The con man at work

Another conservative sucker is “dazzled” by Jordan Peterson’s preemptive mirroring:

Peterson takes the stage almost hesitantly. He has no script and no shtick. Instead, he pauses to ruminate a bit and then, drawing from his capacious brain, announces that he thinks he’ll start the talk by looking at the centuries’ long struggle between science and religion. He speaks hesitantly at first. There are long pauses during which he plays an invisible piano while he gathers his thoughts.

For the first ten minutes or so, it’s easy to believe that, after last year’s grueling schedule (100 touring days, more than 100 talks), Peterson has burned out. Then, he slowly starts gathering speed. The words come faster, the literary, psychological, sociological, and scientific data flows in an unending stream of fascinating data. As he gains momentum, Peterson balances the data and in-depth analysis with merely funny asides, which he follows with profoundly funny asides and conclusions.

By the end of the talk, Peterson is, as I said above, dazzling. He’s given the audience, not Oprah-esque pabulum, but an intellectual tour de force about the human condition, about man’s search for meaning, about the Leftist war on competence, about the nature of power, and about universals traits in both humans and animals, to name just a few of the topics he covered. Despite both the sheer breadth of information he offers, Peterson never loses his main point. He wraps everything up in a truly profound package that speaks, not to partisanship, but to core human needs, both personal and societal.

To be honest, Peterson’s speech was so information rich that I’m struggling to remember precisely what he said.

It’s amusing how he has “no script and no shtick” and yet runs through the same performance every single time. These people are going to be very, very angry when they finally realize how completely they’ve been conned by an intellectual charlatan.

This quote from another piece by the same bedazzled author struck me as hauntingly familiar.

The Dark Web consists of a loose federation of people, from conservative Jews to Sanders-supporting atheists, all of whom share a desire to speak the truth about important issues and to do so in a spirit of shared intellectual inquiry. 

How very magickal indeed. Now consider this quote from Cuckservative about the dawn of the conservative movement in the mid-20th century.

Despite their conceptual shortcomings, the early conservatives were relatively successful. To many, they came as a breath of fresh intellectual air after a generation of monolithic post-New Deal liberal-left dominance. At the same time, their ideas were sufficiently broad generalities that they were fully in accord with the blank-slate, universalist ideals that became popular during the 20th century. They also contrasted strongly with those older elements of the traditional American right that had emphasized the unique importance of liberty and limited government to Anglo-Saxon history. But the broad congeniality of conservatism to the mid-20th-century zeitgeist helped the conservatives reach a wider audience than the purely American base of the pre-WWII right. Because the new conservatives were merely skeptical of the benefits of an expansive state rather than vehemently and passionately hostile to it, they began to build a following from among segments of the American population, such as the post-war immigrants and their children, who came from less stubbornly independent political traditions than the sons and daughters of the American Revolution.

The nascent conservative movement did attract some of the surviving remnants of the old right, including the intellectual forerunners of the libertarian movement, Southern agrarians, and isolationist nationalists of various sorts. Others joined the movement as well, including the dissident Trotskyites and cold-war hawks who later evolved into the neoconservatives. Contrary to what is often believed today, the first wave of conservatives did not include fundamentalist Christians in any numbers.

Neither does the Intellectual Dark Web. That’s not a coincidence. Jordan Peterson is not the antichrist. He’s William F. Buckley 2.0.