From the outset I would like to make it abundantly clear that my approximation of Jordan Peterson is not that he represents “controlled opposition” or some kind of Deep State political gate-keeper designed by committee to tame angry young white men into the harmless somnolence of radical individualism. I believe Peterson is exactly what he describes himself to be, a classical liberal with very real objections and concerns about the consequences of leftist hegemony in academia. From what I’ve gathered about him by the content of his videos, he perceives the 20th century as a series of catastrophes resulting from the rise of totalitarian collectivism on both the left and the right. We could interrogate the veracity of this perception and come to a more nuanced conclusion, but this is pretty much the normie assumption everywhere.
Unfortunately for him, he’s firmly chained himself to the rock of individualism on Bigbrain Centrist Island where he proceeds to unceremoniously drown under the rising tide of “identity politics”.
The debate itself is supposed to be about “political correctness”, but this never really gets off the ground because both of Peterson’s opponents are there to attack him personally, a state of affairs they admit to after the discussion. This is actually the standard operating protocol of the left in general in all “debates”. They aren’t there to objectively argue for or against a premise, they’re dispatched as subliminally trained attack dogs to sink their teeth into whoever is currently popular among non-liberal white males. On the “con” side of political correctness stands Peterson and Stephen Fry, while on the pro side we have Michael Dyson and Michelle (((Goldberg))), who is also first out of the gate. She immediately deploys a series of Peterson’s own quotes against him while regurgitating some basic bitch postmodern deconstructionist tripe and feminist yawning points. She criticizes attacks on political correctness as merely being excuses to roll back the clock on social progress and immediately pivots to attacking Peterson as a personal exemplar of this vile patriarchal bigotry by reading off comments he’s made in support of “enforced monogamy”. There’s a jab in there against Trump too, completing (((Goldberg’s))) shitlib bonafides. Her appeal to “progress” is merely repackaged neomania that assumes old norms are inferior to new ones, but this assumption is never really challenged.
Peterson responds by putting on an additional set of manacles and chains himself to a more colossal rock on Bigbrain Centrist Island. He objects that we’re all individuals and the fundamental flaw of modern social justice and political correctness is viewing humans as groups. He whines about the evils of “collectivism” and starts moralfagging about the dire consequences of tribalism.
Michael Dyson gets up next and employs a lot of loquaciousness and the hypnotic cadence common to all black preachers to say a bunch of stupid predictable shit including another obligatory diatribe against Donald Trump before comfortably sliding into a brief allegory about how white folks just aren’t aware of their own privilege. He preemptively mocks the idea of whites having any legitimate objections to the direction of current political “progress”, setting the tone for what would happen later in the debate.
Jewish homosexual Stephen Fry is up next to bloviate verbosely about how frustrated he is with the toxicity of modern politics and identifies himself as a “milksop” and establishment leftist. Fry himself is a humanist, atheist, and apparently, a rare example of a Hebrew opposed to Israel. He’s mildly entertaining and seems to be the only one interested in actually debating the question of political correctness. Fry’s position is that political correctness is simply ineffective at reaching the goals of social justice, with some consciousness that PC culture is simply a form of evangelism and preachiness for leftism. In other words, the left needs to be less overt in it’s anti-whiteness to avoid amplifying the current rightwing backlash.
(((Goldberg))) cries about Peterson’s evil misogynistic followers, Peterson goes off onto a Boomer tangent about how no one is worried about the dangers of radical leftism and leftist extremism while also mysteriously appealing to the existence of the “sensible left” to moderate them. We get a pretty long-winded Concern Troll about how there’s a failure to demarcate what constitutes “bad leftism” and separate it from “good leftism”. He mentions Jonathan Haidt, making me wish he was present in this debate instead of Peterson and his lame, watered down talking points. Dyson continues to be eloquently incoherent and waffles around on collective versus individual identity and claims you really gotta rely on group politics to get respected on a person to person basis. It’s all a bunch of what Thomas Sowell refers to as “verbal virtuosity” and he’s a clear disciple in the art of baffling them with bullshit. Fry does another Milo impression, then Dyson recites more of his social justice sermon.
This back and forth goes on for far longer than necessary while an increasingly whiny Peterson kvetches about how Concerned he is over the consequences of tribalism. He sneaks in a pretty interesting side tangent about group rights having a necessary corollary of group guilt, but no one picks it up and it goes nowhere. At one point, (((Goldberg))) says she’s skeptical that it’s a group/individual dichotomy at all then argues individuals are just using group strategy to secure individual seats at the table, proving her Jewishness to any doubters left in the audience. She objects to seeing society as a collection of atomized individuals and as other commentators have noted, Richard Spencer and her could certainly agree on a number of things related to group political struggle. Fry correctly perceives the rise of the reactionary rightwing politics as more or less a result of overbearing leftism. He claims that political correctness is “recruiting sergeants for the right” much to the chagrin of the two anti-Peterson character assassins. (Stephen also gets in a Bertrand Russel quote but fails to use the really good one about the “superior virtue of the oppressed”) Clearly both Fry and Peterson’s objections have more to do with the tone of current leftist antics than any true resistance to the underlying enterprise; these are frogs complaining about the temperature of the boiling pot while the cooks tell them to check their amphibian privilege.
At this point, a little over an hour into the debate, Michael Dyson finally has enough of Peterson’s petulant whining about “equality of outcomes versus equality of opportunity” and pounces on him like a social justice pittbull mauling a bigbrain centrist toddler. Dyson’s attacks might have a banality only exceeded by their predictability, but he finishes it off by calling Peterson a “mean, mad white man” straight to his face. The pouting, submissive head-shake from Peterson is all you need to know about who won the rhetorical battle on stage.
A defeated, weak, and ineffectual Peterson stammers back about how he might have privilege, but it’s really, really mean of Dyson to say something like this in a civil debate. “YOU DON’T KNOW ME.” he cries like an offended teenage girl, and whines about how the left’s fixation on race is exactly what’s wrong with modern political correctness. Jordan Peterson wasted the entire duration of his time on stage arguing like an offended leftist and constantly appealed to the civility and mercy of his enemies instead of taking an aggressive counter-stance, and Dyson seized the opportunity to stuff his pathetic Canadian ass into a locker.
The overall summary is, a milquetoast centrist was tagteamed by a couple of genuine lefties specifically looking to knock him down a few pegs, and they completely succeeded.
You couldn’t watch this charade without a sense of genuine frustration that he could quietly sit on stage getting berated by a succession of stock anti-white personal attacks for over an hour and not once take up for his own side or make a satisfactory counter-argument. This isn’t the first time Peterson has sucked hard in a debate, he just isn’t cut out for modern politics and the cult of personality around him is thoroughly without merit. I like some of his academic content, but Peterson is so far underwater in the political arena as to render him completely irrelevant to even the most mildly serious political pundit.
Thankfully, someone has clipped the only important scene from this farce thus saving anyone the trouble of sitting through two hours of Establishment Sanctioned Debate: