Thoughts on the ironic shortcomings of the Canadian psychologist
Postmodernism fractures Truth itself into endless half-certainties phrased as fact, yet rooted in the depleted soil of the subjective.
In our current culture we so often find, upon waking up in the morning, that we cannot recognize ourselves in the mirror. Our visage has been distorted by hopelessness and apathy into something less than what we, in fact, are.
We turn, then, to what little comfort and security we may find in generalizations and fallacies which promise surety. We return to our intellectual cradles, infants once more. We are now — again — deprived of the complexities of Truth, which eludes us in our simplicity as Philistines.
In human wisdom, which is again dark and uncertain, we seek the comfort and security of Universal Truth.
Psychologists, journalists and politicians become both pastor and intellectual, offering their skeptical disciples the rudiments of belief in something akin to the objective. We reconstruct for ourselves the fundamentals of civilization, which by their own nature, obfuscate the true aims of human tradition, perverting the heights of wisdom into our own household gods.
In place of the Forum — A boxing match held.
In place of the Atheneum — A funhouse image of the self.
In place of the Church — A votive candle which reads only ‘Man.’
Amidst the great throng of self-help literature that accosts us in this, our moment of crisis, the works of Dr. Jordan Peterson have become a welcome respite. They promise us a reintroduction to the more human elements of our human nature.
Peterson’s practical focus is the betterment of the individual. He believes this is the immediate end to which everyone ought to aim.
His work expertly meets the concerns of young conservative men, navigating the existential impasses which face many Americans today — that of identity. He provides methods by which one might establish the concept of the individual in a culture bereft of the stanchions of polity, philosophy and religion. He constructs the pulpit from which he preaches out of his own intellectual dissonance.
With bachelor’s degrees in both political science and psychology as well as a master’s and PhD in Clinical Psychology, there can be no doubt that Peterson is a highly educated man. He nevertheless limits his insights by his own philosophical outlook, which he sells to his readers as immediately practicable.
In other words — his analysis of the Good is limited by his own intellectual biases, and in permitting these preconceptions to color his understanding, he has misunderstood the primacy of the Christian Intellectual Tradition, a tradition which establishes the self through the renouncement of our own ends in favor of the Divine, orders the person to the right and just will of perfect wisdom, and necessitates the christening of human will. In failing to commune in this way with the Truth, Peterson has lost his reason through his own attempt to preserve it.
That is not to say work like Peterson’s is not constructive or important, though it may not be as objective as he envisions it might be. With blog articles like “The Great Ideological Lie of Diversity” and “The Gender Scandal,” there is no doubt that his work is contemporary, and his perspectives on the fruits of Postmodernism have been far more developed than others. But that does not preclude him from the fallacies of our modern era.
The intellectual bint towards self-deception, prevalent in academia, and impartially expressed through Peterson’s work, is that of a rogue knight, who shatters the image of God in the proud pursuit of Truth, breaking the heart of Man.
In summary: Peterson’s cultural take is often divisive and provokes the very inquiry which he so often, in his own pride, denies.