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Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It's a Set of Actions to Fight | Literary Hub
The public discussion prompted by the (dis)invitation confirmed to me that only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so.
fascism  antifa  deplatforming  steve_bannon  croatia 
8 days ago by perich
The Shocking Truth About Jordan Peterson – Tablet Magazine
"Peterson is by temperament exactly the sort of person born to be a target for digi-journalists and social-media mobs. He has an absolutist commitment to speaking his own truth at all times regardless of the consequences. He has opinions that cut against the grain of some of our most ferociously policed orthodoxies. He often speaks in a rather involuted private jargon with little concern for general intelligibility, and lacks awareness of how he comes across. There is something laughably sophomoric about the unbounded scope of his 19th-century intellectual ambition. He speaks to journalists, even those who plainly have it in for him, in exactly the same forthright manner as he does anyone else—as if he is free to indulge any thought experiment or rhetorical gambit he likes with a willing and sympathetic interlocutor in pursuit of the truth. He has behaved abominably at times and refuses contrition or regret on principle. He is stubborn as hell."

and

"The Times profile was widely construed on social media to expose Peterson as a word-salad-generating pseudomystical obscurantist who “believes in witches” and also as a cartoon misogynist who supported the government-mandated assignment of wives to appease the murderous rage of the male supremacist subculture known as incels—Deepak Chopra meets The Handmaid’s Tale. How could such a depraved figure, attacking 'mainstream and liberal attempts to promote equality,' have ever become famous in the first place? That Peterson doesn’t actually hold the opinions ascribed to him doesn’t matter at all to the keepers of the social media consensus. They’ll just keep repeating false claims, based mainly on cherry-picked quote fragments and evidence-free assertions, until they harden into social fact, immune from correction or clarification."

and

"The Times piece brought to its conclusion a dialectic that has increasingly consumed the news media in the age of Twitter. A narrative generated on social media is fed back into the 'mainstream' press, and then in turn fed back into Twitter in the form of reporting that appears to confirm the pre-existing narrative. It acquires along the way the force of sanction, rewarding those who participate in the dissemination of the narrative, and punishing those who dissent from it in the form of mob-style attacks and ostracism. This machinery for the spontaneous coordination of orthodoxy exploits vulnerabilities in our evolved psychology. 'Confirmation bias' is the tendency to lower our threshold of proof for claims that conform to what we are already primed by habit, familiarity, and the desire to believe. 'The availability heuristic' is the tendency to mistake the vividness of an occurrence for its frequency. Use these quirks of the mind to feed the bias held by partisans that the only people that could possibly oppose them are knaves and fools, and you can gaslight even otherwise bright and skeptical people into accepting and repeating blatant falsehoods."

and

"And yet despite all these true facts about Jordan Peterson, and all he has done to feed the narrative—and all he has not done to distance himself adequately from it—the narrative itself is specious. It evaporates on contact with serious scrutiny. The Jordan Peterson story is in fact a picaresque comedy of errors."

and

"And here is the strange paradox and tension of our moment. A hyperbolic rhetoric of political purism nearly surreal in its intensity has not just captured our universities, but large segments of the popular press. Glamour magazine names Linda Sarsour to its Women of the Year list. Esquire.com runs a column claiming that 'powerful white men, however outfacing liberal or progressive they may appear, are the architects of structural racism and white supremacy in America.' And the New York Times laments, in the wake of a mass shooting, that the underlying cause of such extreme events is that 'boys are broken,' implying that the swamp that feeds such monstrous excrescences which must be drained—is masculine identity itself."

and

"These somewhat more carefully hedged modes of calling Peterson a racist succumb to a dangerous fallacy—that of equating criticism of any ideological innovation that purports to speak on behalf of minorities as itself racist."

and

"Moderation can, of course, be the wrong approach to any given problem and, like every other political temperament, it is susceptible to criticism. But one criticism it is not susceptible to is being a form of crypto-fascism, or covert anti-Semitism, or an attempt to 'justify class and gender hierarchies,' when it plainly is none of those things. His goal appears to be to advance the cause of progress while taking care to preserve what is functional in our systems, whose capacity to sustain nation states of hundreds of millions of people in conditions of relative peace and prosperity he would like all of us to acknowledge. His own personal conservatism might lead him to strike the balance between equality and freedom at a different place than would an egalitarian liberal or leftist: But it’s the idea that there is a balance that needs to be struck that has come under assault."

conclusion:

"Jordan Peterson may have already allowed himself to become too immured in the fractiousness of our time to be the figure whose intervention breaks the fever. He is a messenger whose immoderate personal conduct has worked at cross purposes to the essential moderation of his message. While his own personal following is likely to grow unabated, continuing to enrich him, the progressive consensus has immunized itself against his message—one that is fundamentally correct on certain crucial aspects of the conundrum we face—with an assist from Peterson’s own immodest tongue. Left activists in Portland propose deplatforming him from the venue where he is scheduled to speak, an ominous portent of a cascade of escalation that could well culminate in violence. We should nonetheless not let the histrionics in which he is surrounded—those created by himself and others—obscure the fact that it is Peterson who is the moderate and the keepers of the ostensibly 'mainstream' opinion that condemns him that have latched on to extreme doctrines. There are a great many things that the progressive consensus should stop gaslighting itself into believing. That Jordan Peterson is a dangerous far-right radical—and that they are the guardians of all that is good and just—is far from the least of them."
jordan-peterson  tablet  wesley-yang  deplatforming  political-correctness  identity-politics  racism  politics  equality  freedom  moderation  social-justice 
may 2018 by actualitems

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