In case you are still wondering, I do not believe he is an intellectual or that he is really challenging the SJW-ization of society. So, let me start by first addressing the reasons why I do not consider him an intellectual. Some might say that he is clever, well spoken and intelligent and you know what.. he is a decent public speaker and self-promoter who saw a niche that others were too afraid to exploit.

Being clever and intelligent does, however, make you an intellectual. The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was also a clever and charismatic con man who was able to found a cult.. I mean ‘religious order’ which continues to this day. The same can be said about people like L. Ron Hubbard, Sathya Sai Baba and number of other people who started ‘religious orders’ within the last hundred years. One can also make the point that every single religion and secular religion throughout human history was founded by one, or more, clever con man or woman.

The real question, in my opinion, is whether an ideology benefits followers and believers as much (or more) than the founder and the high priest of that ideology. In case you are wondering, the vast majority of cults, traditional and secular religions tend to disproportionately benefit their founders and high priests at the expense of followers. For example, the founder of Mormonism and his close confidants benefited far more from Mormonism than the average follower. In contrast, the scientists who pushed for acceptance of the germ theory of infectious diseases benefited their followers (and the rest of humanity) far more than themselves.

So, why do I see what Jordan Peterson is pushing as the pseudo-intellectual equivalent of snake oil. Well.. there are many reasons, but let us start by talking about why I chose to compare him with a snake oil salesman of yesteryears. For starters, snake oil salesmen did not for the most part sell snake oil. Instead, they usually sold patent medicines which were usually just liqueurs containing opium (later morphine), cannabis and cocaine. What makes the people who sold and shilled for them interesting is that the snake oil salesman as well as demand for their products was largely a product of the socio-economic changes of the 19th century.

It is common knowledge that the second stage of the industrial revolution (1850s onwards) allowed the mass manufacture of bottles and the various “medicinal” liquids they were filled with. What is less well-known, is the fact that the main reason people bought patent medicines in that era had a lot to do with the socio-economic dislocations and hardships caused by capitalism. To put it another way, people bought liqueurs with opium, cannabis and cocaine because their lives had become so precarious and shitty. Furthermore, getting high by taking a “medicine” was seen as far more respectable than smoking opium or cannabis.

The neo-traditionalist snake oil that Jordan Peterson is now selling is popular largely because it allows the true believers and followers (almost exclusively young white men) to dissociate from the admittedly shitty reality of living in the second decade of the 21st century. So how does the snake oil that Peterson sells differ from somewhat similar but older products sold by various evangelical and baptist preachers? Well.. for one, it comes inside the bottle of secular authority letting the buyer feel superior to those rubes who buy one that comes in the largely discredited bottles of traditional religious authority.

It also helps that the purveyor of said product can speak in a much more intelligent seeming manner, as compared to those who sell the more traditional form of that product. You might have noticed that Jordan Peterson is careful to avoid challenging any of the central tenets of modern Feminism, even the ones that are well.. nuts. Sure, he pokes the dragon a little (to establish cred with followers), but never enough to evoke a lot of reaction and shut down his little business. Then again, you cannot blame the guy for identifying and exploiting a virgin market to sell his version of snake oil. He, like previous generations of snake oil salesmen, is simply serving a new and under-served market.

In the next part of this short series, I will explain in some detail (and with examples) why the stuff that Jordan Peterson is selling is close to useless.. except perhaps to make believers feel better about themselves for a short time. I will also talk about how the ideas and beliefs he is pushing are setting up his followers for failure and disappointment.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Initial Thoughts on Jordan Peterson: Dec 6, 2017

December 6, 2017 12 comments

About three weeks ago, the blogger more commonly known as Rollo Tomassi asked me about my thoughts on Jordan Peterson. In case some of you don’t know much about this person, just google his name or search Twitter for posts by him or about him. To make a long story short, Jordan Peterson is currently a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto who has reached a level of fame (or notoriety) on some parts of the internet because of his allegedly non-establishmentarian views on topical issues such as postmodernism, political correctness, white privilege and cultural appropriation.

So what do I think about this guy and his views and positions? Are they genuine or based in a desire for fame and money? Well.. what I am going to say about all that in the rest of this post (and maybe a future one) is not going to be liked by either his supporters or detractors. My analysis of other people tends to be a bit more complex than saying that they are irredeemably bad or unremittingly good. I like to understand the environment which they grew up in and how they achieved, or fell into,their current position.

