Vox Day is at it again: Jordan Peterson humiliates himself.
No one really cares what The Guardian, which is a second-rate British newspaper, says; not Dr. Peterson’s fans, nor Zizek’s fans. The New York Times or the WSJ carries weight; The Guardian doesn’t, especially not an opinion column written by some no-name contributor.
Vox cherry-picked for a single story that spoke negatively of Peterson’s performance. A Google news search reveals surprisingly little commentary about the debate, probably because it went over most people’s heads.
The author, Stephen Marche, is not an impartial critic, having written such columns for The Guardian as The web we want Swallowing the Red Pill: a journey to the heart of modern misogyny and The white man pathology: inside the fandom of Sanders and Trump.
However, Vox ignores that the author was also critical of Zizek’s performance:
Žižek didn’t really address the matter at hand, either, preferring to relish his enmities. “Most of the attacks on me are from left-liberals,” he began, hoping that “they would be turning in their graves even if they were still alive”. His remarks were just as rambling as Peterson’s, veering from Trump and Sanders to Dostoevsky to the refugee crisis to the aesthetics of Nazism. If Peterson was an ill-prepared prof, Žižek was a columnist stitching together a bunch of 1,000-worders. He too finished his remarks with a critique of political correctness, which he described as the world of impotence that masks pure defeat.
Dr. Peterson is mostly correct. Yeah, he’s not an expert on Marxism or postmodernism, but so what. Marxism was tried for a century and failed every time except for China, but as Zizek noted, because they embraced limited forms of capitalism in the 70’s after the miserable failure of Mao. So even Zizek conceded that point to Dr. Peterson. And Dr. Peterson is also correct about the oppressed-oppressor narrative being the cornerstone of Marxism and left-wing ideology, and about the inevitably and necessity of social hierarchies.
Admittedly though Dr. Peterson is not a great debater. He tends to default to a predictable set of arguments about topics for which his knowledge may only be superficial, so when pressed for further detail, he freezes up, as was evidenced when Zizek asked Dr. Peterson to explain who, exactly, the postmodern-neoMarxists are. It also makes it easy for opponents to anticipate Peterson’s arguments.
But that’s a fitting epitaph for Jordan Peterson’s career as a public pseudo-intellectual: “I was amazed that anyone had ever taken him seriously.” His fifteen minutes are already ending because even his biggest fans are beginning to see through his act.
He said his “15 minutes were up” a year ago, back in May 2018, and yet Dr. Peterson is more popular and relevant than ever, so all of that effort in exposing him was for naught. Even if Jordanetics raised good points, it was not enough to diminish Dr. Peterson’s popularity.