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.