In this essay, we will analyze Jordan Peterson from a Marxist perspective. Is he really the bastion of hope in a world ruled by Neo-Marxist Social Justice Warrior Transgender Antifa Liberals? Or is he just another right wing pseudo-intellectual who fools his audience by using buzzwords in every sentence? This essay will answer that question.
Before we get into this discussion, we need to learn exactly who Jordan Peterson is. He is a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, and gained seemingly overnight popularity due to his stance on Bill C-16 in Canada. C-16 falls under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and states: “The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”
The language in this bill, namely, “gender identity and expression” is what sparked his fame. Peterson believes that transgender people are abnormal, and therefore, their identity and expression of such identity puts them in negative situations. This puts the blame on someone for their identity. He goes on to say that he has letters from “at least 35 transgender individuals” that disagree with the Left’s defense of the LGBT community. The “pronoun issue” as he calls it, makes transgender people less important to the community. I personally would like to read these letters from these trans people who supposedly agree with Peterson, because judging from what trans people I’ve met have said, this is the exact opposite of how they feel. Pronouns are important to trans people because they reinforce who they are.
Peterson’s issue with C-16 is that it specifically adds the phrase “gender identity” to the legislation, and that someone could go to jail for refusing to use someone’s correct pronouns, and that the state will use force to compel people to use preferred pronouns, and that this is an attack of freedom of speech. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms states:
“Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”
Section 1 of the Charter, the so-called limitations clause, establishes that the guarantee of freedom of expression and other rights under the Charter are not absolute and can be limited under certain situations:
“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
That all sounds well and good, until you consider what is determined to be a reasonable limit. Objectively speaking, to intentionally call someone by their incorrect pronouns, or to call them by their dead name (provided they have changed their name), is willfully promoting hatred. Doing such falls under Section 319(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code as a hate crime, and as such, is proscribed by law. There are numerous cases dealing with willful promotion of hatred, such as R v Keegstra (1990), R v Andrews, (1990), R v Krymowski (2005), R v Presseault (2007), and R v Popescu.
So now we know who Jordan Peterson is. A rude and unapologetic transphobe that clutches the pearls of “free speech” when he wants to insult and belittle people who just want to exist and be accepted in society.
Peterson is also an author, of sorts, with books such as 12 Rules for Life (2018) and Maps of Meaning (1999) 12 Rules for Life is somewhat of a self-help book aimed at young men aged 18-25 to help them navigate the anarchic chaos that is the 21st century. Let’s look at his 12 rules.
1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
8. Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
10. Be precise in your speech
11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
This absolutely profound and detailed list can easily be found in any other self-help book in Barnes and Noble. It’s nothing new, it’s nothing special. Don’t be a jerk to people, pet cats, walk like you’ve got some purpose. So on, and so forth. The only difference is that he takes these core ideas about how to be a better person, and entraps his readers with psychology, philosophy, and Jungian psychoanalysis.
Now that we’ve established that Peterson wrote a book, we can get into the tactics he uses when engaging those that disagree with him.
In an interview with Cathy Newman, she says “You are saying someone who’s trying to work out their gender identity, who may well have struggled with that, who had quite though time over the years, you’re comparing them with, you know, Chairman Mao.” Peterson quickly states; “Why not? … The philosophy that is guiding their utterances is the same philosophy.”
Historically, Mao Zedong was a Marxist-Leninist, and neither Karl Marx nor Vladimir Lenin ever spoke about transgender people. To make this connection is absolutely farcical. Being trans does not automatically make you a Marxist. There are many Liberal, Anarchist, and even Conservative trans people out there.
In an interview with Epoch Times, Peterson talks about Post-Modernism. He uses coded language (“dog whistles”) to evade the fact that he really wants to say “Cultural Marxism” which is an old Nazi conspiracy theory about Marxist intellectuals plotting to destroy western cultures.
Peterson has nothing of value to say, despite using smoke and mirrors to deceive his audience that everything he says has immeasurable value.