So let us start with how Jordan Peterson reached where he is today.

1] According to Wikipedia, he grew up in a small town (Fairview) somewhere in the middle of the province of Alberta in Canada. Basically that is the Canadian equivalent of growing up in some one horse town in west Texas or the deep south. In other words, he grew up in an environment that was socially conservative, quite racist and not progressive- to put it mildly. It is therefore not surprising that many of his current publicly held viewpoints are somewhat CONservative. The fact that he now often glosses over his early background tells you something about how he sees unpolished CONservatism.

2] It seems he got into the big university in that province, moved on to a more prestigious one in the east, then went on to Harvard and came back to Canada after a few years. This is a very common pattern for career climber types in Canadian universities and provides an interesting insight into what he wants in life. In case you are wondering, many Canadian universities prefer to recruit people who have spent some time at ivy-league universities because it looks good for the university- regardless of whether the person in question was the best candidate for that position.

3] He attempted to get into the media spotlight since the early 2000s. While his early attempts were not very successful, they did get him onto what is basically the Canadian version of a PBS type channel. It is noteworthy that these attempts at media exposure steered clear of the type of subjects and issues for which he is now famous. For many years after his initial forays into media exposure he was basically a TED-talker type who offered his “insights” into hard to define topics- which is another way of saying that his act involved appearing to provide erudite answers for deliberately vague topics.

4] His break into semi-fame came when he started to upload his lectures to YouTube in 2013. That is also when I first came across his name on various blogs- especially in their comment sections. As many of you also know, the ‘alt-right’ movement also took off at around that time. However the action which contributed most to his public persona involves his public position on the C-16 bill (in 2016), which he correctly pointed out could be used to severely restrict freedom of speech. It also helped that the bill in question was being pushed through parliament in a pretty heavy-handed manner.

And this brings us to the question as to how this small-town raised prof with CONservative leanings became an internet celebrity. Alternatively, why didn’t other far more well-known academics step into the public discussion about those topics. Surely, there is no shortage of academics in Canadian and American universities who will go on record for their support of a variety of other social and political causes- from talking about ‘climate change’, rights of transgender people etc. Why are so many academics unwilling to support ideas such as free speech, even at the level they used to a couple of decades ago? What has changed?

5] In my opinion, the most important change in academia and pretty much every other large institution in western societies over the last 20-30 years has been their capitulation to the ideology of neoliberalism. But what does an ideology such as neoliberalism have to do with the silence of entire institutions on issues such as free speech? Well.. a lot, but it basically comes down to two types of effects.

6] Firstly, neoliberal institutions tend to hire and promote only certain types of people.You have to be consistently pleasant-acting, spineless, middle-manager type to reach even the middle-levels of these institutions. There is zero tolerance for dissent, independent thinking or opinion. In neoliberal institutions, everything is about money and appearances. Also, expressing opinions that are not approved by higher-ups or not ‘fashionable’ is severely discouraged. It is therefore not surprising that almost no other academic of any public stature in Canada has expressed views that are even marginally similar to Peterson.

7] Secondly, embracing neoliberal ideology results in concentration of power- specifically of the institutional type. What was once a dynamic and flourishing eco-system of small, medium and large institutions decays into a mono-culture full of monopolies and oligopolies. The people who reach the highest level of power in these institutions are cut from the same proverbial cloth and run those institutions solely to maximize their personal profit and power. Consequently, they try to minimize any appearance of dissent and try to force their beliefs (in reality, what they want others to believe) upon their employees.

8] The net result of this institutional governance shift has been that any idea, cause or belief which runs contrary to the neoliberal goal of making maximal amounts of money for a select few is ignored, suppressed or ridiculed. In other words, ideas such as freedom of speech or even suggestions of ideological non-conformity are now perceived as too risky and potentially career-ending by many people in the system. That is also why these issues were raised by somebody like Peterson, rather than by somebody who was far more “famous” than him.

I should also point out that the neoliberal elite like to be seen as enlightened, just and deserving of their ill-gotten gains. That is why they are quite happy to support various “social justice” movements as long as those movements do not question the socio-economic status quo. To summarize this post, Jordan Peterson’s ascent to fame has more to do with numerous failures and dysfunctions within the current socio-economic-cultural setup (aka ‘the zeitgeist’) than innate ability or belief in the causes he is promoting. He just saw an under-served market and rode that opportunity to fame.

What do you think? Comments?