Anti-woke professor Jordan B Peterson’s new self-help book for the masses will sell millions. No wonder the liberals are in tears
For those inclined towards self-help, there are shelves packed with books on the meaning of life, and controversial psychologist Jordan B Peterson is about to add to them with his new work Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, out next March.
Oh! The gnashing of teeth, the tearing of hair and heart-rending wailing that has caused. And that’s just from those who work at his publisher.
The Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto already puts the liberal media in a tailspin. ‘How dangerous is Jordan B Peterson, the rightwing professor who 'hit a hornets' nest'?’, asked The Guardian. ‘Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy’ claimed the New York Times. These are typical of the headlines that greeted his 2018 multi-million selling 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
And now there’s more. Having announced the pending publication of his new book, publishing company Penguin Random House Canada then immediately held a forum, which “provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback.” Bad idea.
Anywhere else, this is called a staff bitch-fest where everyone slags off the bosses without fear of retribution. This being Canada, it is called a town hall and is what woke workplace cowards now offer instead of bold corporate leadership.
But give the screaming, hysterical liberals of the publishing world a forum to express their intolerance and self-righteousness about your company’s plans and you may as well ask Leonard, that junior from HR, to head up the team rolling out all your proposed publications for the next financial year.
Nothing of value comes from such an exercise, other than the conviction that, “We won’t do that again!”
Energised by the company spotlight, and in a delightful exhibition of childish foot-stamping, one Penguin employee declared that Peterson was “an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him.”
There were tears and tantrums as another Penguin employee complained that reading 12 Rules for Life had radicalised their father. Ha! Maybe he was just sick of having his snowflake offspring decrying their lot in life every night over the dinner table. Let’s hope the poor, beleaguered sod doesn’t come across Penguin’s edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf - available on its website at £25 - because that would not have a happy ending.
Much of the bile and accusations of alt-right association directed at Peterson stem from his 2016 admission that he wouldn’t use the preferred pronouns of transgender students at the university where he works. Among the social justice warriors and left-wing radical political activists who stalk university campuses, that meant war. Transphobe caveman!Also on rt.com Joe Rogan podcast fans cry ‘censorship’ as many episodes with conservative guests did not make it to Spotify
Oh, and he also suggested that maybe women should consider not wearing high heels and make-up in the workplace to avoid harassment. Pale, male, stale sexist pig!
And then he was slammed for having his photo taken alongside a man wearing a t-shirt bearing a slogan declaring, “I’m a proud Islamophobe,” as if it was a given that his proximity endorsed the sentiment. Anyway, Islamophobe!
For that perceived transgression, Peterson had his offer of a visiting fellowship to Cambridge University rescinded, which the faculty chose to announce not through a private, courteous letter expressing regret. No, it was announced on Twitter, as the good doctor rightly pointed out, “in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious.”
That’s what Peterson is good at. Skewering self-important, virtue signallers. His withering assessment of liberal torchbearer Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, is one of my favourites.
Discussing Trudeau’s government appointments on YouTube channel Valuetainment, Peterson objected to the number of female posts awarded in relation to the number of women elected to Parliament. The PM had dismissed his critics, waving them off with ‘Well, it’s 2015.’
“No,” insisted Peterson, “It’s your job to pick the most qualified people, period, regardless of their genitalia, because they are leading the country. Instead he abdicated his responsibility to make those difficult decisions and then wallpapered it over with his casual virtue of, ‘Well, I'm going to promote women.’ It's like, ‘No you're going to promote competent people’. You weasel!”
It’s the professor’s refusal to rein it in or give liberals a pass on anything that causes steam to blow from their ears, and it makes a refreshing tonic to the onslaught of self-righteousness, intolerance, self-importance and virtue signalling that passes for contemporary public discourse.
Like that displayed in ‘I Hate Men.’ Recently published in English, this essay, stretched to a 96-page book from French feminist blogger Pauline Harmange, was the subject of a bidding war by 10 publishers fighting to publish it in English.
Why? Well, when it was released in August in her home country, a minor official in the French gender-equality ministry objected to this ode to misandry because, he felt, it incited hatred on the basis of sex, which is a criminal offence, and asked the publisher to withdraw it from its catalogue. Mon Dieu!
In the inevitable uproar that followed this clumsy attempt at censorship, the book’s sales soared and the French media went wild. Securing the English rights, the new publisher called I Hate Men “a whip-smart, thoughtful, amusing treatise on the persistent gender inequality that plagues our society.”
So Jordan B Peterson and his one-man battle against unchallenged liberalism propagates “hate speech” whereas publishers fight among themselves to publish a book actually called ‘I Hate Men’ and it’s something amazing? Hmm.
Unfortunately for the 25-year-old blogger, Harmange’s ‘I Hate Men’ hasn’t travelled well. Sunday Times critic Christina Patterson derided the “angry and woefully confused polemic,” saying it “offers no fresh insights, no fresh arguments and no awareness of the past 50 years of feminism. It doesn’t even offer any wit. But it does end with a thank you to Harmange’s ‘adorable cat’.”
But let’s not become too excited. As Aristotle noted, “One swallow does not a summer make” so maybe the tanking of I Hate Men is not so much a shift in liberal thinking but a cultural hiccup, as an author’s clever idea becomes lost in translation.
Rest assured, there is no danger of that when Jordan Peterson, the self-styled ‘Professor Against Political Correctness,’ embarks on his next book tour. Then, it will be time to buckle up and enjoy the ride. I can’t wait!
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.