The Eternal Guru

The other day, someone asked me about Jordan Peterson, who is all the rage now, especially after his run-in with a local lunatic in London. I must admit, it was a funny 30 minutes, but mostly because Cathy Newman is so dumb. She tried using the active listening technique to paint Peterson as some sort of monster, but she just came off sounding deranged. I have run into a lot of women who use this technique. It is immensely popular with women in sales for some reason. My guess is it is part of standard sales training.

As far as Peterson, his angry Evil Bert style of speaking is a bit annoying. I know he cannot help it, but his voice conjures images of Kermit going Ike Turner on Miss Piggy. That and I am just not into the civic nationalist stuff. I have heard all of it and know everything they have to say. Ask Peterson why sub-Saharan Africans had not discovered the wheel until Europeans arrived and he runs out of the room. All the tough talk about sticking to facts and clear thinking goes out the door as soon as a taboo topic is mentioned.

That said, Peterson seems to know his limitations. He stays away from taboo subjects as much as possible, so he does not reveal those limitations. That way he can stick to new age advice and religious topics, which he does better than most. He does talk honestly about the biological roots of sex differences and that is often the best way to introduce people to biological realism. If someone can accept that evolution made boys and girls different cognitively, as well as physiologically, they can accept the diversity of man.

Anyway, I saw this on Maggie’s Farm yesterday. It appears that not everyone is a fan of Peterson. That Mic piece makes a lot of nutty claims, like “cultural Marxism is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory cooked up by conservatives in the 1980’s.” He also says the alt-right are fans of Peterson. It is the nature of the hive mind to see the world as those inside versus those outside. The people outside are just an undifferentiated other. That means “alt-right” is now another name for “the people outside the Progressive walls.”

The remarkable thing about Peterson is that no one seems to remember the previous versions of him. Self-help gurus have been a common phenomenon in the English speaking world, going back to the 19th century, when a guy named Samuel Hines published the book Self-Help. The birth of mass media after WW2 made it possible for the self-help guru to reach a wide audience. The snake oil salesman put down his patent medicine and picked up a pen. Same pitch, same promise, different vehicle.

Peterson is lot like Stephen Covey from a couple of decades ago. Peterson uses religion and his credentials as an academic to add authority to his work. Covey relied on rich, successful people to provide the authority. His book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People sold 25 million copies. Everyone wants to be successful, so they will buy the secret if they can. Peterson’s new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is already a best seller. It promises a lot for just a little, which is the key to a good self-help book.

That is the thing with all self-help gurus and lifestyle guides is they almost always rely on the appeal to authority. Their presentation can be boiled down to “this is who I am, this is what I have for you and here is why it is good for you.” That first part is critical. The self-help guru must first convince you he is an authority or he has learned from people who are an authority. Covey was fond of name-dropping the successful people he had met, as a way to burnish his credentials. Peterson relies on his credentials as an academic.

Unlike Covey, Peterson doles out his secrets in the form of finger-wagging lectures. In his book, the first of his twelve items are a reminder to stand up straight. He is recycling some quackery from a few years ago called Power Posing. Peterson re-frames it using animals, but it is the same quackery. Rule six is a fancy way of saying “clean your room” and his eighth rule is “tell the truth.” Maybe he is saving it for the next book, but there really should be a rule about not picking your nose and making sure you clean your plate at dinner.

There is another unique twist to Peterson. He has used his status as victim of the Cult of Modern Liberalism to ingratiate himself with his audience. Most self-help guys eschew the victim stuff. Instead, they want you to see them as winners. Peterson is pitching himself as a noble warrior fighting the last futile wars on the college campus. There is an undercurrent of romanticism to his presentation. That is probably why his stern granny routine is popular with younger people. It is how they imagine adults used to act before Progressivism.

The interesting thing about the modern professional advice giver is they are filling a role that used to be occupied by priests and ministers. As America lost its religion in the last fifty years, the self-help guru has filled the void. It is probably why Peterson’s use of religion in his presentation works so well. Rather than invent a new religion, he can just borrow the good stuff from the old ones. People may not believe in God anymore, but they are going to believe in something. Humans are built to be believing machines.

That is the trouble with the modern age. In the prior age, we had a way to deal with proselytizing fanatics. We made them missionaries and sent them off to convert the savages. If the savages ate them, there were more missionaries ready to go. Those with a burning desire to dispense advice to others were put into the priesthood, so they could help those who needed it. The death of organized Christianity has removed these options from us. As a result, we are plagued with fanatics, busybodies and scolds.


115 thoughts on “The Eternal Guru

  1. Pingback: Asked And Answered | The Z Blog

  2. So you basically exported your trash to other people & are mad that the reverse is occurring।।

  3. There’s no single silver bullet that will slay the SJW army. But, …if Peterson’s interview responses (I’ll probably not bother read his book, but the interview was most entertaining):
    …where he calls out whatsername for attributing salary disparity to gender ALONE & using she herself as an example, provides a number of additional possible causes, and
    …where he tosses back at her (paraphrased), “”I’m offended. You thought nothing of offending me…. And that’s ok, Because free speech will offend somebody and that’s their problem, not the speaker’s,”
    …invites at least one non-thinker to reflect on SJW/liberal slogans, then what’s the problem?
    He doesn’t say or even imply that he’s the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” We should acclaim that he’s [fearlessly] publicly refusing to accept, and is pushing back against, the parameters and definitions set by the progressives, or left, or liberals, or whatever one calls them today. There are too few who are both in a position of influence and courageous enough in this twitter-mad society, to do so.

