I wondered about this as I saw this headline from the Guardian: “How dangerous is Jordan B Peterson, the rightwing professor who ‘hit a hornets’ nest’?”
Since his confrontation with Cathy Newman, the Canadian academic’s book has become a bestseller. But his arguments are riddled with ‘pseudo-facts’ and conspiracy theories.
In the interview with Newman and elsewhere, Peterson has said time and time again that he is not rightwing — and even the Guardian points this out:
So, what does Peterson actually believe? He bills himself as “a classic British liberal” whose focus is the psychology of belief. Much of what he says is familiar: marginalised groups are infantilised by a culture of victimhood and offence-taking; political correctness threatens freedom of thought and speech; ideological orthodoxy undermines individual responsibility. You can read this stuff any day of the week and perhaps agree with some of it. However, Peterson goes further, into its most paranoid territory. His bete noire is what he calls “postmodern neo-Marxism” or “cultural Marxism”. In a nutshell: having failed to win the economic argument, Marxists decided to infiltrate the education system and undermine western values with “vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas”, such as identity politics, that will pave the road to totalitarianism.
The Guardian article says that Peterson is paranoid, yet the Canadian law would have forced him to use gender pronouns he did not wish to use or face pentalties:
I don’t think any legal expert would say using an inappropriate pronoun, while not something that respects the human rights of trans people, would ever result in a criminal conviction,” said Kyle Kirkup, a law professor with the University of Ottawa who specialises in gender identity and sexuality law.
But Dr Peterson could face sanction under Ontario’s human rights code, which extended protection to trans people in 2012.
Penalties range from fines and damages to mandatory anti-discrimination training.
Dr Peterson says he does not object to trans people or to choosing which traditional pronoun they prefer.
“If the standard transsexual person wants to be regarded as he or she, my sense is I’ll address you according to the part that you appear to be playing,” he said.
But he argues terms like “gender identity’ and “gender expression” are too broad, are the “propositions of radical social constructionists,” and are being used to bully opponents into submission.
“There’s only two alternatives to that,” he said.
“One is silent slavery with all the repression and resentment that that will generate, and the other is outright conflict. Free speech is not just another value. It’s the foundation of Western civilization.”
Cathy Newman, the reporter mentioned in the Guardian article, told Peterson that transgender people have the right not to be offended, to which Peterson fired back that she was offending him in the interview. Why is that okay? Why is it okay for leftists to force people like Peterson to refer to people with gender neutral pronouns but he can’t even choose his own political affiliation? Isn’t that offensive?
If he wants to be a British liberal, why is the Guardian calling him a “dangerous rightwing professor?” What if Canadian or British law was re-written to say that if the media (or an academic) calls a person by the political affiliation that they do not wish to be associated with, then there will be fines and damages or mandatory anti-discrimination training? Would they be okay with that? Of course not!
These hypocritical leftists are doing exactly what Peterson was afraid of: forcing their belief system on everyone and then punishing anyone who doesn’t follow their party line 100%. Isn’t that the very definition of totalitarianism? Maybe Peterson isn’t so “paranoid” after all.
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