Jordanetics: Understanding Vox Day’s Problem

The experts on debates say that the first thing you want to do with your opponent’s ideas, before you demolish them, is to state them in the best possible light, even correcting a couple of mistakes to put a better shine on his whole system. Or, as Jordan Peterson writes in 12 Rules: An Antidote for Chaos, “I routinely summarize what people have said to me, and ask them if I have understood properly.”

This, alas, Vox Day does not do in his attack on Jordan Peterson in Jordanetics: A Journey into the Mind of Humanity’s Greatest Thinker. In the Foreword, Milo Yiannopoulos attacks Peterson for not sticking up for him and Faith Goldy, and in the Introduction, Vox Day attacks Peterson for not doing his sums right on Jewish IQ, and not sticking up for Faith Goldy.

I agree. Peterson should have stuck up for Milo and Goldy after their respective defenestrations. Take it from the expert: in 12 Rules you are not supposed to duck your encounters with Chaos.

By the way, both Milo and Vox advertise their faith in “objective truth.” We will return to that in a minute.

Vox Day starts his book by accusing Peterson of being a “charlatan,” of “ignorance,” of “narcissism,” relating Peterson’s struggle with “mental illness,” replaying his forays into Peterson’s work in his Darkstream YouTube channel and his Voxiversity BitChute channel. Then he asks, “Who Is the Real Jordan Peterson?” Only in Chapter Six does he start to analyze the book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Okay. So what is Peterson saying, to paraphrase Cathy Newman? He is saying in his book that, if you are a young man cowering in your parents’ basement, you need to stand up straight with your shoulders back and become a responsible person. And here is how to do it.

But he does not justify this with the bourgeois Christian ethic of the 18th century, with, as Vox Day writes, its allegiance to the “objective truth, as that concept has been defined in the dictionary and understood by Man since the beginning of time.” Peterson is a Jungian, which is to say he stands not just on the shoulders of Jung, but all the other Germans, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, who have spent the last two centuries demolishing the objective truth paradigm. He is making the case for bourgeois responsibility using the 19th century German world view, and that Vox Day cannot abide.

I was once a believer in objective truth too. And then I read F.S.C. Northrop and his Meeting of East and West. I quote:

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate.

The whole point of the revolution begun by Kant is that we can’t know “objective truth.”

For Kant everything we know comes through our senses and then gets processed by our brains and gussied up into a theory of the world. Thus, we cannot know things-in-themselves, prior to our sense impressions.

But the loss of “objective truth” is not the end of everything, it is just the beginning.

For one thing, it allows Carl Jung to experience the history of religion as the history of mankind trying to make sense of the world -- the meaning of life, the universe, and everything -- given the state of human knowledge about life, the universe, and everything at the time.

In his book Jordan Peterson tries to make sense of the world with everything from Biblical exegesis to Nietzschean aphorisms and Jungian analysis, with Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn thrown in for good measure. And, of course, his Biblical analysis compares God the Father and Christ the Son with Osiris and Horus, the Egyptian father-son duo. He would, because he’s a Jungian, and Jungians believe that you can bring together the religious beliefs of all ages to discover the truth.

For Vox Day this is as fraudulent as L. Ron Hubbard and his Dianetics, and so Peterson is in it for the money and the adulation and he is forming a cult just like Hubbard. Hence Jordanetics.

Actually Vox Day has a point. Every quickie book of 12 Rules -- or 95 Theses -- since St. Paul has faced the very real danger of starting a whacko cult, and some of those cults have developed into global thermonuclear religions.

Let’s close with bad boy Nietzsche:

The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

The experts on debates say that the first thing you want to do with your opponent’s ideas, before you demolish them, is to state them in the best possible light, even correcting a couple of mistakes to put a better shine on his whole system. Or, as Jordan Peterson writes in 12 Rules: An Antidote for Chaos, “I routinely summarize what people have said to me, and ask them if I have understood properly.”

This, alas, Vox Day does not do in his attack on Jordan Peterson in Jordanetics: A Journey into the Mind of Humanity’s Greatest Thinker. In the Foreword, Milo Yiannopoulos attacks Peterson for not sticking up for him and Faith Goldy, and in the Introduction, Vox Day attacks Peterson for not doing his sums right on Jewish IQ, and not sticking up for Faith Goldy.

I agree. Peterson should have stuck up for Milo and Goldy after their respective defenestrations. Take it from the expert: in 12 Rules you are not supposed to duck your encounters with Chaos.

By the way, both Milo and Vox advertise their faith in “objective truth.” We will return to that in a minute.

Vox Day starts his book by accusing Peterson of being a “charlatan,” of “ignorance,” of “narcissism,” relating Peterson’s struggle with “mental illness,” replaying his forays into Peterson’s work in his Darkstream YouTube channel and his Voxiversity BitChute channel. Then he asks, “Who Is the Real Jordan Peterson?” Only in Chapter Six does he start to analyze the book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Okay. So what is Peterson saying, to paraphrase Cathy Newman? He is saying in his book that, if you are a young man cowering in your parents’ basement, you need to stand up straight with your shoulders back and become a responsible person. And here is how to do it.

But he does not justify this with the bourgeois Christian ethic of the 18th century, with, as Vox Day writes, its allegiance to the “objective truth, as that concept has been defined in the dictionary and understood by Man since the beginning of time.” Peterson is a Jungian, which is to say he stands not just on the shoulders of Jung, but all the other Germans, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, who have spent the last two centuries demolishing the objective truth paradigm. He is making the case for bourgeois responsibility using the 19th century German world view, and that Vox Day cannot abide.

I was once a believer in objective truth too. And then I read F.S.C. Northrop and his Meeting of East and West. I quote:

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate.

The whole point of the revolution begun by Kant is that we can’t know “objective truth.”

For Kant everything we know comes through our senses and then gets processed by our brains and gussied up into a theory of the world. Thus, we cannot know things-in-themselves, prior to our sense impressions.

But the loss of “objective truth” is not the end of everything, it is just the beginning.

For one thing, it allows Carl Jung to experience the history of religion as the history of mankind trying to make sense of the world -- the meaning of life, the universe, and everything -- given the state of human knowledge about life, the universe, and everything at the time.

In his book Jordan Peterson tries to make sense of the world with everything from Biblical exegesis to Nietzschean aphorisms and Jungian analysis, with Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn thrown in for good measure. And, of course, his Biblical analysis compares God the Father and Christ the Son with Osiris and Horus, the Egyptian father-son duo. He would, because he’s a Jungian, and Jungians believe that you can bring together the religious beliefs of all ages to discover the truth.

For Vox Day this is as fraudulent as L. Ron Hubbard and his Dianetics, and so Peterson is in it for the money and the adulation and he is forming a cult just like Hubbard. Hence Jordanetics.

Actually Vox Day has a point. Every quickie book of 12 Rules -- or 95 Theses -- since St. Paul has faced the very real danger of starting a whacko cult, and some of those cults have developed into global thermonuclear religions.

Let’s close with bad boy Nietzsche:

The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.