  4. I just bought his book actually. It was on sale.

    That aside, Peterson isn’t a Red Pill, he’s a Purple Pill or Realism 101 guy and a great intro to thinking for yourself a little. Normies love him because he’s manageable and while some may stop with him, many will go on to the advanced realism course

  5. If anything, I fault Dr. Peterson for maintaining and espousing an incomplete view on the nature of state power. What’s worse, he doesn’t acknowledge his limited understanding. His new book conflates the state as just another “hierarchy of competence” multiple times.

    Methinks he needs a crash course in Rothbard, starting with Anatomy of the State. Judging by his avoidance of taboo subjects in the past, I fear he’d have to unlearn so many thinking errors, wrestling with Rothbards conclusions, that he’d have to drop off the map for a few years or more before reemerging from the depths of mental chaos.

    Nonetheless, I really enjoy his YouTube work.

    • Dr. Peterson isn’t about stressing the the need to adjust external mechanisms like the state, such as making a better mousetrap out of government and institutions. He is all about individual fixing themselves. When a person has their life in order and their head screwed on straight , armed with truth, everything else is secondary. That’s the problem with SJW’s–They don’t want to be tasked to be held responsible for cleaning up their lives, but demand a unrealistic world to clean up after them, and guarantee equal or superior outcomes for mediocre or non-performance.

  6. There are academics who spout that men and women have no differences and that the differences are a state of mind. Those people who buy those things don’t just get useless degrees, they take those degrees to go work for stupid people passionately trying to make policies and laws. There’s armies of them in government and HR positions.

    Whatever you feel about academics, fighting in that realm is important because of the pipeline from university to policy. Credentials are important if only for the fact that they matter to some people. His prominence came from fighting laws in Canada criminalizing non PC pronoun usage.

    I don’t think he has to pick up the hobby horse of every rightest cause to fight that particular fight. I don’t see any relation to self-help guru’s that wouldn’t apply to anyone else who writes about how they think people or the world should be.

  7. You’re poorest blog to date, at least that I’ve read. Because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it’s not true or it’s quackery.
    Just one example; Standing up straight. If you don’t think that counts, you’ve never gotten out of the house and into the real world. It’s always noticed and that counts.
    Sounds more like you’re jealous of Peterson’s success.
    All of that is hard for a fan of your’s to believe so WTF?

      • My sons have always complained about me slouching. Part of the problem is that I have relatively massive shoulders. When I stand up straight I look like I’m trying to exaggerate them. Slouching tends to make me look more normal. It did, however contribute to a chronic rotator cuff injury.

        Once I was about to do a procedure under local in my office and the wife asked her husband if he was going to give me any trouble. His reply was that it made no sense to give trouble to a guy with arms the size of your legs.

        Yeah. I think not standing up straight did me more good than otherwise. People who feel intimidated don’t feel at ease.

        • Most of us aren’t the behemoth you are. 🙂 At 5’10” sometimes I need to make myself look a little bigger.

          I work with horses and I see a lot of “power posing” in the equine world, and in my experience it directly correlates to behaviors I’ve seen in humans. It’s not “magic” like the “power pose” advocates would have you believe, but it’s a subliminal finger on the scales.

          I have one little half-arabian mare that is very ambitious about her social position with the herd and with people. She “power poses” like crazy, always trying to keep her head higher than the other horses and people around her, always engaging in attention-seeking head-shaking. She’s trying to say “Look at me! I’m large! I deserve respect!” Underneath it, she’s a total marshmallow — she caves pretty easily if she’s actually pushed, but for a certain subset of the horses (and the people!) she interacts with, it gets her what she wants.

          Posing is hugely influential in how a horse reacts to you as a human. Sometimes you want a big, aggressive pose and hard eyes to get the horse to respect you, sometimes you make your whole body go soft, round your shoulders, drop your eyes, to draw a horse in.

          I’ve seen plenty of teenage boys slouching around (raised two of them) and it definitely affects how people react to them — how I react to them. If you look like a sullen, lazy jerk, people treat you like a sullen, lazy jerk. There’s a reason “stand up straight!” has been parental advice since the first teen boy slouched sullenly across the cave because it was his turn to carry dinner leftovers out to the bone pile. 🙂

          My oldest daughter, too, has a particularly confident posture. People always think she’s much taller than she actually is. She has a way of drawing peoples’ attention and commanding respect. It’s kind of uncanny, because it’s unconscious on her part, yet I see it happen again and again.

          • I’m 5’10” too. Just built different. One of those freaks who could never squat more than he could bench press.

      • “So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them— at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.”
        Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
        I’m not sure that you can correctly characterize Peterson’s “stand up straight” preliminary to speaking your mind as power posing. It seems to be more of a mental attitude, while power posing (the idea that “a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful”) appears more like pseudo scientific magical thinking.
        When your parents told you to stand up straight, shoulders back were they encouraging you to “power pose”? Walk like a man, my son, lol. The original MTGOW.

