I just watched this latest NBC interview with Dr. Jordan Peterson, and boy do I have a lot to say about it.
First of all, I have a lot of respect for Dr. Peterson in his easily demonstrated expertise as a clinical psychologist and a scientist. Perhaps he also has a lot of credibility in Christian theology but that I do not possess any expertise or even experience in that subject to comment.
But however when it comes to politics, as I will soon explain, the man is politically blind, either willingly or unwittingly. If its willingly, then the only conclusion can either be that he is evil or conniving and thus hiding his true intentions or thoughts behind his intellectualized rhetoric, or he is genuinely afraid to admit that he has crossed out too far from his realm of expertise and is intelligently trying to hide his missteps, or that he’s just arrogant. The first two seem unlikely, the last is plausible but not possible to confirm as I’m human, not the Creator and can’t look into people’s hearts.
If its unwittingly, then I explain this below, i.e. that this is probably a result of typical academic naivete in intellectuals specialists who cross out into realms of expertise and let their high level of intelligence and ability to think and philosophize trick them into a failure to realize their lack of expertise in the topics they are not specialized in. Intelligence is not everything. Knowledge is half the battle.
As for the interview itself, then according to Dr. Jordan Peterson, the Western World and Capitalism are not responsible for inequality. Hmm so I wonder… Whose idea was neoliberal economics, modern finance and big banking that led to the creation of massive corporate bodies, consumerism and crippling personal and corporate debt? China? Muslims? Russia? Brazil? Who controls the IMF and the WTO? Who has been controlling World Trade so far since WW2? Right. Moving on.
A lot of male Muslims are falling for Dr. Peterson’s rhetoric. Most (like his non-Muslim male fans – yes I said it) are woefully unprepared to digest the academia and primary sources that feed and weave through Dr. Peterson’s thoughts. Neither have they read enough history, political theory or philosophy for themselves to decipher the ramifications and underlying foundations of what Dr. Jordan Peterson is saying.
Sadly these men are looking for a role model for what they sometimes legitimately and sometimes illegitimately perceive as a social assault on the concept of masculinity and manliness in the West. Muslims would do well to remember that our ultimate role model and source of information on what informs manhood is the example of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and his interactions with the opposite gender (and in their fully explored glory, not carefully handpicked angles to support their own perspectives), not the conception of manhood celebrated by Western conservatives or their liberal opponents. The manhood and relationship to the opposite gender demonstrated in the character of our beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم is much more complex and wholesome than the caricatures and stereotypes that the current culture wars in the West are exporting into our minds.
UPDATE: Read this, its an excellent article echoing many of my sentiments, except its by a friend and senior colleague of Dr. Peterson’s.
FURTHER UPDATE: This is by far the best analysis of Dr. Peterson I have ever read.
ALSO: Someone else saying almost exactly the same thing as me here.
Lastly, another link, which I do not completely agree with, but highlights how Dr. Peterson is not always fully aware of post-modernist philosophies.
4 Replies to “Dr. Jordan Peterson: the blind ideologue?”
Salam Samir, I started listening to Jordan Petersen some time ago. I do think there is a distinct difference in what is discussed in mainstream about him and what he actually talks in his lecture. I would like you to listen to his short talk on his advice to millennial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbOeO_frzvg From islamic point of view, is he saying something objectionable? He is bringing conservatism back into the mainstream.
Also, I am curious to understand how Islam advocates for equality outcomes? can you elaborate on this?
I am not here to be an advocate for Jordan , as I do think his opinions on Islam are factually incorrect and he admits he has not studied Islam in detail. But I do see that he is a pro-religion and getting back to some fundamentals, that even our deen advocates. and listening to a western academic talking in those terms maybe that is what fascinates me about him.
Looking forward to your feedback
Sorry I didn’t see your comment until now. Responding to this would require a lengthy response from me, because of which I think will soon write another article (and my last one) instead about him.
Not sure if it’s just me but when you seem to be refering to links e.g. read this article, the links do not show up at all.
Sorry I was very late in responding to this. They should be working now.