How the Right Goes Viral: Jonathan Cook on Jordan Peterson

A useful piece by the always excellent Jonathan Cook shows how the alt-right icon Jordon Peterson was able to make mincemeat of a typically clueless British channel 4 interviewer in much the same way that Glenn Greenwald does: by exposing the bankruptcy of the premises of corporate media which all on air personalities reflexively accept. Channel 4’s response to their humiliation was to retrospectively “no platform” Peterson by disappearing the clip from their site.

Interestingly, this mirrors the approach which much of the Marxist/authoritarian left here is pursuing with Peterson: those giving him a platform are shunned and marginalized, an apparent social media fatwa having been declared on those engaging with him. The reason is likely the same as that of Channel 4. Those who would have to confront him lack the intellectual capacity to address his arguments and they know it. Doing so does not require that much beyond the ability to deploy basic logic and a minimal knowledge of the facts: as Cook notes, Chomsky would easily dispense with Peterson’s more outrageous claims but so would many other lesser profile leftists (e.g. Norman Finkelstein and Nathan Robinson).

But as Angela Nagel points out, much of the left, while congratulating itself on its command of Hegelian dialectic and cult stud “theory”, is incapable of holding its own when its core assumptions are interrogated. And so they flee from the challenge, insuring that Peterson’s frat house Nietzscheanism will continue to gain an increasingly solid footing in popular culture.

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