  8. You are a being harsh on Jordan Petersen. He’s filling a void that needs to be filled, and he’s wisely picking his battles.

  9. Most of these faux media-pundit face-offs are staged by publicists to promote new movies and books. The Peterson interview was a wildly successful publicity event for a new book. The host did her job admirably. She delivered.

  10. This reminds me of a Sam Clemens review of a Charles Dickens concert tour that landed in DC in 1868. It was precious, and enticingly close to a take down, just not quite. But even accepting your estimations of Peterson I’d allow him more credit. There is not a shred of cowardice in him. That is unique among academics. He is causing pain to the entrenched far left, and providing dry land where there is none for some others. He has been quite frank in the matter of IQ–and race–and yes, remains a civic nationalist, as if that is not an unnatural state for Africans or Arabs among others, which it demonstrably is. I myself have come to an understanding that it is the northern European that is biologically unnatural. Civic nationalism is the best state for unnatural people.

    To Peterson’s credit, he could barely tolerate Sam Harris, but last night I watched Peterson quite at home with Dave Rubin and Helium Ben Shapiro. If home is Rubin and Shapiro you are just not going to move the ball forward. He is, however, effective and entertaining at defense. Peterson remains an honest man while Shapiro is designed to burrow and subvert.

  11. There is an evolutionary advantage to conveying wisdom to our young, and this optimally occurs during early formative years when the brain is growing rapidly and habits get “hard-wired” so to speak. Religious practices have effectively served this purpose in the past, and new age gurus are trying to fill a void in the present. The problem is that post adolescent humans don’t reprogram all that well. Eventually, any bad habits imbued in the toddler years tend to re-emerge and persist.

    • Government school fanatics, too, understand the importance of having access to children during their formative years. Thus the urgent need to eradicate, eliminate, and close every government school. Each such school is a dungeon for the minds of children who are trapped with professional rotters—often unionized—who deserve to be condemned as child molestors and equated with parasites. This won’t happen, however, with harebrained schemes like school vouchers. Those are a trick to redistribute wealth to the politically connected, to rescue theocratic pabulum pushers from financial ruin, and to make ostensibly private schools dependent upon the whims of politicians and bureaucrats.

      • Other Al;
        Ah, but with school vouchers somebody besides The State has a say in the matter.

        Compulsory, state-directed education is a curious carryover from the original Prussian system where it originated as part of their mass-army national strategy. The foundations of the modern world did not actually arise from or involve it, so why do we think it essential_?

        • I agree. No one assumes that the availability of vouchers will mean parents make the best choices, but it IS a step toward breaking monopoly rule of the state over ‘education’. That’s why the teacher’s unions hate vouchers and why their shills in DC and the Democrat Party have spent thirty years shooting them down.

          The advantage of a Prussian-style education system, from the controllers’ point of view, is that it can be seeded in different ways to produce variations in the target ‘mass-army’: Now martial fanaticism, now global warming hysteria, now a sentimental love of immigrants: Whatever the system requires.

          J.T. Gatto was all over this for 25 years before his death.

  12. He works in Canada ,if not careful he can be charged with thought crimes .This keeps him in a smaller box than he would like . Zman you could not do what you do north of the border .

    • Yes. I think he’s been very courageous in how he is acted. At the moment, he’s being well rewarded for his bravery but he didn’t know he would at the time and he doesn’t know what the future holds.

  13. Nobody is going to roll up and be the answer to our problems that will set us straight on the path to responsible government, self-governance, restore western civilization, etc. It’s a major failing that the alt-right that believes real change is imminent, especially from our present position. Real change from this position, if it happens at all, is likely a generational proposition at best. Patience is required and I fully expect that victory will come after I’m dead (I’m over 40).

    To the extent that there is a “solution” at all it is to build up alternate institutions and cultures and to become zero tolerance about their violation by out-groups (e.g. NRA and sandy hook). When events occur, as they will during the long decline, then maybe those alternate institutions will look like a viable escape hatch to

    The funny thing about JBP is that there is very little evidence that he is even on the relative right in politics (let alone the dissident right) and yet these guys jump up and down cheering because he refuses (and this is ambiguous as the Newman interview showed) to use fake pronouns.

    • Well, I think his point is that he will not be coerced by the state or his employer into using an approved set of pronouns, but that he might vo!untarily, out of kindness or courtesy, use them when interacting with mentally disturbed individuals. He put his career on the line in a very public way, so a little bit of enthusiasm may be in order. We don’t have many examples of his kind of moral courage.

      • If you watch the interview he seems more than willing to use them, despite their evident dishonesty, in order to avoid hurting the feelings of the student.

        Some fighter.

      • Moral courage is the thing. No, it’s simpler than that: Courage is the thing. Even Mao deserves kudos for leading his adherents on the Long March.

        Peterson makes his living in a system (I refer to the Canadian university system) that punishes deviancy with a thoroughness and self-righteousness that would make the Massachusetts Bay colony seem like a nudist camp. And as I understand it, it’s even worse in the UK; for the life of me I can’t understand how Pat Condell is still out of prison, for his bold and unrelenting YT videos ridiculing Islam and its sponsors in the British elite, when Islam has become the de facto state religion.

        Or can it be that going ‘full public’ intimidates the jailors? My bet is that Peterson – or Condell – knew he had to take this out in the open spaces to survive, to remove the proceedings from the Star Chamber.

