Peterson Derangement Syndrome

Someday “Peterson Derangement Syndrome” will be cited in the DSM as a peculiarly virulent social contagion which did not affect ordinary people, but which left-leaning intellectuals, lacking immunity, succumbed to in droves.
– Barbara Kay of the National Post –

Dr. Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, speaks in Calgary tonight at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Peterson, the author of the book 12 Rules for Life,  made headlines in 2016 when he opposed Bill C-16 (which affords transgender people the freedom from discrimination under the Criminal Code). His opposition was not to the rights of transgender people. He saw the language part of the Bill as an extension of a campus culture that he believes is controlled by “social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists.”  He saw the potential  of being charged with a hate crime or running afoul of the Ontario Human Rights code if people failed to use a transgender person’s self identified pronoun.

Cathy Newman : “You got into trouble for refusing to call trans-men and -women by their preferred personal pronouns.”
Jordan Peterson: “No, that’s not actually true. I got into trouble because I said I would not follow the compelled speech dictates of the federal and provincial government. I actually never got into trouble for not calling anyone anything.”
– Cathy Newman’s interview of Jordan Peterson –

There is opposition to Dr. Peterson’s Calgary lecture. An open letter addressed to the Calgary venues board of directors calls for the “immediate cancellation of the Jordan Peterson talk”. It also asks them to “implement better diversity training for all staff” and apologize to the LGBTQ community. The letter says Peterson’s comments are “toxic and often violent” and says his “ideas are misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist.”

A recent headline in the Calgary Herald serves to fulfill Dr. Peterson’s fear of the small steps a nation takes on the road to limiting freedom of speech. The headline reads “Should Jordan Peterson be Allowed to Speak in Calgary?” Allowed? As in permitted to? Dr. Peterson has been on a speaking tour all over the world. Is there a law, yet, in Calgary, or Alberta, or Canada that does not ‘allow’ him to speak here?

There is a poll attached to the article. As of this morning, almost 7000 readers have responded to the poll. 95% say he should be ‘allowed to speak’. One comment read:

The Quippery

Another comment read: “These people accusing Jordan Peterson of hate speech express far more anger and hatred in their speech and actions. Lets face it, I wouldn’t want to debate this guy, calling him names is way easier.”

Cathy Newman recently interviewed Dr. Peterson on Britain’s Channel Four. She asked: “Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended.”

Peterson responded: “Because in order to think, you have to risk being offensive. Look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.”

“Well, I’m very glad I put you on the spot,” Newman replied.

“But you get my point,” he said. “You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell’s going on, and that is what you should do. You’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me. And that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

If we restrict freedom of speech by forbidding giving offence, we will be moving in the direction of being forbidden from speaking.
– Joseph Azize, 9 February 2018 –

For the record – I am in general agreement with most of the message Jordan Peterson is delivering. I admire his desire to help young people who feel adrift in a culture that has not prepared them for life in a world that is so different from the one they were schooled in. If you are opposed to him or his message, why?

2 thoughts on “Peterson Derangement Syndrome

  1. I think most of the people who publicly speak out against him / his ideas (and his public appearances) are those who have never listened to him or read his work; most have simply read something on Twitter (or some other social media platform) that labels him as misogynistic, racist, etc. I’ve read his book and listened to some of his podcasts and while he tends to ramble (A LOT), most of what he says makes (good old common) sense. He wouldn’t have gotten where he is (both in his academic career and his online following) without being highly intelligent and thoughtful (not to mention thought provoking). People who don’t “get” his message (mostly because the language and presentation are beyond their capability to understand it) criticize him because they’re intimidated by him. He’s worth paying attention to, IMO.


    1. I’m optimistic that we are at a turning point in history that will result in a more practical mix of economic realities with activist concerns. There are a number of people, like Peterson, who are forming their own ‘media’ outlets so that the voices of all people are heard, not just the left/liberal ones.
      An example is The Intellectual Dark Web


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