No, you should ALL be ashamed

Avalanche insists that no one should feel ashamed for being taken in by Jordan Peterson. I very much disagree.

“I am ashamed for liking Jordan Peterson”

Every semi-normal person feels this way after having been taken for a destructive ride by a sociopath. “How how HOW could I have been so blind, not seen him for what he was? I cannot ever trust myself again!”

But there is no shame in being ‘used’ by a master-user! That would like saying, “I’ve just learned to play golf — but Jack Nicklaus just destroyed me on the links! It’s because there must be something wrong with me!”

No, you were just WAY outclassed! Ol’ Jordie is a (probably literally) insanely talented master at sociopathic manipulation of normal folks. {Raises a rueful hand:} He sure ‘got’ me!

Sociopaths are not normal, and normal people have no useful defenses against the first one they meet; and often not further ones if they’re unfortunate enough to run into another.

Whenever you get ‘down’ on yourself for not seeing it, remind yourself you had a run-in with a tiger on the veldt — and got away with with a mere financial scratch! GOOD for you!

The problem is that I told everyone what Jordan Peterson was the moment I started paying any attention to him. I saw through his act at first glance and immediately observed several points of evidence that strongly indicated he had a disordered mind and a deceptive character. Yet four out of five people WHO HAD FOLLOWED ME FOR YEARS reacted angrily and insisted that I had to be wrong, despite the fact that there was absolutely ZERO evidence to support their position. And by zero evidence, I mean none whatsoever. Even the most cursory reading of anything he had ever written, dating all the way back to college, was sufficient to cast doubt on the man. It was one of the strangest things I’ve observed in the history of the blog.

There is no intellectual defense for that kind of reaction. This is precisely why I say MPAI. Most people are idiots, by which I mean that they are primarily driven by what makes them feel good at the moment, which is another way to say that they are predominately ruled by rhetoric. That is just as true of Avalanche, and the majority of people here – albeit a smaller majority than the norm – as it is of society in general. An idiot, to me, is anyone who believes, contra all philosophy, science, and history, that the truth of the matter is, or even can be, determined on the basis of his feelings about it.

Even when Protagoras says “man is the measure of all things” he is not referring to any one individual man, much less that man’s feelings at a particular point in the space-time continuum.

These things are what they are. But don’t say there is no shame in them. It’s not for the rhetorical to judge or absolve the rhetorical, it is for those who are less susceptible to rhetoric to judge them. There were massive quantities of evidence indicating that Jordan Peterson was a fraud, and yet very, very few of his fans placed any weight on any of that preponderance of evidence, simply because he made them feel good for one reason or another.

If you fell for Peterson, then you should be ashamed and you should admit it to yourself. You should explore the reasons why you did so and why you were susceptible to his con. And you should do so in order to prevent yourself from falling just as readily for the very next fraud to come along. In fact, I would even suggest that the desire to explain away one’s feeling of shame is indicative of the very vulnerability that led to the feeling in the first place.

If human history is any guide, many of those who fell for Jordan Peterson will fall for the next person to make them feel similarly good about themselves. Because MPAI.