        Obscurity is death – just ask that guy (I forget his name) who made the video that “provoked” the Benghazi disaster. Meanwhile there was Ann Barnhardt, bless her soul, burning a Koran in a viral video; no “Arab street reactions” there, and no jail time for Ms Barnhardt.

        Stepping out into the light and telling the minions of control what they have never heard before – like John ‘the Savage’, in Brave New World, citing Shakespeare as he tears up the soma kiosk… can it be that this is all it takes?

        In his case, no; but laughing at Ceauscescu was all it took in Rumania.

    • Have to agree. Zman’s natural cynicism makes him seem, at times, resentful of men who – at the moment – are out on the floor scoring baskets while we watch from the bench.

  14. I can always rely on theZman to crush my youthful optimism (I have found a new and daring truth!) with the cold hard truth of experience (No, he’s just like this guy from fifty years ago).

  15. It’s his shtick. He’s a psychologist for crying out loud, with a side dressing of political science.

  16. I’d like to point out that Petsrson’s H index is quite high. Meaning his scientific research is cited hundreds if not thousands if times in the literature. Consider this before you go knocking him.

    • That’s a point I made. When challenged, he tends to appeal to his authority as a psychologist. He did that several times in the Newman interview. It’s part of the pitch. As long as he is not advocating anything insane or dangerous, there’s nothing wrong with it. That does not change the fact that power posing is nonsense on stilts.

      • Z Man;

        I don’t get your hostility to JP’s appeal to his own authority. What else can he do_? Given the state of the academic field of psychology one is faced with a number of bad alternatives when challenged in front of a general audience, particularly when challenged in bad faith:
        – A. Appeal to personal authority. (‘I’ve spent a lot of time wandering these woods and I know where the bear shat.’)
        – B. Use academic bafflegab; “Some studies tend to show….” (Can’t say ‘all’ or even ‘most’ because they’re mostly all over the place)
        – C. Hidden appeal to personal authority; “The best studies show….” (Q: What makes *them* the best studies_? A: My selection based on my years of study, i.e. my personal authority)
        – D. Appeal to Group Authority; “The best/most scholars agree that…” (Q: What makes them the best scholars_? A: We all say so. – opaque authority. Q: Since when is ‘science’ about popularity, anyway_? Etc.)
        – E. Start citing actual studies*; A sure loser with a general audience – Instant TEGO (their eyes glaze over).
        – F. Appeal to common sense, everyday observations; That ship sailed in the 1970’s.

        It is academic post-modernists he is confronting and the *one* thing they absolutely must concede is that your story is your story. So, on balance, he likely concluded he’s rhetorically safest citing his own personal authority.

        Now, if he were a Christian Psychologist, in front of a Christian audience he could cite Holy Scripture. But he’s in the belly of the post-modernist, multi-culti beast, so there is *no* higher authority allowed except the FI.
        *The one thing most psych studies show for sure is the proclivities of Psych grad students. That’s who are most of the subjects of most of the studies.

        • I haven’t been following any of this very closely, but appeals to authority seem to me, and I’m sure most people, as a lazy man’s way around an argument. What should be done is to figure out a shorthand way of making the argument without need for such appeals.

          • Doc;
            You are absolutely correct IRT argumentation in written form where exemplary studies or external sources can and should be linked as backup.

            But the argumentation being cited was during a time-limited verbal exchange with a hostile interrogator, who is apparently a post-modernist. Post-modernism rejects any non-emotional external authority (in the unlikely event she had thought about the matter of proof at all). All that’s left now is appeal to personal or emotional authority.

            As I’m sure you know better than anybody, the field of psychology has a dubious history of shaky (or downright dishonest) studies and where the consensus has regularly been turned inside out. For example, Freud and Freudianism just sort of disappeared. When I was at the U in the ’60s, it was front and center (along with at least four other systems/bodies of theory).*

            So, really, there is limited external authority to appeal to, assuming that your interlocutor accepts the possibility of there being any. AFIK, all the drugs stuff holds up as mostly very helpful, genetic inheritance is known to be important but not dispositive, talk-therapy can help in some milder cases of disturbance, and that’s about it for general consensus.
            *And they all contradicted each other on important points. So, at most, only one of them could actually be right. I concluded then that ‘they’re all wrong’ was the way to bet.

  17. Active listening is a sales technique. But you are supposed to summarize what a person is actually trying to say in order to confirm your understanding. Newman put everything Pederson said through some kind of Prog filter that takes up most of her brain capacity – and spit back some kind of cartoonish strawman version of his statements.

    • Last year, I had a sales girl in my office (door open!) and she kept doing the “so if I understand what you are saying…” thing. It was starting to get on my nerves, so I started the old Socratic game. “Why did you say that?” turned the question back around on her and “I sense this means a lot to you” had her shorting out in a few minutes. She was not a loon like Newman, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer either.

      I suspect they teach the TV people these techniques to prevent them from speaking off the cuff.

      • It’s listening skills training. It is supposed to be a way to make sure your understanding what was said. The extreme reframing is an old trick as well as in. “so you’d rather your daughter be raped than spend a measly 1.25 a day for a security system?”

