Here is Joy Pullmann writing about the Left’s fear of Jordan Peterson:
The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan says Jordan Peterson shows the left that ‘currently seems ascendant in our houses of culture and art, has in fact entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable.’
In The Atlantic on Thursday, contributing editor Caitlin Flanagan wrote of her liberal son and peers’ fascination with Canadian psychologist and auditorium-packing internet sensation Jordan Peterson.
They “began listening to more and more podcasts and lectures by this man, Jordan Peterson,” she writes. “The young men voted for Hillary, they called home in shock when Trump won, they talked about flipping the House, and they followed Peterson to other podcasts — to Sam Harris and Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan. What they were getting from these lectures and discussions, often lengthy and often on arcane subjects, was perhaps the only sustained argument against identity politics they had heard in their lives.”
In this insightful counter-narrative essay attempting to explain “Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson,” she notes Peterson’s listeners are not largely the “alt-right” types often held up to him during hostile media interviews: “the audience is made up of people who are busy with their lives — folding laundry, driving commercial trucks on long hauls, sitting in traffic from cubicle to home, exercising.” Flanagan also memorably writes that these listeners are “pursuing a parallel curriculum.”
“A parallel culture of ideas has emerged to replace a corrupted system,” she writes later. What’s the corrupted system? The political and cultural left that “currently seems ascendant in our houses of culture and art, has in fact entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable.” Identity politics, she says, are one evidence and cause of this corruption.
Flanagan does not delve into why identity politics is a cause and result of corruption, but I have a suggestion. It’s because identity politics, and so much else of what passes for politics and culture today, is largely an elaborate system of virtue signaling. Indeed, scholar William Voegeli has shown in great detail that the left’s entire political program is wasteful, utterly ineffective virtue signaling.
Read more: The Federalist
Image credit: www.thefederalist.com.