It is time for another entry in my series on Jordan Peterson. This will be a relatively damning piece, but it is much more targeted towards his followers than Jordan Peterson himself. Also, I should probably state that I think highly of Jordan Peterson, despite my awareness of his flaws. I found his lectures on Personality enlightening, I got quite a bit of value out of his Future Authoring Program, and I am looking forward to reading and possibly reviewing his book 12 Rules for Life. That is enough of an intro. Now let’s cut to the chase.
I grew up in a highly conservative corner of the world. Not only was it the norm that divorce was unheard of — I think the first divorce in our community happened in the early 2000s — it was also the case that the women stayed at home to take care of the children. The father was the sole breadwinner. Those were hard-working men. I don’t want to claim that they had all great careers, but they had at the very least good jobs and they worked a lot of hours so that they could provide well for their families. As a consequence, you didn’t get to see your father much, but he was nonetheless there.
As I got older and I learnt a bit more about the world, I made a few realizations. One was that not all people live in a detached house. Another was that there are families, if that word is even appropriate, where there is no male. Even worse, there are families where the male is the father of either none or not all of the kids in the household. In short, those are circumstances that are visibly deranged. Yet, in the community I grew up in, I eventually learnt that not everything is as clean and well-put together as it might seem. People put up a front and tried hard to project a certain image. I have learnt of people who were barely hanging on. There was the man in the house who didn’t make enough money and whose family could barely afford to live in our community, yet they were vehemently opposed to the woman working because that was frowned upon. Then there was the whole array of what TV soap operas are made of: the spoilt kid that makes the wrong friends, the high-flying business executive who fucks his two secretaries (at the same time?), while the wife tolerates this as he is providing so well for her, the gambling addict who blows five or ten grand on poker or roulette on a bad day, the secret alcoholic, the wife who fucks her brother-in-law. Heck, there is even the guy who secretly leases his Mercedes-Benz and tells others he has bought it.
Joking aside, as messed up as some of those families may have been, most were pretty intact. Even the dysfunctional cases were not nearly as bad as you may think, because there is a world of difference between the habitual alcoholic who drinks a bit too much, in a controlled manner, and is still highly functional and even holds down a tough job, and the welfare leech who gets up at 2 pm whose breakfast consists of cheap red wine in a tetra pack. Your dad may have been a flawed man, but he was there. Now compare this to guys who grow up either without a father, or with a mother who has changing sexual partners. Those guys tend to be completely lost. I have to say that the problem of fatherlessness was one I used to be completely unaware of. I just didn’t register it, even I knew of someone whose parents had been divorced. In fact, it was Dean Esmay, former executive editor of A Voice For Men, who drew attention to that problem. For a while, I wrote for that site under a different pseudonym and articles when through a review process. It was either per email or as a remark on a draft of an article, I don’t quite recall it, but he made a connection between something I wrote and the issue of fatherlessness and the consequence that it leaves guys without guidance.
This is now where we finally get to Jordan Peterson. As he has stated himself repeatedly, his audience almost entirely consists of men. I am tempted to state that among those men the number of those who have grown up without a father for at least part of their childhood and early adolescence is heavily overrepresented. This is most certainly true for the more fanatic among his fans, like the people who accused me of being a liar and hauled insults at me when I made it public that I haven’t been paid the affiliate commission Jordan Peterson owed me. Those men latch onto authority figures in an almost haphazard manner. I have witnessed this in many situations: in academia, in religion, in martial arts, in the seduction industry, in the MGTOW community, in probably every profession you can think of. It seems that a large number of men who grow up without a father lack guidance in their life. Well, this also might imply that their independent and empowered mothers were shitty moms. That would certainly go a long way to explain why so many men who grew up without a father harbor such strong resentments towards their mothers. Anyway, not having had a father in their life, they keep looking for someone to look up to. This is how you end up with cult-like tendencies. Their new authority figure gets idealized and they don’t tolerate if you question it. It is quite mind-boggling. Yet, it is not difficult to see how they ended up like that.
There is a certain complementary aspect of mother and father in the raising of children. Mothers can easily be too kind to their sons, and too critical of their daughters. Meanwhile, fathers often spoil their daughters rotten, but hold their sons to a high standard. Of course, I’m painting with very broad strokes, but it would be hard to argue that there is no truth to those observations. If the father is missing, you end up with those useless boys who lack respect and have a poor attitude. They often don’t properly apply themselves to anything because nobody ever told them to. I think that it is precisely that kind of guy who develops such blind devotion to Jordan Peterson. Those are the people who lap up his every word because now, for the first time in their life, someone tells them to fucking clean up after themselves. This is all just temporary. They have had old idols, now they have a new one to admire: Jordan Peterson. It will be someone else in a few months or a few years. Yet, without some introspection, they may not realize why they keep chasing idols. They want to fill a void, the void their (biological) father left in their life.
I believe that Jordan Peterson is a false prophet not due to any inherent flaw of himself, but because every idol such fatherless men chose to admire is false. I furthermore believe that Jordan Peterson is the false prophet of the fatherless generation because he, more than many other idols you could choose to admire, conveys the kind of messages you should have received in a stable family through your parents. In fact, the kind of statements his followers love to regurgitate are downright laughable: “Clean up your room!”, “Sort yourself out!” You really wonder what kind of childhood some people must have had if this is a revolutionary message for them. Yet, Jordan Peterson will not solve their problems. Instead, they need to come to grips with the injuries of fatherlessness. Chasing after yet another idol will not help them. Instead, in order to really grow up, people have to become their own authority instead of looking towards others for guidance, no matter if it’s Jordan Peterson or someone else. Maybe they figure that out after they have cleaned up their room. I would not bet money on that, though.
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