    • Active listening is useful, but it also is an important element of “reframing” an argument or conversation. She was no doubt trying to change the frame, and he was having none of it (I have not actually watched the video). Reframing is not active listening’s fault, but active listening is a necessary part of constructing a good reframe.

  18. So I’ve been a Philadelphia Eagles fan since I was a little kid. My parents gave me this old black and white picture of me whispering into Santa’s ear at Christmastime, and I’m wearing my all-time favorite jacket: my Eagles jacket with the dark green chest and white sleeves. I wore it everywhere. In the 1970’s being an Eagles fan was pure torture. They didn’t have a winning season until I was 8. They lost the Super Bowl to the Raiders when I was 10. Ugh. Most of the 1980’s they had losing seasons until Randall Cunningham arrived. If you’re an Eagles fan, you tend to remember games, not seasons or Super Bowls. The Miracle at the Meadowlands I and II, for example.

    This was a weird year for me. I started to pull back from the NFL in 2016 when I dumped NFL Sunday Ticket, and decided I had better things to do on Sundays. The whole kneeling thing just amplified my disgust at the NFL, as the antiAmericans running that whorehouse tightened their grip. It’s no accident that they’ve turned left and Joe Lockhart is one of their advisors. (He’s leaving, thank God, hopefully the NFL doesn’t hire a Leftist to replace him.) I watched one complete game all year, Eagles-Cowboys over Thanksgiving, only because my mom was in Colorado, and some friends of mine from Philly invited us over to watch the game.

    But I did keep up with the team through the season. I figured reading would keep me current, support “the locals”, and I wouldn’t have to support the NFL or its advertisers. The thing I learned over the course of the season brings me to Zman’s post.

    The Eagles’ offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, is an ordained minister. Presbyterian I think. Both of the Eagles QB’s are men of God. They don’t wear it on their sleeves, but they are clearly, undeniably, God-fearing men. During the season, players were getting baptized into the Christian faith. Foles, prior to the game, talked about how he wants to become a minister when he eventually leaves football. Watch the Lombardi trophy presentation. These are men of faith led by a coach who is a man of faith.

    Faith can and does move mountains. We ought not be afraid of this. Christianity is only “dying” in the West among the people who are dying in our rotgut culture. We can do better, and that starts by recognizing that we are beliving machines because that is how God made us.

  19. It wasn’t the death of Christianity that resulted in this lunacy, it was the end of “the frontier” around the time of WWII. No more savages to pacify and convert…

  20. People who obsess over a difference of a couple of IQ points between the races will never be taken seriously, because they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    And I’m not talking about honest academics like Charles Murray, who devoted a very small portion of his book ( The Bell Curve) to this topic.

    • A couple of IQ points? The American black average IQ is 85. The white average IQ is 100. 15 point difference is one standard deviation. It’s an important explanation for vastly different real life outcomes

      • “15 point difference is one standard deviation.”

        How much of that difference is racial, and how much is cultural? If black men would employ themselves and stick around to raise their kids, like they were on track to doing before the welfare state, most of the IQ difference would vanish.

        Whites suffering from guilt have managed to de-stigmatize, and even subsidize, all of the pathological behaviors that keep blacks from succeeding.

          • Nature and culture both; the proportions indeterminate. The failure to acknowledge this inflicts moral paralysis.

        • These are questions that have been exhaustively asked and answered. The answers disagree, but you should investigate and form your own opinion. If you form the wrong opinion, you may be called names.

  21. Benjamin Franklin made a lot his money on the somewhat snarky Poor Richard self-help series in the mid-1700’s.

  22. My initial reply was snippy so let me expand on this a bit. Yes, certain Canadian accepts are painful but it’s not just him it’s millions of Canadian’s so get over it. That whining isn’t even remotely helpful to our cause.

    What do we have in Jordan Peterson that is useful to our cause, particularly given his role on a university campus? Do we need a dozen more? A hundred more? A thousand more Jordan’s? A hundred-thousand more? That’s a more interesting discussion to have.

    We need to expand again the free speech on campus Overton window. Jordan clearly understands the limits (that will keep him on campus vs. being thrown off) and is willing to push them every day. That makes him extremely useful to our cause. Useful snippets of his 2-hour talks are being broken out as 10 minute YouTube clips and shared widely. Again, useful to our cause.

    How many other university faculty are doing anything to help? Let’s figure out who they are and help them push our cause forward.

    His book as a best seller will open the door to listening to the other things he has to say, and open the door to others supporting our cause.

    What would I like to read? A Z-man series of articles that outline YOUR IDEAS as to how we move forward? You’re clearly better read than most of us, that’s helpful. But the questions on the table are significant. What is our strategic plan and what are the tactics we need to turn the table on the Progressives?

    That would be helpful Z-man. This article wasn’t helpful.

    • To move forward you must understand the problem. If you think that JBP, whatever his evident merits are (and he has some undoubtedly), is the solution to the problem, then it is evident that you underestimate the problem.

      The “other things he has to say” content folder is empty. Is it good that he beats up on modern feminism? Yes. Is that a solution? Obviously not or @nero would have already saved us.

      JBP is no doubt brave and he fights the fight within the limitations that Canadian law places on him, but he is not our savior. Telling us to stand up straighter and clean our rooms, despite being good advice, is not a path to victory.

