During an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation this week, Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson reflected on reasons why young Americans are increasingly embracing left-wing ideology that include, as he put it, ignorance of history.
“People are unbelievably ignorant of history. What young people know about 20th-century history is nonexistent, especially about the history of the radical left. How would you know? They are never taught about it so why would they be concerned about it?”
The author of the self-help book, “12 Rules for Life”, continued by saying that younger generations simply don’t understand what socialism is, that is why they are open it.
Youngsters are “emotionally drawn to the ideals of socialism, say, or the left, because it draws its fundamental motivational source from a kind of primary compassion, and that is always there in human beings”.
“And I think I understand the motivations on the radical left – both on the post-modernist end and on the more Marxist end – and because of that I’m a relatively effective critic, and that makes me very unpopular, and that’s fine”, Peterson said.
On top of this, it is the mainstream media that is so “desperate for attention” that it’s going into extraordinary lengths to fuel this appeal.
“The destruction of the narratives that guide us individually, psychologically, and that also unite us, socially, familially … it’s an absolute catastrophe”, Peterson said, adding that this reality has resulted from the “unholy marriage of the postmodern nihilism with this Marxist utopian notion”.
The Q&A caused mixed reactions on social media: while some seemed to support his views, others appeared to be quite critical of his stance:
This is why we have to stand up to the tyranny of Far Left ideology. Call it out their attack on freedoms.— MBon (@BonislawskiM) 4 апреля 2019 г.
What is this incoherent nonsense?— Lehan (@lehan) 4 апреля 2019 г.
I am concerned for his health. He does not look (or sound) well.— David (@dsherwoodb) 5 апреля 2019 г.
Over the past few weeks, Peterson has been embroiled in a number of controversies: the University of Cambridge has dropped its offer of visiting fellowship over an image in which the psychology professor is photographed with a man wearing an “I’m a proud Islamophobe” shirt in a New Zealand bookstore in February.
Shortly after, Whitcoulls, a book chain in New Zealand, pulled his “12 Rules for Life” from the shelves, apparently for the same photo, which circulated online in the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting in Christchurch mosques. However, several days later, Whitcoulls reinstated the book.
The professor also defied his critics to find evidence that he has spoken "a single phrase that marks me as a prejudiced person regarding sex, race, ethnicity or, indeed, any of the multiplicity of identities that have become so quickly and strangely dominant in our culture so recently".
Peterson, a champion of free speech and self-describe professor against political correctness, rose to international prominence three years ago when he voiced his opposition to a law requiring people to use gender-neutral pronouns, claiming that such legislation infringes on free speech.
He’s well known for his opposition to modern feminism pushed to the extremes and is often accused of promoting patriarchy and intolerance.