Jordan Peterson and Postmodernism

My approach is respectful and sincere, and rooted in my love of truth. While I do think that many college students are prone to over-theorizing and zealous, hot-headed action, I don’t see it as a phenomenon specifically associated with postmodern thinkers. I also believe that Postmodern theorists, including Foucault and Derrida, are largely on the side of radical individual freedom and contingent, localized experience, rather than the blind group identity associated with the typical SJW.

Peterson is correct. Postmodernism, in the political sense, posits that individual problems are symptoms of the failing of the society, not the individual. Postmodernists argue that objective truths reflect inherently exploitative and oppressive biases (power-knowledge synthesis of Foucault). This means things such as gender and intelligence either don’t exist or are social constructs. These views are mostly held by the far-left, but some on the far-right hold them too (except the part about gender constructs, but they tend to be skeptical of certain parts of HBD). Postmodernists reject the economic determinism of Marx (Camus hated Communism), related to existentialism. Peterson’s videos on IQ and its relation to economics and individual success reflects a deterministic view, but also an individualistic one, because IQ is intrinsic to each individual. Also, person rejects the moral relativism of postmodernism. Thus, individuals fail or succeed because of IQ, not racism, etc. Related to postmodernism: individualistic anarchism, egoism, critical theory

So what about the part about individualism? There are two strains of Marxism/socialism: collective and individualistic:

The former tends towards economic determinism in the spirit of Mark whereby the proletariat inevitably overthrow their ‘oppressors’, as well as a collective fealty to the revolutionary ’cause’. Mao, Stalin, and Lennin are such examples, whereby loyalty, collectivism, and deindividuation are part and parcel.

The latter can be described as anarcho-communism, existentialism, egoism, and postmodernism (although not all individualistic anarchists are Marxists) and involve unshackling of the individual from social and societal constraints–be it ethical, religious, political, biological, or economic. Although an individualistic anarchist may oppose the Marxist delineation of society into classes, they support Marx regarding the abolition of bourgeois private property, except it’s an individualistic ownership, not a collective one. This is also why anarcho capitalism is NOT the same as individualistic anarchy, because anarcho capitalists oppose all forms of involuntary redistribution.

SJWs can be either of these. The problem with ‘radical individual freedom’ is that it involves adherents imposing their will and beliefs, without concern for others, which is why SJWs and antifa are so obnoxious. But also, debate and logic involve objective ‘truths’, so rather than engage in productive dialogue, they throw tantrums and try to get guest speakers banned (no-platforming). Deconstruction, in addition to rendering debate impossible, strips all the life from text, the result being an empty husk of words and paper, much like the Reformation in Europe, which stripped churches of their aesthetics. It’s like dissecting a frog: to see what is inside, you must kill it. From desecrating churches 500 years ago, to desecrating colleges today, the similarities are uncanny.

But doesn’t Peterson’s belief in biological-economic determinism contradict his belief in economic and creative freedom? Not necessarily. The rationalist-right believes in the so-called ‘meritocracy stratified by IQ’, meaning that people have free will conditional on their intelligence, with smarter people having the potential to archive more in life as measured by creative output and socioeconomic status. Thus success is largely predetermined by IQ, within an otherwise free and individualistic capitalist society.


Individualistic Anarchism

Existentialism, Bounded in a Nutshell: The Basic Philosophical Concepts