      As to what Zman is doing, well, I perceive it as explaining and understanding the problem in the gentlest terms possible since understanding the problem, what it is and, more importantly, what it isn’t, is necessary to ever overcoming it.

      Frankly, you sound like a fed.

      • Rhino- Who the hell said Jordan was a savior ?
        Not even his fans think that. He’s fighting his fight, out in the open, taking all the crap Progressives can throw at him and blowing right through it.
        That alone is more than the overwhelming majority of the dissident right will ever do,talking tough while hiding behind pseudonyms.
        I have my problems with him, but he is far more a force for good than the reverse, and he is certainly not some sort of charlatan, as Zman suggests.
        The guy deserves to make whatever money people are willing to throw at him.
        Finally, do you actually think “feds” care about the comment section of an obscure blog on the fringes of the Right ?

        • I never suggested he is a charlatan. You are reading into my post, things that are not there. It’s the habit of the hive minded to confuse indifference with hatred. I just don’t find Peterson all that interesting or original. I don’t hate him.

          • You don’t come across as indifferent, at least not based on what you wrote above.
            I didn’t claim you hate him either.
            You suggested he belongs to a class of self help gurus that make money offering advice to the masses. I haven’t read his book yet, so can’t comment on it, but Peterson has over 20 years of active clinical experience, which he has discussed at length in many interviews, so he is basing his self help strategies on decades of real world experience trying to help people with severe psychological problems. He has serious academic credentials and would be a fool not to use that work to bolster his claims.
            In my opinion Peterson, whatever his shortcomings, doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with self help gurus.
            He is having his moment, and that moment will pass.
            He has provided an example of how to intelligently defend oneself against progressives and he’s being rewarded for it.

          • Holy shit Dave, are you the president of his fan club? Here’s a big tell, from way out here in Redneckistan: you wrote the word academic. They’re all cucks and narrow shouldered loyal opposition. No one believes in Indiana Jones anymore.
            We’re not going to win shit with an army of Forceful Enunciators, whose loafer shod footfalls rattle the very heavens and the crockery. Mostly the crockery.

          • Get back to me when you get invited to the BBC, enemy territory, and intellectually demolish one of their talking heads for all the world to see while intelligently defending the biological reality of gender differences.

          • “I never suggested [that] he is a charlatan.”

            Except that you did.

            You began with the sneering title “The Eternal Guru” and soon found your way to denigrating JP for “his angry Evil Bert style of speaking”. Not long after that you insinuated that JP is a “snake oil salesman” who, like Samuel Hines, has “put down his patent medicine and picked up a pen”.

            “He’s recycling some quackery from a few years ago called Power Posing,” just as a “charlatan” would. “Peterson re-frames it using animals, but it is the same quackery.”

          • Those are your own words and phrases fed back to you exactly as they are, without having chopped them up and mixed them with other leftovers to make a new stew. I didn’t even reheat them.

            Well, ok. I corrected your grammar. Big deal.

          • Understandable

            You don’t need him, you are as far into Red Pill territory as a person can get

            Normies do need him and on those grounds he does good work.

            I do have to agree though, his voice is annoying as heck.

    • And he’s in Canada where “hate speech” gets you brought before a tribunal to have your life ruined. His credentials are probably the only thing keeping him safe but the sort of fanatics who run those things would love his scalp.

  23. Zman is definitely way off with this. Peterson is not a fanatic, a busybody or a scold.
    He has risked his career and social position to take on many of the idiocies of modern Progressivism. He has taken on the “white privilege” myth in many lectures and even in front of hostile student demonstrators.
    He has spoken in front of Canadian bureaucrats and made them look like fools. All of this and more is available on YouTube.
    He is not perfect, admits this, and still comes out swinging to take on the B.S. of Progressivism.
    My God, Zman, you’re still posting under a pseudonym and you’re splitting hairs over some of the blander aspects of his self help advice.
    His academic credentials are legit, and he has repeatedly placed himself in the line of fire and fought back effectively.
    Leftists won’t debate him because he would crush them and they know it.
    Peterson is far from perfect, but he has done more to redpill normies, and provide an example of how to stand up to Progressive bullies than most on the dissident right ever will.
    Cut the man some slack.

    • “He has taken on the “white privilege” myth,” where? I’ve heard him obliquely critical of identity politics, but nowhere can I find him defending the white collective, even per se. He, like Sargon, Shapiro, and many other alt-lite figures, espouses liberal individualism with the politely unspoken or rarely mentioned caveat that minorities are entitled to collective rights as granted by 20th century liberal progressive states. The unstated corollary, which the alt-right successfully identified and popularized, is that whites are ip so facto second class individuals among a population of collectives and this dynamic will consume them with or without the acknowledgment of individualists.

        • In this video he correctly identifies it as majority privlidge, but incorrectly divorces culture from biology as this is the only way to talk about preserving western culture without violating his taboo of defending the white collective.

          Again, this is an oblique criticism of identity politics as caustic while failing to address the underlying issue which is that culture per se is not being attacked. White Western culture is being attacked by the influx of other people and their atecedent culture. This has the effect of producing minority privlidge where there once was white privlidge. White privlidge did exist and it should have been preserved. The lack of current white privlidge is why the white majorities of white nations have been demolished in a matter of a few generations.

