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Jordan Peterson


I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous (Bernard Schiff)



No real introspection on his (Schiff's) part on why he was once so enthralled by Peterson. What he offers, shows him as being admirably and properly open to new ideas and energy, not as having some part of himself linked to a "call for the wild" he may not be so regretful to have helped cultivate, legitimize and unleash to the world, as he makes it seem here. It's not an apology, but a salute to himself, and a diminishment of the "real" opponents to verile creativity within the university, who would have seen nothing about Peterson, from the start, that would drive them to inculcate him at U of T and count him a friend. There remain a couple years here where you can mock professionals who don't end up caging their thinking within acceptable protocals... those who become youtube stars, pop psychologists... who have problems with peer reviews. I think he's taking advantage of this window to pretend a permanent distance from the Peterson phenomena that he may not feel a couple years from now, when our current era of academia is accepted by all (not me) as about social activism, not truth, as about keeping all legitimate efforts to delineate social reality in frustrated knots so to keep the illusory but elite-serving fictions at the helm, and where if you mock the pretence that we have been spoiled and that there isn't something of mythical resonance to our forgotten mother countries, Canada, the flag, our precious borders, you resist the obvious.

The alt-right, angry young men aren't the problem... the numbers aren't enough. What I'm watching over are those like Schiff who still won't admit that they had known Peterson early on and unconsciously liked him for the wrath he would eventually unleash. Indeed, Schiff exaggerates, enhances, some of the harm Peterson has enacted upon women, as if to take advantage of a situation where he can be thought by all to be merely expressing his own distaste to actually participate vigorously in pouncing on them himself. This is not well-expressed, I know, but I saw the debate between Peterson and Newman and Newman was not humiliated and left speechless... essentially raped, as Schiff describes. She was taken aback, but nevertheless stood, throughout, much better than that, and overall showed she enjoyed their conversation; she had humour, and bearing, and respect and generosity -- it was not a bad moment, for either of them. This way of digesting what went on -- Schiff's way, that is -- is the same version as the alt-right one, which is about having drives that so need expression you superimpose them on the merely adequately serving. It's about pretend fidelity to women, as cover for engaging in, personally, exactly the kind of activity that would do most harm to women. I sense this too in his, "I discovered while writing this essay a shocking climate of fear among women writers..." Really, somebody this connected to the public pulse was caught off guard by women in retreat? This is about self-representation, not reality; he is further the innocent and hopeful, surprised at what men-can-do, furnishing a narrative that has women, who are in this fight, and who have fight, are showing these days how much fight they have, as already beaten into hiding. Suspiciously, he does no favours for those he is ostensibly speaking up for.

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