The world needs Jordan Peterson more than ever

Oct 23, 2020 by

by Douglas Murray, UnHerd:

The professor is back after a year of illness, and his timing could not be better.

The world needs Jordan Peterson. That may sound like the statement of a fan or a friend — and I am both — but it is also a fact illustrated by the sheer numbers who come to him seeking guidance and help. There has been no other public intellectual in recent years who has attracted the kind of following Peterson has. His book, 12 Rules for Life, sold by the millions; his speaking events drew thousands of attendees, night after night, in cities across the world, in what became a gruelling schedule for Peterson. And this was not some top-down publicity-led phenomenon: it was a grass-roots movement in which readers and viewers gravitated towards the Canadian academic.

[…] One of the strangest and most baffling aspects of the Peterson phenomenon has been the way in which his critics failed to contend with his points and arguments. And not just the specifics, but the fact that anybody with such a following must be onto something. Of course critics primarily on the ideological Left claimed that Peterson was some kind of fringe “alt-right” figure, against the evidence of any and all of his words. It was telling that they remained so incurious about the popularity of his work.

You would have thought that if any Canadian professor who had previously been obscure rose to prominence across the world, with audiences of thousands rising to their feet to welcome him every night, then whatever their ideological stance people — including critics — would try to work out what it was that he was onto. Yet Peterson’s critics, from Cathy Newman to the New York Times and the BBC, consistently failed to see any interest in the bigger story. They tried to bring him down, of course. They tried to portray him as some kind of monster, trip him up, laugh at him or otherwise reveal some underlying horror.

But they never even bothered to contend with the question of what it is that such a person might have been onto. What was the cause of his rise? Why were so many people attracted to his message?

Read here

Ed: And why the world needs Douglas Murray too … Watch him in conversation with Dennis Prager on Air TV here

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