          • No, he could make liberal arguments contra Taylor. They would pivot on modern minority privlidge generating the current myth of (historically existing) white privlidge.

            My criticism of Peterson is not (just) that he is a liberal or individualist, but that he is unwilling to make even a spirited argument for liberalism.

  24. I don’t disagree that some of Peterson’s rules seem blindingly obvious, but in fairness to him I think you need to consider that his target audience is largely composed of milllenial men, many of whom grew up with absentee fathers. They need a remedial course in manhood.

    Heartiste writes often about the collapse of manhood in the modern West. My job gives me little exposure to the millenial generation. Most of my exposure to millenial men comes in the gym, so this decline is not apparent to me, but Heartiste makes a persuasive case.

    • I’m skeptical about the relative youth of his audience. Everyone who has recommended him to me is Gen-X and older. I suspect his core audience is 35-50. Middle age people have always been the target market for this stuff.

      The key for the guru is to remember that no one ever got fired for recommending IBM. By that I mean they never stray from conventional wisdom. No one is going to think “stand up straight” is bad advice.

      • I can’t get a good read on his audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if he basically had two audiences – an older crowd that actually reads his books and supports him on Patreon, etc., and a younger group that just likes his youtube clips.

        Fwiw he’s mentioned often on 4chan and frog twitter, with a pretty even split between fans and shitlords that call him a cuck. Even then, I don’t know how old the average 4chan anon is anymore. The teenagers that made it what it is are in their 30s now.

      • As definitely Gen-X or older (79) I recommend him as a educator/lecturer, not a guru. I’m quite enjoying his biblical lectures on youtube, learning a bit, gaining some new insights and finding a lot of food for thought.

  25. I believe you are quite off on your Peterson assessment. He is a serious academic with a long history of reasoned debate and lecturing.

    His only other book , Maps of Meaning, took 15 years to write. He said he dedicated 3 hours a day to it. Up to a few months ago it sold 500 copies. So if he tailors his book’s serious ideas with simple new agey chapter titles, so what. Strike while the iron is hot. I wouldn’t put him in same category as the other come latelys or lightweight conmen you referred to.

    If he can rescue some millenials,good for him. As far as Cathy Newman, I am sure you are experienced in arguing with women, that’s how they get along with the nutty feminism and ambition thrown on top with this one.

    Finally he was confronted recently with a JQ question that visably shook him.
    Uncomfortable to watch, but that is where we are now.

    • Thanks for the link. It is worth watching. I think Peterson may have gotten trolled, it’s hard to tell. His reaction was honest. Why some ethnic groups want to wipe out other ethnic groups is one of the core questions of human existence on the planet.

      • It’s not a core question, it’s the way the world has worked forever…Ethnic cleansing is the rule, not the exception, as genetic anthropology is demonstrating daily.For example, the Early European Farmers controlled the whole continent several thousands years ago, but were wiped out with scarcely a trace by the Siber people…Our brainwashed white population will find out how that works if it doesn’t become a cohesive people…

  26. Modern Psychologists and Therapists are simply priests that charge a lot more to run the confessional. And they are slightly less successful because their ‘proof by authority’ is a lot less believable to your average superstitious Human.

  27. In a recent Joe Rogan interview he coined the term: I have discovered how to monetise the SJWs.

    Anyway, I think that people like Peterson are extremely useful to switch people. People cannot switch 180 degrees all by themselves. A man like Peterson can help with the first couple of degrees.

    BTW, I did learn something about myself from him. So thanks P!

    • Peterson, Milo, and Molyneaux… all wrong in various ways, but generally good for ‘entry level’ red pills.

      • Molyneux gets lumped in with these guys quite often, but I think many don’t realize that he’s changed some of his beliefs recently. About two or three months ago he announced that he’s now an ethno-nationalist. He realizes that the masses of imported third world people will never favor the small government principles he cherishes.

        He’s also had several guests on his show from the race realist camp, like Nicholas Wade, Linda Gottfredson, Jared Taylor, and a geneticist from Denmark, who’s name escapes me, and a few others.

        Molyneux has been adament about race differences and would never run away if confronted with a question about Africans’ failure to invent the wheel or inability to construct two story structures. He even discussed race differences on Dave Rubin’s (a liberal) show recently.

        • When Molyneux stops trying to push his completely untested leftist belief that corporal punishment and violence are irrelevant, I may take him seriously.

          But so far, his views on family, homosexuality, corporal punishment, and violence, are firmly mired in post-modernistic humanism.

          The fact that while he has finally admitted that Christians may not be COMPLETE idiots, he still sneers at them from the heights of his ivory tower as superstitious primitives, makes him a less than stalwart example of realist thought.

          At best he’s a red-pilled leftist. As such, he’s useful, but not even remotely essential.

          Admitting that race is more than skin-deep is just the tip of the iceberg of counterfactual crap he espouses. He’s a stepping stone, not a guidepost or destination.

          He’s got some larnin’ still to do.

    • I used to be in the camp that said these guys are an entry path into more subversive thinking, but then i started looking for proof. There really isn’t any. It seems that these guys are more like a coral reef. They serve as both a home and a barrier. I suspect that’s why so many of them punch right. They intuitively sense they are a barrier. In the case of Peterson, I’m not sure he thinks about it too much. He was “radicalized” by events peculiar to the college campus in Canada.

