An absolute grifter

The fact that the Left sees through Jordan Peterson doesn’t mean they are wrong:

Over the summer I read 12 Rules, his wildly popular self-help book. On Saturday I went to see him speak at the Logan Campbell Centre. Outside the venue, I spoke to people who had bought tickets in a genuine attempt to understand his appeal.

Dr Peterson’s fans have been stereotyped as angry young men lashing out at feminism, or older guys furious that their grip on societal power seems to be slipping.

That’s not the impression I got. One man told me Dr Peterson saved him from addiction. A couple of 20-year-olds said they felt disconnected from their generation and had finally found someone to look up to. Everyone who spoke to me was eloquent and reasoned, aware of the common criticisms of Dr Peterson and armed with decent counterarguments.

I don’t think they’re wrong for connecting with a public intellectual who has made cerebral topics like philosophy and mythology mainstream. I’m not angry with them.

I am angry with Dr Peterson, who has pulled off the greatest scam of our time.

I watched him pace around the stage on Saturday, listened to him ramble through half-baked ideas, and reached the conclusion that he is an absolute grifter.

He’s convinced millions of people that watching a middle-aged man pontificate for 90 minutes is akin to a religious experience. You can get that for free at any bar in the world.

I don’t think the people who like this guy are stupid. I think they’re lost and scared and desperate for someone to show them the way.

White men made up the majority of his audience on Saturday, a fact he mentioned during the Q&A segment in an incredibly defensive bad faith argument. He sneered at the idea that the demographics of a fanbase might be relevant information.

Notice how Jordan Peterson confirmed Milo’s criticism of him even as he tried to defend himself from it:

Dr Jordan Peterson defended himself on Australian TV this week after being hit by an unexpected question from far-right internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos author was a panellist on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night (local time), following his recent tour of New Zealand.

Yiannopoulos featured in a pre-recorded video, in which he attacked Dr Peterson for “betraying his allies” – specifically citing the Canadian clinical psychologist’s perceived silence on the controversies surrounding US judge Brett Kavanaugh and footage of Catholic school students facing off with a Native American protester.

“I don’t believe that I’m obliged to comment on absolutely everything that happens everywhere in the world,” replied Dr Peterson. “I don’t think that I am betraying my fundamental base… I’m also, by the way, not trying to talk to young men. I’m trying to talk to people. There’s been this idea generated in the news by news people who keep reading the news that other news people create that somehow I have a coterie of angry, young, white men surrounding me because they’re angry about feminism and about all these other ‘isms’, let’s say. I don’t see it like that at all.”

“You talk a good game about standing up for men and for boys and you’ve certainly amassed a big army of them, but a few of us have been wondering,” Yiannopoulos told Dr Peterson on Q&A.

“Can you explain why, although you talk a good game about standing up against social justice warriors and the ‘chaotic feminine’, when it comes down to it, you always seem to either fold, stay silent or betray your allies?”

Dr Peterson suggested in his response that Yiannopoulos had the wrong idea about him – just as he and his fans believe much of the news media has.

“I’m trying to suggest to people that their best bet in life – and this is men and women alike – is to adopt as much responsibility as they can for their own lives,” said Dr Peterson.

“Because that is where the meaning in life is to be found. The notion that that’s somehow a message that’s limited to young men is an absurd message.”

Got that, young men? The grifter you thought was your champion just cast you off. He’s got bigger cons to sell now.