Jordan Peterson, A Snake Oil Expert?

by Kiri Vadivelu | 3 min. read science

Indeed, his ability to rationalize and extract fascist ideologies for the benefit of parasites is a masterpiece

During my early years, I was really interested in clinical psychology. I would often spend my evening watching his lectures and learning from his approach to investigating and solving complex social and psychological issues. After a while though, his approach to understanding social problems were narrow and limited - particularly his tendency to blame the victim and empathize with those in control was starting to be obnoxious.

Jordan Peterson, Sitting Legs Crossed, 2021
Jordan Peterson, 2021 | © Kiri Vadivelu

Consequently, I searched for alternative methods and solutions to examine problems of inequality, injustice and corruptions. Ironically, the primary reason for my interest in clinical psychology was to get into the mind of a bully. Although, I benefited from his intellectual capacity to articulate problems to atomic precision, his inability to relate to the powerless in society made me opt out of his lectures, eventually.

In the outer scope, the western justice system is highly regarded because of its structure that defend the interest of victims even at the expense of offenders walking free. But, Jordan strike the core of justice through deception, where he portrays himself to be victim, then defend the interest of the offender through his explanations. His work reinforces the dangerous campaign to believe the offender; not the victim or powerless in society. Most scholars naively look over his controversies because no one expects someone in his caliber to be academically sneaky.

Not surprising to see academics pursue thriving business models such as Mr. Peterson’s but extremely disgraceful to see well respected scholars act with malice for profit; rather than social goods. His audiences are young inexperienced men looking to find their masculinity in social democracy; clients are primarily corporations recruiting employees with borderline narcissistic personalities. By knowingly selling twisted narratives of scientific research with his own flavours, he joins the snake oil market.

In my view, he went from Clinical Psychologist to Snake Oil Expert in a highly competitive fake guru market. Using his academic achievement and mainstream media, he jumped leap years ahead of many. Indeed, his ability to rationalize and extract fascist ideologies for the benefit of parasites is a masterpiece. Nevertheless, the long term walk on eggshell to sell more books, actually places his past academic achievement in jeopardy.

Realistically, the academic suppression of working class needs have rewarded Mr. Peterson with wealth and fame. The joy ride is unlikely to provide any incentive for Jordan to change the course of his politics that demonize victims at the expense of self privilege and irrationality. Meanwhile, Jordan is at the retirement phase; thus, unlikely to have new awakening to unlearn the principles of bible that justify the residential school massacre.

Although inequity is not a concern for Jordan, he does vibrate the frequency to support for some democracy in capitalism. Due to such lenience of democratism, he may not be swept off the feet by liberal breeze. Interestingly, he has not ruffled any big feathers in the conservative party; nonetheless, conservatives are not doing terrible enough to send an open invitation.

In the past, Jordan has caused friction with left leaning personalities due to his right wing fused authoritarianism and intolerance toward gender libertinism. However, Mr. Peterson’s political alienation is not convincing enough to deviate from the interest of science and humanities. Then, why did JP cross the line? It remains a mystery, surely a trick or treat.

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