      • Peterson is a progressive, no doubt about that.
        He seems rather wel grounded in his subject matter and as such I do like listening to his lectures, and I will probably buy his first book just for kicks.
        I’d love it if you would maybe do a post about why these people don’t help in your opinion.

        • They don’t help you because white individualism in the face of minority solidairty is the mechanism by which you found yourselves in this mess. Failure to directly advocate white solidairty or at-least directly criticize minority collective rights is failure to transmit the central concepts of current problems from either a liberal or reactionary standpoint.

      • Perhaps you should invite Mr Peterson to an interview on your podcast and talk to him about these concerns, to “extract” the real deal behind this shallow façade.

  28. I think if you reread the Manly Men post the appeal of Peterson will become more obvious. Yes, young men do in fact need to be told to do these things. I work in an industry where I see a lot of boys and young men and, even with the best single mothers, something is missing when they don’t have a father. JBP in a way fills that role.

    • You have to constantly restate the obvious with many Millennials. That’s how miseducated and unformed they can be. You are pushing back against a toxic culture that engulfs everyone. It’s very fatiguing, always redirecting back to square one to try to rebuild the foundation. Many Gen Xers fall into the same category. Millennials are indeed from another country. Their metaphysical assumptions are different. You either see it or you don’t. Can’t teach it, you had to live it. Well, maybe someone can teach it, but it’s very difficult, so here’s to Peterson for giving it the old college try, apparently with some success.

      • Correct. I was educated in a proggie public school, raised by proggie parents. When I hit the workforce – I hit HARD. JFC – I couldn’t get a decent job, never mind holding one.

        I was ‘saved’ by none other than Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopff himself. His autobiography should be mandatory reading for every young man in high school. His message is set your goals, there are no shortcuts, do it realistically, make any sacrifices necessary, and don’t give up. Expect and overcome failure, own your problems and deal with them. He backs that up with ancedotes from his own life – and at the time, I remember being shocked by the utter simplicity of it all. I applied it in my own life and all of a sudden, wonder of wonders… my personal problems started falling away. Amazing! By being a ‘grown man’ – you can effectively deal with any problem that comes your way. Who woulda thunk it???

        Looking back, I see the problems of the others in my family, and how they want to throw them in my lap because they can’t deal with them. They accuse me of being lucky, of having advantages they didn’t, you name it. And, because I could own and deal with my own chit – I should be happy to deal with theirs as well, right? When I try to explain to them that if they don’t own their own problems, they can’t solve them… they look at me like I am from another planet. They are as lost in this life as I was.

        A lot of these guys have good messages for young men today, and if they can get them the basics, I say it’s good.

        • I have got to agree. JBP has a lot of good to say. Of course, he is not “truth” in the style that the Progs try to sell their “Truth”. (Read tyranny)

          In the place I work, they hire 80/20, new college grads/experience (read grizzled old farts who know their business). The failure rate for the 80 is 3/4. We get one who is even salvageable for every 3 snowflakes.

          The snowflakes think pushing bits is ‘real work’ and are tied to their devices to the exclusion of the real world (meatspace!).

      • You have to constantly restate the obvious with many Millennials. That’s how miseducated and unformed they can be

        Lol. A couple months ago you were on here saying you couldn’t accept HBD because it offends your delicate sensibilities. Who’s miseducated?

        Please keep restating the obvious, I’m all ears. Try to bear in mind my miseducators were boomers.

        • “So what you’re saying is…?” I doubt that’s exactly what I said in its proper context. In any case, what is obvious to one generation may not be obvious to the next, not having lived through the same history. Yes, your miseducators were most likely Boomers or Gen Xers, aka your elders. That’s how it usually works. You were done a disservice. Sorry, kid. I would like to call out the Greatest Generation and Dr. Spock for the way they failed my generation, causing us, in turn, to fail yours.

    • When has Peterson bloodied a figurative nose? Individualism has made no discernable headway with the minority identitarian establishment since his rise to prominence among the alt-lite. He does make arguments that sound good to individualists, but I don’t see the evidence that he is converting anyone.

    • I agree, and I think this is true not only of Peterson but of Ben Shapiro, too. They both bloody many a progressive nose, are powerfully articulate and are winning over scores of young minds. Add to that the courage it takes to wade out into public forums with unpopular ideas lije they consistently do. They should be applauded. I see Z man’s arguments as well, but it’s obvious to me that both of these guys should be seen as the tremendous boon they are.

      • Caricatures of individualism aren’t any help to you when your opposition is unwaving in their tribal solidairty.

          • If you rely on Ben Shapiro in a fight, you’re bound to lose.

            He will always punch right whenever anybody to his right presents himself.

        • If tribal solidarity is the thing, then we white people may as well pack it in. We’re not a tribe, and we haven’t been for many thousands of years.

          The good news, in a bleak kind of way, is that our enemies are not a tribe either. They are a temporary federation of people who have been led to accept the need for our – white people’s – extirpation. When we’re gone, they’ll break down into something more akin to real tribalism, and they will fight over the scraps of civilization like packs of rats, while we sleep peacefully in our mass graves.

          I get a kick out of it, really.

          • “When we’re gone, they’ll…”

            When you start a sentence like this, it should be a strong indicator that you have made a terrible strategic mistake in your thinking.

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