Make Debate Intellectual Again? Jordan Peterson Gets More Hate

That Jordan Peterson receives hate is no surprise except it happened at a respected debate.

What happened to Jordan Peterson recently demonstrates that self-styled “progressives” really can’t deal with the reality that they might not be the future. The thought that they might lose the battle of ideas makes them mad, both in the sense of angry and in the sense of insane.

So what we are witnessing is Leftists losing their ability to debate.

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Uri Harris writes at Quillete, “The Munk Debate and the Perils of Tribalism.

The Munk Debates is a semi-annual series of debates that take place in front of an audience of 3,000 people at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Two panelists argue in favor of a motion and two argue against it. Audience members vote on the motion before and after the debate, and the side that shifts the most votes in its favor is declared the winner.

The most recent installment took place last Friday. It was titled: “Political Correctness—Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress…” The pro side consisted of sociologist Michael Eric Dyson and journalist Michelle Goldberg, while the con side consisted of comedian Stephen Fry and psychologist Jordan Peterson. All four are prominent authors and social critics. The debate was broadcast in both Canada and the United States, was streamed online through thousands of channels, and has received almost two million views on YouTube (across a few different channels) as I write this.

The debate was remarkable for one particular reason, which I’ll focus on in this piece. I’ve watched hundreds of academic debates over the past decade or so—on YouTube and elsewhere—starting with some of the early ‘New Atheist’ debates on religion and then moving on to politics, philosophy, and many other topics. Yet I’ve never seen one where a participant used derogatory racialised language as part of their debate strategy. Until this one.

Half an hour into the debate, Dyson made the following statement: “[I] ain’t seen nobody be a bigger snowflake than white men who complain.” An hour in, he said the following to Peterson: “Why the rage, bruh, you’re doing well, but you’re a mean mad white man.” When Peterson objected, Dyson responded with this: “The mean mad white comment was not predicated upon my historical excavation of your past, it’s based upon the evident vitriol with which you speak and the denial of a sense of equanimity among combatants in an argument. So I’m saying again, you’re a mean mad white man and the viciousness is evident.”

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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