Munk debate Peterson
I observed an interesting dynamic at the recent Munk debate event at Toronto's Roy Thompson Hall between Jordan Peterson and Michael Dyson and Michelle Goldberg.The subject was "political correctness".

The usual outpouring of enthusiastic applause as Peterson walked on stage was conspicuously absent (there was just the polite regular amount, thank-you). Peterson is not a hometown hero, it would seem.

During the debate, Dyson and Goldberg made openly false arguments about Peterson. "Google it", Goldberg said after falsely claiming that Peterson had said that women should not be allowed to wear make up in the workplace. Amazingly, the audience didn't openly scoff at her ignorance and arrogance.

It would seem that there is now a large Liberal crowd which has decided to NOT listen to Jordan Peterson, to NOT explore or read his work and to NOT hear what he has to say, but to instead rely upon hit-piece articles and other authority figures for their intelligence about what he stands for. For such people, that is enough. Authoritarians don't care about the content of the [official] authority's words, as long as it is the familiar, official authority that is instructing and doing their thinking for them.

A perfect example of this authoritarian mindset reacting to new ideas was seen in a Toronto Star hit piece published in the aftermath of the debate. In the article we see the curious and common phenomenon of writers complaining openly that Peterson is so knowledgeable in his arguments that it is impossible to win a debate against him. They never stop to consider that perhaps they can't win a debate because they are wrong and he isn't. Peterson spent much time determining the root of this same observation and came up with his views regarding Post Modernist philosophy, (where there is no Truth, only Power). In any case, it is such a common complaint among editorial writers and aired without any trace of irony or embarrassment, that one begins to wonder if there isn't something a little weird going on in the heads of such people.

That the Authoritarian mindset responds to authority over reason might indicate that the type of 'reasoning' that propagates through their brains is either very weak, or missing altogether.

That said, the fear of Peterson is well founded in one respect; there is ample, frightening evidence that weak-minded people can fall under the sway of strong speakers. This fear was at the root of the Toronto Star article mentioned above. The truth is that many people are cult victims waiting to happen. Their 'safe guard' against the realization of this nightmare scenario lies, bizarrely, in collectively aligning themselves with the 'correct' authority, (who they know instinctively will dominate them, but at least it is the 'right' and familiar authority). Do they somehow know which authority is the 'right' one? Of course not! They simply depend on the old herding system that asks: 'what is everybody else (or the majority, or the apparent majority) doing? Casting aspersions on Jordan Peterson? Then that's the correct thing to do.'

The end result seems to be a significant percentage of the population who are either too lazy [or constitutionally unable?] to explore Peterson's message for themselves and are content to allow authority figures to dictate to them what they should believe, or have actively decided that they simply don't want to know. They have chosen ignorance, have decided that it is okay to be ignorant - so long as it is never called ignorance - and they make all necessary efforts to not think about what it is they are really doing: lying to themselves and avoiding responsibility for those lies and, ultimately, their own lives.

What is the end result for a significant percentage of a population engaging in such willful rejection of their own sovereignty? No one knows for sure, but if we all live long enough, we might just find out.