12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Broadcast News – Jordan Peterson – Canadian Psychologist in the UK

Jordan Peterson – Canadian Psychologist  – 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Broadcast News

On Monday evening Herself and I attended a speaking engagement put on by the Emmanuel Centre in London and featuring the Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, Jordan B. Peterson. Frivolous as it might be to claim that there was something in the air that night, the enthusiasm for Peterson and his often malignantly miscategorized viewpoint was unmistakably apparent in the eruption of a standing ovation occurring as he took to the stage. Professor Peterson was in town to promote his new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, and over the course of the next hour, he kept the thousand-or-so strong audience enthralled, waxing lyrical across a broad range of topics including social hierarchies among lobsters, the nature of totalitarian regimes, and the importance of telling the truth.

Following the talk, we  were fortunate enough to meet the good professor as he signed copies of his book (which you can purchase online here). While Herself made the substantive and well received offer to translate some of Peterson’s online work into her native Greek, I questioned him on the more trivial and facetious matter as to who would win in a prison-rules fist fight between Carl Jung and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Ultimately, it was settled that Jung would come through as the more likely victor. “He was one tough guy!” Peterson affirmed with a shake of the head. Whatever the case, we both agreed that Dostoyevsky would most probably fight dirty. I think understandably he would. The man was an epileptic and certainly not in need of a smack to the melon for God’s sake. 

On Tuesday, Peterson appeared as a guest on the UK’s Channel 4 News in an interview that pushed the conservative author, journalist and political commentator, Douglas Murray, to write in his blog for The Spectator:

If I was Channel 4 I would take it down. If I was Cathy Newman I would sue or seek a super-injunction. I don’t think I have ever witnessed an interview that is more catastrophic for the interviewer…That isn’t news. It isn’t even interviewing. It is grandstanding. This nation’s broadcasters should feel ashamed.

I have embedded the full interview below and advise everybody to give it a watch – If ever there was a document to cement the broken legacy of broadcast journalism in Britain, this would be it. If the video is blocked in your region, let me know in the comments and I will look into hosting the video myself.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jules says:

    Just saw the Jordan Peterson interview and I don’t think it is as catastrophic as news media have led me to believe. She’s not bright enough – or her intellectual freedom is too limited – to follow him, but she no doubt represent a lot of people.
    It is sad that she can jus label a professor and successful clinical psychologist for a provocateur and thus reduce his very real concerns, not to mention the innumerable hours he’s spent defending his viewpoint, to a media stunt. Why should he be associate with the alt right, why is the next video an interview with the clown Milo Yiannopoulos?

    You could have written something more insightful about the meeting than an imagined fistfight. As if the professor isn’t sufficiently challenged by things irrelevant as it is.

    1. criticaldispatches says:

      I am sure that she represents the views of a lot of people, however, as Peterson repeatedly demonstrates in the interview, these ideas are largely ridiculous. It is because she labels the clearly accomplished Professor as a “provocateur” and thus dismisses his very real concerns that the interview is a catastrophe. As to our meeting, I was quite clear in admitting that my question was “trivial and facetious.” Nonetheless, it is one of the matters we discussed. Peterson is particularly well read in Jungian psychology and the works of Dostoyevsky and I have some experience with these two figures myself. The exchange was meant as some comic relief from the hour of book signings that he had already endured and he seemed to find some pleasure in considering the matter. However, I see your point and will make an effort to consult you as to what I should say ahead of all my future social engagements..

  2. Cannot entirely be with a man who thinks that white privilege does not exist. But then I am not white and I live in the US.

    And he is so angry! Lucky him because women are crushed if they so much as display the half of this.

    Hoping that people listening to him are as discerning about his work as he is himself has been about the work of others.

    1. criticaldispatches says:

      I don’t think he denies the existence of certain privileges, more, he questions the absolutist nature of the notion. One quote, “I think the idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible, and it’s not because white people aren’t privileged. You know, we have all sorts of privileges, and most people have privileges of all sorts, and you should be grateful for your privileges and work to deserve them, I would say. But, the idea that you can target an ethnic group with a collective crime, regardless of the specific innocence or guilt of the constituent elements of that group, there is absolutely nothing that’s more racist than that. It’s absolutely abhorrent.”

      Personally, I think that a term such as “white privilege” is very clumsy and heavily reliant on vagary when it comes to describing a widely varied set of factors and considerations. I also find the racially collectivistic nature of the term to be… well, racist. That one label could satisfyingly describe and represent all the complexities of existence for a massive portion of the population is objectionable – that it is based on the colour of their skin makes it worse. Have we completely abandoned Martin Luther King’s idea that we should judge each other on the content of character and not skin colour?

      I don’t think he is displaying anger in this interview, he seems quite jovial considering the circumstances. It was the interviewer who was pursuing an aggressive line of questioning after all, and he even praises her for doing that.

      Fundamentally, however, I am in agreement with you in encouraging people to approach all ideas critically and make up their own minds.

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