Cannon fodder

I wrote this song about angry young men being groomed by right-wingers, and I think of it any time Jordan Peterson is mentioned: the stupid man’s idea of an intellectual has managed to build a very lucrative career by persuading angry young men that he’s some kind of guru.

Peterson spoke at an event in Dublin last night from which Peter Kavanagh tweeted a glorious stream of comment, including this:

“Imagine that you’re naive” says Peterson to an audience that paid €50-60 to hear him speak.

Not going to be an issue here, Jordo.

I think Peterson is a very dangerous, bigoted man peddling dangerous bullshit. Over at Longreads, Laurie Penny has a more nuanced critique. It’s well worth your time. She writes:

If every generation gets the intellectuals it deserves, we’re in serious trouble.

…In times of angst and confusion, anyone who accurately describes how you feel will briefly seem like God’s own prophet. This, as any half-decent writer can tell you, is a talent that is extremely easy to abuse.

…None of this is to say that Peterson himself is a fascist. An obsession with hierarchy does not make a person a totalitarian, just as a devotion to proto-eugenic thinking combined with a rigid religious morality does not make a person a Nazi. They do, however, have real gateway appeal for anyone considering a career in neo-fascism, and while Jordan Peterson may not be a hatemonger, the same cannot be said of all of his fans — many of whom move from his relatively measured pronouncements to the hard stuff.

Penny will be abused for writing that article. She’ll get rape and death threats, possibly worse. Because that’s what Peterson’s fans do. That should tell you something.